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Re-examining the Haymarket affair

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 11:24 PM
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Re-examining the Haymarket affair
... "I was giving a reading last night at an Irish bar in Manhattan," Green said Thursday at an interview at a downtown Chicago hotel. "When I said the bomber had never been identified, someone in the audience suddenly yelled, `It was the Pinks, of course!'"

The Pinkerton Detective Agency was deeply involved in Chicago strikebreaking at the time, and blaming the bomb on a Pinkerton provocateur has long appealed to historians of the left. But to Green, the outburst at Rocky Sullivan's Pub had more to do with the long memory some Irish-Americans have of the Pinkerton spying that sent ten "Molly Maguire" union coal miners to the gallows in Pennsylvania in 1877.

There were no Irish among the eight men tried and convicted for Haymarket. Five (August Spies, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lingg and Michael Schwab) were German immigrants. Oscar Neebe was a U.S. citizen of German descent. Samuel Fielden was an immigrant from England, and Albert Parsons was a Confederate Civil War veteran who converted to radical Republicanism, married a woman of mixed race and fought the Ku Klux Klan in his native Texas before moving to Chicago ...

The bloodiness and bitterness were evident from the onset. Of the eight men charged, only Fielden and Spies were at the scene when the bomb went off, and neither of them was the bomber. But because all eight had preached anarchy in some form or other, they were charged with murder anyway. Seven were arrested in Chicago, and Parsons, who had fled to Wisconsin, later surrendered voluntarily ...
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 11:51 PM
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1. Interesting article ...

Thanks for posting.

In the spirit of the article, and to make a more direct connection, this is what we are in severe danger of having today. At one point in time, in America, a person could essentially be found guilty of some imagined crime and murdered by the state for espousing a political view. The rhetoric of the far right today is not just similar to but identical to that of both Conservatives and mainstream Republicans of the day with regard to Populists and anarchists. I fully expect someone to end up in a trial soon that is becomes very clearly a case of that person being accused of a crime simply due to his or her political beliefs. I've feared it for Cindy Sheehan, or some of her direct supporters, for example. And they will be killed.

While I was working toward my degree in history, I found myself as one of only one student in my graduating class who had any interest at all in this period of history, and I found myself quite thankful that the head of the history department had done his dissertation on the Populist movement and so could guide my studies. The lack of interest says something about students of history, but it says even more about citizens of this country generally. If people who generally enjoy history have little interest in this era, what of people who have no interest? We're currently going through a period that is the Golden Age intensified. The lack of awareness of where this will lead is more than troubling. It's downright terrifying.

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