Category Archives: VMF members

Gil Fagiani

A beloved founding member of VMF, passed away peacefully on April 13th, 2018, at 2am, after a courageous struggle against cancer.

There will be a wake on Sunday in Queens, NY and the burial will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx on Monday.

In respect for Gil Fagiani, the VMF event scheduled for Saturday at 2pm, has been rescheduled for May 12th at 2pm, at The Community Room at the Mulberry Street Public Library.

WAKE FOR GIL FAGIANI:
Sunday, April 15 @ 2-5PM & 7-9PM
Quinn’s Funeral Home
35-20 Broadway, Long Island City, NY 11106
Contact Phone: (718) 721-9200
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/…/thomas-m-quinn-sons-…/1315
GIL FAGIANI FUNERAL:
Monday, April 16 @ 11 AM
Historic Woodlawn Cemetery
4199 Webster Ave & 233rd St., Bronx, NY 10470
(718) 920-0500
https://www.thewoodlawncemetery.org
Stephen: Siciliano’s uplifting obituary:
http://marcantoniana.blogspot.com/2018/04/gil-fagiani.html

USA Grand Master Fabiano Caruana is the Official Challenger for the Title of World Chess Champion

“I look forward to going back to St. Louis to prepare for the dethroning of Magnus,” said Italian American chess star Fabiano Caruana with characteristic bravado.

“Magnus” is reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen with whom Caruana has locked horns on a number of occasions. Magnus has gotten the best of the encounters, though the Italian American has drawn enough blood on occasion to fan real hopes of a title.

fabiano caruana chess

GM Caruana winning the 2018 Candidates Tournament in Berlin, earning the right to challenge the defending world champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Caruana earned the right to a November face-off in London with the Norwegian Carlsen by winning the recent, 18-day “Candidates Tournament” in Berlin.

No United States competitor, since the legendary Bobby Fischer in the 1970’s, has won a world championship. His role as potential heir apparent has thrust Caruana into the international spotlight, but he has been a shooting star of the chess firmament for a while now.

He is, among other things, “first board” with the United States chess Olympiads squad.

One of the most impressive obstacles Caruana was forced to breach in his climb to the top was a match with Vito Marcantonio Forum founding member Adam V. Meyer, at a New York chess tournament in 2002.

“The kid beat me with a Grünfeld Defense that didn’t go my way,” says Meyer matter-of-factly.

Carlsen, known as the “Mozart of Chess,” will be an awesome opponent at the London showdown, but it is doubtful nerves will be an issue for the upstart Italian American.

Stephen Siciliano
@highwayscribery

DEDICATION OF THE VITO MARCANTONIO LUCKY CORNER

The VMF is proud to announce: Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, invites you to the dedication of the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner, E116th St. and Lexington Ave. this Sunday, December 17, 2017 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM.

Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner

There will be a reading of the poem, “Litany of San Vito,” by Gil Fagiani that will be performed by: Christopher Bell, (English), Maria Lisella, (Italian), and Gloria E. Quiñones (Spanish). Other talks include:

  • Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner street namingLuLu LoLo Pascale “Personal Memory of Marc.”
  • Dr. Gerald Meyer: “The Lucky Corner: Its History, Its Future.”
  • Roberto Ragone: “Marc for Mayor, at the Lucky Corner.”
  • Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the New York City Council: Dedication.
If you would like more information on the history of Lucky Corner, see Gerald Meyer’s article:  http://www.vitomarcantonio.com/vm_lucky_corner.html 
Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner
Street Naming
Sunday, December 17, 2017 from 1PM-2PM
E116th Street & Lexington Ave (Northeast Corner)
New York, NY 10029
We cannot thank everyone for their hard work and dedication. See you on Sunday at 1PM!
Sponsored by:
The Speaker of the New York City Council & The Vito Marcantonio Forum
______________________________________________________________________________________________
Join us for a stage reading of “Waiting for Lefty” on Dec 10th, 2017.
You can contact us for details on any of these events, however, we really would appreciate you reading everything here first:
WAITING FOR LEFTY
Sunday, December 10th at 3pm at
The Roy Arias Stages (2nd floor)
777 8th Ave between 47th and 48th Streets
Tickets will be $10 at the door.
or a reservation can be made by emailing
Directed by Art Bernal with an introduction by Gerald Meyer and an epilogue by Roberto Ragone as Vito Marcantonio, this stage reading will be dedicated to Marcantonio, who was born on December 10, 1902.

 

i-vote-my-conscience by annette t rubinsteinChelsea Rising Reading Circle | Dec 20th, 6PM-8PM
On the third Wednesday of every month, The VMF has been sponsoring a reading circle run by Co-chair Gerald Meyer, on I Vote My Conscience by Annette T. Rubinstein.
There is no admission charge and being that this is the final installment in the series–this event will end with a celebration with food and beverage provided–so don’t miss it!
Penn South Reading Room
339 W 24th St
New York, NY 10011

The Vito Marcantonio Forum / Chelsea Rising Reading Circle

i-vote-my-conscience by Annette T RubinsteinThe Vito Marcantonio Forum and Chelsea Rising are sponsoring a joint Reading Circle that meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM in Penn South’s Community Room at 339 West 24th Street (between 8th & 9th Aves., closer to 9th Ave.). The Community Room has its own entrance which is under an awning proudly announcing “Community Room.” We will convene our fourth session on Wed. July 19TH 2017 at 6:00 PM.

