As an aside to the main thrust of the Bill Moyers David Simon interview, Mr. Simon notes that Ed Burns1 is working on a Haymarket Riot piece. Oh please, please, please do this!! And please, please, please, I want to work on the set!. Actually, Richard Linklater was supposedly working on a Haymarket Riot film too, perhaps they could collaborate. Or share research, whatever, as long as I can help in some way with either project.
But I look at what’s happened with unions and I think– Ed Burns says all the time that he wants to do a piece on the Haymarket.
BILL MOYERS: The Haymarket strike.
DAVID SIMON: Yes. That– the bombing, and that critical moment when American labor was pushed so much to the starving point that they were willing to fight. And I actually think that’s the only time when change is possible. When people are actually threatened to the core, and enough people are threatened to the core that they just won’t take it anymore. And that’s– those are the pivotal moments in American history, I think, when actually something does happen.
You know, they were– in Haymarket, they were fighting for the 40-hour work week. You know? So, it wasn’t– it sounds radical at the time, but it’s basically a dignity of life issue. And you look at things like that. You look at the anti-Vietnam War effort, in this country which, you know, you had to threaten middle class kids with a draft and with military service in an unpopular war for people to rise up and demand the end to an unpopular war. I mean, it didn’t happen without that. So, on some level, as long as they placate enough people. As long as they throw enough scraps from the table that enough people get a little bit to eat, I just don’t see a change coming.
- David Simon’s long time writing partner [↩]