Chicago: Eight Plus Eight

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Seven months after the Democratic National Convention, the bitterness sur ounding that debacle has hardly abated. Last week a federal grand jury in Chicago ended months of deliberation with a balancing act that is certain to ignite fresh controversy. The jury indicted eight demonstrators and eight Chicago policemen for their part in the disorders. The demonstrators were the first to be charged under the 1968 antiriot section of the Civil Rights Act for conspiring and crossing state lines to in cite riot. Among those subject to as much as ten years in prison and $20,000 in fines, if convicted, are such movement luminaries as David Dellinger, Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden, Yippie Leaders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Black Panther Bobby Scale and two university instructors who helped to organize the demonstrations.

The indictment accused the eight of intent to promote riot and "to teach and demonstrate to other persons the use, application and making of incendiary devices for use in civil disorders."

Their plans, it charged, included one to "occupy forcibly, and hold all or part of the Conrad Hilton Hotel" on the day of the presidential nomination.

Four of the eight policemen had been suspended by the department for their conduct in the disorders. Seven of the eight were charged with beating various newsmen or students. The eighth, Lieut. Carl Dobrich, was charged with two counts of perjury stemming from his denial before the grand jury that he had taken part in the assaults. Some Chicago police, noting that 43 of their colleagues have already been disciplined in the wake of the convention disorders, are grumbling that the newly indicted cops were "thrown to the wolves."