Mike Giocondo

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Mike Giocondo


Michael Krois-Giocondo was a Chicago Communist Party USA activist. He was married to Carroll Krois, since 1978

In 2014 Mike Giocondo died in the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, one week after being admitted for heart failure.

He is survived by Carroll, his brother Gerald Giocondo of Warrenton, Va., his niece Janice Beaucar of Middletown Conn. He was preceded in death by his sister Gloria Whistler.

Background

Giocondo was a member of the Camden 28, the group that broke into Camden, New Jersey's Federal Building in 1971 to destroy draft board files they said would be used to prosecute the war in Vietnam.

At different times in his life Giocondo was a journalist in the mainstream media, a Catholic brother, a labor reporter for the Daily World and later the Peoples World, a union organizer and a member and supporter of the Communist Party USA. Throughout all those years he was a fighter for peace and justice.

Mike Giocondo, the second of three children of Michael and Virginia Sposato Giocondo, was born and grew up in Syracuse, NY, attended LeMoyne College there the first year it opened and completed his bachelors degree in journalism at the University of Maryland in the mid-1950s.

Giocondo's first job as a reporter was with the Post in Frederick, Md. Then he moved back to Syracuse and worked as a night reporter for the Post-Standard.

He entered the Conventual Franciscan Friars in Syracuse, passing his novitiate year in Watertown, N.Y. He served in Washington, D.C. at a Franciscan House affiliated with Catholic University.

He asked to be stationed at a mission outside the U.S. and was sent to San Jose, Costa Rica at a Franciscan school where he taught English. Many of his vacations in Costa Rica were spent visiting missions outside the city where he would have preferred to have been stationed. Wanting more meaningful work, Giocondo planned to leave the Franciscans but was persuaded to go to a parish in Camden, N.J. to work with the Latino, predominantly Puerto Rican community. He helped obtain a grant to found El Centro, a social service agency and published the Center's newsletter.

Giocondo left the Franciscan Order in the early 1970s and began to train as a substance abuse counselor with the State of New Jersey. He was fired from this job when he was arrested inside the Camden Selective Service Office as a member of what is now known as the Camden 28.

Their story is told in the award winning documentary, The Camden 28 : "In 1971, a group of 28 people," wrote Liz Larabee in a review, "including four Catholic priests, one Lutheran minister, and 23 Catholic laypeople, ranging in age from 20 to 46 organized a break-in at Camden, New Jersey's Federal Building to destroy draft files, in hopes of wrenching an unjust system out of commission 'in the name of that God whose name is peace.'"

The Camden 28 were members of what the media then called the "Catholic Left," one of the most persistent and inventive forces in the anti-war movement. Between 1967 and 1971, the Catholic Left raided over 30 draft boards and destroyed almost 1 million Selective Service documents, and the Camden 28 were seeking to continue those tactics in that summer of '71.

Communism

After the group's acquittal, Giocondo traveled to the Soviet Union and then began covering the labor movement for the Daily World in 1974, working primarily in New York City.

In 1978 he married Carroll Krois and in 1979 they moved to Chicago so she could attend graduate school in social work. He continued to write for the Daily World from Chicago, calling in his stories daily for transcription in New York until a huge "portable" computer was delivered to his apartment.

Eventually Mike stopped working at home and began to work at the Peoples World and Communist Party of Illinois offices. Throughout the 1980's Mike traveled in the Midwest covering the struggles of coal miners, steel workers and meat packers among others. He was thrilled to cover Harold Washington's winning Chicago mayoral campaign. [1]

Last years

Mike retired from reporting at age 62 and began his final career as a teacher of English as a Second Language at outposts of Olive-Harvey College, finally working at the South Chicago Center from which he retired at age 77. He was an active union and board member of his local.

He retired in large part due to a diagnosis of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

Giocondo and Carroll discovered Amelia Island in Florida in the winter of 2013, bought a condo, and left in December, 2013 to spend the winter. His heart disease worsened and he was hospitalized on March 16, dying a month later.[2]

People's Daily World

In 1986 Giocondo was a Staff Writer for the Communist Party USA newspaper People's Daily World[3]

Communist Party's May Day Salute

In 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper People's Weekly World, published a "May Day salute" to the "heroes in the class war zone". More than 100 unionists/activists endorsed the call, mostly known affiliates, or members of the Communist Party.

