|The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti by Ben Shan|
Yet, even with powerful waves rolling Democratic, Marc's opponent Jimmy Lanzetta barely prevailed by a vote of 18,772, to 17,212. Marc would win the rematch two years later.
According to Meyer, it was a role in which Marc's congressional experience enhanced the outfit's infrastructure for influencing public policy.
Marc's work with the ILD involved him in high-profile cases of the day, such as that of labor activist Tom Mooney, wrongly jailed for bombing a World War I “Preparation Day” parade in San Francisco. Marc joined the defense of West Coast longshoremens union rabble-rouser Harry Bridges, whom the government wanted to deport to Australia. He fought dictatorial Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague over union and civil rights alike.
The document was published with an introduction by William Z. Foster, a prominent American communist: “The militant trade union movement of today,” Foster wrote, “heading towards a broad People's Front, is the direct lineal descendant of the great strike movement of the 1886 Chicago martyrs.”
Marcantonio suggests that organized labor is American as apple pie, is in the country's DNA: “Noble attempts to build [the labor movement] had been made in the days of our Revolutionary forefathers,” he writes.
|The Haymarket Martyrs|
He notes that Albert Parson, one of the Haymarket defendants [Marc prefers the term “victims”], “was a printer, a member of the powerful International Typographical Union which, even in those days, had over 60,000 members.”
And it is a youthful work. Marcantonio died at the age of 51 and accomplished his many achievements as a young, brash and precocious force of life. He is just 35 years old at this point in his truncated, yet breathless career.
|Vanzetti and Sacco|
Authorities hung the bombing on eight anarchists making them a part of labor history in the process.
“What the press made of it is one of the rawest frame-up trials in American history,” he writes, factually, vintage Marcantonio, who often resorted to expressions like “rawest” and “frame-up,” because of whom he chose to defend and the kind of battles he was obliged to fight.
Marcantonio had a special axe to grind when it came to Hearst, whose newspapers relentlessly attacked the congressman.
Gerald Meyer writes that Hearst's “Daily Mirror” described Marcantonio as a “political maggot” who “must feed on decay and corruption to survive.”
A keen sarcasm laced with indignation was a tool Marc used for slashing the arguments of opponents from the House well, or the East Harlem street corner. It was not academic talk. It was a popular lexicon he could employ at will, without condescending, because it was his own organic idiom.
Sacco and Vanzetti
Marcantonio Scribe then recalls, “two other labor martyrs who must be honored at the same time as the Haymarket heroes. The tenth anniversary of their death coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the former in this year 1937.”
It is a generous passage granted by the writer; gives voice to one unjustly silenced, in their own chosen words.
Marcantonio writes of Sacco and Vanzetti, as workers and organizers.
With “Labor's Martyrs,” and his wider activities for the ILD, Marcantonio demonstrated how his electoral defeat in no wise diminished his fight for that constituency. Being a congressman was just one way to achieve the same ends.