Attorneys, labor leaders, and social justice advocates celebrated the end of the Illinois death penalty at the annual Darrow Bridge gathering in Jackson Park today.
The group has gathered every March 13th for over 50 years to honor Darrow’s memory. While celebrating the new Illinois death penality legislation, speakers at the bridge event this year also addressed the current challenges facing organized labor in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states. Emceed by co-organizer Nina Helstein, bridge speakers included Larry Spivak, president of the Illinois Labor History Society and Regional Director of AFSCME Council 31. Other speakers included Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, 5th Ward Alderwoman Leslie Hairston, labor activist Ed Sadlowski, physician and activist Quentin Young and Susana Mendoza, a former Illinois state representative who recently was elected Chicago City Clerk.
Students from Hammond Academy also spoke at the bridge reading some of Darrow’s most famous quotes on capital punishment.
The symposium following at the Museum of Science and Industry included Edward Mogul and Joey Mogul, his niece, who are both long-time civil rights attorneys. Loyola Law Professor Anita Weinberg, one of the organizers of the event and daughter of Darrow biographers Arthur and Lila Weinberg, began the program by identifying the broad range of Darrow’s interests and causes, so many of them still relevant today including: freedom of speech, rights of immigrants, significance of labor unions, the link between crime and underlying social and economic causes. Ed Mogul followed with a talk titled, “‘Justice’ is Not a Legal Term, or the Gulf Between Justice and the Law. Joey Mogul spoke on “Dreaming of Darrow and the Fight for Human Rights in the 21st Century.”
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DarrowBridge.org has launched a Facebook page, where you can view a terrific short video of the 2011 celebration by videographers Aaron and Rich Cahan. We’ve also posted photo albums, and media coverage of the event. We hope you’ll visit our Facebook page, give it a thumbs up by “linking” it and recommend that your friends follow us there.
Scholars gather to remember legendary lawyer – Chicago Tribune.