Arturo Giovannitti – Poet And Trade-Unionist
One hundred years ago, on November 23, 1912, Arturo Giovannitti, a trade-unionist originally from the Region of Molise in Italy, defended himself before a Court and a jury in Salem, Massachusetts. He had been one of the leaders of the famous Bread and Roses Strike of the textilke workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and unjustly accused of murdering a young striker, Annie LoPizzo, killed by the police. His famous self-defense, together with a poem he wrote while imprisoned, “The Walker,” have become the basis of a compelling theatre piece, beautifully written and directed by Stefano Sabelli, director of the Teatro del Loto of Ferrazzano, in the province of Campobasso. Magistral interpreter of the “Auto-da-fè of the Walker” is Diego Florio, a young Italian actor destined to a brilliant career both in Italy and the USA. With the sponsorship of the Region of Molise and the Province of Campobasso, the Auto-da-fè of the Walker is starting its American Tour on November 12 at the John D.Calandra Italian American Institute of CUNY, with a full schedule including two symposia on the figure of Arturo Giovannitti at Yale University and at the Canlandra Institute. The final performance will be held in the Everett Mill in Lawrence where the strike began, on the very date in which Giovannitti pronounced his self-defense and was acquitted of a crime he did not commit.