[Marxism] Chicago 7 defendant David Dellinger dies
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
BY DAVID GRAM
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
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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