Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Chicago Seven Trial Webinar

 


Webinar on "The Trial of the Chicago Seven" 

               A Netflix film by Aaron Sorkin 

                                      Register here

 

the defendants on the Democratic Convention 

demonstration, the trial and the movie 


Rennie Davis

David Dellinger (interpreted by his daughters Michele and Natasha)

Tom Hayden (interpreted by his son Troy Garity)

Judy Gumbo (friend of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin) speaking on the role of women and on Yippie theatrics

Aislinn Pulley, Cofounder Black Lives Matter Chicago

Moderators:  Frank Joyce, Terry Provance, Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee

Technical Facilitator, Questions:  John McAuliff, Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee

Timekeeper:  Brewster Rhoads, Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee


Probably no single event in the history of the movement against the Vietnam war was and is as controversial as the protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 and the trial that followed.  The webinar will discuss what happened at the Convention in Chicago and the indictment and trial the next year.  What did demonstrators do? What did the mayor of Chicago do?  What did the police do?  Why were antiwar demonstrators indicted and how did the government prosecute the case?  What was the impact on public opinion?  Impact on the antiwar movement?  Impact politically, including on the Humphry-Nixon contest, and on the US war in Vietnam?  How do we look back and what did we remember and learn?  We will hear from defendants and from people who were in the streets and in the courtroom.

Send questions or comments to Terry Provance  <terryprovance@gmail.com>



Speaker Bios


Rennie Davis


In 1968 Rennie Davis was the coordinator of the largest anti war and civil rights coalition in American history. The coalition planned to bring 500,000 people to oppose the Vietnam war to Chicago’s Democratic National Convention. With parallels to today’s Republican White House the Mayor of Chicago suspended the First Amendment  and  the right to petition the government by denying permits for the Chicago protest. Instead Chicago police clubbed and tear gassed  the demonstrators while the whole world was watching. The police riot in Chicago was watched on television by more people than watched the first man landing on the moon. For his role in Chicago Rennie was indicted with seven others in what the New York Times described as the  most significant political trial in American history. He also organized the largest civil disobedience arrest in American history and partnered with John Lennon to end the Vietnam war. When the Vice President of the United States called him the most dangerous man in America, all his friends celebrated his academy award of protest.  www.hope1111.com


Michele Dellinger


Michele was born in rural New Jersey in an intentional community created by her parents and other peace activists. The family moved to New York City when she was 11. In the early 1970s Michele started a High School with her peers and their parents called Elizabeth Cleaners Street School. They wrote a book about their experience which was published by Random House – Starting Your Own High School by the Elizabeth Cleaners Street School People.

Michele went on to open a health food store in Brooklyn with a friend while also working as a typesetter. In 1988, she moved to rural Vermont with her husband and young son to be near her parents. In Vermont, Michele worked on small independent movies with Jay Craven’s production company, Kingdom County Productions.

After a divorce, Michele moved back to New York City where she worked on Law and Order and other Dick Wolf productions. She raised her three children, David, Megan, and Chris, as a single mom in Croton-on-Hudson while working as a television producer on many different productions, from Martha Stewart Living to children’s educational programming for PBS. She received several Emmy nominations and two Emmy’s for her work in children’s television. 

Michele currently lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband Daniel and their dog Charley. She has a 1-year old grandson Bóas who is the light of her life.


Natasha Dellinger Singer


Tasha Dellinger Singer is one of five children born to David and Elizabeth Dellinger in Glen Gardner, New Jersey.  She was raised in an intentional community created by her parents and other peace activists called St. Francis Acres. She enjoyed helping her father in his printing press for Liberation Magazine.  She grew up going to peace marches and protests and walked on the Quebec-Guantanamo Peace Walk in 1963. She quickly became a part of the peace movement in the late 60s.  Tasha personally witnessed the Trial of the Chicago 8 (becoming 7), present on most days in the court room and worked as part of the support staff.  Tasha was actually tackled by the bailiffs in the courtroom and brought upstairs to lockup after she stood up and told Judge Hoffman that her father was not a liar. He had called Dave a liar because Dave said he knew Martin Luther King.

