Friday, May 04, 2012

May 4, the awful Haymarket Square Bombing in Chicago

Earlier in the day there had been anarchists addressing the crowd, so the crime was slated home to proponents of the political ideology of anarchy, despite the fact that no evidence for such a link could be demonstrated.

A frame-up ensued and all the men targeted by the police were found guilty: August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fisher, Louis Lingg and George Engel were given the death penalty; Oscar Neebe, Samuel Fielden and Michael Schwab were sentenced to life imprisonment. On November 10, 1887, Lingg committed suicide by exploding a dynamite cap in his mouth. The following day, Parsons, Spies, Fisher and Engel were executed.
Eventually those convicted of the crimes were pardoned by the State of Illinois after a worldwide protest at a frame-up. Unfortunately, this did not occur in the lifetime of all the victims of the police revenge. On June 26, 1893, Neebe, Fielden, and Schwab, Haymarket anarchists not already hanged by the State of Illinois the previous day, were pardoned by Illinois governor, John Peter Altgeld. The show trial and convictions were a travesty, but conservative reaction to Altgeld's action effectively ended his political career. The Haymarket case gained worldwide attention for the labor movement, and sparked off the tradition of May Day labor rallies in many cities around the world.

In 1889, a 9-foot tall bronze statue of a Chicago policeman was erected near the site of the riot, becoming a subject of debate and derision. After being moved from its original location, it was blown up at least twice by the Weather Underground before being moved to the lobby of police headquarters.
More    Haymarket Square Riot, at Wikipedia    Haymarket Affair Downunder
More on Haymarket    The Dramas of Haymarket    Haymarket chronology


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