Sacco & Vanzetti (2:57) by Mumia Abu-Jamal


A message for the reopening of the Chilean Sacco and Vanzetti Anti Authoritarian Library celebration Event on August 23rd in Santiago Chile.  The audio will be posted that morning.

Sacco and Vanzetti

It’s been 86 years since the August 23, 1927 electrocution of two Italian-born anarchists in Massachusetts.

The two men, Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, were charged with killing two men during an armed robbery of a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts in 1920.

Numerous witnesses placed the men in different places on the date and time of the robbery killings. According to witnesses, Sacco was in Boston’s North End, and Vanzetti, in Plymouth.

But such reports were to no avail, and both the court and press concentrated on the men’s anti-capitalist and anarchist beliefs, which were projected as evidence, not only of their radicalism, but of their guilt. 

There was substantial conflicting evidence, both of ballistics and alleged eye-witnesses, but all of this was beside the point.

When the two men were arrested, they gave false names, more likely than not because they feared deportation. And they were armed. When pressed to explain in court why they were armed, they explained that they were anarchists, and in so doing, perhaps prejudiced the jury all the more.

When the two men filed post-trial motions, of course, after their conviction seeking a new trial, Judge  Webster Thayer told a Darmouth college professor, “Did you see what I did to those anarchist bastards the other day?

What he did was deny them a new trial.

One of their many supporters was a Harvard Law professor, Felix Frankfurter, later a Supreme Court Justice, who wrote a piece showing their innocence published in the Atlantic magazine. .

In his speech before the Court, Vanzetti made the following moving observations: “I found myself compelled to fight back from my eyes the tears and quench my heart throbbing in my throat to not weep before him. But Sacco’s name will live in the hearts of the people when your name, your laws, institutions and your false gods are but a dim rememoring of a cursed past when man was wolf to the man.”

Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927.

In 1977, the governor of Massachusetts issued an edict clearing the two anarchists –– 50 years after their electrocutions.

From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal,

Sacco y Vanzetti

Han pasado 86 años desde la electrocución de dos anarquistas de origen italiano el 23 de agosto de 1927 en Massachusetts.

Los dos hombres, Ferdinando Nicola Sacco y Bartolomeo Vanzetti, fueron acusados de asesinar a dos hombres durante un robo a mano armada de una fábrica de zapatos en South Braintree, Massachusetts en 1920.

Numerosos testigos ubicaron a los hombres en distintos lugares en la fecha y hora del robo y  los asesinatos. Según estos testigos,  Sacco estuvo en el extremo norte de Boston, y Vanzetti, en Plymouth.  Pero sus testimonios fueron en vano.  Tanto el juez como la prensa destacaron su pensamiento anti-capitalista y anarquista, el cual fue presentado como evidencia no sólo de su radicalismo sino de su culpabilidad.

Hubo considerables pruebas contradictorias con respecto a la balística y a los presuntos testigos oculares, pero todas ellas fueron  irrelevantes.

Sí es cierto que al ser detenidos, los dos hombres dieron nombres falsos, probablemente porque temían la deportación. Además, andaban armados. Al ser presionados en el tribunal a decir por qué portaban armas, explicaron que eran anarquistas, y haciendo esto, tal vez alentaron los prejuicios del jurado aún más.

Cuando los dos hombres presentaron peticiones de desestimación  después de ser condenados  para conseguir un nuevo juicio, como era de esperar, el juez Webster Thayer le comentó a un profesor de la Universidad Dartmouth:  “¿Viste lo que hice a esos bastardos anarquistas hace unos días?” Lo que hizo fue negarles un nuevo juicio.

Entre las muchas personas que  apoyaron a Sacco y Vanzetti era un profesor de Derecho en la Universidad Harvard, Felix Frankfurter, posteriormente un juez de la Suprema Corte de la Nación. Él escribió una pieza que demostraba su inocencia, la cual fue publicada en la revista Atlantic.

