Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch, Frank Langella, Alex Sharp, Danny Flaherty, Noah Robbins, Kelvin Harrison Jr., William Hurt
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Netflix’s political drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. Based on true events, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) follows the 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and other charges, arising from the anti-Vietnam War and countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the US government.
Our Favorite Quotes:
Tom Hayden: Now, when it comes to the war and social justice, there is simply not enough of a difference between Humphrey and Nixon to make a difference. And so, we’re going to Chicago. Young people, by busloads, will go to Chicago to show our solidarity and our disgust. But most importantly
Abbie Hoffman: [cut to Abbie in front of a crowd] To get laid by someone you just met.
Abbie Hoffman: We’re going to Chicago peacefully. We’re going peacefully. But if we’re met there with violence, you better believe that we’re going to meet that violence with…
David Dellinger: [cut to David talking to his young son] Non-violence. Always non-violence, and that’s without exception.
David Dellinger: If the police try to arrest me, I’ll do what I always do, and what I taught you to do, which is what?
Daniel Dellinger: Very calmly, and very politely…
Bobby Seale: [cut to Bobby] F*** the m**herf***ers up! They leave us alone and everything’s cool. They tangle, disrupt, intimidate, they play fast and loose with the First Amendment, start breaking heads, then, no, we will not be on our way.
Sondra: You can’t give this speech in Chicago.
Bobby Seale: There’s no place to be but in it.
Bobby Seale: If they attack…
Sondra: Dr. King…
Bobby Seale: Is dead! He has a dream? Well, now he has a f***ing bullet in his head. Martin’s dead. Malcolm’s dead. Medgar’s dead. Bobby’s dead. Jesus is dead. They tried it peacefully. We’re going to try something else.
Sondra: [referring to the gun] You’ll at least take one of these?
Bobby Seale: If I knew how to use that, I wouldn’t need to be making speeches.
Rennie Davis: [to Jerry, who is on the phone] Tom says to tell Abbie that we’re going to Chicago to end the war and not to f*** around.
Jerry Rubin: Hayden says we’re going to Chicago to end the war and not to f*** around.
Abbie Hoffman: Tell Hayden I went to Brandeis, and I can do both.
Tom Hayden: We’re going to show that we, as a generation, are serious people.
Abbie Hoffman: People say, “You know, Abbie, are you concerned about an overreaction from the cops?” We’re not concerned about it. We’re counting on it!
Tom Hayden: We want to underscore again, that we’re coming to Chicago peacefully, but whether we’re given permits or not, we’re coming.
David Dellinger: We’re not going to storm the convention with tanks or mace, but we are going to storm the hearts and minds of the American people.
John Mitchell: Son, are you nervous?
Richard Schultz: No, sir.
John Mitchell: Why the f*** not? I’m kidding. Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about me. Ramsey Clark gave me the finger on the way out the door.
John Mitchell: You think you and your boss are in the attorney general’s office because I want you to seek an indictment for violating a federal trespassing law?
Richard Schultz: Our office wasn’t aware that the Justice Department wanted to seek any indictments at all, sir.
John Mitchell: We do.
John Mitchell: [referring to Clark] One hour before my confirmation hearing gaveled, that’s when he resigned. What a pr**k!
Richard Schultz: That’s unprofessional, sir.
John Mitchell: Unprofessional? It was unpatriotic. And I’ll tell you what else. It was impolite. There’s such a thing as manners. I want to bring back manners. How about that? The America I grew up in. Will you help me, Mr. Schultz? Because I asked Mr. Foran who was the best prosecutor in his office, and he said you.
Howard Ackerman: Section 2101 of Title 18.
John Mitchell: That’s the federal law that was broken.
Richard Schultz: That’s the Rap Brown Law.
Howard Ackerman: In conspiracy to cross state lines in order to incite violence. Comes with a maximum of ten years. We want all ten.
Richard Schultz: For whom, sir?
Howard Ackerman: The all-star team.
Richard Schultz: [reading from the file] “Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Lee Weiner, John Froines, and Bobby Seale?”
John Mitchell: I call them the school boys, and when I do, everyone here knows who I’m talking about. Petulant and dangerous. And we watched for a decade while these rebels without a job, who never bothered to got their hands dirty fighting the enemy, tell us how to prosecute a war. The decade’s over. The grown-ups are back, and I deem these s**tty little fairies to be a threat to national security. So they’re going to spend their thirties in a federal facility. Real time.
