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NDE are the national educational radio network presents special of the week. This is the first of a two part series produced by W. Do you see the radio station of the University of Cincinnati William M. councilor a graduate of Yale University and the Columbia Law School was one of the two defense attorneys in the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial today and next week we present to you 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 these radio station WG you see the national educational radio network or the station to which you are listening now part one of the speech by Chicago Seven attorney William Kunstler. Now the Chicago trial. Had. Very beautiful moments. Had some inspiring moments. I had some
pathetic moments and had some tragic moments. It was a microcosm I guess of life in the United States today. And I thought of a way of bringing it home to you. Before we go into whatever meaning it does have. By indicating something that happened almost at the end of the trial. In fact three different things which occurred towards the end of the trial. One of them. Occurred. On. The day before. The verdicts were announced. I received in the mail. A little piece of paper from a woman. Somewhere in Ohio. Unfortunately we lost the address. And when she said this Dear Mr Kunstler my 13 year old son wrote this in reaction to the trial. I thought you might enjoy seeing it. He
sees. Hopefully many many more do. And she sent me a little parable. Which is as ingenious as it is heartfelt. And probably embodies a great deal of the trial. It's called the continuing story of jungle jim. This week's episode untitled 10 little wonderous and it goes as follows. It was already a restless day when the eight wondrous end of the city and when they had left the city was in ruins. But at the same time a warrior was chosen. This warrior went to battle. And despite his place he was defeated by the Great Lord of elephants. And this prophetic wrinkle that had defeated him in battle took the throne. And by and by he called upon a peasant in his house but the highest of all peasants. And said someday thou shalt be king. Not in my day but someday. Go thou and bring forth the eight wonders protect me as I know you will now do thy duty.
And so it was that the high president came to the Wanderers and as he suspected they were ready for it. And now there were 10. And by and by he noticed that one of them was black. And that nine were white. And he said this is not good. For this may surely bring together many blacks and whites which would prove a threat to the pureness that radiates from the house of white. And then there were nine. And one of the nine remaining said. But this black man is good. And they were right. And one said one of the forbidden words and there were seven and one baked a cake. And there were six. And many spread love to those that represented their enemies in such erotic gestures as blown kisses. And by and by but to remain. And they stood with the wanderers with heads high. And then there were none. And
think how it would be if the peasants jury had come and said the ten Wanderers are innocent. They may walk free. And the highest of all peasants would say no they may not. Because I have declared them guilty. At the point of a great mountain and a little stone present to help the 10 Little Wanderers and they looked at the mountain and saw that it was slowly being washed to the sea and they were saved because they were not on it. And as they looked they realized it was they not the people on the mountain who were truly free. To offer us. Now the second document took place on the day of the vert.
And. We came into the court on that day. In order to await a wiretap motion. But instead. After the court had decided the motion it decided to sentence the defendants and each one was permitted to make a speech pre-sentence remarks the lawyers call it. And the last to speak. Was the one of our number the one little wonder. Who simmered up here in the University of Cincinnati and. Jerry's book called Do It. A very important copy of which I have with me was published that day or at least copies arrived in the courtroom that day. Still unbound. But complete otherwise. And after Jerry had given his pre-sentence
remarks he ended it by offering this copy which I have here to the judge. And he had put two inscriptions in the book on the title page he says. Dear Julius little. If the demonstrations in Chicago in 1968 were the first step of the revolution. What happened in this courtroom was the second step. Thanks. The area of expertise. It was. And then Jerry pointed to the judge that there was a second inscription. By this time he had walked almost up to the bench and was directly under. This awesome edifice. Hello. And. With the judge recoiling. In a higher up.
Jerry read the second inscription to him. Julius. You radicalize more young people than we ever could. You know the country's top BP. You have a room. Were. Are. THE JUDGE. Ordered the book returned. To Jerry. But by the time the bell of product back Jerry was on his way to Cook County Jail. And I picked the book up and I'm hope to keep it with me as long as the pages hold together. But the book was very symbolic to me. Because the judge to the end. Would not open up a line of communication even to the passive. Enterprise of receiving the book. Even if he were to throw it in the trash. Basket in his office. Ten minutes later he would not receive
the book because like so much. Of American power. It cannot look the future in the face and the judge ordered the book returned to Jerry. Now the third document is a short clipping. From the. Newspaper Chicago today dated March 1st. On March 1st. Bell was ordered in our cases. Those of you that can recall. Will remember that the judge had ordered no bond for anyone. Not for the clients not for the lawyers. On the theory. That there were no substantial grounds of appeal. And to that we were dangerous men and should not be at large. The court of appeals reversed with the entire on bond court. All
five judges sitting. And they reversed him completely. They found that one there was a substantial appeal here both from the contempt convictions and from the main case till they found that the men were not dangerous men. And three they found there was no possibility of anybody being a bad bail risk. And so they imposed bond and freed everyone. I had been preparing for my May 4th day. I had already seen the warden. Checked out my cell and even had a job. You are looking at a man who came close to succeeding to becoming. The chief clerk of the warden of the Cook County jail or worse. Are the world. I hope the job is still open when the appeals have been terminated. The judge was called by his own clerk. An elderly gentleman by
the name of Tony Bryce. Who for five months day in and day out announced the call of the calendar every morning and adjourned court every night. I think I'll hear his voice for many years to come. In the back of my head. Tony called the judge. As the Court of Appeals order was delivered to him. And this is the little squit about that phone call that appeared in Chicago today on March 1st. Judge Julius J Hoffman reacted curtly. And quickly yesterday when read a transcript of the United States appeals court ruling freeing the conspiracy seven defendants. How often was read the decision over the phone by his looks Marc Anthony Brooks. When Bryce read the part of the ruling which said there was no danger of flight by the defendants and that the government had not proved the men were dangerous. Hofmann snapped. That's enough and hung up.
