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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Max Stirner
  Elisée Reclus
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
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  Anarchist History
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  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War
  Art and Anarchy

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storm made me a man of leisure again. Not for longer than a few hours. I hired myself out to the town, cleaning the streets of the snow, and this work done, I helped clean the snow from the railroad tracks. Then I was taken on again by the Sampson Construction people who were laying a water main for the Puritan Woolen Company. I stayed on the job until it was finished.

Again I found no job. The railroad strike difficulties had cut off the cement supply, so that there was no more construction going on. I went back to my fish-selling, when I could get fish, because the supply of that also was limited. When I could get none, I dug for clams, but the profit on these lilliputian, the expenses being so high that they left no margin. In April I reached an agreement with a fisherman for a partnership. It never materialized, because on May 5, while I was preparing a mass meeting to protest against the death of Salsedo at the hands of the Department of Justice, I was arrested. My good friend and comrade Nicola Sacco was with me.

"Another deportation case," we said to one another.

But it wasn't. The horrible charges of which the whole world now knows were brought against us. I was accused of a crime in Bridgewater, convicted after eleven days of the most farcical trail I have ever witnessed, and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment. Judge Webster Thayer, the same man who later presided at the murder trial imposed the sentence.

There was not a vibration of sympathy in his tone when he did so. I wondered as I listened to him, why he hated me so. Is not a judge supposed to be impartial? But now I think I know - I must have looked like a strange animal to him, being a plain worker, an alien, and a radical to boot. And why was it that all my witnesses, simple people who were anxious to tell the simple truth, were laughed at and disregarded? No credence was given their words because they, too, were merely aliens.... The testimony of human beings is acceptable, but aliens.... pooh!


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