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NDE are the national educational radio network presents special of the week. This is part two of two produced by WG you will see the radio station of the University of Cincinnati William M. consoler graduate of Yale University and the Columbia Law School was one of the two defense attorneys in the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial last week and today we are presenting a talk given by Mr. Quinn's lawyer recently on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University of Cincinnati. You see as radio station WG you see the national educational radio network or the station to which you are listening we join part two of the speech just after Mr. Counsellor has outlined the evolution of the anti-riot bill of one thousand sixty eight. The law under which the Chicago Seven were prosecuted when the bill was going through the Senate. George Meany asked special permission. To testify against the bill.
And he pointed out to the senators. When this bill was in judiciary. That no strike. Would be immune from prosecution. Under the statute. And the senator said. Mr. meany you're right. This would make any strike. In which three or more people gather and someone uses a telephone to call for money for the strikers. And a scratch occurs. On the door of a factory. The strikers would be eligible for prosecution. And so the Senate obligingly. Put a little paragraph. In the statute. Nothing in this act is to be construed as applying to labor unions. So they are expressly excluded. Which of course shows the danger of the statute itself. If the AFL CIO is worried. That it can encompass a simple strike. A wholly peaceful legitimate activity.
Then you can imagine what other peaceful legitimate activities. This bill could cover. Including people come to protest the national convention of the ruling party in the United States. But I would. The or the bill was signed on April 11th. And says the indictment the conspiracy began on April 12. The first act of conspiracy. Is alleged to have been a speech. Which occurred on April 12 in Cleveland Ohio. By Ronnie Davis. It's so nice of the conspirators to wake up. The only acts of which they're accused are speech. I am probably guilty of a statute here. If three of you. Go out and scratch a window.
Because I have crossed a state line I am making a speech. A new member intent of mind is not approved probably opening up craniums and looking at convolutions you look at what people do and what they say and what happens. And then that's how you bring your prosecution. It's a statute so dangerous that the former attorney general United States Ramsey Clark. Testified against it. And said it was totally unconstitutional. And then ordered. The United States attorney in Chicago after the Democratic National Convention not to prosecute anybody under the statute. He was overruled by the chief judge. Of the district out there. Who gave an order that Ramsey Clark was not to be permitted to interfere. With prosecutions in Chicago. An order he laid and rescinded when he realized how utterly fantastic it was. That he could exclude the chief law enforcement officer of the United States
have the R.. Of the OR. So they were all to be indicted by a grand jury. Called into being by a federal judge in Chicago not by the attorney general of United States. And then Judge Hoffman succeeded in doing what Judge Campbell could not. Judge Campbell couldn't keep Ramsey Clark. Out of some participation in this case. Judge Hoffman succeeded in keeping him off the witness stand so the jury could never hear. This man who came to Chicago voluntarily to testify for the defense in this case. And yet the jury never saw him. They have now radicalized a former Cabinet officer of the United States or of the.
For him the trial itself once the defendants were indicted. Was one which you've read a great deal about. And there would be no useful purpose. In going in an anecdotal way through the entire trial. Except to tell you what their intention was in defending themselves. They decided early in the game. That they once forced into the court room were going to defend vigorously. There are many ways you can approach these things politically. You can sit silently. As perhaps Ghandi might have recommended in this case. And as he did for his own trials. And do nothing. And let the state do its tempers That's one theory. Has some merit to it. Another theory. Is to. Just say I didn't do it put on ties and suit coat.
Cut hair. Take off the beads and the headbands. And walk into court and play it straight. Another approach. Has some merit to it. If what you're looking for. Is merely acquittals. Then there's a third approach. And that is to fight it to the hilt. And I am glad that they took the last approach because it took a great deal of thought on their part. They were facing ten years and twenty thousand dollars plus cost because they were indicted on two caps. Each man was in the conspiracy and each man had a substantive count. That instead of just conspiring across state lines he had crossed state lines with intent. So they faced a good. Part of their. Young adult lives and with Dave his old adult life. In jail.
But they decided to defend on three levels. One they were going to show the government. Case was the product of liars and informers. And it was all of that. Fact it was only that. And then they were going to show. What their lifestyles was. And they decided to educate the jury. And through the jury as many people as I could reach. Who would read or hear. Of what went on in Chicago. And then thirdly they were determined to show why they came to Chicago in the first place. That it was the war in Vietnam. That it was racism. That it was poverty. That it was women's liberation. And three or four other things which brought them to Chicago. That they had. Motivations. Which were not to go to Chicago. And as the prosecutor said have a public fornication on the beach.
He love that phrase. Or when he asked Abby on the standard you advocate public fornication I B said I don't use that word. I have of the. You offered and they did exactly what they set out to do. They proved the government's case was a pack of lies because the jury couldn't agree. Four of the jurors and that's a big percentage. When you take a mid-western jury drawn from very restricted voter lists. And. All of a certain class. And get them to listen to five months sequestered. Never going home. And listening to. The government's. Informers. And watching the defendants lifestyles of the court. And
knowing. Their own fears of government. And of the FBI and so on they split eight to four. For thinking all defendants were innocent. Eight thinking all were guilty. And they had to compromise their way out. And the extent of our victory is the extent of that compromise. Because 33 and a third percent of the jury had been won. By what went on in that courtroom. I know for a certainty. That when that case opened. There were 12 against. When the case closed there were only eight against. So they compromised. There was no conspiracy in Chicago said the jury. Despite what Mayor Daley said. And so they acquitted. On seven counts of conspiracy. There was no great plot to blow up an underground garage. In Chicago. This is called the Grand Park hoax. And they acquitted. On the only access charge to the conspirators.