I think that probably tells in brief language what the judge feels. Was the end result of the Chicago Seven case. I want to indicate to you that the word Chicago Seven are a misnomer. We are now the Chicago ten. They always left Bobby Seale off after he was separate from this case because he took the simple expedient of asking the judge to give him permission to defend himself. When his lawyer. Was ill and could not make it. The seven white defendants never referred to themselves as the seven. That was the newspapers. They were the eight and they are the eight today. Bobby Seale is part of this case and a very important part of this case. And now we have added unexpectedly the two lawyers. We weren't part of the case in the beginning. But by God when it ended we were just as
much a part as the defendants. And I think I'm quite grateful that I can be occluded Finally at age 50 into a numbered group of defendants. I never thought I'd have that opportunity. You are. Are you all. Now the trial had deep significance. It was not the most serious trial in American history. Both from what happened and from the penalties involved. They received five years. They received $5000 fine. They received. Costs which may be eight or nine thousand dollars a man. Assuming we lose all the way through. But there are many other defendants facing much more serious penalties around this country. Political defenders ranging from you in Newton in California to
us. Of the end of the Panthers in New York the the air Johnson Clair in Michigan in the end. Those of you who know Leo Otis Johnson used in Texas who has 30 years for possession of one joint and was the leader of snake. In its days. In Houston. But there are many cases that are extremely serious. Bobby Seale faces the death penalty in Connecticut. And that trial will open in the spring. And there are so many more that you and I haven't even heard. Where people who have political views and are expressing them. Are being persecuted by the state. And all done in the name of the law. This is not an unusual thing. There wasn't a single prosecution in Nazi Germany. That was prosecuted outside the law. Whether it was under the Nuremberg Laws.
Or some other aspect of the Third Reich. The law is the great leveler. It gives legitimacy to all sorts of persecution modern countries don't. Use methods which don't look legal. People are no longer merely seized off the street decapitated in the cellar and their bodies hauled away in quicklime to be buried. No. Now in every country. That uses courts as instruments of oppression. The law is followed. To the letter. The words due process. Casts a rosy glow. Over every political persecution. There's a lawyer in the courtroom as a judge on the bench. As a jury in the box. There's a court room. The press is admitted. Limited numbers of selected public are admitted.
And you have what looks like a trial. And all of the liberals say. The law will work it out. If the judge is a higher up the appellate courts will reverse and if occasionally they don't. The next one will get the benefit of this man's ordeal. And liberals among whom I was included until rather recently. Take that position. That once it's done legally and once the methods. Of the court system are used then everything will be fine and all's right with the world. The only thing of course is. That that's outright hypocrisy and not true. If it were true. Then I wouldn't be here today. Maybe you wouldn't be in that audience today but it is not true. Everyone knows it is not true. From Judge J Skelly right of the Court of Appeals of the disk of Columbia. Who says no poor man ever got a fair shake in American courtrooms. Two Black Panthers who sit in jail in
Manhattan. On $100000 bond. For conspiracy. To blow up some department stores. Whereas. White people accused not of conspiracy but of actually bombing the criminal courts building walk out on $20000 bond. Our people our seven defendants should not be out of jail. It's not fair or right that they're out of jail and they know it best of all why should they be out on $25000 bond for a conspiracy to cause a riot. At the Democratic National Convention. When Black Panthers did in New York on $100000 bond. The effort. You offered they say in New York that the Panthers are disrupting the court.
