Weather Underground (organization)

Or Weather Underground Organization

"Our signature was...letters of explanation....
Each letter had a logo hand-drawn
across the page...."
Formation 1969 – c. 1978
Type Revolutionary communist
Location United States
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Weatherman, known colloquially as the Weathermen and later the Weather Underground Organization (abbreviated WUO), was an American radical left organization. It originated in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)[2] composed for the most part of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters. Their goal was to create a clandestine revolutionary party for the violent overthrow of the US government and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat.[3]

With leadership whose revolutionary positions were characterized by Black separatist rhetoric,[2] the group conducted a campaign of bombings through the mid-1970s, including aiding the jailbreak and escape of Timothy Leary. The "Days of Rage", their first public demonstration on October 8, 1969, was a riot in Chicago timed to coincide with the trial of the Chicago Seven. In 1970 the group issued a "Declaration of a State of War" against the United States government, under the name "Weather Underground Organization" (WUO). The bombing attacks mostly targeted government buildings, along with several banks. Most were preceded by evacuation warnings, along with communiqus identifying the particular matter that the attack was intended to protest. For the bombing of the United States Capitol on March 1, 1971, they issued a communiqu saying it was "in protest of the US invasion of Laos." For the bombing of the Pentagon on May 19, 1972, they stated it was "in retaliation for the US bombing raid in Hanoi." For the January 29, 1975 bombing of the United States Department of State Building, they stated it was "in response to escalation in Vietnam."[4]

The Weathermen grew out of the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM) faction of SDS. It took its name from the lyric "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", from the Bob Dylan song Subterranean Homesick Blues. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows was the title of a position paper they distributed at an SDS convention in Chicago on June 18, 1969. This founding document called for a "white fighting force" to be allied with the "Black Liberation Movement" and other radical movements[5] to achieve "the destruction of US imperialism and achieve a classless world: world communism."[6]

The Weathermen largely disintegrated after the United States reached a peace accord in Vietnam in 1973, which saw the general decline of the New Left.


[edit] Background and formation

The Weathermen emerged from the campus-based opposition to the Vietnam War, as well as the Civil Rights Movements of the late 1960s. During this time, United States military action in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam, escalated. In the U.S., the anti-war sentiment was particularly pronounced during the 1968 U.S. presidential election.

... The milieu of the late 1960s. With a growing protest movement in the United States and the global struggle in which anti-imperialist forces were on the march in Vietnam, Algeria, and Angola, the Weathermen believed they were on the winning side of history – creating new communities free from capitalist exploitation and embracing the Che Guevara prediction that numerous Vietnam-type conflicts would topple the American regime."

– Ron Briley, History News Network[7]

The origins of the Weathermen can be traced to the collapse and fragmentation of the Students for a Democratic Society following a split between office holders of SDS, or "National Office," and their supporters and the Progressive Labor Party. During the factional struggle National Office leaders such as Bernardine Dohrn and Mike Klonsky began announcing their emerging perspectives, and Klonksy published a document entitled "Toward a Revolutionary Youth Movement" (RYM). RYM promoted the philosophy that young workers possessed the potential to be a revolutionary force to overthrow capitalism, if not by themselves then by transmitting radical ideas to the working class. Klonsky's document reflected the philosophy of the National Office and was eventually adopted as official SDS doctrine. During the summer of 1969, the National Office began to split. A group led by Klonsky became known as RYM II, and the other side, RYM I, was led by Dohrn and endorsed more aggressive tactics such as direct action, as some members felt that years of non-violent resistance had done little or nothing to stop the Vietnam War.[4] The Weathermen strongly sympathized with the radical Black Panthers. The police killing of Panther Fred Hampton prompted the Weatherman to issue a declaration of war upon the United States government.

We petitioned, we demonstrated, we sat in. I was willing to get hit over the head, I did; I was willing to go to prison, I did. To me, it was a question of what had to be done to stop the much greater violence that was going on.

[edit] SDS Convention, June 1969

At an SDS convention in Chicago on June 18, 1969, the National Office attempted to convince unaffiliated delegates not to endorse a takeover of SDS by Progressive Labor who had packed the convention with their supporters.[8] At the beginning of the convention, two position papers were passed out by the National Office leadership, one a revised statement of Klonksy's RYM manifesto, the other called "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows." The latter document outlined the position of the group that would become the Weathermen. It had been signed by Karen Ashley, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, John Jacobs, Jeff Jones, Gerry Long, Howie Machtinger, Jim Mellen, Terry Robbins, Mark Rudd, and Steve Tappis. The document called for creating a clandestine revolutionary party.

The most important task for us toward making the revolution, and the work our collectives should engage in, is the creation of a mass revolutionary movement, without which a clandestine revolutionary party will be impossible . A revolutionary mass movement is different from the traditional revisionist mass base of "sympathizers . " Rather it is akin to the Red Guard in China, based on the full participation and involvement of masses of people in the practice of making revolution; a movement with a full willingness to participate in the violent and illegal struggle.[9]

At this convention the Weatherman faction of the Students for a Democratic Society, planned for October 8–11, as a "National Action" built around John Jacobs' slogan, "bring the war home."[10] The National Action grew out of a resolution drafted by Jacobs and introduced at the October 1968 SDS National Council meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The resolution, titled "The Elections Don't Mean Shit–Vote Where the Power Is–Our Power Is In The Street" and adopted by the council, was prompted by the success of the Democratic National Convention protests in August 1968 and reflected Jacobs' strong advocacy of direct action.[11]

As part of the "National Action Staff," Jacobs was an integral part of the planning for what quickly came to be called "Four Days of Rage."[10] For Jacobs, the goal of the "Days of Rage" was clear:

"Weatherman would shove the war down] their dumb, fascist throats and show them, while we were at it, how much better we were than them, both tactically and strategically, as a people. In an all-out civil war over Vietnam and other fascist U.S. imperialism, we were going to bring the war home. 'Turn the imperialists' war into a civil war', in Lenin's words. And we were going to kick ass."[12]

In July, 1969 30 members of Weatherman leadership traveled to Cuba and met with North Vietnamese representatives to gain from their revolutionary experience. The North Vietnamese requested armed political action in order to stop the US Government's war in Vietnam. Subsequently, they accepted funding, training, recommendations on tactics and slogans from Cuba, and perhaps explosives as well.[13]

[edit] SDS Convention, December, 1969

After the Days of Rage riots the Weatherman held the last of its National Council meetings from December 26 to December 31, 1969 in Flint, Michigan. The meeting, dubbed the "War Council" by the 300 people who attended, adopted Jacobs' call for violent revolution.[5] Dohrn opened the conference by telling the delegates they needed to stop being afraid and begin the "armed struggle." Over the next five days, the participants met in informal groups to discuss what "going underground" meant, how best to organize collectives, and justifications for violence.[5][14][15][16][17] In the evening, the groups reconvened for a mass "wargasm"–practicing karate, engaging in physical exercise, singing songs, and listening to speeches.[5][14][15][16][17] The "War Council" ended with a major speech by John Jacobs. Jacobs condemned the "pacifism" of white middle-class American youth, a belief which he claimed they held because they were insulated from the violence which afflicted blacks and the poor. He predicted a successful revolution, and declared that youth were moving away from passivity and apathy and toward a new high-energy culture of "repersonalization" brought about by drugs, sex, and armed revolution.[5][14][15][16][17] "We're against everything that's 'good and decent' in honky America," Jacobs said in his most commonly quoted statement. "We will burn and loot and destroy. We are the incubation of your mother's nightmare."[14]

Two major decisions came out of the "War Council." The first was to go underground, and to begin a violent, armed struggle against the state without attempting to organize or mobilize a broad swath of the public. The Weather Underground hoped to create underground collectives in major cities throughout the country.[18] In fact, the Weathermen eventually created only three significant, active collectives; one in California, one in the Midwest, and one in New York City. The New York City collective was led by Jacobs and Terry Robbins, and included Ted Gold, Kathy Boudin, Cathy Wilkerson (Robbins' girlfriend), and Diana Oughton.[11] Jacobs was one of Robbins' biggest supporters, and pushed Weatherman to let Robbins be as violent as he wanted to be. The Weatherman national leadership agreed, as did the New York City collective.[19] The collective's first target was Judge John Murtagh, who was overseeing the trial of the "Panther 21".

