Emma Goldman, circa 1911
One day, a well-built woman in her 20’s walked up to the monument of Despair, as we can now rightfully call it. It was the middle of the day, the sun was scorching and tens of workers and students were hanging around the Duwwar waiting for their transportation.
She stood there still for some minutes.She walked up to the black placard, adorned with those two handsome security men and a flowery wreath, and stood silent for a moment. Abruptly, she moved again and started climbing the shiny stone. It only took a couple of tries, pushing her body up with her hands and she was on top.
Then she lied down, head up, facing the bridge above.
Birds were flying around in several directions.
She didn’t flinch.
Several men gathered around her.
She got up again, and this time stood with one of her legs anchored at an uncomfortable angle and one of her hands arching towards the sky.
She remained in that pose for another few minutes.
No one knew quite what she was doing, but they all remained silently standing around the placard.
Anxious for the lack of reaction, one young woman started clapping. Her lone action made the situation more tense. Some seconds later, a man started clapping with her, and then another man, and then another. In unison, the whole crowd was clapping and cheering creating a mass euphoric fuss.
She didn’t smile. She went back down from her spot on top and walked away.
People dispersed, and the public episode was over.