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Reposted from Hellraisers Journal by JayRaye

It is a privilege and a duty even by sacrifice
to advance our priceless cause.
I am therefore ready to receive the sentence this court should declare itself
without either authority, right or justification to impose.
-John R Lawson

Tuesday May 4, 1915
Trinidad, Colorado - Strikers' Hero John Lawson Found Guilty, Given Life Sentence

1914 Strikers Policy Committee, United Mine Workers of America John McLennan, President District 15 E. L. Doyle, Secretary-Treasurer District 15 John R. Lawson, International Board Member from District 15 Frank J. Hayes, International Vice-President
Strikers Policy Committee of U. M. W. A.
John McLennan, President District 15; E. L. Doyle, Secretary-Treasurer District 15;
John R. Lawson, International Board Member from District 15; Frank J. Hayes, International Vice-President
John Lawson was found guilty of the murder of the deputized company mine guard, John Nimmo, yesterday in Trinidad, Colorado. The jury spared him the death penalty, and imposed a sentence of life in prison. Before the sentencing, Lawson issued a long statement which Hellraisers will publish in full tomorrow.

From South Dakota's Lead Daily Call of May 3rd:


John Lawson with Olive and Fern from Day Book of April 23, 1915, Last Edition
Jury Arrived at a Verdict
This Afternoon and Fixes Penalty
at Life Imprisonment

By Associated Press-

TRINIDAD, COLO., May 3.-The jury trying the case of John R. Lawson, charged with the murder of John Nemmo [Nimmo], a deputy sheriff, on October 25, 1913, this afternoon returned to court with a verdict of first degree murder, fixing the penalty at life imprisonment.

John R. Lawson was charged with the murder of John Nimmo, a deputy of Las Animas county who was killed in a battle between deputies and striking coal miners near Ludlow on October 25, 1913. Lawson is the member of the International executive board of the United Mine Workers of America for District No. 15. He was one of the prominent leaders in the recent coal miners' strike in Colorado.


[Photograph added.]

Below the fold we offer press coverage of the trial leading up to the verdict.
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Reposted from S Kitchen by S Kitchen

The following was crossposted from the Raging Chicken Press.   There are more links and audio of Vereb comparing union workers to Baltimore Rioters on the original page.

Last week was a banner week for Pennsylvania Republcians when it came to itchy twitter fingers and making extremely stupid statements on the Baltimore Rebellion.  State Representative Stephen Bloom got the ball rolling by blaming the situation on President Obama.  State Representative Mike Vereb retweeted a meme of President Obama taking a selfie in front of a burning CVS, which was not picked up by the media, and then later in the week, Vereb went on the Dom Giordano radio show and compared union workers to rioters in the city.  Then Congressman Mike Kelly made some pretty flippant remarks about the levels of poverty experienced in Baltimore.  On Sunday morning, Keystone Progress blasted out an email that quoted the Congressman saying “This is turning into anarchy and you have people doing things that are absolutely horrible and then saying, ‘oh it was just because I wasn’t given a chance,’ oh my God, give me a break…” on another conservative talk radio show.

Over the past few months, I have posted some of the dumber things that State Representative Mike Vereb has released on twitter.  Vereb is a former police officer from suburban Philadelphia and a corporate security guard for Comcast, and according to his legislative website, he was a sponsor of the unconstitutional bill that attacked Mumia Abu Jamal’s right to speak out from prison.  Then a couple of weeks ago, State Representative Dom Costa – another former police officer – stated that he and Vereb are spearheading legislation that would make it a crime to taunt a cop in public because of emotional reasons.

Since I am blocked from Representative Vereb’s personal Facebook page, an astute reader of the Raging Chicken Press forwarded me Representative Vereb’s cover photo that he has been using since December, and man oh man, it is this photo a dozy.  While “typing leik dis,” Vereb has posted photos that some can describe as anti-protester, possibly racially charged and definitely pro-cop.  The representative called President Obama the “emperor of the United States” after the president’s immigration executive order, called for the arrest of Ferguson demonstrators outside of an Eagles game for inciting a riot that never happened,  posted photos on Facebook of getting a police escort through Center City Philadelphia while Ferguson solidarity demonstrations were going on, and claiming “Blue Power” while attending a Penn State Football game at Yankee Stadium after the non-indictment of the cops who chocked Eric Garner to death.

