“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana
You don’t think you could be this captivated by a movie but you’re thrown into the fire immediately after pressing play.
The story of the Chicago 7 follows the true story of the riots in Chicago protesting against the Vietnam war. The 7 (which is actually 8) were leaders of various groups who wanted to lead a peaceful demonstration outside the Democratic National Convention in 1968. You find out that none of the people being tried are malicious at all, most of them are academics/students simply standing up for what they believe in.
We trust the Police with our lives. We trust the Police to come when we call and we appreciate their dedication. But what happens when Police are corrupt, who Polices the Police? This movie is a great reminder that institutions that hold power sill need checks and balances to ensure they’re serving the people as they were intended to.
What happens when you can’t trust the Police?
As you find out later in the documentary, the Police seeded the riots in Chicago. They impersonated demonstrators and created a violent outcome that gave the Police a reason to arrest and charge many people but more specifically, the 8 individual leaders of different factions of demonstrators.
What happens in a courtroom when the judge is corrupt?
The other maybe even more surprising part of how the judge treated the case. AND the facts about the judge that come to light at the end of the movie. Someone with that kind of power needs to ensure what they are doing is “right”. Otherwise people will lose all faith in our judicial system. Which is exactly what has happened over the years.
This isn’t an isolated incident. This has happened before and will happen again and more people need to understand why it’s such an important thing to call out. If you can’t trust a judge or the Police, you begin to think you need to take matters in your own hands. And most folks who do, you can’t really blame as it isn’t their fault, they’re backed into a corner forced to react to an unjust world.
The moment when you realize the leaders of the demonstration tried again and again to get the city and Police involved early on to keep it peaceful. But they did not take them seriously at all.
“If you see fraud, & you don’t say fraud, you are a fraud”. -Nassim Nicholas Taleb
When you see something that’s wrong, you must call it out. Sometimes doing nothing is a crime of omission not commission. This is why I think this movie is so important. Allowing corruption is like poisoning a pond. Sure you don’t see the effects immediately, but over time everything in and around the pond are dead.
Watch the movie and let me know what you think!