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John Froines
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    (1939- )
    Chemist and anti-war activist
    Member of the Chicago Seven
    Charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and teaching demonstrators how to construct incendiary devices
    Found not guilty of both charges, but was sentenced to 6 months in jail for contempt of court
    Contempt convictions reversed on appeal
    Participated in the May Day Protests to try to shut down the federal government by blocking the streets of Washington, DC (May 1, 1971)
    Vermont State Director of Occupational Health (1974-77)
    Director for Toxic Substances at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (1977-81)
    Professor of Environmental Sciences at UCLA (1981-2011)
    Chaired the California Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants (1998-2013)
    He initially felt guilty about being acquitted at the Chicago Seven trial: ‘I felt I had betrayed them [the other defendants].”
    While working at OSHA, he regularly commuted over one of the bridges he had tried to shut down during the 1971 May Day protests.
    He said about his time as an anti-war activist, ‘In those days, we were impatient, arrogant and lacked humility.’
    Vermont Governor Thomas Salmon, who had initially opposed Froines being appointed to a government position, hailed him as ‘an exemplary public servant.’
    At OSHA, he developed federal standards for exposure to lead and cotton dust.
    He said, ‘Nobody’s a student activist at 50. You’d have to have your head examined.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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