Free Speech From FDR to Obama

When the homes of antiwar activists and socialists this September were raided by Obama’s FBI, it was a reminder that despite all constitutional guarantees our speech is not free, especially during wartime and economic collapse. Nearly seventy years ago, during WWII, FDR unleashed a massive crackdown on the small but active anti-Stalinist Socialist Workers Party.

Activists and scholars today have the opportunity to learn about why and how the U.S. government operates this way, and what can be done to challenge these assaults on our civil liberties. But there’s a catch. Virtually no media outlet or publisher will pay a seasoned investigative writer and activist to research and write such an exposé and analysis. Right now, you have an opportunity to play a small but decisive role in paving the way for a talented author, witty public speaker and longtime socialist to take the next few months to study and write the history of free speech on trial.

Joe Allen, author of Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost and People Wasn’t Made to Burn: A True Story of Race, Housing and Murder in Chicago, is a familiar face on picket lines and at protests in Chicago. He’s a working-class activist and writer whose intrepid persistence won over the New York Times‘ Bob Herbert to write about Gary Tyler, a Black man who’s spent decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Joe’s public talks have a historical sweep, delivered with wry humor, that few people can match. He’s a voracious reader and archival sleuth whose writing talents are more than worthy of whatever funds you can donate to help him keep the lights on while he works on this next book. Please watch this quick video about Joe’s current project and how you can help make a donation commensurate with your finances.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

My next talk will be on What’s Behind the Rise of the Right and What Can We Do to Stop it, NYC at the LGBT Center, Sat., Nov. 20, 7PM, click here for details.

3 responses to “Free Speech From FDR to Obama

  1. Did you inadvertently leave out the link so that folks can donate?

  2. Interesting … the link doesn’t appear in the e-mail but it does appear on the web page. But the link isn’t clickable. Maybe some editing is in order? Thanks.

  3. I am having difficulty uploading it, working out kinks now.

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