In her twenties, Tasha lived in Boston, MA and rural North Carolina before settling in Brooklyn, NY in 1976 with her two daughters Michele and Tania.   She worked as a typesetter first for 7 Days Magazine and culminating in her and her sister Michele started their own typesetting business in Manhattan.   Meanwhile, Tasha became a certified Yoga teacher joining a spiritual community at the Universal Great Brotherhood Yoga Center in Park Slope.  Here she was introduced to the Lakota spiritual tradition which became a lifelong passion and commitment.   She also met her partner of 35 years, Leonard Singer, and they moved to upstate New York to form their own spiritual community.  Natasha is a Sundancer, Ghostdancer, Vision Quester, and sweat lodge leader.

Tasha earned her Masters Degree in Social Work and has worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and spiritual mentor for the last 30 years specializing in treatments for trauma, addiction, and grief, supplemented with meditation and mindfulness techniques.  She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA where she loves to serve her community through her private therapy practice, supervising newly licensed social workers and conducting workshops.   She has survived the death of her oldest daughter Michele, and is a breast cancer survivor.  Tasha has 3 grandchildren and 2 great children. Finally and above all, she loves spending time with her grandson-Zephyr,  husband, Lenny, daughter, Tania, and son-in-love-Marcus.


Troy Garity


Troy Garity is an actor known for his diverse body of work. Over the course of his 20 year career, Troy has performed on stage, in numerous films and tv shows, and has worked with some of the industries' most prominent talents. Though his breakout performance came in Barry Levinson's Bandits, Troy is perhaps best known for his roles in Ice Cube's Barbershop franchise and the HBO tv show Ballers.

Troy has earned both a Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance in the Showtime original film Soldier's Girl. The film also garnered Troy a Peabody Award and the AFI award for excellence in film.

Outside of his acting career Troy, is board member of the Fonda Family Foundation, working with and funding numerous organizations committed to building a better society. Troy helped found the Peace Process Network, a union of different Los Angeles gangs leaders working together to negotiate peace between neighborhoods and lobby elected leaders.  For over a decade, Troy served on the board of Homies Unidos, a gang violence prevention and activist training organization working in the Central American community.

Troy is the son of actress and activist Jane Fonda and, to abbreviate a long life, Chicago conspiracy defendant Tom Hayden.  He is currently directing a documentary about his father titled "Rebel: Tom Hayden and the Plot to Change America".


Judy Gumbo

Judy Gumbo is an original member of two late 1960s satirical protest groups - the Yippies and W.I.T.C.H. Judy attended and worked at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial where Yippie founder and Chicago defendant Abbie Hoffman told her she “should have been indicted.” No women were. She briefly managed the defendants Trial office, then became responsible for distributing Trial transcripts to national and international media. Judy is one of a very few North Americans to visit the former North Vietnam while the war still raged. She returned to travel around the United States organizing against the war and for the liberation of women.

In 1972, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover named Judy “the most vicious, the most anti-American and the most dangerous to the internal security of the United States.” Judy’s home was illegally burglarized seven times in one year by FBI agents who also installed two tracking devices on her car, one of which she found. With that, surveillance ceased.

Judy visited Vietnam in 1971, 2017 and in 2019, when she was awarded a medal by the Vietnamese government for her anti-war activities.

Judy spent the majority of her professional career as an award-winning fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. She is the widow of Yippie founder Stew Albert with whom she has a daughter, and of David Dobkin, founder of Berkeley Cohousing. Judy is now married to Art Eckstein, distinguished professor and author, among others, of “Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution.” Judy likes to say the FBI brought them together.

Find Judy Gumbo on her website www.yippiegirl.com or on Facebook.


JUDY GUMBO :

FILM | The Chicago 7 movie and me  Aislinn Pulley 


Aislinn Pulley is a co-executive director of the Chicago Torture Justice Center founded out of the historic 2015 reparations ordinance for survivors of Chicago police torture.  Aislinn is also a the cofounder of Black Lives Matter Chicago. She was an organizer with We Charge Genocide, a founding member of Insight Arts, a cultural non-profit that used art for social change, and a member of the performance ensemble, End of the Ladder. She is a founder of the young women's performance ensemble dedicated to ending sexual assault, Visibility Now, as well as the founder and creator of urban youth magazine, Underground Philosophy.


