was barred from the mails because it objected editorially to the United States entering the war in Europe. Two years later he established Il Martello (The Hammer), which he continued to publish for the rest of his life.
From the time of the "March on Rome" in 1922, Tresca frequently assailed Mussolini and his Fascist regime. In 1923, after he had violently attacked Il Duce and called for abolition of the Italian monarchy, the Facist Embassy framed up Tresca on a charge of sending obscene matter through the mails. The "obscene matter" was a four-line ad of a birth-control book in Il Martello. Tresca was convicted, sentenced to a year and day, and after an appeal to the higher courts had failed, he was sent to Atlanta penitentiary in January, 1925. Public protest, however, compelled President Coolidge to commute his sentence to four months... Free again, he resumed his attacks on the Fascists and increased the number of his enemies.
Defeated Mussolini's Early Efforts Here
Because of Carlo Tresca, more than any one else, Mussolini failed in his early attempts to organize Fascism among Italian- Americans; it was Carlo's strategy that drove the Blackshirts off the streets of New York in the Nineteen Twenties.
Through his years in America, he worked and fought for countless workers who faced prison terms or execution because of their political convictions. He played an aggressive role in such cases as those of Ettor and Giovannitti, Mooney and Billings, the Centralia (Wash.) I.W.W. defendants, Andrea Salsedo and Roberto Elia, Sacco and Vanzetti, Clemente Lista, Antonio Bellusi, Greco and Carrillo and the Minneapolis Trotskyists. A typical instance was his organization of a united front committee which defended Athos Terzani, the young anti-fascist who was framed up in 1933, charged with the shooting of a comrade during a free-for-all battle at a meeting of the fascistic Khaki Shirts of America in Astori, L.I. After months of effort, the defense committee was able to amass enough evidence, not only to acquit Terzani, but to compel the indifferent Queens County District Attorney to prosecute the real killer, a Khaki Shirts member, and his accessory, the Khaki Shirts commander. Both were sent to prison.
Originally sympathetic toward the Revolution in Russia, Tresca found it possible to work with its adherents as late as 1933. But he became alienated as he watched the prodigious growth of Stalinist bureaucracy, and efforts of the Communists in the United States, serving it, to rule or wreck the American labor movement. When the Communists disrupted the big New York hotel strike in 1934, Tresca broke with them for good. The blood purges in Russia in 1936 and the GPU killings in many parts of the world increased his indignation. From that time on, Tresca kept up a running fire of exposure and denunciation of the Stalinist regime in Il Martello, while intensifying his attacks on Fascism. With the entry of this nation into another war in 1941, he gave critical support to the United Nations.