LOGAN SQUARE — Revolution Brewing is paying tribute to late labor activist and “working-class champion” Lucy Gonzalez Parsons with a new beer.
Lucia, a dry-hopped spelt saison, will be available at Revolution’s taproom at 3340 N. Kedzie Ave. and brewpub at 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave. starting Friday. The beer will also be available for purchase at select stores.
Proceeds will benefit the local organization Connections for Abused Women and Their Children.
Every year, the Revolution crew brews and distributes “Spirit of Revolt,” beer made by women brewers. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the brewers weren’t able to get together in time to make the special beer — and throw a celebration — this year, communications manager John Carruthers said.
In keeping with their tradition of honoring women who “fight for change,” Revolution’s brewers instead created a beer dedicated to Parsons, an anarchist and radical socialist who spent decades fighting for labor rights in the late 1800s into the early 1900s.
Notably, Parsons and her husband, Albert, also a labor activist, led an 80,000-person protest to demand an 8-hour workday as part of a national labor rights movement in the late 1880s. That protest led to the famous Haymarket riots, during which someone detonated a bomb and killed several policemen. Parsons’ husband was arrested for the crime, along with other union leaders. He was later executed despite there being little evidence to link him and the others to the crime.
Parsons, a self-educated Black woman originally from Texas, demonstrated for labor rights in her chosen home of Chicago for decades after her husband’s death, and became known for her fiery spirit. She founded Industrial Workers of the World, an organization still active and based in Chicago. Famously, a Chicago police officer once referred to Parsons as “more dangerous than 1,000 rioters.”
Parsons died in a house fire in Avondale in 1942.
“Revolution, as a term, means a lot of things to a lot of people. But as a true embodiment of anti-establishment action and unbending resistance to the status quo, it’s hard to find a better example than labor organizer, anarchist, and working-class champion Lucy Gonzalez Parsons,” the Revolution team wrote on its website of Parsons.
Revolution’s tribute is also fitting in that its taproom sits on a stretch of Kedzie Avenue that was named Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Way by the city in 2017.
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