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Haymarket Massacre 1886

On May 3, striking workers in Chicago met near the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company plant. Union molders at the plant had been locked out since early February and the predominantly Irish-American workers at McCormick had come under attack from Pinkerton guards during an earlier strike action in 1885. This event, along with the eight-hour militancy of McCormick workers, had gained the strikers some respect and notoriety around the city. By the time of the 1886 general strike, strikebreakers entering the McCormick plant were under protection from a garrison of 400 police officers. McCormick wanted to end all eight hour talks and complained that the union was trying to control his shops. Although half of the replacement workers defected to the general strike on May 1, McCormick workers continued to harass strikebreakers as they crossed the picket lines.

Speaking to a rally outside the plant on May 3, August Spies advised the striking workers to "hold together, to stand by their union, or they would not succeed".[30] Well-planned and coordinated, the general strike to this point had remained largely nonviolent. When the end-of-the-workday bell sounded, however, a group of workers surged to the gates to confront the strikebreakers. Despite calls for calm by Spies, the police fired on the crowd. Two McCormick workers were killed (although some newspaper accounts said there were six fatalities).[31] Spies would later testify, "I was very indignant. I knew from experience of the past that this butchering of people was done for the express purpose of defeating the eight-hour movement."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haymarket_affair#Rally_at_Haymarket_Square

Flier calling for a rally in the Haymarket on May 4.



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