|Click on the small images to select the larger one.
This series of photographs traces the several shifts in the location of the police monument from its dedication in 1889 (see the entry "Mourning the Police," in the "Mourning and Memory" section of Act V) to the present.
The police monument was originally placed in the middle of Randolph Street just west of Desplaines, as seen in the first image, taken by J. W. Taylor Photographers in 1890. The statue interfered with the flow of traffic in this busy area, and it became an object of vandalism. As a result, it was moved in 1900 about one mile west, to Randolph Street and Ogden Avenue, near Union Park. On May 4, 1927, forty-one years to the day after the Haymarket meeting, a streetcar jumped its tracks, hit the pedestal, and knocked the statue over. The statue was then moved into Union Park.
The second photograph, by Charles R. Clark, shows the statue in what appears to be its first Union Park setting, though the precise date the image was taken is unknown. The inscription on the pedestal is the command that Captain William Ward delivered in the Haymarket just before the bomb was thrown: "In the name of the People of Illinois, I command peace."
The monument's travels and troubles were hardly over, however. In the late 1950s it returned to the Haymarket area and was situated on the north side of Randolph Street a block west of Desplaines, just to the east of the new Kennedy Expressway. The third photograph shows the police monument in this location in the early 1960s. The finials have been modified since the monument's move from the Union Park location (other photographs indicate that they were perhaps damaged or stripped at various times). A medallion, which is also evident in some of the photographs of the monument in Union Park, is just above the inscription. The pedestal is badly stained and chipped.
The city named the monument a historic landmark in the mid-1960s, but this did not prevent further vandalism, presumably in protest against police brutality in the context of opposition to the Vietnam War and social inequality in the United States. On October 6, 1969, in what was almost certainly a deliberate symbolic reenactment of the original Haymarket meeting, someone placed a powerful explosive at the base of the statue, blowing out about a hundred windows nearby and sending chunks of the legs onto the expressway. This took place amidst demonstrations in the city by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The SDS sponsored a march from the Haymarket to Grant Park, and this and other demonstrations were peaceful, although the group's radical Weatherman faction battled police elsewhere in the streets of Chicago over several days.
The statue was repaired, but early on the morning of October 5, 1970, it was blown up again. The body of the statue badly bent a nearby railing before settling on the expressway embankment, and one of the legs landed two hundred feet away. Immediately after the blast, a person or persons called various news outlets to declare that the bombing was the work of the Weathermen. According to one newspaper, the caller said, "We just blew up Haymarket Square Statue for the second year in a row to show our allegiance to our brothers in the New York prisons and our black brothers everywhere. This is another phase of our revolution to overthrow our racist and fascist society. Power to the People." The two attacks on the police statue were among several politically-motivated bombings throughout the country at the time.
An angry and determined Mayor Richard J. Daley had the statue repaired again and put under twenty-four-hour police protection. It was soon moved to police headquarters and then finally, in 1976, to a secure interior courtyard in the Chicago Police Education and Training Division facility on West Jackson Street. Click on the fourth thumbnail to see it in this location.
Back in the Haymarket area, only the pedestal remained, where it was subject to graffiti and various other indignities. The pedestal was removed in 1996, but the spot continues to be a contested site. As the last photograph shows, someone has recently inscribed the slogan "LONG LIVE THE HAYMARKET MARTYRS " on the large round scar left on the concrete.