Labour's martyrs: the story of Sacco and Vanzetti: Workers' Liberty 3/53

Labour's martyrs: the story of Sacco and Vanzetti

Author: 

James P Cannon and Max Shachtman

Workers' Liberty 3/53, published as a pull-out in Solidarity 397.

The story of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, told by James P Cannon and Max Shachtman, who were leading activists in the defence campaign.

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The story of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, told by James P Cannon and Max Shachtman, who were leading activists in the defence campaign.

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A case of class against class

Who can save Sacco and Vanzetti?

By James P Cannon, Labor Defender January 1927

The Sacco-Vanzetti case is at a turning point. Legally speaking, it now rests on another appeal to the Massachusetts State Supreme Court from the latest decision of Judge Thayer refusing a new trial. But speaking from a more fundamental standpoint, that is, from the standpoint of the class struggle, the issue really hangs on developments taking place within the Sacco-Vanzetti movement which embraces many workers of various views.

Articles and speeches by the American socialist leader James P. Cannon in defence of Sacco and Vanzetti.

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Labour’s martyrs: the story of Sacco and Vanzetti

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

The working-class victims of bourgeois repression and deliberate murder are legion. The murder of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who were burned alive in the electric chair in Massachusetts, on August 23, 1927, was a cold-blooded crime committed by the American capitalist class in the full sharp glare of world wide attention and protest. Mass demonstrations were organised in every city in the world where Communist and Socialist movements existed. Protests and demands for clemency were made by many well known writers and politicians.

An arm of the Communist movement, International Labor Defense operated as a non-factional defender of all working class victims of class justice and bourgeois vengeance, whether they were Communists or its declared political opponents. The world wide campaign for the anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, was conducted in that fine spirit, and exemplified it.

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The last speech of Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco

This is the famous last speech of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the class-war prisoner who, alongside Nicola Sacco, both of them anarchists, died in the electric chair in August 1927, framed by the US authorities. This speech, despite its broken English, is so beautiful and moving that it falls naturally into verse form. No-one has ever expressed more splendidly and with such stirring, simple language the aspirations and hopes of all those who fight for a better world. Once read, these words form part of every socialist’s heritage.

This is the famous last speech of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the class-war prisoner who, alongside Nicola Sacco, both of them anarchists, died in the electric chair in August 1927, framed by the US authorities. This speech, despite its broken English, is so beautiful and moving that it falls naturally into verse form. No-one has ever expressed more splendidly and with such stirring, simple language the aspirations and hopes of all those who fight for a better world. Once read, these words form part of every socialist’s heritage. This typographical arrangement of Vanzetti’s speech first appeared in Labor Action, an American socialist weekly.

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Timeline of the Sacco and Vanzetti case

1920
MAY 5—Nicola Sacco and Bartolmeo Vanzetti
are arrested on a streetcar while going from West Bridgewater to
Brockton, Massachusetts,
AUGUST 16—Vanzetti is charged
with attempting to rob a cashier in
Bridgewater on December 24, 1919,
and is sentenced to prison for from 12
to 15 years by Judge Thayer in Plymouth.
SEPTEMBER 11—Sacco and Vanzetti
are accused of being the chief
participants in the murder that occurred
in South Braintree on April 15, 1920,
where, near the shoe factory of Slater

From Labor Defender, October 1927: Seven Years in Hell

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Save Sacco and Vanzetti

Author: 

George Lansbury, M. P.

THE United States government is on its trial for murder. The indictment is that in order to conceal the secret murder by its police of an Italian worker, Andrea Salsedo, it is now judicially murdering two other Italian workers, Nicola Sacco and Hartolomeo Vanzetti.

An October 1926 Labor Defender article by George Lansbury, M. P.

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Sacco and Vanzetti - Labor's martyrs

Author: 

Max Shachtman
An International Labor Defense pamphlet written shortly after the US authorities killed Sacco and Vanzetti, in 1927, on trumped-up charges details the facts and the politics of the case.

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