Tag Archives: HUAC

High School and the Influences of slavery, Assassinations, and the Vietnam War, by Kathy Green

11 Nov

rail biking with Chuck

Kathy Green was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. After majoring in geology, she became a National Park Ranger for five years. During that time, she met Chuck Kroger [the editor’s brother], whom she married in 1978. They settled in Telluride, Colorado in 1979, where they co-founded Bone (Back of Nowhere Engineering) Construction company. When Chuck died of pancreatic cancer in 2007, Kathy and co-workers continued the company’s projects. Kathy enjoys hiking, running rivers, making art (including silk dying), and working for environmental and social justice in her region.

 

Background: Missouri was the compromise state in the Civil War. Some of my great great great ancestors fought on the confederate side and owned slaves. My mother still has the slave book from that time, recording the births and deaths of the slaves. My mother also was told (oral history) that my fifth great grandfather was a “good owner” because he never broke up families.

I was in first grade in 1956 when Adlai Stevenson was running for president. My family had moved to Webster Groves a year earlier. Webster Groves, a St. Louis suburb, was more conservative and Republican than my family. My understanding is that all of my family had been Democrats since the Democratic Party was formed in the 1830s. A few family “rogues” have married Republicans but their kids have all been born Democrats. I came home in tears one day in late October 1956 because we had had a mock election at school. Out of 30 students in my class, Adlai Stevenson had gotten only six votes. Come election day that November, I was “working the election”—almost six years old, standing the required 100 feet from the door to the school/polling-place door, smiling and trying to hand every approaching voter a Stevenson brochure. Working elections was a family activity. A little metal pin of the bottom of a shoe with a hole worn in the sole is one of my prize possessions to this day. Go Adlai!

At the same time that I was a young child being taught to work elections and work to preserve historic buildings from demolition, my grandfather, John Raeburn Green, and the family law firm were under severe criticism and lost many clients during the McCarthy witch-hunt. My grandfather believed that everyone deserved counsel and he believed in free speech. He took the pro bono case of a man accused of being a Communist and defended him before the Supreme Court (and lost). For that volunteer work, Joseph McCarthy, from the Senate floor, called my grandfather and his law partner (one of the senators from Missouri) communists—a scary and destructive event at the time. Many of my family preferred to be activists that flew “under the radar” after that experience. We were never afraid to be Democrats, to work for social justice, environmental justice, and other liberal causes. We just did not need recognition—especially in the Senate. I didn’t understand the risk completely. I don’t think even my grandfather understood it that well. But I grew up my entire life with this story. My mother said never to tell anyone you were a socialist or a communist.

When I was five, my kindergarten teacher taught us the National Anthem and Dixie, one right after the other. One time when my family went to a ball game, everyone stood and sang the National Anthem. When it was over I started in to sing Dixie. My mom asked what on earth I was doing, and I said, Singing the next stanza. She said, No! Can’t you tell that those are two different songs? I couldn’t; apparently I’m tone-deaf/musically challenged. Throughout elementary school our music teacher had us sing both songs in succession.

 

Our family were big Hubert Humphrey supporters. Once John Kennedy became the Democratic candidate for President, we were all for him. We worked hard to help Kennedy win the election. Many of our friends were Republicans so during the 1960 election and during his presidency, I heard these friends rant and rave against JFK. On Nov. 22, 1963, I was almost 13 years old and in eighth grade. They told us over the junior high school speaker system that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. School was dismissed. I walked out of school confused and upset, into a howling rainstorm. As I tried to find the friends that I usually walked to and from school with, my mother suddenly appeared with my little brother to drive me home. Everyone was crying. At home, the TV was on full time—that never happened in our house; we traditionally watched only an hour or two of TV a day. All our friends came by our house over the next few days. The people that had been ranting and raving against Kennedy were crying and praising him. I found this total change in their feelings startling and confusing.

