Initially a movement to further worker’s rights to gain an eight hour work day and to increase pay for workers, the Haymarket Affair/Riot/Massacre shows how the Bourgeoisie and their police puppets will do anything to keep the workers in check. The protests at Haymarket took place between May 4th and 10th, but the events leading up to the protests occurred on third of May. Lucy Parsons, a former slave from Texas, had organized a peaceful labor march of 35,000 workers on May 2nd, but on May 3rd police attacked these protesters, killing between two and six workers. Outraged, various labor organizers planned for protests for the following day, with permission from the Mayor of Chicago, Carter Harrison. Various speakers were planning to attend this protest, however most did not attend. Organizers expected around 20,000 to attend, but only around 2,500 did. Two last minute speakers ran across town to speak at this event, Samuel Fielden, a methodist lay preacher involved in the labor movement, and Albert Parsons, Lucy’s husband who had just returned after organizing labor movements in Ohio.
The meeting was almost over and only around 200 people still remained when 176 policemen armed with Winchester Repeater rifles. The scene was tense, but then someone, still unknown to this day, threw a dynamite bomb at the policemen. They officers panicked and started to blindly fire, some at their own men. All in all, seven police officers were killed, only one could be attributed to the bomb, and four workers were killed and over 70 were injured by gunfire and dynamite shrapnel, a fact that is seldom mentioned. Martial Law was declared the following day across the nation, and labor leaders in Chicago were rounded up, their houses raided and labor newspapers shut down. Eight men were eventually arrested for their involvement in the Haymarket protests: Samuel Fielden, Albert Parsons, George Engel, Adolf Fischer, Michael Schwab, August Spies, Oscar Neebe, and Louis Lingg. Lingg was who police claimed made and threw the bomb, and Lingg was a bomb maker. However, Lingg was over a mile away during the events in Chicago, but was tried nonetheless.