The second major decision was the dissolution of Students for a Democratic Society. After the summer of 1969 fragmentation of SDS, Weatherman's adherents explicitly claimed themselves the real leaders of SDS and retained control of the SDS National Office. Thereafter, any leaflet, label, or logo bearing the name "Students for a Democratic Society" or "SDS" was in fact the views and politics of Weatherman, not of the slate elected by Progressive Labor. Weatherman contained the vast majority of former SDS National Committee members, including Mark Rudd, David Gilbert and Bernardine Dohrn. The group, while small, was able to commandeer the mantle of SDS and all of its membership lists, but with Weatherman in charge there was little or no support from local branches or members of the organization,[20][21] and local chapters soon disbanded. At the "War Council," the Weathermen had decided to close the SDS National Office, ending the major campus-based organization of the 1960s which at its peak was a mass organization with 100,000 members.[22]

[edit] Ideology

The thesis of Weatherman theory, as expounded in its founding document, You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows, was that "the main struggle going on in the world today is between U.S. imperialism and the national liberation struggles against it",[23] based on Lenin's theory of imperialism, first expounded in 1916 in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In Weatherman theory "oppressed peoples" are the creators of the wealth of empire, "and it is to them that it belongs." "The goal of revolutionary struggle must be the control and use of this wealth in the interest of the oppressed peoples of the world." "The goal is the destruction of US imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism"[24]

The Vietnamese and other third world countries, as well as third world people within the United States play a vanguard role. They "set the terms for class struggle in America..."[25] The role of the "Revolutionary Youth Movement" is to build a centralized organization of revolutionaries, a "Marxist-Leninist Party" supported by a mass revolutionary movement to support international liberation movements and "open another battlefield of the revolution."[26][27]

The theoretical basis of the Revolutionary Youth Movement was an insight that most of the American population, including both students and the supposed "middle class," comprised, due to their relationship to the instruments of production, the working class,[28] thus the organizational basis of the SDS, which had begun in the elite colleges and had been extended to public institutions as the organization grew could be extended to youth as a whole including students, those serving in the military, and the unemployed. Students could be viewed as workers gaining skills prior to employment. This contrasted to the Progressive Labor view which viewed students and workers as being in separate categories which could ally, but should not jointly organize.[29]

Federal Bureau of Investigation analysis of the travel history of the founders and initial followers of the organization emphasized contacts with foreign governments, particularly the Cuban and North Vietnamese and their influence on the ideology of the organization. Participation in the Venceremos Brigade, a program which involved US students volunteering to work in the sugar harvest in Cuba, is highlighted as a common factor in the background of the founders of the Weather Underground, with China a secondary influence.[30] This experience was cited by both Kathy Boudin and Bernardine Dohrn as a major influence on their political development.[31]

The name Weatherman was derived from the Bob Dylan song –Subterranean Homesick Blues,– which featured the lyrics –You don–t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.– The lyrics had been quoted at the bottom of an influential essay in the SDS newspaper, New Left Notes. Using this title the Weathermen meant, partially, to appeal to the segment of US youth inspired to action for social justice by Dylan–s songs.

The Weatherman group had long held that militancy was becoming more important than nonviolent forms of anti-war action, and that university-campus-based demonstrations needed to be punctuated with more dramatic actions, which had the potential to interfere with the US military and internal security apparatus. The belief was that these types of urban guerrilla actions would act as a catalyst for the coming revolution. Many international events indeed seemed to support the Weathermen–s overall assertion that worldwide revolution was imminent, such as the tumultuous Cultural Revolution in China; the 1968 student revolts in France, Mexico City and elsewhere; the Prague Spring; the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association; the emergence of the Tupamaros organization in Uruguay; the emergence of the Guinea-Bissauan Revolution and similar Marxist-led independence movements throughout Africa; and within the United States, the prominence of the Black Panther Party together with a series of –ghetto rebellions– throughout poor black neighborhoods across the country.[32]

We felt that doing nothing in a period of repressive violence is itself a form of violence. That's really the part that I think is the hardest for people to understand. If you sit in your house, live your white life and go to your white job, and allow the country that you live in to murder people and to commit genocide, and you sit there and you don't do anything about it, that's violence.

The Weathermen were outspoken advocates of the critical concepts that later came to be known as –white privilege– and identity politics.[33][34] As the unrest in poor black neighborhoods intensified in the early 1970s, Bernardine Dohrn said, –White youth must choose sides now. They must either fight on the side of the oppressed, or be on the side of the oppressor.–[4]

[edit] Style

The rhetorical style of the Weathermen was described by one early observer, referring to Bill Ayers's speech, "A Strategy to Win" delivered in Cleveland, as "outrageously arrogant:"

It typifies the aggressive tone Weatherman began to adopt towards those in and out of SDS who questioned Weatherman politics or plans for the National Action (Days of Rage). It best captures the rhetorical flavor of Weatherman on the attack–combative, uncompromising, confident, and outrageously arrogant.[35]

This style, expressed as open advocacy of resistance, resonated with the SDS's student base.[36]

[edit] Practice

Shortly after its formation as an independent group, Weatherman created a central committee, the Weather Bureau, which assigned its cadres to a series of collectives in major cities. These cities included New York, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Chicago, the home of the SDS' head office. The collectives set up under the Weather Bureau drew their design from Che Guevara's foco theory, which focused on the building of small, semi-autonomous cells guided by a central leadership.[37] Members of collectives engaged in intensive criticism sessions which attempted to reconcile their prior and current activities and political positions to Weatherman doctrine. Monogamy and other exclusive sexual relationships came under attack, bisexuality was encouraged. Martial arts were practiced and occasional direct actions were engaged in.[38] This formation continued during 1969 and 1970 until the group went underground and a more relaxed lifestyle was adopted as the group blended into the counterculture.[39]

[edit] Recruitment

Weather used various means by which to recruit new members and send into motion a nation-wide revolt against the government. Weather members aimed to mobilize people into action against the established leaders of the nation and the patterns of injustice which existed in America and abroad due to America's presence overseas. They also aimed to convince people to resist reliance upon their given privilege and to rebel and take arms if necessary. According to Weatherman, if people tolerated the unjust actions of the state, they became complicit in those actions. In the manifesto compiled by Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and Celia Sojourn, entitled "Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism", Weatherman explained that their intention was to encourage the people and provoke leaps in confidence and consciousness in an attempt to stir the imagination, organize the masses, and join in the people's day-to-day struggles in every way possible.[40]

In the year 1960, almost 50 percent of America–s population was under 18 years of age. The number of young citizens set the stage for a widespread revolt against previously upheld structures of racism, sexism, and classism, the violence of the Vietnam War and America–s interventions abroad. At college campuses throughout the country, anger against –the Establishment–s– practices prompted both peaceful and violent protest.[41] The members of Weatherman targeted high school and college students, assuming they would be willing to rebel against the authoritative figures who had oppressed them, including cops, principals, and bosses.[42] Weather aimed to develop roots within the class struggle, targeting white working-class youths. The younger members of the working class became the focus of the organizing effort because they felt the oppression strongly in regards to the military draft, low-wage jobs, and schooling.[43] Schools became a common place of recruitment for the movement. In direct actions, dubbed Jailbreaks, Weather members invaded educational institutions as a means by which to recruit high school and college students. The motivation of these jailbreaks was the organization's belief that school was where the youth were oppressed by the system and where they learned to tolerate society–s faults instead of rise against them. According to –Prairie Fire–, young people are channeled, coerced, misled, miseducated, misused in the school setting. It is in schools that the youth of the nation become alienated from the authentic processes of learning about the world [44]

Factions of the Weatherman organization began recruiting members by applying their own strategies. Women's groups such as The Motor City Nine and Cell 16 took the lead in various recruitment efforts. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a member of the radical women's liberation group, Cell 16, spoke about her personal recruitment agenda saying that she wanted their group to go out in every corner of the country and tell women the truth, recruit the local people, poor and working-class people, in order to build a new society [45]

Berger explains the controversy surrounding recruitment strategies saying, –As an organizing strategy it was less than successful: white working class youths were more alienated than organized by Weather's spectacles, and even some of those interested in the group were turned off by its early hi-jinks–[46] The methods of recruitment applied by the Weathermen met controversy as their call to arms became intensely radical and their organization's leadership increasingly exclusive.

