Postcard of the 1910 trial in Spokane of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, labor leader, activist, and feminist.
Small tear left border. Smudges on back.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890 –1964) was an American labor leader, activist, and feminist who played a leading role in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Flynn was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a visible proponent of women's rights, birth control, and women's suffrage. She joined the Communist Party USA in 1936 and late in life, in 1961, became its chairwoman. She died during a visit to the Soviet Union, where she was accorded a state funeral with processions in Red Square attended by over 25,000 people.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a Socialist activist in the Spokane Free Speech fight that began in October 1909. The free speech movement was an action by members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) to challenge a Spokane City ordinance prohibiting street meetings. For a few weeks, the IWW, including Flynn, gathered en masse every day in the streets to make speeches, expecting to get arrested and fill the jails.
Finally, Flynn herself was arrested. A police judge promptly sent her to jail for a few days. When released, she protested so vigorously against the filthy condition of the jail that the peace officers were sorry they had arrested her. The arrests and the jailings did nothing to stop the agitation. Finally. half a dozen of the men and Flynn were duly indicted for conspiracy. Both sides girded their loins for a knock-down and drag-out fight to the finish. Then, just before the trial, the prosecutor dismissed all the men save one, and the case was tried against Elizabeth and a young Italian. The trial took nearly two weeks, and it made headlines every day….