Who are the Minnesota 8?
Read, Molly Ivins, Monday, July 13, 1970, Minneapolis Tribune, “Accused of Sabotage. Family, Friends Call 8 in Draft Raids Idealists”
What were the trials like?
American culture and legal system has no place for a "loyal opposition" nor a "political prisoner" nor a "prisoner of conscience." There really is no way to challenge the underlying philosophical, theological and moral beliefs, assumptions and convictions of America's political system nor its system of jurisprudence from within those systems. Frank Kroncke has his own perspective on this, see Civil Religion. In the main, America changes only through social revolution or civil war.
The government wanted to avoid another counter-productive trial of "Movement" activists such as happened through the "Chicago 7" trial. So, since the 8 were arrested in geographically distinct cities, which fell under two federal district court jurisdictions, three trials were set. This went against the normal procedure of consolidating trials of like defendants, both for efficiency and cost-savings.
Trials 1 @ 2 before Judge Edward Devitt.
Trial 3 before Judge Phillip Neville.
Some background to the play, "Peace Crimes: the Minnesota 8 vs. the war."
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The military Selective Service Draft has been activated!
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