By Cara Jepsen
Labor activists around the world have long revered the Chicagoans who gave their lives in the fight for the eight-hour workday. But it's taken the city of Chicago 110 years to finally put a plaque in Haymarket Square. A commemorative rally, Chicago Remembers Haymarket, marks the event with speakers, including Studs Terkel, at noon today on the corner of Des Plaines and Randolph. It's free. Call 663-4107 for more.
Today's the last day of the spring conference Stopping Gender Violence on Campus, sponsored by the University of Chicago's Sexual Violence Prevention Resource Center. Paula Kamen, author of Feminist Fatale and the article "Acquaintance Rape: Revolution and Reaction," will discuss how social activism has revolutionized sexual attitudes on campus and provoked a conservative backlash in the process. Kamen speaks from 3:30 to 5 at the Social Sciences Research Building, 1126 E. 59th, room 122. It's free. A reception follows. Call 702-0059.
What happens after all the New Agers commune with nature, vibrate into obscurity, and reach a state of grace? They buy James Redfield's new book, of course. Then they pass it on to their friends. His sequel to The Celestine Prophecy is called Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision. He'll discuss it and sign copies from 7 to 8 tonight at Super Crown Books, 801 W. Diversey. It's free; call 327-1551.
Jamaica's prime minister P.J. Patterson comes to Chicago this week to meet with business and government leaders. Tonight he'll be the guest of honor at a dinner-dance that benefits Jamaica's National Youth Service Program. The program provides skills training and job placement for young people. Sponsored by the Jamaican consul, Jamaica Tourist Board, and other local Jamaican organizations, the event is at 7 at the Fairmont Hotel, 200 N. Columbus. Tickets are $65. Call 663-0023.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of America's first manned space venture--the Alan Shepard launch. The weeklong celebration "Take Up Space" includes model rocket launches, exhibits, and visits by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell, and will begin tonight with a "star party" during which the public can view the sky through a telescope at the Harper College Observatory, 1200 W. Algonquin, in Palatine. The event should coincide with a meteor shower. It's free and takes place from 8 to 10. Call 751-8878 for more.
Cinco de Mayo isn't just a Liz Phair song or a call to drink Corona. The date commemorates an 1862 battle at Puebla--the only one Mexico ever won against France. There are two Cinco de Mayo parades today. The first one starts at 11 at Wacker and Michigan and moves south to Van Buren. Call 790-5016 for more info. The second parade starts at noon at Cermak and Damen and ends at Kedzie. It's free; call 762-6565 for more.
It's sometimes hard to remember that Cook County is home to a number of prairies, savannas, forests, rivers, and trails. Forty different sites and 310 miles of trails and bike paths are outlined in Jim Hochgesang's new book, Hiking and Biking in Cook County, Illinois. He'll sign copies today from 3 to 4 at Barnes & Noble, 659 W. Diversey. It's free. Call 871-9004 for more.
John Edgar Wideman, recipient of two PEN Faulkner Awards for fiction, will be in town tonight as the guest of honor at the Guild Complex benefit "Muse, Music, and Moves '96." The event will be emceed by cartoonist and writer Lynda Barry. There'll also be music by Macondo Stew, a group that combines classical music with Latin American rhythms, and a performance by the Indian dance company Natyakalalayam. It's from 4 to 9 at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7509 S. South Shore. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door; kids get in for $5. Call 907-2189.
Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou's beautifully shot films include Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, and Shanghai Triad. His 1994 To Live won the Grand Jury and Best Actor prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and incurred sanctions from the Chinese government. It follows the fortunes of Xu Fugui, a rich, lazy gambler who falls on hard times; just when things seem like they're getting better they get worse. Fugui and his family endure--and survive--the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. It plays tonight at 5 as part of a new Asian filmmakers series in honor of Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's free; call 346-3278.
