Portland Communists, A Longshoreman Strike, and The United States Supreme Court: Oregon v. DeJonge and the Right to Freedom of Assembly is the latest History Pub on Monday, 28 September 2015 at the Kennedy School (5736 NE 33rd).
On July 27, 1934, the Portland Police “Red Squad” arrested Dirk De Jonge, a World War I veteran, longshoreman, former Portland mayoral candidate, and Portland communist. The State charged him with criminal syndicalism for speaking at a meeting sponsored by the local Communist Party. The meeting was called in response to a police crackdown on striking longshoremen, who had shut down every West Coast port from southern California to northern Washington. De Jonge’s crime was speaking about jail conditions experienced by the arrested strikers. A jury found him guilty, and the judge sentenced him to seven years in prison. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the conviction, holding that the criminal syndicalism statute, as applied to De Jonge, unconstitutionally infringed on his right to assembly as protected by the First Amendment.
Presenter Marc Brown is an appellate public defender with the Oregon Office of Public Defense Services. He has taught at Washington State University-Vancouver and is a recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to teach about the U.S. Constitution in Guangzhou, China.
History Pub, presented by McMenamins, Oregon Historical Society, and the Holy Names Heritage Center, is free and open to all ages. Doors open at 6 PM, and the talk begins at 7 PM.