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Sacco and Vanzetti

michaelr 23 Aug 02 - 07:31 PM
BH 23 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM
michaelr 23 Aug 02 - 08:01 PM
open mike 23 Aug 02 - 08:36 PM
open mike 23 Aug 02 - 08:51 PM
GUEST 23 Aug 02 - 10:07 PM
michaelr 24 Aug 02 - 11:45 AM
Jim McLean 24 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 02 - 05:05 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 02 - 10:11 AM
GUEST 25 Aug 02 - 10:31 AM
alanabit 25 Aug 02 - 10:45 AM
Jim McLean 25 Aug 02 - 11:12 AM
GUEST 25 Aug 02 - 12:18 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 25 Aug 02 - 12:39 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 02 - 12:39 PM
Kenny B 25 Aug 02 - 12:58 PM
Jim McLean 25 Aug 02 - 01:09 PM
michaelr 25 Aug 02 - 03:22 PM
Wolfgang 26 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM
Mark Ross 26 Aug 02 - 06:03 PM
Janice in NJ 26 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM
Genie 26 Aug 02 - 09:59 PM
michaelr 26 Aug 02 - 11:00 PM
Genie 27 Aug 02 - 12:33 AM
Janice in NJ 27 Aug 02 - 11:41 PM
Genie 28 Aug 02 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,Mahir Ali 28 Aug 02 - 09:20 AM
Margret RoadKnight 25 Aug 03 - 01:08 AM
Jim McLean 25 Aug 03 - 07:17 AM
Mark Clark 25 Aug 03 - 11:36 AM
Jim McLean 25 Aug 03 - 11:48 AM
akenaton 25 Aug 03 - 12:47 PM
Jim McLean 25 Aug 03 - 01:13 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 03 - 05:41 PM
akenaton 25 Aug 03 - 06:06 PM
johnross 25 Aug 03 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,JTT 25 Dec 15 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Philippa 25 Dec 15 - 11:15 AM
Thompson 25 Dec 15 - 12:15 PM
GUEST 25 Dec 15 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 25 Dec 15 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 26 Dec 15 - 04:04 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: FACING THE CHAIR (Andy Irvine)
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 07:31 PM

Today is the 75th anniversary of the execution of anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, so I thought I'd bring up the lyrics Wofgang posted some years ago(I made some minor corrections):

Facing the chair (Andy Irvine)

I came to this land in nineteen-o-eight
And I thought it the land of the free,
But I very soon saw the rich had one law
And another for people like me.
Well, times were depressed and the money was hard
And I peddled my fish by the sea,
Where the pilgrims of old, fleeing from persecution,
Landed and thought themselves free.

Ch.: Goodbye to you, my brave comrades,
Goodbye to you, (Swassels?) Lane,
Goodbye to North Plymouth,
Goodbye Boston Harbour,
I'll never see you again.

The department of justice was rounding up reds
And one day on the sidewalk below
Salsedo was found lying crushed on the ground
And they said he fell out of a high storey window.
And two payroll guards were shot down and killed
At the height of this anti-Red scare
And the powers that be arrested Sacco and me
And now we are facing the chair.

(Chorus)

Well, our jury, God help us, what chance did they have,
When the cruel judge called us low breed.
He was heard to declare: "They should get the chair,
They're Reds and what more do you need?"
And for seven long years we languished in jail,
While appeals for a retrial were made,
And the Medeiros confession it made no impression
On judge Webster Thayer's crusade.

Well, a dog that kills chicken you wouldn't convict
On the evidence, judge, that you've heard,
But you show no concern while these two witches burn
For preaching the dangerous word.
And your governments, judge, differ only in name
To victimise, trick, and repress.
And a change of error, and a change of evil
Is taken by many as progress. (Chorus)

If these things hadn't happened we might have lived out our lives
Conversing with scornful men,
We might have died alone, unmarked, unknown,
Failures again and again.
But our death and our pain will not be in vain,
And your crimes they will never be blurred
OH WHAT MAKES YOU THINK, AS YOU STAND ON THE BRINK,
THAT YOU'LL ALWAYS BE RULING THIS WORLD? (Chorus)

A powerful song that would have made Andy's idol Woody Guthrie proud. Liberty and justice sure have come a long way since S&V's time. Or have they?

Michael

Previous thread is here.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: BH
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 07:46 PM

NPR did an interesting historical perspective on this event today.

I thought that, surely, they would end it with the beautiful piece by Holly Near/Ronnie Gilbert---Two Good Hands. But there was no music. Wonderful historical piece though

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:01 PM

Bill -- did NPR's piece offer any slant on whether S&V were framed?