Richard Schultz: I said, sir, you pay me for my opinion.
John Mitchell: Where did you learn that? In class? I pay you to win.
Richard Schultz: I’m not sure we can get a good indictment on conspiracy, sir.
John Mitchell: Why not?
Richard Schultz: For one thing, some of these people have never met each other.
John Mitchell: Is there a problem?
Richard Schultz: No, sir.
John Mitchell: Say what you want to say, since apprantly I’m paying for your wisdom. Give me my money’s worth.
Richard Schultz: Sir, there are people who will see this as the Justice Department restraining free speech, and there were people who see these men as martyrs.
John Mitchell: You’re thirty-three, and you’re about to be named lead prosecutor in the most important trial in your lifetime, after being handpicked by the attorney general. I’m about to do that right now. But before I do, let me ask you. How do you see them?
Richard Schultz: Personally, or in terms of…
John Mitchell: Personally.
Richard Schultz: I see them as vulgar, anti-establishment, antisocial, and unpragmatic. But none of those things are indictable.
John Mitchell: Then imagine how impressed I’ll be when you get an indictment.
Thomas Foran: [referring to their meeting with Mitchell] You didn’t show a lot of gratitude in there.
Richard Schultz: On top of everything, we’re giving them exactly what they want. A stage and an audience.
Thomas Foran: You think there’s going to be a big audience?
Richard Schultz: Yes, sir. I do.
Crowd: [chanting] The whole world is watching!
Abbie Hoffman: [referring to the crowd and reporters] You alright?
Jerry Rubin: I was, until I saw that.
Abbie Hoffman: Most of them are on our side.
Abbie Hoffman: [as Jerry catches the egg thrown at him] Jesus Christ! How did you do that?
Jerry Rubin: Experience.
Abbie Hoffman: You don’t know what to do with the egg now, do you?
Jerry Rubin: No.
John Froines: I understand why they’re trying to smoke Abbie, Jerry, and Hayden, even Rennie and Dellinger. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out what the two of us are doing here.
Lee Weiner: I feel exactly the same way. But this is the Academy Awards of protests, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s an honor just to be nominated.
Fred Hampton: [to Bobby] We have instructions from our lawyer.
William Kunstler: If you need me, I’m sitting right there. You just look at me, and you say, “I need you.”
Fred Hampton: We don’t need you, Bill.
Fred Hampton: Don’t mess this up.
William Kunstler: Alright. Good pep talk.
Abbie Hoffman: You see the crowd out there?
Jerry Rubin: I have an egg.
William Kunstler: Well, get rid of that.
Jerry Rubin: You don’t think I want to?
William Kunstler: Are you stoned?
Abbie Hoffman: Yeah. You?
William Kunstler: You remember what I said.
Tom Hayden: Okay. And you remember to keep us out of prison.
William Kunstler: There’s a lot of good advice this morning.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Are the People ready to make opening arguments?
Richard Schultz: We are, Your Honor.
Bobby Seale: I don’t have my lawyer here.
Judge Julius Hoffman: It’s not your turn to speak.
Judge Julius Hoffman: I’d like to clarify something for the jurors. There are two Hoffmans in this courtroom. The defendant Abbie Hoffman, and myself, Judge Julius Hoffman.
Richard Schultz: Thank you, sir.
Judge Julius Hoffman: I didn’t want there to be confusion on the matter.
Abbie Hoffman: Man, I don’t think there’s much chance they’re going to mix us up.
Judge Julius Hoffman: And the record should reflect that defendant Hoffman and I are not related.
Abbie Hoffman: [mockingly] Father, no!
Judge Julius Hoffman: Mr. Hoffman, are you familiar with contempt of court?
Abbie Hoffman: It’s practically a religion for me, sir.
Bobby Seale: [referrning to Schultz] He just said my name.
Judge Julius Hoffman: You’re a defendant in this case. You’re likely to hear your name.
Bobby Seale: I have a right to counsel, and His Honor knows that.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Don’t tell the court what it does and does not know. Be seated.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Note the prosecution was referring to the defendant Derringer. Not Dellinger.
William Kunstler: It is Dellinger, Your Honor.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Can we straighten this out?
