[Marxism] Chicago 7 defendant David Dellinger dies

Christopher Carrico ccarrico at temple.edu
Thu May 27 06:40:51 MDT 2004

Sorry, I should have known better than to e-mail from a 
newspapers webpage....  Its not long so heres the whole 

Chicago 7 defendant David Dellinger dies 
May 27, 2004

Peace activist David Dellinger, one of the Chicago Seven 
arrested and tried for their part in the violent anti-war 
demonstrating outside the 1968 Democratic National 
Convention in Chicago, was a generation older than his 
Yippie co-defendants.

But he was no less passionate.

"Mainly I think he'll be remembered as a pacifist who meant 
business," said Tom Hayden, a fellow '60s radical and one of 
the Chicago Seven. "His pacifism was very forceful. He 
didn't mind interjecting himself between armed federal 
marshals and someone they were pushing around."

Mr. Dellinger died Tuesday at the Heaton Woods retirement 
home in Montpelier, Vt., where he had been living. He was 88.

Mr. Dellinger devoted much of his life to protesting. He was 
a member of the Old Left whose first arrest came in the 
1930s during a union-organizing protest at Yale University.

There were initially eight defendants in the trial that 
became known as the Chicago Seven, but Bobby Seale was 
bound, gagged and removed from the case. 

During the trial in 1969 and 1970, Mr. Dellinger and four co-
defendants -- Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman and Rennie 
Davis -- were convicted of conspiracy to incite a riot at 
the 1968 convention. Lee Weiner and John Froines were 

The convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court, 
which cited errors by U.S. District Judge Julius Hoffman.

Another judge later found Mr. Dellinger, Hoffman and 
attorney William Kunstler guilty of contempt, but he refused 
to impose a jail sentence.

During the trial when Judge Hoffman invited Mr. Dellinger to 
address the court during sentencing, he continued to speak 
after the judge ordered him to stop.

"You want us to be like good Germans, supporting the evils 
of our decade, and then when we refused to be good Germans 
and came to Chicago and demonstrated, now you want us to be 
like good Jews, going quietly and politely to the 
concentration camps while you and this court suppress 
freedom and the truth," Mr. Dellinger told the judge. "And 
the fact is, I am not prepared to do that."

In 1970, during a protest in support of the Black Panther 
Party, Mr. Dellinger told the Chicago Daily News: "We cannot 
talk of an American revolution without acts of resistance. 
We must go beyond dissent to force, force without violence."

Greg Guma, editor of the political magazine Toward Freedom, 
called Mr. Dellinger "one of the major figures in terms of 
peace and social justice of the last half century."

He fought for unions in the 1930s despite being called a 
communist and walked with civil rights leaders in the South 
in the 1950s and '60s despite the risk of violence.

A conscientious objector during World War II, he spoke out 
against the practice of putting blacks in the back of the 
train ahead of defeated Germans. During a three-year prison 
term -- one of several stints behind bars -- Mr. Dellinger 
refused to sit in the all-white dining area.

Just three years ago, at age 85, Mr. Dellinger got up at 
2:45 a.m. at his home in Montpelier and hitched a ride to 
demonstrations in Quebec City against the creation of a free 
trade zone in the Western Hemisphere.

"Three percent of the richest people in the world control 
more wealth than 49 undeveloped countries," he said. The 
trade agreement "is going to extend that kind of system."

Mr. Dellinger contended capitalism led to imperialism and 

"The evils in the society today are greater than they were 
in 1968," he said in a 1996 interview. "I enjoy life this 
way, I enjoy life being in solidarity with the people who 
are fighting for a better world."

Mr. Dellinger is survived by Elizabeth Peterson, his wife of 
62 years, five children and many grandchildren, according to 
the Times Argus paper in Montpelier.

AP, with staff reporter Curtis Lawrence contributing


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