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: open mike
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:36 PM

Two Good Arms by Charlie King-from notes in Sing out! 's Rise Up singing book: "At the height of the "Red Scare" in 1920, two Italian immigrant union activists in Boston were framed on murder charges, Nicola Sacco, and Bartolomeo Vanzettti were electrocuted in 1927 despite world=wide appeals on their behalf.

Who will remember the hands so white and fine
that touched the finest linen,
that poured the finest wine,
Who will remember the genteel words they spoke
to name the lives or two good men an nuisance or a joke.

CHORUS
All who know these two good arms
Know I never had to rob or kill
I can live by my own two hands and live well
And all my life i have struggled
to rid the earth of all such crimes

etc. i wll check to see if it is already in th data base..
and will post the other verses if it is not...


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: open mike
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 08:51 PM

these lyrics are not in the D.T. data base- should i add them to the data base? or start a newthread with them all labelled lyrics add? here are verses 2-5
verse 2-
Who will remember Judge Webster Thayer
One hand on the gavel, the other resting on the chair
Who will remember the hateful words he said
Speaking to the living in the language of the dead

chorus

Who will remember the hand upon the switch, that
Took the lives of two good men in the service of the rich
Who will remember the one who gave the nod, or the
Chaplain standing near at hand to invoke the name of God

chorus

We will remember this good shoemaker
We will remember this poor fish peddler
We will remember all the strong arms and hands
That never once found justice
in the hands that rule this land

last chorus-
And all who knew these two good men
Knew thay never had to rob or kill
Each had lived by his own two hands
and they had lived well
And all their livwes they had struggled
To rid the earth of all such crimes
and all our lives we must struggle
to rid the earth of all such crimes


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 10:07 PM

Funny isn't it, how time and distance allows us to nostalgically reminisce about S & V on the one hand, but denounce today's anti-globalisation anarchists on the the other.

Does this mean the progressive left is only capable of embracing anarchists who are safely dead?


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 11:45 AM

Well, I think that only a small portion of anti-globalization activists are anarchists. Anarchy as a way of running a society IS notoriously hard to embrace, as it has chaotic and frightening connotations.

Is there a progressive left anymore?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM

I have just been rereading Sacco's letter to his son Dante from Charlestown State Prison, 5 days before his execution. I hope it is posted somewhere on the Net as it's a powerful and heart reding peice of literature. Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 05:05 PM

I do think there is a progressive left, a fairly substantial one, actually. But it has disconnected from the mainstream and/or co-opted by the center for so long, we don't know how to get back in the game in any meaningful way. I think the reason for this is because our side is losing badly, and particularly with the forces of globalisation, there doesn't seem to be anything in sight to beat that monster. Curious, isn't it?

BTW, I wasn't suggesting that all anti-globalisation activists were anarchists by any stretch of the imagination. I was really referring to (and should have said) groups like the Black Bloc and Ya Basta (I'm seeing in black and white today, apparently!).

It also wasn't very accurate of me to refer to them as anti-globalisation. Probably more accurate to describe them as anti-capitalist and anti-liberal.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 10:11 AM

BTW, I meant to mention to Jim that if you enjoyed reading the letter, you might want to have a visit to this odd little site. It reviews much of the considerable literature the case generated over the years, and includes mention of the letters of the men.

My personal favorite piece of literature on the trial was Upton Sinclair's book, but I'm a bit biased. Upton Sinclair is one of my favorite American writers.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 10:31 AM

And then didn't give the link...Here it is:

http://www.crimelibrary.com/sacco/saccodebated.htm


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: alanabit
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 10:45 AM

I fear I am not sure how to answer your rhetorical question Michael. With the notable exception of the United States, fewer states actually execute people. The Land of the Free lines up with China and other bastions of democracy like Thailand and Singapore in its affection for the death penalty. Countries which have abolished it óver the past twenty years include South Africa and East Germany (before the fall of Communism). Russia and even Turkey, I believe have suspended executions for the time being. My scepticism about regard for human rights extends to my own country. As recently as the seventies, horrible terrorist atrocities were committed, and it appears that the police arrested the nearest half dozen Irishmen they could find - and our "justice" system allowed them to rot in prison for nearly two decades - or in some cases until innocent men died inside. The Official Secrets Act offers effective protection for virtually anyone in the service of the government while providing for severe punishment for those who expose wrongdoing in the security services. I think it would be more difficult for the US authorities to murder another Sacco and Vancetti through its judiciary process these days, so I have to concede that progress of a sort has been made. However, those who are now prisoners of the United States, having fought on the wrong side in the Afghan war may beg to differ. Thanks for posting the song and raising an immportant issue.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 11:12 AM

