International Women's Day - March 8
As the world celebrates National Women's Day, we wanted to take a moment and focus a spotlight on the often forgotten instigators involved in the Haymarket affair and labor movement. Several of our beers honor these amazing women, who stood up for what they believed in during a time when it was particularly difficult for them to do so. Next time you're in, look for some of these ladies on the beer list -
Lucy Parsons – Lucy's Belgian Tripel 8%
Brewed with imported Pilsen malt, Saaz hops and authentic Belgian Abbey ale yeast from one of
Belgium's oldest Trappist brewers. Chicago Police: "Lucy Parsons is more dangerous than
a thousand rioters…" After moving to Chicago with her husband, Albert, in 1873, she began organizing workers and led thousands of them out on strike protesting poor working conditions, long hours and abuses of capitalism. After Albert, along with seven other anarchists were eventually imprisoned or hung by the state for their beliefs in anarchism, Lucy Parsons achieved international fame in their defense and as a powerful orator and activist in her own right. The impact of Lucy Parsons on the history of the American anarchist and labor movements has served as an inspiration spanning now three centuries of social movements. (Lucy Parsons Project
Nina Van Zandt – Nina's Belgian Abbey Quadrupel 8.5%
Nina van Zandt's life changed dramatically with her interest in the Chicago trial and her marriage to the imprisoned August Spies in January, 1887. A Vassar graduate and the only child of wealthy Chicago parents, she followed the trial closely and soon realized that the defendants were honest, principled individuals dedicated to the betterment of humanity, rather than the depraved monsters guilty of heinous crimes depicted in the press. She wrote an article on the case for the Chicago Knights of Labor, later reprinted in her edition of August Spies' Autobiography, to which she also contributed a preface.
In later years Nina Spies was a colorful and familiar figure at the Hobo College and IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) meetings in Chicago, as well as at May Day and Eleventh of November commemorations. She eked out a marginal existence running a rooming-house on Halsted Street, and she took in stray dogs and cats as well as homeless persons. After Haymarket, her life ran a different course than expected of a graduate of a prestigious women's college. Her funeral in 1936 was a well-attended gathering of activists representing virtually every current of American radicalism.
Mother Jones – Mother Jones Abbey Style Dubbel 7.5%
According to a West Virginia District Attorney named Reese Blizzard, Mother Jones was "the most dangerous woman in America". According to Clarence Darrow, she was "one of the most forceful and picturesque figures of the American labor movement". Sixty-five years after her death, her name is still part of current culture.
Her life is in some ways a history of the labor movement in the United States. A brief sampling of her activities reports her involved in the rail strike of 1877, in Pittsburgh and elsewhere; organizing the coal fields of Pennsylvania in 1899; at the founding convention of the IWW in 1905; visiting rebel Mexico in 1911; being arrested at Homestead in 1919; and working with dressmakers in Chicago in 1924.
Lizzie Swank Holmes – Lizzie I.P.A.
Another leading figure in the Chicago IWPA, Lizzie Swank Holmes, continued to be active in the movement for many years, focusing much of her attention on the more philosophical issues of American anarchism. As the assistant editor of The Alarm, she was arrested alongside the Haymarket 8, although she was released 2 days later, with all charges dropped. Later she helped form the Ladies' Federal Labor Union and the Illinois Women's Alliance. She contributed commemorative articles about her martyred comrades to many publications, frequently describing the profound effect which Haymarket had had on her life. The hardest task, she wrote in Free Society ten years after the executions, was "learning how to live without them; of taking up the burden of life again.... Many a true comrade came through the ordeal changed and broken, never to be again what he had been.
also head over to the Lucy Parson Project website (http://flag.blackened.net/lpp/), and the writings of Carolyn Ashbaugh for more information about all of the women of the Haymarket affair.