Abbie Hoffman: Sure. Dillinger was a bank robber. Derringer is a gun. He’s David Dellinger, and the judge and I are not related.
Judge Julius Hoffman: [to Kunstler] I don’t ask you to compromise Mr. Seale’s position, sir. But I will not permit him to address the jury, when his perfectly competent lawyer is sitting…
Jerry Rubin: For the fourth time, he’s not Bobby’s lawyer.
Judge Julius Hoffman: You’re, Mr. Rubin.
Jerry Rubin: Yes, sir.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Don’t ever do that again!
Bobby Seale: Your Honor, I’m not with these guys. I never met most of them until the indictment.
Judge Julius Hoffman: We will have order.
Bobby Seale: There are eight of us here.
Judge Julius Hoffman: We will have order!
Bobby Seale: There are signs out there that read, “Free the Chicago 7.” I’m not with them!
Bobby Seale: I never met most of them until the inidctment. And speaking frankly, the US attorney wanted a N**** defendant to scare the jury. I was thrown in to make the group look scarier. I came to Chicago. I made a speech!
Judge Julius Hoffman: Mr. Seale.
Bobby Seale: I had a chicken pot pie, went to the airport, and I flew back to Oakland.
Tom Hayden: Are we using this trial to defend ourselves against very serious charges that could land us in prison for ten years? Or are we using it to say a pointless “f*** you” to the establishment?
Jerry Rubin: F*** you!
Tom Hayden: That is what I was afraid… I don’t know if you were saying “f*** you”, or answering the question.
Abbie Hoffman: I was also confused.
Jerry Rubin: If we leave without saying anything about why we came in the first place, it’ll be heartbreaking.
Tom Hayden: If the jury finds us guilty, we’re not going to be leaving at all. And the only thing we need to say about why we came here is it wasn’t to incite violence.
David Dellinger: I’m with Jerry.
Tom Hayden: Why?
David Dellinger: The trial shouldn’t be about us!
Tom Hayden: I would love it if it wasn’t about us, but it definitely is.
Lee Weiner: Does anyone think our judge might be crazy?
Tom Hayden: The judge isn’t our problem.
Jerry Rubin: Well, give it time. I think he’s going to be.
Abbie Hoffman: Did you get a haircut just for court?
Tom Hayden: I did.
Abbie Hoffman: You did. You got a haircut for the judge. That is… I can’t even. That is so foreign to me.
Tom Hayden: So is soap.
Abbie Hoffman: Zing.
Tom Hayden: Let me explain something. It took you two less than five minutes to make us look exactly like what Schultz is trying to make us look like.
Jerry Rubin: I don’t have a problem with what we look like.
Abbie Hoffman: Jerry likes what we look like.
Abbie Hoffman: When we walked in here this morning, they were chanting that the whole world is watching. This is it. We’re on. This is what revolution looks like. Real revolution. Cultural revolution.
Tom Hayden: Why did you come here?
Abbie Hoffman: I got an invitation from a grand jury.
Tom Hayden: Last summer. Why did you come to the convention?
Abbie Hoffman: To end the war.
Tom Hayden: Guys, before you tether yourselves to this man, just know the very last thing he wants is for the war to end.
Tom Hayden: I don’t have time for cultural revolution. It distracts from actual revolution.
Abbie Hoffman: But you got time for a haircut.
William Kunstler: The judge is…
Jerry Rubin: F***ing nuts.
William Kunstler: A little hostile.
Abbie Hoffman: This is a political trial.
William Kunstler: What?
Abbie Hoffman: This is a political trial that was already decided for us. Ignoring that reality is just weird to me.
William Kunstler: There are civil trials, and there are criminal trials. There’s no such thing as a political trial.
Leonard Weinglass: Abbie’s smarter than you think he is.
Tom Hayden: Cows are smarter than I think he is.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Mr. Hampton is clearly giving Mr. Seale legal advice.
Bobby Seale: My lawyer is Charles Garry.
William Kunstler: Excuse me, sir, but for all you know, Mr. Hampton is giving Mr. Seale the score of the White Sox game.
Judge Julius Hoffman: I will assume that he is not.
William Kunstler: Why?
Judge Julius Hoffman: Because that’s what happens when you don’t have a lawyer. The court assumes that you are being represented by the Black Panther sitting behind you.
