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Revisiting the Weather Underground’s 1970 pantheon of empire-fighters

Former Weatherman Bill Ayers, now a respected professor of education, was recently nominated for emeritus status but ran into trouble when a right wing blogger complained that a 1970 underground publication coauthored by Ayers, Prairie Fire, had been dedicated to Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. (Let's not leave aside the possibility that lone Sirhan was the fall guy in a conference room full of CIA operatives, the immediately the suppressed narrative, which would make Sirhan a victim among the 209 other anti-imperialist heroes to which the Weather Underground wanted to dedicate their efforts.) While hindsight might reveal the WUO to have erred with some of its honorees, it seems likely the majority might be worthy of a following up. Preceding the longer list is a preliminary dedication to the three WUO comrades who died in the NYC townhouse accident: Teddy Gold, Diana Oughton and Terry Robbins. The full page list framed this dedication: To Harriet Tubman and John Brown To all who continue to fight To all political prisoners in the US Here's the total list, for your own wiki googling, alphabetized and annotated. The dedication page of PRAIRIE FIRE changed between the varied mimeographed copies produced by WUO satellite publishers around the US between the years 1970 through 1974. Bracketed names represent people not included on all reprints. Frank Khali Abney Sundiata Acoli Ahmend Akil Eugene Allen W. T. Allen Gary Alston Michael Alston - BPP, BLA James Amaker Hekima Anna - RNA11 Karl Armstrong -New Years Eve Gang Atuma Robert Austin Richie B. Baba Kwasi Balagoon Joe Bandy [Jimmy Barett] Leon Bates Herman Bell - BPP, SF8 Odell Bennett Bro. Bernard Jesse Bishop Debbie Black Victor Gerardo Bono - MOSCA Anthony Bottoms - Jalil Abdul Muntaqim - BLM, NY3 Billy X Boulware Clarence Jabari Shinda Bount Joseph Bowen Raymond Brooks H. Rap Brown Henry Sha sha Brown - BLA Isaiah Brown Richard Brown - BPP, SF8 [Sarah Brown] Marilyn Buck Fred Burton Carter Camp - AIM Larry Cannon Michael Clark - De Mau Mau Dennis Cole Oscar Collazo - PRNP Marshal Conway Paul Coppella Andres Figueroa Cordero - PRNP Carol Crooks Tony Cruz E. Dabney Dalou James Daniels Alicia Davis Tyrone Davis Alexander de Hoyo [Albert Deutschmann] Fleeta Drumgo - SQ6 Timothy Earl Dudley Ahmed Evans Jesse Evans Keith X Farries James Fedd Stephen X Ferguson Juan Fernandez Micky Finn Fish Joe-Joe Fleischman Irving Flores - PRNP Allen Fooke Jr. Robert Foulks Eugene Gaither Thomas Gaither Denny Gathing Nathaniel Gides Frank Goree Ernest Grahm? Jim Grant Nancy Harras Jodi Jean Harris Richard Harris - BPP, Panther21 Stanley Harris James Hastings Herman Hawkins Robert Hayes Alf Hill David Hilliard - BPP Fred Hilton - Kamau Sadiki - BLA [Bruce Hobson] - Venceremos [Jean Hobson] - Venceremos Mark Holder -BLA [Doc Holiday] Louis X Holloway Hutch Thomas Ingram Andrew Jackson - BLA [Chester Jackson] Jaja Patricia James Ollie Jamonds Alfredo Jasper Anthony X Jenkins Randolph X Jenkins David Johnson - SQ6 Edward Joseph X. - Jamal - BPP, Panther21 Gari Kaiser Ron Karenga -creator of Kwanzaa Muhonnet Kassimir Ja Ja Omar Kenyatta Melvin Kearney - BLA Samuel Killey Kimanthi Kin-Du Stephanie Klein Komie Kombuibe Lolita Lebron - PRNP Russell Little - SLA Jesse Lopez Hugh Lumpkin Albert Lyon Gail Madden Ruchell Cinque Magee - SQ6 Louise Martinez Randy McCleary George Meritt Gloria Miller Armado Miramon Rafael Miranda - PRNP Rose Mohrstine Gilbert Montague Richard Dhoruba Moore Obgarofowe James Morse Benjamin Murdock [Morton Newman] - Venceremos Roy Nixt Karrim Nyabadfudi Imari Obadele - RNA11 Odessabakely Alberto Ortiz Jacqueline Paige Charles Parker Darrell Peatry - De Mau Mau Betty Person Hugo Pinnell - SQ6 William Poole William Prather Eller Geronimo Pratt Euther X Presha Arthur Prince Offaga Quaddus - RNA11 Oji Outlaw T. S. Reddy Joseph Remiro - SLA Harrison Robison Rock Norma Rockamore Eddy Sanchez Rodolfe Sanchez Marvin Saunders Ruben Scott - BPP [Robert Seabrock] - Venceremos Assata Shakur Shango Harold Simmons John Simone Samual Singeton Sirhan Sirhan Marvin X Smith Nathaniel Smith Martin Sostre