[edit] Armed propaganda?

In 2006 Dan Berger (writer, activist, and longtime anti-racism organizer)[47] states that following their initial set of bombings, which resulted in the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion the organization adopted a new paradigm of direct action set forth in the communiqu New Morning, Changing Weather, which abjured attacks on people.[48] The shift in the organization's outlook was in good part due to the 1970 death of Weatherman Terry Robbins in Greenwich Village townhouse explosion. Terry Robbins was renowned among the organization members for his radicalism and belief in violence as effective action.[49] According to Dan Berger a relatively sophisticated program of armed propaganda was adopted. This consisted of a series of bombings of government and corporate targets in retaliation for specific imperialist and oppressive acts. Small, well-constructed time bombs were used, generally in vents in restrooms, which exploded at times the spaces were empty. Timely warnings were made and communiqus issued explaining the reason for the actions.[50]

[edit] Major Activities and Suspected activities

[edit] Haymarket Police Memorial bombing October 7, 1969

Shortly before the Days of Rage demonstrations on October 7, 1969, the Weatherman planted a bomb that blew up a statue in Chicago built to commemorate police casualties incurred in the 1886 Haymarket Riot.[15] The blast broke nearly 100 windows and scattered pieces of the statue onto the Kennedy Expressway below.[51] The statue was rebuilt and unveiled on May 4, 1970 (coincidentally, the same day as the Kent State massacre), only to be blown up by the Weathermen a second time on October 6, 1970.[51][52] The statue was rebuilt once again and Mayor Richard J. Daley posted a 24-hour police guard to protect it.[51]

[edit] "Days of Rage" October 9, 1969

The Haymarket Square police memorial (1889 photo)

One of the first acts of the Weathermen after splitting from SDS was to announce they would hold the "Days of Rage" that autumn. This was advertised to "Bring the war home!" Hoping to cause sufficient chaos to "wake" the American public out of what they saw as complacency toward the role of the US in the Vietnam War, the Weathermen meant it to be the largest protest of the decade. They had been told by their regional cadre to expect thousands to attend; however, when they arrived they found only a few hundred people. According to Bill Ayers in 2003, "The Days of Rage was an attempt to break from the norms of kind of acceptable theatre of 'here are the anti-war people: containable, marginal, predictable, and here's the little path they're going to march down, and here's where they can make their little statement.' We wanted to say, "No, what we're going to do is whatever we had to do to stop the violence in Vietnam.'"[4]

The protests did violate Bill Ayers stated expectations:

Of the police:

We were faced with revolutionaries.[53][54]

Of the city:

We never expected this kind of violent demonstration. There has always been a big difference between what they say and what they do.[54][55]

Headlines read:

SDS Women Fight Cops[56]

A comment in the press:

Here we see a new breed of pro-black, pro-Viet Cong hooligan revolutionaries who not demanding this or that change, but are out to totally disrupt the very fabric of this society, out the smash this social order.[56]

Though the October 8, 1969 rally in Chicago had failed to draw as many as the Weathermen had anticipated, the two or three hundred who did attend shocked police by rioting through the affluent Gold Coast neighborhood. They smashed the windows of a bank and those of many cars. The crowd ran four blocks before encountering police barricades. They charged the police but broke into small groups; more than 1,000 police counter-attacked. Many protesters were wearing motorcycle or football helmets, but the police were well trained and armed. Large amounts of tear gas were used, and at least twice police ran squad cars into the mob. The rioting lasted approximately half an hour, during which 28 policemen were injured. Six Weathermen were shot by the police and an unknown number injured; 68 rioters were arrested.[5][15][18][57]

For the next two days, the Weathermen held no rallies or protests. Supporters of the RYM II movement, led by Klonsky and Noel Ignatin, held peaceful rallies in front of the federal courthouse, an International Harvester factory, and Cook County Hospital. The largest event of the Days of Rage took place on Friday, October 9, when RYM II led an interracial march of 2,000 people through a Spanish-speaking part of Chicago.[5][57]

On October 10, the Weatherman attempted to regroup and resume their demonstrations. About 300 protesters marched through The Loop, Chicago's main business district, watched by a double-line of heavily armed police. The protesters suddenly broke through the police lines and rampaged through the Loop, smashing the windows of cars and stores. The police were prepared, and quickly isolated the rioters. Within 15 minutes, more than half the crowd had been arrested.[5][57]

The Days of Rage cost Chicago and the state of Illinois approximately $183,000 ($100,000 for National Guard expenses, $35,000 in damages, and $20,000 for one injured citizen's medical expenses). Most of the Weathermen and SDS leaders were now in jail, and the Weathermen would have to pay over $243,000 for their bail.[18]

[edit] Flint War Council, December 27–31, 1969

The "Flint War Council," was a series of meetings of the Weather Underground Organization and associates in Flint, Michigan, that took place from 27–31 December 1969.[58] During these meetings, the decisions were made for the Weather Underground Organization to go underground [22] and to "engage in guerilla warfare against the U.S. government."[59] This decision was made in response to increased pressure from law enforcement,[60] and a belief that underground guerilla warfare was the best way to combat the U.S. government.[59]

During a closed-door meeting of the Weather Underground's leadership, the decision was also taken to abolish Students for a Democratic Society.[61] This decision reflected the splintering of SDS into hostile rival factions.[61]

[edit] Park Place Police Station bombing, February 1970

On February 16, 1970 a nail bomb placed on a window ledge of the Park Police substation in the Upper Haight neighborhood of San Francisco exploded at 10:45 p.m. The blast killed police Sergeant Brian McDonnell. Law enforcement suspected the Weather Underground but was unable to prove conclusively that the organization was involved.[62] A second officer, Robert Fogarty was partially blinded by the bomb–s shrapnel.

[edit] New York City, Judge Murtagh arson attacks, February 1970

On February 21, 1970, gasoline-filled Molotov cocktails were thrown at the home of New York State Supreme Court Justice Murtagh, who was presiding over the trial of the so-called "Panther 21," members of the Black Panther Party over a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. One bottle full of gasoline had broken against the front steps, and flames scorched the overhanging wooden frame until its contents burnt out. In addition windows were broken, and another molotov cocktail caused paint charring on a car. Painted in red on the sidewalk in front of his house was "FREE THE PANTHER 21", "THE VIET CONG HAVE WON", and "KILL THE PIGS".[63] The same night, molotov cocktails were thrown at a police car in Manhattan and two military recruiting stations in Brooklyn.[64] The son of Justice Murtagh claims that the Weatherman were responsible for the attempted arson,[63] based on a letter promising more bombings sent by Bernardine Dohrn to the Associated Press in late November, 1970,[65] Some authors assume that letter is generally assumed to refer to an October bombing of a Queens courthouse.[66] NYPD Chief Detective Seedman quoted Dohrn's December, letter as stating –two weeks before the townhouse explosion, four members of this (WUO) group had firebombed Judge Murtaugh–s house in New York as an action of support for the Panther 21." [67] No one was caught or tried, for the arson attempt,[63] several sources[68][69][70][71] state that the arson attempt was enacted by the Weathermen but was considered a failure.