Mike Giocondo, AFSCME Local 3506, Chicago, was one of those listed[4].

Communist Party Labor Day call

The Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World issued a statement to mark Labor Day 1995, entitled "We honor the dead and fight like hell for the living."

Of the more than 100 endorsers listed, almost all were identified members of the Communist Party USA.

Mike Giocondo, Chicago, was on the list.[5]

Communist Party USA

In September 2006 the Peoples Weekly World[6]listed several members, or supporters of the Illinois Communist Party USA.

Joan Elbert, Barbara Russum, Bea Lumpkin, William Appelhans, Bill Mackovich, Carolyn Black, Carroll Krois, Dee Myles , Doug Freedman, Frank Lumpkin, John Bachtell, Kevin Collins, Lance Cohn, Mark Almberg, Marguerite Horberg, Martha Pedroza, Mike Giocondo, Pepe Lozano, Roberta Wood, Scott Marshall, Shelby Richardson, Sijisfredo Aviles, Sue Webb, Terrie Albano.

CCDBR board

The Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights board as of 2009 was[7];

President: Robert H. Clarke

Vice Presidents: Brenetta Howell Barrett, Mike Giocondo; Treasurer: Don Goldhamer;

Secretary: Anna Nessy Perlberg;

Directors: Timuel Black, Mabel Brail, Luster Jackson, Carol Heise, Milton Herst, Bennett Johnson, Lillian Margolis, William Martin, Nancy Mikelsons, Lewis Myers Jr., Odie Payne III, Ruth Tregay Siegel, Robert Starks, Oscar Worrill

Saluting workers everywhere!

In 2009 the Peoples Weekly World carried an article "Saluting workers everywhere!"

Our unity makes Wall Street tremble
Employee Free Choice and universal health care!
A 'green', demilitarized, democratized economy that works for all!

Illinois Readers of the PWW signed the article.

Terrie Albano & John Bachtell - Jon Allen - Sijisfredo Aviles - Eric Robert Berdell - Carolyn Black & Bill Appelhans - Owen Brill - Helen Boothe - John Bradley - Docia Buffington & Abdul-Aziz Hassan - Cathy Campo & Kevin Lindeman - Cristobal Cavazos, Tania Brown & Anita Naoli - Andrew Chebuhar - Dean Christ & Joan Phillips - Ben Cline - Carmen Cohn & Lance Cohn - Alison Cooper - Clarice Durham - Joan Elbert - Thomas Fineberg & Maxine Fineberg - Oscar Forsman - Connie Hall - Ahmad Hassan - Harold Hill - Dajiang Hu - Marge Gamboa - Mike Giocondo & Carroll Krois - Luster Jackson - Ed Jenks & Mary Jenks - Earl R. Jones - Kenneth Kapel - Molly Kelly & Dallas Brown - Angela Larson & Bamshad Mobasher - Jim Lange - Joyce Lightfoot - Stephen Livingston - Guadalupe Lozano - Pepe Lozano - Bea Lumpkin & Frank Lumpkin - Megan Marshall - Scott Marshall & Roberta Wood - Bill Mackovich - Damien Matthews - Donn Miller - Stanley Moe - Ken Nelson - Tom Pace - Ted Pearson & Kathy Pearson - Martha Pedroza - Hector Pedroza - Shelby RichardsonMark Rogovin & Michelle Rogovin - Barbara Russum -Armando Santos - Tom Shepherd - Evelyn Swan - Ruth Tregay -Kevin Tyson - John Wojcik.[8]

References

  1. [ http://peoplesworld.org/mike-giocondo-85-fighter-for-justice-at-home-and-abroad/PW, Mike Giocondo, 85: Fighter for justice at home and abroad by: Special to PeoplesWorld.org April 23 2014]
  2. [ http://peoplesworld.org/mike-giocondo-85-fighter-for-justice-at-home-and-abroad/PW, Mike Giocondo, 85: Fighter for justice at home and abroad by: Special to PeoplesWorld.org April 23 2014]
  3. PDW Dec. 9.
  4. People's Weekly World May 6 1995 p 2
  5. People's Weekly World Sep 2 1995 p 14
  6. We salute the labor movement!, People's World, September 1, 2006
  7. http://www.ccdbr.org/
  8. PW, Saluting workers everywhere! by: ILLINOIS FRIENDS OF PWW may 1 2009