American Experience
American Experience

August Spies | Albert Parsons | George Engel | Adolph Fischer | Louis Lingg
Michael Schwab | Oscar Neebe | Samuel Fielden

August Spies was born in Germany and emigrated to Chicago in 1872. A leading member of the International Working People's Association, he edited the German-lang uage anarchist paper Arbeiter-Zeitung. Spies was a brilliant writer, in both German and English. On May 1, 1886, several days before the rally at Haymarket, Spies led a parade of 80,000 workers up Michigan Avenue as part of the national strike for an eight-hour work day.

Spies was the first speaker at the Haymarket rally and left before its fiery conclusion. He was convicted with the other seven accused, and hanged in 1887. His final words inspired unionists and anarchists alike: "The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today."


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