Reporter: Are you guilty of conspiracy?
Abbie Hoffman: We believe that we are innocent. That the people who are really guilty of conspiracy are the f***ers who put us on trial. That they are responsible for the bloodshed that flowed in the streets of Chicago.
Bernadine: [answering a call] Conspiracy Office. Can you hold on?
William Kunstler: Maybe you don’t want to call it the Conspiracy Office.
Bernadine: They understand irony and appreciate the humor.
William Kunstler: I wouldn’t count on it.
Bernadine: Most people are smart, Bill.
William Kunstler: Well, if you believe that, you’re going to get your heart broken every day of your life.
William Kunstler: I don’t want you guys holding any more press conferences.
Tom Hayden: If you’re going to get between Abbie and a camera, I’d wear pads and a helmet.
Leonard Weinglass: Jurors six and eleven. They’re with us.
Tom Hayden: How do you know?
Leonard Weinglass: Six made sure I saw a copy of a James Baldwin novel under her arm. And eleven’s been nodding during the Stahl cross.
Reporter: How much is it worth to you? What’s your price?
Abbie Hoffman: To call off the revolution?
Reporter: What’s your price?
Abbie Hoffman: My life.
John Froines: Any idea what’s going on?
Lee Weiner: It’s been years since I’ve had any idea what was going on.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Gentlemen, it’s been brought to my attention that two of our jurors have received threatening notes from a member, or members, of the Black Panther Party.
William Kunstler: Which two jurors?
Judge Julius Hoffman: Juror number six and juror number eleven.
William Kunstler: [to Foran] The Panthers don’t write letters any more than the Mob does. And the moment I find out that it was your office that did, you’re going to see the criminal justice system up closer than you ever wanted to.
Jerry Rubin: [referring to the jury] How come there’s nobody who looks like me?
William Kunstler: Alright, raise your hands if any of you have ever shown up for jury duty. No? Then shut the f*** up.
Leonard Weinglass: [referring to Judge Hoffman] He’s sequestering the jury.
Lee Weiner: Of course he is.
Abbie Hoffman: No such thing as a political trial. Good to know.
Detective DeLuca: Don’t f***ing move.
Detective Bell: On your feet.
Tom Hayden: Those are two contradictory instructions.
Bobby Seale: I am being denied right now my constitutional right for legal representation…
Judge Julius Hoffman: Mr. Seale. Will you be quiet? Will you be quiet! You have lawyers to speak for you!
William Kunstler: No, he doesn’t!
Abbie Hoffman: Now, over the course of ten days, the government called thirty-seven witnesses. Each and every one of them an employee of the government. I call this portion of the trial, “With Friends Like These”.
Jerry Rubin: [after Daphne, an undercover agent, buys Jerry a drink at a bar] Nobody’s ever sent me a drink before.
Agent Daphne O’Connor: How do you like it so far?
Jerry Rubin: It’s a Tom Collins. I know it’s kind of a country club drink, but they’re delicious. A man in England named Tom Collins claimed in 1894 to have invented it. But then another man, whose name I’ve forgotten, said no, he’d invented it two years earlier, and I think there was a lawsuit.
Agent Daphne O’Connor: That’s a surprising amount of controversy for gin and lemonade.
Agent Daphne O’Connor: Jerry, do you know why the French only eat one egg for breakfast?
Jerry Rubin: No.
Agent Daphne O’Connor: Because in France, one egg is un oeuf. It’s un oeuf.
Jerry Rubin: [chuckles] Wow!
Agent Daphne O’Connor: I know!
Jerry Rubin: I feel so much better about my Tom Collins story.
Abbie Hoffman: The guy testified that Ginsberg was letting out a war chant. Some kind of f***ing jungle signal to Beat poets, that they should begin pelting the troops with blank verse.
Jerry Rubin: [as they see the crowd of police] F*** it.
David Dellinger: What do you mean, “F*** it”?
Jerry Rubin: This is it. It’s time.
Abbie Hoffman: We’re not rushing the police.
Jerry Rubin: Why the f*** not?
Abbie Hoffman: Because we’ll be critically injured.
Abbie Hoffman: [as they need to bail out Tom] I don’t carry money. Do you?
David Dellinger: I do. I’m a grown man.
