Barrack Obama and the Weathermen

December 22, 2008

By Tom DeWeese

Since just before the election of Barack Obama in November, it has been interesting and quite shocking that a forty-year old, seemingly forgotten radical group called “Weatherman” is getting so much attention. Of course, Obama denies any connection to old Weathermen. Here’s a quick history of the “Weathermen” and why it’s relevant to a new president calling for an undefined “change.”

You’ve heard the famous names: Bill Ayres, Mark Rudd, Bernadine Dohrn and Jeff Jones, among others. Today, Ayres describes himself as a professor; Dohrn is his wife and a clinical law professor, Jeff Jones, predictably is an environmentalist and political consultant, and Mark Rudd is now a teacher. Just normal Americans, living their lives. Really?

In 1962, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was born. It was a radical organization of college students. SDS quickly became the opposition to the Viet Nam War. They organized demonstrations on college campuses across the nation to mobilize students to take “direct action” against “racism, poverty and war.” In 1963, SDS got involved in “community organizing”, teaming up with the Black Panthers, the Hispanic Young Lords, and other radical organizations.

By 1966, SDS was moving in a revolutionary Marxist direction. Their demonstrations and marches became violent clashes with police, many turning into riots. About the same time, SDS was joined by the Progressive Labor Party (PL), a self-styled Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party, dedicated to implementing communist ideology.

By 1969, a majority of SDS found the PL’s strict Marxist ideology too restraining, hurting organizing and recruiting efforts. At the same time, SDS leaders were looking for a more long-term agenda to bring about a communist revolution in the United States. Simply fighting the war was too limiting. In June 1969, SDS held a raucous convention in which the PL was tossed out of SDS and a new faction took control. That faction was called “Weatherman.” It issued a long, rambling manifesto detailing the future direction of the movement. The document was entitled “You Don’t Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows.” The title was taken from a Bob Dylan song.

The manifesto detailed Weatherman ideology and the means to create a Marxist revolution in “Amerika.” Some of its chapter titles include: “The Struggle for Socialist Self-Determination;” “Black Liberation Means Revolution;” “Anti-Imperialist Revolution and The United Front;” “The Revolutionary Youth Movement – Class Analysis;” and “Repression and Revolution.” The document called for a class war against America’s free market society. It talked of joining up with Marxist revolutions around the world, in China, in Cuba, and more. It called for the creation of a “Revolutionary Party.” Above all, it called for war against what Weatherman called “Amerika.”

Why is that significant today? Because the authors of the document were the leaders of Weatherman – Mark Rudd, Bill Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, and others. Weatherman’s first public act was what it called “Days of Rage.” It called on students to leave their classrooms and engage in three days of violence and street demonstrations. They smashed windows of businesses and cars, and attacked police lines. Mark Rudd himself was arrested in Chicago while leading the violence. The result of the three days of violence was 287 people arrested, 800 automobiles and 600 windows were smashed. The combined bail was over $2 million.

In spite of the damage, Weatherman was disappointed with the turn out of demonstrators. They had hoped to bring thousands to the streets, rather than the three to five hundred who turned out. Mark Rudd and the other Weathermen concluded that white people weren’t ready to engage in revolution, as did their “black brothers” in the Black Panthers. To win, decided the Weathermen, whites had to share some of the cost of revolution by “picking up the gun.” To not do so was racist, they believed.

That decision led Weatherman leaders Ayres, Dohrn, Rudd and Jones to make the decision to declare war on “Imperialist Amerika” by going underground to foster direct violence against the state. They then became known as the “Weather Underground.”

During their reign of terror, the Weather Underground bombed corporate headquarters, burned ROTC buildings on college campuses, and even planted a bomb in the US Capitol building. They used anti-personnel bombs filled with nails, staples and other shrapnel designed to hurt and kill people. Several of those bombs were planted in police stations resulting in the murder of Police Sgt. Brian McDonnell in San Francisco; another officer was permanently maimed and two others were injured in that attack. A police informant, Larry Grathwohl, who working inside the Weather Underground, reported that Bill Ayres planned the bombing and Bernadine Dohrn planted it. There were more such bombings in other cities. Later, Mark Rudd was the sole survivor of a bomb explosion that went off as he was building it in a Weather Underground safe house in New York. That bomb and more were to be placed in a dance hall at the Fort Dix Army base. They would have killed hundreds of soldiers and their dates.

As they engaged in their revolution, the Underground would, from time to time issue “Communiques,” much like Osama Bin Laden does today, to send messages to followers. In “Communique #1 From the Weather Underground,” it reads, in part, “Hello. This is Bernadine Dohrn. I’m going to read A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR” (emphasis hers). In the document she warned, “Within the next fourteen days we will attack a symbol or institution of Amerikan injustice.” It was issued on May 21, 1970.

On June 9, 1970, came “Communique #2 From The Weather Underground.” It reported, “Tonight at 7 PM, we blew up the N.Y.C. police headquarters…. The pigs in this country are our enemies…. The time is now. Political power grows out of a gun, a Molotov, a riot, a commune…and from the soul of the people.”

There’s much more to the history of violence and revolution pulled off or attempted by Ayres, Rudd, Dohrn and Jones (and others in their clan). But these examples should give anyone enough of an idea as to their dedication to destroying America.