[edit] Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, March 1970

On March 6, 1970, during preparations for the bombing of a Non-Commissioned Officers– (NCO) dance at the Fort Dix U.S. Army base and for Butler Library at Columbia University,[2] there was an explosion in a Greenwich Village safe house when the nail bomb being constructed prematurely detonated for unknown reasons. WUO members Diana Oughton, Ted Gold, and Terry Robbins died in the explosion. Cathy Wilkerson and Kathy Boudin escaped unharmed. It was an accident of history that the site of the Village explosion was the former residence of Merrill Lynch brokerage firm founder Charles Merrill and his son, the poet James Merrill. The younger Merrill subsequently recorded the event in his poem 18 West 11th Street, the title being the address of the house. An FBI report later stated that the group had possessed enough explosive to "level ... both sides of the street".[72]

The bomb preparations have been pointed out by critics of the claim that the Weatherman group did not try to take lives with its bombings. Harvey Klehr, the Andrew W. Mellon professor of politics and history at Emory University in Atlanta, said in 2003, "The only reason they were not guilty of mass murder is mere incompetence. I don't know what sort of defense that is."[2]

[edit] Underground Strategy Change

After the Greenwich Village incident, per the December, 1969 "Flint War Council" decisions the group was now well underground, and began to refer to themselves as the Weather Underground Organization. At this juncture, WUO shrank considerably, becoming even fewer than they had been when first formed. The group was devastated by the loss of their friends, and in late April 1970, members of the Weathermen met in California to discuss what had happened in New York and the future of the organization. The group decided to reevaluate their strategy, particularly in regard to their initial belief in the acceptability of human casualties, rejecting such tactics as kidnapping and assassinations.[citation needed]

In 2003 interviews Weather Underground members stated that they wanted to convince the American public that the United States was truly responsible for the calamity in Vietnam.[4] The group began striking at night, bombing empty offices, with warnings always issued in advance to ensure a safe evacuation. According to David Gilbert, who took part in the 1981 Brinks Robbery that killed three officers and was jailed for murder "[their] goal was to not hurt any people, and a lot of work went into that. But we wanted to pick targets that showed to the public who was responsible for what was really going on."[4] After the Greenwich Village explosion, in a review of the film The Weather Underground a Guardian journalist restated the film's contention that no one was killed by WUO bombs.[73]

We were very careful from the moment of the townhouse on to be sure we weren't going to hurt anybody, and we never did hurt anybody. Whenever we put a bomb in a public space, we had figured out all kinds of ways to put checks and balances on the thing and also to get people away from it, and we were remarkably successful.

[edit] Declaration of a State of War, May 1970

In response to the death of Black Panther member Fred Hampton's in December, 1969 during a police raid, on May 21, 1970 the Weather Underground issued a "Declaration of War against the United States government, using for the first time its new name, the "Weather Underground Organization" (WUO), adopting fake identities, and pursuing covert activities only. These initially included preparations for a bombing of a U.S. military non-commissioned officers' dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey in what Brian Flanagan said had been intended to be "the most horrific hit the United States government had ever suffered on its territory".[74]

We've known that our job is to lead white kids into armed revolution. We never intended to spend the next five to twenty-five years of our lives in jail. Ever since SDS became revolutionary, we've been trying to show how it is possible to overcome frustration and impotence that comes from trying to reform this system. Kids know the lines are drawn: revolution is touching all of our lives. Tens of thousands have learned that protest and marches don't do it. Revolutionary violence is the only way.

Bernardine Dohrn subsequently stated that it was Fred Hampton's death that prompted the Weather Underground to declare war on the US government.

We felt that the murder of Fred required us to be more grave, more serious, more determined to raise the stakes and not just be the white people who wrung their hands when black people were being murdered.

In December 1969, the Chicago Police Department, in conjunction with the FBI, conducted a raid on the home of Black Panther Fred Hampton, in which he and Mark Clark were killed, with four of the seven other people in the apartment wounded. The survivors of the raid were all charged with assault and attempted murder. The police claimed they shot in self-defense, although a controversy arose when the Panthers and other activists presented what was alleged to be evidence suggesting that the sleeping Panthers were not resisting arrest. The charges were later dropped, and the families of the dead won a $1.8 million settlement from the government. It was discovered in 1971 that Hampton had been targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO.[76][77]

Investigators search for clues after the May 19, 1972 Weatherman bombing of the Pentagon

On May 21, 1970, a communiqu from the Weather Underground was issued promising to attack a "symbol or institution of American injustice" within two weeks.[78] The communiqu included taunts towards the FBI, daring them to try and find the group, whose members were spread throughout the United States.[79] Many leftist organizations showed curiosity in the communiqu, and waited to see if the act would in fact occur. However, two weeks would pass without any occurrence.[80] Then on June 9, 1970, their first publicly acknowledged bombing occurred at a New York City police station,[81] saying it was "in outraged response to the assassination of the Soledad Brother George Jackson,"[4] who had recently been killed by prison guards in an escape attempt. The FBI placed the Weather Underground organization on the ten most-wanted list by the end of 1970.[15]

[edit] June 1970 NYC Police Bombing

On June 9, 1970, a bomb made with ten sticks of dynamite exploded in the NYC Police Headquarters. The explosion was preceded by a warning about six minutes prior to the detonation and subsequently by a WUO claim of responsibility.[82]

[edit] Federal Grand Jury Indicts 13 Weathermen Leaders

On July 23, 1970, a Detroit grand jury indicted 13 Weathermen members on conspiracy to bomb and kill. Ten of the thirteen already had outstanding federal warrants.[83]

[edit] Timothy Leary prison break, September 1970

In September 1970, the group took a $20,000 payment from a psychedelics distribution organization called The Brotherhood of Eternal Love to break LSD advocate Timothy Leary out of prison,[4] transporting him and his wife to Algeria. Leary joined Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria; his initial press release contains revolutionary rhetoric sympathetic to the Weather Underground's cause. When Leary was eventually captured by the FBI, it is alleged he offered to serve as an informant to capture the Weather Underground members to reduce his prison sentence. Others, such as Robert Anton Wilson, claim he was just feeding false information (and/or information he knew they already had) to the authorities in an attempt to reduce his sentence. Ultimately no one was charged, and Leary served a few more years in prison.[citation needed]

[edit] FBI's Most Wanted List, October 1970

In October 1970, Bernardine Dohrn was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List [84]

[edit] Pentagon Bombing, 1972

On May 19, 1972, Ho Chi Minh–s birthday, The Weather Underground placed a bomb in the women–s bathroom in the Air Force wing of The Pentagon. The damage caused flooding that destroyed computer tapes holding classified information. Other radical groups worldwide applauded the bombing, illustrated by German youths protesting against American military systems in Frankfurt.[15] This was "in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi." [NYT, 5/19/72][85]

[edit] Charges Dropped, 1973

In 1973 the government requested dropping charges against most of the WUO members. The requests cited a recent decision by the Supreme Court that barred electronic surveillance without a court order. This Supreme Court decision would hamper any prosecution of the WUO cases. In addition, the government did not want to reveal foreign intelligence secrets that a trial would require.[86] Bernardine Dohrn was removed from the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.

[edit] Prairie Fire 1974

With the help from Clayton Van Lydegraf, the Weather Underground sought a more Marxist-Leninist ideological approach to the post-Vietnam reality.[87] The leading members of the Weather Underground (Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and Celia Sojourn) collaborated on ideas and published their manifesto: "Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism."[15] The name came from a quote by Mao Zedong, "a single spark can set a prairie fire." By the summer of 1974, five thousand copies had surfaced in coffee houses and bookstores across America. Leftist newspapers praised the manifesto.[88] Abbie Hoffman publicly praised Prairie Fire and believed every American should be given a copy.[89] The manifesto–s influence initiated the formation of the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee in several American cities. Hundreds of above-ground activists helped further the new political vision of the Weather Underground.[88] As the following quote demonstrates the manifesto called for the violent overthrow of the US government and the establishment of a socialist dictatorship.

