Watching the recent Netflix release The Trial of the Chicago Seven, my outrage frequently felt as intense as I recall it being when the actual events took place. I was a college sophomore when the Chicago police unleashed its collective fury on antiwar protesters in the days leading up to the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Had I been protesting the Vietnam war in Chicago instead of closer to home, the actual footage used in Aaron Sorkin's film could have shown me being tear gassed or having my head bashed in.
I was a junior when Judge Julius Hoffman had Bobby Seale chained and gagged in his courtroom toward the end of the sham trial of 1969 that was concocted by Nixon's first attorney general, the later imprisoned John Mitchell. Even my Father - not a political progressive or racial pioneer - was appalled by Hoffman's treatment of Seale. And just before sentencing, when Tom Hayden began reading the names of the soldiers who had died in Vietnam while the Federal Government wasted time and taxpayer money inventing a non- existent conspiracy (sound familiar?), I realized for the first time in my young life how important it was to make my voice heard. I've tried to maintain that commitment ever since.
If you haven't yet voted by mail, please do so soon. Or, be safe and get to the polls on November 3rd. Just be sure to make your voice heard.