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Chicago, 1968.

I finally watched “The Trial of the Chicago 7” last night. Initial thoughts:

  • Those young people were so organized. And they had to do it by phone and word-of-mouth! No social media!
  • Seeing the police cock their guns as the unarmed protesters marched was disturbing.
  • That the trial proceeded even though Bobby Seale didn’t have a lawyer was disturbing.
  • I didn’t know the trial lasted so long — months.

Watching something like this helps me better understand the environment that bred the future radicalism of a group like the Symbionese Liberation Army. To the 1968 protesters, and to Camilla Hall, the nomination of Hubert Humphrey at the Democratic National Convention was a joke. They saw very little difference between him and Richard Nixon in terms of a stance on the Vietnam War.

The 1968 protests were a culmination of years of frustration. The SLA formation in 1973 was the culmination of years of frustration. The January 6 Capitol insurrection was the culmination of frustration — not sure about years, but definitely months. What’s next?

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, 2021.