Our text, I Vote My Conscience: Debates, Speeches, and Writings of Vito Marcantonio, edited by Annette T. Rubinstein, is an invaluable source for all those interested in studying the life and work of seven-term, American Labor Party (ALP) Congressman, Vito Marcantonio, who courageously represented East Harlem and the entire American Left.

I Vote My Conscience presents: useful Introductory matter; excerpts from Marcantonio’s debates and speeches from each of his seven terms in office; a special section on his work on behalf of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people; and lastly excerpts from his legal briefs for W. E. B. DuBois and other victims of McCarthyism. In addition to his Congressional work, Marc served as Chairperson of the ALP, and ran for Mayor in 1949, under its banner.

The June 21st session will focus on Marcantonio’s Congressional speeches and debates from his third term in office, pp. 137 to 168. Copies of I Vote My Conscience will be on sale for $10, or can be purchased in advance by sending a $13 check to Gerald Meyer 381-2nd St. Brooklyn. 11215.

Upcoming VMF Event

Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread), the best full-length documentary film ever produced about the Italian-American experience, will be screened on Sat. August 12, from 1:00 to 4:30, with a Q&A with its director Gianfranco Norelli and co-producer Suma Kurian, at the Community Room of the Mulberry Street Public Library located at 10 Jersey Street (between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets). Free admission/light refreshments served.

Next Reading Circle will be June 21, 2017 at 6PM in NYC.

The Vito Marcantonio Forum  / Chelsea Rising 

The Vito Marcantonio Forum and Chelsea Rising have launched a joint Reading Circle that meets on the third Wednesday of the month @ 6:00PM in Penn South’s Community Room at 339 West 24th Street (between 8th  & 9th Aves., closer to 9th Ave.). The Community Room has its own entrance which is under an awning proudly announcing “Community Room.” The Reading Circle’s second meeting was as successful as our first. We will convene our third session on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 @ 6:00PM. 

Our text, I Vote My Conscience: Debates, Speeches, and Writings of Vito Marcantonio, edited by Annette T. Rubinstein, is an invaluable source for all those interested in studying the life and work of seven-term, American Labor Party (ALP) Congressman, Vito Marcantonio, who courageously represented East Harlem and the entire American Left.

I Vote My Conscience presents: useful Introductory matter; excerpts from Marcantonio’s debates and speeches from each of his seven terms in office; a special section on his work on behalf of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people; and lastly excerpts from his legal briefs for W. E. B. DuBois and other victims of McCarthyism. In addition to his Congressional work, Marc served as Chairperson of the ALP, and ran for Mayor in 1949, under its banner.

The June 21st session will focus on Marcantonio’s Congressional speeches and debates from his first second in office.  Copies of I Vote My Conscience will be on sale for $10, or can be purchased in advance by sending a $13 check to Gerald Meyer 381-2nd St. Bklyn. 11215.

Gerald Meyer, Co-Chair VMF

VMF and Chelsea Rising Launch Reading Circle!

The Vito Marcantonio Forum  and the Chelsea Rising will launch their joint Reading Circle on Wed. April 19 @ 6:30 in Penn South’s CommunityRoom at 339 West 24th Street (between 8th & 9th Aves., closer to 9th Ave.). The Community Room has its own entrance which is under an awning proudly announcing “Community Room.” 

Our text, I Vote My Conscience: Debates, Speeches, and Writings of Vito Marcantonio, edited by Annette T. Rubinstein, is an invaluable source for all those interested in studying the life and work of the American Labor Party (ALP) Congressman, who represented East Harlem so well. I Vote My Conscience presents: excerpts from Marcantonio’s debates and speeches from each of his seven terms in office as the; a special section on Marc’s work on behalf of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people; and lastly excerpts from his legal briefs for W. E. B. DuBois and other victims of McCarthyism. In addition to his Congressional work, Marc became Chairperson of the ALP, and ran for Mayor in 1949, under its banner.

Marc’s eloquence, brilliance, and political acumen resulted in his becoming the Spokesperson for the American Left. He fell dead outside City Hall Park at fifty-one years old.

Our first session will discuss the front matter (two introductions and bio of Annette) of I Vote My Conscience. Copies of I Vote My Conscience will be on sale for $10 at our meetings or in advance, by mail by sending a $13 check to Gerald Meyer 381-2nd St. Bklyn. 11215.

Subsequent meetings will be held on the third Wednesdays of each month. Wed. April 19; Wed. May 17; Wed. June 21; Wed. July 19; Wed. Aug. 16; Wed. Sept. 20; Wed. Oct. 18; Wed. Nov. 15; Wed. Dec. 20.