En su discurso ante la corte, Vanzetti hizo las siguientes observaciones conmovedoras: “Me vi obligado a contener las lágrimas de mis ojos y apagar el latido de mi corazón en mi garganta para no llorar delante de él. Pero el nombre de Sacco vivirá en el corazón de la gente cuando el suyo, sus leyes, sus instituciones y su falso dios no sean más que un borroso recuerdo de un pasado maldito en el que el hombre era lobo para el hombre”.

Sacco y Vanzetti fueron ejecutados el 23 de agosto de 1927.

En 1977, el gobernador de Massachusetts publicó una proclamación exonerando a los dos anarquistas ––50 años después de su electrocución.

Desde la nación encarcelada, soy Mumia Abu-Jamal,

Chile: The Sacco and Vanzetti Anti-Authoritarian Library reopens its doors


All the versions of this article: [ελληνικά] [English][Español] [français] [italiano]

With the firm determination of our acts
With our convictions intact


Three years ago, Power struck with its legal arm at some anti-authoritarian compañerxs, seeking to give repressive lessons to a diffuse anarchist space.
This crusade, called “Operation Salamandra,” was framed in the investigation of the Bombs Case, which sought to identify and arrest those who perpetrated explosive attacks against symbols of power.
On August 14, 2010, various particular homes and Occupied Social Centers were raided. During the early hours of the day 14 people were arrested amidst an ostentatious police display deployed especially for the press. The knives were sharpened and they gleamed in front of the cameras.
The arrestees were presented as directly responsible for the explosive attacks and pointed to as members of an illegal terrorist association, with delimited responsibilities and roles.
The police, with the spokemanship and complicity of the communications businesses, stubbornly pointed for years to the squats as the meeting points of the unknown authors of the bombings. The investigative thesis declared from the beginning that the squats were responsible for the explosive attacks, even accusing some of being “mere facades of libraries” in a clumsy attempt to trample over the work that some occupied spaces have developed for several years.
That morning some of us were arrested, others received the repression and one also had to confront clandestinity. Our collective and our projects of the diffusion of anti-authoritarian ideas/practices were attacked.
Our space, the Sacco and Vanzetti Occupied Social Center and Library, was closed and part of our Library seized by the police and looted by various hands. After 9 months of prison the release of the compañerxs into the street was accomplished and after 6 months of trial the absolution of all the charges was achieved.
That August of 2010 the powerful laughed and the echo of that laugh sought to impose itself. That August was the peak of a gross media-police campaign that pursued our isolation, our arrest, but more importantly still, it pursued our defeat, that would serve in turn to spread a feeling of failure and surrender before Power.
But we are not the lament of what we could have been, we are not the nostalgic tale of a past time that was better, we are living force against every form of domination.
We are part of an historic struggle against Power and we remain decided that our history be written with our gestures of struggle and not with the repressive tricks that try to frighten us. Our live is defined by our convictions and commitments, not by the blows we are able to take.
This August 14, we write a new paragraph in the book of our commitment of struggle, our ink remains black and high in spirits, because it never denied its ideas, its bonds, or its commitments.
This August we will open again the doors of a new space, this time in a rented location, determined that our energy be focused on the projects and not on the houses that are able to host them. In this way we give life to our commitments with the same spirit as ever, the spirit of generating an exchange and collectivization of anti-authoritarian books, experiences, and knowledge.
The Sacco and Vanzetti Anti-authoritarian Library is already functioning again and it only requires the commitment of solidarity and the interest of our compañerxs, understanding that books are not a fetish and that their contribution is rooted in their being read and nourishing each compañerx‘s perspective of struggle.
We invite those who support anti-authoritarian initiatives to act in solidarity with the libraries you have affinity with and we encourage the donation of written material or any other kind of material that contributes to the development and spread of the ideas that negate in practice any authority.
For our dead, our prisoners and persecuted, our struggle also goes out to you.

With our fists raised,

Biblioteca Antiautoritaria Sacco y Vanzetti

August 2013