Should people who send pictures of nudes over the Internet be brought up on criminal charges? Should Internet service providers censor material? Those questions will be discussed at tonight's ACLU-sponsored discussion Whose Net Is it Anyway? Christie Hefner will moderate. Panelists include U.S. Attorney Jim Burns, Tribune technology reporter James Coates, and mother of three Bonnie Fell. It's at 6 in the James R. Thompson Center's Assembly Hall, 100 W. Randolph. It's $10; call 201-9740.
These days women in construction do a lot more than hold stop signs. That's partly due to the work of groups like Chicago Women in Trades. Hooking women up with skilled trades is the focus of today's Women in Trades Career Fair. Employers, tradeswomen, and representatives from vocational schools and organizations will be on hand to answer questions and lead workshops, which will include "Becoming a Carpenter," "What You Need to Know Before Starting a Business," "Careers in Auto Maintenance," "Women in Law Enforcement," and "A Survey of Nontraditional Jobs." The fair is for women only and takes place from 9 to 3 in the Teamster City auditorium, 300 S. Ashland. It's free; call 942-1444.
For many years Susan Murphy Milano's father, a batterer, alcoholic, and police officer, threatened to kill his wife if she ever left him. In 1989 he carried out that threat, killing her and then himself. The incident prompted Milano to push for the Illinois stalking law, which passed in 1993. She also founded Project Protect, a national nonprofit organization that provides 24-hour protection and housing for battered women and their children. She'll give a talk called Safe Relationship Behaviors at the Women in Management luncheon today at 11:30 at the East Bank Club, 500 N. Kingsbury. It's $45. Call 419-0171 for more.
Perry Mason, Law & Order, The Defenders, Matlock, Jake and the Fatman, L.A. Law, Night Court--the list of courtroom TV shows is endless. With the exception of the O.J. Simpson trial, most of the courtroom scenes on television are a lot more interesting (and cut-and-dried) than real trials. Television's depictions of lawyers, judges, and the law will be examined in today's discussion Just Images: Lawyers and the Courtroom on Prime-Time Television. Panelists include L.A. Law stars Corbin Bernsen and Diana Muldaur and the creator and executive producer of The Trials of Rosie O'Neill, Barney Rosenzweig. It'll be moderated by media critic Gary Deeb. It's at 5:30 tonight at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's free; call 629-6000 for more.
In her one-woman play 25 Psychics, Asian-American actress Lauren Tom searches for spiritual fulfillment, playing both her disapproving grandmother and herself. An excerpt from Tom's performance will be followed by the discussion Breaking Stereotypes in the Media. Panelists will include HBO producer Steve Kaplan, Reader contributors Ted Shen and Ben Kim, and video producer Linda Gerber. The program takes place at 12:15 today in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State, and Tom gives a full performance at 6:15 tonight in the library auditorium. The performances and discussion are all free; call 747-4050.
I've made some of my best secondhand scores on the North Shore, where the region's well-heeled residents toss out perfectly good clothes, furniture, and other items on a regular basis. I have yet to walk away empty-handed from the Winnetka Congregational Church's rummage sale. It runs from 7 to 4 today at the church's community house, 620 Lincoln, in Winnetka. It's free; call 847-446-0575.
Since 1991 San Francisco's KMEL has been home to "Street Soldiers," a Sunday night talk show that encourages youths in the thick of gang violence to call in and talk about their problems. Hosted by Joseph Marshall Jr. and Margaret Norris, the program is riveting for its gritty reality; one night a young woman called asking what to do after her boyfriend gunned down her family. Marshall and Norris quickly put on a rap record and counseled the woman off the air. Marshall knows what he's doing; as founder of the Omega Boys Club, he works every day to transform gang members into college-bound teenagers. Marshall tells his story in his new book Street Soldier: One Man's Struggle to Save a Generation--One Life at a Time. He'll sign copies from 7:30 to 8:30 tonight at Barnes & Noble, 659 W. Diversey. It's free; call 871-9004 for more.