Carlo Tresca pp 147-161 | Cite as


  • Nunzio Pernicone
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


That Tresca’s activities would prompt the Fascists to retaliate was inevitable. Mussolini more than anyone knew that propaganda was the primary instrument to create and perpetuate the myths upon which Fascist regime rested; so he was anxious to silence those anti-Fascists who would expose the hollowness of his regime, Tresca more than anyone. Tresca received his first threat directly from Mussolini shortly before the latter’s appointment as prime minister. Furious that Tresca provided a vehicle of expression for anti-Fascists in Italy, Mussolini warned him that “the eye of Fascism reaches far and the hand of Fascism even farther!… No one insults Fascism with impunity, not even in New York”1 Tresca issued his own challenge to “that paranoic Sparafucil? of a Benito Mussolini”:

Here in all the streets of New York, in crowded meetings and elsewhere, we have called you [and your Blackshirts] by the names you deserve: BRIGANDS, SLAVERS, AND CUTTHROATS. Here we will continue to hurl our reproach in your face, as it is the reproach of the workers of Italy. And you will continue to keep silent because you are cowards. Because here you must fight us on equal terms on neutral soil. Your HAND THAT REACHES FAR is a bluff. It will take more than that to silence us.2


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© Nunzio Pernicone 2005

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