Island Books is pleased to welcome author and activist Kit Bakke, whose latest book is Protest on Trial: The Seattle 7 Conspiracy, an exceptional history that's more relevant than ever in the present day.
The Seattle 7 embodied late 1960s counterculture—young, idealistic, active organizers against racism and the Vietnam War, and 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 tactics such as wiretapping, warrantless break-ins, and the placing of informers and provocateurs to destroy organizations like the SLF. But in Seattle, it went a step further.
Months after a February 1970 protest at Seattle’s downtown federal building turned violent, seven SLF leaders were arrested, facing federal conspiracy and intent to riot indictments. During their chaotic trial in nearby Tacoma, they received a twelve-day crash course in the real American judicial system. Celebrated Spokane lawyer Carl Maxey and nationally known attorney Michael Tigar led the defense team; the U.S. prosecuting attorney was Stan Pitkin, a young and upcoming Nixon appointee. When Pitkin’s key witness faltered and the government’s case appeared doomed, the presiding judge issued a surprise ruling to end the trial and send the defendants to prison.
Please join us for a provocative and productive discussion that will include Kit Bakke as well as Roger Lippman, one of the defendants in the Seattle 7 trial.