On the Represntative’s Facebook account, he has a cover photo from the pro-police blog The Police Wife Life that is titled STOP BLAMING THE POLICE!  The photo reads:


Less than a million officers in the US, 313.9 million residents in the US.  Only 245 police per 100,000 residents.

12 million arrests per year.  34,000 arrests per day.  400 fatal police shootings per year.  Less than 1% who encounter police die.  99.9% who encounter police….LIVE!

Every 58 hours an officer dies on duty.  Over 58,000 officers assaulted each year.  Only 245 officers per each 100,000 persons.  760,000 officers for 319.9 million people.

Police kill less than one percent of those they encounter and the vast majority are justified.

Right, no wonder why Representative Vereb think’s it’s a great idea to make taunting a police officer some sort of felony in Pennsylvania.  I mean taunting a police dog is a class three felony, so what will taunting a cop be?  According to the photo Vereb has on display and, most likely his whole entire attitude toward Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Kimani Gray and other young black men killed at the hands of police officers, the vast majority of police related killings are justified so they’re just dead and shit out of luck?

But let’s save the best part of the photo for last…

And for those who like to throw the race-card 91 percent of blacks are killed BY MEMBERS OF THEIR OWN RACE.  ALMOST 500 MORE WHITES DIE EACH YEAR THAN BLACKS.  [Emphasis not my own]
For our readers purposes, the blogger makes it known that she is married to an African American cop.  Putting that aside let’s talk about some of these claims.

First off.  No one really knows how many “justifiable” homicides there are at the hands of police officers each year.  That “400” figure comes from police departments self reporting police related killings because there is no federal requirements or database that keeps track.  The number can be as much as three times the original claim.  One website, Killed by Police tracks “corporate news reports of people killed by nonmilitary law enforcement officers, whether in the line of duty or not, and regardless of reason or method,” and the “inclusion implies neither wrongdoing nor justification on the part of the person killed or the officer involved. The post merely documents the occurrence of a death.”  According to the website, there have already been 392 police related killings in 2015, in 2014 there were at least 1,101 incidents and in 2013 (from May 1 to the end of year) there were 770 police related killings.

The second point is this racially charged trope of “black on black” crime.  As mentioned above, the photo claims that 91 percent of murders within the African American community are “black on black” murders, and the same can be said about the white community.  Last November, the Washington Post fact checked Rudy Giuliani after he made an appearance on Meet the Press and claimed that 93 percent of murders within the black community are black on black crime.  According to the FBI, murders in the white and black communities are intraracial and rarely cross racial boundaries.  The FBI Uniform Crime Report shows that 90 percent of murders in the black community are intraracial, and in the white community, that number is 83 percent.

The Washington Post goes tackles most of the other claims that the photo in question raises.  For instance, the photo claims that less than 1 percent of all police encounters are fatal and justified.  Probulica discovered that black men were 21 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than their white counterparts.

Reposted from Anti-Capitalist Meetup by NY brit expat

One hundred and twenty-nine years ago today, history was made at the Haymarket Square in Chicago, Illinois.

This piece of history was so critically important to the lives of working men and women ever since that time that almost every nation on Earth, the United States of America alone excepted, celebrates its laboring population on the first of May.

I feel that we here on the Anti-Capitalist Meetup and related Groups here on Daily Kos need to remember what happened on that fateful May evening in 1886, and the heroes who sacrificed their lives so that their fellow workers might have access to reasonable working and living conditions.

For more on this important story, please join me below the fold.

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Reposted from Hellraisers Journal by JayRaye
You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Monday May 3, 1915
From the Appeal to Reason: H. G. Creel Series on the Walsh Commission in Texas

Tenant Farmer from Oct 1914 with text
Today's Hellraisers presents the third installment of H. G. Creel's coverage of the investigation made by the Commission on Industrial Relations into the conditions of tenant farmers in Texas and Oklahoma. The Walsh Commission was in session in Dallas in March and heard remarkable testimony of the wretched conditions under which the tenant farmers live, notwithstanding the back-breaking toil undertaken by the entire family, from small children to aged elders.

