Netflix is commemorating the anniversary of the Chicago Seven verdict with a free screening of The Trial of the Chicago 7 on its YouTube channel.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is based on real events that took place in 1968. In the lead-up to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, anti-war protesters organized. It’s estimated that 10,000 protesters clashed with over 20,000 CPD officers and Illinois National Guardsmen in what was later described in the Walker Report as a “police riot.”
As The Guardian notes:
The report – headed by an independent observer from Los Angeles police – concluded that: “Individual policemen, and lots of them, committed violent acts far in excess of the requisite force for crowd dispersal or arrest. To read dispassionately the hundreds of statements describing at firsthand the events of Sunday and Monday nights is to become convinced of the presence of what can only be called a police riot.”
The organizers of the protest were charged with conspiracy, crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot, and other charges. The Chicago Seven include Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, Lee Weiner, and John Froines. Bobby Seale – the co-founder of the Black Panther Party – was also charged.
The film comes from director Aaron Sorkin. The cast includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Keaton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Baron Cohen was nominated for the Golden Globe’s Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The film received five Golden Globe nominations.
The free online stream of The Trial of the Chicago 7 is available starting on Friday, February 19 at 2 AM Central Time at youtube.com/netflix. It will remain free for 48 hours.