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From national security threat to J. Edgar Hoover's pal - the FBI file of California congressman Jack Shelley

From national security threat to J. Edgar Hoover’s pal - the FBI file of California congressman Jack Shelley

Labor organizer, Californian congressman, and mayor of San Francisco John Francis “Jack” Shelley is typically cited among the most prominent figures on J. Edgar Hoover’s “Emergency Detention” list of “subversives” that were to be arrested if war with the Soviet Union became “inevitable.” However, as Shelley’s FBI file shows, being marked as a potential threat to the country didn’t stop Hoover and Shelly from enjoying a cordial, if not down downright friendly, relationship during the latter’s time on the Hill.

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The ATF once suggested that Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers Union bombed themselves

The ATF once suggested that Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers Union bombed themselves

When we first looked at Cesar Chavez’s FBI file, the Bureau was questioning the young labor organizer’s integrity. Decades later, a different Department of Justice component cast doubt on Chavez and the union he ran - even going so far as to suggest they had bombed themselves for the “publicity.”

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FBI thought Cesar Chavez was only into labor organizing for the money

FBI thought Cesar Chavez was only into labor organizing for the money

Cesar Estrada Chavez, Mexican American icon and prominent leader of an historic strike of California farm workers, was the subject of hundreds of pages of FBI correspondence throughout the ’60s, speculating on the nature of his humanitarian and civil rights activism - much of which seems to suggest skepticism in regard to the sincerity of Chavez’s intentions.

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