Longtime political activist Rennie Davis died on Tuesday, February 2nd at his home in Colorado. He was best known for his role in as one of the “Chicago 7” co-conspirators charged with crossing state lines to incite a riot after the anti-war protests at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. All seven were acquitted from all charges by the Appellate Court.
The cause of death was lymphoma, a condition that had been diagnosed only a few weeks before his death.
In this clip from 1973, he and his fellow Chicago Conspiracy Trial co-defendant Abbie Hoffman spar over the Guru Maharaj Ji, the controversial founder of the Divine Light Mission. The video was shot by TVTV for Lord of the Universe, which documents the Millennium ’73 gathering at the Houston Astrodome. The event, which was coordinated by Davis with the guru’s brother, was billed as the beginning of “a thousand years of peace for those who want peace.”
If you haven’t watched it already, we highly recommend this candid 60-minute conversation between the Chicago 7 defendants from 1970. It was produced and moderated by R.G. Davis. After saving it for 50 years, he worked with Media Burn to release it a few weeks ago. It’s like nothing else you can see about the real personalities and issues behind the famous events. It was memorably reviewed by Jonah Raskin in Counterpunch.