Six protesters from the '68 Democratic National Convention rally together again to debate their movement's legacy and how times have changed.
Whether you view them as righteous or as radical demons, the 1968 Democratic National Convention protesters had an undeniable impact. The protests and the resulting police riots changed the way the media covered the news, heightened awareness of political, military and social issues and led to changes in the way our primaries impact the general elections. In an effort to understand what went down in our backyard 40 years ago, we found six Chicagoans who participated in the demonstrations, gathered them peaceably in a police- and National Guard–free zone (okay, the TOC offices) and watched some ’68 protest footage to get everyone riled up to discuss that world-changing week.
Then Yippie (Youth International Party) cofounder
Now Activist and retired Chicago Public Schools social worker
Then Underground journalist
Now Chair of Journalism & Cross-Media Storytelling at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University; author of Uncovering the Sixties: The Life and Times of the Underground Press (Carol Publishing Company, 1991)
Then Political and civil-rights writer
Now Fiction Writing Department founder and professor emeritus at Columbia College Chicago; author of No One Was Killed about the ’68 DNC (to be reissued at the end of the year, University of Chicago Press)
Then Head of security for MOBE (National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam)
Now Founder and president of MK Communications (public strategy, media, advertising and community outreach)
Then Grassroots organizer with JOIN Community Union and national officer with SDS (Students for a Democratic Society)
Now Owner, Heartland Café (7000 N Glenwood Ave), president of the 49th Ward Democratic Party organization
Then Press secretary for MOBE
Now Political consultant (Don Rose Communications and the Urban Political Group); columnist, Chicago Daily Observer and TheWeekBehind.com