The Emerging Police State: Resisting Illegitimate Authority

The Emerging Police State: Resisting Illegitimate Authority - William M. Kunstler, Michael Steven Smith, Michael Ratner
Michelangelo’s David is a good example for all of you. This is the only representation in art of David before he kills Goliath. All the rest- Donatello’s bronze, the paintings- show him holding up the severed head of Goliath, as Goliath leads the Philistines down the hills of Galilee toward the Israelites. Michelangelo is saying, across these four centuries, that every person's life has a moment when you are thinking of doing something that will jeopardize yourself. And if you don’t do it, no one will be the wiser that you even thought of it. So, it’s easy to get out of it. And that’s what David is doing right there. He’s got the rock in the right hand, the sling over the left shoulder, and he’s saying like Prufrock, “Do I dare, do I dare?” Pg. 27, Commencement Remarks to the School of Architecture and Planning State University of New York at Buffalo, May 13, 1995.
This is a story Kunstler told often and one with which he personally identified. Controversial, and not without detractors, Kunstler was an outspoken advocate for the oppressed, the rebels and the hated. Some of his speeches (a few which survive only because the FBI secretly recorded them) and trial transcripts are included. Quick reading, a little repetitive, occasionally funny, and a good introduction to the values which propelled him. For Kunstler, the courtroom was not a place for him to defend his client against indictment; it was his forum to indict the system. He refused to balk against power. He refused to submit to the rules. He dared.