a people's historyof the united states

The prosecuting attorney, in his plea to the jury, accused me of saying on a public platform at a public meeting, “To hell with the courts, we know what justice is.” He told a great truth when he lied, for if he had searched the innermost recesses of my mind he could have found that thought, never expressed by me before, but which I express now, “To hell with your courts, I know what justice is.” For I have sat in your courtroom day after day and have seen members of my class pass before this, the so-called bar of justice. I have seen you, Judge Sloane, and others of your kind, send them to prison because they dared to infringe upon the sacred rights of property. You have become blind and deaf to the rights of man to pursue life and happiness, and you have crushed those rights so that the sacred right of property shall be preserved. Then you tell me to respect the law. I do not. I did violate the law, as I will violate every one of your laws and still come before you and say, “To hell with your courts.” The prosecutor lied, but I will accept his lie as a truth and say it again so that you, Judge Sloane, may not be mistaken as to my attitude. To hell with your courts. I know what justice is.
—  Jack White, a Wobbly arrested in a free-speech fight in 1912