CHICAGO, Oct. 7 (LNS)—A day before the SDS national action was scheduled to begin here, headlines all over the city announced that the “historic” Haymarket Square Police Monument had been blown sky high.
The eight foot high bronze statue of a policeman was built to commemorate seven policemen who died in the famous Haymarket Square riot in 1886.
Chicago had been the scene of a clash that year between pickets and scabs outside the McCormick reaper plant. Police intervened, attempting to break the strike, and killed four workers.
The next day, as they massed to attack a union rally protesting the killings in Haymarket Square, seven policemen were killed when sticks of dynamite exploded in their midst.
Eight workers were arrested and convicted of inciting the crowd from which the dynamite was thrown. The union speaker at the time of the explosion, was exhorting the crowd to “Throttle the law, kill it, stab it!”
Of the eight men arrested (none of whom was even accused of actually throwing the dynamite) four were hanged, three got life sentences, and one committed suicide.
There is no statue in Chicago for the workers killed in the street battle or murdered by the court.
Reacting to the bombing of the statue, the President of the Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association, Richard M. Barrett, announced that “This is a declaration of war between SDS and the police.”
“We now feel that it is kill or be killed, regardless of the ACLU types and the Walker Commission Report and the so-called Civil Rights Act,” the Sergeant said.