Building A Movement
Honoring the Haymarket Martyrs
The U.S. National Park Service has declared Chicago’s Haymarket Martyrs’ monument a National Historic Landmark and the Illinois Labor History Society (ILHS) is sponsoring a celebration, Sunday afternoon, May 3. The ceremony will take place at the former Waldheim cemetery, now called Forest Home, at 863 Desplaines Ave. in Forest Park, Ill., outside of Chicago.
The monument is a tribute to five anarchists, Albert Parsons, August Spies, Adolph Fischer, George Engle and Louis Ling, who died at the hands of the state of Illinois following a frame-up murder trial in 1887. They were convicted for a bomb thrown during a police riot although none of the accused were ever shown to have been directly connected with the device. Much like the current British Gandalf Defendants (see p. 5), the Haymarket martyrs were held responsible by their writings and utterances for an act committed by someone unknown to them.
Although it seems quite a contradiction to have anarchists honored by a government agency, official designation may be for the best.
Old Waldheim Cemetery, resting place of Emma Goldman and other radicals, had fallen on hard times recently. Security was so lax on the grounds that the Monument was vandalized and its elaborate brass trim stolen for scrap.
Leslie Orear, president of the ILHS, said a sculptor and foundry are necessary to restore the missing filigree. He added that security has improved under the site’s new owners and he was hopeful a reconstituted statue would be properly guarded.
For information and directions contact the ILHS, 28 E. Jackson, Rm. 1012, Chicago, IL 60604; (312) 663–4107; www.kentlaw.edu/ilhs.
Global Street Party
People in London and Turku, Finland have proposed Saturday, May 16 as the day for a Global Street Party. These events would coincide with the 1998 G8 meeting in Birmingham, England, where world leaders from the eight largest capitalist economies will make decisions about the future of the planet and its people.
These politicians and corporate vampires, in their ceaseless drive for profit, will then fly to Geneva to celebrate the 50th anniversary of GATT, where they will sign agreements enabling them to wrench more power and control away from local communities and siphon it into their self-appointed dictatorship.
People everywhere are rebelling against these global forces, and mid-May will see countless world-wide protests. A transnational street party has the potential to be a defining moment of resistance. Imagine the kick of taking back your street in the knowledge that all over the world similar acts of defiance are taking place.
Time is short, so please try to respond to this idea as soon as possible.
London Reclaim The Streets, PO box 9656, London N4 4NL, UK; 0171-281-4621; www.hrc.wmin.ac.uk/campaigns/rts.html.
St. Louis—July 17–19
Several environmental groups are sponsoring the first grassroots gathering on biodevastation and genetic engineering, July 17–19, at Fontbonne College in St. Louis.-Organizers say the conference will address the intertwined issues of genetic engineering, patenting of life forms and herbicide-resistant seeds, world trade in genetic material, and the monopolization of food production.
Bringing together major critics of biotechnology such as Indian physicist Vandana Shiva, author Brian Tokar, and Howard Lyman (co-defendant in the Oprah Winfrey case), the conference will host workshops and panels for environmentalists, pure food activists, and farmers.
For more information contact the Gateway Green Alliance at (314) 727–8554 or (314) 772–6463.
Anarchist Gathering Set For August
Toronto anarchists and radical activists are organizing Active Resistance ’98, August 17–23, designated as the ten-year anniversary of the Survival Gathering held in that city (see Summer 1988 FE for background).
Canada is home to the second-largest community of Nazi war criminals in the world, and Toronto has a disproportionate share of boneheads and fascist propagandists. It also recently witnessed a brutal wave of police killings of people of color in a city which is heavily multi-cultural.
The province of Ontario is rated the third most polluted area in North America, clearcut deforestation is rampant in the Temagami region, and the Darlington nuclear reactor was recently cited for incompetence. Campus occupations have taken place across the province by student activists frustrated with increasingly inaccessible tuition fees, and the Ontario Federation of Labor is poised for the possibility of a province-wide general strike.
The city is ripe for a creative, fun, culturally diverse, queer positive, Native solidarity, pro-feminist, youth and political prisoner-friendly, labor-aligned, anti-poverty, ecologically-minded gathering of anarchist activists taking action against oppression in Toronto, North America, and the world.
Send information requests, organizing and outreach ideas, workshop topics, fundraising suggestions, contact addresses to: Active
Resistance ’98 Toronto Planning Crew/ P.O. Box 108 Station P, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5S 2S8; 41676352763; resist62 tao.ca.
Ft. Benning—Nov. 22
Cross the Line at the SOA
What are you doing Nov. 22? The School of Americas Watch is looking for 1,000 good men and women to help permanently close the U.S. school for torture at Ft. Benning, Georgia. It is dubbed the School of Assassins by activists for training 60,000 Latin American soldiers who return home to murder, torture, rape and intimidate the poor and those working for the rights of the poor.
Last November 16, 2000 people demonstrated at Ft. Benning demanding the facility be closed. 601 people were arrested who “crossed the line” drawn by the cops and MPs at the base entrance. First-time offenders were given a letter barring them from the premises for a year. Repeat offenders, thirty in all, were given jail sentences for trespassing.
The alma mater of such U.S.-trained grotesque torturers as Salvador’s Robert “Blowtorch Bob” d’Aubisson must be shut down. Contact SOA.Watch, 1719 Irving St. NW, Washington DC 20010 and pledge to “cross the line” this November.