Opening at the end of 1969—a politically charged year at the beginning of Nixon’s presidency—the Trial of the Chicago Seven brought together Yippies, antiwar activists, and Black Panthers to face conspiracy charges following massive protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, protests which continue to have remarkable contemporary resonance.
Aaron Sorkin’s new courtroom drama telling this story has brought renewed attention to a trial that transfixed and changed America. Rennie Davis was one of the seven defendants—a primary organizer of the 1968 demonstration at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that sparked the charges against the defendants—and, with his six comrades he stood trial for five and a half months in 1969.
Davis discusses the trial with historian Jon Wiener, whose book Conspiracy in the Streets: The Extraordinary Trial of the Chicago Seven, includes an edited transcript of the trial on which Sorkin’s movie is based. Davis will recount his historic experiences and how they contrast with Sorkin’s fictionalized account. There will be ample time for audience questions. This special event will be hosted by Nation editorial director and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, is free of charge!
This event is co-sponsored by The New Press.