Thanks, Guest, I have seen that site before (http://www.crimelibrary.com/sacco/saccodebated.htm) and it's extremely interesting but doesn't feature this letter. The copy I have was given to me by Josh MacRae, who sang the Sacco and Vanzetti songs, some 37 years ago. It is poorly typed on thin pink paper and would be difficult to OCR but I'll try some time. Cheers, Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 12:18 PM

How long is the letter Jim? Could you type it in here, so we could have access to a copy of it? Do you know the history behind the copy of the letter given to you by Josh MacRae? It seems to me it would be quite significant historically if there aren't other copies of this letter about, and certainly would make your copy of great interest to museums and collectors.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 12:39 PM

Alanabit, I believe that the death penslty is not applied in every state of the US. On the other hand, some of those that do apply it - Texax notably, but also some other southern states - do so with an enthusiasm that people in many other countries would regard as reckless and obscene.

Michaelr, I think we would be hard-pressed to argue that anything's improved.

The whole US system is skewed on a racial basis, which is the only way to explain huge disparities in conviction rates and sentences, between white and non-white. And the quest for justice is also skewed by other factors such as plea bargaining. Few countries in the world outside the Sharia code would pay so little regard to mental state and other mitigating factors, and as far as I know only the Yemen keeps the USA company in executing people who were younger than 18 at the time of crime.

In terms of miscarriages of justice, the UK is just as bad as the US - not just those Irish cases of course, Alanabit, but many others - the Cardiff Three, Stefan Kiszko, Iain Hay Gordon, the Bridgewater Four, the M25 Three, Stephen Downing, etc, etc - most of whom served 10-20 years before the wrongs were recognised. (Incredibly, it's still going on, as witness the conviction of Barry George for the murder of Jill Dando and virtually no evidence at all.)

The critical difference between the UK and some American states is that the UK no longer executes anyone - the only way to ensure that the innocent are not executed.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 12:39 PM

Damn, I did it again! Pete Seeger set the letter to music in 1951, and titled it "Sacco's Letter to His Son." Is that the letter you are referring to Jim?

Here is a link to the lyrics at Jim Capaldi's Pete Seeger appreciation page:

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JimCapaldi/sacco.htm

You can find more info on the song in Pete's autobiography "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" if I'm remembering correctly.

Holly Near & Ronnie Gilbert did "Two Good Arms" on their excellent "Lifeline" album.

Woody's song is titled "Two Good Men" from the "Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti" album, put out by Moses Asch on Folkways. You can go hear to read about it (Woody wasn't happy with the results of his songwriting, and never finished the project):

http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/3448/sacco.html#hisbg


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Kenny B
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 12:58 PM

Thanks for the Sacco & Vanzetti link Beau, the Pete Seeger site is not one I've visited before. I had the song on a reel to reel tape which has not been able to be played for .. years, I've re-united with an old friend.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 01:09 PM

Hi Guest, yes that's the song. It's a severly abridged version of the letter as one would expect but very emotional. it was Pete Seeger, by the way, who paid for Ding Dong Dollar to be released on Folkways. Thanks, Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 03:22 PM

Guest -- I'm sure there are as many liberals and progressives as ever, but they don't seem to be combining forces or even communicating in any useful way. We desperately need a vocal opposition to counterbalance the military/industrial phalanx. In the current War-on-Iraq drumbeating that's going on in the US, the Democrats, who are supposed to be the opposition, are nowhere to be heard or seen, and it appears that Bush & Co. will continue their march toward disaster unchallenged.

This is not what I would call a functioning democracy!

Alan and Fionn, good points about the death penalty, that last vestige of feudalism.

Is that Jim Capaldi, the drummer from Traffic?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 09:32 AM

Michael,

I appreciate the corrections. Can anyone help with Swassels (?) lane?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 06:03 PM

I believe it was Swassos Lane.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 09:29 PM

The name of the street is Suassos Lane. Woody Guthrie wrote a song by that name, and its chorus is strikingly similar to Andy Irvine's. Here is how Woody sang it:

Goodbye, my comrades,
Goodbye, my North Plymouth,
Goodbye, Boston Harbor,
Goodbye to Suassos Lane.


