This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. AMERICA AND THE SOVIETS. A great deal is being written now in the Soviet Press about the new American law against convict or forced labor. The United States has recently passed a statute according to which no goods can enter the country that are the product of unfree, forced or convict labor. The new law went into effect in January and there is much discussion in Russia, as well as in the United States, as to what effect the new legislation will [have] on Russian industrial conditions and on its foreign trade. The unusual feature of the law is that the burden of proof is laid upon the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
(The 19th of December, 1913, was "confession evening" at the "Twilight Club", New York, among whose members are the "best" people, supreme court judges, and other pillars of society. "Confessions" were made by a drunkard, a dope fiend, an actress, a labor agitator, a convict, etc., some of whom spoke in complete darkness, to hide their identity.) This is an evening of confession, and I therefore at once confess myself a lawbreaker, a criminal -- if you will -- and a convict. Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman, I beg your kind indulgence, for the convict's manner is uncouth, his speech ragged, his thoughts indecently naked. For only the convict, the outcast from the fold of commonplace respectability and dull conformity, can afford the luxur... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This text was taken from In Russian and French Prisons, London: Ward and Downey; 1887. In Russian and French Prisons by P. Kropotkin CHAPTER IX ON THE MORAL INFLUENCE OF PRISONS ON PRISONERS. The central prison of Clairvaux, described in the preceding chapter, may be considered as a fair representative of modern prisons. In France, it is decidedly one of the best - I should say the best if I were not aware that the military prison at Brest is not inferior to the Maison Centrale of Clairvaux. In fact, the recent discussion about prisons in the French Chamber of Deputies, and the outbreaks of prisoners which have been witnessed last year in nearly ail the chief penal establishments of France, have disclosed such a state of affairs in most French prisons that we must recognize them as much worse than the central prison with which I was enabled to mak...
Vanzetti's 1927 Letter to Governor Fuller The letter below was written shortly after Vanzetti was interviewed for two hours by Governor Fuller. Vanzetti asked the Governor if he might write him about topics not discussed in the interview. This is the letter he sent. Six days after this letter was mailed, Governor Fuller issued his decision allowing the executions to go forward. July 28, 1927. Charlestown Prison Hon. Alvan T. Fuller, Governor of Massachusetts, State House, Boston. YOUR EXCELLENCY: You told me Tuesday night that I might dictate to a stenographer the part, of my statement which I wanted to make to you, but was prevented by lack of time from making. So I will say as follows: 1. I don't tell the truth to the police about my revo... (From : umkc.edu.)
IN 1849 Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of his prison cell the following story of The Priest and the Devil: "'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don't you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make them suffer the pains of hell with which you threaten them. Don't you know this? Well, then, come with me!' "The devil grabbed the priest by the collar, lifted him high in the air, and carried him to a factory, to an iron foundry. He saw the workmen there running and hurrying to and fro... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
To fully grasp the social importance of the Modern School, we must understand first the school as it is being operated today, and secondly the idea underlying the modern educational movement. What, then, is the school of today, no matter whether public, private, or parochial? It is for the child what the prison is for the convict and the barracks for the soldier--a place where everything is being used to break the will of the child, and then to pound, knead, and shape it into a being utterly foreign to itself. I do not mean to say that this process is carried on consciously; it is but a part of a system which can maintain itself only through absolute discipline and uniformity; therein, I think, lies the greatest crime of present-day society... (From : Anarchy Archives.)