Boulder Daily Camera editorial and CU campus Colorado Daily are unanimous

BOULDER- All the Denver TV news vans were standing by as Ward Churchill retook the CU campus podium. Local coverage of the Glenn Miller Ballroom event was front page and immediate, in both the students' Colorado Daily and the Boulder Daily Camera. The surprise wasn't just that the articles were unflattering, but that they were the exact same. I'm sure it's not news to the CU students that their free campus paper is none other than the reformatted local daily. You might wonder which is the more student-inclined. The news section of the student paper is titled CU AND THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC, as if to differentiate the student body from their "Leftist" township. The same article in the local daily Bill Ayers backs Ward Churchill, was retitled NOTORIOUS DISSENTER BACKS UP EMBATTLED PROF for the kids. Keep in mind, this is not the work of the students. While it might look perfectly transparent to publish a student-focused edition, full of campus-life related ads, what would be the purpose of two distinct internet facades for the same content? If not to reinforce the notion that the editorial content was distinct. Maybe the TWIN DAILIES reporters had time enough only to write their articles before hearing the speeches, because their stories reflected none of the convivial humanism presented by all the guests. The other article published the next morning was: Crowd faces tight security for Ayers, Churchill talk at CU. A follow-up article the next day was more in depth, but not about the subject of Thursday's event, neo-McCarthyism. The Saturday article redraws the battle lines of the Churchill-CU dispute. If you'd like to judge for yourself, both do have a video of the Thursday Forbidden Education rally. Pretense of separate publications is dropped when you click Full local coverage of Ward Churchill and his trial against CU, where you get all the accruing coverage courtesy of the BOULDER DAILY CAMERA. The only real alternative news in Boulder comes through the Boulder Weekly. But neither is it student run. By its actions against Ward Churchill, and certainly by its grip on student communication, the CU administration appears bent on rotting Boulder's promise of higher education from its academic core.

College Republicans not brightest bulbs

BOULDER- A favorite photo from Thursday night's event. This is the president of the CU College Republicans, who got up to object to student funds being spent on terrorists and frauds. Even after Ayers and Churchill spoke about how neither education nor students should be treated like commodities, sweaty dope Andrew Crown asked why a university could not do like any well-run corporation, and fire whomever it wished. The crowd booed, but the panel of guests calmly encouraged us to let everyone have their say. It's a reserve and graciousness of which I am in short supply. These guys shout down activists, attack progressives, remember the RNC Kicker, and the Protest Warriors? They have the ear of the mainstream corporate press. Why would we need to tolerate a single of their blimp-necked peeps at a discussion for intelligent people? If you think I am assessing someone's intelligence level based on whether he agrees with me, I am. On academic matters, it most certainly is appropriate. In classes, assessments of the retention and comprehension of man's accumulated understanding of the subjects are called tests. Does the University of Colorado have no admissions standards? Mr. Crown's questions was answered well beyond his ability to understand, and he returned to his seat shaking his head like the whole lot of us were incorrigible. I hope so.