Creel maintains that the plutocrats hate the Walsh Commission because of the relentless questioning of witnesses by Chairman Frank P. Walsh. We have reprinted the entire article by H. G. Creel below the fold.

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Reposted from Hellraisers Journal by JayRaye

I am down at the Fleetwood whenever they want to put me in jail for violation of the law.
Come along for me, come.
There is coming a day when I will take the whole bunch of you and put you in jail.
-Mother Jones

Saturday May 1, 1915
Indianapolis, Indiana - Mother Jones Thinks of "Her Boys" on Her Birthday

From today's Indianapolis Star:

Mother Jones, 83 Today, Thinks of "Her Boys"

Mother Jones in West Virginia Military Bastille, 1913
Mother Jones in the Military Bastile
at Pratt, West Virginia, 1913
"I have spent one birthday in jail and missed spending the last one by only a few hours, but I'd be willing to spend all of them in prison if it would be of any help to my boys," said Mrs. Mary Jones, known as Mother Jones to thousands of admiring union labor men everywhere in America, yesterday afternoon. Mrs Jones had been at the Hotel Severin for several days and she recalled, just before she started to the Union station to take a train for Washington that today is her eighty-third birthday anniversary.

Mother Jones will spend a part of her birthday anniversary, after her arrival in Washington, with Terrance V. Powderly, former head of the Knights of Labor. Mrs. Jones said she and Powderly were "warriors together" at one time, and added that her eighty-first anniversary was spent in a military prison at Pratt. W. Va., and that she missed spending her eighty-second in a prison in Colorado only by a few hours. In both instances she had been placed under arrest for her efforts in behalf of striking miners.

[Photograph added.]

Mother Jones in the Military Bastile at Walsenburg, Colorado, 1914:
Mother Jones, Military Bastile, Walsenburg Cellar Cell, Colorado, 1914
Below the fold we offer two more articles regarding the recent trip made by Mother Jones to Indianapolis where she met with the officers of the United Mine Workers of America at the union's international headquarters in that city.
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Reposted from S Kitchen by S Kitchen

No, really folks.  A Pennsylvania Republican, Mike Vereb, went on a conservative radio show based out of Philadelphia and compared unions to Baltimore Rioters.  

Of course there's some back story to this.  For the past 3 years, Pennsylvania's ALEC style think-tank, The Commonwealth Foundation, has been pursuing laws that would make it illegal for union workers to follow bosses around town and protest outside of their place of residence.  Laws that allow unions to commit these acts of free-speech date back to the 1930's and conservatives want to change that.

Last year, a group of Philadelphia Ironworkers, the president included, were charged and convicted of arson and intimidation, and the right-wing used this high profile incident to push really hard pass the legislation while Governor Corbett was still in office - and failed.

The GOP has renewed their efforts in curbing these not so subtle acts of direct action and have already passed a bill out of the Senate.  While on the radio show, Vereb was asked about this law and said the following:

They inflate their rats or they do whatever they do.  But destructing property in Baltimore style tactics is just not something any of us want and I think that legislation will ultimately be sent to the governor.
You can read the full report and listen to the radio conversation HERE:
Reposted from Hellraisers Journal by JayRaye
You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Friday April 30, 1915
Trinidad, Colorado - State Rests In Murder Trial of John R. Lawson, Union Leader

John Lawson & Mother Jones, Wichita Beacon, Kansas, Apr 22, 1915
John Lawson with Mother Jones
From the South Dakota Lead Daily Call
   of April 28, 1915:
Defense will Begin Its Part of the
Murder Case Tomorrow.

TRINIDAD, COLO.,  April 28.-...The state this morning rested in the case of John R. Lawson, the union labor leader, charged with murder in connection with the killing of Nimmo, a deputy sheriff, after a number of witnesses had testified that they had seen Lawson at Ludlow on the day of the battle when Nimmo was killed.