You can hear Woody sing Suassos Lane and his ten other Sacco and Vanzetti songs on Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti, available from Smithsonian Folkways. The album also includes Niccola Sacco's last letter to his son, set to music and sung by Pete Seeger.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Genie
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 09:59 PM

michael, are you familiar with Woody Guthrie's song about Saccho and Vanzetti? It's in the DT. Red Wine

Genie


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 11:00 PM

Yes Genie, I'd heard that one. I would sure like to get a hold of the Folkways album!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Genie
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 12:33 AM

Does anyone have a MIDI of Guthrie's "Red Wine?" I'd love to sing it, but I don't know the tune.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 11:41 PM

You can order the album from Smithsonian Folkways. I believe they will custom produce a tape or CD from the master. If you order on behalf of a school, museum, folklore socierty, etc., they will sell you an LP if they still have any.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Genie
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 12:40 AM

Thanks, Janice.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST,Mahir Ali
Date: 28 Aug 02 - 09:20 AM

Woody Guthrie's Sacco & Vanzetti album (including one song by Pete Seeger) has actually been reissued by Smithsonian Folkways, so there's no need to order a custom CD - it's available from the usual internet sources.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 01:08 AM

Anniversary time again.....

Joan Baez wrote at least four songs on this topic, set to music by Ennio Morricone, for the Italian film "Sacco & Vanzetti".
Lyrics to all, and music for two in her "And Then I Wrote...." book.
Recorded version of her "The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti #3" on her CD "The Essential/ From the Heart (Live)"


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 07:17 AM

Last year I mentioned that I had a full copy of Sacco's last letter to his son. It was typed on thin, pink notepaper, and was given to me by Josh MacRae who told me Pete Seegar had given it to him. I have since typed it out as it was impossible to OCR and could post it here if required. It takes up about 2.5 pages of standard A4.
Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 11:36 AM

Jim Capaldi’s Pete Seeger appreciation page has moved to Earthlink. Here is a current link to Sacco's Letter to His Son.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 11:48 AM

Hi Mark and all,
I looked at the link Sacco's Letter to His Son but it's fairly abridged and so I'm printing the full version here:
August 18, 1927. Charlestown State Prison.

My Dear Son and Companion,

Since the day I saw you last I had always the idea to write you this letter, but the length of my hunger strike and the thought I might not be ab1e to explain myself, made me put it off all this time.

The other day, I ended my hunger strike and just as soon as I did that I thought o£ you to write to you, but I find that I did not have enough strength and I cannot finish it at one time. However, I want to get it down in any way before they take us again to the death-house, because it is my conviction that as soon as the court refuses a new trial to us they will take us there. And between Friday and Monday, if nothing happens, they will electrocute us right after midnight, on August 22nd. Therefore, here I am, right with you in love and with open heart as ever I was yesterday.


I never thought that our inseparable life could be separated, but the thought of seven dolorous years make it seem it did come, but then it has not changes really the unrest and the heart beat of affection. That has remained as it was. More, I say that our ineffable affection reciprocal is today more than at any other time, of course. That is not only a great deal but it is grand because you can see the real brotherly love, not only in joy but also and more in the struggle of suffering. Remember this, Dante. We have demonstrated this, and modesty apart, we are proud of it.

Much we have suffered during this long Calvary. We protest today as we protested yesterday. We protest always for our freedom.

If I stopped hunger strike the other day, it was because there was no more sign of life in me. Because I protested with my hunger strike yesterday as I protest for life and not for death.

I sacrificed because I wanted to come back to the embrace of your dear little sister Ines and your mother and all the beloved friends and comrades of life and not death. So Son, today life begins slowly to revive slow and calm, but yet without horizon and always with sadness and visions of death. Well, my dear boy, after your mother had talked to me so much and I had dreamed of you day and night, how joyful it was to see you at last. To have talked with you as we used to in the days – in those days. Much I told you on that visit and more I wanted to say, but I saw that you will remain the same affectionate boy, faithful to your mother who loves you so much, I did not want to hurt your sensibilities any longer, because I am sure that you will continue to be the same boy and remember what I have told you. I knew that and what here I am going to tell you will touch your sensibilities, but don't cry Dante, because many tears have been wasted, as your mother's have been wasted for seven years, and never did any good. So, Son, instead of crying, be strong, so as to be able to comfort your mother, and when you want to distract your mother from the discouraging soulness, I will tell you what I used to do. To take her for a long walk in the quiet country, gathering wild flowers here and there, resting under the shade of trees, between the harmony of the vivid stream and the gentle tranquillity of the mothernature, and I am sure that she will enjoy this very much, as you surely would be happy for it. But remember always, Dante, in the play of happiness, don't you use all for yourself only, but down yourself just one step, at your side and help the weak ones that cry for help, help the prosecuted and the victim, because that are your better friends; they are the comrades that fight and fall as your father and Bartolo fought and fell yesterday for the conquest of the joy of freedom for all and the poor workers. In this struggle of life you will find more love and you will be loved.

