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Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"
News :: Human Rights
A look at the First Annual Sacco And Vanzetti Memorial Parade
28 Aug 2006
On Sunday, August 27th, 2006, about 50 people braved the pouring rain to gather for the first annual Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Parade.
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On Sunday, August 27th, 2006, about 50 people braved the pouring rain to gather for the first annual Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Parade.

The event began at the Southwest Corridor Park across from the Stony Brook T stop. People shared food, poems, speeches and letters written by Sacco and Vanzetti. An accordion performance was followed by Sergio Reyes, of Latinas and Latinos for Social Change and the May Day Coalition, playing songs on his guitar.

Around 2pm, one of the organizers read a speech highlighting the history of the Sacco and Vanzetti case. He tied their repression and execution, 79 years ago, to the current repression of immigrants and anarchists today.

Erin and Stephanie from Boston Animal Defense League spoke about the Green Scare: The ongoing FBI witch-hunt against anarchists involved in the environmental and animal liberation movements.

Lastly, Jesse Diaz from the Los Angeles March 25 Coalition for Immigrant rights spoke about his experiences struggling along side west-coast anarchists against the anti-immigrant, Minute Men group, as well as other fascist and racist groups in the Southwest.

Diaz also emphasized the fact that anarchists have an important role to play in the immigrant rights movement, and encouraged local anarchists to find ways to get involved with local immigrant rights struggles and communities.

A little after 3pm, the memorial parade began. People marched down Washington St, playing accordions, drums and a mandolin, and handing out pamphlets to onlookers and local residents. Organizers picked this route as it is the home of a largely Latino and immigrant community, and one of the event's main goals was to demonstrate solidarity with the Immigrant Rights movement. The parade got many warm welcomes from the residents along the route, who stood on their porches, waved, honked horns and cheered. Others put their fists in the air.

Upon arriving at the cemetery, the marchers laid down cardboard coffins of Sacco and Vanzetti, while two actors dressed as Sacco and Vanzetti read speeches in front of them. After an informal open mic, with poetry, speeches and announcements, the festivities ended.

According to the organizers, there was very limited police presence. Near the end of the march a single police car tried, unsuccessfully, to force the parade onto the sidewalk.

This event was organized by BAAM Boston, with the help of historian Bob D'Attilio, Boston Animal Defense League, other anarchist individuals, and the immigrant rights May Day Coalition. The organizers tried to focus the majority of their energy on outreaching to the local immigrant rights movement, emailing and calling organizations, contacting local media sources, and going to local shops with multi-lingual informational flyers. One of the organizers said he was slightly disappointed with the turnout, especially with the lack of diversity at the march, but at the same time, greatly excited to see so many new faces in the crowd, many coming up from Cape Cod. He also said that next year, the organizers will focus even more energy on outreach to the immigrant rights movement from the begining planning stages.

One of the marchers, Derek Garcia, when asked about the lack of diversity in the march said that, “we must all be realistic about the level of repression going on right now. For the privileged few, it is invisible. For others, locked in a cell, or exploited on their jobs, it is a daily reality. What’s important is that we are willing to show solidarity with each other, across racial and ideological lines.”

Unfortunately, marching and rallying alone will not end the repression that has been going on for a long time. "The same tactics of repression have been used for decades. It was the workers and anarchists in the 20 through 40s, black people in the 50s through 70s, now come 2000 its a whole new war. Its the same kind of harassment, trying to split and divide communities, and drain recourses and energy on prisoner defense,” said Stephanie, of the Boston Animal Defense League. "I think that the best thing that we can do is come together and talk about the different struggles facing the same repression as we did on Sunday. We need to have workshops and teach-ins; education is the best tactic that we could possibly use, and of course we must build solidarity."

Organizers hope that this event will inspire others to work against stare repression, and that more people from a more diverse spectrum turn out for next year, the 80-year anniversary of the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti.

For additional photos:

For more information please visit these links:

About Sacco and Vanzetti:

About the Green Scare:

About the May Day Coalition:

About the Los Angeles March 25 Coalition:

For the origional posting for the event:

This work is in the public domain