Abbie Hoffman: [referring to the group of police waiting for the protestors] I don’t know what tactical genius came up with that, but you know when s**t happens? When you don’t give protesters a place to go.
Richard Schultz: [to the witness] How would you characterize the mood of the crowd?
William Kunstler: The witness is in no position to characterize the mood of a thousand strangers.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Do you have an objection?
William Kunstler: Yes, sir.
Judge Julius Hoffman: On what grounds?
William Kunstler: On those grounds.
Court Spectators: Overruled.
Abbie Hoffman: What are you looking at me for? I went to bail you out of jail.
Tom Hayden: Eight hundred people followed you.
Abbie Hoffman: Oh, that. Yeah. People follow me. Hell if I know why.
Tom Hayden: I’m racking my brain as well.
Rennie Davis: How did you make bail so fast?
Jerry Rubin: I wasn’t arrested. I was detained. They couldn’t figure out what to charge me with.
David Dellinger: Assault.
Jerry Rubin: I was assaulting someone who was assaulting someone.
Agent Daphne O’Connor: Nothing is more dangerous than a crowd of people who are moving. It’s like trying to redirect the Mississippi River.
Abbie Hoffman: We have to get to the convention. That means we have to leave the park. And that’s when people will get hurt. As long as every person following me knows that, then I sleep fine at night.
Tom Hayden: You should tell me how you do it.
Abbie Hoffman: A lot of it is drugs.
Bobby Seale: I wasn’t there at all. And I should be allowed to cross-examine this witness!
Fred Hampton: Four hours!
Judge Julius Hoffman: Mr. Hampton!
Fred Hampton: That’s how long Bobby Seale was in Chicago.
Jerry Rubin: Yeah, I took in the exhibit. I cleared my mind. Stood there for twenty minutes. I felt nothing.
Abbie Hoffman: Well, but it wasn’t a painting. It was an exhibit. It was a natural history museum.
Jerry Rubin: And when you put exhibits of Native Indian families in a natural history museum alongside dioramas of early man and the Jurassic age, it gives the impression that the Cherokee evolved into modern day Europeans.
Abbie Hoffman: [after she and Jerry run into Schultz in the park with his daughters] Your dad’s a good guy. And that’s coming from someone who he’s trying hard to put in federal prison.
Richard Schultz: We shouldn’t be talking without your lawyer here.
Abbie Hoffman: We’re all on the same team.
Richard Schultz: In a sense, I guess. But in a much truer sense, we’re not.
Jerry Rubin: [referring to Daphne] You don’t send a woman to ensorcell me.
Abbie Hoffman: What?
Jerry Rubin: It means to enchant.
Abbie Hoffman: Oh.
Jerry Rubin: Only to have her crush my soul.
Richard Schultz: How long did you two know each other?
Jerry Rubin: Ninety-three hours. Could’ve been a lifetime.
Richard Schultz: For a fruit fly.
Jerry Rubin: [referring to Daphne] “One egg is un oeuf?” Did they teach her that at the Academy?
Richard Schultz: Yep.
Bobby Seale: [after Fred Hampton’s been killed] The seven of you, you’ve all got the same father, right? I’m talking to you. You all got the same father, right? “Cut your hair. Don’t be a f*g. Respect authority. Respect America. Respect me.” Your life, it’s a “f*** you” to your father, right? A little?
Tom Hayden: Maybe.
Bobby Seale: Maybe. And you can see how that’s different from a rope on a tree?
Tom Hayden: Yeah.
Bobby Seale: He was shot in the shoulder first. You can’t aim a gun if you’ve been shot in the shoulder. You can’t squeeze the trigger. Second shot was in his head. Fred was executed.
Bobby Seale: I’m sitting here saying that I would like to cross-examine a witness.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Only lawyers can address a witness.
Bobby Seale: My lawyer is Charles Garry.
Judge Julius Hoffman: I’m tired of hearing that.
Bobby Seale: I couldn’t care less what you’re tired of.
Judge Julius Hoffman: What did you say?
Bobby Seale: I said it would be impossible for me to care any less what you are tired of. And I demand to cross-examine the witness.
