TESTIMONY OF ABBIE HOFFMAN
"The Chicago Seven" Trial
Wed Jun 28, 2006 02:47



"The Chicago Seven" Trial


What did it all mean? Was the Chicago Seven Trial merely, as one commentator suggested, "a monumental non-event"? Was it, as others argue, an important battle for the hearts and minds of the American people? Or is it best seen as a symbol of the conflicts of values that characterized the late sixties? These are some of the questions that surround one of the most unusual courtroom spectacles in American history, the 1969-70 trial of seven radicals accused of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. ...(CONT.->)


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TESTIMONY OF ABBIE HOFFMAN

MR. WEINGLASS: Will you please identify yourself for the record?

THE WITNESS: My name is Abbie. I am an orphan of America.

MR. SCHULTZ: Your Honor, may the record show it is the defendant Hoffman who has taken the stand?

THE COURT: Oh, yes. It may so indicate. . . .

MR. WEINGLASS: Where do you reside?

THE WITNESS: I live in Woodstock Nation.

MR. WEINGLASS: Will you tell the Court and jury where it is?

THE WITNESS: Yes. It is a nation of alienated young people. We carry it around with us as a state of mind in the same way as the Sioux Indians carried the Sioux nation around with them. It is a nation dedicated to cooperation versus competition, to the idea that people should have better means of exchange than property or money, that there should be some other basis for human interaction. It is a nation dedicated to--

THE COURT: Just where it is, that is all.

THE WITNESS: It is in my mind and in the minds of my brothers and sisters. It does not consist of property or material but, rather, of ideas and certain values. We believe in a society--

THE COURT: No, we want the place of residence, if he has one, place of doing business, if you have a business. Nothing about philosophy or India, sir. Just where you live, if you have a place to live. Now you said Woodstock. In what state is Woodstock?

THE WITNESS: It is in the state of mind, in the mind of myself and my brothers and sisters. It is a conspiracy. Presently, the nation is held captive, in the penitentiaries of the institutions of a decaying system.

MR. WEINGLASS: Can you tell the Court and jury your present age?

THE WITNESS: My age is 33. 1 am a child of the 60s.

MR. WEINGLASS: When were you born?

THE WITNESS: Psychologically, 1960.

MR. SCHULTZ: Objection, if the Court please. I move to strike the answer.

MR. WEINGLASS: What is the actual date of your birth?

THE WITNESS: November 30,1936.

MR. WEINGLASS: Between the date of your birth, November 30, 1936, and May 1, 1960, what if anything occurred in your life?

THE WITNESS: Nothing. I believe it is called an American education.

MR. SCHULTZ: Objection.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

THE WITNESS: Huh.

MR. WEINGLASS: Abbie, could you tell the Court and jury--

MR. SCHULTZ: His name isn't Abbie. I object to this informality.

MR. WEINGLASS: Can you tell the Court and jury what is your present occupation?

THE WITNESS: I am a cultural revolutionary. Well, I am really a defendant---full-time.

MR. WEINGLASS: What do you mean by the phrase "cultural revolutionary?"

THE WITNESS: Well, I suppose it is a person who tries to shape and participate in the values, and the mores, the customs and the style of living of new people who eventually become inhabitants of a new nation and a new society through art and poetry, theater, and music.

MR. WEINGLASS: What have you done yourself to participate in that revolution?

THE WITNESS: Well, I have been a rock and roll singer. I am a reporter with the Liberation News Service. I am a poet. I am a film maker. I made a movie called "Yippies Tour Chicago or How I Spent My Summer Vacation." Currently, I am negotiating with United Artists and MGM to do a movie in Hollywood.
I have written an extensive pamphlet on how to live free in the city of New York.
I have written two books, one called Revolution for The Hell of It under the pseudonym Free, and one called, Woodstock Nation.

MR. WEINGLASS: Taking you back to the spring of 1960, approximately May 1, 1960, will you tell the Court and jury where you were?
FULL REPORT:
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/Chicago7/Hoffman.html

REAL PLAYER AUDIO:
Defendant Abbie Hoffman (1970, 66 seconds, 135K)**
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/multimedia/hoffman.rm

MORE AUDIO FILES:
These audio clips are taken from ten reel-to-reel tapes
donated to the UMKC School of Law by the office manager of
the Chicago Seven defense firm.
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/Chicago7/audio.html
 

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