HUMAN & CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS


Thank you for visiting www.hrcr.org. This website is no longer being updated. March 26, 2008

"WASN'T THAT A TIME?"

A Century of Struggle. A Century of Repression.

Photographs by Bud Shultz
Interviews by Ruth and Bud Shultz

In times of intense political hysteria, in times of great struggles for economic and political rights, and in times of actual or impending wars, the government has responded to dissent by suppressing it in violation of the very principle that defines us--the right of free expression. Police have attacked peaceful protesters with deadly force. Courts and congressional inquisitions have pilloried persons guilty of no offense but harboring unpopular beliefs. Secret police have spied upon citizens and wreaked havoc upon their personal and political lives. Loyalty boards and other government agencies have destroyed the reputations and livelihoods of "undesirables", interned them in concentration camps, and expelled or sought to expel them from the country. Political repression in America has been brutal and doggedly persistent.

Yet, during the course of a century of struggle, seemingly impossible victories have been won: The absolute control of the workplace was wrested from employers; the overt system of white supremacy was dismantled; and the hand of warmakers was stayed. Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, gays, women, environmentalists, too, have fought for some measure of economic and social justice. By insisting on their right to dissent despite the personal price they paid, they all have made democracy more secure for those who will continue their struggles into the next century.

The title, "Wasn't That A Time," was taken from a song by that name by Lee Hayes and Walter Lowenfels. The statements accompanying each portrait were excerpted from It Did Happen Here: Recollections of Political Repression in America, and from a companion volume in progress to be entitled, The Price of Dissent.


Jack Miller Scott Nearing Sonia Kaross Philip Mellman Harry Deboer
Herb March Minoru Yasui Stanley Nowak Arthur Drayton Gil Green
Otto Nathan Anne Braden Pete Seeger John Randolph Chuck McDew
Jack O'Dell Fred Shuttlesworth John Lewis Margaret Herring Abbie Hoffman
Akua Njeri Chic Canfora Daniel Ellsberg Scott Camil Jill Raymond
Leonard Peltier Linda Hajek Dessima Williams Albert Turner Margaret Randall
Roberto Jose Maldonado Darlene Nicgorski

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