"The only path to the final defeat of imperialism and the building of socialism is revolutionary war."... "Socialism is the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the eradication of the social system based on profit."... Revolutionary war will be complicated and protracted.... It includes mass struggle and clandestine struggle, peaceful and violent, political and economic, cultural and military, where all forms are developed in harmony with the armed struggle. Without mass struggle there can be no revolution. Without armed struggle there can be no victory."[90]

Essentially, after the 1969 failure of the Days of Rage to involve thousands of youth in massive street fighting. Weather renounced most of the Left and decided to operate as an isolated underground group. Prairie Fire urged people to never "dissociate mass struggle from revolutionary violence." To do so, claimed Weather, was to do the state's work. Just as in 1969-70, Weather still refused to renounce revolutionary violence for "to leave people unprepared to fight the state is to seriously mislead them about the inevitable nature of what lies ahead." However, the decision to build only an underground group caused the Weather Underground to lose sight of its commitment to mass struggle and made future alliances with the mass movement difficult and tenuous. By 1974, Weather had recognized this shortcoming and in Prairie Fire detailed a different strategy for the 1970s which demanded both mass and clandestine organizations. The role of the clandestine organization would be to build the "consciousness of action" and prepare the way for the development of a people's militia. Concurrently, the role of the mass movement (i.e., above ground Prairie Fire collective) would include support for, and encouragement of, armed action. Such an alliance would, according to Weather, "help create the 'sea' for the guerrillas to swim in." [91]

According to Bill Ayers in the late 1970s, the Weatherman group further split into two factions – the May 19th Communist Organization and the "Prairie Fire Collective" – with Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers in the latter. The Prairie Fire Collective favored coming out of hiding and establishing an above ground revolutionary mass movement. With most WUO members facing the limited criminal charges (most charges had been dropped by the government in 1973) against them creating an above ground organization was more feasible. The May 19 Communist Organization continued in hiding as the clandestine organization. A decisive factor in Dohrn's coming out of hiding were her concerns about her children (Bill Ayers, "Fugitive Days: Memoirs of An Antiwar Activist", Beacon Press, 2001, 978-0-8070-3277-0). The Prairie Fire Collective faction started to surrender to the authorities from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. The remaining Weather Underground members continued to attack US institutions.


In April 1971, The "Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI" broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania.[92] The group stole files with several hundred pages. A majority of the files targeted radical left wing groups, and some individuals, for criminal or subversive activities. By the end of April, the FBI offices were to terminate all files dealing with leftist groups.[93] The files were a part of an FBI program called COINTELPRO.[94] However, after COINTELPRO was dissolved in 1971 by J. Edgar Hoover,[95] the FBI continued its counterintelligence on groups like the Weather Underground. In 1973, the FBI established the "Special Target Information Development" program, where agents were sent undercover to penetrate the Weather Underground. Due to the illegal tactics of FBI agents involved with the program, government attorneys requested all weapons- and bomb-related charges be dropped against the Weather Underground. The most well-publicized of these tactics were the "black-bag jobs," referring to searches conducted in the homes of relatives and acquaintances of Weatherman.[96] The Weather Underground was no longer a fugitive organization and could turn themselves in with minimal charges against them.[96] Additionally, the illegal domestic spying conducted by the C.I.A. in collaboration with the F.B.I. also lessened the legal repercussions for Weatherman turning themselves in.[97]

After the Church Committee revealed the FBI's illegal activities, many agents were investigated. In 1976, former FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt publicly stated he had ordered break-ins and that individual agents were merely obeying orders and should not be punished for it. Felt also stated that acting Director L. Patrick Gray had also authorized the break-ins, but Gray denied this. Felt said on the CBS television program Face the Nation that he would probably be a "scapegoat" for the Bureau's work.[98] "I think this is justified and I'd do it again tomorrow," he said on the program. While admitting the break-ins were "extralegal," he justified it as protecting the "greater good." Felt said:

To not take action against these people and know of a bombing in advance would simply be to stick your fingers in your ears and protect your eardrums when the explosion went off and then start the investigation.

The Attorney General in the new Carter administration, Griffin B. Bell, investigated, and on April 10, 1978, a federal grand jury charged Felt, Edward S. Miller, and Gray with conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens by searching their homes without warrants, though Gray's case did not go to trial and was dropped by the government for lack of evidence on December 11, 1980.

The indictment charged violations of Title 18, Section 241 of the United States Code. The indictment charged Felt and the others

did unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other to injure and oppress citizens of the United States who were relatives and acquaintances of the Weatherman fugitives, in the free exercise and enjoyments of certain rights and privileges secured to them by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.[99]

Felt and Miller attempted to plea bargain with the government, willing to agree to a misdemeanor guilty plea to conducting searches without warrants–a violation of 18 U.S.C. sec. 2236–but the government rejected the offer in 1979. After eight postponements, the case against Felt and Miller went to trial in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on September 18, 1980.[100] On October 29, former President Richard M. Nixon appeared as a rebuttal witness for the defense, and testified that presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt had authorized the bureau to engage in break-ins while conducting foreign intelligence and counterespionage investigations.[101] It was Nixon's first courtroom appearance since his resignation in 1974. Nixon also contributed money to Felt's legal defense fund, with Felt's legal expenses running over $600,000. Also testifying were former Attorneys General Herbert Brownell, Jr., Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Ramsey Clark, John N. Mitchell, and Richard G. Kleindienst, all of whom said warrantless searches in national security matters were commonplace and not understood to be illegal, but Mitchell and Kleindienst denied they had authorized any of the break-ins at issue in the trial.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on November 6, 1980. Although the charge carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, Felt was fined $5,000. (Miller was fined $3,500).[102] Writing in The New York Times a week after the conviction, Roy Cohn claimed that Felt and Miller were being used as scapegoats by the Carter administration and that it was an unfair prosecution. Cohn wrote it was the "final dirty trick" and that there had been no "personal motive" to their actions.[103] The Times saluted the convictions, saying that it showed "the case has established that zeal is no excuse for violating the Constitution".[104] Felt and Miller appealed the verdict, and they were later pardoned by Ronald Reagan.[105] The Weather Underground never had more than 30 active members.[citation needed] The number of federal agents assigned to investigate them was magnitudes larger than the total number of Weathermen themselves. Through thoughtful placement of small bombs geared to attract media attention, the Weather Underground was able to punch above its weight.

[edit] Dissolution 1977 - 1981

Despite the change in their legal status (1973 dropped charges), the Weather Underground remained underground for a few more years. However, by 1976 the organization was disintegrating. The Weather Underground held a conference in Chicago called Hard Times. The idea was to create an umbrella organization for all radical groups. However, the event turned sour when Hispanic and Black groups accused the Weather Underground and the Prairie Fire Committee of limiting their roles in racial issues.[97] The Weather Underground faced accusations of abandonment of the revolution by reversing their original ideology.

The conference increased divisions within the Weather Underground. East coast members favored a commitment to violence and challenged commitments of old leaders, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and Jeff Jones. These older members found they were no longer liable for federal prosecution because of illegal wire taps and the government's unwillingness to reveal sources and methods favored a strategy of inversion where they would be above ground "revolutionary leaders". Jeremy Varon argues that by 1977 the WUO had disbanded.[106] The federal government estimated that only 38 Weathermen had gone underground in 1970.[107] An FBI estimate in 1976, or slightly later, of then current membership was of down to 30 or less.[108]

[edit] Plot to Bomb Office of California State Senator John Briggs (1977)

In November 1977 five WUO members were arrested on conspiracy to bomb the office of California State Senator John Briggs. It was later revealed that the Revolutionary Committee and PFOC had been infiltrated by the FBI for almost six years. FBI Agents Richard J. Gianotti and William D. Reagan lost their cover in November when federal judges needed their testimony to issue warrants for the arrest of Clayton Van Lydegraf and four Weather people. The arrests were the results of the infiltration.[109][110] WUO members Judith Bissell, Thomas Justesen, Leslie Mullin, and Marc Curtis plead guilty while Clayton Van Lydegraf, who helped write the 1974 Prairie Fire Manifesto went to trial.[111]

Within two years, many members turned themselves in after taking advantage of President Jimmy Carter's amnesty for draft dodgers.[15] Mark Rudd turned himself in to authorities on January 20, 1978. Rudd was fined $4,000 and received two years probation.[15] Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers turned themselves in on December 3, 1980, in New York, with substantial media coverage. Charges were dropped for Ayers. Dohrn received three years probation and a $15,000 fine.[15]

[edit] Brinks robbery (1981)

Certain members remained underground, joined splinter radical groups, and formed alliances with other radical groups. Some authors argue that years after the dissolution of the WUO, former members Kathy Boudin, Judith Alice Clark, and David Gilbert formed the May 19 Communist Organization. Other authors and the US government state that WUO formed an alliance with the Black Liberation Army and called this alliance the May 19 Communist Organization. On October 20, 1981 in Nanuet, New York, the group robbed a Brinks armored truck containing $1.6 million. The robbery was violent, resulting in the murders of two police officers and a security guard.[15] Boudin, Clark, and Gilbert were found guilty and sentenced to lengthy terms in prison. A number of media reports listed them as active Weatherman Underground members[112] considered the –last gasps– of the Weather Underground.[113] The documentary The Weather Underground described the Brinks Robbery as the "unofficial end" of the Weather Underground.[114]

[edit] May 19th Communist Organization 1978 - 1985

The Weather Underground members involved in the May 19th Communist Organization alliance with the Black Liberation Army continued in a series of jail breaks, armed robberies and bombings until most members were finally arrested in 1985 and sentenced as part of the Brinks Robbery and the Resistance Conspiracy case.

