In August 1922 the main Left-wing trade unions and parties, early that year united in "Alleanza del lavoro", called for a "legalitarian strike" to protest against fascist action squads, demanding an immediate intervention of the king and the government to stop the escalation of violence. The strike marked that moment as one of great tensions between fascists and working class organizations throughout the whole country. Within three days the formers, thanks to police’s collusion, broke through the working-class resistance almost everywhere, except for two cities, Parma and Bari, where popular barricades withstood the fascists’ siege. This essay reconstructs the defence of the trade unions’ headquarter in the Old Town of Bari through the examination of archive papers and newspapers of that period.
Keywords: First postwar period, militant antifascism, legalitarian strike, arditi del popolo, Di Vittorio, Bari.