Kunstler, William M.

Controversial radical lawyer, civil rights activist

Price: $15.00

Description:
(1919-1995) Jewish-American radical lawyer, civil rights activist, known for his controversial clients. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Board member and co-founder of the Law Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Defended "Chicago Seven" 1969-70, members of the Black Panther Party, Weather Underground, Attica Prison rioters, and the American Indian Movement. First made headlines in 1957 defending William Worthy, correspondent for the “Baltimore Afro-American”, one of 42 Americans who had their passports seized after violating the State Department travel ban on Communist China (after attending a Moscow Communist youth conference). Working on behalf of the ACLU, he defended the Mississippi "Freedom Riders" in 1961, in 1962 took part in efforts to integrate public parks and libraries in Albany, Ga. and sued public housing authorities in Westchester County, NY. Kunstler went to St. Augustine, Fla. in 1964 during demonstrations led by Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Robert B. Hayling that led to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Brought the 1st federal case under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which allowed removal of cases from county court to be appealed; defendants were protestors at the 1964 New York World's Fair. A director of the ACLU 1964-72, then a member of its National Council. In 1966 he co-founded the Center for Constitutional Rights and worked with the National Lawyers Guild. In 1965, his firm got Jack Ruby a new trial. In 1966, he defended an arsonist who torched a Jewish Community Center, killing 12, because he was not provided a lawyer before he signed a confession. Other notable clients included H. Rap Brown, Lenny Bruce, Stokely Carmichael, the Catonsville Nine, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Morton Sobell, and Wayne Williams. Gained national renown for defending the "Chicago Seven" against charges of conspiring to incite riots during the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention in a 1969-1970 5-month boisterous trial marked by frequent clashes between Kunstler, US. Attorney Thomas Foran, and Judge Julius Hoffman. The trial was covered on the nightly news and made him the best-known lawyer in the US, and a folk hero. He arrived in Pine Ridge, So. Dakota in 1973 to draw up demands of the American Indian Movement (AIM) members involved in the Wounded Knee incident, and defended Russell Means and Dennis Banks, 2 leaders of the occupation. In 1975, he again defended AIM members in the slaying of 2 FBI agents at Pine Ridge. In 1974-1975, Kunstler defended a prisoner charged with killing a guard during the Attica Prison riot. From 1983 until his 1995 death, he defended Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, head of the Egyptian-based terrorist group Gama'a al-Islamiyah, responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Qubilah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, accused of plotting to murder Louis Farrakhan; and associates of the Gambino crime family. During the first Gulf War, his firm represented dozens of US soldiers who claimed conscientious objector status. They also represented El-Sayyid Nosair, alleged assassin of Jewish leader Rabbi Meir Kahane, acquitted of murder charges. ISP, in-person signature with sentiment and dated January 20 1995 on portrait of him on 3rd page of folded 4pp printed National Arts Club invitation to reading from his last work, “Hints and Allegations: The World in Poetry and Prose According to William M. Kunstler (Four Walls Eight Windows)”.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signed Portrait






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