Then and Now…
I taped The Chicago 10 last night as the first game of the World Serious was on at the same time. I watched it at 2am this morning when I couldn’t sleep.
What struck me most about the documentary were the parallels between then and now. Too many parts ring true now; the court system, the government painting the individuals as subversives unamerican and communists, the attempt by the city of Chicago to silence the hundreds of thousands of people that poured into the city to protest at the Democratic Convention which ultimately nominated Lyndon Johnson, the increase of troops flowing into Vietnam…and so much more.
As an aside, most of the anti-war groups of the era were actually investigated by the HUAC, the House Un-American Activities Committee. Who knew that scurrilous group of fascists still existed in the 60’s? McCarthy would of been proud.
The movie is a blend of animation and film archives of the protests and confrontations. The animation is used for the trial sections in the movie and the dialog seems to be directly out of the court transcripts.
The film archives are chilling in their brutality. I winced each time a police baton beat senseless a protester that was doing nothing more than sitting on the ground or simply marching down a street.
It’s a good movie and one that will show you have far we haven’t come in 40 years, when the government and specifically rightwing individuals who control it don’t want you to exercise your constitutional rights.
After the movie is a good albeit short English documentary on the whole sordid mess and it makes several points that the movie missed, one of which is the 1968 Anti-Riot law which was passed as part of the Civil Rights law of that decade and the only thing the individuals were actually found guilty on. This law was later struck down as unconstitutional. It was so narrow in scope the labor unions had to demand a special section in the law that exluded them when they had a labor strike in progress.
Btw, if your wondering who the other three are, its the three attorneys that represented the Chicago seven. They too did jail time, thanks to Julius Hoffman, the judge.