[Update: The blog post below was published 11/05/09. Later that evening, word broke that the University of MA, apparently under pressure from the office of MA Governor Deval Patrick, canceled Ray's appearance scheduled for 11/12/09.

Organizers worked hard to find an alternate venue so that this event could proceed as planned, and on 11/10 a new set of sponsors and new venue on the UMass campus were announced so that the talk could go forward as planned at 7:15 pm on Thursday, 11/12/09.

Ray Returns: Part 2

Last week I posted a blog about Ohio 7 defendant, Ray Levasseur making his first public speech locally in 20 years. In late 1989, Ray, along with his fellow defendants, was acquitted of Seditious Conspiracy after a trial in Springfield, MA. Since he was already serving a multi-decade sentence after being convicted of politically motivated crimes, he remained in prison until being paroled in 2004.

Grandchildren & Great Grandchildren

I had a real treat a couple of weeks ago. Elli and I spent the weekend in New York City to celebrate our granddaughter, Josie’s second birthday. It took relatively little effort. A bit of planning, 3 or 4 hours in the car fighting heavy traffic, and we could join the other grandparents and a couple of aunts for a party with Josie, her parents and a few of their friends. It was a special, but commonplace, family ritual that fell within the normal course of our lives.

Missing Family Photos

Periodically the media asks me to provide them with family photographs from before the time of my parents’ arrests. I tell them that the FBI seized all my family’s possessions when my parents were arrested including all their family snapshots, so all I have are a couple of pictures given to me later by relatives. As young adults my brother and I tried to retrieve our parents’ possessions, but were told that they had been destroyed or lost. Sometimes I imagine them stacked in a dusty corner of an impossibly large federal warehouse.

Honoring Lynne Stewart

Radical attorney and former political prisoner Lynne Stewart died Tuesday, March 7th at the age of 77 following an extended battle with cancer. In her lengthy career, this “people’s lawyer” defended Black Panthers, Weather Underground members and other outsiders. As Lynne explained in a 2015 interview with Guernica, "I'm particularly committed to the political people who needed defense. They're out there fighting the government on behalf of everybody."