Former inmate, activist now free to speak out

Former inmate, activist now free to speak out

By Rick Wormwood
October 12, 2010

Last year, when Ray Luc Levasseur was invited to speak on the University of Massachusetts — Amherst campus to commemorate the anniversary of a federal sedition trial held in Springfield, the speech prompted vehement protests from police groups and state officials.

Two decades earlier, Levasseur had represented himself against federal prosecutors and won acquittal in that sedition case. Subsequent trials on different charges saw Levasseur convicted of involvement with the United Freedom Front, a radical group that waged an underground revolutionary campaign between 1975 and 1984. (The UFF bombed several targets in New England, including Boston's Suffolk County Courthouse in April 1976.) Levasseur served two decades in jail before being paroled to Maine, his home state, in 2004. Ultimately, it was parole restrictions that prevented him from speaking at UMass.

Since then, Levasseur, a self-described radical activist and former political prisoner, has been released from federal parole. He returns to the Commonwealth this month to speak at the Rosenberg Fund for Children's Anniversary Gala, in Northampton, on October 17. Robert Meeropol, the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, established the Rosenberg Fund For Children in 1990 to assist the children and families of American activists and political prisoners. Levasseur said that his speech will focus on personal experiences of his that would help illuminate the Rosenberg Fund's mission, such as, "How the (Rosenberg) fund helped my kids out, and the issue of activism and raising a family. How all this comes to bear. The consequences of it, and the issues people have to deal with, and why activists do have children, despite the obstacles and hardships they sometimes face."

Read the rest of this in-depth interview at the link above...