Monday, March 22, 2004

Police union upset by plans to name park for Haymarket figure
The Chicago Federation of Police is trying to dissuade the Chicago Park District from naming a small Northwest Side park in honor of a woman described by one 19th century police official as 'more dangerous than a thousand rioters.'

In a letter to Park District board members, FOP president Mark P. Donohue said he was 'disappointed and disheartened' by plans to name the park after Lucy Ella Gonzales Parsons, the widow of a man hanged in 1887 for his purported role in the Haymarket Square bombing of the previous year.

A parks spokesman said Parsons' name was suggested by Chicago Parks historian Julia Bachrach in honor of Parsons' long work as a labor organizer and champion of women and minority group members.

The nomination was part of a larger effort to recognize more women in a system where only 27 of 555 parks are named after women.

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