BBC: Who were the Weathermen?

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Angus, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Angus

    Angus Active Member

    5,064 Messages
    1 Likes Received

    [IMG] E-mail this to a friend [IMG] Printable version
    Weathermen: Home-grown US radicals

    By Joe Boyle
    BBC News


    Sarah Palin has accused presidential candidate Barack Obama of "palling around" with terrorists - referring to his acquaintance with a former member of the Weather Underground. So who were the Weather Underground?

    [IMG] Bill Ayers, a "Weatherman" in 1970s, is now an education lecturer

    Embroiled in an unpopular war in Vietnam, with many of the grievances of the civil-rights movement still unanswered, the US government was facing widespread protests in the late 1960s.
    Often those who rebelled were rich in idealism but unable or unwilling to take concrete action.
    On 8 October 1969, all that changed. A newly-formed group of left-wing extremists, dubbed the Weathermen, went on the rampage in a well-planned protest in Chicago - the so-called Days of Rage riots.
    A police station in the city was bombed, and protesters engaged police in combat on the streets. More than 250 of the rioters were arrested, and the FBI began to follow the movements of the Weathermen very closely.
    They were a splinter-group from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) - a product of the student radicalism endemic in college campuses in the late 1960s.
    The group had recently published an article in the society's newspaper rejecting peaceful protest in favour of communist revolution. The article signed off with the Bob Dylan lyric: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
    According to the FBI, several of their members had travelled to Cuba and North Vietnam during 1969.
    'Freaks are revolutionaries'
    After the Chicago riots, with many of their members in jail, the group regrouped and rethought its tactics.
    The group's communiques still betrayed obvious links to the counter-culture of the 1960s.
    In May 1970 they issued a statements entitled A Declaration of a State of War, which stated: "Freaks are revolutionaries and revolutionaries are freaks.

    [IMG] Mr Ayers' wife, Bernardine Dohrn, is also now a lecturer

    "If you want to find us, this is where we are. In every tribe, commune, dormitory, farmhouse, barracks and townhouse where kids are making love, smoking dope and loading guns—fugitives from Amerikan [sic] justice are free to go."
    Later that year, they helped LSD advocate Dr Timothy Leary to break out of a Californian jail and flee the country.
    But their goals and tactics were far out of kilter with most of those involved in the anti-war movement.
    By the end of 1969 they decided to go underground and resort to bombing strategic targets - later changing their name in the process to the Weather Underground Organization.
    From 1970 to 1975 the group bombed police stations, court and government buildings, and police cars.
    In 1970 there were fatalities - a police officer died from his injuries after a pipe bomb was detonated in a San Francisco police station, while three of the group blew themselves up while building explosives in their New York apartment.
    Pentagon attack
    In recent articles and books, the group's leaders have claimed that after these incidents, they meticulously avoided putting people's lives at risk.
    This claim is hotly disputed - that their bomb attacks claimed no more lives is often put down to luck more than judgement.
    The group's most audacious attacks came in 1971, when they bombed the US Capitol, and a year later when they attacked the Pentagon.
    The group splintered in the mid-1970s and ceased to be regarded as a threat by the authorities.
    Many of its members became prominent professionals in US public life.
    Bernardine Dohrn, the author of the Declaration of War, is now a law lecturer. Her husband, Bill Ayers, lectures in education.
    Both were implicated in the group's most serious attacks, but were never convicted.
    During the late 1990s, Mr Obama served on the same charity board as Mr Ayers.
    Such was the threat engendered by the group that a tenuous association with a former member can still cause ripples in a presidential race three decades later.
  2. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

    6,031 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    Obamites will find a way to ignore this,or post a Keating Five thread.
    Under no circumstances they will question their messiah.
  3. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

    6,031 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    I was born that day....crazy.
  4. sbark

    sbark Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

    4,283 Messages
    595 Likes Received
    We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror. But the royal terrorists, the terrorists by the grace of God and the law, are in practice brutal, disdainful, and mean, in theory cowardly, secretive, and deceitful, and in both respects disreputable..


    Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.


    The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing.’ (ie otherwise it is disposable)---Marx
  5. MilesAustinforMVP

    MilesAustinforMVP Benched

    782 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Its really a non-story. They are very loosely associated. Ayers held a fund raiser for Obama at his house once, and that was about it. Not much there.
  6. Doomsday

    Doomsday Rising Star

    10,771 Messages
    532 Likes Received
    Maybe it is my but it seems odd how he seems to have a lot of "loosely" based ties with radical organizations.
  7. jrumann59

    jrumann59 Well-Known Member

    6,359 Messages
    1,349 Likes Received
    My step father once told me, "You are judged by the company you keep" and also said, "You are only as good as the worst friend you have." It is disturbing that Obama has so many questions in his past, McCain isn't so clean himself but really even Obama's current economic adviser puts into question his judgment.
  8. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

    30,783 Messages
    1 Likes Received are taking naive or blind loyalty to a new level here
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Winter is Coming Staff Member

    64,553 Messages
    8,812 Likes Received
    I agree...we should hold these politicians totally accountable for their actions and associations.

    That is why you should not vote for Obama due to the Ayers association and you should not vote for McCain due to his Keating association.
  10. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

    47,580 Messages
    11 Likes Received
    The more scary thing to me is they are now teachers. :eek:

Share This Page