Below the fold, Hellraisers features reporting on the prosecution's case against John Lawson who is charged with the murder in the death of John Nimmo, a deputized mine guard who was killed as striking miners defended the Ludlow Tent Colony from attack on October 25, 1913.
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Reposted from Hellraisers Journal by JayRaye
You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Saturday April 29, 1905
Chicago, Illinois - Federal Injunction Issued Against Striking Chicago Teamsters

International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Charter with AFL
Since last Hellraisers reported on the Chicago Teamsters' Strike, that strike has been declared off, then declared on again, and has now spread across the city. Yesterday, according to the Rock Island Argus of Illinois, a federal injunction was issued against the teamsters:
Chicago, April 28.-Federal Judge Kohisaat today granted an injunction to the Employers' association restraining all persons from interfering with the movements of the association's wagons upon the streets or in the alleyways or obstructing business of members of the association. The in junction is returnable May 10. It is specifically directed against the teamsters' joint council of Chicago...

The injunction was issued on the grounds that the Employers Teaming company, is a corporation organized in West Virginia and being a corporation of a foreign state has a right to protection under the federal government. As soon as the injunction was filed in court 750 copies of the order were given to United States Marshal Ames. Six deputy marshals were called into Ames' office and given instructions to serve the papers at once.

Today, below the fold, Hellraisers features reporting on the Chicago Teamsters Strike from the Argus covering the past several days of the escalating strike situation in the city of Chicago.
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Reposted from Hellraisers Journal by JayRaye
You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Wednesday April 28, 1915
Trinidad, Colorado - Mine Guard Testifies Lawson Ordered Miners to "Shoot to Kill"


1914 Strikers Policy Committee, United Mine Workers of America John McLennan, President District 15 E. L. Doyle, Secretary-Treasurer District 15 John R. Lawson, International Board Member from District 15 Frank J. Hayes, International Vice-President
Colorado Strikers Policy Committee, United Mine Workers of America
John McLennan-President District 15, E. L. Doyle, Secretary-Treasurer District 15,
John R. Lawson-International Board Member from District 15, Frank J. Hayes-International Vice-President
Over the past two days damaging testimony has been given against John R. Lawson who is on trial for murder in the death of the mine guard, John Nimmo. Nimmo died of gunshot wounds he received while engaged in a battle, October 25, 1913, against the striking coal miners of the Southern Colorado.

Thad Sowder, mine guard and broncho buster, was fighting along side of Nimmo when Nimmo was shot. Sowder testified that he assisted the wounded mine guard to the rear and was with him when he died.

Charles Snyder is a man who appears to enjoy playing both sides against the middle, and to profit from that enterprise. Snyder has been a mine guard, then a member of the United Mine Workers, and, eventually, a bodyguard for union officers. He denies that he was paid by both sides at the same time, although he did admit, under cross examination, that he was now "indirectly in the employ of the Baldwin-Felts detective agency."

Snyder testified that Lawson ordered the miners to "shoot to kill," and that Mother Jones told the men in the Ludlow Camp: "Don't sit here like a lot of numbskulls, but get out and fight."

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Reposted from S Kitchen by S Kitchen

Teamsters President James Hoffa was in Hershey this week for the annual Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters.  At the conference, Hoffa was interviewed by Rick Smith, host of the Rick Smith Show, and at the beginning of the interview, Hoffa called "bullshit" on President Obama's TPP strategy.

Here's the portion of the interview:

Rick Smith:  I gotta talk about this trade agreement.  In the opening we had President Obama saying "You can trust me.  I am not going to sign these trade agreements."  Yet he signed KORUS, Panama, Columbia and now this?

James Hoffa: Well, everybody in Washington is talking about this.  I mean this is the biggest issue right now.  They call it TPP - Trans Pacific Partnership, and I always call it NAFTA on steroids.  This thing is huge.  It covers the entire Pacific, and there's an idea here.  Obama's got this idea that we're going to surround China.  Well that's bullshit.  You're not going to do that.