Why Americans must defend Ward Churchill

Here's the letter Bill Ayers published to Defend Ward Churchill. Defend Ward Churchill Dear Colleagues, In Brecht’s play Galileo the great astronomer sets forth into a world dominated by a mighty church and an authoritarian power: “The cities are narrow and so are the brains,” he declares recklessly. “Superstition and plague. But now the word is: since it is so, it does not remain so. For everything moves my friend.” Intoxicated with his own radical discoveries, Galileo feels the earth shifting and finds himself propelled surprisingly toward revolution. ”It was always said that the stars were fastened to a crystal vault so they could not fall. . . Now we have taken heart and let them float in the air, without support… they are embarked on a great voyage—like us who are also without support and embarked on a great voyage.” Here Galileo raises the stakes and risks taking on the establishment in the realm of its own authority, and it strikes back fiercely. Forced to renounce his life’s work under the exquisite pressure of the Inquisition he denounces what he knows to be true, and is welcomed back into the church and the ranks of the faithful, but exiled from humanity—by his own word. A former student confronts him in the street: “Many on all sides followed you with their ears and their eyes believing that you stood, not only for a particular view of the movement of the stars, but even more for the liberty of teaching— in all fields. Not then for any particular thoughts, but for the right to think at all. Which is in dispute.” The right to think at all, which is in dispute—-this is what the Ward Churchill affair finally comes to: The right to a mind of one’s own, the right to pursue an argument into uncharted spaces, the right to challenge the church and its orthodoxy in the public square. The right to think at all. It’s no surprise that this outrage against Professor Churchill occurs at this particular moment— a time of empire resurrected and unapologetic, militarism proudly expanding and triumphant, war without justice and without end, white supremacy retrenched, basic rights and protections shredded, growing disparities between the haves and the have-nots, fear and superstition and the mobilization of scapegoating social formations based on bigotry and violence or the threats of violence, and on and on. There’s more of course, and this isn’t the only story, but this is a recognizable part of where we’re living, and a familiar place to anyone with even a casual understanding of history. Here the competing impulses and ideals that have always animated our country’s story are on full display: rights and liberty and the pursuit of human freedom on one side, domination and war and repression on the other. The trauma of contradictions that is America. Ward Churchill is

Bill Ayers and Derrick Jensen to speak on Forbidden Education in Boulder

FORBIDDEN EDUCATION: Bill Ayers and Derrick Jensen will speak in Boulder on Thursday March 5, in solidarity with Ward Churchill's legal challenge against his dismissal by CU. MEANWHILE, THIS JUST IN... This press release just came in from DC conservative Christian PR group GRIFFNEWS, also of Wednesday, March 04, 2009 Attorney General Urged to Investigate Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn by Campaign for Justice for Victims of Weather Underground Terrorism WASHINGTON, D.C.- Pressure is mounting for an expanded probe of former Weathermen Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn , and their alleged roles in the 1970 bombing murder of a San Francisco policeman. Larry Grathwohl, former FBI informant in the Weather Underground and author of Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer with the Weathermen, will repeat his sworn testimony that points to the involvement of the Weather Underground in the bombing murder of Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell at a News Conference on Thursday, March 12, at 12:30 p.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, 13th floor (First Amendment Lounge), Washington, D.C. Grathwohl says that he was at a meeting where Ayers said that his wife Dohrn had planted the bomb. The News Conference is being sponsored by the Campaign for Justice for Victims of Weather Underground Terrorism, a project of investigative journalist Cliff Kincaid's America's Survival, Inc. The cold case of Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell, killed in 1970 when a bomb exploded at the San Francisco Park Police Station, has been quietly reopened by law enforcement authorities in the hope of finding the person or persons responsible for the crime. But Grathwohl and other speakers say that more cooperation at the federal level in the investigation is needed. That is why they are demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder authorize more resources for the probe. Grathwohl will be joined by four other speakers who will discuss the McDonnell case, the violent history of the Weather Underground, and the reemergence of its members in political and campus organizing activities: – Cliff Kincaid, veteran journalist and President of America's Survival, together with internationally-renowned blogger Trevor Loudon, will release a new report on how members of the SDS and Weather Underground have revived a radical student movement on college campuses. The report will examine the international connections that people like Ayers currently have with anti-American regimes and movements. –Jim Pera, a retired San Francisco police sergeant who was one of the first on the scene after the February 16, 1970 bombing, will have photographs of the heavy metal staples from the bomb used to kill Sergeant McDonnell. – Herbert Romerstein, a former Congressional investigator, will release a new report that examines the violent history of the Weather Underground and its links to other terrorist and communist groups. The Campaign for Justice for Victims of Weather Underground is a project of America's Survival,, an independent foreign affairs watchdog organization.

