MIA: History: USA: Sacco and Vanzetti

Marxists Internet Archive

Sacco and Vanzetti:
Murdered by Capitalism

Vanzetti and Sacco


Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco (b. 1891) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (b. 1888) were arrested on May 5, 1920, during the height of the infamous "Red Scare" in the period after World War I. They were convicted of robbery and first-degree murder in a sham trial. On April 9, 1927 they were scheduled to die in the electric chair and that sentence was carried out a few minutes after midnight on August 23, 1927. In the course of those seven years, one of the most glaring exposes of the nature of capitalist justice was revealed.

In 1977, on the 50th anniversary of the executions, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation vindicating Sacco and Vanzetti, stating that they had been treated unjustly and that no stigma should be associated with their names.


K. A. Suvanto Only the Strong Hand of the Working Class Can Save Them!, 1924

Robert Minor [Death Cell], 1924

William Gropper Justice Is Not Only Blind But Movable, 1926

Fred Ellis The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti in Cartoons from the Daily Worker, 1927

Fred Ellis Sacco and Vanzetti Must Not Die!, 1927

Fred Ellis While the Working Class Sleeps, 1928

Fred Ellis Sacco and Vanzetti Are Not Forgotten!, 1929


Articles, Speeches and Documents


Mary Heaton Vorse Sacco and Vanzetti Are Not Forgotten!, The Toiler, January 1921
Art Shields Sacco-Vanzetti: Victims, The Industrial Pioneer, August 1921


Eugene V. Debs Sacco-Vanzetti: Socialist Leader Makes Stirring Plea for Two Italian Labor Men, July 1922


May Day and Sacco-Vanzetti Case, Farmer-Labor Voice, May 1924


Ralph Chaplin In the Shadow of the Electric Chair, Labor Defender, January 1926
George Lansbury Murder! Save Sacco and Vanzetti, Labor Defender, October 1926
Manifesto of the E. C. C. I. on Sacco and Vanzetti, Inprecor, December 1, 1926


James P. Cannon
Who Can Save Sacco and Vanzetti?, Labor Defender, January 1927
Life and Freedom for Sacco and Vanzetti!, Labor Unity, May 15, 1927
Sacco and Vanzetti Must Not Burn on the Electric Chair, Labor Defender, June 1927
See more articles on Sacco and Vanzetti by Cannon in the special issue of Workers' Liberty, 2016

Labor Defender
Sacco and Vanzetti Must Not Die!, June 1927
Release Sacco and Vanzetti!, July 1927
Free Sacco and Vanzetti!, August 1927
For Sacco and Vanzetti, September 1927
Labor's Deathless Martyrs, October 1927

The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti Are Again in Danger, April 14, 1927
Judicial Murder of Sacco and Vanzetti to be Carried Out, April 21, 1927
John Dos Pasos Vanzetti in Prison, April 28 1927
Sacco and Vanzetti must be Released!, May 5, 1927
Against the Intended Murder of Sacco and Vanzetti!, May 5, 1927
The Protest Action on Behalf of Sacco and Vanzetti must be Continued, May 19, 1927
Sacco and Vanzetti in the Condemned Cell, July 21, 1927
H. Show Sacco and Vanzetti must be Freed!, August 4, 1927
Paul Stein Now, at the Last Moment, let us Rescue Sacco and Vanzetti, August 11, 1927
Appeals of the E. C. C. I. and International Red Aid, August 11, 1927
Appeal of the International Red Aid, August 18, 1927
Michel Hollay Energetic Protest Action of the French Proletariat against the Hangman's Justice of American Capital, August 18, 1927
H. Shaw Socialist Leaders Assist in Placing Sacco and Vanzetti in the Electric Chair, August 18, 1927
Willi Münzenberg Capitalist Class Justice Triumphs: Sacco and Vanzetti Murdered!, August 25, 1927
Reactions to the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, September 1, 1927
D. Manuilsky The War against the Working Class - Preparation for War: On the Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, September 8, 1927

Remember Sacco-Vanzetti!, Young Comrade, August-September 1927

Massachusetts Murder: Our Courts Dip Their Hands in Blood, Labor Age, September 1927

J. T. Murphy "Sacco-Vanzettis" Everywhere, Workers' Life, September 2, 1927

Robert Minor The Murder of Sacco and Vanzetti, Communist, September-October, 1927

New Masses, October 1927
Max Eastman Sacco and Vanzetti: Anarchists and Revolutionary Science
John Dos Passos They Are Dead Now (a poem)
Sacco and Vanzetti: A Symposium

Max Shachtman Sacco and Vanzetti: Labor's Martyrs, 1927


Charles Erskine Scott Wood Heavenly Discourse, New Masses, September 1928
Harvey O'Connor Fuller the Murderer, Labor Defender, December 1928


Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman Sacco and Vanzetti
Alexander Berkman What is Communist Anarchism? Ch. 8


Alberto Moreau The Significance of August 23rd, Anti-Imperialist Day


Vern Smith The Failure of Liberalism: Sacco and Vanzetti, from Frame-Up System
J. Louis Engdahl August 22nd - the Fifth Sacco-Vanzetti Anniversary, Inprecor


Emanuel Garrett Sacco and Vanzetti (Executed, August 23, 1927)


Lydia Beidel The State of Massachusetts versus Sacco and Vanzetti


Irving Howe If Sacco-Vanzetti Were On Trial Today


John Thayer We'll Never Forget Martyrdom of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927, The Militant


Raya Dunayevskaya Sacco and Vanzetti Speak to Millions


Nancy Fields Sacco and Vanzetti, The Bulletin

Sacco and Vanzetti, Workers' Press


50 Years Ago: Sacco and Vanzetti, Socialist Worker

Vera B. Weisbord Remember Sacco and Vanzetti

Bob Anderson Avenge Sacco and Vanzetti, Torch


The International Struggle to Save Sacco and Vanzetti, The Internationalist


Labour's martyrs: the story of Sacco and Vanzetti (by James P. Cannon and Max Shachtman), Workers' Liberty


Last updated on 16 May 2023