By Nunzio Pernicone
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Extra info for Carlo Tresca: Portrait of a Rebel (Italian & Italian American Studies)
The office was set up at 8 Tunnel Street. 17 “The Republic of Priests” Pittsburgh was an ideal base of operations for Tresca, whose labor activities now focused primarily on the coalfields of western Pennsylvania. But Pittsburgh and the nearby mining regions harbored difficulties and dangers that Philadelphia did not. The American coal, steel, and aluminum barons dominated the region like feudal lords, and the camorra coloniale wielded more power than their counterparts in Philadelphia, and were much more aggressive about retaining it.
10 The vast majority of Italians, he had discovered, remained outside the orbit of the movement, and most socialists were ill equipped to remedy the situation. But some progress was achieved with Tresca at the helm of Il Proletario; the number of FSI sections had risen to around fifty by the summer of 1905, an increase largely due to his energizing presence and propaganda. But rising membership did not translate necessarily into greater strength. A principal cause of socialist weakness, 24 CARLO TRESCA: PORTRAIT OF A REBEL he believed, was the FSI’s lack of cohesive organization, especially at the state level.
Unfortunately, Tresca, too, was eventually drawn into the internecine struggles that divided and weakened the movement. He would prove himself a formidable polemicist. , a reformist newspaper published in Newark, New Jersey. Tresca responded by rejecting Petriella’s insistence that the socialist revolution could be won at the ballot box thanks to universal suffrage, declaring it was absurd to believe the bourgeoisie would peaceably relinquish its monopoly of power and allow itself to be expropriated by legal means.