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1949. With ten other leaders of the Communist Party, Gil Green was convicted under the Smith Act for conspiring to teach and advocate the overthrow of the government. Convictions continued until in 1956, when the Supreme Court ruled the government must produce actual evidence of advocating force and violence.

The whole area of the courthouse was roped off. They were mobilized as if there was going to be a major encounter of some kind. The New York Times reported it was the largest armed contingent for a court case in police history. The government's "evidence" consisted mainly of excerpts from books and ludicrous stories told by informers that they said was proof that we advocated force and violence. I had written an article in 1938 with Eugene Dennis that said that Communists had to come forward as champions in the struggle for democracy. Now, here was an article written by two defendants long before the trial that showed that we advocated democracy, not force and violence. But when my lawyer introduced this as evidence while I was on the stand, the prosecutor jumped up and objected and the judge said, "Objection sustained." Well, I turned to the judge and said, "Your honor, this article is germane to the very heart of the issue." Whereupon he took his gavel and banged it down, and said, "I'm going to charge you right now with contempt of court." So, for the last four and a half months of the trial, I was taken handcuffed from the prison every morning to the courtroom.