                                            Terry Provance

After graduating from college in 1969, I became involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement first organizing locally in Pittsburgh and then eventually with national groups like Harrisburg Defense Committee for Dan and Phil Berrigan, Pentagon Papers Trial and Medical Aid for Indochina.  I began working with the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia in 1973 to oppose US nuclear weapons until 1983 when I went to graduate school in Berkeley, California.  I received a fellowship and then studied two years in South America and worked with human rights groups in Chile. I returned to Pittsburgh where I pastored a local United Church of Christ congregation for 5 years and then worked in its national office on peace and justice issues for 10 years.  I then worked 12 years with Oikocredit, an international anti-poverty organization, as its Executive Director in the United States.  I retired in 2012.  I currently staff the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee.


                                             Frank Joyce




The political activism of life long Detroiter Frank Joyce began with the civil rights movement.  He joined the Northern Student Movement (NSM) in the early 1960’s and later helped found People Against Racism (PAR).  He has been in involved in labor, anti-racist, human rights and peace campaigns ever since.  

He has worked in factories, retail and media.  He has won awards in print,  radio and television journalism. He is a former News Director of WDET and was Communications Director of the United Auto Workers union for many years.  

He is a member of the Leadership Team of the National Council Of Elders and the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee and a long time Board member of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR).  He is a founding member of the Editorial Collective of Riverwise magazine. Joyce is a former Board Chair of The Working Group (TWG),  a non-profit media production company that supports the anti-hate movement Not In Our Town (NIOT).  

His writing is published at AlterNet (www.alternet.org),  Riverwise, Counterpunch,  The Fifth Estate,  The Detroit Free Press and in many anthologies.  He is co-editor with Karin Aguilar-San Juan,  of  "The People Make The Peace, Lessons From The Vietnam Anti-War Movement".  He is currently writing a book about unlearning white supremacy.  


Resources

 Books


"Conspiracy in the Streets" (2006)

by Jon Wiener

"Solid, about the trial, plenty of transcripts."

The author will appear with Rennie Davis in a Nation Podcast  on Friday, October 30, 3 p.m. EDT.   Register here 


“Conspiracy to Riot: The Life and Times of One of the Chicago 7”                                    by Lee Weiner, who gives a more positive view of the film in a Chicago Tribune interview


Articles


A first hand observer reviews "The Trial of the Chicago 7"

   by Paul Glusman, available here 

"I Was in the Room Where It Happened: One Woman’s Perspective on 'The Trial of the Chicago 7'”

by Nancy Kurshan, Counterpunch

 "The Chicago 7 movie and me"

  by Judy Gumbo, The Ragblog

“Getting Woke by the Chicago 7”
    by Glenn Silber, director of "The War at Home", in The Progressive

"Aaron Sorkin’s moralizing liberal fantasy betrays the real ‘Chicago 7’"

     by Joshua Furst, Forward

https://forward.com/culture/456814/aaron-sorkins-moralizing-liberal-fantasy-betrays-the-real-chicago-7


Other Films and Videos


Aaron Sorkin, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Jeremy Strong of The Trial of the Chicago 7, in conversation with Peter Coyote

Mill Valley Film Festival, tickets here @ $10


"Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8" (1987)   Available on Vimeo and Amazon

with Peter Boyle, David Clennon, Elliot Gould, Robert Loggia 

Won the CableACE Award for Best Dramatic Special for director Jeremy Kagan; all the actual defendants and lawyers are woven into the recreation of the trial by actors


"Riot: The Chicago Conspiracy Trial" 

narrated by Bill Kurtis  available on youtube  


"The Lasting Impact Of The 1968 Democratic Convention"

 Tom Brokaw documents the 50th anniversary on Morning Joe | MSNBC


"Medium Cool" (1969)  Available on youtube

by Haskell Wexler (about the Democratic Convention protests) 




"Chicago 10" (2007)  Available on Amazon

 with Hank Azaria and Mark Ruffalo, partly animated. 




Organized by the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee  www.vietnampeace org

Producing and publicizing this webinar on Zoom will cost VPCC about $1,000

Tax deductible contributions are very welcome and can be made on-line here or by check to Fund for Reconciliation and Development, 64 Jean Court, Riverhead, NY 11901 "VPCC"

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