posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 04:06 AM
This is an issue that carries a certain amount of weight with me, simply because of it's implications.
It says to me that since post WWI USA, the people in power have FEARED the ideas of free-thinking radicals, and here's why...
The arrest of Sacco and Vanzetti had coincided with the period of the most intense political repression in American history, the "Red Scare"
1919-20. The police trap they had fallen into had been set for a comrade of theirs, suspected primarily because he was a foreign-born radical. While
neither Sacco nor Vanzetti had any previous criminal record, they were long recognized by the authorities and their communities as anarchist militants
who had been extensively involved in labor strikes, political agitation, and antiwar propaganda and who had had several serious confrontations with
the law. They were also known to be dedicated supporters of Luigi Galleani's Italian-language journal Cronaca Sovversiva, the most influential
anarchist journal in America, feared by the authorities for its militancy and its acceptance of revolutionary violence. Cronaca, because of its
uncompromising antiwar stance, had been forced to halt publication immediately upon the entry of the U.S. government into World War I in 1917; its
editors were arrested and at war's end deported to Italy, in 1919. During this period the government's acts of repression, often illegal, were met
in turn by the anarchists' attempts to incite social revolution, and at times by retal iatory violence; the authorities and Cronaca were pitted
against each other in a bitter social struggle just short of open warfare. A former editor of Cronaca was strongly suspected of having blown himself
up during an attentat on Attorney General Palmer's home in Washington, D.C. on June 2, 1919, an act that led Congress to vote funds for anti-radical
investigations and launch the career of J. Edgar Hoover as the director of the General Intelligence Division in the Department of Justice. The
Sacco-Vanzetti case would become one of his first major responsibilities. In 1920, as the Italian anarchist movement was trying to regroup, Andrea
Salsedo, a comrade of Sacco and Vanzetti, was detained and, while in custody of the Department of Justice, hurled to his death. On the night of their
arrest, authorities found in Sacco's pocket a draft of a handbill for an anarchist meeting that featured Vanzetti as the main speaker. In this
treacherous atmosphere, when initial questioning by the police focused on their radical activities and not on the specifics of the Braintree crime,
the two men lied in response. These falsehoods created a "consciousness of guilt" in the minds of the authorities, but the implications of that
phrase soon became a central issue in the Sacco-Vanzetti case: Did the lies of the two men signify criminal involvement in the Braintree murder and
robbery, as the authorities claimed, or did they signify an understandable attempt to conceal their radicalism and protect their friends during a time
of national hysteria concerning foreign-born radicals, as their supporters were to claim?
Hmm....just makes you think, doesn't it? Let me hear what your thoughts on this are.
[Edited on 10-3-2004 by Loki]