Billy Ayers and the weathergirl

It may have suited the corporate media to paint 60s radical Bill Ayers as an aging, bespectacled hippie, but in his day, student movement leader turned anti-imperialist bomber Billy Ayers had the magnetism of James Dean. And the street cred of John Dillinger. A less off-base criminal analogy might be Bonny and Clyde, because Bill Ayers had partners in the Weather Underground, and more specifically one he married, and with whom he still lives. She's the unsung participant in the Barack Obama terrorist connection, and I think it's a telling omission. Bernardine Dohrn was the ringleader of the breakaway SDS. It was Dohrn who led the putsch at the divisive 1969 Chicago meeting, and it was she who delivered the press conferences. After the Bring the War Home cataclysm, it was Dorhn's name on the Weathermen manifestos and publications. And when they went underground, it was Dohrn's voice on the recorded communiques when a bomb was set to go off. After ten years underground Dohrn and Ayers gave themselves up. The early eighties movie Running On Empty gave a fictional account of their ordeal. It made an interesting assertion through Christine Lahti's role, at who might have been the moral center of the revolutionary duo. Today Ayers and Dohrn are respected professors and political activists. They live in Chicago, have raised two sons, and fostered another, whose parents, also of the Weather Underground, remained incarcerated. Father David Gilbert is still in prison. When Barack Obama kicked off his congressional campaign with the now infamous fund raiser at the Chicago home of Professor Ayers, it was also the home of Law Professor Dohrn. That's a bit like saying you were at Guy Richie's house, without mentioning Madonna. Not to take any credit away from Bill Ayers, but perhaps Bernardine Dohrn made too attractive a "domestic terrorist." No doubt an intelligent, decisive woman does not fit the evildoer stereotype. I think a spotlight on Bernardine Dohrn's idealogical leadership of the Weathermen might have given the American public pause to consider the arguments behind stopping the Vietnam war "by any means necessary." What do you do when the electoral process does not offer a moral recourse? What do you do when your elected representatives refuse to respond the outcry of the people? How do you stop the ongoing indiscriminate murder of millions of southeast Asians, when your government demonstrates an interminable patience for deliberating "staying the course?" Whether the path they chose was wise or unwise, the students of the 60s were up against a monstrous military industrial complex which looms even larger today. Bernardine Dohrn's war against our homicidal empire might have humanized the struggle and brought it home.

John Brown Obama vs Barack Lincoln

In their quest to muddy Barack Obama by his association with Weatherman Bill Ayers, some right wing bloggers dug up a copy of the old SDS/ Weathermen zine OSAWATOMIE which Ayers and company published and distributed while on the lam. What could the title mean, the blimp-necks wondered... Googling "Osawatomie" revealed it was a town in Missouri associated with the abolitionist terrorist John Brown, who ultimately led the ill-fated armed insurrection against slavery at Harper's Ferry, which sparked the Civil War and finally decided the matter. The reich-wing bloggers were certain this was the meaningful link, "there is no other Osawatomie listed on the map, anywhere," one blogger assured readers. If they had looked inside the first issue, on the inside cover, they'd have found the explanation for why Students for a Democratic Society, frustrated with the false promise of non-violent resistance, had chosen to honor John Brown: Inset: In 1856, at the Battle of Osawatomie, Kansas, John Brown and 30 other abolitionists, using guerrilla tactics, beat back an armed attack by 250 slavery supporters, who were trying to make Kansas a slave state. This was a turning point in the fight against slavery. For this, John Brown was given the name "Osawatomie" by his comrades. While some today are excited to paint Barack Obama's face over the portrait of Abraham Lincoln, I wish it had been John Brown whose example might have inspired Obama. Abraham Lincoln bent to the eventual will of the American people to emancipate the slaves, but it was Brown who led the way.

