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Tuesday, August 7, 2007
`Remember Sacco and Vanzetti'
Remember the heroes who gave their lives for you Remember two men whose souls were beautiful Remember how they worked to help workers be free Remember Sacco and Vanzetti.
They framed them for a crime that they did not commit And killed them for their beliefs and for their politics They manufactured evidence and used the death penalty Remember Sacco and Vanzetti.
The press whipped up hysteria and the FBI harassed And the President of Harvard declared the verdict “just” But locked behind the bars for seven years of uncertainty Were the workers named Sacco and Vanzetti.
The people raised a protest, but the government wished them dead The rich hated Italians and also hated Reds They were just immigrants who believed in anarchy Remember Sacco and Vanzetti.
Around the world the rallies sought to stop the electricity But the death row cells were guarded by machine guns and police Their names now live as symbols of love for humanity Remember Sacco and Vanzetti.
August 23, 2007 will mark the 80th anniversary of the execution of two Italian-American anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. According to Felix Frankfurter’s 1927 book, The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti, “facts have been disclosed, and not denied by the prosecution, to show that the case against Sacco and Vanzetti for murder was part of a collusive effort between the district attorney and agents of the Department of Justice to rid the country of these Italians because of their Red activities.” Labor’s Untold Story by Richard Boyer and Herbert Morais also noted:
“…Celestino F. Madeiros, under death sentence on the charge of killing a cashier in a bank robbery…was moved when he saw Rosina Sacco, and the two children, Inez and Dante, visit Sacco…He knew that the agents of the Department of Justice were right when they said that the Braintree job had not been done by Sacco and Vanzetti but by professionals. It had been done by the notorious Morelli gang of Providence. He knew. He was there.
“On Nov. 15, 1925, he sent Sacco a note which said, `I hereby confess to being in the South Braintree shoe company crime and Sacco and Vanzetti were not in said crime.’ He confessed in detail to William G. Thompson, Boston’s foremost lawyer, who had taken up the case, and when his story was checked and rechecked Sacco and Vanzeti had been conclusively proved innocent…
“…Governor Allan T. Fuller…appointed three of the Commonwealth’s greatest to sift the evidence, to decide whether the two should live or die. They were A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard University, Samuel W. Stratton, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], and Robert Grant a retired probate judge…On August 3  the three old men of Massachusetts, Lowell, Stratton, and Grant, decided that the momentum of the established order required the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti.”
The Remember Sacco and Vanzetti protest folk song was written while living in a cheap apartment near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn in 1977, to mark the 50th anniversary of the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti.
(To listen to Remember Sacco and Vanzetti, click on the following link: