San Francisco’s Haymarket: 2 A Redemptive Tale of Class Struggle


  • Richard Walker Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley


Haymarket Affair, Preparedness Day bombing, working class, bourgeoisie, workers unions, Closed Shop, Chicago, class struggle


San Francisco had its own Haymarket Affair, the Preparedness Day 13 bombing and trials of 1916-17, to compare with Chicago’s notorious events of 14 thirty years earlier. But the circumstances leading up to and following after the 15 convictions of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings were markedly different from 16 those in Chicago in the 1880s and 90s. San Francisco’s working class fought 17 pitched battles with employers several times, holding the bourgeoisie at bay again 18 and again. Unions succeeded in creating a Closed Shop town in the years before 19 the First World War and again in the aftermath of the General Strike of 1934. They 20 also gained a measure of political power through the Union Labor Party between 21 1900 and 1910, and forced their way back to a place at the table in city government 22 in the 1930s and beyond. All in all, the Preparedness Day bombings did not lead to 23 the same class lynching as it did in Chicago, nor the same degree of bourgeois 24 revanchism.


How to Cite

Walker, R. (2015). San Francisco’s Haymarket: 2 A Redemptive Tale of Class Struggle. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 7(1), 45–58. Retrieved from