Hellraisers Journal: Carlo Tresca, I. W. W. Strike Leader, Arrested on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range

You ought to be out raising hell.
This is the fighting age.
Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Thursday June 29, 1916
Virginia, Minnesota – Carlo Tresca Arrested for “Criminal Libel”

John Alar Funeral, w Carlo Tresca & Banner, June 26, 1916

From today’s Duluth News Times:

Chief of Police Swears to Warrant and
Arrest of Carlo Tresca Follows.

Carlo Tresca, Funeral of John Alar, Virginia MN, June 26, 1916

Virginia, June 28.-Carlo Tresca, noted Italian strike leader, who was active in the Paterson and Lawrence strikes, and who has been one of the leaders of the miners on the Mesaba range now striking, was arrested this afternoon by Patrolmen Dan Sullivan and Fred Anthony on a warrant sworn out by Police Chief Owen Gately in municipal court. Tresca is charged with criminal libel for allowing the red banner, “Murdered by Oliver Gunmen,” to be carried at the head of the funeral procession of John Alar, the striking miner, who was shot and killed in a gun fight.

Tresca was arraigned before Judge James P. Carey in municipal court this afternoon and his hearing set for Friday afternoon. He furnished cash bail of $300 for his appearance. The warrant charged that he and others are guilty of criminal libel in “maliciously, unlawfully and wrongfully carrying or having their agents carry a banner for the purpose of injuring and defaming the Oliver Iron Mining company and which is alleged to have injured the company and also for exposing the mining men of that to hatred, contempt and ridicule on the part of the strikers.”

Sam Scarlet [Scarlett], Joseph Gilday, Joseph Schmidt and other leaders are charged with the same offense. Officers claim that they can prove that the leaders directed the making and carrying of the sign.

Tresca said: “The police are my publicity agents and we could do little without them. I did not carry the banner and they cannot prove that I did.”

A well attended and enthusiastic meeting was held this afternoon at Finnish Socialist hall. None but I. W. W.s were permitted to attend.


[Photograph added.]


The Duluth News Times
(Duluth, Minnesota)
-June 29, 1916
-See page 5 for this & other
stories on the miners’ strike.

John Alar Funeral, w Carlo Tresca & Banner, June 26, 1916
-cropped: Carlo Tresca, Funeral of John Alar, Virginia MN, June 26, 1916