Haymarket Riot

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  • May 1, 1886 marked the beginning of a nationwide movement for an 8 hour work week.
  • On May 3, 1886, 35,000 workers got together to rally against the McCormick Reaper Plant for an 8 hour work week. This rally turned violent. The police started killing and wounding several workers.
  • Anarchists print a newspaper organizing a meeting at Haymarket Square in Chicago, Illinois at 7:30pm.
  • At the meeting, the police came to break up the crowd. An angered member of the crowd threw a bomb a the police which lead to a riot breaking out. During the riot 8 people were killed (7 policemen and 1 civilian). The injured toll is still unknown to this day.
  • In August 1886, 8 men were labeled anarchists and convicted for the crimes on May 4. The trial was controversial, because there was not enough evidence to prove the men guilty. Of the 8 men 7 were sentenced to death and the last man was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
  • In the end, 4 men were hanged, 1 committed suicide on the eve of his execution, 1 got a 15 year prison sentence, and the other two got their sentences changed from execution to life in prison.
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