Concordia University History of Chicago Haymarket Affair Paper

1)The Haymarket Affair was known as one of the first acts of American domestic terrorism, which still shocks Americans today. Others are more disturbed by the Haymarket Trial, and the events that ultimately led to its reputation as a biased and unjust affair. Think about Chicago today; if the Haymarket Affair and its trial were to happen today, how do you think Americans and the media would portray it? What about the trial? Post a substantive response to the posted question (minimum 250 words)
2)Then reply in a scholarly and substantive manner to at least two of your classmates with at least 100 words

(Kristen)
I had never heard of the Haymarket Affair until this week’s reading. In a way, the Haymarket Trial reminds me of the Central Park jogger case where five young boys were wrongly accused of beating and raping a female jogger in Central Park, New York. The Haymarket trial reminds me of this case because in this trial there were men who were being wrongly accused of a crime and were being told that all they had to do was admit for the crime and then beg for sympathy. However, while the others were ready to admit to the crime in attempt to be releases, Louis Lingg refused to admit to a crime that he didn’t commit. The kids involved in the Central Park jogger case also did not want to admit to a crime that they didn’t commit and take a deal.

I feel that if the Haymarket Affair and its trial were to happen today, Americans would be outraged. I feel that the media would probably still place all the blame on the unions. I feel this way because I feel they would probably try to avoid making the police department the public enemy. To explain, the book states that most of the officers that died, died by the guns of their fellow officers. I think the media would’ve tried to paint the labor unions as the bad guys and would’ve tried to make it seem like the officers mostly died from the bombings. I am not sure how they would portray the trial, but I think they would follow in the footsteps of the public and maybe portray the men as innocent since the public all gained sympathy for them.

(Travis)
During the incident of the Haymarket Affair, we see issues that still arise today. The fight for equality with better pay and better work conditions. All of these issues, to some extent, continue to be displayed in the media across the nation. In modern America we see the discourse between police and citizens such as what occurred on May 4th, 1886. During this incident we observed the civil unrest between police and the citizens who believed they were doing what were allowed to do in voicing their freedom of speech. The ultimate outcome being the police were called and attempted to disperse a crowd at which point the police called for the dispersal of the crowd and shortly after a bomb being thrown into the direction of the police

I chose to write on this side of the “What would happen if this happened in Chicago today” for a couple different reasons. As stated in my introduction I am a current police officer. Sometimes we are called upon to do things for the better outcome of the cities we protect and the last thing we want to do is inhibit people’s freedom of speech. However I will say if a crowd at any point moves towards the extent where they are blocking traffic, businesses, or other citizen’s way of life during their organizing then the police must act. I would hope today as we are much more prepared and have learned from history we would have more peaceable options and strategies when dealing with a large gathering of crowds such as was displayed at Haymarket Square.

As for the media, I believe things would be portrayed just as terrorism is today. We would have placed the blame on the “race” issue that seems to plague our country. The trial would have been part of every news outlet and I believe who have sprouted up riots across the country due to the lack of evidence yet conviction of the seven men who were picked up for the riot. I think the range of the media today affects how the entire nation perceives specific topics.

 
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