These men were Albert R. Parsons, a printer, editor of the "Alarm;" August Spies, an upholsterer by trade, and editor of the "Arbeiter Zeitung;" Adolph Fischer, a printer; Louis Lingg, a carpenter; Samuel Fielden, the son of a British factory owner; George Engel, a painter; Oscar Neebe, a well- to-do business man, and Michael Schwab, a bookbinder.
On the next day they announced that Louis Lingg had committed suicide by blowing his own head off with a small bomb! Hitler used the Reichstag fire. Chicago used "bombs." The men died bravely, like the heroes that they were. Spies' last words spoken on the gallows were prophetic: "The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today."
And in so far as this is our sole attitude toward these rebels, wherein are we superior? For Lingg to say that was at least heroic. For us so to answer is not even heroic. Our paid men see to it. It is done as a matter of course and forgotten. These men say that justice exists only for the powerful, that the poor are robbed, and that "the lamp of their soul" is put out.
Oscar Neebe, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab and young Louis Lingg, only twenty-three at the time of his death. Their efforts bore fruit. The movement for the eight-hour day gained momentum. Union after union discussed the problem and went on record in favor of fighting for it, until finally the slogan became: General Strike for the eight-hour day.
Bakounin, Nechayeff, Most, Lingg, Duval, Decamps, Ravachol, Henry, Vaillant, Caserio, and Luccheni these bewildering rebels individually waged their deadly conflict with the world.
When the anarchist deifies even the veriest wreck of society this individual, "this god, though in the germ" when he inflames it with dignity and with pride, when he fills its whole being with a thirst for awful and incredible vengeance, you have Duval, Lingg, Ravachol, Luccheni, and Bonnot.
The struggle culminated in the great strike against the Harvester Company of Chicago, the massacre of the strikers, and the judicial murder of the labor leaders, which followed upon the historic Haymarket bomb explosion. The Anarchists stood the martyr test of blood baptism. The apologists of capitalism vainly seek to justify the killing of Parsons, Spies, Lingg, Fischer, and Engel.
In keeping green the memories of these proletarian heroes, the International Labor Defense, the Communist Party and other progressive and revolutionary organizations are preserving one of the most glorious of all American revolutionary traditions. The lives of Parsons, Fischer, Engel, Spies and Lingg, and Sacco and Vanzetti, must be made more than ever the inspiration of the proletarian youth.
Thus, the State itself aids and abets these mercenary anarchists, while it sends to the gallows idealist anarchists, such as Henry, Vaillant, Lingg, and their like.
But all were rushed to conviction: Spies, Parsons, Fischer, and Engel were hanged on November 11, 1887, after fruitless appeals to the higher courts; Lingg committed suicide in prison, and Fielden, Neebe and Schwab were sentenced to long terms in prison. The four executed leaders met their death with the heroic calmness of martyrdom.