This lapel pin was worn to protest the execution of four defendants blamed for the Haymarket Riot on May 4, 1886.
This lapel pin symbolizes the hanging of four anarchists involved in the Haymarket Riot. The gallows indicates their manner of death, and "Nov. 11, 1887" the date of the hanging.
When a bomb was thrown during a violent confrontation between labor movement supporters and police on May 4th, 1886 in Haymarket Square, killing Officer Mathias Degan, police and business leaders demanded retribution. Because the Haymarket protest had been called by an anarchist group, police arrested eight anarchists for Degan's murder. Although there was no evidence linking them to the bomb, a heavily biased jury and judge convicted and sentenced seven of the eight to death. Although only four were actually hanged, the trial and verdict were nationally condemned as unfair. Supporters of these men wore pins like this one to demonstrate their belief that the men had died unjustly. In 1893 a monument to the Haymarket 'martyrs' was dedicated in Waldheim cemetery, and the Haymarket riot and trial became an important symbol for labor movements internationally.