Gerald Meyer, Co-Chair VMF

Beloved Comrades: Annette Rubinstein & Vito Marcantonio: March 3rd, 2017

Gerald Meyer and Stephen Siciliano

Present

Beloved Comrades: The Political and Personal Partnership of Annette T. Rubinstein (1912-2007) and Vito Marcantonio (1902-1954)

Sponsored by the Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF)

Annette Rubinstein“Beloved Comrades: The Political and Personal Partnership of Annette T. Rubinstein and Vito Marcantonio” is a presentation by Gerald Meyer, author of Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, and Stephen Siciliano, screenwriter and novelist, that explores the relationship of the renown Marxist literary critic and the seven-term American Labor Party congressman from East Harlem. The event will take place on Saturday March 4, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, in the Community Room of the Mulberry Street Public Library, 10 Jersey St. (btw Lafayette and Mulberry Sts.). Meyer will discuss the relationship between the seven-term American Labor Party Congressman and the political activist, Marxist literary historian, Siciliano will explore Annette’s analysis of Percy Shelly and Lord Byron, who Annette proved were revolutionary poets. The event will be chaired by Gil Fagiani. Free Admission / Light Refreshments

Gil Fagiani, a founding member of the VMF and co-curator of the Italian American Writers Association, is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently, A Blanquito in El Barrio.
Gerald Meyer, a Co-Chair of the VMF and Prof. at Hostos Com. Col. (CUNY), is author of Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician, co-editor of The Lost World of Italian American Radicalism, and numerous articles.
Stephen Siciliano, a founding member of the VMF, is the author of Vedette or Conversations with the Flamenco Shadows andThe Sidewalk Smokers Club, who also writes for Marcantoniana: Items from the Life and Times of the Marvelous Vito Marcantonios.

First annual Vito Marcantonio Award

 

Melissa Mark-Viverito

Roberto Ragone with Melissa Mark-Viverito and Gerald Meyer

Melissa Mark-Viverito was honored at a dinner February 5th, 2017 sponsored by the Vito Marcantonio Forum. In accepting the Forum’s award, she described how her opponents in her run for Speaker used her support of Lopez Rivera to “bait” her. Despite that, she said, she remained in the forefront of a national campaign to convince President Obama to grant clemency to López Rivera, a campaign that was ultimately successful. She said, “If congressman Marcantonio was present today, alive today, he would support the struggle and the campaign to free Lopez Rivera”

Oscar López Rivera is a Puerto Rican independence activist who was one of the leaders of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). In 1977 he was arrested and tried by the United States government for seditious conspiracy to commit robbery, transport firearms and explosives with intent to destroy government property. López Rivera maintained that according to international law he was an anticolonial combatant and could not be prosecuted by the United States government. Nevertheless, on August 11, 1981, López Rivera was convicted and sentenced to 55 years in federal prison. On December 31, 1988 he was sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison for attempting to escape from the Leavenworth federal prison.

President Bill Clinton offered Rivera and thirteen other convicted FALN members conditional clemency in 1999, but López Rivera rejected it on the grounds that all his compatriots should receive clemency.

On January 17, 2017, President Barack Obama commuted López Rivera’s sentence and was scheduled for release from prison on May 17, 2017, after almost 35 years in prison. He had been incarcerated longer than any other member of the FALN.

Marcantonio was one of the most progressive and forward thinking representatives who ever served in Congress. He represented a district centered in East Harlem from 1934 to 1936 and again from 1938 to 1950.

Viverito called Marcantonio “a visionary leader – the kind we need at this moment, one who fights on behalf of those who are marginalized” She went on to say that her moral compass dictates that to fight for everyone is the only way to really make progress for the 99%.

She also related the Congressman’s well-known concern for the rights of the foreign born to today’s reality. In the case of attacks on Muslim communities and immigrant brothers and sisters, he would have been at the forefront and his voice would have been really loud, and unwavering! That’s the leadership we need today,” she said.

VMF Co-Chair Gerald Meyer echoed Viverito in stressing the timeliness of Marcantonio’s message. This is the time for people to come together as broadly as possible, he urged, and to push back against Trump and his policies, especially at this moment his ban on asylum seekers from seven predominately Muslim nations.

Meyer further noted that Marcantonio had always strongly opposed McCarthyism and anti-communism in all its forms. He reported that Marcantonio took the position that anti-communism was the road to fascism.

The Vito Marcantonio Forum is an educational, cultural and historical organization dedicated to preserving the Congressman’s legacy.

Readers can enjoy a reading of “Litany of San Vito,” a poem dedicated to Marcantonio by playwright, actor and historian LuLu LoLo Pascale, a lifelong resident of Marcantonio’s former East Harlem district.

by Gabe Falsetta

Video of Vito Marcantonio Memorial at City Hall Park 2016

We are proud to announce the release of the latest Vito Marcantonio Forum video!

Thanks to VMF co-founder David Giglio, who films and edits our events, we have a brand new video! Please share it with everyone you know via email, social media, etc.

In addition to everyone in attendance, we also like to specially thank the following speakers:

  • Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the NYC Council
  • Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
  • Gloria Quinones, East Harlem Community Activist, Attorney, Advocate

Click below for the latest Vito Marcantonio Forum video: