What in common between Baltimore today and Chicago in 1887? Towards May 1st

May 1st is a recognized International Worker's Day celebrated throughout the world. But few people know the real reasons of the commemoration designated to the events of 1886, which occurred in Chicago.

Anarchists have always been troublesome for the established power structure, given their shared call for the abolition of all power structures. So, when several labor and anarchist publications rallied for the 8 hour workday, the state arrived in force to shut the rallies down. While the crowd was dispersing, an explosion went off and police started shooting, which elicited a return volley from the crowd of armed anarchists. Several people were killed, including 7 police, and a group of anarchists with little or no connection were sentenced to death for the explosion. Widely accepted as martyrs for the movement, the few surviving defendants were acquitted 6 years later by then-governor John Peter Altgeld.

The parallels between the protests then and the protests now are difficult to ignore. In both cases, there was attendance in the tens of thousands, and in both cases, the media was used to spin the peaceful protesters as violent agitators based off of the actions of a violent minority. Both events involved suspected agent provocateurs- today's crisis actors are yesterday's Pinkerton Agency. In both situations, a systemically oppressed ethnic minority has been increasingly victimized and portrayed as senseless animals; in Baltimore it's the disenfranchised African American youth, in Chicago it was the German and Bohemian working-class immigrants.

Such means of political hegemony have existed for ages.

A well-known leader once said that the media had "the power to make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent."

We shall hope that today people will have due means to critically analyze given information and consider relevant facts.

Read article in Russian on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru

Also read: The meaning of May 1 - International Labour Day

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Riots in Baltimore
Author`s name Editorial Team