Émile Pouget

1860 – 1931 • France

Revolutionary syndicalist • Anarchism • Anti-semitism

A leading revolutionary syndicalist, organiser and advocate of the general strike. Jailed with Louise Michel in 1883 he later became an influential journalist and propagandist for worker resistance, in particular for the general strike and direct action.

Pouget was, however, also anti-semitic, calling Dreyfus a ‘rich yid’.

In 1889 Pouget founded the anarchist weekly, Le Père Peinard. This was effective in denouncing contemporary capitalism, the military and the clergy. It advocated direct action to change the system. It became one of the principle targets of the 1893 lois scélérates, a series of laws making it illegal to support ‘propaganda by the deed‘ in the press and encouraging spies to inform on the activities of anarchist groups.

A leading left activist, Robert Louzon said that after finding Pouget’s paper at a newspaper kiosk he found Le Père Peinard ideas matched his own. In 1906, then an engineer with a good income, he loaned the CGT enough money to buy its headquarters in the Rue de la Grange-aux-Belles. When his employer, the Paris Gas company found out, Louzon was sacked on the spot.

In 1924 Louzon worked with Monatte to found the Révolution prolétarienne. Later in life, Louzon launched the first daily Communist paper in the Arabic language.

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