March Against Capitalism

Posted: November 10, 2014 in Call to Action, Fight Back, Solidarity

May Day is a workers day of solidarity & struggle and a tradition linked backed to The Haymarket Massacre. May 1st marked the start of the Haymarket Affair until the massacre on May 4th. It seems only appropriate that we honor those that were hung by the state for fighting for the people. On Nov. 11th 1887 four anarchists were hung who were involved in the Haymarket Affair. One of the Anarchists yelled out before they were hung “The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!”. I say lets honor these fallen comrades by continuing our battle against the state and capitalism.

Please join us for an anti capitalist march on Tuesday, November 11th. Lets unite on the anniversary of the death of our comrades and make sure their message never fades away.

May Day comes twice this year because capitalism wont abolish itself!

Facebook page for this event.

Cities who will March Against Capitalism:

Seattle WA

Denver CO

Santiago de Chile – South America

Pheonix AZ (marching on Nov. 1st in solidarity)

Youngstown OH

Albert Parsons

“Toward any individual in danger or distress,
he had an instinctive sympathy.”
– Charles Edward Russell

Born:  June 20, 1848
Died:  November 11, 1887
Occupation:  printer

Albert Parsons, 37 at the time of the Haymarket riot, had the deepest American roots of all of the accused Haymarket conspirators.  His ancestry can be traced back to 1632, when his ancestors arrived inAmerica on the second voyage of the Mayflower.  His family was involved in many social revolutionary causes, and Albert continued this tradition by fighting for labor reform in America, beginning in the early 1870’s.

Husband of a former slave, Parsons had previously fought for the rights of Black American citizens and former slaves.  Parsons equated the plight of the working class to the plight of slaves before slavery was abolished in America.  He believed that once traditional slavery was abolished, capitalism created a new kind of slavery, where the working masses were slaves to their capitalist masters.  Parsons wrote, “The working people thirst for the truths of Socialism and welcome their utterance with shouts of delight.”

Parsons and his wife, Lucy, arrived in Chicago in 1873 and became a leader of the Socialist Labor Party.  Parsons eventually founded the American Group of Chicago, which was the American branch of the International Working Persons Association.  Parsons was also the editor of The Alarm, the English version of the Arbeiter-Zeitung.

Parsons was invited to speak at the Haymarket on May 4, 1886 and arrived at the Haymarket around 9 PM.  He spoke for almost an hour, before leaving for Zepf’s Hall, during Samuel Fielden’s speech.  He was at Zepf’s when the bomb exploded in the Haymarket.  Knowing that the police would immediately search for him, Parsons left Chicago by train at midnight, heading for Geneva, Illinois to stay with compatriot William Holmes.  Parsons further evaded the police, shortly after his arrival in Geneva, by traveling to Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he stayed with the Hoan family, whose father sympathized with Parsons’s beliefs.

Parsons stayed in Wisconsin until the first day of the Haymarket trial,June 21, 1886.  He surrendered by dramatically and unexpectedly entering the court.  He, along with six others, were convicted at trial and sentenced to death.  Despite pleas to do so, Parsons did not write to Governor Oglesby to have his sentence commuted.  Many believed that, had he asked, Parsons would not have been executed.  Parsons felt that the only way to save the others was to align himself with them.  Because of this insistence to have the same fate as the others, he was hanged with them on November 11, 1887.

August Spies

He was “handsome and intelligent, with a wide range of reading
and of studious nature, with a warm heart controlled by a cold,
philosopher’s brain.”
– Dyer Lum

Born:  December 10, 1855
Died:  November 11, 1887
Occupation:  Upholsterer

August Spies (pronounced Speeze in English), 30 at the time of the Haymarket incident, was a German immigrant who came to America in 1872.  Considered to be an excellent writer, Spies was fluent in English, German, and French.

In Chicago, Spies was a member of the Lehr-und-Wehr Verein and Socialists Labor Party.  He was also the business manager of theArbeiter-Zeitung, the German-language newsletter for the working class.  Many considered Spies to be nearly an equal to Parsons in the anarchist movement in Chicago.

