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Each year Robert Meeropol shares his powerful message with audiences at dozens of universities, community centers, literary festivals, bookstores and other venues across the country. All speaking fees are donated to the Rosenberg Fund for Children, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.
Presentations include ample time for questions from the audience. Topics typically include: his parents' case; the death penalty; the prison industrial complex; the government's war on the Constitution; and the work of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. In conjunction with major events, Meeropol is also pleased to visit classrooms or meet with small groups in more informal settings. At the conclusion of each program, Robert Meeropol is available to sign copies of AN EXECUTION IN THE FAMILY.
FROM RED SCARE TO THE GREEN SCARE: Political Panic from McCarthyism to "Eco-Terrorism"
From the “Red Scare” of the 1950s to the present day “Green Scare”, in this talk, Robert Meeropol examines the fear of communism in the 20th century, the contemporary treatment of environmental and animal activism as so called “eco-terrorism,” and the U.S. government’s persistent persecution of individuals deemed a political threat.
WIKILEAKS, THE ESPIONAGE ACT OF 1917, AND THE ROSENBERG CASE
Attorney Robert Meeropol’s parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were executed in 1953 after being convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Espionage under the Espionage Act of 1917. In this presentation he expands upon his writings and media interviews on AlterNet, Democracy Now! and elsewhere (see the Recent Press Coverage page), about the possibility that Private Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange may be charged with violating the same 1917 act.
Meeropol illuminates how in its first incarnation, the Espionage Act of 1917 subverted the intent of America’s founders by converting opposition to World War I into treason. He explains why Manning and Assange may face the death penalty, just like his parents, and how our government uses conspiracy charges as a club to destroy activist organizing and intimidate others into silence.
NEW REVELATIONS IN THE ROSENBERG CASE
Robert Meeropol was six years old when his parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were put to death in the electric chair at Sing Sing for passing the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. For many years after that, he believed his parents to be wholly innocent of the charges against them. But over time, and especially as further evidence became available at the end of the Cold War, Robert began to question that belief.
The Rosenberg trial epitomized McCarthy-Era excesses and has many parallels to recent government attacks on civil liberties in the name of homeland security. Although the Rosenbergs were executed nearly 60 years ago, stunning new information continues to emerge that transforms the truths about what really happened in this iconic case.
The most recent twists involve information brought to light in 2008 with the release of transcripts from the Grand Jury that investigated the couple, and an admission by Morton Sobell (the Rosenbergs’ co-conspirator) that he and Julius did, in fact, participate in non-atomic espionage for the Soviet Union.
These new revelations have been further enhanced by game-changing discoveries about the activities of the Rosenbergs and their other alleged co-conspirators (Ethel’s brother and sister-in-law), made public in a just-published new book about the case, “Final Verdict: What Really Happened in the Rosenberg Case,” (Walter and Miriam Schneir, Melville House.)
This presentation analyzes these significant new additions to what is known about this so-called “crime of the century,” while exploring why the Rosenberg case is still relevant today. Robert demonstrates how the case provides a crucial warning about the tendencies of our government to manufacture and exploit public fear, to trample civil rights, and to manipulate judicial proceedings.
EXAMINING THE ECHOES OF THE McCARTHY ERA
Attorney Robert Meeropol was six years old when his parents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, were sent to the electric chair in 1953. Their execution by the U.S. Government remains one of the most troubling in American history.
Meeropol uses his parents’ case as an example to demonstrate the dangerous similarities between the McCarthy era during which his parents were targeted, and the perilous eight years that preceded President Obama’s election. Meeropol illustrates the similarities between the post-9/11 crackdowns on civil liberties and the anti-communist fervor of the 1950’s. And he explores whether the current administration is taking sufficient steps to restore our commitment to human rights and repair the damage done to our Constitution.
CAPITAL CONSPIRACY: The New Face of the Death Penalty After 9/11
(supporting materials here)
The United States has not had a capital conspiracy case since Robert Meeropol's parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were executed for "Conspiracy to Commit Espionage" at the height of the Cold War. In the wake of 9/11, defendants charged with "Conspiracy to Commit Terrorism" may face execution. In his lecture entitled CAPITAL CONSPIRACY: The New Face of the Death Penalty After 9/11, Attorney Robert Meeropol re-examines government misconduct during his parents' case and demonstrates how the death penalty can be a political tool in a climate in which there is public fear about perceived threats to national security.
REALIZING THE DREAM: Helping Children of Targeted Activists and Targeted Young Activists Today
Just before their execution, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg wrote to their sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, that they died secure in the knowledge that others would carry on after them. The Rosenberg Fund for Children is the embodiment of that trust. Orphaned at six, kicked out of school, seized by police, it took Robert 40 years to transform horrendous childhood experiences into a positive vision. Robert tells how his experiences inspired the formation of the Fund and shares the stories of the activist families whose lives are enriched by the "progressive social insurance" it provides. He predicts increased demands for the Fund's support in the wake of the post-9/11 crackdown in dissent.