Dissent Is Patriotic. It’s Also a Powerful Antidote to Propaganda.

In 1961, the ACLU successfully fought back against McCarthyism and demonstrated that lies can wither in the face of truth.

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Demonstrators protest the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings at San Francisco City Hall in 1960.

“If you’re to be called a communist every time you stand up for basic American rights and freedoms, what’s likely to happen? Will you be silent? And if so, is this what the House Committee on Un-American Activities is really after — a silent, submissive, un-protesting America?”
-Ernest Besig, “Operation Correction,” 1961

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The ACLU News announces “Operation Correction.”
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The author’s grandfather and family was under FBI surveillance for labor organizing and affiliation with the Communist Party.
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Demonstrators picket the 1960 HUAC hearings in San Francisco.
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During the three days of HUAC hearings, people protest inside City Hall and throughout San Francisco.
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The San Francisco Police Department turn fire-hoses on student demonstrators and drag them down the steps of City Hall and out to police paddy wagons. (Photo far left courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.)
“Operation Abolition” was produced by HUAC.
“Operation Correction” was produced by the ACLU of Northern California.
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Scholar and KPFA broadcaster William Mandel testifies before HUAC in San Francisco — famously declaring, “If you think that I am going to cooperate with this collection of Judases, of men who sit there in violation of the United States Constitution, if you think I will cooperate with you in any way, you are insane!”

ACLU

For nearly 100 years, America's guardian of liberty

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