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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Singing Radical Leftist Terrorist Song

The final nine months of Diana Oughton's life were absorbed almost entirely by the disintegration of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the growth of a new, much smaller organization which turned to terrorism as the Weathermen. In June, 1969, the SDS, long troubled by deep differences on questions of ideology, suddenly burst apart at a chaotic, slogan-shouting convention in Chicago.

When the SDS was founded in 1962 it was a fluid, open group which emphasized persuasion, community organizing and broad popular participation in all important decisions. By 1969, however, the organization was locked in a power struggle between the Progressive Labor Party, a highly disciplined offshoot of the Communist party, and a more militant faction which became the Weathermen.

By the end of the Chicago convention the Weathermen had captured control of the SDS national headquarters in Chicago's West Side ghetto. The new SDS leadership was committed to action and over the summer of 1969 gradually worked out a plan for turning student radicals into a "Red Army" which would fight the establishment in the streets of America. Late one night during the convention Diana called an old friend from Bryn Mawr, asked if she could spend the night and finally arrived with eight exhausted SDS members after 4:00 in the morning. One of the people with Diana that night was Alan Howard, who had been working for the underground Liberation News Service (LNS) in New York since leaving Guatemala.

Before returning to the convention the next day, Diana and Alan went for a long walk down Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. They talked about the impending split in SDS and the Weatherman manifesto, partly written by Diana's boyfriend, Bill Ayers. The 25,000-word manifesto - named after a line in a Bob Dylan song, "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Tell Which Way the Wind Blows"  - argued that white radicals in the United States could help bring on a worldwide revolution only by fighting in the streets of the "mother country." Howard, who had first started Diana thinking seriously about revolution in Guatemala, now found himself in the awkward position of trying to restrain her, to convince Diana that a premature attempt to bring on the revolution would be suicidal. Diana insisted the time had come to fight.

While the SDS was beginning to plan for a four-day series of antiwar demonstrations in October, Diana's relationship with Bill Ayers and her family both came under increasing strain. Ayers had been elected one of the three national officers of the Weathermen, along with Mark Rudd and Bernardine Dohrn, and was spending most of his time in the national office.

Sandusky Register - Sandusky, Ohio - October 1st, 1970

1 comment:

Modern Housewife said...

I've walked past the protesters up here many times. It is CRAZY TOWN!!