Judge Julius Hoffman: [after Bobby has been brought back into court bound and gagged] Let the record show that I tried, fairly and impartially. I tried to get the defendant to sit on his own. I ask you again, Mr. Seale, and you may indicate by raising your head up and down, or moving it from side to side, if I have your assurance that you will not do anything to disrupt this trial, if I allow you to resume proper order. Do I have your assurance?
[Bobby moves his head side to side]
Richard Schultz: Your Honor, our defendant is gagged and bound in an American courtroom.
Thomas Foran: He brought it on himself.
William Kunstler: Are you insane?
Judge Julius Hoffman: [to Schultz, referring to Bobby] You want me to give him his mistrial?
William Kunstler: Of course, because you took that Black guy and you made him a sympathetic character.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Mr. Kunstler, I have lived a very long time, sir. And you’re the first person ever to suggest that I have discriminated against a Black man.
Leonard Weinglass: Then let the record show that I am the second.
Jerry Rubin: [referring to Tom rising for Judge Hoffman after his actions to Bobby] Why the f*** did you stand up?
Tom Hayden: It was a reflex.
Rennie Davis: He was respecting the institution.
Tom Hayden: I don’t know what good it does to insult the judge in view of the jury, the press, and Foran and Schultz, who’ll be recommending sentencing if we’re convicted.
Abbie Hoffman: It’s a revolution, Tom. We may have to hurt somebody’s feelings.
Tom Hayden: It is a goddamn trial.
Abbie Hoffman: Political trial.
Tom Hayden: No. We were arrested. The law doesn’t recognize political trials.
Abbie Hoffman: No, we weren’t arrested. We were chosen!
John Froines: Wait, so our role in history is that we made it easier to convict our friends?
Abbie Hoffman: They’re going to find us guilty if I just don’t like you. That’s why Bill won’t put any of us on the stand.
David Dellinger: I can take the stand. I’m easier for them to like. I’m literally a Boy Scout troop leader.
William Kunstler: [laughs] You’re a conscientious objector.
David Dellinger: A lot of people are conscientious objectors.
William Kunstler: During World War Two? You sat out World War Two. Even I want to punch you.
David Dellinger: Well, we can talk about that.
William Kunstler: I’m looking forward to it.
Jerry Rubin: I could take the stand.
William Kunstler: Mr. Rubin, you ever taught a classroom how to make a bomb?
Jerry Rubin: Man, eighth graders are taught how Oppenheimer made a bomb.
William Kunstler: Not one you can build with materials from Woolworth’s.
Rennie Davis: You know what’d be ironic?
William Kunstler: What?
Rennie Davis: I said, know what…
Tom Hayden: He heard you. He’s asking what would be ironic.
Rennie Davis: I was just going to say if John Mitchell did all this just to get back at Ramsey Clark.
William Kunstler: Bernadine.
William Kunstler: I need my office to find Ramsey Clark.
Abbie Hoffman: And William Kunstler just showed up.
William Kunstler: [as he and Weinglass are trying to talk to Clark] I’ll tell you what. We’ve dealt with jury tampering, wiretapping, a defendant that was literally gagged, and a judge who’s been handing down rulings from the bench that would be considered wrong in Honduras. So I’m a little less interested in the law than I was when this trial began.
Ramsey Clark: What took you so long?
William Kunstler: I’m sorry. What took me so long to do what?
Ramsey Clark: To realize I’m your star witness.
Ramsey Clark: I’m in private practice now. And if John Mitchell wants to cut me in half, he can, and he will.
Tom Hayden: Sir, you have to find some courage now. And…
Ramsey Clark: Find some courage. Yeah.
Tom Hayden: Yes. You have to find some courage, and…
Leonard Weinglass: Tom.
Ramsey Clark: [referring to Ackerman and Kelly] That’s what those two men came to tell me, that if John Mitchell wants to cut me in half, he can, and he will. So I wanted them in the room when I said, “When do you want me in court?”
Howard Ackerman: Mr. Clark?
William Kunstler: I’m sorry?
Ramsey Clark: Swear me in, Bill.
Howard Ackerman: It is against the law for you to testify, Ramsey. It is as simple as that.
Ramsey Clark: It’s General Clark. And arrest me, or shut the f*** up.
Ramsey Clark: [to Tom] Found some.
William Kunstler: [referring to Clark] You’d like us to question the witness, this witness, outside the presence of the jury?
