Lee Weiner was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, in a family with leftist political roots and an association with organized crime. His activist life began with free speech demonstrations at the University of Illinois in 1960, included community organizing in desperately poor neighborhoods in Chicago. Friendships with other left and counterculture activists, and participation in the anti-war demonstrations in the summer of 1968 in Chicago, led to his indictment in the notorious Chicago 8/7 Conspiracy trial in 1969.
His later political work included direct response fundraising for members of Congress and national non-profit organizations. Along the way he collected a couple of master’s degrees and a PhD in sociology. His political memoir Conspiracy to Riot – The Life and Times of One of the Chicago 7 was published in August 2020, and along with a recent movie, mentioned a bit in the media.
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