Hoffa then goes on to raise questions about the deals secrecy and why it is not being released to the public.  You can listen to the rest interview here.
Reposted from Hellraisers Journal by JayRaye
The girls and women by their meetings and discussions come to understand and
sympathize with each other, and more and more easily they act together...
So we must stand together to resist, for we will get
what we can take just that and no more.
-Rose Schneiderman

Thursday April 27, 1905
From The Independent: Rose Schneiderman Tells the Story of a Cap Maker's Life

Rose Schneiderman, 1905
Rose Schneiderman
In today's edition of The Independent, Rose Schneiderman, the young leader of the New York Cloth Hat and Cap Makers Union, tells the story of her life in New York City where, at a young age, upon the death of her father, she was forced to quit school and assist with the care of her younger sister and brothers. As a young working woman, she became determined to organize her workplace, and did so in short order.

Miss Schneiderman, although only twenty-three years old, is already a member of National Board of her union, the United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers Union of North America. She has also recently joined the Women's Trade Union League of New York.

The article, "A Cap Maker's Story," was written soon after the New York City Cap Makers returned to work having successfully settled their strike against the open shop drive of their employers.

Miss Schneiderman states that working women are beginning to understand the importance of organizing and standing together to fight for better conditions:

The girls and women by their meetings and discussions come to understand and sympathize with each other, and more and more easily they act together.

It is the only way in which they can hope to hold what they now have or better present conditions.

Certainly there is no hope from the mercy of the bosses.

Each boss does the best he can for himself with no thought of the other bosses, and that compels each to gouge and squeeze his hands to the last penny in order to make a profit.

So we must stand together to resist, for we will get what we can take just that and no more.

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Reposted from Anti-Capitalist Meetup by NY brit expat
Esperanza Quintero: Whose neck shall I stand on to make me feel superior, and what will I have out of it? I don't want anything lower than I am. I am low enough already. I want to rise and to push everything up with me as I go.
JayRaye does so much of a better job chronicling Southwestern labor struggles in DK so here the emphasis is on thinking about a notion raised earlier, about cultural capital and cultural labor. More specifically how mediated an understanding of labor in the full-length feature Hollywood film was historically constrained but not totally politically neutralized by the McCarthy era of The Blacklist. A reexamination of those issues has occurred since then including the rehabilitation of many of the original members of the Hollywood Ten and cinematic biopics have been attempted ranging from Woody Allen's The Front among others mentioned below. What seems still vital to discuss is that the cinematic apparatus has a political economy that extends beyond the production process on both sides of the camera to the distribution, circulation and consumption of cultural capital commodities.
Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television was an anti-Communist tract published in the United States at the height of the Red Scare. Issued by the right-wing journal Counterattack on June 22, 1950, the pamphlet-style book names 151 actors, writers, musicians, broadcast journalists, and others in the context of purported Communist manipulation of the entertainment industry. Some of the 151 were already being denied employment because of their political beliefs, history, or mere association with suspected "subversives". Red Channels effectively placed the rest on the industry blacklist
Every profession and every cultural unit has a blacklist whether it's the informal gossip in the workplace or even in DK with its various versions of trolling. Similarly the Blacklist era continues however informally and dictated by capital as chonicled in"You'll never have lunch in this town again", and more recently in the hacking of Sony internal correspondence. Ideological motives abound not only with the former event but with the recent American Sniper movie manufacturing heroism. But labor heroism is more than the stories of Norma Rae, Silkwood, or Erin Brockovich. Like Harlan County USA, the documentary genre gives a closer examination of the historical circumstances from which struggle can derive and even in the examination of labor processes that transect classes can some activist lessons be derived even in fictional constructions much different that the citizen digital video records we are now getting from unjust police power. Imagine that you could watch the documenting of your beating or shooting on your mobile device as you get killed.

In the latter instance viral images of unarmed persons being shot in the back by pursuing police are visceral images that have a kind of "wage" however cognitive or affective and whose value becomes further mobilizing in an era of social media. Many of the same policy issues are being revisited currently, government secrecy and prosecution in the name of national security including the revisiting of the goals and even the offspring (Koch Brothers) of some of those same oppressors from the McCarthy era. That there are still institutional and industrial issues of corporate media versus independent production and that the relative scale of these enterprises signifies the asymmetry of capitalist power and control over the distribution system. How independent is the unedited/modified work of cinematic artists when one has an Independent Film Channel network (IFC) owned by AMC in the US that still shows commercial advertisements.


