As another Chicago political scandal raises its head and casts an ugly shadow over the self-proclaimed ‘prophet of change’, it’s worth looking back to a political scandal that actually did have noble causes behind it. The Haymarket massacre, where seven men, labour activists and anarchists, were framed on charges of having incited rioting and of setting off a bomb which killed a policemen. In reality it was the city of Chicago and the business elites’ step in trying to dismantle anything relating to radical politics and public protest.
(see the Wikipedia Haymarket article for a good background).
The pamphlet Labor’s Martyrs was written by the communist-influenced American-Italian lawyer, and sometime politician, Vito Marcantonio and briefly analysed the Haymarket affair from a position outside the usual orthodox mainstream press. It also contains a short section on the Sacco & Vanzetti affair.
According to Emma Goldman, the Haymarket affair was the incident that pulled her into anarchism, so government spies essentially failed to eradicate anarchism and labor activism from Chicago, which has gone on famously to represent a stronghold for working class protest and politics. Sadly, it is also a platform for opportunist, ex-activists who are bought by dreams of money and power, and who give a bad name to genuine left politics—Mr. President elect, you know who you are.
Download and read labors-martyrs. (PDF)