Friday, October 30, 2020

The Trial Of The Chicago Seven

I saw the new movie The Trial Of The Chicago Seven this week. Fantastic! The story  revolves around  the trial of seven defendants, including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Tom Hayden for inciting riots at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968. The new Nixon administration chose to prosecute despite the fact that the outgoing Johnson administration had concluded that the rioting was started by the police.  Hayden, hardly some no name radical, had recently been a pallbearer for Robert Kennedy who had been assassinated while campaigning for the presidential nomination. 

The movie has an equal number of hilarious and disturbing parts. On the funny side was when Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin dressed in judicial robes one day during the trial.  The judge ordered them to remove the robes only to find out they were wearing police uniforms underneath. 

On the disturbing side is when one defendant, Bobby Seale who co-founded the Black Panthers, was bound and gagged during the trial by the judge. The movie has Seale gagged for a brief time but the reality was far worse. He spent three days of the trail tied up and gagged. The entire movie is like that. It is a nearly unbelievable depiction of the judicial system but the reality of the trial was far worse

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