Last week I presented at the 2016 Rebellious Lawyering Conference at Yale University. The largest student-run public interest law conference in the country, RebLaw “seeks to build a community of law students, practitioners, and activists seeking to work in the service of social change movements.”
Below, I am reproducing the talk I gave at our 20th Anniversary Gala on October 17th. It was a great party, attended by over 200 of our staunchest supporters from Western Massachusetts, as well as people from Boston, New York City, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York City, and the Albany, NY area. I’m sharing my words with you, because many of you could not make it.
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.
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.
[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.