Today in labor history: Lucy Parsons leads march in Chicago

Radical labor organizer and activist Lucy Parsons led a march of over 15,000 people in Chicago on this day in 1915. She and her fellow marchers demanded relief from hunger and high levels of unemployment. IWW songwriter Ralph Chaplin had finished writing “Solidarity Forever” two days prior.

Parsons was described by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters.”

The demonstration also persuaded the American Federation of Labor, the Jane Addams’ Hull House, and the Socialist Party to participate in a subsequent, huge demonstration on February 12.

Photo: IWW