position based on Jessica Mitford’s book Guilty As Charged, that a jury who is in the exclusive control and custody of the marshals will begin to identify with the marshals and through the marshals with the United States government. . So we proposed that a staff of marshals be developed made up of one U.S. marshal, one Yippie, one Black Panther, one marshal from the National Mobilization Committee To End the War in Vietnam, and one person who was a campus activist. But I just don’t think Judge Hoffman was willing to accept any proposal like that as being a serious proposal. Of course, we coupled that motion with a motion which we repeated many, many times that the jury be permitted to go home. We would waive any constitutional appeal that we had arising out of [their exposure to] publicity because we felt we stood to lose a lot more by having that jury locked up [with U.S. marshals]. … [On Moratorium day in October] the defendants came to the courtroom a half hour before the trial was to begin. There was no one in the courtroom but a few marshals. The defendants spread out an American flag on the defense table. The marshals looked on, they were all encouraged, they thought finally the defendants were coming around. Dave Dellinger stood .up and began to read from a list of war dead. Everybody in the courtroom was standing. He read a certain number. Then next to the American flag was placed the flag of the National Liberation Front because the Moratorium observance was to be for the war dead on both sides. Dave began to read the casualty list from the Vietnamese side. He was in the course of reading from that list when the marshal seized the NLF flag and also the American flag and took both out of the courtroom. Judge Hoffman came in then. The court was called to order. .. . When the jury was brought in Dave rose and asked Judge Hoffman if we could have just a moment of silence to honor the war dead. That was considered to be a disruption and Dave was given a 30-day sentence for contempt for that. The press widely reported that we had brought into the courtroom in front of the jury the NLF flag and started to read the war dead to the jury. Of course, none of that occurred [before the jury]. . IN AN EFFORT to educate this jury as to who the defendants are, what they are about, what they mean when they use the rhetoric of the movement we called before the jury, I think, the leading spokesmen in the country for the movement. We wanted to show that the movement is not what the government claims it to be that is, violent but is rather just the reverse, an attempt to end the violence, and is an attempt to restore some measure of peace and humanity to the country. 16 The Texas Observer Allen Ginzburg came to testify about his poetry and about what he had seen in Chicago and about his studies in oriental philosophy and religion, and explain that he saw the county destroying the best of its youth. We brought in Jacques Levy, the producer of “Oh, Calcutta” but who before that was the chief clinical psychologist for the Menninger Clinic. He has a Ph.D. in psychology. He testified at length about his observations as to what was developing in the country with respect to its restrictions, its prudity on nudity, its prudity on honest and open sexual relations, and .he gave all the clinical bases for all his observations. He told why he had to leave the clinic and why he wanted to get into theatre and why he thought theatre was one means of projecting people and the insanity of the way they were approaching their personal lives. We brought in Ed Sanders, who was a poet-philosopher-musician with the Fugs. He testified about some literature he had written and tried to explain it. The government delighted repeatedly in bringing out the obscenities the defendants supposedly used. It was paraded time and time again and it really did sound foul when the prosecutor would stand up and shout those obscenities as if they were something that was scribbled on a bathroom wall when in fact they were part of a literary work by one of the defendants. So we were trying to answer all this as best we could. We called 113 witnesses and we laid it bare, going right down through music, Phil Ochs singing “I Ain’t A-Marching Any More” was a statement of the movement and I think relevant to their defense because they aren’t marching anymore. It is part of their whole background and psychological makeup. And Judy Collins singing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” that is also part of the movement. The press thought we were putting on a show, a circus. They thought it was a joke. They couldn’t comprehend the seriousness and the legality of what we were trying to do in the courtroom. NOW THERE was also theatre in the courtroom, . Abbie Hoffman walked in with judicial robes on, he walked around the table a couple of times then stepped in front of the jury and he unzipped his robe and under his robe he was wearing the uniform of a Chicago policeman. I know it is hard to justify that kind of behavior. I think you can look at it from many ways. I think the fact that Abbie and the rest sat through a long and very tedious harrowing experience is to their credit. By then, the 95th day of the trial, let me explain to you what had happened. The government had put in its case on a straight 10-4 schedule. It would start at 10, break at 12:30, start at 2, and break at 4. There was no exception to that schedule. We lived with it for 2 1/2 months. The government rested its case. Immediately the schedule changed and we went from 10-6 and sometimes 10-6:30. We would run through six to seven witnesses a day and we would be staying up all night interviewing witnesses and putting them on in rapid fire one after another. When the judge saw that we weren’t slowing down he then ordered us to go into Saturday sessions, so we started doing this not only five days a week but six days a week. Then he ordered us to appear at 9:30 on Saturday instead of 10 to cut us back still an extra half-hour.. .. So we were forced to interview witnesses all night the night before. We were then going into the fourth month of the trial and we were all near exhaustion and it was being heightened and aggravated by the restrictions that were being imposed and being made more tight week by week. So by the 90th day of the trial we were all under extreme tension and pressure and exhaustion and frustration. There had been no theatre in the courtroom up to that point. On the 93rd day the judge revoked Dave Dellinger’s bail. Dellinger said, “Oh, bullshit!” and then he went to jail because he was too dangerous to be outside, using that language. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back [and from that point on the defendants resorted to theatre] . . We were going to present a very straight, lengthy, detailed, structural defense. But as we saw the events as they evolved in the courtroom we saw what Judge Hoffman was doing. We knew that much of our defense would not be permitted. So the nature of our tactics was altered to suit the conditions in the courtroom. … I certainly am not in favor of disruption as a [courtroom] tactic. I think that when a defendant is using a disruptive tactic then it indicates that at that point the lawyer no longer has much control. If you are defending a very highly political person who is very sensitive to an injustice perpetrated against him by the system, he will because the strength of his own feelings speak out, and there isn’t much you can do about it. … It wasn’t something that was rehearsed or programmed, and that was true of all the actions. So you just have to deal with events that unfold around you in a courtroom. We did not precipitate these events, we didn’t plan them. To give you an indication of the nature of the defendants’ behavior, they had to stand on over 470 occasions when Judge Hoffman entered and left the room over 103 days. And they stood on each and every occasion with but five exceptions. Those five exceptions they were cited [for contempt.] They all revolted while Bobby Seale was chained to his chair and could not stand. We explained to Judge Hoffman that if Bobby Seale could not stand, the defendants felt compelled to remain seated with Bobby.
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