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Remembering Salt – A research note

March 20, 2016

Labour-Le Travail publishes Salt article in Fall edition

Remembering Salt coverCold War historians have uncovered much evidence to illustrate how the political intolerance of the early 1950s manifested itself in some Canadian cities. However, little has been revealed regarding McCarthyism’s impact on the country’s non-urban communities nor has there been significant exploration of the Cold War resistance that was mobilized in small Canadian towns. Events at Trail, British Columbia, in the early 1950s offer examples of such resistance. One such event involved a radical trade union’s use of a unique cultural weapon, the blacklisted movie Salt of the Earth. This article documents the struggle to show Salt in Trail and the rest of North America in defiance of the political repression incited by United States Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate committee hearings, Communist witch hunters like former U.S. President Richard Nixon, the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities (HUAC), and Canadian authorities compliant to the demands of U.S. anti-Communism. The article also argues that current Canadian and U.S. anti-terrorist legislation is renewing fears that the political intolerance that faced Salt filmmakers, and those who dared to show the film, are again on the rise.


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