A Year of Violence and Death
The year 1927 was one of the most tumultuous and wrenching years in Tresca’s long career. Direct action by anti-Fascists, sometimes amounting to guerrilla war, had become a more frequent method of struggle, as the Blackshirts grew bolder and more numerous in New York and the surrounding metropolitan area. Typically, Blackshirts of a newly organized fasci? in Port Chester planned to demonstrate their mettle by breaking up a meeting at which Tresca and Vidali were scheduled to speak on March 20. They dared not act, however, until the arrival of reinforcements from New York led by Giacomo Bonavita, the “little Duce of the squads.” At the first Fascist disruption, Tresca positioned himself in the center of the Blackshirts, an act of defiance that left them befuddled. A second interruption almost precipitated a fight, but was forestalled again by Tresca, who confronted Bonavita face to face. The Blackshirt leader immediately offered a truce:“ ‘You restrain yours, and I will restrain mine.’ ” Tresca shoved the Blackshirt back into his seat with a warning: “We will see to it that they [the Blackshirts] stay quiet.”1 Thwarted, Bonavita and his followers quit the hall and phoned the police to report that the anti-Fascists in the hall were “armed to the teeth.” The police arrived but found only one anti-Fascist armed with a pistol.
KeywordsDefense Attorney District Attorney General Strike American Legion Defense Committee
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- 21.For a detailed treatment of the Greco—Carrillo case, see Nunzio Pernicone, “Murder Under the ‘El’: The Greco—Carrillo Case;” The Italian American Revie? 6, 2 (autumn/winter 1997–1998): 20–44.Google Scholar
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