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Arturo Giovannitti (1884-1959) was an Italian American IWW poet and organizer.


"Considered the 'black sheep' of the Giovannitti family by many, Arturo was the greatest poet of the IWW. He emigrated from Campobasso, in the Samnite country near Rome at the turn of the 20th century. He had a long and interesting life, as a seminarian, as a hobo, and greatest of all as a famous IWW organizer and anti-fascist agitator. Giovannitti was one of the greatest voices speaking for the Italian, and all working men in the United States. In 1912, he and Joe Ettor were arrested for the death of Rosa LoPizzo, a 16 year-old textile worker on strike at Lawrence Massachusetts. Ettor and Giovannitti rotted in jail for a long time, even though Rosa was shot by a policeman during a demonstration in full view of nineteen witnesses while Giovannitti and Ettor were three miles away on the other side of town. 'The Walker,' Giovannitti's most famous poem, arguably the greatest English poem ever written about being in jail was written during this imprisonment. After a nationwide protest campaign, they were let out of jail. Arturo wrote many dramatic and fiery poems, edited radical and socialist magazines, and was a perennial speaker at labor gatherings,—especially among the Italian working community. Giovannitti was the chief orator at the funeral of his friend Carlo Tresca, the Italian anarchist, murdered in 1941 by Lucky Luciano on Mussollini's orders. Arturo was not really an anarchist, was usually considered a socialist, is best called a syndicalist,—but was above all simply a spokesman and proponent for the working man. The IWW never dwelt on much philosophy to speak of, but existed for action in favor of the improvement, solidarity and triumph of the workers of the world alone. Arturo was the quintessential IWW thinker. Arturo also wrote the introduction to Sabotage by Emile Pouget in its English translation, which was the bible of the IWW in the early years of the century. Arturo died in the 1950s, leaving a legacy of many written works, including wonderful poems."

—Arturo Giovannitti’s third cousin’s husband


Bread and Roses

The Revolution


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