But what does that have to do with today? And how does it connect to Barack Obama? The bad boys and girls of the Sixties like to portray themselves as just some college kids that got a little carried away. It’s in the past, says the news media. It has nothing to do with today – or Barack Obama, say his supporters.

It is vital that Americans understand that these were dedicated revolutionaries determined to destroy America, by violence if necessary. They used every means possible to recruit America’s youth into their revolt. They marched in the street, chanted pro Mao slogans, started riots, disrupted schools, burned college buildings, and eventually bombed symbols of the American establishment they hated, resulting in the deaths and maiming of police officers sworn to protect it.

These were not just over-active college kids. The agenda they followed sought to destroy every aspect of American life. They hated private property and wanted it all redistributed with no ownership – like the communes they chose to live on. They hated free enterprise and wanted all business run by the workers – no bosses, no owners. The only private business they would tolerate were those run by individuals that hired no one. They knew to achieve these things they had to start by changing the history taught to a young generation in the schools. They hated religion and wanted to run it out of the country. They hated the family unit, saying it subjugated women, who should be liberated. They sought to build divides between the rich and the poor, creating a class struggle in America that really didn’t exist before. And they didn’t hesitate to use violence to achieve their goals.

When the violence failed, the Weatherman core and their followers didn’t give up or fade away. They remained underground in a new way. They melded into society, they took teaching positions in college to reach that younger generation. They took jobs in the media to take control of its message. They worked their way up in the hated corporations to gain control of policy. And they surged into government at all levels, boring into the core of America, to impose their agenda at every chance, from the Federal government to state legislatures to city councils. Today, for example, we have Congressman Bobby Seal, one of the infamous Chicago Eight; State Senator Tom Haydon, the founder of the SDS and another of the Chicago Eight.

It’s interesting to note that a great number of the members of the “revolution” went into the environmental movement. Unable to get Americans to outright accept Marxist ideology in their revolution, instead they wrapped it all in a nice green blanket of environmental protection. Ever since, under the banner of environmental protection Americans have happily tossed their liberties on the bon fire like a good old-fashioned book burning. They accepted the premise that private property and business must be controlled or destroyed, simply for the good of the environment. It’s not just a happy coincidence. In this way, the revolution of the sixties is now progressing at a rapid pace.
And what of Ayres, Dorhn, Rudd and Jones?

Ayres took the route into education as a professor. But that certainly hasn’t replaced his activism for the cause of communism. Recently he traveled to the new red Mecca, Venezuela, a nation quickly falling behind a new red curtain of tyranny under Hugo Chavez. Ayres is influential enough with the new American-hating dictator to meet with him and appear on the same platform. There, Ayres proclaimed his support for “the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share this belief that education is the motor-force of revolution… I look forward to seeing how you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane…” Does it sound like Ayres has changed a single stripe from his “college activist” days?

Mark Rudd also went into education. He feels at home there, after all, he is the man who shut down Columbia University with a student strike in the Sixties. And he is still active in the cause. Recently, he turned up making comments on a radical blog called Rag Blog, where he attempted to calm nervous “progressives” (a new euphemism coined a few years back to provide cover for those who didn’t want to be called communists). The “Progressives were growing nervous by the cabinet appointments Obama has been making. These people are so radical that they actually consider Hillary Clinton to be from the right! Of course keeping a bunch of old Clintonestas, not to mention a Bush holdover like Secretary of Defense Gates, has caused great concern for those who thought Obama was the answer to the revolution. Said Rudd, the Obama appointments are part of a deliberate strategy to “feint to the right” and “move left.” He said, “Any other strategy invites sure defeat.” Rudd, to be sure, wants Obama to be victorious in his goals. Now why would that be? Rudd is a dedicated communist, yesterday, today and tomorrow, seeking to destroy the American way of life.

Jones is now a political consultant and a dedicated environmentalist. One of his clients is the Natural Resources Defense Council, a radical environmental group made up of some of the most radical and most vicious lawyers ever assembled. Some on Capitol Hill have called them a street gang. They are revolutionaries in suits. They intimidate companies with their lawsuits and delight in suing the government to get their way. Their lawsuits help stop the drilling of American oil and American logging, and more. And when they win, they fill their coffers with taxpayer money as reimbursement for their legal costs. It’s the proper place for a former underground terrorist.

Dohrn is Ayres’ wife. They went underground together in the old days of the revolution. Today she continues to spread her brand of revolution by reaching into the community of families as a clinical law professor and director of the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University. She forces children’s rights today to create tomorrow’s revolutionaries.

Still, what is the Obama connection to these dedicated revolutionaries? It’s perhaps ironic that all four former Weatherman terrorists today work through an organization called “Movement for a Democratic Society.” That organization is the parent to another one called “Progressives for Obama.” They raised funds for Obama, they promoted his candidacy, and they helped to recruit activists to support him.
In the past forty years, Ayres, Dorhn, Rudd, and Jones have not been heard from in the mainstream media. They have not been an issue in a presidential election. They have not openly promoted or supported a candidate, snubbing even John Kerry and Bill and Hillary Clinton as not being revolutionary enough for their agenda for the destruction of America. Until now – until Barack Obama. These four are dedicated Marxist revolutionaries. Why now? Why Obama? You don’t need a Weatherman to know why.

Tom DeWeese is the President of the American Policy Center and the Editor of The DeWeese Report. The DeWeese Report is now available online.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.