• Rosemary Feurer

Mother Jones Irish Rebel Exhibit Opening

We were pleased to have so many people join us for this exhibit launch at the Irish American Heritage Center on May 1. Brian O’Brien, Chicago's Consule General for Ireland and the Midwest, and Teresa Hannick of SIPTU, the largest union in Ireland, as well as so many new and old friends of Mother Jones were present. Before the event, Teresa Hannick dedicated a plaque from SIPTU at the Haymarket monument. We had performance, singing and talks at our exhibit event. Very pleased with how many people came after such a long, tiring day of marching and activism. Here are a few galleries of the events of the day and evening.

The exhibit was designed to be interactive, with some quotes on picket signs that can be used. Many people had a hard time choosing which ones to select. Brian O'Brien and Teresa Hannick cut the ribbon for the ceremony.



Lindsay Hand's art is the centerpiece of the exhibit. Lindsay worked with us previously on the art that was unveiled for the Mother Jones Museum in Mt. Olive, which is now on display in St. Louis. She brings a working class perspective, and she is also part Irish.


Above: Other elements of the exhibit, which is 28 feet long. There is an interactive kiosk. We are grateful to work in partnership with the Irish American Heritage Center and the Irish government for this project.


Elliott Gorn and Rosemary Feurer (1st & 3rd in first photo) wrote the panels. Sophia Varcados of Northern Illinois designed it. See all the others who worked on this and deserve credit for their contributions. John Tweedie and his partner (last image) installed it and worked out some problems. So grateful!



Before the exhibit launch, we had a party with songs and celebration, including Kathy Cowan singing, Brigid Duffy portrayal, and talks by Brian O'Brien, Teresa Hannick, and Elliott Gorn. Greetings from Cork (pictured with thumbs up) members of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival were warmly welcomed.



This is the new SIPTU marker on the Haymarket Memorial. Perfect!!! Teresa Hannick of SIPTU, Ireland's largest union, spoke about upholding the visions not only of Larkin, but those of Rosie Hackett of the union.


Regarding the quotation: Larkin's injunction to get off your knees is one that Mother Jones used often. Larkin spoke at Joe Hill's funeral when he was exiled in the US, sharing with Mary Harris Jones the goal of creating a radical global labor movement. Both Mother Jones and Larkin were under surveillance by the FBI, but Larkin got nabbed and was in Sing Sing prison for his activism, before going back to Ireland.

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