Harriet Bouslog Biography | Chapter 12: The Hawaii Seven

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Harriet Bouslog Biography | Chapter 12: The Hawaii Seven

In August of 1951, seven defendants, who came to be called “the Hawaii Seven,” were arrested for violation of the Smith Act. This Act forbade the teaching or advocacy of the violent overthrow of the United States government, and was used as a means of criminal prosecution of alleged communists across America.

The seven were defended by Richard Gladstein of San Francisco as chief counsel, Abraham Wiren of the American Civil Liberites Union of Southern California, and Bouslog and Symonds. Gladstein kept Harriet out of the courtroom, and limited her job to doing research.

“None of them would let me say a goddamned thing.” –Harriet Bouslog

What Harriet could not say in court, she said in other ways. Her pamphlet Fear documents the serious erosion of civil rights during this era.

“Several weeks ago, a story came out in the newspapers that the ink on the Declaration of Independence and the ink on the Constitution was fading. A great concern was expressed . . . and these documents were embalmed in chemicals so that the ink would not fade. The danger in the United States today is not that the ink on the Declaration of Independence is fading.The danger is that officials of government are destroying the substance of these documents.” –Harriet Bouslog

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About the Author:

Mark Bernstein, a University of Hawaii graduate, became legendary civil rights attorney Harriet Bouslog’s last partner, when he returned to Honolulu in 1979, having graduated from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. After Ms. Bouslog’s retirement in 1980, he went on to establish what is now one of Honolulu’s oldest solo legal practices operating out of the historic Bank of Bishop Building, which is now known as the Harriet Bouslog Building on Merchant Street, where his practice concentrated on intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Bernstein has been listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America every year from 1995 in the field of Music Licensing. He now is the President of the Harriet Bouslog Labor Scholarship Fund.

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