Today marks the anniversary of the labor rally (in favor of the pernicious 8-Hour work day) and riot at Haymarket Square. During the rally, after August Spies concluded his speech, an explosive device was thrown by a agent provocateur, most likely by a member of the Pinkerton's (The Blackwater of the 19th century) and an invective was coined The Bomb Throwing Anarchist.
The explosive device killed Police Officer Degan. What happened after the device exploded is infamous. A general melee occurred, in which at least 11 people were killed and unknown numbers wounded, mostly by the police. And the incident was used by members of the Kleptocracy to rid themselves of men whom they deemed dangerous to the standing social order.
Eight men were arrested: August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden and Oscar Neebe.
The following trial was a mockery. The jury included a relative of one of the killed police officers and had been picked by a court officer who publicly stated, "These fellows are going to be hanged as certain as death." No evidence connected the convicted to the bomb and two (Oscar Neebe and Louis Lingg) were not at Haymarket.
This was not justice but the use of the system by the state's attorney Juluis Grinell and others to divide people. The history of the US is this system of divide and conquer, keep the people apart and under the control of the system.
As Howard Zinn wrote in his Magnum Opus, A People's History of the United States pg 646, 647, 648,
"The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history. There is no system of control with more openings, apertures, lee-ways, flexibilities, rewards for the chosen, winning tickets in lotteries. There is none that disperses its controls more complexly through the voting system, the work situation, the church, the family, the school, the mass media - none more successful in mollifying opposition with reforms, isolating people from one another, creating patriotic loyalty.
It is very important for the Establishment - that uneasy club of business executives, generals, and politicos - to maintain the historic pretense of national unity, in which the government represents all the people, and the common enemy is overseas, not at home, where disasters of economics or war are unfortunate errors or tragic accidents, to be corrected by the members of the same club that brought the disasters."
I think about the Last Chapter of A People's History often.
who was told what to do by the man,
who was broken by trained personnel,
who was fitted with collar and chain,
-- Pink Floyd, Dogs