Friday, August 1, 2014

1950 USA Dissident Detention Centers (Concentration Camps)

As the Red Scare mounted in the U.S. of the latter 1940s, reactionaries and their Congressional allies moved to enact blatantly repressive legislation. An early example was the viciously anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Witch-hunting Federal and state anti-radical "hearings" mushroomed.   The Attorney General's "Subversive List"  -- summarily and arbitrarily outlawing hundreds of organizations -- was quickly initiated.  Criminal prosecution for simple beliefs multiplied rapidly.
In 1950, the Internal Security Act -- named the McCarran Act after Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada [who was also known as the "Senator from Spain" for his undying admiration of the Fascist Franco] -- was enacted with much flag-waving and drum-beating.  Among its many provisions was the infamous Subversive Activities Control Board -- and another provision provided for the concentration camp incarceration of radicals or suspected radicals during any one of several President-decreed states of "national emergency." Old concentration camps -- i.e., those used to hold Japanese-Americans during World War II -- were reactivated; new camps were built.  Full rosters of camp personnel were hired. The FBI quickly began to feather out its existent radical lists -- and to develop a variety of new ones.
Many, many thousands of Americans were placed on these lists.
All of these -- and other poisonous fruits of this hideous epoch -- constituted blatant and massive violations of the U.S. Bill of Rights   at every point.
Under U.S. pressure, the Canadian government moved in a similar witch-hunting direction.
In early October, 1952, the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee which worked very closely with J. Edgar Hoover et al. -- and which included Pat McCarran and racist U.S. Senator Jim Eastland of Mississippi and others of that ilk -- came to Salt Lake City to conduct "hearings" designed to attack the radical, militant,  democratic, equalitarian International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers [formerly the Western Federation of Miners] and its leadership.
The Union, fighting hard as always, courageously put, among other places, the following advertisement. 
The Internal Security Act was finally repealed in 1971.

Hard To Believe But . . .There Are Concentration Camps In America:  SPEAK UP, AMERICA!
published 1952-10-06 in the Salt Lake City Tribune 

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