[edit] Coalitions with non-WUO members

Throughout the underground years, the Weather Underground members worked closely with their counterparts in other organizations, including Jane Alpert, to bring attention their further actions to the press. She helped Weatherman achieve their main goals of overthrowing the U.S. government through her writings.[115] However, there were inner tensions within the organization, brought about by her famous manifesto, "Mother Right" that specifically addressed the Weatherwomen to focus on their own cause other than anti-imperialism.[116] Weather members then wrote in response to her manifesto.

Susan Stern, a member of Weatherman and Seattle Liberation Front links the two political activist organizations together. While the groups share many of the same political points of view, they had different opinions when it came to personal relationships and the use of violence in protesting.[117][118]

[edit] Legacy

Widely-known members of the Weather Underground include Kathy Boudin, Mark Rudd, Terry Robbins, Ted Gold, Naomi Jaffe, Cathy Wilkerson, Jeff Jones, Eleanor Raskin, David Gilbert, Susan Stern, Bob Tomashevsky, Sam Karp, Russell Neufeld, Joe Kelly, Laura Whitehorn and the still-married couple Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. Most former Weathermen have successfully re-integrated into mainstream society, without necessarily repudiating their original intent.

Weatherman was referred to in its own time and afterwards as "terrorist."[119][120][121] The group fell under the auspices of FBI-New York City Police Anti Terrorist Task Force, a forerunner of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The FBI, on its website, describes the organization as having been a "domestic terrorist group," but no longer an active concern.[122] Others either dispute or clarify the categorization, or justify the group's violence as an appropriate response to the Vietnam war. In his 2001 book about his Weatherman experiences, Bill Ayers stated his objection to describing the WUO (Weather Underground Organization) as "terrorist." Ayers wrote: "Terrorists terrorize, they kill innocent civilians, while we organized and agitated. Terrorists destroy randomly, while our actions bore, we hoped, the precise stamp of a cut diamond. Terrorists intimidate, while we aimed only to educate. No, we're not terrorists."[123] Dan Berger, in his book about the Weatherman, "Outlaws in America," comments that the group "purposefully and successfully avoided injuring anyone... Its war against property by definition means that the WUO was not a terrorist organization."[124]

Bill Ayers, now a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was quoted in an interview to say "I don't regret setting bombs"[125] but has since claimed he was misquoted.[126] During the presidential election campaign of 2008, several candidates questioned Barack Obama's contacts with Ayers, including Hillary Clinton,[127] John McCain and Sarah Palin.[128][129] Ayers responded in December 2008, after Obama's election victory, in an op-ed piece in The New York Times:

We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war. ... The responsibility for the risks we posed to others in some of our most extreme actions in those underground years never leaves my thoughts for long. The antiwar movement in all its commitment, all its sacrifice and determination, could not stop the violence unleashed against Vietnam. And therein lies cause for real regret.[130]

Brian Flanagan has expressed regret for his actions during the Weatherman years, and compared the group's activities to terrorism. Flanagan said: "When you feel that you have right on your side, you can do some pretty horrific things."[131] Mark Rudd, now a teacher of mathematics at Central New Mexico Community College, has said he has "mixed feelings" and feelings of "guilt and shame."

These are things I am not proud of, and I find it hard to speak publicly about them and to tease out what was right from what was wrong. I think that part of the Weatherman phenomenon that was right was our understanding of what the position of the United States is in the world. It was this knowledge that we just couldn't handle; it was too big. We didn't know what to do. In a way I still don't know what to do with this knowledge. I don't know what needs to be done now, and it's still eating away at me just as it did 30 years ago.

A faction of the Weather Underground continues today as the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee. Their official site reads:

We oppose oppression in all its forms including racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and imperialism. We demand liberation and justice for all peoples. We recognize that we live in a capitalist system that favors a select few and oppresses the majority. This system cannot be reformed or voted out of office because reforms and elections do not challenge the fundamental causes of injustice.[132]

The site further supports armed struggle:

We also respect the right of people to take up armed struggle against colonialism for the liberation of oppressed peoples[133]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Weather Underground Redux –« Bill Ayers". 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d Wakin, Daniel J., "Quieter Lives for 60's Militants, but Intensity of Beliefs Hasn't Faded", article The New York Times, August 24, 2003. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  3. ^ The Weather Underground.. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. pp. 1–2, 11–13. Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Weather Underground, produced by Carrie Lozano, directed by Bill Siegel and Sam Green, New Video Group, 2003, DVD.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Berger, Dan (2006). Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. AK Press. p. 95. 
  6. ^ See document 5, Revolutionary Youth Movement (1969). "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows". Retrieved 2008-04-119. 
  7. ^ Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground at Forty by Ron Briley, History News Network, July 20, 2009
  8. ^ It was at the 1966 convention of SDS that members of Progressive Labor Party (PL) began to make their presence known for the first time. PL was a Stalinist group that had turned to SDS as fertile ground for recruiting new members after meeting with little success in organizing industrial workers, their preferred base.Page 320, SDS by Kirkpatrick Sale, Random House (1973), Hardcover, 495 pages, ISBN 0-394-47889-4 ISBN 978-0-394-47889-0 trade paperback, Vintage Books (January 1, 1974), 752 pages, ISBN 0-394-71965-4 ISBN 978-0-394-71965-8 SDSers of that time were nearly all anti-communist, but they also refused to be drawn into actions that smacked of red-baiting, which they viewed as mostly irrelevant and old hat. PL soon began to organize a Worker Student Alliance. By 1968 and 1969 they would profoundly affect SDS, particularly at national gatherings of the membership, forming a well-groomed, disciplined faction which followed the Progressive Labor Party line.
  9. ^ Ayers, Bill (Mark Rudd, Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, Terry Robbinson, Gerry Long, Steve Tappis et. al.). You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows. Weatherman. p. 28. Retrieved November 19, 2009. L
  10. ^ a b Sale, Kirkpatrick, SDS, Vintage Books, 1974, ISBN 0-394-71965-4
  11. ^ a b Wilkerson, C. (2007). Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times As a Weatherman. Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1583227717. 
  12. ^ Gillies, quoted in The Last Radical, Vancouver Magazine, November 1998.
  13. ^ Senate Judiciary Committee (1975). Report of the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee of the Judiciary. Government Printing Office. pp. 5, 8–9, 13, 18, 137–147. 
  14. ^ a b c d Quoted in Varon, Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies, 2004, p. 160.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jacobs, The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground, 1997.
  16. ^ a b c Jones, A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience, 2004.
  17. ^ a b c Elbaum, Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che, 2002.
  18. ^ a b c Sale, SDS, 1973.
  19. ^ Good, "Brian Flanagan Speaks," Next Left Notes, 2005.
  20. ^ Pages 184 and 190, Rudd, Mark, My Life with SDS and the Weathermen Underground, William Morrow (2009), hardcover, 326 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-147275-6
  21. ^ Pages 127 and 136 in the essay "1969" by Carl Oglesby in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  22. ^ a b Varon, J. (2004). Bringing the war home. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. pgs. 158-171.
  23. ^ Page 40 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows This unabridged copy of You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows is part of an extensive FOIA production made by the FBI.
  24. ^ Page 41 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows
  25. ^ Pages 42 and 43 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows
  26. ^ Page 46 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows
  27. ^ Document 5 You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows
  28. ^ Pages 113 and 114, Flying Close to the Sun, Cathy Wilkerson, Seven Stories Press (2007), hardcover, 422 pages, ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8
  29. ^ Pages 39-49 in the essay "More on the Youth Movement" by Jim Mellen in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  30. ^ Pages 13 to 33, "Initiation of the Brigages" to "Influence of China"
  31. ^ Statements in Underground, a film by Emile de Antonio, Turin Film (1976) DVD Image Entertainment
  32. ^ Lader, Lawrence. Power on the Left. (New York City: W W Norton, 1979.) 192
  33. ^ Page 249, Bernardine Dorn, Bill Ayers, and Jeff Jones, editors, Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiqus of the Weather Underground, Seven Stories Press (September, 2006), trade paperback, 390 pages, ISBN 1-58322-726-1 ISBN 978-1-58322-726-8 Reprinted from Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism: Political Statement of the Weather Underground
  34. ^ Page 42 in the essay "More on the Youth Movement" by Jim Mellen in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  35. ^ Page 139 in the introduction by Harold Jacobs to the second section "Action in the Streets" in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  36. ^ Page 302-304, Ravens in the Storm, Carl Oglesby, Scribner (2008), hardcover, 336 pages, ISBN 1-4165-4736-3 ISBN 978-1-4165-4736-5
  37. ^ Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction, and The Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004), 57
  38. ^ Pages 266 to 282, Cathy Wilkerson, Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman, Seven Stories Press (2007), hardcover, 422 pages, ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8
  39. ^ Pages 352 and 353, Cathy Wilkerson, Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman, Seven Stories Press (2007), hardcover, 422 pages, ISBN 978-1-58322-771-8
  40. ^ Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers. and Jeff Jones, editors (2006). Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiqus of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1-58322-726-1. p 239
  41. ^ –The Weather Underground–. Independent Lens. PBS. 2010 Independent Television Service.
  42. ^ Berger, Dan, "Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity," AK Press: Oakland, California, 2006, ISBN 1-904859-41-0 p 99
  43. ^ Jacobs, Ron The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground, 1997, p 19
  44. ^ Dohrn, Bernardine. Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiques of the Weather Underground 1970–1974. Seven Stories Press. 2006. p.370.
  45. ^ Ortiz, Roxanne Dunbar. Outlaw woman: a memoir of the war years, 1960-1975. San Francisco, CA. City Lights: 2001. p. 154
  46. ^ Berger, Dan, "Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity," AK Press: Oakland, California, 2006, ISBN 1-904859-41-0. p. 113
  47. ^ Berger, Dan (2006). Outlaws of America: the Weather Underground and the politics of solidarity By Dan Berger. AK Press. ISBN 1904859410, 9781904859413.,+Outlaws+America:+The+Weather+Underground+and+the+Politics+of+Solidarity&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=ocMES92dDNCjnQfH46G2Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAw. Retrieved November 19, 2009. 
  48. ^ Pages 145 and 146, Dan Berger, Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity, Ak Press (2006), trade paperback, 432 pages, ISBN 1-904859-41-0 ISBN 978-1-904859-41-3
  49. ^ Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction, and The Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004), 174
  50. ^ Pages 148 to 151, 154, Dan Berger, Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity, Ak Press (2006), trade paperback, 432 pages, ISBN 1-904859-41-0 ISBN 978-1-904859-41-3
  51. ^ a b c Avrich. The Haymarket Tragedy. p. 431. 
  52. ^ Adelman. Haymarket Revisited, p. 40.
  53. ^ Page 204 in the essay "The Second Battle of Chicago" by Tom Thomas in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  54. ^ a b Page 259 in the essay "A Weatherman: You Do Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows" by Shin 'ya Ono in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  55. ^ Page 204, in the essay "The Second Battle of Chicago" by Tom Thomas in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  56. ^ a b Page 258 in the essay "A Weatherman: You Do Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows" by Shin 'ya Ono in Weatherman, edited by Harold Jacobs, Ramparts Press (1970), trade paperback, 520 pages, ISBN 0-671-20725-3 ISBN 978-0-671-20725-0 Hardcover: ISBN 0-87867-001-7 ISBN 978-0-87867-001-7
  57. ^ a b c Jones, A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience, 2004.
  58. ^ Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1976) Weather underground organization. Retrieved from pgs. 382-383
  59. ^ a b Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1976). Weather underground organization. Retrieved from pgs. 382-383
  60. ^ Jacobs, R. (1997). The way the wind blew. Verso. pgs. 41-43.
  61. ^ a b Rudd, M. (2009). Underground: my life with sds and the weatherman. New York, NY: HarperCollins. pgs. 185-193.
  62. ^ [1] Jamison,Peter. Time Bomb, SF Weekly (September 14, 2009) Retrieved November 19, 2009
  63. ^ a b c Murtagh, John M. Fire in the Night, City Journal, April 30, 2008
  64. ^ "Justice Murtagh's Home Target of 3 Fire Bombs". The New York Times. February 22, 1970. 
  65. ^ Fire in the Night |The Weathermen tried to kill my family | City Journal April 30, 2008
  66. ^ Queens Courthouse Damaged by Bomb; Warning Is Given New York Times, October 10, 2008
  67. ^ Seedman, Albert (1975). Chief!. Avon. p. 285. ISBN 978-0380003587. 
  68. ^ [2] Jacobs, Ron The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground, 1997, pg. 98
  69. ^ [3] Berger, Dan Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity, 2006, pg. 341
  70. ^ [4] Lazerow, Jama, and Williams, Yohuru R., In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a Revolutionary, Social Science, 2006, pg. 243
  71. ^ [5] Wilkerson, Cathy, Flying Close to the Sun,Seven Stories Press, 2007, pp. 324-325
  72. ^ 020510 michael frank's essay on 11th street
  73. ^ ] All the rage | Features | Film
  74. ^ Democracy Now! | Ex-Weather Underground Member Kathy Boudin Granted Parole
  75. ^ Weather Underground Declaration of a State of War
  76. ^ A Huey P. Newton Story - People - Other Players | PBS
  77. ^ American Experience | Eyes on the Prize | The Story of the Movement | PBS
  78. ^ Kirkpatrick Sale, SDS, (New York: Random House, 1973), 611.
  79. ^ Harold Jacobs ed., Weatherman, (Ramparts Press, 1970), 508-511.
  80. ^ Harold Jacobs ed., Weatherman, (Ramparts Press, 1970), 374.
  81. ^ Kirkpatrick Sale, SDS, (New York: Random House, 1973), 648.
  82. ^ The Weather Underground.. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. pp. 31–32,. Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  83. ^ The Weather Underground.. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. pp. 32, 131–132. Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  84. ^ The Weather Underground.. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. p. 36. Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  85. ^ Berger 330
  86. ^ The Weather Underground.. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. pp. 40, 47, 65-65, 111-112. Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  87. ^ Jacobs, Ron (1997). The Way The Wind Blew: A History Of The Weather Underground. Verso. p. 68. ISBN 1-85984-167-8. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  88. ^ a b Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction And Revolutionary Violence In The Sixties And Seventies, (Berkley: University of California Press, 2004), 292
  89. ^ Marty Jezer, Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel, (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1992), 258-259.
  90. ^ Ayers, Bill; Bernardine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and Celia Sojourn: (1976). Prairie Fire. Weather Underground. 
  91. ^ Jacobs, Ron (1997). The Way The Wind Blew: A History Of The Weather Underground. Verso. pp. 76–77. ISBN 1-85984-167-8. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  92. ^ David Cunningham, There–s Something Happening Here: The New Left, The Klan, And FBI Counterintellegence, (Berkley: University of California Press, 2004), 33.
  93. ^ David Cunningham, There–s Something Happening Here: The New Left, The Klan, And FBI Counterintellegence, (Berkley: University of California Press, 2004), 35.
  94. ^ Paul Wolf, COINTELPRO,
  95. ^ Nelson Blackstock, Cointelpro: The FBI–s Secret War on Political Freedom, (New York: Anchor Foundation, 1990), 185.
  96. ^ a b Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction And Revolutionary Violence In The Sixties And Seventies, (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004), 297
  97. ^ a b Jeremy Varon, Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction And Revolutionary Violence In The Sixties And Seventies, (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004), 296-7.
  98. ^ John Crewdson (August 30, 1976), "Ex-F.B.I. Aide Sees 'Scapegoat' Role", The New York Times, p. 21.
  99. ^ Felt, FBI Pyramid, p. 333.
  100. ^ Robert Pear: "Conspiracy Trial for 2 Ex-F.B.I. Officials Accused in Break-ins", The New York Times, September 19, 1980; & "Long Delayed Trial Over F.B.I. Break-ins to Start in Capital Tomorrow", The New York Times, September 14, 1980, p. 30.
  101. ^ Robert Pear, "Testimony by Nixon Heard in F.B.I. Trial", The New York Times, October 30, 1980.
  102. ^ Kessler, F.B.I.: Inside the Agency, p. 194.
  103. ^ Roy Cohn, "Stabbing the F.B.I.", The New York Times, November 15, 1980, p. 20.
  104. ^ "The Right Punishment for F.B.I. Crimes." (Editorial), The New York Times, December 18, 1980.
  105. ^ "Statement on Granting Pardons to W. Mark Felt and Edward S. Miller". 1981-04-15. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  106. ^ Varon, Jeremy (2004). Bringing The War Home: The Weather Underground, The Red Army Faction And Revolutionary Violence In The Sixties And Seventies,. Berkley: University of California Press.. pp. 297–298..,+The+Red+Army+Faction+And+Revolutionary+Violence+In+Th&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=RSVvqRKzIp&sig=1q5D3YZ2uwiQDrPA0McG9K0_GH0&hl=en&ei=cg0vS-ClFsHTlAfOuIGfBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 
  107. ^ The Weather Underground.. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. pp. 43–45. Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  108. ^ Page 3 FOIA FBI, Part IV, Individuals, Present WUO members
  109. ^ Gilbert 38
  110. ^ "Nation: Infiltrating the Underground". Time Magazine. January 9, 1978.,9171,912056,00.html. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  111. ^ "Radicals Admit Bomb Attempts". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. December 20, 1978.,794947. Retrieved December 29, 2009. 
  112. ^ "The Brinks Robbery of 1981 - The Crime Library - Crime Library on". 1970-03-06. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  113. ^ Richard G. Braungart and Margret M. Braungart, –From Protest to Terrorism: The Case of the SDS and The Weathermen.–, International Movement And Research: Social Movements and Violence: Participation in Underground Organizations, Volume 4, (Greenwich: Jai Press, 1992.), 67.
  114. ^ "Independent Lens . THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND . The Movement". PBS. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  115. ^ Alpert, Jane (1981). Growing up Underground. New York: Morrow & Co, Inc.
  116. ^ Alpert, Jane (1974). Mother Right: A new feminist theory. Pittsburgh: Know, Inc.
  117. ^ David Aikman, In Seattle: Up from Revolution Time magazine, April 14, 1980
  118. ^ Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage, A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995)
  119. ^ No byline, UPI wire story, "Weathermen Got Name From Song: Groups Latest Designation Is Weather Underground", as published in The New York Times, January 30, 1975: "On Jan. 19, 1971, Bernardine Dohrn, a leading Weatherperson who has never been caught, issued a statement from hiding suggesting that the group was considering tactics other than bombing and terrorism."; Montgomery, Paul L., "Guilty Plea Entered in 'Village' Bombing: Cathlyn Wilkerson Could Be Given Probation or Up to 7 Years", article, The New York Times, July 19, 1980: "the terrorist Weather Underground"; Powers, Thomas, and Franks, Lucinda, "Diana: The Making of a Terrorist," UPI, news feature series and winner of the Pulitzer Prize; September 23, 1970: "Of the 400 people who attended the Flint council [of the Weatherman group], fewer than 100 went underground. For those few, committed to the revolution above all else, it was a matter of logic. Community organizing had failed. Mass demonstrations had failed. Fighting in the streets had failed. Only terror was left." September 17, 1970: "She [Diana Oughton] never lost her gentleness, either, or her sense of morality; But consumed by revolutionary commitment, she became a terrorist, fully prepared to live as outlaw and killer." September 21, 1970: "The group's opponents argued that the Weathermen were repeating the errors of the 'Narodniki' (Russian terrorists) who assassinated the czar in 1881 and set back the cause of reform in Russia for decades."; Ayers, Bill, "Weather Underground Redux," post April 20, 2006, "Bill Ayers" blog, retrieved September 21, 2008: "This was a time when I, along with most of my closest friends, were referred to again and again as 'home-grown American terrorists'. That–s what Time magazine called us in 1970, and the New York Times, too, and that was the word hurled in my direction from the halls of Congress."
  120. ^ The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: in 32 Volumes by Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 1998, p 331 ("the "'Weathermen' or 'Weather Underground,' which employed terrorist tactics in its activities.")
  121. ^ Mehnert, Klaus, "Twilight of the Young, The Radical Movements of the 1960s and Their Legacy," Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1977, page 47: "Within the political youth movement of the late sixties (outside of Latin America), the 'Weathermen' were the first group to reach the front page because of terrorist activities."; Martin, Gus, "Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues": A number of terrorist groups and cells grew out of this environment. Although the most prominent example was the Weatherman group [...]"; Pruthi, R.K., An Encyclopaedic Survey of Global Terrorism in the 21st Century, 2003, p 182: "The best publicized domestic terrorist organization of the revolutionary left has been the Weatherman faction of Students for Democratic Society"; "The Terrorist Trap" by Jeffrey David Simon p 96: "the most active American terrorist group at the end of the 1960s"
  122. ^ Web page titled, "Byte Out of History: 1975 Terrorism Flashback: State Department Bombing", at F.B.I. website, dated January 29, 2004. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  123. ^ Ayers, Bill, "Fugitive Days," Beacon Press, ISBN 0-8070-7124-2, p 263
  124. ^ Berger, Dan, "Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity," AK Press: Oakland, California, 2006, ISBN 1-904859-41-0 pp 286-287; the book describes Berger as "a writer, activist, and PhD candidate," and the book is dedicated to his grandmother and to Weatherman member David Gilbert
  125. ^ profile
  126. ^ Episodic Notoriety–Fact and Fantasy –« Bill Ayers
  127. ^ "Transcript: Obama and Clinton Debate - ABC News". 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  128. ^ "Ayers and Obama crossed paths on boards, records show". CNN 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  129. ^ Novak, Viveca; Jackson, Brooks (2008-10-10). "'He Lied' About Bill Ayers? McCain cranks out some false and misleading attacks on Obama's connection to a 1960s radical.". Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
    . (2008-10-10). "Not a radical group, and Ayers didn't run it". (St. Petersburg Times). Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  130. ^ Ayers, Bill (2008-12-06). "The Real Bill Ayers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  131. ^ FrontPage Magazine
  132. ^ Prairie Fire Organizing Committee: About Us
  133. ^

