Chicago 7 group was represented by prosecutor William:

William: I don't want you guys holding any more press conferences.

Tom: If you're gonna get between Abbie and a camera, I'd wear pads and a helmet.

What does "get between Abbie and a camera" mean? Is Tom suggesting William not to advice Abbie about press conference?

Source: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

1 Answer 1


"get between (someone) and (something)" is a phrase that in this context means stop someone from using something. It is almost always used in the context of advising someone not to stop someone doing something.

For example, "Don't get between John and cake" would mean don't try to stop John from eating cake.

In this case, William is saying they shouldn't have press conferences. Abbie loves publicity and this would be hindered by the termination of the press conferences. Tom is saying to William that stopping Abbie from "using" the camera (In this case, he will be filmed by the camera to be in the press conferences) is a mistake. And that, if he must do it, he will need pads and a helmet for protection from Abbie who will try to get to the camera by any means necessary. (This last part may be exaggeration for emphasis or it may be a legitimate warning)

  • Good answer in general but "Abbie" is "Abbie Hoffman", a leader of the Chicago 7, who, apparently loved publicity. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Seven Dec 1, 2020 at 19:03
  • Also, the suggestion isn't that Abbie will be angry, but that given his inclinations, he will get to the camera one way or the other, so don't get in the way without protective gear. Dec 1, 2020 at 19:12
  • To be clear, Abbie Hoffman (Abbot Howard Hoffman, 1936-1989) was a man. Dec 1, 2020 at 21:59
  • I believe the intended meaning is that Hoffman would hate anyone getting in the way of a press or other photographer taking a photograph of him, or a TV news camera. Dec 2, 2020 at 7:02
  • "A camera" suggests any random camera, not a camera belonging to Hoffman. Dec 2, 2020 at 7:03

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