That they yelling things to judge. That they're being obstreperous. And the Liberals again say they shouldn't do that. That's not decorum in a courtroom. And it isn't right. It shows no respect. For the institution. And the judge says that's right. I'm going to have no trial here unless you sign a sworn statement. That you have respect for the court. Which of course no self-respecting human being who doesn't share that respect could possibly sign. And so the Panthers have refused to sign that statement. And if they're not to Corus in the courtroom. Perhaps there. Wondering in their minds. Why they have been locked up for one solid year. Most of them without criminal records. Want a doctor of chemistry from Columbia University or others having families. Others just may have children. On $100000 bond one year of their
lives gone. Without a conviction for the crime of which they are accused. Maybe and wondering about that. The bitterness and the frustration grows so intense. That no man can stand in the courtroom least of all a proud black man and hang his head. And say a blatant lie to himself and to the court. I have respect for you and your institution that's asking too much of a human being and of such. Such a I'm I think courts are entitled to respect if they earn the respect. And I don't think they're entitled to it just because they are another institution of the system. They are only entitled to the respect which human
beings can earn for themselves as well as institutions. And if courts permit themselves. To be instruments of oppression. As in Chicago. As in New York. Then I think they have to cope with the fact. That there are some individuals at least who are not going to be obsequious any longer. And who are not going to treat that mysterious place. As the top of the mountain and that there are some human beings whom society has pushed beyond good manners beyond decorum beyond following the rules rules which they have good reason to know. We have corrupted and perverted them since they were brought here on slave ships more than 400 years ago and they're just not going to do it. And it may be in New York. That they never have a trial. Because they won't do it. And it may be that
society is now going to work out all sorts of mechanisms like glass boxes and piping the trial into your cell. Via television or by what they did in Chicago. By putting a black man back into the chains which were reluctantly struck from his legs supposedly 100 so years ago and gagging his mouth for the effort. Are you. In other words maybe the rules which are oppressive are not going to be followed by men who feel the weight of that oppression. And if that is so then perhaps we are in a new era when the political trial will be a far different institution than it was in the past. Now the trial. I think dramatized. It. A great deal of what I'm saying here. While it
wasn't a serious penalty as other trials it had one great success. It had a media attraction to it which made it a showcase what the defendant said what happened to them when around the world. And attention was focused on a new kind of trial in the United States. The mixture the meeting. Of different personalities at an historic time in American life. Made this trial something all by itself. This trial became I think the opening fight perhaps. Of the Second American Revolution. Perhaps it's Concord and Lexington. I don't know. Maybe that's an over. Romanticism but it was the place I
think that eight brave men who were selected very carefully by the government to be an all line pacifist like Governor. One of the founders of STDs and the author of most of the Port Huron statement that found it best yes Haig Rennie Davis. Professed Yes. Worker in the ghetto enjoin in Chicago. And the project director of the national mobilization. With reference to the Democratic National Convention two advocates of a new youth culture a revolutionary youth culture. Jerry and Abby. And then. Two men who had no connection as national leaders but represented you. The campus people a student a graduate student from Northwestern Lee Wiener and an assistant professor of chemistry from the University of Oregon John Frons and then they had the greatest
break of all. Bobby Seale. Had replaced Kathleen Cleaver who had been a replacement for Eldridge to speak for a few minutes in Lincoln Park on Tuesday Aug. 27. So they had the chairman of the Black Panther Committee party for self defense. In Chicago. During the Democratic National Convention for 18 hours. A man who knew none of the other defendants except Tom Hayden and only met him once. So they had the new prosecutors dream. The Black Panther Party could also be crippled. By throwing him into this prosecution. And they had a lot a great lawyer. This law which was introduced by Representative Kramer of Florida in 1967. After wraparound. Had gone to Cambridge Maryland. Which resulted in the burning of one wall of a school house that had been condemned and burned
months ago. I. Introduced a bill called the anti-riot. Representative Cramer is from north Florida up. North Florida for those of you. That can't. Be geographical. Is the home. Of. Mr. Carswell. The president of the United States has the affront to Aruba. Who was us was as the in front to name an incompetent racist. To this High Court was us. You
or Kramer introduced the bell. It was defeated in the house. Tabled in the house in 1907 Congressman Fisher of Texas who supported the bill said this is the ideal thing we need in the United States so we can get the Martin King's The Stokely Carmichael and the wraparound and the Floyd McKissic ce. For some reason Floyd. Who is the mildest of men was thrown in with this rough trio. Often the house tabled the bill. And then the bill was brought up by strong Thurmond. In 1968. The leadership had introduced a bill known as the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
It was a mild open housing bill. Thurman said that the Senate would filibuster. Hey. And the Southern Democrats. And the Northern conservatives would filibuster the bill to death unless. They revive Kramer's anti-riot bill. And made it part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 that was resisted. By the liberals until April 4th. 1968. When Martin was assassinated in Memphis. Then as you remember disturbances broke out. In many cities. And particularly in Washington DC and Chicago. And. Thurmond said if you want to get your Civil Rights Act bill down to cool the people you have to take our rider with it. And so this strange anomaly of life. Occurred. An act that was born. To get Martin Luther King among others was brought into
being by his death. And on April 11th the president signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which now included. A statute which said that if a person goes. Across state lines or uses interstate facilities Radio-TV mail what have you with the intent to provoke a riot. Which is designed by the way as three or more people. And any injury results to a person or property. They may be indicted for the statute. All the pens on intent of mine that's the key phrase in the statute. We've heard Chicago's seven Defense attorney William M. consular in the first part of a talk given on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. This is been part one of two parts produced by the radio station of the University of Cincinnati. WG you see part two next week.
This has been special of the week from any arm of the national educational radio network.
Special of the week
Issue 18-70
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Special of the week; Issue 18-70,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 20, 2024,
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