In my high school, Webster Groves, there were a series of ironic things that happened in my history classes. We were reading about socialism and communism and about sharing the wealth, and it seemed so intuitively obvious that that’s how the world should be run. On the one hand we were practicing duck and cover to protect ourselves from the Communists, but on the other hand we were learning how fair those systems are. Webster Groves was a pre-Civil War town that had had plantations and farms with slaves. Every kid knew disturbing history. In my junior year we had a teacher who was new to the area and kind of young. He started out with a lecture about people who had been slaves taking up the names of their owners after the Emancipation Proclamation. We were sitting there, black and white kids, some with the same last names, and we all knew that Johnny’s great great great grandfather had owned Sally’s family way back. We’d known this our whole lives, and the teacher was giving us this huge lecture. We were thinking, Yeah, so what? The teacher asked if there were any questions, and the black kid popped up and said, Yeah, I’ve got the same last name as he does because his grandfather owned mine. The teacher got a horrified look on his face. Apparently the history teacher didn’t know the history of the town he was teaching in. Things were not always perfect between the white and black students. We knew our history and knew that it wasn’t good or kind, but we felt it wasn’t worth dwelling on. Most of the time, we students wanted to move towards more racial equality. These high school lectures followed being taught to sing “Dixie” along with the “National Anthem” all through elementary school. Strange….

The next year we had Modern European History. A woman teacher started the first class with an introductory lecture. This class had about 20% black and 80% white students, with two random Asian students whose parents were professors at the big universities. The teacher lectured that we all came from Europe and that European history is the most important in the world, and on and on. She stopped and my friend Janet raised her hand. Janet has blond curly hair and blue eyes. Janet said, I am a Cherokee Indian, and this history has nothing to do with me, and why did you say that it did? The teacher said, Oh. She quickly started roll call, and she got to the name Janet Bushyhead. Janet raised her hand. She really was a Cherokee Indian and a princess at that. An Englishman had married into her tribe years and years ago, so lots of Bushyhead family had blond curly hair and blue eyes. Her dad looked much more Cherokee but her grandmother and sisters did not. It was a priceless moment. We were bratty sixteen-year-olds in 1967. To see the look on this teacher’s face. The black students were all smirking. Had one of them challenged her, they probably would have gotten sent to the principal. We thought, how can she lecture us when she could look out across the classroom. Maybe you don’t see the sleeper Indian princess in disguise but you could see the diversity that we did have in this small town.

When I was in high school, my dad became the selective service attorney counselor, so that if you were going to get drafted, you were provided with a lawyer to talk to. This was a volunteer post. It was interesting for me; I was a very shy, gawky, geeky sixteen-year-old high school kid and I was watching the sports stars at my school a year or two older than I who had not gone to college or dropped out and now were being drafted and would come over one evening a week. My dad would come home early. I would sit at the top of the stairs where I could hear what was being said. They were almost in tears. I’d listen to what my dad was telling them about deferrals. There wasn’t much hope he could offer them. It was sad, and some of them never came home. This counseling brought it all alive for me, just like World War II later came alive for me when I traveled in Germany. My mother told me a lot of stories about World War II, and watching this unfold in my younger years brought it all home and understand the impact of being in your teens and early 20s during that war was so incredibly major.

My parents started out tolerant of the Vietnam war; it seemed like something the U.S. ought to do. My dad had served in World War II. It made him grow up but it also distorted the rest of his life. In time my family got more and more angry about the war. Both my grandmothers had these big buttons that said “Grandmothers for McGovern” and were very active in his campaign. That’s one of the things that shaped my high school years from 1965 to 1968. The other thing that influenced me was the knowledge that my great great great grandfather had owned slaves, and then, after “Roots” was aired, to see black people come to our house to look up their family histories in the slave book. Then in the spring of 1968 a lot of dramatic events happened. Martin Luther King was killed, and then the night before I graduated from high school, Bobby Kennedy was killed. It was this weird feeling. I can remember we were having our family dinner before we went to the graduation ceremony, and there were these graduate parties afterwards, and I was sitting there all dressed up in those silly clothes, supposed to be celebrating the biggest event of my life, and we’d just had another assassination. It was really hard to reconcile the two: to go forward with the ceremony and the congratulations and to party that night and the assassination the day before. There wasn’t much alcohol and barely any marijuana at this party because it was 1968 in the Midwest. Five years later everybody would have gotten drunk or stoned to mourn the assassination. But it was a real wake-up call that these things were happening my senior year of high school.

Graduating from high school is a big change in your life, but graduating into a world where assassination was becoming an everyday occurrence was scary. What would college and adult life be like?  [to be continued]

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“Are You Now or Have You Ever…” : HUAC Hearing in Los Angeles, Part 2, by Lenny Potash

29 Jul

This is the second part of Lenny’s story about HUAC in Los Angeles. The first part appeared a week ago.

