Abolish HUAC: End the Inquisition Now!
In 1962 some brave people dared to demonstrate against the anti-communist inquisition being carried out by the House Un-American Activities Committee in Los Angeles. The anti-communist inquisition of those days was aimed at the Hollywood mass media and the schools, primarily, but extended into every area of society. Loyalty oaths had to be signed to keep your job or get into schools. Dissenters, whether communist or not, were hounded out of the media, out of teaching, out of jobs and their professions, evicted from rental homes, pilloried in the press and ostracized from society. The arrogance of the inquisitors permeated everything, including families, led by politicians with excessive power and abetted by hangers-on and followers eager keep their jobs and to climb the ladders of power. 1962 was not too many years after the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag got changed (1954) to add “Under God,” in flagrant violation of the separation of church and state doctrine that under laid our democratic constitution since the founders. I was in grammar school at the time and remember the school meeting that took place in the auditorium of the old Garfield Elementary School’s brick building on Foothill Blvd. in Oakland, CA, to tell us all what the new words were and to practice it. That was the last time I ever pledged allegiance to any flag. While some of us may have escaped the awful conformity imposed by these inquisitors, society as a whole fell into line. The anti-communist crusade formed the foundation for building the national security state that rules today without regard to our constitutional rights, now threatening the very existence of democracy in the world.
This photo by Harvey Richards shows the police on top of their car (with the police ensignia on the door) photographing the demonstrators. In 1962, the scandal was not that the police were over reaching their powers. The scandal was that people dared to protest. Today, in 2013, with the Edward Snowden revelations about the NSA mass spying coming out, the scandal is exposing how far the forces of inquisition have over reached their power by spying on virtually everyone on earth. They are being exposed and widely condemned around the country and around the world as we all wake up from the nightmare of conformity that led to the NSA usurpation of our democratic rights. The future of democracy depends on bringing the inquisitors down and restoring our democratic society. It will not be easy because the roots of the inquisition go very deep.