Weathermen for a Democratic Society

In 1969, the Radical Youth Movement (RYM) within Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) expelled the passive participants to reconfigure the SDS to Bring the War Home. At left, Bernardine Dohrn uninvites the Progressive Labor Party (PL) and the Worker Student Alliance (WSA) from the Chicago conference. Below is the founding document after which the RYM was renamed. You Don't Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows June 18, 1969 Submitted by Karin Asbley, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, John Jacobs, Jeff Jones, Gerry Long, Home Machtinger, Jim Mellen, Terry Robbins, Mark Rudd and Steve Tappis. I. International Revolution The contradiction between the revolutionary peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America and the imperialists headed by the United States is the principal contradiction in the contemporary world. The development of this contradiction is promoting the struggle of the people of the whole world against US imperialism and its lackeys. Lin Piao, Long Live the Victory of People's War! People ask, what is the nature of the revolution that we talk about- Who will it be made by, and for, and what are its goals and strategy- The overriding consideration in answering these questions is that the main struggle going on in the world today is between US imperialism and the national liberation struggles against it. This is essential in defining political matters in the whole world: because it is by far the most powerful, every other empire and petty dictator is in the long run dependent on US imperialism, which has unified, allied with, and defended all of the reactionary forces of the whole world. Thus, in considering every other force or phenomenon, from Soviet imperialism or Israeli imperialism to "workers struggle" in France or Czechoslovakia, we determine who are our friends and who are our enemies according to whether they help US imperialism or fight to defeat it. So the very first question people in this country must ask in considering the question of revolution is where they stand in relation to the United States as an oppressor nation, and where they stand in relation to the masses of people throughout the world whom US imperialism is oppressing. The primary task of revolutionary struggle is to solve this principal contradiction on the side of the people of the world. It is the oppressed peoples of the world who have created the wealth of this empire and it is to them that it belongs; the goal of the revolutionary struggle must be the control and use of this wealth in the interests of the oppressed peoples of the world. It is in this context that we must examine the revolutionary struggles in the United States. We are within the heartland of a worldwide monster, a country so rich from its worldwide plunder that even the crumbs doled out to the enslaved masses within its borders provide for material existence very much above the conditions of the masses of people of the world. The US empire, as a worldwide system, channels wealth, based upon the labor and resources of the

