We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. Read more…

Protest on Trial: Kit Bakke

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum
Event organized by Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum

Get Directions

#var:page_name# cover

Author Kit Bakke takes us on a trip back to ‘70s Seattle, recounting the Seattle 7 conspiracy trial and legal issues it raised, her background as a radical activist, and the role of protest and dissent in America now and then.

The Seattle 7 lived the late 1960s counterculture—young, idealistic, active organizers against racism and the Vietnam War, 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 wiretapping, setting up warrantless break-ins and paying 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, authorities arrested seven SLF leaders. The activists faced federal conspiracy and intent to riot indictments. During their chaotic trial they received a twelve-day crash course in the real American judicial system. When the prosecution’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.

Believing that the freedom to publicly dissent is the lifeblood of a functioning democracy, Kit Bakke was active in Students for a Democratic Society at Bryn Mawr College in the 1960s, and later joined Weathermen’s national antiwar, antiracist and anticapitalist efforts. Born and raised in Seattle, she returned to work as a pediatric oncology nurse. She has bachelor's degrees in nursing from the University of Rochester and political science from Bryn Mawr College, as well as master's degrees in nursing and public health from the University of Washington. Now retired, she writes and volunteers in local philanthropic organizations.

Tuesday, May 8, 7 pm
$10 at the door
$8 for Folio Members
Complimentary wine reception to follow
Books available for signing and purchase
RSVP to rsvp@folioseattle.org