They planned to take a coke bottle with something other than coke down to the Grand Park garage. And blow it up. As a diversionary measure. So that the demonstrators could storm. The Democratic convention while the police and the firemen were fighting the blaze. Look the only problem was they got their dates mixed up and when the plot was supposed to have taken place the convention was over. You offered. So the jury acquitted. Frons and Weiner. Of the great. Plot. And convicted five in the compromise. To go home to get out of the courtroom. They convicted five after four days of deliberation of the second count. That of. Crossing state lines with intent to commit a riot.
Unfortunately we have a very good documentary of some of you may have read. By one of the jurors characters as to how they arrived at this brokerage deal which took place at midnight in the Palmer House. Where. Four jurors were in one room. Seven in another. And Miss Richard flying back and forth between. We'll give you a freind and Weiner. Give us Hayden and Robin a little of. Art that's how it went and perhaps that was the best verdict of all. Because it clarified the issue completely. That American public opinion was divided. And that to some people our defendants represent a fear of the future. They're dangerous men. As Judge Hofmann found. And therefore have to be put away. While the other people they represent a whole new way of life. They represent tomorrow.
After a very tired today. And so are they. One third two thirds split. Perhaps was as revealing as anything else that happened at the trial. But to me the important part. Was. Not that they show the government's case was a pack of lies. And they showed it beautifully. They did it in tremendous fashion. One of the key. Little bits that convince those four members of the jury. I see involves the same flag that's hanging down from the balcony. Because. What happened. It. Was one of their key witnesses a newspaper reporter by the name of Murray. 30 years a police reporter in Chicago was brought in as a rebuttal to show that Dave had a mad charge down Michigan Avenue. On Wednesday night. Led by the North Vietnamese and Vietcong flags.
So he said. I just asked one or two questions on cross-examination. I said Mr. Murray. Would you describe a Viet Cong. Or North Vietnamese flag. He said they're all black and I was. The that was by the way representative. Of much. Of the government's case. All of it supplied by police officers. With only two exceptions. They threw in a cocktail waitress. From. The Conrad Hilton Haymarket lounge. Testified. That demonstrators yelling obscenities. Had leaped through the broken window. In bare feet over the glass washing over ashtrays.
The last name by the way was lawyer. But chose some people to get a lawyer to do anything look. Look I don't wholly subscribe to that but I don't think it's completely far off. Then they had a young man they brought in a veteran. Now a present naval cadet from Louisiana. Who. Testified. And this is his testimony. That when he and his family were walking down Michigan Avenue. On the night of the great confrontation August 28. A young demonstrator ran towards them. Going north on Michigan. When he saw a television camera. He fell to the ground. Clutched his head. Moaned. While the cameras ground away. And then as soon as he saw the read I was off and the
camera stood up and strolled up Michigan Avenue again. This was to show. That all of the stitches never happened. That nobody got a split head. Nobody was thrown over the viaduct. That no demonstrator was really injured. No newsman was injured. It was all I faked engineered as Mr. Agnew would have us believe by the major networks of the country Erfurt. We were up in the second part of the case when they were through reporting. This fabric which had been erected by the government. They then presented their lifestyles. And we put on the stand everybody. That would represent that lifestyle. Larry. Allen Ginsberg or. Ed Sanders. Judy Cowan.
Pete Seeger. All of Guthrie. And literally scores of others. Who testified frankly. About what the belief is. And sex. Drugs and the like. Just a word about sex because it always comes up. They. Had testified that the Yippies had planned. I guess you'd have to call the public screw it. Lowder A. The only evidence. Of any quote public fornication and quote that took place in this trial was one police cadet. The he said that he was walking through Lincoln park one night I think Monday night. And this was at a time the police were clearing the park with gas and clubs. And they had looked
up into a trade of the of the and there he said was a man and a woman. As he put it going at it the. Uh so I asked him Could it have been that he had wandered into Lincoln Park Zoo by mistake. Uh he said no it's not this joke. I said did you call for an ambulance. No. Did you get a net. Did you at least get a stretcher. No what did you do. If I walked away and went about my business. I said you didn't arrest him. They said no they were up in the trade the. So by this time I was so fed up I said what kind of a tree was the I expected him to say it was an ash.
