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Remmy arrived in Chicago in time to witness the Haymarket riot. It plays an important role in Remmy’s progress in becoming the man who would track down his family’s murderer.
A long string of events led up to the Haymarket bombing, starting in 1884 when plans were first made for a parade to be held in Chicago in support of the 8 hour work day. The date of May 1 two years later was chosen at the first meeting.
Labor unions wanted to peacefully support the existing laws requiring an 8 hour limit for all workers in Illinois, a law almost completely ignored, even for state workers.
The unions worked with the city and the police to set up the parade which went off without problems. Trouble began soon after as unplanned protests sprang up around the city. Most famously, Cyrus McCormick locked out all his employees and brought in strike breakers to work the plant. Pickets at the gates attacked the scabs and the police attacked the picketers. That led to the shooting on May 3 where six picketers were killed and others were wounded.
After several days of turmoil, beatings and shootings, an impromptu protest rally was called at Haymarket square, about a mile from the McCormick factory where the shootings occurred the day before .
This is a common flyer announcing the special meeting at the Haymarket. This one is in both English and German. Many others were printed in dozens of languages. Most of them were carried through the streets and handed out to anyone who would take them. Some were posted or just thrown on the sidewalks.
Most of the workers had already left the rally at the Haymarket because a thunderstorm was getting close. There were perhaps as few as 50 people left and they were outnumbered by the police. However, someone, as yet unknown, threw a dynamite bomb into the midst of the police, seven of whom were killed along with at least four workers and uncounted wounded. The police, fearing more bombs, emptied their guns into the remaining crowd, but did it so wildly that they wounded as many fellow police as workers.
This was the first memorial placed at the site shortly after the incident. This shows the completion of the statue on the right and on the left as it looks today outside Police Headquarters where it was moved some years ago.
Haymarket today with a new memorial to the workers. The site is just east of the Kennedy Expressway at Randolph and Desplaines streets. Haymarket Square no longer exists.