I am sure that from what your mother told me about what you said during these terrible days when I was lying in the iniquitous death-house – that description gave me because it showed you will be the beloved boy I had always dreamed.

Therefore whatever should happen tomorrow, nobody knows, but if they should kill us, you must not forget to look at your friends and comrades with the smiling gaze of gratitude as you look at your beloved ones, because they love you as they love every one of the fallen persecuted comrades. I tell you, your father that is all the life to you, your father that loved you and saw them, and knows their noble faith (that is mine) their supreme sacrifice that they are still doing for our freedom, for I have fought with them, and they are still the ones that still hold the last of our hope that today they can still save us from electrocution, it is the struggle and fight between the rich and poor for safety and freedom, Son, which you will understand in the future of your years to come, of this unrest and struggle of life's death .

Much I thought of you as I was lying in the death-house – the singing, the kind tender voices of the children in the playground, where there was all the life and the joy of liberty – just one step from the wall which contains the buried agony of three buried souls. It would remind me so often of you and your sister Ines, and I wish I could see you every moment. But I feel better that you did not come to the death-house so that you could not see the horrible picture of three lying in agony waiting to be electrocuted because I do not know what effect it would have on your young age. But then, in any other way if you were not so sensitive it would be very useful to you tomorrow when you could use this horrible memory to hold up to the world the shame of the country in this cruel persecution and unjust death. Yes, Dante, they can crucify our bodies to day as they are doing, but they cannot destroy our ideas, that will remain for the youth of the future to come.

Dante, when I said three human lives buried, I meant to say that with us there is another young man by the name of Celestino Maderios that it to be electrocuted at the same time with us. He has been twice before in that horrible death-house, that should be destroyed with the hammers of real progress – that horrible house that will shame forever the future of the citizens of Massachusetts. They should destroy that house and put up a factory or school, to teach many of the hundreds of the poor orphan boys of the world.

Dante, I say once more to love and be nearest to your mother and the beloved ones in these sad days, and I am sure that with your brave heart and kind goodness they will feel less discomfort. And you will also not forget to love me a little for I do – O, Sonny! Thinking so much and so often of you.

Best fraternal greetings to all the beloved ones. Love and kisses to your little Ines and mother. Most hearty affectionate embrace.

        Your Father and Companion.

P.S. Bartolo send you the most affectionate greetings. I hope that your mother will help you to understand this letter because I could have written much better and more simple, if I was feeling good. But I am so weak.


Jim Mclean


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 12:47 PM

Jim.. Josh sings "Saccos last letter" on "Tonight at the Attic"                   Ake


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 01:13 PM

I know Ake, but thanks. When I knew Josh and the folk scene in 1959, or thereabouts, it was before the club in Paisley had started and neither Danny nor Matt were around (at least not in the general folk scene which was quite small then). Josh sang Sacco's last letter in a couple of Glasgow clubs and through in Edinburgh but we had lots of ceilidhs in Morris Blythman's house in Springburn (Josh lived nearby) and later in Rouken Glen when Morris moved. Josh was very emotional when he sang it.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 05:41 PM

I suppose nowadays Saccho and Vanzettinwould have been sent to Guantanamo Bay first....


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 06:06 PM

I was interested to see so many young members of the Anarchist movement at the anti -war demo in Glasgow, on Feb 15th.It made me think, that the young people are not as apathetic as we are lead to believe.   I was also interested in Micheals comment, that the Anarchists doctrins were "too frightening" to be embraced by most people. Its only by skillful manipulation of media and other stratas of society, that our leaders conceal the horrors instore if the present system is allowed to continue unchecked.....World domination by the rich and powerful.....Ake


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: johnross
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 07:27 PM

The most interesting thing about S and V as symbols is that their actual guilt or innocence is, and has always been irrelevant. We'll probably never know, but there's some reasonable evidence that Sacco, but probably not Vanzetti, was indeed guilty of the South Braintree murders.

Of course, this doesn't justify the way they were treated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

But when they became political symbols, their guilt or innocence became a matter of faith, rather than something that a "fair trial" could resolve.

