May 19, 2023
From The Red Phoenix

By the Illinois Labor History Society.

On November 11, 1887, four self-identified anarchists were hung by the neck at the Cook County jail, convicted under circumstantial pretenses that they had conspired to throw a bomb into the police on May 4, 1886, in Haymarket Square. In 1893 this beautiful monument was built at their gravesites. The Haymarket monument and the people buried around it are testament to those holding true to their principles.

Does spray painting the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument help labor rights?

Sadly, as has happened before during May, the monument was again defaced and spray painted. The Illinois Labor History Society, the monument’s caretaker, spends $3,000 annually on monument upkeep — removing this spray paint will cost us another $1,000. We will raise the funds to do that. The questions to ask are, “How does spray painting this monument aid labor rights?” “Would the energy spent sneaking into a cemetery with spray paint better be spent actually helping organize people?” Cemeteries are sacred spaces, dear to many hearts. Those who desire self-expression can find multiple other ways to spend their time, energy and resources. We hope you will join the ILHS in preserving the important memories this monument represents and that we should all approach this spot with awe, not with spray paint.

Please visit the Illinois Labor History Society online to donate and learn more about their important work of studying and preserving labor history.

Categories: Labor, U.S. News