This weekend I watched The Trial of the Chicago 7 on Netflix and even though it’s centered around political riots that happened in 1968, a lot of it is still going on today.
During the 1968 Democratic National Convention that was taking place in Chicago activist groups came from near and far to protest, demanding the end to the Vietnam War.
The different groups attempted on numerous occasions to acquire permits from the City of Chicago to hold demonstrations close to the convention that was being held at the Chicago Amphitheatre, but was continuously denied.
Richard J. Daley was the mayor then and nobody moved unless he said so. He was considered “the last of the big city bosses,” and the Daley family ran everything on the south side especially the police.
The city didn’t approve of them to hold their protest close to the convention, but instead let them use Lincoln Park which hid them from convention goers. It was here that the riot started after the CPD hit activist Rennie Davis upside the head with a billy club for trying to stop them from beating a kid who was simply watching the protest.
“If gas is gonna be used, let it come down all over Chicago. We’re going to the convention! Let’s get on the streets!”
The 7 were then wrongfully accused and charged with starting the riots during the 1968 Democratic Convention.
The film reminded me that injustice and political wrongs still exist in our world today.. that’s the sad part, but the part that gives me hope is how these men fought a corrupt system and won. No matter how the government tried to label them as something they weren’t, they stood for right even if it meant them standing alone! That’s what I call bravery! The Chicago 7 is now streaming on @netflix if you have time this weekend I would encourage you to grab your family and watch it.
The Chicago Seven were Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines and Lee Weiner (counting Black Panther activist Bobby Seale as a defendant, they were also known as the Chicago Eight)