The SmiLennyPotash - Copyth Act of the early ‘40s had made it illegal to advocate the forceful and violent overthrow of the government. This act was employed mainly against Trotskyists. Then it became dormant for a while. After World War II the Act started to be used again, beginning with the arrest of national Communist Party leaders (including my uncle in New York). As the Cold War developed, Joe McCarthy became a senator and began pointing to hidden communists everywhere, including in the Eisenhower Administration and the U.S. Army. The hysteria ballooned and investigative committees sprang up in both houses of Congress and in a number of state legislatures. During the ‘50s it seemed like the national favorite pastime became listing suspected reds in various industries such as entertainment and in almost all walks of American life, and then trying to purge or blackball them.

By the time of my subpoena, HUAC was becoming increasingly unpopular. For most it no longer evoked the fear it had five or ten years earlier. We felt that its current shotgun approach was a dying gasp, not a meaningful attack. The San Francisco demonstration in 1960 against HUAC, which was brutally attacked by the police, had educated more people about its attack on the Bill of Rights and democratic participation. In addition, the political climate of the country was changing. The Civil Rights Movement had begun and a new youth and student movement was arising. We felt there was an ascendancy of activism and progressive thought that was beginning to change the political climate. At the same time, we were beginning to think that HUAC was running out of juice.

HUAC.LennyPotash. SoCalHearings.Cover

The hearings were held at the old federal building at 300 South Spring Street. Demonstrators encircled the square block around the building. All kinds of people turned out. Many hundreds joined in: students, supporters, civil libertarians, political activists, including many who had been reticent to stand up in the preceding years during the height of McCarthyism. The demonstrators bolstered those of us who had to appear and testify. Even the media presence was decent. Witnesses went in and out, out and in, and then joined the line. Members of the committee were apparently too intimidated to pass through our picket line; a picture captured them as they entered by freight elevator.

I was somewhat nervous and intimidated at the hearing but not seriously frightened. In fact, I felt somewhat confident as I invoked the Fifth Amendment, with my ACLU attorney beside me. I even found mild ways to “play” with the committee, asking them about the relevance of their questions. At one point I interrupted the proceedings to ask them to introduce themselves to me. My lawyer kicked my shin.

HUAC. LennyPotash.SoCalHearings.P.125

[Note: This is the first page of Lenny’s testimony (or lack thereof). The complete transcript is at the end of this article.]

They asked me if I was carrying out the popular front policy of the party and whether I was on its youth commission. One question that particularly irked me concerned a demonstration by the Women’s Strike for Peace. They asked me to identify a photo of myself at that demonstration. “Is this you?” they asked as they showed me a snapshot with one of my kids next to me and another in a baby carriage. In fact, I had been doing childcare while my wife Ida took part in the demonstration. Their questions implied that I was the communist male behind the scene pulling the strings.

Some of their questions mixed me up with my cousin in New York, whose name I share. Of course, the committee knew the answers—or thought they did—to all their questions. But if they could get a witness to answer a question, then they could force him or her to testify against others. No longer could the Fifth Amendment be invoked because you had already admitted you were a member or a participant of an organization or event. After that, if you refused answer their questions and rat on others in that group, i.e. “name names” of whom else may have been present, you could be held in contempt and risk imprisonment. Despite the stated purpose of these hearings—to consider legislation—no legislation was ever introduced. The real purpose of the HUAC hearings was to intimidate, to create a climate of fear and suspicion.

The hearing lasted 20-30 minutes for me and it took a number of days to get through all 60 witnesses.

I was probably less worried than others about the impact of the HUAC appearance because I couldn’t be blacklisted or lose my job. I was a part-time student and “self-employed” as a guitar teacher. Mostly I received support from those I relied on to earn a living and from my social circle.

The drama of the HUAC subpoenas and hearings along with the flurry of activity was memorable and in a number of ways presaged the progressive and activist era of the ‘60s, the dynamic civil rights movement, farm worker organizing efforts, the beginning of the women’s movement, and the growing awareness and ending of the Vietnam War.  We didn’t know it then, but that was the last time HUAC came to Los Angeles. [End of text. Following are the remaining pages of the transcript of Lenny’s interrogation by HUAC.]

HUAC. LennyPotash.SoCalHearings.P.126-127              HUAC. LennyPotash.SoCalHearings.P.128-9

“Are You Now or Have You Ever…” : HUAC Hearing in Los Angeles, Part 1, by Lenny Potash

22 Jul

Lenny Potash is retired labor activist who currently spends much of his time and effort educating and organizing labor support for a publicly funded healthcare system that guarantees everyone a high standard of care without the private insurance industry. He is a New York transplant that has lived in Los Angeles since 1948. In his spare time he makes traditional, labor and political music with others, or can be seen peddling his bike around Atwater, Glendale, Silverlake, and adjoining neighborhoods.

