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The broadside issued by the socialist Workingmen's Party (6 1/2" x 9 7/8") advertising its July 23 rally in Market Square, on Market Street (now Wacker Drive) above Madison Street, raises much profounder issues than Mayor Heath's terse directive (8 1/2" x 6 ") to "idlers and curious people." Note Heath's special attention to women and children, who were part of the mob that baited soldiers and police. The mayor orders "the people" to stay off the streets or face the consequences.
The Workingmen's Party speaks not of violence but of rights and exploitation by "the Money Lords of America," calling on workers to organize. As did so many similar appeals at the time, it connects the union cause to the restoration of manhood and self-respect, which are associated with protection of one's family and the restoration of control over one's life. Very similar language characterized the call to the Haymarket rally nine years later.
Albert Parsons was the principal speaker at this event, which drew some 5,000 spectators. Not yet a believer in anarchism, Parsons urged workers to avoid violence and to seek redress peacefully by joining unions and voting for prolabor candidates. When the party tried to hold another rally the next evening, the police, acting with the blessing of the mayor and the City Council, dispersed the gathering with what nineteenth-century Chicago historian Alfred T. Andreas approvingly described as "a vigorous use of the baton." The authorities held Parsons, among others, personally responsible for the trouble in the streets.
According to Parsons, he was fired from his work as a typographer for the Chicago Times on July 24, and he soon discovered that he was also blacklisted. Two men accosted him, and ominously stated that Mayor Heath wanted to speak with Parsons. They then took him instead to the office of Police Superintendent Michael Hickey. Hickey harangued Parsons as a troublemaker as several other officers yelled, "Hang him," "Lynch him," and "Lock him up." Before releasing Parsons, Hickey prophetically warned him that "those Board of Trade men would as leave hang you to a lamp-post as not."