First Published: Berkeley Barb, September 29-October 5, 1967.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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One of the most hassled men in the Bay Area is John Ross, chairman of the Progressive Labor Party and would-be candidate for supervisor in the coming San Francisco elections.
Although Ross locally heads “the working man’s party,” he has seen SFPD observing and photographing people entering and leaving his headquarters from the “Labor Temple” located across the street.
Added irony is that Ross was beaten up this summer at an ILWU picnic. San Francisco unions, Ross says, “work for The Man, not the rank and file.” He has scars to back up his claim.
Further, on September 6, the SF Examiner ran a story stating that Ross was ineligible to run for supervisor, 15 days before Ross even filed his application.
Although three other candidates – Robert Mendelsohn, Charles Clay and Clark Cummings – are as ineligible as Ross (lacking five years residence in SF), none were barred or even investigated.
This, says Ross, is a “clear question of somebody trying to get us.”
Ross plans to protest his expulsion in court in October. For the trial he will call in radicals from all over the county to prove that not only left-wing, but also anti-war and anti-draft organizations have been subjected to a “consistent pattern of attack and assault since 1964.”
Ross is lining up several ACLU lawyers to help with the case.
Despite his being expelled from official candidacy, Ross will conduct a “stick-in” campaign, in which voters will attach a sticker bearing his name onto the blank provided for write-in candidates.
Ross has another court case coming up October 9, in which he will charge Mayor John Shelly, police chief Thomas Cahill and various Mission District police with “criminal prosecution to suppress our rights,”
The “criminal prosecution” in this particular case involves the police breaking into a Mission District Draft Resistance Union party and “beating and arresting 10 persons,” including Ross.
(The above mentioned Examiner story featured a picture of Ross taken shortly after this beating–his face was badly misshapen.)
Ross will shift this case up to the Federal, level, as the State would have him face a certain judge, who, Ross says, is a ”Reagan appointee”. Ross cites cases to support this claim, including the current trial of three Mission boys who, he says, were brutally beaten by police without provocation but the judge isn’t seeing it that way.