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Writer & Historian

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Histories

Indiegogo starts Salt fundraiser

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January 22, 2015
Indiegogo starts Salt fundraiser

My second history film, Remembering Salt, is in the editing stages now. We have funding to complete most of the work but could use some help with post-production and distribution costs. If you want to make a contribution, go to this site: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/remembering-salt-cold-war-in-a-canadian-town/x/9665858  
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Local MLA salutes Salt showing

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December 28, 2014

On 26 November 2014, Katrine Conroy, member of British Columbia legislature for Kootenay West, praised the showing of the blacklisted film Salt of the Earth at the Castle Theatre in Castlegar, B.C.  Here is here statement as recorded in Hansard, the official report of the legislature debates. Katrine Conroy – MLA statement – Hansard – 26...
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Banned film brings tears, laughter, solidarity

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November 24, 2014
Banned film brings tears, laughter, solidarity

Blue skies brightened the crisp Sunday afternoon in mid-November 2014 when I arrived at the old Castle Theatre in Castlegar, British Columbia, carrying a copy of the banned 1950s film Salt of the Earth. It was the day after a local election and I expected post-election hangovers would probably keep all but ardent churchgoers...
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Salt of the Earth Local 890 decertified

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October 27, 2014
Salt of the Earth Local 890 decertified

To many labor historians and labor activists across North America, it was a heavy blow to learn that Local 890, the union that was the star of the historic 1950s blacklisted film Salt of the Earth, had voted to decertify in September. One PNLHA member, lamenting the passing of the historical local union, said...
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Remembering Salt – A history booklet and video

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October 18, 2014
Remembering Salt – A history booklet and video

Sixty years ago, the blacklisted Hollywood movie Salt of the Earth showed to 900 curious viewers at the Castle Theatre in Castlegar, B.C. On November 16, 2014, in a celebration of this heroic battle against the spread of McCarthyism, about  150 people of the West Kootenay region again saw Salt in the very theatre that showed it...
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The Underpants Speech – A Work in Progress

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July 23, 2014
The Underpants Speech – A Work in Progress

Justice Minister Louis St. Laurent, destined to be Canada’s prime minister, made no secret of his dislike for Communists. In mid-March 1948, he officially announced that “Canada is cracking down on labour-union communists fleeing from the anti-communist Taft-Hartley labor law of the U.S.”Both the Trades and Labour Congress (TLC) and the Canadian Congress of...
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Goodwin country – A Conference Report

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June 21, 2014
Goodwin country – A Conference Report

Once again, the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) outdid itself in organizing a fine annual conference. This one was uniquely set in Cumberland, B.C., an area rich in labour history June 13-15. It was unique in a second way as well in that it coincided with the Miners’ Memorial Weekend, featuring a graveside...
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Oregon’s Doukhobors – A History Essay

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March 13, 2014
Oregon’s Doukhobors – A History Essay

  When American Legion commander George Love spoke to a gathering of concerned residents at Junction City, Oregon, in late August 1924, he warned of the imminent danger of allowing a group of Russian immigrants to establish a colony on the rich farm land along the Willamette River. Some of the local residents were...
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Humble Word Warrior – A Book Review

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January 15, 2014
Humble Word Warrior – A Book Review

After being prodded, cajoled,  and possibly even guilted into it by people like me, Ed Finn has finally published his memoirs. Who’s Ed Finn? some of you might ask. Fair question…if you haven’t been observing Canadian left politics for the past 70 years. For that long, Finn has served as a tireless journalistic voice...
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Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout – A Video History

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September 5, 2013
Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout – A Video History

Joe Hill hid out at the Rossland Miners’ Union Hall after writing “Where the Fraser River Flows” in support of a Wobbly strike in the Fraser Canyon area. Truth of urban legend? Follow the progress of this video history project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rverzuh/joe-hills-secret-canadian-hideout
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Books