WUO terrorized government property

To clarify, the terrorist acts for which Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground are being demonized targeted only property damage and resulted in no casualties. Here is a list of 25 bombings attributed to the WUO, with notes from the FBI files, and the original communiques. BOMBINGS BY WEATHERMEN / WEATHER UNDERGROUND October 7, 1969 Haymarket Police Statue in Chicago. The Weathermen later claim credit for the bombing in their book, Prairie Fire. December 6, 1969 Chicago Police cars parked in a precinct parking lot at 3600 North Halsted Street, Chicago. The WUO claims responsibility in Prairie Fire, stating it is a protest of the fatal police shooting of Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969. May 10, 1970 National Guard Association building in Washington, D.C. is bombed. June 6, 1970 San Francisco Hall of Justice. (WUO claims credit for bombing although no explosion occurred. Months later, workmen locate an unexploded bomb). June 9, 1970 New York City Police headquarters. The Weathermen state this is in response to "police repression." July 27, 1970 United States Army base at The Presidio in San Francisco, on the 11th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. September 12, 1970 California Men's Colony prison break for Timothy Leary. October 8, 1970 Marin County courthouse. WUO states this is in retaliation for the killings of Jonathan Jackson, William Christmas, and James McClain. October 10, 1970 Queens traffic-court building. WUO claims this is to express support for the New York prison riots. October 14, 1970 Harvard Center for International Affairs. WUO claims this is to protest the war in Vietnam. March 1, 1971 United States Capitol. WUO states this is to protest the invasion of Laos. August 29, 1971 Office of California Prisons, allegedly in retaliation for the killing of George Jackson. September 17, 1971 New York Department of Corrections in Albany, New York. In protest of the killing of 29 inmates at Attica State Penitentiary. October 15, 1971 MIT research center, William Bundy's office. May 19, 1972 Pentagon. "in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi." May 18, 1973 103rd Police Precinct in New York. WUO states this is in response to the killing of 10-year-old black youth Clifford Glover by police. September 28, 1973 ITT headquarters in New York and Rome, Italy. WUO states this is in response to ITT's alleged role in the Chilean coup earlier that month. March 6, 1974 Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare offices in San Francisco. WUO states this is to protest alleged sterilization of poor women. In the accompanying communiqué, the Women’s Brigade argues for "the need for women to take control of daycare, healthcare, birth control and other aspects of women's daily lives." May 31, 1974 California Attorney General office. WUO states this is in response to the killing of six members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. June 17, 1974 Gulf Oil Pittsburgh headquarters. WUO states this is to protest the company's actions in Angola, Vietnam, and elsewhere. September 11, 1974 Anaconda Corporation. WUO states this is in retribution for Anaconda/Rockefeller’s alleged involvement in the Chilean coup the previous year. January 29, 1975 State Department. WUO states this is in response to escalation in Vietnam. June 16, 1975 Banco de Ponce, NYC.

Defining ourselves by what others fear

It could be confused for being contrarian or reactionary, but how else do you build upon what you learn? Instead of letting life buffet you while you strap yourself to a mast to drift to a predestined shore, why not sail a bit? You've got a rudder and centerboard to limit your drift. Let those who live back in the age of the square sail think that weather can only lead downwind. In public protest, as in arguments, I can tell I'm on the right tack when authorities object to what I'm saying. I've learned this much, if they don't like where you're standing, you're closing in on the sweet spot. The 2008 presidential campaign offered some great insight on political positioning. I'd like to consider the attempts to slander Barack Obama as a point of reference. A good place to start for what most scares authority. Middle name Hussein? Sounds like a fine middle name to me. Adopted by any of us, "Hussein" commemorates cultural tolerance, specifically, irreverence for ethnocentric bigotry and false fear-mongering. Paling around with Bill Ayers? We should all be so lucky to know a real 60s Weatherman. Where were you on the Vietnam War? Any less radical ideology would probably be indefensible now. Maybe "Bill Ayers" makes an even better middle name to adopt, if you want to pay tribute to youthful idealism and audacity. (BTW- The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), was a militant antiwar group known originally as The Weathermen, named from a Dylan lyric referencing Kerouac. Splintered from the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM), a subgroup of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Weatherman formed a "white fighting force" in solidarity with the Black Liberation Movement after the murder of Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton. BTW2- Neither Bill Ayers nor the WUO were terrorists. The bombs they planted were not to terrorize people but to symbolize the need to destroy the mechanisms of US imperialism. Warnings were always issued beforehand to prevent casualties.) Agree with Reverend Jeremiah Wright? Wow. Who could but hope to have the moral courage of Reverend Wright? Especially his temerity, eloquence and perseverance. "God Damn America?" If any Nationalist Hypocracy ever deserved a wrathful kick in the ass, we do. God Damn America most certainly. Americans joke about Hell in a Handbasket, but where are those who dare leap out and try to lead their companions to deserving a more honorable fate? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Stars and Stripes fly over monumental crimes for which Americans have never atoned. We worship false Gods if they do not damn our immoral economic enslavement of everyone in our grasp. As a politician, Barack Obama would not have had the latitude to express agreement with Reverend Wright. Or admiration for Bill Ayers. It's nothing to do with conviction and everything to do with the compromises of an elected office in the face of a slanderous press. But while Obama makes his pragmatic choices to get neared the seat of power, we