Clinton Jencks, born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1918, was a labor organizer in New Mexico. In 1954, he was convicted of lying about being a member of the Communist Party of the United States. During his trial, the government refused to produce documents relied upon by prosecution witnesses who were FBI informants, a move that prompted the passage of the act.

Clinton Jencks starred in the 1954 movie Salt of the Earth which was a dramatized version of his struggles organizing labor.

Having had an opportunity to view this film in high school and college during a period when it was difficult to even get copies of the film, this was an important moment to understand, as a matter of cinematic historiography, that film making as cultural practice had an important role beyond propaganda and which is now being expanded in digital social media. And the creative labor of making stories about labor are the kinds of histories important to the current struggle given how much of the demystification discourse in DK is to debunk the role of working people as irrelevant to the professional managerial classes, and to suggest that the continuing alienation of creative labor as a class is no different than at any moment in history with the dependence on institutional patronage or capital to realize projects of a collaborative/collective scale significant to contribute to political and social change. In the European socialist context that has not been an issue whereas the US bears much of the blame for producing mind-numbing dreck that structurally depends on an economic system less interested in the transformation of consciousness than in the production of accumulated capital and surplus value.
A drama film, based on the making of the film, was chronicled in One of the Hollywood Ten (2000). It was produced and directed by Karl Francis, starred Jeff Goldblum and Greta Scacchi and was released on September 29, 2000 in Spain and European countries. It has not been released in the United States as of 2011.

The troubled career of blacklisted director Herbert Biberman, who endured a considerable struggle to make the 1954 pro-Labor film Salt of the Earth, provides the centerpiece for this historical drama. The film opens at the 1937 Academy Awards, where Biberman's wife, Gale Sondergaard (Greta Scacchi), wins the first ever "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar. Although the anti-Fascist sentiment in her acceptance speech gets her labeled a "commie" by some observers, she and Biberman (played here by Jeff Goldblum) are placed under contract at Warner Bros. Ten years later, with Cold War paranoia growing, a group of predominantly Jewish Hollywood directors -- Biberman, Sondergaard, Danny Kaye, and Dalton Trumbo among them -- are labeled Communists and questioned before Congress. Refusing to name names, Biberman is thrown in prison for six months; his wife's similar refusal to testify severely threatened her career as well. After his release from prison, Biberman, no longer able to work in Hollywood, strikes out on his own with other blacklistees, producer Paul Jarrico (John Sessions) and writer Michael Wilson (Geraint Wyn Davies), to make Salt of the Earth. Biberman's production is far from easy, however, as it comes under attack from both the FBI and redneck vigilantes. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi

Cineaste review The many 50th Anniversaries of Salt of the Earth

The Hollywood Ten

Herbert J. Biberman
Lester Cole
Edward Dmytryk
Ring Lardner Jr.
John Howard Lawson
Albert Maltz
Samuel Ornitz
Adrian Scott
Dalton Trumbo
Alvah Bessie
More fascinating has been the RW attack by such reactionaries as Ann Coulter on a forthcoming biopic on Dalton Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston.
Bryan Cranston’s mustache practically won its own Emmy at August’s award ceremony, but the Breaking Bad star was already hard at work on his next big project. Cranston was letting it grow to play Dalton Trumbo, the successful Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted by the studios after he failed to cooperate with Congress’ House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947.

Trumbo, directed by Jay Roach, tells the story of the writer’s stand against the communist witch-hunt at the height of the cold war, his professional exile, which included an 11-month stint in prison for contempt of Congress, and his battle with powerful red-hating gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren).

Trumbo—who had been a member of the communist party during World War II when the Soviets were a major American ally—was punished for his principled stand for free speech and the Constitution, and the ensuring uproar, in which others like Elia Kazan did name names, ripped Hollywood apart. Eventually, Trumbo found his way back into Hollywood, writing several scripts under pseudonyms during his exile. Two of them—Roman Holiday and The Brave One—won Academy Awards, and in 1960, Kirk Douglas weakened the blacklist when he publicized Trumbo’s work on Spartacus.

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