There's a very revealing scene in Katherine Anne Porter's memoir of her days as a young woman participating in the daily demonstrations in support of Sacco and Vanzetti in Boston. At one point, she tells the leader of the demonstrations that she still hoped that the lives of the two Italians might be saved, and that they would receive another trial. The reply was, "Saved? Who wants them saved? What earthly good would they do us alive?"


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 25 Dec 15 - 04:17 AM

Good site on Sacco and Vanzetti's framing. Also, more letters from Sacco
here including to his little daughter Ines: It was the greatest treasure and sweetness in my struggling life that I could have lived with you and your brother Dante and your mother in a neat little farm, and learn all your sincere words and tender affection. Then in the summer-time to be sitting with you in the home nest under the oak tree shade--beginning to teach you of life and how to read and write, to see you running, laughing, crying and singing through the verdant fields picking the wild flowers here and there from one tree to another, and from the clear, vivid stream to your mother's embrace.

The same I have wished to see for other poor girls, and their brothers, happy with their mother and father as I dreamed for us--but it was not so and the nightmare of the lower classes saddened very badly your father's soul.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 25 Dec 15 - 11:15 AM

interesting that the site is Massachusetts court system; there is an exhibition on re Sacco and Vanzetti. The intro says that whether or not either man was guilty it is certain they did not receive a fair trial.

Much of what I know of these men is from Woody Guthrie songs.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: Thompson
Date: 25 Dec 15 - 12:15 PM

Yeah, it does honour to the Massachusetts court website that it presents their case so fairly.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Dec 15 - 05:08 PM

The Massachusetts Council Against the Death Penalty, the only active state organization dedicated to abolition from 1928 through 1950, was founded in the aftermath of Sacco and Vanzetti's executions. The campaign was ultimately successful in 1984.

One week later, at the weary conclusion
of an all night session, Ehrmann watched from the gallery as
the House passed a similar bill. Speaker Thompson warned that a
112 Commonwealth v. Kerrigan, 188 N.E.2d 484, 484-85 (Mass. 1963); BoSTON GLOBE,
Sept. 14, 1961.
113 BOSTON GLOBE, Sept. 23, 1961.
114 BoSTON REc.-AM., Feb. 4, 1963. For Lawton's statement to Judiciary Committee, see
James Lawton Statement, March 21,1963, Box 18, Folder 88, Ehrmann Papers, supra note
9.
2002] Death Penalty Abolition in Massachusetts 327
celebration was premature; parliamentary procedure required the
House and Senate to take enactment votes. On Friday morning, May
4, Governor Peabody and Speaker Thompson convened a meeting of
abolitionists at the Parker House to map strategy and to count House
members for Monday's showdown vote. Because he was suffering from
a badly infected knee caused by wartime shrapnel, Thompson was
confined to a wheelchair. For that reason, he telephoned House
members rather than roam the House corridors in search of votes.
Governor Peabody used his influence as well, and publicly vowed "a
last-ditch fight" to enact a bill. At the same time, police officers
knocked on legislators' office doors, urging them to hold firm against
abolition. When the House vote was tabulated, the abolition bill lost
by twelve votes.1l5 Governor Endicott Peabody succeeded in


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Dec 15 - 05:33 PM

Apologies - that escaped too early.

The Massachusetts Council Against the Death Penalty, the only active state organization dedicated to abolition from 1928 through 1950, was founded in the aftermath of Sacco and Vanzetti's executions. The campaign was ultimately successful in 1984.

Massachusetts - under Governor Endicott Peabody - nearly abolished the death penalty in 1963. The House passed an abolition bill, but parliamentary procedure required the House and Senate to take enactment votes. When the House vote was tabulated, the abolition bill lost
by twelve votes.

Based on recommendations of the Office of Legal Counsel, Dukakis declared August 23, 1977, the 50th anniversary of their execution, as Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Memorial Day. His proclamation, issued in English and Italian, stated that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names."

He did not pardon them, because that would imply they were guilty. Neither did he assert their innocence. A resolution to censure Governor Dukakis failed in the Massachusetts Senate by a vote of 23 to 12. Dukakis later expressed regret only for not reaching out to the families of the victims of the crime.


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Subject: RE: Sacco and Vanzetti
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 26 Dec 15 - 04:04 AM

I had not come across this thread before. I bought the old Woody Guthrie Folkways "Sacco and Vanzetti" LP when I was still at school. I am now in my seventies, but I still remember how much those songs changed my views on the world. For me this was one of the most important albums that I ever heard.


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