War in Paterson is a character-driven drama that will be told through the eyes of 10
participants in the events of the 1913 silk strike:
A 24-year-old mother with a 4-year-old son who was a picket line captain, was arrested a number of times, and went on to become a CIO organizer and official in Paterson in the late 1930s. (That 4-year-old, Ralph Golzio turned a spry 102 on October 20, and we have interviewed him on camera; he is the last living participant in the Paterson strike; we also have a two-hour audiotape interview with Carrie Golzio in which she sings strike songs).
A 17-year-old picket line captain for her mill, was repeatedly arrested and jailed. She co-produced the Paterson Pageant with John Reed and led the strikers into Madison Square Garden. She disappeared from public view after the strike, married and died without telling her sons that she had been a leader of the strike. (Hannah is quoted in articles in the Paterson Evening News, New York Times and New York Call, and is praised by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn in Solidarity. We interviewed her 19-year-old great-granddaughter on camera, and will also interview her son).
The most important of the IWW leaders on a day-to-day basis, was already a veteran labor organizer and a skilled orator at age 22. Her affair with anarchist Carlo Tresca had just splashed across the New York tabloids the month before the Paterson strike began. She later became a leader of the Communist Party. (Flynn wrote a chapter of her autobiography about Paterson, wrote an article on the strike in 1914 for Solidarity, talked about Paterson in a taped oral history interview and is quoted extensively in various newspaper and magazine articles on the strike).
The voice of the Italian strikers and a major presence throughout the strike. Tresca gave his famous “blood for blood” speech at the funeral of a slain striker and reprised it on the Madison Square Garden stage during the Paterson Pageant. He was assassinated by mobster Carmine Galante in New York City in the early 1940s, most likely as a result of his anti-fascist campaign against Mussolini and his U.S. sympathizers. (Tresca wrote a chapter of his autobiography about Paterson, and is quoted extensively in various newspaper and magazine articles on the strike).
The IWW’s national leader, saw the strike as a way to develop a revolutionary consciousness in Paterson's 25,000 silk workers. Haywood was deported to the Soviet Union during the Red Scare in 1919 and is buried near the Kremlin Wall. (Haywood wrote a chapter of his autobiography about Paterson, and is quoted extensively in various newspaper and magazine articles on the strike).
The writer who covered the strike for The Masses, wrote a great firsthand account from inside Paterson's jail and was the chief writer of the Paterson Pageant; Reed went on to cover the Bolshevik Revolution and is buried near Haywood in the Kremlin Wall. (Reed wrote extensively about the strike for The Masses).
One of the most radical of the IWW activists and urged the use of sabotage, but Haywood insisted on a nonviolent strike. Sanger reprised her role in the Lawrence, Massachusetts, “Bread and Roses” strike by organizing the "exodus" of the children of Paterson strikers to live with New York families, and was jailed in Hazleton while trying to get Pennsylvania's silk workers to come out in sympathy with the Paterson strikers. She later left the labor movement to found Planned Parenthood. (Sanger wrote an article about her experience in Paterson for Solidarity, wrote about the strike in her autobiography, and is quoted in various newspaper articles about the strike).
A skilled weaver, turned his Haledon home over to the strikers as a headquarters and was blackballed along with his four daughters by the mill owners after the strike ended. (We will interview Pietro’s granddaughter, Bunny Kuiken, and Angelica Santomauro, executive director of the Botto House Museum, on his experience).
The Paterson police captain, was promoted to police chief after the bloody 1902 anarchists strike with a mandate to keep “law and order” on the streets of Paterson – a task he accomplished by arresting hundreds of picketers, imprisoning IWW speakers, and suspending free speech and assembly. (Bimson is quoted extensively in newspaper accounts on the strike).
A leading Paterson silk manufacturer. His plan to force his 800 weavers to man four looms instead of two so he could cut his workforce in half sparked the Paterson strike, and his decision to establish “overflow factories” in eastern Pennsylvania enabled him to starve the strikers back into submission. (Doherty testified before the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations and is quoted extensively in newspaper articles on the strike).