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From Old Neighborhood to Old Country: Vito Marcantonio Goes Transnational

By Roberto Ragone

The Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) achieved transnational status—a step towards transcendence—for the Italian-American politician known as the People’s Congressman, prego to an invitation to participate in “European Capital for One Day – Picerno: Capital of Human Rights” (“Capitale Europea per un Giorno – Picerno: Capitale dei Diritti”), a conference that took place from April 9 to 11, 2019, in his Italian ancestral home. Picerno is where Vito Marcantonio’s mother, Angelina Dedobitis, was born as were the parents of his American-born father, Saverio Marcantonio.

The Vito Marcantonio Forum was founded on October 3, 2011. Over the ensuing eight years, its goals have been steadily accomplished. Among these successes was the naming, on December 2017, of the northeast corner of the intersection of East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue, “The Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner.” At this site Fiorello LaGuardia—when he served five terms in Congress for East Harlem from 1922 to 1932 before serving as the greatest mayor in the history of New York City from 1933 to 1945. Congressman Vito Marcantonio, and the candidates endorsed by Marcantonio gave campaign speeches on Election Eve. Both LaGuardia and Marcantonio believed that the ritual of giving campaign speeches the night before Election Day at that location brought them good luck.

The naming of the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner represents acknowledgment of the Congressman, his political heritage, and his historical importance in the public sector. This is a symbolically significant act that helped to reverse the historical obliteration of his name and contributions after he died during the anti-Communist hysteria of the 1950s. 

News of that “Lucky Corner” achievement reached the Marcantonio family’s hometown of Picerno, in Basilicata in Southern Italy, that triggered a series of communications that concluded with the aforementioned invitation.

From left to right: Frank Marcantonio, Gale Brewer, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Christopher Bell, LuLu LoLo Pascale, Gerald Meyer, Gloria Quinoñes, and Roberto Ragone.

The government of Picerno, led by Mayor Giovanni Lettieri and Deputy Mayor Giusy Marisco, obtained funding from the Matera Foundation for a three-day conference featuring academic and artistic presentations about the life and times of Vito Marcantonio. The Conference’s related themes, which were rooted in Italian culture and history, showed the Congressman’s continued relevance to the United States and Italy. Matera, also located in Basilicata, had been selected in 2019 as the European City of Culture in celebration of its historical landmarks and archaeological ruins. in light of this decision , the foundation provided opportunities for local towns within the region, like Picerno, to apply for cultural and historical project funds.

The participation of VMF’s honored member Gary Bono and its co-chair Roberto Ragone was written into the budget.

Some months before plans for Picerno’s conference were finalized, Ragone had performed his one-man show—The Purgatory Trial of Vito Marcantonio—to a sold-out house in New York City. His play garnered significant attention through several online publications of the show’s review. 

The conference included a presentation about a book entitled, Etica del Dialogo (The Ethics of Dialogue) by a local author, Gennaro Curcio, which was followed by panelists’ commentary, including Carmine Curcio and Renato Cantore, who was among the first in Picerno to establish contact with the VMF.

The book presentation was held in a historic building where Picerno’s Municipality Council Meetings have taken place, but has now been modernized, for use as a major public venue. 

Saverio Romeo, a Picerno-raised, London-based technology consultant (who coincidentally bears the same first name as Marcantonio’s father) gave Bono and Ragone a tour of that same historic building. This occurred during the book presentation. This historical building includes a cinema library, a display of folk artifacts, including traditional dress from the different towns of Basilicata, and gallery space exhibiting art in the impressionist style by a local artist, Giuseppe Faraone.

Romeo interpreted the various presentations and served as tour guide to organizations, exhibits, and landmarks in the area, including a historic monastery overlooking Picerno.  

Bono and Ragone encountered townspeople who knew that Marcantonio’s intellectual mentor, Dr. Leonard Covello, also from the Potenza area of Basilicata, came from Avigliano, a town south of Picerno.

One woman informed Ragone, “Vito Marcantonio e il mio bisnonno (great grandfather).” 

Older signage for street named Vito Marcantonio; prior to the ceremony with new signage .

Romeo also introduced Bono and Ragone to the Associazione Insieme Onlus (Together Nonprofit Organization), administered by Maria Elena Bencivenga, which helps people with physical and mental disabilities. This organization has curated an exhibit explaining important areas of Picerno’s post-World War II history, including the structure of the Italian constitution, the political martyrs who fought against the Mafia in Italy during the same epoch, and the campaign they fostered against organized crime. 

Romeo also brought Bono and Ragone to a technical high school, Albert Einstein Technical Institute for Electronics and Telecommunications, administered by Domenico Gravante, and housed in a building constructed with funding from the United States after the devastating earthquake of 1980. 

Bono and Ragone took part in a presentation organized by a teacher at the Institute, Dorina Ripullone and Simona Uagli, who interviewed the VMF members for a radio show/podcast.

Left to Right: Ragone, Bono, Renato Cantore, and Saverio Romeo after the book presentation.

Bono and Ragone watched a PowerPoint presentation about Marcantonio prepared by students, and a radio interview (using audio and photos) with one student portraying Marcantonio and another student interviewer asking questions about the past and a few miscellaneous questions about the present (for example, “What is your favorite sport?” “Soccer, of course,” replied Marcantonio.)

Students prepared questions for Bono, Ragone, and Dr. Carmine Curcio: a prominent heart surgeon and arts philanthropist who has published a two-part booklet: one part, summarizing parts of Dr. Gerald Meyer’s, Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician; and the second, a selection of speeches drawn from Annette T. Rubinstein’s, I Vote My Conscience, a compendium of excerpts from Marc’s Congressional speeches, radio addresses, and defenses in court.

The VMF’s ambassadors participated in other activities, including a panel moderated by Cantore, an honorary VMF member, with Bono and Ragone discussing the significance of Vito Marcantonio politically, symbolically, and culturally—to the historical trends of all those in the United States, and Italy, who are seeking a better life for all their categories.

View of Matera, the official European City of Culture from 2012.

The people of Picerno and, more broadly, the region of Basilicata rebelled against the monarchy in the revolutionary movements of 1799; and in contrast to many other municipalities in the south, voted in favor of the Republic as opposed to a Constitutional monarchy in the plebiscite following World War II.  

Panelists even found parallels between Marcantonio’s dedication to public service and the political careers of Antonio Gramsci and Niccolo Machiavelli.   

The scholarly panel was followed by a theatrical program that included Ragone dramatizing Vito Marcantonio’s July 1942 speech defending Italian Americans against discrimination during World War II. In this speech, Marcantonio called those who discriminated against Italian Americans and all other minorities of “playing Hitler’s game.” It just so happened that among the selections Dr. Carmine Curcio translated was the speech Ragone dramatized. This facilitated actor Ernesto Luongo’s rendering this discourse in Italian.  

Artistic Director/Actor Paolo Curcio and Luongo then performed their sketch with actress, Loredana Marcantonio (no relation), wherein two characters explain to a rather dense third character the importance of Vito Marcantonio.

A second sketch entailed bored elementary and high school students sitting against a wall, beneath a sign saying the street is to be renamed for Vito Marcantonio. They share their limited knowledge until a youngster emerges from behind the wall portraying the young congressman to tell them his own story.

The evening concluded with remarks from the Mayor, who invited Ragone to speak. Ragone revealed that his family is from the other side of the mountains from Picerno, in the Diano Valley, in the Salerno province in the Campagnia region.

He used some of the dialect both regions share. Speaking in a mixture of English, Italian, and the Neapolitan dialect, Ragone said: “Vito Marcantonio was a true progressive connected to the people. He wasn’t like some contemporary, elitist liberals that my parents would probably call ‘chiarfuzzi’ (snot noses) – ‘la gente con il nazo a l’aria’ (the people who’ve got their noses up in the air).”

The last day, Luciano Figliuolo and Prospero Carella, who had picked up Ragone and Bono at the airport, escorted them on a tour of Matera. This remarkably well-preserved town with a Biblical essence that served as a set for Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion, produced in 2004, and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s, The Gospel According to Matthew, produced in 1964.

More importantly, Matera was featured in Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli – a loosely autobiographical novel that promoted a scandal that caused the Alcide De Gasperi Administration to remove people living in caves without electric light and running water to homes made for human beings. Levi’s work exposed the scandal as did his sister, a doctor in Torino. Many of the impoverished locals’ families have resided there for decades (perhaps centuries), but were moved to modern housing elsewhere in the town. In the 1960s this history became the focus of preservation and tourism efforts. These efforts led to UNESCO citing Matera’s great significance. When we arrived in Matera, we encountered that there was an exhibit space showing the paintings of Carlo Levi in Matera not far from the entrance to the ruins. 

From left to right: Dr. Carmine Curcio, Gary Bono, Deputy Mayor Giusy Marisco, Mayor Giovanni Lettieri, Actor Ernesto Luongo, Roberto Ragone, Artistic Director/Actor  Paolo Curcio, Actress Loredana Marcantonio.

The visit to Picerno is not only part of a campaign of vindicating Vito Marcantonio as the unsung hero eradicated from history, but also one that validates the investment in emotion, intellect, time, and energy by members of the Vito Marcantonio Forum, which is dedicated to disseminating and sharing knowledge of the life and work of Vito Marcantonio and his mentors, Fiorello La Guardia and Dr. Leonard Covello. The VMF has striven to correct the historical record, which most often has ignored or misrepresented Marcantonio’s unceasing work on behalf of those left out of the American Dream  The VMF applauds his courageous fight for a more authentically democratic United States of America and in the invaluable and important frame of reference for coalition-building. 

The Vito Marcantonio Forum appreciates the hospitality of the people of Picerno, and the people of Picerno feel the same way about having advocates in the United States. As knowledge of Marcantonio grows globally, other interested parties will emerge who appreciate the universal application of his humane brand of politics.

Roberto Ragone

A VMF Member’s praise for the article above:

What a magnificent job this illustrated article is. Molte grazie to all who produced it, especially to Roberto Ragone, who has the makings of a professional journalist. I plan to pass it on to certain persons who will profit and learn from it.

I was especially impressed by the achievements of the native Italians who are contributing to the dissemination of the narrative and legacy of Vito Marcantonio. Their sophistication and cosmopolitan culture should not surprise anyone. After all they come from Basilicata, an integral part of Magna Graecia — the cradle of ancient Greco-Roman civilization — the foundation of our Western civilization. Vito had all that legacy in his DNA!  His very name is Marcus Antonius in the original classical Latin! How asleep are all those who are unaware and/or indifferent to this unparalleled heritage, especially Italo-Americans!  What a magnificent job this illustrated article is. I was especially impressed by the achievements and contributions of the native Italians who are contributing to the dissemination of the narrative and legacy of Vito Marcantonio. Their sophistication and cosmopolitan culture should not surprise anyone. After all they come from Basilicata, an integral part of Magna Graecia — the cradle of ancient Greco-Roman civilization — the foundation of our Western civilization. Vito had all that legacy in his DNA!  His very name is Marcus Antonius in the original classical Latin! How asleep are all those who are unaware and/or indifferent to this unparalleled heritage, especially Italo-Americans!  Enough said!  

Adolfo Freda

UPCOMING VMF EVENTS

1) Sat. November 2, 2019: A screening of Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread): A People’s History of the Italian American Experience. The director, Gianfranco: Norelli and producer, Suma Kirien, will lead a post-screening Q & A. This event will take place at the Mulberry Street Public Library, from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Free admission; light refreshments served. 
2) Sat. December 7, 2019: “Paul Robeson and Vito Marcantonio: Martyrs of McCarthyism
.” This multimedia event will bring dramatic presentations, film, and music to cast light on the shameful persecution of two great American icons. With Maria Lisella, Gerald Meyer, Roberto Ragone, Stephen Siciliano, and more! Time and venue will soon be announced. Stay tuned!

The Vito Marcantonio Forum meets no more than seven, two-hour meetings per year. For the last eight years, this investment of time and effort has produced approximately 60 public events. The VMF has also encouraged educational and cultural production. Please consider joining us in these efforts by contacting us at VitoMarcantonioForum@gmail.com

Gale A. Brewer Receives the Vito Marcantonio Award!

Manhattan Borough President Gale A Brewer

The Vito Marcantonio Forum proudly presented the Vito Marcantonio Award to Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer in a ceremony in New York City’s West Village on June 23rd 2019.

Gale A. Brewer was awarded for her outstanding service to the community that she has served since she began working in politics during the late 1970’s. Mary Anne Krupsak, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York. From 1978 to 1990, she was chief of staff to then-New York City Council member Ruth Messinger.

Brewer served on the New York City Council for 10 years beginning in 2002. Brewer helped to enact legislation protecting domestic workers and has chaired committees that include General Welfare, Higher Education; Housing & Buildings; Mental Health; Technology; Transportation; and Waterfronts—to name a few.

Brewer was ineligible to run for re-election to the City Council in 2013 because of term limits. In February 2013 Brewer announced she would run for Manhattan Borough President. Brewer won the general election on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Since receiving the Vito Marcantonio Award, Gale Brewer has written a thank you letter saying “I write to convey my deepest thanks to you and the other members of the Forum for presenting me with the 5th Vito Marcantonio Award on June 23rd at Gaetana’s Restaurant. I so admire Marcantonio’s compassion for the ‘man in the street,’ his incredible perseverance and unflagging spirit, and the inspiration he gave so many through hard times and long struggles for justice.”

Gale A. Brewer is the fifth recipient of the Vito Marcantonio Award. The previous four are Annette T. Rubinstein, Ralph Fasanella, Pete Pascale, and Melissa Mark Viverito. Gale A. Brewer is married to Cal Snyder. They have adopted several children. Their son Mo Sumbundu carries on the family tradition of working in government at the Empire State Development Corp.

Brewer-receiving-award-June-2019
Holding Gabrielle Napolitano’s poster is (clockwise from left): Gerald Meyer, Maria Lisella, Gale Brewer, Chloe Swift, Adam Meyer, and Roberto Ragone. Photo by: Jennifer Wishnow
Vito Marcantonio commemoration in Picerno, Italy 2019

Picerno’s Commemoration of Vito Marcantonio

We are proud to announce that the hometown of Marcantonio’s family, Picerno, Italy is commemorating Vito Marcantonio with a three-day festival beginning on April 9th, 2019.

VMF founding member, Stephen Siciliano, a journalist who hosts Marcantoniana, published a story just over a year ago covering the Street Naming Ceremony at Marcantonio’s Lucky Corner on East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue in the East Harlem section of Manhattan. Saverio Romeo, a Picerno native currently residing in London, read the story and got in contact with us to inform the VMF of their intention to do an extended version of the VMF’s street naming.

Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner street naming ceremony 2017
Frank Marcantonio Jr, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Speaker of the City Councily Melissa Mark-Viverito, LuLu LoLo Pascale, Gloria Quiñones, Roberto Ragone; Back row: Christopher Bell, Gerald Meyer

The Municipality of Picerno has had the idea of an event on Vito Marcantonio for a long time. Matera, a site of great historical significance, has received from the United Nation the distinction of Capital of Culture. This has helped provide the financial opportunity for developing a commemorative Marcantonio event within a moment of great visibility for the entire region of Basilicata, which is located in Southern Italy, is an explosion of stories, characters, and ideas all coming from its towns and villages.. We all hope the event will be just the beginning of a number of activities celebrating the legacy of Vito Marcantonio, a great defender of human rights.

Various personalities from Avigliano, the hometown of Leonard Covello, the incomparable educational philosopher who dedicated his life to Italian immigrant children, will attend the event in the hope of creating a connection between the two towns based on the Marcantonio-Covello mentorship that evolved into a partnership.

In addition, the event organizers have sponsored two VMF members to attend the Festival in Picerno! The VMF has elected Roberto Ragone and Gary Bono as our ambassadors for this enriching journey that will help promote.

We look forward to hearing a report back from Roberto Ragone and Gary Bono who will share their experiences with Picerno and with those who attend to find ways to continue this valuable relationship.

Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner

Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner street naming ceremony 2017

Left to right: Frank Marcantonio Jr, Esq.; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito; Actor/Activist, LuLu LoLo Pascale; Gloria Quiñones, Esq.; VMF Co-chair, Roberto Ragone; Back row: East Harlem Historian, Christopher Bell;  VMF Co-chair Gerald Meyer.

December 17, 2017
The Vito Marcantonio Forum (VMF) is especially grateful to LuLu LoLo Pascale, a native East Harlem resident and founding member of the VMF, for her dedicated hard work with Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, in accomplishing the goal of naming the northeast corner of East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City, the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner.

The event featured keynote speech from Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito who explained to the large crowd on hand that she is proud to serve the same district that Marcantonio once did.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer explained how Marcantonio’s legacy should serve as an inspiration for all.

Lucky Corner photo with bird 2017 by Gloria Quiñones

Photo by Gloria Quiñones.

Vito Marcantonio’s first cousin, once removed, Frank L. Marcantonio Jr., Esq., shared his family’s pride in connection to the late, great congressman.

Actor/Activist, LuLu LoLo Pascale, performed her “Personal Memory of Vito Marcantonio” that took place when she was a young girl growing up in East Harlem near his headquarters that was just three blocks from the Lucky Corner.

Melissa Mark-Viverito’s mentor Gloria Quiñones, Esq. discussed the importance of Marcantonio’s place in the history of Puerto Rico and how Marc’s legacy can provide a source of guidance for today’s leaders.

The Lucky Corner in East Harlem New York City

Lucky Corner during Marcantonio’s re-election campaign.

VMF Co-Chairman, Roberto Ragone, performed “Marc for Mayor,” which re-enacted a speech Marcantonio gave at a political rally at the Lucky Corner in 1949.

The ceremony was rounded-out by a poetry reading of The Litany of San Vito, a poem dedicated to Marcantonio that was written by founding VMF member and author of seven books, Gil Fagiani.

The Litany of San Vito was read in three languages: Gloria Quiñones, read the Spanish version, and VMF Vice President Maria Lisella read it in Italian and local Historian Christopher Bell. See the video below for an earlier reading by LuLu LoLo Pascale at Woodlawn Cemetery in 2014:

VMF Co-Chairman, Dr. Gerald Meyer, discussed the history of the Vito Marcantonio Forum that he co-founded in 2011, stating that “the Vito Marcantonio Forum looks forward to memorializing other sites associated with the life and work of this great spokesperson of all those who had been left out of the American Dream and advocate for a program of social justice and peace.”

The ceremony commenced with Melissa Mark-Viverito, along with members of the VMF and residents of East Harlem, pulling a rope that unveiled the street sign that was mounted on the corner lamppost.

We have additional pictures of the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner Streetcorner Co-Naming Ceremony posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts that we encourage you to Like, Share, Comment, and Re-Tweet. We also have pictures in our photo gallery that you can find here.

We also want to thank all the press who covered the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner Co-Naming Ceremony, especially AM New York, who ran a great story: https://www.amny.com/news/harlem-vito-marcantonio-1.15498344

The People’s World will be printing an article written by Gabe Falsetta and Gary Bono that we will soon post a link to.

The City Council of New York City’s official press release on the event can be found here: https://council.nyc.gov/press/2017/12/17/1554/

Below is a video of the unveiling of the Vito Marcantonio Lucky Corner street sign that we thank Dorothy He for providing:

What’s been happening around the VMF

If Only I Were That Warrior_alt coverThe last event we hosted was a great success and we want to thank everyone who made it out to the screening of If Only I Were That Warriorthe first full-length feature film from award winning independent filmmaker, Valerio Ciriaci, who was on hand at the event and participated in a panel discussion and Q&A session about the film.

Our good friend and longtime VMF member, Gary Bono, wrote an excellent review of the event for the People’s World that you can read here. Please share it on your interwebs!

Aside from that, our three-weekly occurring Chelsea Rising Reading Circle continue with VMF Co-Chairman, Gerald Meyer discussing Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician by Annette T. Rubinstein. If you are interested in being a part of the reading circle, or if you are looking for more information, please see below…

We look forward to seeing you there!

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

The 4th Annual Commemoration of Vito Marcantonio at City Hall Park in New York 2016

We want to thank everyone who attended the fourth annual commemoration of Vito Marcantonio. More than fifty persons of every imaginable background attended the event held at the exact location where Marc fell dead of a heart attach in 1954.

Vito Marcantonio Forum commemoration 2016 Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Bronx Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito, as well as U.S. Attorney and Easy Harlem Community Activist Gloria Quinones, Gloria spoke about Marc’s tremendous contributions to Puerto Rico right to benefit from its association with the United States while fighting for its independence, and the need to day for pubic officials to follow in his example.

Leading up to the event, we had a banner ad posted on the Indypendent Newspaper’s website. Their online and printed publications represent the best in journalism.

We will soon post a video of today’s event on our YouTube channel. Roberto Ragone did an excellent job writing content, organizing, and emceeing. Below is the run of show so you get an idea of what transpired:

Melissa Mark-Viverito at the Vito Marcantonio Forum commemoration event 2016

Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito

Vito Marcantonio:  Fourth Annual Commemoration

3:00-3:10pm – Roberto Ragone as emcee makes welcoming remarks and introduces Gil Fagiani, who along with Simone Cinotto, will recite his poem, The Litany of San Vito

3:10-3:30pm – Public Officials speak:
  • Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the NYC Council
  • Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
  • Gloria Quinones, East Harlem Community Activist, Attorney, Advocate

3:30-3:45pm – Reading of “The People’s Proclamation for Vito Marcantonio”

  1. LuLu LoLo Pascale

    LuLu LoLo Pascale 2016 commemoration of Vito Marcantonio

    LuLu LoLo Pascale

  2. Simone Cinotto
  3. Gary Bono
  4. Chris Bell
  5. Rita Barakos
  6. Luis Romero
  7. Nicholas Arture
  8. Lionel Francois
  9. Gloria Quinones
  10. Adam Meyer

3:45-3:55pm – Dr. Gerald Meyer on the significance of site of the event|
3:55-4:00pm – LuLu LoLo Pascale performs a dramatization
4:00-4:09 pm – Intro. to dramatization and dramatization of Vito Marcantonio by Roberto Ragone
4:09-4:15 pm Closing Remarks – Dr. Gerald Meyer (on the importance of volunteers and supporting our future events given Marcantonio’s relevance)

Vito Marcantonio Forum pic at commemoration 2016 of Gloria Quinones with Gale Brewer and Gerald Meyer speaking

Professor Gerald Meyer discusses the late, great Vito Marcantonio while community activist Gloria Quinones and Gale Brewer look on.

Italian News Mention of the VMF East Harlem Walking Event

Renato Cantore wrote a great piece on last year’s walking tour that you can see here:

Presto a East Harlem la “Vito Marcantonio Street”

Vito Marcantonio Forum Walking Tour 2015

Gerald Meyer speaking to members of the walking tour. Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito is on the left of the picture.

 

Video of Nelson A. Denis book presentation of War Against All Puerto Ricans

Vito Marcantonio Forum founding member, David M. Giglio, has produced another masterpiece. It’s important that people see it, so please share it on social media, email blasts, and whatever platform you prefer.

Nelson A. Denis’ War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony,  has excellent reviews and it is highly recommended that you purchase the book here.

It’s difficult to describe how moving Denis is… perhaps this picture of the crowd on hand at the event will give you an idea of how enthralling each performance was:

vito marcantonio forum with nelson denis book presentation crowd shot 2016

vito marcantonio forum with nelson denis book presentation crowd shot 2016