Sunday, December 4, 2011

Occupy Boise and the Haywood Trial

Frank overlooking Occupy Boise

Occupy Boise Pic 107 from Katie F at firedoglakedotcom

Below is a YouTube video from "Occupy Boise" that discusses the Haywood trial. For those receiving this as an email update, you probably want to come to the blog to view the video. It is of rather poor quality, was filmed after dark, the camera is a bit shaky and the video ends abruptly. I do not see a part two, as apparently the presentation continued for quite some time. Please let me know if you are aware of additional videos. Nonetheless, the audio is OK and any event that adds to the national discussion is worth reviewing. I would have liked to of been there to add my own viewpoints on the subject.

Being among the so-called 99%, and with a union card in my wallet (public sector for those that want to bash away!), I certainly can give an element of support to the Occupy movement. It gives me a few flashbacks to the 60's/70's and I support all public citizen debate (Tea Party, Occupy, etc.). As with all social/political movements, sorting through fact and fiction and far left and far right opinions can certainly be a challenge. That was true over 100 years ago and is more challenging in today's instant media and news environment. Add in the element of human emotion and interpretation and the result is an often difficult search for truth and objectively. Certainly I am not immune from such biases.

At one point, Richie (the presenter), mentions Miner's Magazine and an article about the assassination of of Governor Steunenberg. He points out a statement that mocks the brutality of Frank's murder with the following tongue and cheek quote—"such carelessness should be avoided—the gate was completely wrecked." Laughter then erupts among the Occupy Boise audience. Obviously, I have more of an emotional connection, but the response was similar to some we have observed on all sides of the political spectrum today that subtlety supports violence, discrimination against people of opposing views, those of a different color, rich and poor, religion/non-religion, gays/lesbians, Democrat or Republican, Occupiers or Tea Partiers or even our soldiers when the issue of don't ask don't tell comes up. The perpetuation of violence, discrimination and oppression are not matters to laugh about or applaud and should be unacceptable regardless of our political views—or at least that should be the goal although I am not so naive as to think it will ever be a total reality.

The Gate on 16th Avenue.

I try to present historical information regardless of viewpoint, but avoid a lot of political discussion on this particular blog. I did write an opinion on the Haywood trial as a part of the 100 year anniversary in 2007. There might be a few minor morphs, changes or corrections I would make today—but in general I still hold the same views.

Occupy Boise Website
Occupy Boise Slide show (flickr)

On a lighter note, a couple of questions came up during the presentation. One audience member asked when was Governor Steunenberg's statue placed in front of the Idaho State Capitol building. You can read about it here.

Additional information about the statue is sprinkled throughout the blog, including on the post: A Lot of Steunenberg Connections.

From the inscription plate on the statue:
"Frank Steunenberg, governor of Idaho, 1897 to 1900. When in 1899 organized lawlessness challenged the power of Idaho, he upheld the dignity of the state and forced its authority and restored law and order within its boundaries, for which he was assassinated in 1905. Rugged in body, resolute in mind, massive in the strength of his convictions, he was of the granite hewn. In grateful memory of his courageous devotion to public duty, the people of Idaho have erected this monument."

Another question was in regards to the Caldwell Jail (at that time the Canyon County Jail). My understanding is that the jail was behind the Canyon County Courthouse. Anyone have photos of the jail?

From Big Trouble
For a description of the jail, go down about mid page 96 to the paragraph that starts: "With that, they took him back to jail....."

The Haywood trial took place at the original Boise/Ada County Courthouse and Jail.

And last but not least, here we have Orchard coming down the back stairs (with company) at the Boise Courthouse.

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