The Trial of the Chicago 7



The Trial of the Chicago 7 is streaming only on Netflix.

Azzurra Degliuomini, Club Member

Netflix has once again released another hard-hitting, emotional film called The Trial of the Chicago 7. This movie was based on real-life events about what happened at the Democratic National Convention back in the summer of 1968. Eight anti-war activists stand trial for conspiring to incite a riot at the convention after protesting against and calling to end the Vietnam War. 

The defendants included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner. Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, was also charged but tried separately.

The trial made international news, with protestors chanting “the whole world is watching.” This was not a chant made up by director Aaron Sorkin, creator of the Emmy winning TV series The West Wing. This was an actual chant that protestors shouted as they were facing down cops back in 1968 at the time of the protests. This chant would proceed to be used as the trials were going on. 

From the very beginning, the trials were chaotic. 8 men had to go up against a Judge and prosecution that were biased towards the police. They knew that they were going to be found guilty either way, but they still had to try and fight for a fair trial. Bobby Seale had to fight for the right to have counsel, which he was never granted because the Judge said counsel was already present, even though it wasn’t.

The prosecution brought to the witness stand undercover cops that were a part of the protests for the sole reason to incite violence. The defense could almost never have the chance to bring in their own witnesses, and when they did, their testimony was thrown out.

This movie included actual scenes that were shown and televised back at the time of the events. This includes news footage of the protests, riots, and very graphic, heartbreaking scenes of cops beating protesters. 

This movie shows the corruption within both the justice and criminal justice systems, especially back in the 1960s. If you feel like this is a movie for you, you should definitely watch it. The story of the Chicago 7 is worth the watch.