Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti - anarchist organisers murdered by the state

On August 23rd 1927, two Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were judicially murdered by the State of Massachusetts in the USA, having been framed for two murders they didn't commit.
Sacco and Vanzetti were committed anarchists who had been active in many workers' struggles. In 1916, Sacco was arrested for taking part in a demonstration in solidarity with workers on strike in Minnesota. In the same year he took part in a strike in a factory in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was here that he met Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who was one of the principal organisers of that strike. Like most anarchists, the two were also active in their opposition to the First World War.

Severe poverty in the post-war years meant that many workers were dissatisfied with the status quo. The authorities were terrified that workers might follow the example of the Russian Revolution, and were doing everything in their power to portray communism and anarchism as 'un-American', and to frighten workers way from 'red' propaganda.



In April 1920, anarchist Andrea Salsedo was arrested and detained for 8 weeks. On the morning of May 3rd, he 'fell' to his death from the 14th floor window of a New York Dept. of Justice building. Sacco and Vanzetti, along with other comrades, immediately called a public meeting in Boston to protest. While out building support for this meeting they were arrested on suspicion of "dangerous radical activities". They soon found themselves charged with a payroll robbery which had taken place the previous April in which 2 security guards had been killed.

The case came to trial in June 1921, and lasted for seven weeks. The state's case against the two was almost non-existent. Twelve of Vanzetti's customers (he was working as a fish seller) testified that he was delivering fish to them at the time of the crime. An official of the Italian Consulate in Boston testified that Sacco had been seeing him about a passport at the time. Furthermore, somebody else confessed to the crime and said that neither Sacco nor Vanzetti had anything to do with it.

Article continues on:  http://www.wsm.ie/c/nicola-sacco-bartolomeo-vanzetti-anarchist-organisers

2011 reprint - WSM will be showing the documentary DVD ‘Sacco and Vanzetti’ by Peter Millar on Thursday 25th at 7pm at 48 King street, Belfast city centre. 5 pound door tax including meal. All proceeds will go to the workers co-op.

Derry Showing: There will be a Derry showing of the above documentary within the coming weeks.  More details to follow shortly.