One of Chicago Seven still protesting after all these years
By DAVID GRAM
The Associated Press
QUEBEC (AP) -- Longtime activist David Dellinger hasn't strayed from his
radical roots, which include membership in the Chicago Seven.
At 85, he's among the most prominent of the tens of thousands of activists
protesting talks aimed at establishing the Free Trade Area of the Americas,
a common market stretching the length of the Western Hemisphere.
"I'm against the FTAA," Dellinger said.
He says that by giving multinational companies greater leeway to move jobs,
goods and services across borders, and by restricting regulatory powers of
participating governments, the trade agreement would worsen what he has
long seen as the excesses of capitalism.
"Three percent of the richest people in the world control more wealth than
49 undeveloped countries," he said. "I think the FTAA is going to extend
that kind of system."
Dellinger got up at 2:45 a.m. Saturday at his home in Montpelier, Vt., and
hitched a ride in a van headed to the summit demonstrations in Quebec City.
Along the way, he visited the makeshift office of the Vermont Mobilization
for Global Justice at Derby Line, Vt., 100 hundred yards from the Canadian
Then he and his companions joined labor, human rights and environmental
activists from around New England, lining up at the Stanstead border
station to see if they would be admitted into Canada.
Dellinger ultimately was allowed to cross the border, but he had known his
prospects were uncertain because Canadian customs officials were turning
back people with arrest records.
A pacifist and leftist activist his entire adult life, Dellinger says he's
never kept track of the times he's been arrested for acts of civil
His most famous brush with the law came at the 1968 Democratic National
Convention when he was among a group including the late Abbie Hoffman, who
were arrested for allegedly starting a riot outside the convention center.
The group, who became known as the Chicago Seven, were convicted in 1969
but and later cleared by an appeals court.
More than 800 activists approached the border station in an eight-hour
period Saturday morning as Canadian authorities took IDs and ran computer
checks, interrogated people and had a Labrador retriever sniff vehicles and
luggage for drugs, guns and explosives. Fewer than 30 were turned back.
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