Sacco and Vanzetti
The “Red Scare” provided Tresca with numerous opportunities to perform his role as the “fixer” of the Italian immigrant Left. Political or personal differences never deterred him from utilizing his skills and resources to defend fellow radicals who were victims of political persecution. Tresca’s best assets were his connections with American sources of financial support and publicity, such as the Workers Defense Union (WDU) and the Civil Liberties Bureau (forerunner of the ACLU). His relationship with Flynn, who founded the WDU in 1918, helped immeasurably in his establishing and strengthening these and similar connections, as did his personal friendships with ACLU cofounder Roger Baldwin and prominent defense lawyers, such as Arthur Garfield Hayes, Walter R. Nelles, and Isaac Shorr. Ultimately, over the course of the next twenty years, Tresca’s contribution as a defender of Italian radicals would be unparalleled. Yet all too often his services went unappreciated, even by some who he had aided directly.
KeywordsItalian Radical Justice Department District Attorney American Source Political Persecution
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