Lee Weiner

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Lee Weiner (born 1939), a member of the Chicago Seven, was charged with "conspiring to use interstate commerce with intent to incite a riot" and "teaching demonstrators how to construct incendiary devices that would be used in civil disturbances"[1][2] at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Weiner and his co-defendant John Froines were acquitted of the charges by the jury.[3]

When the trial of the Chicago Eight began in the early fall of 1969, Weiner was a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant at Northwestern University, and had previously graduated from the University of Illinois, studied political philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and earned a master's degree in social work from Loyola University's School of Social Work in Chicago.[4] At Northwestern University, Weiner worked for Professor Howard S. Becker as a research assistant.[5]

J. Anthony Lukas described Weiner as "a strangely remote figure who shunned most of the defendants' extracurricular activities."[6] According to Professor Douglas Linder at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, "Weiner rarely attended defense strategy sessions, perhaps out of a belief that their cause was hopeless. He spent most of his trial hours reading science fiction paperbacks or books on eastern philosophy. Weiner reacted to few courtroom developments, viewing the proceedings with a mixture of scorn and amusement."[7]

According to Weiner, towards the end of the trial, "there was no question we would be put in jail. I ended up going, mostly for correcting my name. People always pronounced it Wee-ner. It's Wye-ner. When the judge would say Wee-ner, I would shout out, "It's Wye-ner," and he got pissed off and charged me with contempt, which was a perfect summary of my political stance. I was sentenced to two and a half months."[8] Weiner was ultimately convicted on seven charges of criminal contempt that were later reversed and remanded following an appeal; after retrial, Weiner was acquitted of all contempt charges.[9]

About a year after the trial ended, Weiner left Chicago and went to Rutgers University to teach courses about social change.[10] People magazine reports that "[a]t a birthday party for Black Panther leader Bobby Seale in 1972, Weiner was overheard joking that he was "starting a new Communist party in New Jersey." The remark turned up in print, and he was told that his teaching contract at Rutgers would not be renewed." [11]

In the years following the trial, Weiner has continued to work and protest for causes. He has worked for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in New York and participated in protests for Russian Jews and more funding for AIDS research,[12] and has worked as vice president for direct response at the AmeriCares Foundation in Stamford, CT.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Chicago Conspiracy Trial: A Short Narrative. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on October 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Indictment. published at Linder, D.O. "The Chicago Seven" (or "The Chicago Eight") Trial. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Retrieved on October 16, 2014.
  3. ^ The Chicago 10. PBS. Retrieved on October 16, 2014.
  4. ^ The Conspiracy. (1969). P. Babcox, D. Babcox, & Abel, B. (Eds.). Dell Publishing: New York.
  5. ^ Becker, H.S. & Richards, P. (2010). Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, Or Article. 2nd Ed. University of Chicago Press. ReadHowYouWant edition at pp. 122-123 ("I don't think I realized how this reading and commenting and being read and commented on by peers affected my professional development until I hired Lee Weiner as a research assistant a few years after I started teaching at Northwestern. I was away the summer he began work, and as a conscious revolutionary, Lee (who later became one of the Chicago Seven), read all of my correspondence, although it was not part of his duties. When I returned in the fall, he told me excitedly how much he had learned by looking through the folders I kept on papers I had written, seeing what my friends had written on, and about, succeeding drafts, and how I had taken those comments into account in my next version.")
  6. ^ J. Anthony Lukas. The Barnyard Epithet and Other Obscenities: Notes on the Chicago Conspiracy Trial. Harper and Row, 1970. 21., cited by Linder, D.O. "The Chicago Seven" (or "The Chicago Eight") Trial. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. at Biography of Lee Weiner.
  7. ^ Biography of Lee Weiner. Linder, D.O. "The Chicago Seven" (or "The Chicago Eight") Trial. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Retrieved on October 16, 2014.
  8. ^ Kisseloff, J. (2006). Generation On Fire: Voices of Protest from the 1960s, An Oral History. University Press of Kentucky: Lexington, p. 94
  9. ^ Biography of Lee Weiner. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on October 16, 2014.
  10. ^ Kisseloff, J. (2006). Generation On Fire: Voices of Protest from the 1960s, An Oral History. University Press of Kentucky: Lexington, p. 94-95
  11. ^ McCall, Cheryl. (1977, Sept 12). Their Anger Behind Them, the Chicago 7 Declare Peace in the '70s. People 8:11.
  12. ^ New York Times News Service. (1994, Nov 29).1960s radical Jerry Rubin, 56, dies in California of heart attack. Baltimore Sun
  13. ^ Bennett, K. (2010, Aug 27). Where Are They Now? Chicago Seven. AARP Bulletin