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Netflix film ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’, puts the spotlight on a group of anti–Vietnam War protesters

Team Udayavani, Oct 23, 2020, 12:21 PM IST

Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of The Chicago 7 recounts events in the United States in 1968 and 1969, it tells the  story of the seven men who were involved in a protest against the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago

The film puts the spotlight on the Chicago Seven, a group of anti–Vietnam War protesters, who were charged with conspiracy of inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. The cast includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Daniel Flaherty, among others.

As reported by Scroll, The Netflix original film is based on the trial of eight activists of various political persuasions who had gathered in Chicago with thousands of others in August 1968 to protest against the Democratic National Convention. The protesters were part of the larger anti-Vietnam War movement that was roiling America in the late 1960s. The American President, the Democrat Lyndon B Johnson, was being intensely criticised for persisting with an increasingly meaningless war, one that was claiming the lives of numerous young American soldiers.

The report further stated that On August 28, 1968, violence broke out during a face-off between protesters and the Chicago police. In 1969, a new American president was sworn in, the Republican Richard Nixon. Under him, the Justice Department set out to make an example of the eight activists arrested for allegedly inciting the violence.

According to Indian Express, Initially, the group was called Chicago Eight as it included Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party. Seale was visiting the city to give a speech replacing activist Elridge Cleaver. However, shortly after the trial began without his lawyer, Seale loudly protested and attempted to examine his own witnesses. It was then Seale, came in for particularly harsh treatment from Hoffman, to the extent that he was bound and gagged during the trial. Hoffman later ordered Seale to be severed from the case, but charged him under several counts of contempt of court.

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