          LennyPotash - Copy          HUAC Button

Part 1.

In early April of 1962, I was awakened around 6 a.m. by a banging on the front door. We lived in a small Echo Park house on a hill about 35 or 40 steps up from the street to the door. I went to the door and was confronted by two “suits.” When they asked for “Leonard Potash” I said that was me. They handed me a subpoena and retreated down the steps. OMG, it was a subpoena from Congress. I was required to appear in a couple of weeks at a hearing of the House Un-American Committee (HUAC) in Los Angeles. By then my wife Ida and our three young children, Robin, almost 5, Arnie, a little over 2, and Cory, 10 months, were all awake.

In a way, I wasn’t surprised.  Long before I joined the Communist Party in the late 1950s, I was a serious political and left activist. As a teenager, I had protested Jim Crow bowling alleys, the lynching of Negroes in the South, the war in Korea, the bombing of a Negro family moving into a West Adams white neighborhood, the death penalty, anti-Semitism, the prosecution of the Rosenbergs and Morton Sobel, and the blacklisting of teachers who refused to sign a loyalty oath, to name a few. I had joined a number of politically left youth organizations including the Jewish Young Fraternalists and the Labor Youth League.

Lenny ca. 1958 with his mother

Lenny ca. 1958 with his mother

But then I thought, Why have they chosen me? They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Although I’d been a political activist since puberty, I still didn’t think I had reached the threshold to warrant congressional attention.

Despite all my political activism, the ‘50s was a pretty unstable time for me. I felt isolated and intimidated by the hostile political climate. At times we were attacked on picket lines. I and most of the activist community felt we were being surveilled (which I obviously was). I had personal issues too. In 1952-53 I dropped out of high school. Although I later took classes at Los Angeles Community College, it was difficult for me because I lacked study habits and discipline. That was also true when it came to holding down a job without much experience and work habits. I got married, and not too long after, Ida and I had three kids in fairly quick succession.

In this round of interrogations, HUAC had subpoenaed 60 people in all. The Committee had taken a “shotgun” approach—that is, cast a wide net over people from all different communities, ages, organizations and interests. I was 26 and one of four or five “youths” in the catch. There were also groups of Latinos, labor activists, professional, and other activists in the group. In the past, these “investigations” by HUAC had tended to target activists involved in a particular area (labor, medical, students, civil rights, etc.)

The subpoena sparked all kinds of activity in the progressive community. A flurry of meetings called by the (possibly ad hoc) Committee to Preserve American Freedoms and led by Frank Wilkinson, was held over the next two weeks at a suite of rather run-down offices located at 555 North Western Avenue. [Note by ed.: A lifelong progressive political activist, Frank Wilkinson was caught up in the McCarthy style redbaiting when he defended a major public housing project, Elysian Park Heights, for the Chávez Ravine section of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Dodger Stadium eventually occupied the site.]  There was coordination between a variety of groups: civil liberties, student groups, some churches, and other progressive organizations. What was hoped to be a large demonstration against HUAC was planned for the days the Committee would be holding hearings. A media campaign was prepared. The American Civil Liberties Union offered free legal counsel for all subpoenaed. This was a first for them. A student subcommittee was formed to “welcome” HUAC to Los Angeles. We felt energized. We believed we could turn out supporters. And we did!  [To be continued in Part 2.]

HUAC OrganizingNewspaper.P5 - Copy     HUAC OrganizingNewspaper.P3 - Copy - CopyHUAC OrganizingNewspaper.P4

[To be continued. Watch for Part 2]

“Could She Be a Communist?” The San Francisco HUAC Hearings, by Kitty Kroger

18 Jul

Kitty Kroger is the editor of this blog. She is also the author of a novel, Dancing with Mao and Miguel, about the seventies, and lives in Los Angeles.

In 1961 I was a senior at Riverside Polytechnic High School in southern California. I had a first-year speech teacher, not much older than her students, named Miss Singler, who seemed very “radical” to me (whatever that meant). As far as I could tell, she and my chemistry teacher were the only teachers in the whole school who were concerned about the political and social events of the day.

In San Francisco in 1960, Miss Singler had in some way been involved in the HUAC  (1) hearings and the police attack on the steps of City Hall  (2). The whole thing fascinated me. It was the first time I’d ever heard about McCarthyism or demonstrations.

