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Pouget, Émile (1860–1931)

Constance Bantman

Subject Social History » Labor History
Sociology » Social Movements

Place Western Europe » France

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899, 1900-1999

Key-Topics anarchism, bibliography, labor movements, labor unions, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01209.x


Émile Pouget was a key figure of French and international anarchism and revolutionary syndicalism between 1880 and 1914, one of the most vocal militants and cunning strategists, a prolific journalist and pamphlet-writer whose career spans three decades. He came from an impoverished middle-class family from Aveyron. By the late 1870s he had moved to Paris and formed a shopkeepers' union, although he did not become a wholehearted advocate of revolutionary trade unionism until the early 1890s. In 1883 he was imprisoned for leading a demonstration of unemployed workers with Louise Michel at the Invalides, which degenerated into riot and looting. It was on this occasion that the anarchist black flag is believed to have appeared for the first time. In 1886 he set up Le Père peinard , a fiercely anti-bourgeois, pro-strikes, and anti-colonial paper addressed to the worker, famous for its biting slang and artistic contributions. Pouget was also involved in several local groups, and through the paper he liaised with militants from all over France and beyond. He was naturally one of those indicted in the 1894 anti-anarchist Procès des Trente . He sought refuge in Britain and was condemned in absentia . Little is known about his London years, except that he lived in Islington and frequented French, Italian, and British anarchists and anarchosyndicalists, notably Malatesta. By February 1894 ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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