Judge Julius Hoffman: If I find any of the testimony relevant, I’ll call the jury back in to hear it. Take it or leave it, Mr. Kunstler.
Ramsey Clark: An investigation, by our criminal division, led to the conclusion that the riots were started by the Chicago Police Department.
[everyone on the court room cheers]
William Kunstler: And, Mr. Clark, did your counterintelligence division make a report as well?
Ramsey Clark: They concluded that there was no conspiracy by the defendants to incite violence during the convention.
William Kunstler: And then what happened on the first Tuesday, after the first Monday,
in November of that year?
Ramsey Clark: Richard Nixon was elected president.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Sustained.
William Kunstler: Nobody objected.
Richard Schultz: The current Justice Department, which is the only one that matters, came to a new conclusion.
William Kunstler: And therefore, the motivation of the prosecution has to be called into question.
Richard Schultz: The motivation of the prosecution is not an issue in a courtroom!
William Kunstler: In any courtroom I’ve ever been in, except this one!
William Kunstler: Is this prosecution politically motivated?
Richard Schultz: Object!
Ramsey Clark: Yes.
William Kunstler: Your Honor, when the jury returns, will they be informed that the defense had called the former attorney general of the United States of America, but this court ruled that he couldn’t testify?
Judge Julius Hoffman: No, that motion will be denied.
David Dellinger: You’re a thug.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Did one of the defendants speak?
David Dellinger: I did. I said you’re a thug, because you are.
Jerry Rubin: [after David was taken away for hitting a cop in anger in the court room] There’s only one thing. There’s one thing to do. Solidarity with Dave. Tomorrow, we go into court, and we get ourselves arrested.
Tom Hayden: We’re already arrested.
Abbie Hoffman: What did you mean, the last thing I want is to end the war?
Tom Hayden: What?
Abbie Hoffman: Centuries ago, when the trial started, you said, why did I come to Chicago? And I said, “To end the war.” And then you turned to everyone, and you said, “The last thing he wants is to end the war.” What did you mean by that?
Tom Hayden: I meant that you’re making the most of your close-up.
Tom Hayden: My problem is that for the next fifty years, when people think of progressive politics, they’re going to think of you. They’re going to think of you, and your idiot followers passing out daisies to soldiers and trying to levitate the Pentagon. So they’re not going to think of equality, or justice. They’re not going to think of education, or poverty, or progress. They’re going to think of a bunch of stoned, lost, disrespectful, foul-mouthed, lawless losers. And so, we’ll lose elections.
Abbie Hoffman: All because of me?
Tom Hayden: Yeah.
Abbie Hoffman: Winning elections, that’s the first thing on your wish list. Equality, justice, education, poverty, and progress, they’re second.
Tom Hayden: If you don’t win elections, it doesn’t matter what’s second. And it is astonishing to me that someone still has to explain that to you.
Abbie Hoffman: We don’t have any money.
Tom Hayden: I’m sorry. What?
Abbie Hoffman: We don’t have any money. So I stage stunts, and cameras come, and microphones come. And it’s astonishing that someone still has to explain that to you.
Tom Hayden: You’re trading a cow for magic beans.
Jerry Rubin: That ended up working.
Tom Hayden: What?
Jerry Rubin: The magic beans. There was a giant up there. I can’t remember what happened after that. The little boy may have gotten eaten.
John Froines: The giant turned out to be nice.
Jerry Rubin: Are you sure?
John Froines: No.
Lee Weiner: It’s somewhat hard to believe that the seven of us weren’t able to end a war.
Abbie Hoffman: [to Tom] That’s right. We’re not going to jail because of what we did. We’re going to jail because of who we are! Think about that the next time you shrug off cultural revolution. We define winning differently, you and I.
William Kunstler: [after a recording of Tom was discovere]] “If blood is going to flow, let it flow all over the city.” What was that? An order to start a peaceful demonstration?
Tom Hayden: When did I stop being one of the good guys?
William Kunstler: Let’s find out. Were glass bottles thrown at the police?
William Kunstler: You made it through the riot police, tear gas, the National Guard, and you’re in sight of the convention center.
Tom Hayden: Where we got trapped.
William Kunstler: What’s another word for trapped?
Tom Hayden: We were trapped between the window and the police.
William Kunstler: What’s another word for trapped? Caught, right?
