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The Spy Who Came Up to the Cold
Staring Blindly into the Future
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Emma Goldman (1869 – 1940) was an anarchist, political activist and writer. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
Emma Goldman endorses the abolishment of governments, believing it would free the common people to act of their own free will.
Born in Kovno, Russia (present-day Kaunas, Lithuania) to a Jewish family, Goldman emigrated to the United States in 1885. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. Emma and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Frick survived the attempt on his life in 1892 and Berkman was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth.
Appearances and Mentions
- Emma arrives in Toronto in 1899, at the same time Peter Milne's antique shop is bombed. Agent Terrence Meyers believed that Emma and her cohorts were the perpetrators of the bombing as a statement against capitalism. When Emma is in the middle of a speech promoting anarchism, the Toronto Constabulary cracks down on the gathering, forcing the anarchists to retreat back to their safehouse. In the chaos, Meyers and Detective William Murdoch infiltrat the anarchist group, finding American agent Allen Clegg having infiltrated them as well. Clegg subtly attempts to sway Emma into leading the anarchist into more aggressive action. Eventually, his words compells a young man Pierce to light a stick of dynamite in the square where Emma is making her speech, though no one is hurt, believing it would impress her. Instead, it has the opposite effect, as Emma condemns Pierce's actions, predicting that the police would arrest the entire chapter.
- Soon after, a communist who just joined the chapter, Albert Wallace, identifies Murdoch as a police officer, forcing the detective to grab Pierce and places him under arrest. Clegg convinces Emma to let the detective leave with Pierce.
- Ultimately, the anarchists are cleared of any involvement in the bombing, as it was committed by Milne's landlord to force him out before the sale of the shop expired.
- At the Pendrick Symposium, Emma Goldman asks Detective Watts why are people applauding Andrew Carnegie? Watts explains that the he has a vision for future, "one of enlightenment and peace". Emma counters, "And what of the common people, who broke their backs and lost their lives so that he could gain his fortune?"
- Emma concludes that the symposium is preposterous, discussing what might be possible tomorrow when there are so many problems today! Acting on what propels her work, holding people responsible for the injustice they have inflicted, Emma Goldman goes to give Andrew Carnegie a hard right punch – in front of the cameras.