HUAC San Francisco2

I’d led a very sheltered small-town life in Kalispell, Montana until I was 13, and then we moved to a suburban community in California. My parents voted conservatively but rarely discussed politics. I didn’t read the newspaper and had no familiarity with or interest in current events. My thoughts were full of philosophical questions such as Does God exist? and What is the meaning of life? My aspirations and my attention in those days lay in attending a liberal arts college, getting a grounding in the Classics and philosophy, and becoming an “intellectual.”

Miss Singler showed us a film of the police attacks and we all discussed it. (3) We students were indignant and ready to take some action. Miss Singler organized us for an event: the PTA had invited parents to a showing of that same film in the auditorium, with the purpose of revealing how student radicals—most likely communist-infiltrated—were a threat to our innocent children and our democracy.

Finally the day arrived. As I recall, students from our class sat in the very back row. When it came time for questions, we were to speak up. Which we did. I don’t remember the discussion or the outcome. What I do remember is feeling confused. Miss Singler brought out incipient feelings of rebellion and indignation in me at the injustice of the hearings and the police attacks. But I didn’t fully comprehend the issue. And I felt uneasy, mistrustful, of someone who was so critical of society as I had always “known” it. Although I don’t recall hearing anything about communism or McCarthyism in my childhood, somehow I must have absorbed the paranoia of the time. At some point, I finally decided to ask my father about it.

“Dad, do you think Miss Singler might be a communist?”

I find it quite remarkable that, given his conservative background, my father seemed completely indifferent to exploring the politics of Miss Singler. What he said I will never forget:

”Don’t ever say that about anybody!” (4)

Notes:

1.  The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, investigated allegations of communist activity in the U.S. during the early years of the Cold War (1945-91). Established in 1938, the committee wielded its subpoena power as a weapon and called citizens to testify in high-profile hearings before Congress. This intimidating atmosphere often produced dramatic but questionable revelations about Communists infiltrating American institutions and subversive actions by well-known citizens. HUAC’s controversial tactics contributed to the fear, distrust and repression that existed during the anticommunist hysteria of the 1950s. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, HUAC’s influence was in decline, and in 1969 it was renamed the Committee on Internal Security. Although it ceased issuing subpoenas that year, its operations continued until 1975.  [Source: http://www.history.com/]

2.  Radio reporter Fred Haines describes those events [of May 13, 1960] below:

The “Friends of the Committee” gathered just to the right of this line (the line of students who had been waiting for several hours) . . . . As I watched, (Police Inspector Michael) McGuire opened a way through the center barricade and began to admit the white card holders one at a time; for a moment the waiting crowd paused, and then an angry roar went up. Those in the rear, who were halfway down the stairs and couldn’t see what was going on began to edge forward and in the resulting crush began to press the flimsy saw-horse barricade toward me and the police officers who leaped forward to hold it. Angry cries of “Hold it! Stop pushing!” came from those in front; the barricade held and the police pushed it back to its original position . . . .

The Barricade back and the crowd quiet, McGuire suddenly noticed that the white card holders, who were still filing through, included in their number some students–he lunged forward and grabbed one of them roughly. The student wrenched himself free, shouting angrily, “I’ve got a white card!” McGuire taken aback, let go and seized another by the lapels of his jacket–the young man thrust a 35mm camera in McGuire’s face and tripped the shutter. Again McGuire let go, and several students managed to slip into the Chambers.

. . . Already the singing was beginning again . . . There was only one last move; the picket monitors and others began passing the word to sit down on the floor . . . .

Four or five minutes had passed since the doors were closed on the expectant crowd, and the crisis was safely over. I supposed that the police might begin wholesale arrests shortly, but the possible eruption of violence had been neatly averted, with the vast majority of the crowd safely self-immobilized on the floor . . . .

Moments later, an attorney who was representing two of the witnesses made his way across the rotunda and arrived behind the barricades just in time to see McGuire opening one of the hydrants. He ran over to the officer shouting, “You can’t do this to these kids.” McGuire shrugged him off. An officer behind the center barricade picked up the nozzle of one of the fire hoses which had been unrolled from the floor and pointed it at several students sitting just beyond the barricade. “You want some of this?” he shouted. “Well you’re going to get it.” One of the young men waved at him and kept on singing. A trickle dripped from the nozzle, a spurt, bubbly with air–and then the hose stiffened with the full pressure of the water, which blasted into the group of seated demonstrators.