Spies witnessed the incident at the McCormick factory on May 3, 1886, where a skirmish broke out between the police and workers.  Two people were killed, prompting Spies to write and publish the “Revenge Circular.”  The Arbeiter-Zeitung printed approximately 2,500 copies of the circular, and half were distributed to the public.  The circular called for the working class to take up arms and exact revenge on their oppressors, the capitalists.

Spies was the first speaker at the Haymarket on May 4, 1886.  He spoke while the crowd waited for Parsons to arrive. By all accounts, Spies’s speech was mild and was not likely to incite violence. He remained for the conclusion of the meeting and was stepping down from the speakers’ wagon when the bomb was thrown into the crowd.

Spies was arrested the next morning (May 5, 1886) at the offices of theArbeiter-Zeitung, along with Fischer and Schwab.  While in prison, Spies began a romance with Nina Van Zandt, eventually marrying while in prison.  Spies also did not write a plea to Governor Oglesby.  Even if he had, Governor Oglesby would likely not have commuted the sentence.  Spies was hanged on November 11, 1887.  On the scaffold, Spies offered a prediction: “The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.”
George Engel

“No power on Earth can rob the working man of his knowledge of
how to make bombs- and that knowledge he possesses.”
–George Engel

Born:  April 15, 1836
Died:  November 11, 1887
Occupation:  toy store owner

George Engel, 50 years old at the time of the Haymarket riot, was the oldest of the Haymarket defendants.  An orphan since the age of 12, Engel immigrated to America from Germany in 1873.  Engel became a socialist shortly after arriving in Chicago in 1874.  His adoption of socialism was influenced by what he saw as the sameness of the two major parties: “When, in the fourteenth ward, in which I lived and had the right to vote, the Social Democratic party had grown to such dimensions as to make it dangerous for the Republican and Democratic parties, the latter forthwith united and took stand against the Social Democrats.  This, of course, was natural; for are not their interests identical?”

A militant, “fervent devotee” of the International Working Persons Association, Engel, along with Fischer, was a radical leader of the autonomist faction of the socialist labor movement.  In the words of co-defendant Oscar Neebe,  “Engel was a brave soldier in the working-class struggle, an out and out rebel for the cause.” Although Engel attended the “Monday Night Conspiracy” at Greif’s Saloon on May 3, 1886, Engel stayed at home and played cards on the night of the Haymarket riot.

He was arrested at his home two days later.  Engel was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.  Unlike Fielden and Schwab, Engel chose not to plead to Governor Oglesby for his sentence to be commuted.  Accordingly, Engel was hanged on November 11, 1887 with the remaining Haymarket defendants.

Adolf Fischer

“He expected and desired to lose his life in the cause of human emancipation, and he had little patience with measures looking to the mere amelioration of the working people’s condition.”
– William Holmes

Born:   1858
Died:  November 11, 1887
Occupation: printer

Adolph Fischer was a militant revolutionary zealot and German-born socialist who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 15 years old.  After arriving in America, Fischer became the foreman of the composing room at the Arbeiter-Zeitung.  Fischer also joined the International Working Persons Association and the Lehr-und-Wehr Verein.  Along with Engel, Fischer was a leader of the autonomist faction of the socialist labor movement.

Fischer attended the “Monday Night Conspiracy” at Greif’s Saloon on the night before the Haymarket incident.  He also attended the Haymarket meeting, but was reportedly at Zepf’s Hall when the bomb was thrown.  He was apprehended the following morning at the offices of the Arbeiter-Zeitung.

Fischer was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.  At his sentencing, Fischer blamed the verdict on the jury’s hatred of his ideas: “I was tried here in this room for murder, and I was convicted of Anarchy.”  He predicted the verdict would not end anarchy, but only lead to more of it: “The more the believers in just causes are persecuted, the more quickly will their ideas be realized.  For instance, in rendering such an unjust and barbarous verdict, the twelve ‘honorable men’ in the jury-box have done more for the furtherance of Anarchism than the convicted have accomplished in a generation. This verdict is a death-blow to free speech, free press and free thought in this country, and the people ill be conscious of it, too.  This is all I care to say.” Fischer did not plead for his sentence to be commuted, and if he had, his appeal would have likely failed.  Accordingly, Fischer was hanged on November 11, 1887 with Parsons, Spies, and Engel.


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