Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be Our Guests! 1%ers March Through Back of the Yards, Canaryville and Bridgeport

 Occupy anti-NATO Commandos in Bridgeport - skin that never met a day's work, God Bless Them.
A band of several dozen protesters marched up Halsted Street this evening from the South Side through Bridgeport, where some engaged in a shouting match with residents.
The marchers, some of whom covered their faces with hoods or bandanas(sic), began their protest at about 51st Street and Halsted, chanting obscenities about police and police brutality.

A few dozen well-heeled, college educated, really sincere and snappily dressed masque-ers sporting button-festooned North Face head wear, American Eagle T-shirts and bandannas marched with a police escort up through the 11th Ward.  From Back of the Yards ( 51st Street) through Canaryville (47th-39th Streets) and Bridgeport up Halsted and past Jackie Schaller's landmark Chicago dining venue Schaller's Pump, America's young  spark-plugs of change paraded their V masks, Ninja costumes, and Indie fashion apparel along with the naughty words of the truly edgy. Like Jane Addams and Dr. Cornelia De Bey in 1904, the Occupy Commandos were protected and served by the Chicago Police Department.

Halsted Street became the  Occupy/Dissident/Anarchist/ Hipster Runway.  We were given a preview of the accessory conscious young, armed with Dad-funded Visa Debit cards and Rage Against the Machine.

I'd bet a shiny new Sacagawea gold dollar that not one of these later-day Mother . . .Joneses could identify the significance of these neighborhoods in the real struggle of working people*. Below are the residents of Canaryville and Bridgeport who fought the real fight on Halsted Street the site of  yesterday's Che fashion stroll
The Residents of Canaryville circa 1904- meat cutters in Armour's & Swift's Packinghouses - one their great grandchildren attends Leo High School - a young man from St. Gabriel's parish in Canaryville.

This is where American Labor, real Labor and not the phony Reds of SEIU, won its spurs by being betrayed by Progressives and buried by Progressive History.  This is where the Jungle happened Cupcakes.  Bridgeport was the home of the real Lithuanian workmen portrayed by Upton Sinclair, another armchair recvolutionary opportunist, as protagonist Jurgis Rudkus and his co-workers. Upton watched the 1904 Amalgamated Meatcutters Strike that shut down the American Meat Packing Industry from July to September in 1904 from the front porch of a previously Packingtown blacklisted Knight of Labor John Joyce and scribbled notes.
Jane Addams, like most Progressives is affluent, imperious and a very well protected species

Dr. Cornelia  De Bey and Jane Addams and her partner at the time Mary Rozet Smith were members of the Chicago Public School Board. Doc Cornelia had another partner.

The March of the Real Workers began at the Meatcutters Hall at 47th & Ashland. Michael Donnelly the President of the Amalgamated Meatcutters held out against the Strikebreakers, Meat Packers and the phony   Out And Proud Progressives Jane Addams and Dr. Cornelia De Bey**.  Read the Chicago Tribune account of the end of the 1904 Strike - you will be required to purchase the articles in true Medill fashion; however the NYT covered the strike very well and praised the work of Father Maurice Dorney of St. Gabriel Parish in Canaryville, giving short shrift to the short-haired women and long-haired Progressives. The New York Times accounts are free.  Ask me nicely, and I might link my privately owned collection of contemporary accounts.
Father Maurice Dorney was a figure of National renown ( NYT reported on his Spanish American War Service and his heroic fight for workers in three national strikes) -try and find any mention of Father Dorney in the much ballyhooed Chicago Encyclopedia.

Too many Americans subsist on a diet of redacted historical bullshit.  Progressive revisionists have erased all traces of genuine social justice Father Dorney, John Joyce, the Knights of Labor and actual strikers and given praise and homage to the likes of Jane Addams who sold out the strikers.

Hull House and other Settlement Houses in Hyde Park flourished immediately after the strike was broken.  Michael Donnelly, who called and led the strike, disappeared from Chicago and from history.  Upton Sinclair wrote a swell book.  Teddy Roosevelt got Progressive street cred.  The Strikers got bupkis.

*Packinghouse workers, experiencing horrible working conditions and insufficient wages, sought to secure union recognition as the Amalgamated Meat Cutters. Two long and bloody strikes (1904 and 1921) were defeated by the companies. During both strikes, many African-American workers were temporarily employed to break the strikes. Since Black workers suffered from economic circumstances as desperate as those faced by the striking White workers, and since they were excluded generally from unions and consequently the benefits they would gain from unionization, these so-called "scab" workers felt no loyalty to the strikers or the union. In the aftermath of the two defeats, hostility towards Black workers rose, and Black resentment of Whites increased as well. For years, remembrances of racism and scabbing impaired any effort to create a common front against the packers. 
**When Jane Addams's travels took her away from her close companion Mary Rozet Smith, she sometimes took along a painting of Smith, even though the portrait was a rather bulky piece of luggage. Addams, the Nobel Peace Prize–winning social activist who founded Chicago's Hull-House in 1889, clearly felt a strong emotional attachment to the aristocratic, gracious woman in that picture, which now hangs at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum—with a question mark for a caption.
For the past year, the museum has been seeking suggestions on how to label the portrait, which Addams commissioned from Alice Kellogg Tyler. Should the caption suggest Addams and Smith were companions? Lesbian lovers? Or simply focus on Smith's role as one of Hull-House's most generous financial supporters? This summer, as the museum gets ready to decide, a new WTTW documentary is stepping into the fray and staking out the position that Addams and Smith were lesbians. The producers of Out & Proud in Chicago, Alexandra Silets and Dan Andries, say their film on the history of gays and lesbians in the city wouldn't be complete without Addams. "In not revealing this part of Jane Addams's life, you're denying the rest of us a role model," says Silets, a lesbian.

No comments: