Harriet Bouslog

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Harriet Bouslog


Harriet Bouslog (Sawyer) Esq an identified Communist Party USA member and a lawyer, was legal representative for the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union since at least 1943.

Communist Party member

Harriet Bouslog (Mrs. Stephen Sawyer) was identified as a member of the Communist Party USA in Hawaii by a former fellow party member, Jack Kawano, who testified before the Committee on Un-American Activities on July 6, 1951.

She was also identified as a Communist Party member by former. Communist Dorothy Funn, who appeared as a witness before the committee on May 4, 1953. Ms, Bouslog appeared as a witness before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee at hearings held in Hawaii on December 5, 1956, and invoked the fifth amendment in refusing to answer questions. regarding Communist affiliations.

Since the mid-1940's, Mrs. Bouslog served as attorney for the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, which was expelled from the CIO in 1950 for adhering to the Communist Party line. Mrs. Bouslog was legal representative for the ILWU in Washington, D. C., from approximately 1943 until the middle of 1946. It was during this period that Mrs. Funn testified she had associated with Mrs. Bouslog in Communist Party àctivities in Washington. In I946, Bouslog returned to the Territory of Hawaii, where she served as legal representative for the ILWU in the Territory.

Harriet Bouslog's actvities in behalf of the Communist Party in Hawaii were described by Jack Kawano. In Communist discussions prior to the emergence of the Communist Party of Hawaii as an open, rather than underground, organization in 1948, Mrs. Bouslog argued that an above ground party apparatus would help both the party and the ILWU, Kawano reported. Mrs. Bouslog, he said, observed that the ILWU had been taking the brunt of opposition to Communist activities and that some of this opposition could be diverted to an open Communist Party.[1]

HUAC

Myer Symonds and Harriet Bouslog represented the 39 reluctant witnesses before the US.House Un-American Activities Committee and Senate Judicial Internal Security hearings and hadthem take the Fifth Amendment.

They also represented the Hawaii Seven, including Jack Hall, in a seven and half month trial, when the Seven were charged under the Smith Act with conspiring and teaching the overthrow of government by force and violence. [2]

Hawaii Civil Liberties Committee

Harriet Bouslog was active in the Hawaii Civil Liberties Committee, an ostensible civil-rights group which HUACe found to be the "most effective sounding board for communism in the Territory of Hawaii." HCLC records in the possession of the committee showed that the front organization had made a number of financial disbursements to Mrs. Bouslog for "legal expenses," among them her work in connection with the defense of two identified Communists dismissed from teaching positions in the Territory. Bouslog was frequently a featured speaker at HCLC meetings.

When the HCLC, in 1948, sponsored a speaking tour of the islands by Celeste Strack, openly avowed educational director of the California Communist Party; Mrs. Bouslog shared the speaking platform with Miss Strack at her Honolulu lecture.[3]

NLG

Harriet Bouslog was elected a member-at-large öf the executive board of the National Lawyers Guild at the 1956 and 1957 conventions of the guild.[4]Harriet Bouslog and Myer Symonds were both founding members of the National Lawyers Guild, and they challenged the territorial Unlawful Assembly and Riot Acts, fought injunctions against strikes, and defended the 1949 dock strike.[5]

American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born

In the late 1960s Harriet Bouslog was listed as a Sponsor of American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born[6].

References

  1. HUAC report Communist legal subversuion, the role of the communist lawyer, February 16, 1959, page 31
  2. 2007. February 2007 VOICE of the ILWU page 7
  3. HUAC report Communist legal subversion, the role of the communist lawyer, February 16, 1959, page 31
  4. HUAC report Communist legal subversuion, the role of the communist lawyer, February 16, 1959, page 32
  5. 2007. February 2007 VOICE of the ILWU page 7
  6. ACFPFB Letterhead, undated Hugh DeLacy paper Acc 3915,Box 3 Folder 20