Ã¯Â»Â¿The Appalachian Tragedy, page 5 Harry Caudill; photos by Arthur Tress
photographs: Dicran Derderian, pages 8-9
Yossarian is 47 years old now, page 10 Darrell Rice
And the black lung fight continues, page 13 David Holwerk
A fizzadelic report on the Governor's drug conference, page 14 Chuck the Trucker
verse: Short Takes, by Anselm Hollo
covers, front and back: photographs by Arthur Tress
The blue-tail fly is published monthly by blue-tail fly, inc., P.O. Box 7304, Lexington, Ky. 40502. We still like to think of ourselves as a cross between the Sons of the Pioneers and the newsboys in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. "
Conspiracy, vol. II
By Jon Hillson
SEATTLE (CPS)-Perhaps you've heard the new saying: "spread the word about Seattle," and wondered exactly what that word is. It rymes with Chicago.
The Seattle conspiracy trial began on November 23 in Tacoma.
On April IS, 1970, eight people were indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiring, combining, confederating and agreeing together to commit offenses against the United States in violation of 18 USC 371, 2101, and 1361.
The charges stem from a demonstration-riot held on February 16 in protest of the Chicago 7 convictions. Federal indictments"issued at the behest of the Justice Department"came over the protests of Seattle's local prosecuting apparatus.
Since they were handed down, there has been a virtual news black-out of indictments, the trial, pre-trial defense and the history of the local movement upon which such heavy repression has fallen. To recapitulate, then, we go back to late January, 1970, on the campus of the University of Washington, in Seattle.
WHAT WAS THE SEATTLE LIBERATION FRONT?
Michael Lerner, at that time an assistant professor of philosophy at UW, soon to become one of the Seattle 8"at 27 a teacher and a veteran of the Bay Area radical movement"began reformulating the "new form" of radical organization. The autonomous collective, as it was called, was to serve as the arena for individual grcwth as well as the vehicle for socialist action. Lerner"since "not rehired" by his departmental colleagues"found early success in his classes.
Action centered around Ã‚Â» tax-incentive program in the general Seattle area, which has an unemployment that spans both
blue collar and white collar working class and is estimated to be about 15 percent.
Work on the tax incentive program centered on door-to-door campaigns, leafletting unemployment offices armed with coffee and donuts and talking to students, as well as pushing the program. Leadership emerged in the Sundance collective"each collective took names"a group composed of Lerner and a bulk of the others indicted for conspiracy. Among them"Chip Marshall, Joe Kelly, Jeff Dowd and Mike Abels"were cited for crossing state lines and using interstate commerce for the intent of inciting riot.
The four"and several others"had migrated from Ithaca, New York, in December of 1969 to live and do political work in Seattle. Many of the "Ithaca people" had backgrounds in SDS" some in Weathermen"but left the group because of sharp political disagreements.
The fledgling organization called demonstrations in protest of the conviction of the Chicago 7 on February 16.
Reports on crowd size vary"the Seattle commercial papers, both arch-conservative, guessed 2,000, others cite 3,000. The crowd erupted as it neared the federal building as rocks broke government windows. Police, appearing from a nearby building, put on, according to many on the scene, an uncommonly brutal show, beating nonviolent demonstrators with vigor.
Nona* of the eight conspiracy defendants were arrested at the demonstration. Eighty participants were, and the Seattle investigating grand jury reported that "at least half" or about 1,000 in their estimate, topk an "active" part in the melee.
The massive demonstrations around the country varried in the amount of property damage exacted. While over 20,000 peaceful demonstrators marched in Boston, the Associated Press chose only to report the street-fight engagement
number ten W
staff: Bucky Young, Guy Mendes, Darrell Rice, David Holwerk, Sue Anne Salmon, Julie Mendes, Irving Washington, Chuck the Trucker, Helen Roach, Rick Bell, Jonathan Greene, Don Pratt, Gretchen Mar cum Brown, Harold Gage, Diana Ryan, Phil Patton, Tony Urie, Larry Keilkopf, Eddie Smith, Margie Singler, Jim Stacey, Anne Deeley and many, many more.
between 5,000 militants and Boston police. In spite of the report, the Boston demonstration gave Harvard Square its Baptism of fire. Demonstrations in numerous cities were larger than Seattle's, and in Berkeley and Boston at least, the intensity of combat and the amount of damage was higher than Seattle.
Frantic SLF activity-inwardly and outwardly"followed. The Day After (TDA) demonstration Collectives developed rapidly, gushing young people"numerous UW students"into radical politics for the first time.
The freneticism of events, the rapidity of action and growth manifest weaknesses and faults in the SLF. The most cutting aspect was male supremacy. Leadership soon took the familiar male dominated flavor; the swaggering, hip lifestyle of the Sundance collective veneered what many women began to see as an oppressive, machismo form. This contradiction would fester internally for months as women sought to personnally confront and work out the problem.
In early April, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a private press conference with the Seattle commercial media. More like a battle briefing, its ramifications perhaps will only be decided by the jury.
Replete with international-conspiracy paranoia, the Seattle media began a hysterical campaign against the SLF"particularly through attacks on its self-proclaimed leadership, Lerner, Marshall, Dowd and Kelley.
WHY A SEATTLE CONSPIRACY?
Knowing that Seattle's TDA was by no means unique, why federal conspiracy indictments, over the protests of local prosecuting authorities?
To begin with, Seattle, an isolated city, has been a testing ground for repression.
Seattle's general strike during which workers shut down the city precipitated mass detention, deportation and busting of scores of militant socialist, communist
and anarchist workers at the end of post-World War I recessions.
Raids on trade unions, harassment and repression"minimized by the media"paved the way for then Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer to institute, shortly thereafter, similar escapades on a national level; the infamous Palmer Raids. Thousands of militant workers were deported and jailed"no knocks, of course-W a 24-hour period and broke the back of the trade-union's revolutionary wing.
Seattle workers, expecting their general strike to move nationally, retreated in militant action: then-isolation set the pace for a dryrun, and Palmer took the experiment's results nationally.
Three decades later, before few people outside of Wisconsin knew then"Senator Joseph McCarthy, local witch-hunt hearings went on in Seattle, as the red-scare was tested in the isolated Northwest. More than possibly, McCarthy had an eye not only to the Puget Sounds, but to reaction around the country. With "reds" scared in Seattle, and with a nation una wakened to the coming of its saddest days, McCarthy mounted a podium whose base had the mark of Seattle lumber.
Thus, the Seattle Conspiracy trial not only fits into a general strategy of repression" from busting student body president moderates at Kent State to Black Panthers in Detroit"but into an historical pattern.
State abortion law challenged
Kentucky's abortion law, similar to those already struck down in four states, is being challenged as unconstitutional.
Three federal judges were to rule on the constitutionality of K.R.S. 436.020 at a Dec. 10 hearing in Covington.
Challenging the law is Dr. Yasuo