[edit] Further reading

  • SDS: The Last Hurrah (DOCUMENT 4 of 5) chronicles the last tumultuous days of the original Students for a Democratic Society and the rise of the Revolutionary Youth Movement and the Worker Student Alliance as the two principal SDS factions. Document 5 of 5 is the program of the section of the RYM that would later adopt the name "Weatherman".
  • Kirkpatrick Sale's, SDS (1973) remains the best history of the organization.
  • Harold Jacobs, editor (1970). Weatherman. Ramparts Press.
  • Osawatomie. Water Buffalo Print Collective. Journal of the Weather Underground Organization. Seattle. 1975. Osawatomie Issue #2 available on line. Retrieved July 27, 2005.
  • Dan Berger (2006). Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. Oakland: AK Press.
  • Jeremy Varon (2004). Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24119-3
  • Ron Jacobs (1997). The way the wind blew: a history of the Weather Underground. London & New York: Verso. ISBN 1-85984-167-8
  • Bill Ayers (2001). Fugitive Days. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers. and Jeff Jones, editors (2006). Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiqus of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1-58322-726-1
  • Cathy Wilkerson (2007). "Flying Close to the Sun," New York: Seven Story Press.
  • Unger, Irwin. "The Movement A History of the American New Left, 1959-1972" New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1974.
  • 1969: The Year Everything Changed by Rob Kirkpatrick. Skyhorse Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-60239-366-0.
  • United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws (1974). Terroristic Activity: Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-third Congress, Second Session. Part 2, Inside the Weatherman Movement. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  • United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, First Session (1975). The Weather Underground. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  • Links to resources from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and related groups and activities Books & Memoirs
  • Links to Weather Underground documents on SDS-60s.Org

[edit] External links and further reading

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