Uh but I must inform you it was apparently was a maple syrup which explains why that's the national flag of Canada. The. For him after presenting their lifestyles as they did it in person by being what they were in the courtroom. And they never tried to hide. What they were in the courtroom. What they believed in on moratorium day we had an hour and a half flag and an American flag on the council table. The NLF flag was seized by the marshals when the judge came in. But it was there for a while. They read off to the jury on moratorium day a list of the war dead from Illinois. Until. They were stopped. And one of Dave Devon just contempt citations is three months for
reading off a list of the dead when court started. They wore the same clothes they always wear. There's no difference there. Our table was loaded with everything from jelly beans. To newspapers to magazines. You can always get your underground press. Right at our table. There was mail call twice a day. And we had the height I think of. Movement achievement. When one day a rather bulky Oblak came to the table. Addressed to Abbie Hoffman of Judge Hoffman and delivered by Judge Hoffman to Clark Mr. Bright's. And we opened it up and. To some of the officiant auto's at the table. It had the odor of what is referred to in the trade as grass. The book when informed of this fact.
I made a motion to the court for instructions as to what to do with this contraband. The judge said you are a very able lawyer Mr.. I'm sure you'll know how to dispose of it or others or or. I said Judge we will burn it tonight. Of her were. Ah er but lastly and most important. They try to dramatize the issues that brought them to Chicago. They tried to bring people to discuss the war in Vietnam like Donald Duncan. Who described. What he had seen in North Vietnam. And Rennie Davis. You know I've gone twice to Hanoi. To bring
flyers back and we brought in an aide to Senator McCarthy. Dick Goodwin who you know was the campaign director for. Bobby Kennedy and then for Gene McCarthy and who had been Jack Kennedy's top speechwriter. And Dick Goodwin testified. We brought in people from around the country. Such as a woman member of parliament and Kerr who came to Chicago because she felt that the war in Vietnam was an outrage to humanity and that this ruling party was the proper place to be to protest. It was. The Arctic and who was maced. For our efforts. We did all of this and I could go on witness after witness but I think you read of most of a number of books published which will illustrate what each one did.
But the key point was. That they tried to make the courtroom into a form of social protest. Because if they couldn't do this in Chicago in 1968 they wanted to do it in Chicago in 1989 and 70 in other words they made an important policy decision. If they want to be persecuted. For coming to Chicago in 1968. They were going to stand and fight in that court room to make their views which brought them to Chicago known to their fellow citizens. And that's what they did. They said thus far and no further. And maybe that's the lesson. Of this. Trial. Maybe the people who say well they disrupted the court which in fact they did not except for a very brief period of time. There are people who say that defendants should not act this way. And there are people who point the finger. I had a young man a woman who out of bitterness or frustration may break a window here and there. And
say look. That's a terrible thing to break a window. Without ever once condescending to look at the causes of why people are moved this way. That's I think what this case illustrates. That. Inner you've got to look beyond what are now. Property damage once in a while. While I think a very bad tactic. And I don't condone it because I don't think it advances the social struggle that's the only reason I don't condone. The property damage that some disruption in a court room. Those aren't the evils of America. That isn't what transcends our daily lives. If you want to shake your finger at it. At any type of. Violence. Shake it at all violence. If you're going to complain about a broken window you've got to complain about me lied.
And if you're gonna complain complain about any act. That a human being does out a bit innocent prostration. You've got to condemn all violence everywhere or you're a total hypocrite. And if you're going to Africa. For him this trial made it quite clear that if you're going to be diverted. From the real grievances of this country grievances which I hope it is not too late. To do something about. Then you've got to avoid being diverted. By a broken windows courtroom conduct which you might
not yourself in gauging. And you've got to look to those issues which bring this country to where it is today. And you've got to resolve that they must be solved and promptly. Because of government proves incapable. Of solving its problems its most pressing domestic and foreign problems. Then perhaps it's time for government to get out of the way for someone else who can do it. I hope. That government can do it. I hope that there is time. I hope the government listens. I hope that they present a united states never says again as he said on October 15. I'm not going to be moved by these demonstrations. Why who is he not to be moved by a demonstration. What is his function where does his power come from. From you and me. I hope with his trial proves nothing else. It proves it was not a circus. It was not a Hippodrome.
It was a deadly serious trial by men who are in dead earnest. Not about every blueprint for the future because they don't understand that anymore than I do and can be Cassandra's all of them. Or any of them. But they were united in one aspect. They were going to give this country a warning. That it is time. And there may be a little time left. To wake up to the realities of American life. And to do something. Before it is too late. And I hope when I speak at campuses like this or any other camp I say much the same thing. I hope. That none of you rush out of here and break a window because you think that will advance what I'm saying it won't. But I do hope. That you walk out of here. And that you determined those of you to feel this way that you are going to resist
illegitimate authority. That you are going to. Put yourself in a position to make your voice heard. And that you're not going to stop. Until. There is a change in direction. Because if you have that well. Then there may be a change in direction. If you don't have that well. Then maybe. You're very close. To burrow in 1933. When people also I thought. Had one last chance. I hope. That we caused that change in direction and that we can do it. Liberals radical of. Everyone else. That we can do it together. Because it will benefit all of us. Together. Thank you for the injured Chicago summoned defense attorney William M. Consoler in the second part of a talk given on the campus of the University of Cincinnati and a Rs
special of the week thanks WG you will see the University of Cincinnati for the recording of these remarks. This is any art of the national educational radio network.
Special of the week
Issue 19-70
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Special of the week; Issue 19-70,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 28, 2023,
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