1928 December 27

Post Office Bans Anti-Fascist Italian Language Newspaper


The Post Office on this day banned the anti-fascist newspaper, Il Martello. The paper was published by its Italian-born editor Carlo Tresca, a vocal opponent of fascism and Mafia infiltration of the trade union movement. (Il Martello translates into English as “The Hammer.”) Supporters of Tresca accused the government of suppressing his newspaper because of improper influence by the Italian Embassy, on behalf of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

In 1923, Tresca had been convicted of publishing a birth control advertisement in his newspaper, for which he served a year in federal prison. In January 1943, Tresca was shot and killed in New York City by Mafia members who were sympathetic to the fascist Mussolini.

Read about Tresca: Dorothy Gallagher, All the Right Enemies: The Political Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca (1988)

Learn more about freedom of speechhttps://www.aclu.org/free-speech

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