anarchy archives


About Us

Contact Us

Other Links

Critics Corner


The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Elisée Reclus
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
  Bright but Lesser Lights
  Cold Off The Presses
  Anarchist History
  Worldwide Movements
  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War
  Art and Anarchy
  Education and Anarchy
  Anarchist Poets


Rose Pesotta was an anarchist, feminist labor organizer and vice president within the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Born Rakhel Peisoty in Derazhnia, Ukraine in 1896 to a family of grain merchants, Pesotta was well educated during her childhood and, influenced by People's Will, would eventually adopt anarchist views. In 1913, at the age of 17, Pesotta emigrated to New York City and found employment in a shirtwaist factory, quickly joining the ILGWU, a union representing the mostly Jewish and Latina female garment workers. Working hard to educate her fellow workers, Pesotta was elected to the exclusively male executive board of ILGWU Local 25 in 1920. She spent two years at Brookwood Labor College in the 1920s. The union sent her to Los Angeles in 1933 to organize garment workers, and was appointed as vice-president of the union in 1934. One of her biggest accomplishments in Los Angeles was the leading role she played in the garment industry wide strike of 1933. Pesotta also contributed occasional articles to the anarchist newspaper Road to Freedom, where she found herself on more than one occasion debating other anarchists on the merits of working within traditional union structures, and was heavily criticized for such activities by Marcus Graham. In 1944 Pesotta resigned from the executive board of the union in protest of the fact that, despite 85% of the union's membership were women, she was the sole female executive member. Rose Pesotta died in 1965.

Order Pesotta's autobiography, Bread Upon The Waters at Literature of American Labor.

A short biography Pesotta can be found at History In Action!


[Home]               [About Us]               [Contact Us]               [Other Links]               [Critics Corner]