#1 on this Indiewire list is here:
A true story about forbidden anarchistic love and the system that tried to tear them apart
The Haymarket Affair is the real life revolutionary origin story of MAY DAY:
Decades after the Civil War, a former slave with a soul like a branding iron and a former Confederate dyed in the wool Texan fall in love and marry in Texas. She is Lucy Gonzalez, who passes as Mexican, and is therefore ‘free.’ He is Albert Parsons, an advocate for the poor, who is targeted by the KKK when they torch his home.
Albert and Lucy flee to Chicago. At a Fourth of July celebration, they meet the charming educated August Spies, the cautious young Adolph Fischer and the hot-headed Louis Lingg, ardent German activists and immigrants, who fight for fair labor rights across America. Together, they form the Chicago Anarchists.
By 1886, Downtown Chicago resembles a war zone. Factories routinely render workers limbless. Children are enslaved. Coal mines across the region are death traps. Septic tent cities are now the new standard of living.
The Chicago Anarchists fight the system by creating their own printing presses, running prominent citizens out of town, and ultimately, shutting down the entire city of Chicago during the General Strike. Three days later, Haymarket Square is bombed. And they are blamed by authorities. Who really set it off, and why?
In a reversal of power, Albert, August and Adolph are hung publicly. Their group is disbanded, and their message unravels. However, the legacy of the Chicago Anarchists lives on as a model for resistance movements that follow, including The Weather Underground, Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Women’s March, Fight for 15, and Antifa.
“The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.” Last words from the gallows cried out by August Spies on Nov. 11, 1887.
May Day is celebrated annually in over 80 countries globally.
Lucy Parsons is credited for organizing the first “sit-down” or sit-in strike. Her legacy continues daily with direct action & in movements such as Occupy, #BlackLivesMatter, #NoDAPL, #WomensMarch, #Fightfor15 #SchoolsNotPrisons ++ others. Follow #LucyLives on Twitter to find out more about activists who embody her spirit.
To find out more about the relevance and social significance of the story — click here
Lucy, Albert, August, Louis & Adolph ::: Fall in Love, Not in Line
Haymarket Affair is 50/50
The Haymarket Affair of 1886 gave birth to May Day, which is celebrated every year with massive sweeping marches on May 1st in over 80 nations around the world. 1886, the screenplay, is a historical drama based on real life stories that surround the Haymarket bombing of May 4, 1886, the subsequent trial and executions of anarchists in America who fought for the eight hour work day and to end child labor.
The story centers on an interracial couple. Lucy Parsons is of mixed heritage: a Native-American/African-American/Mexican labor activist born into slavery. She’s written about as a “Black Indian“. Albert Parsons enlists to help the CSA at age 13 and later denounces his indoctrination to advocate for the rights of freed slaves and the working class with his wife. They are a team.
The story also focuses on German immigrants– Louis Lingg, a young Mannheim born carpenter unionist who emigrates to Chicago and German language newspaper publisher August Spies and his assistant Adolph Fischer. Lingg commits suicide in prison, leaving behind the love of his life, Elise Friedel. Spies meets his wife, Nina Van Zandt, a Chicago socialite, as a result of the conspiracy trial. Four men are hung and buried in Waldheim Cemetery in Chicago.
1886 re-captures our current day disparity between the haves and have nots. This story includes suspenseful elements such as the mystery of who really set off the bomb in Haymarket Square & torrid love affairs. It also draws attention to America’s prison system. The anarchists were kept and killed at Cook County Jail, still the US’s largest.
The Indispensable Zinn, “Resistance & the Role of The Artist” p. 335
“People in the entertainment world have a possibility to reach larger numbers of people than we do, and if they miss out on an opportunity to reach huge numbers of people, then they are depriving all of us of the very special opportunity.“
The film Blackfish stirred 12 year old protestor Rose McCoy into action.
Film can get people onto streets with messages.
budgeted in low mid-range
City of Chicago:
A Powerful Symbol
“Over the years, the site of the Haymarket bombing has become a powerful symbol for a diverse cross-section of people, ideals and movements. Its significance touches on the issues of free speech, the right of public assembly, organized labor, the fight for the eight-hour workday, law enforcement, justice, anarchy and the right of every human being to pursue an equitable and prosperous life. For all, it is a poignant lesson in the rewards and consequences inherent in such human pursuits.”
Lucy Parsons on Black Rose Banner, #WomensMarch January 21, 2017
Mike Alewitz mural of Albert & Lucy Parsons in Mexico
Look how much German is still spoken in the US today
Screenwriter is Translator on Rory Kennedy’s Academy Award nominated documentary “Last Days in Vietnam”
From Kate Schatz, author of the New York Times Bestseller book on which Lucy is a cover gal “Rad American Women A-Z“:
“Hey! Are you at work today? For 8 hours? On May 1? Take a moment to thank Lucy Parsons for that.
On May 1, 1886, activist/anarchist/feminist/dressmaker/speaker/organizer/mother Lucy Gonzalez Parsons, her husband, and their 2 [children] helped lead 80,000 workers down the streets of Chicago in what is considered to be the first May Day Parade. They were on a massive strike and campaign to demand an 8-hour workday. Over the next several days 100s of thousands more workers joined the movement, crippling industry and forcing changes in labor policy.
On May 3 police killed 6 striking workers; on May 4 Lucy’s husband Albert spoke at a rally in Haymarket Square. Police broke up the rally and a bomb was thrown into the crowd; Albert was wrongly charged along with a group of fellow radical anarchists. He escaped Chicago but later turned himself in out of solidarity. Lucy traveled the country giving speeches in defense of the Haymarket men. Albert was eventually executed, and Lucy continued on as a powerful organizer, helping to found the IWW and coming to be referred to as “more dangerous than 10,000 rioters” by the Chicago Police.
So, if you’re working an 8-hr day, or getting overtime for working MORE than 8 hours—raise a glass to Lucy, who was so very very rad.”
Lucy stickers seen in UK: