The Anarchist Encyclopedia:
Born Borgo San Donnino (Parma), May 27, 1879; died December 11, 1958 in Carrara.
Biographical/historical note :
Alberto Meschi is one of the beautiful & beloved figures of the Italian anarchist movement. A self-taught anarchist & worker, in 1905 he emigrated to Argentina & during his four years there emerged as a libertarian & trade-union leader. Expelled in 1909, Meschi returned to Italy, where he headed the Trade Union Headquarters of Carrara, guiding the fights of the apuani cavatori & the workers of Versilia.
Captured at the front lines during WWI, upon release he resumed his militant labor activities in Carrara until the rise of Fascism forced him to repair to France in May of 1922.
In 1936 Meschi fought in Spain in the Rosselli Column until to the fall of the Republic. He returned to France, where he was interned in a concentration camp until the end of 1943 when he returned to Italy, joining the resistance movement & heading the CLN & the Trade Union Headquarters of Carrara until 1947.
For the next 20 years or so the anarchist trade union paper "Il Cavatore" was dedicated to him.
The city of Carrara has erected a monument to him:Alberto Meschi
The contrasts between man and society, the deep comprehension of the problems of quarry men, their feelings and personality, found their proper dimension in the great labour leader Alberto Meschi, to whom the Carraresi demonstrated their deep admiration with a monument in his honour , sculpted by Nelli and situated in Piazza Gramsci.
Meschi was born in 1897. After having been expelled from Argentina, he came to Carrara in 1911 where he undertook his political carreer in the anarchic movement and where, thanks to his honest conduct, he became a most respected trade unionist. His task was the mediation between the working classes and the political leaders; and it was in view of this project that he tried to guarantee a certain independence and stability within the Trade Union Headquarters, thus stopping the continuous and chaotic changing of power between rivaling political parties which had taken place in the past. In addition, Meschi started the newspaper Il Cavatore (The Quarry Man), another revolutionary paper, similar for its content, to the socialist newspaper La Battaglia (The Battle) and the anarchic ‘94.
The fierce personality of Alberto Meschi, his libertarian and revolutionary spirit, immortalized by the marble, have impressed a deep sign in Carrara and in its people.
See MASSIMILIANO GIORGI: Alberto Meschi e la camera del lavoro di Carrara 1911-1915 --nel sindacalismo d'azione diretta prima della grande guerra (499 pages; Carrara 1998)
ROLLAND Hugo Rolland, IL SINDACALISMO ANARCHICO DI ALBERTO MESCHI. (Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1972; Collezione "Quaderni dell'Istituto Storico della resistenza in Toscana", n°1.) (reissued by Samizdat, 1996).
Alberto Meschi Papers
Added 12/11/2001; links checked/updated December 2005
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