From October 1950 to January 1952, the Mexican American miners at the Empire Zinc mine in Bayard, New Mexico were on strike, protesting the racial discrimination between them and their Anglo counterparts in pay, safety standards, and quality of life in company housing. Two events make this particular strike stand out from similar strikes at other mines are the involvement of the miners' wives in both requesting better living conditions and later in taking to the picket lines themselves, and after the strike was over, the feminist and pro-labor docudrama made by blacklisted Hollywood film makers, Salt of the Earth (YouTube; lower quality on Archive.org; Wikipedia). [more inside]
"All my life I’ve focused on the poor. The rich ones have their own photographers."Social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin's 'life was about seeing. In the literal sense, he was an optometrist. In a more figurative sense, through the lens of his camera, he saw things and people that were often ignored — the poor, the oppressed, the "forgotten ones," as he called them.' "A librarian in Buffalo's Communist Party, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957, and was named "Buffalo's Top Red" in the Buffalo Evening News. Losing business and facing intense social persecution, Rogovin turned to photography in order to create images that conveyed his desire for a more equal and just society, and to give voice to others who were persecuted, who were invisible to most." Mr. Rogovin died on January 18th at his home in Buffalo at the age of 101. Previously on Metafilter [more inside]
The strange saga of Harvey Matusow, "most hated man in America". Said to be the most notorious of the paid perjurious snitches for the Communist witch-hunters, married 12 times, gave LSD to Robert F. Kennedy, tangled with Roy Cohn, was prison buddies with Wilhelm Reich, recorded a psychedelic Jews Harp record, started the rumor that smoking dried banana peels gets you high (as an act of revenge against Chiquita Banana), wrote one of the first how-to books on computer hacking. [via]
"In the most recent issue of the Arms Sales Monitor, the Arms Sales Monitoring Project finds that the War on Terror has provided the U.S. military with an excuse to begin arming regimes that had previously been blacklisted for human rights abuses, weapons proliferation, or brutal conflict" - Federation of American Scientists. The content of this document gives rise to a range of issues. Can arming new friends with advanced weaponry strengthen the long-term security of the U.S, or will this ultimately ensure renewed hostility arising from an apparent readiness to take sides in foreign conflicts?? One year on from 9/11/01, has the moral high-ground implied by the 'War Against Terrorism' been fatally eroded by turning a blind eye to the questionable ethics of 'friendly' states (the records of the Saudis, and arguably, the Israelis and others, may also be a case in point)?