Abbie Hoffman: Inside the bar, it’s like the sixties never happened. Outside the bar, the sixties were being performed for anyone who looked out of the window.
William Kunstler: Who started the riot, Tom?
Tom Hayden: Our.
William Kunstler: What?
Tom Hayden: Our. Our blood.
Abbie Hoffman: [chuckles] “Our blood. If our blood is going to flow.” You meant to say, “If our blood is going to flow, then let it flow all over the city.” You didn’t mean the cops. You were saying, “If they’re going to beat us up, then everyone should see it.”
Abbie Hoffman: You do this. He does this, it’s a pattern. Read his portion of the Port Huron statement. He implies possessive pronouns and uses vague noun modifiers.
Tom Hayden: You read the Port Huron Statement?
Abbie Hoffman: I’ve read everything you’ve published.
Tom Hayden: I didn’t know that.
Abbie Hoffman: You’re a talented guy. Except for the possessive pronouns.
Tom Hayden: I know.
Abbie Hoffman: And the vague noun modifiers.
Tom Hayden: [to Kunstler] Put Abbie on the stand instead.
Judge Julius Hoffman: What is your date of birth?
Abbie Hoffman: Psychologically, 1960.
Judge Julius Hoffman: What were you doing until 1960?
Abbie Hoffman: Nothing. I believe it’s called an American education.
Abbie Hoffman: In 1861, Lincoln said in his inaugural address, “When the people shall grow weary of their constitutional right to amend their government, they shall exert their revolutionary right to dismember and overthrow that government.” And if Lincoln had given that speech in Lincoln Park last summer, he’d be put on trial with the rest of us.
William Kunstler: So how do you overthrow, or dismember, as you say, your government peacefully?
Abbie Hoffman: In this country, we do it every four years.
Abbie Hoffman: I think Tom Hayden is a bada** of an American patriot.
Richard Schultz: I didn’t ask what you thought of the man. I asked what you thought of his instruction of the crowd.
Abbie Hoffman: I’ve also heard Tom Hayden say, “Let’s end the war.” But nobody stopped shooting. You can do anything to anything by taking it out of context, Mr. Schultz.
Richard Schultz: “If blood is going to flow”? How do you take that out of context?
Abbie Hoffman: A guy once said, “I am come to set a man at variance with his father, and the daughter against her mother.” You know who said it?
Richard Schultz: Jerry Rubin.
Abbie Hoffman: [chuckles] Yes. No. It was Jesus Christ. Matthew 10:35. And it sure sounds like he’s telling kids to kill their parents. Until you read Matthew 10:34 and 10:36.
Richard Schultz: Do you have contempt for your government?
Abbie Hoffman: I think the institutions of our democracy are wonderful things, that right now are populated by some terrible people.
Richard Schultz: Please answer the question.
Abbie Hoffman: Tell me again?
Richard Schultz: Do you have contempt for your government?
Abbie Hoffman: I’ll tell you, Mr. Schhultz, it’s nothing compared to the contempt my government has for me.
Richard Schultz: When you came to Chicago, were you hoping for a confrontation with the police? I’m concerned you have to think about it.
Abbie Hoffman: Give you me a moment, would you, friend? I’ve never been on trial for my thoughts before.
Judge Julius Hoffman: [at trial day 151] Mr. Hayden, in spite of your actions during the convention, you are the one defendant who has shown, during this trial, respect for this court, and for this country, and remorse for those actions. I truly believe, and I mean this. I truly believe that one day you will be a very productive part of our system. I’d like you to make your statement brief and without political content of any kind. If you make your statement brief, if you make it respectful, if you make it remorseful, and to the point, I will look favorably upon that when administering my sentence. Do you understand what I’ve just said? Mr. Hayden?
Tom Hayden: Yes, sir. You’ll look favorably in sentencing.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Please begin.
Tom Hayden: Okay. Your Honor, since this trial began, four thousand seven hundred and fifty-two US troops have been killed in Vietnam. And the following are their names.
Judge Julius Hoffman: [as Tom is reading his statement] Mr. Kunstler! He will not read five thousand names for the record!
Thomas Foran: [as Schultz stands while Tom’s reading off the troops names] What are you doing?
Richard Schultz: Respect for the fallen. Let’s show them some respect, sir.