In her terrific new book, Protest on Trial: The Seattle 7 Conspiracy (Washington State University Press), Seattle writer Kit Bakke vividly recounts an important part of Seattle and Northwest history, doing important work in doing so while many of the protagonists—and many of the issues struggled over—are still with us. The Seattle 7 lived the late 1960s counterculture—young, idealistic, active organizers against racism and the Vietnam War, fond of long hair, rock’n’roll, sex, drugs, and parties. In January 1970 they founded the Seattle Liberation Front (SLF). Nationally, the FBI was practicing secret and illegal wiretapping, setting up warrantless break-ins and paying informers and provocateurs to destroy organizations like the SLF. The book follows the defendants to prison, their fight to be released, and how they have lived their lives over the almost fifty years since then. Protest then and now is explored in the Epilogue.
“Kit Bakke’s case study shows how a handful of activists were put on trial, not for organizing one of the largest demonstrations Seattle had ever experienced, but rather for the more radical activities they achieved through their Seattle Liberation Front . . . Thanks to Bakke, their impact on Seattle and the nation . . . will live on to inspire every new generation to demand that we live in a real, accountable democracy.” —Nick Licata.
Tonight’s festivities include a special performance by the Rejections and Trailing Spouses, Seattle7Writers band. Don’t miss this.
Co-presented with Seattle7Writers.