The rotunda seemed to erupt. The singing broke up into one gigantic horrified scream. People fled past me as I ran forward, trying to see what was going on; a huge sheet of spray, glancing off one granite pillar, flashed through the air in front of me, and I retreated . . . .

For the first time I had a moment to think, to take stock of the situation . . . . during the past few minutes they’d dumped thousands of gallons of water inside a public building, causing several thousand dollars worth of damage (not counting whatever human injury there had been). And they had accomplished nothing. Perhaps 50 people of the 200 had fled . . .  . now they had 150 people wet, angry, and injured, most of whom were rooted to the spot and determined to make as much noise as ever before. (Free Speech Movement Archives. http://www.fsm-a.org/stacks/AP_files/APHUAC60.html)

Police violence during the “riot”… resulted in the arrest of 68 persons. [Source:  Alice Huberman and  Jim Prickett (Free Speech Movement Archives. http://www.fsm-a.org/stacks/AP_files/APHUAC60.html)

3.  Operation Abolition. The House Committee on Un-American Activities labeled the demonstrations “Communist inspired” and proceeded to produce the now famed film, Operation Abolition, which purported to give the facts about the events in San Francisco. This film was shown throughout the country during 1960 and 1961, and actually turned into the opposite of what the makers intended; the student movement used it quite successfully to educate people about repression. The Northern California ACLU produced a film called Operation Correction, which discussed falsehoods in the first film. Scenes from the hearings and protest were later featured in the award-winning 1990 documentary Berkeley in the Sixties. [Source:  Alice Huberman and  Jim Prickett (http://www.fsm-a.org); Wikipedia]

4.  FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who is certainly in a better position than anyone else to know the truth about all Communist Party operations in this country, has prepared an official report on the riots entitled “Communist Targets— Youth.” The report was released by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in July 1960. Five pages of this 10-page report are devoted to factual material on exactly how the Communist Party planned and carried out the San Francisco demonstrations and riots, including the dates and places of party meetings, decisions made at them, subsequent actions taken, and the names of Communist Party members and officials involved. This factual data is preceded by this statement:

It is vitally important to set the record straight on the extent to which Communists were responsible for the disgraceful and riotous conditions which prevailed during the HCUA hearings.

HUAC.J.Edgar

Toward the end of his report, Mr. Hoover summarized the Communists’ role in the riots in these words:

The Communists demonstrated in San Francisco just how powerful a weapon Communist infiltration is. They revealed how it is possible for only a few Communist agitators, using mob psychology, to turn peaceful demonstrations into riots.

Months later, after certain sources had given nationwide circulation to the claim that the riots were not Communist-inspired, Mr. Hoover addressed the American Legion convention in Miami (October 18, 1960) and reiterated his statement concerning Communist responsibility for the riots:

The diabolical influence of Communism on youth was manifested in the anti-American student demonstrations in Tokyo. It further was in evidence this year in Communist-inspired riots in San Francisco, where students were duped into disgraceful demonstrations against a Congressional committee.

These students were stooges of a sinister technique stimulated by clever Communist propagandists who remained quietly concealed in the background. These master technicians of conspiracy had planned for some time to use California college students as a “front” for their nefarious operations. This outburst was typical of these cunning conspirators who constantly play active, behind-the-scenes roles in fomenting civic unrest in every conceivable area of our society.

Still later, in his year-end report to the Attorney General of the United States, submitted on December 22, 1960, Mr. Hoover stated that in the future:

the Communists hope to repeat the success which they achieved on the West Coast last May in spearheading mob demonstrations by college students and other young people against a Committee of Congress.

Finally, on March 6, 1961, in an appearance before a House Appropriations Subcommittee, Mr. Hoover testified as follows concerning the San Francisco riots:

A most significant single factor surrounding the mob demonstration was the Communist infiltration of student and youth groups engaged in protest demonstrations against this congressional committee. Through this infiltration, Communists revealed how it is possible for only a few Communist agitators, using mob psychology, to convert peaceful demonstrations into riots.

The success of the party’s strategy was vividly demonstrated by the violence which erupted at the San Francisco City Hall where the committee hearings were held. The San Francisco debacle was not an accident. It was the result of minute and skillful planning, direction, and exploitation by a handful of dedicated, fanatical, hardcore members of the Communist Party, U.S.A.

One of the targets of the Communist Party is to step up its infiltration of youth organizations and the demonstration at San Francisco which occurred last year was typical of their efforts.

[Source: California Digital Library (http://www.cdlib.org)]