2Who were the Weathermen? Weathermen, and later the Weather Underground, was an American radical Left organization.It originated in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) composed for the most part of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters.
3Birth of WeathermenInitially formed as a splinter group which believed that peaceful protests were ineffective.Weathermen were widely criticized for their use of violence as a means of social and political change.
4Who were the Weathermen? Some accused the group of terrorismOthers accused it of giving all activists, both militant and more mainstream, a bad name.
51969 SDS ConventionAt 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.
61969: A New 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.Progressive Labor faction: Maoists
7Weatherman IdeologyThe 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"
8RYM = Revolutionary Youth Movement 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.”
9Weathermen Linked to Global Revolutionary Movements Paris Students in 1968Cultural Revolution in ChinaChe GuevaraHo Chi Minh in VietnamBlack Panthers in the US
10Which Side Are You On?The Weathermen were outspoken advocates of the critical concepts that later came to be known as “white privilege” and identity politics.
11Bernardine DohrnBernardine 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.”
12Weather BureauThe 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.
13Haymarket Bombing [10/5/69] Shortly before the Days of Rage demon- strations, the Weatherman planted a bomb that blew up a statue in Chicago [Oct. 5th, 1969] built to commemorate police casualties incurred in the 1886 Haymarket Riot.
14"Days of Rage" October 9, 1969SDS Activist Recalls the Days of Rage on NPR-7
15Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, March 1970 Premature detonation of a bomb as it was being assembled by members of the Weatherman (later rechristened the Weather Underground), in the basement of a townhouse at 18 West 11th Street in New York City's Greenwich Village.
16Weather Underground Formed After the Greenwich Village incident [December, 1969], the group was now well underground, and began to refer to themselves as the Weather Underground Organization.
17Violence? YES!The direct action techniques [Violence] were intended to show Americans the level of violence in Vietnam.
18Declaration of a State of War, May 1970 In response to the death of Black Panther member Fred Hampton in December, during a police raid, on May 21, 1970 the Weather Underground issued a "Declaration of War against the United States government.
19Federal 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.
20Timothy Leary prison break, September 1970 In September 1970, the group took a $20,000 payment from a group called The Brotherhood of Eternal Love to break LSD advocate Timothy Leary out of prison, transporting him and his wife to Algeria.Leary joined Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria.
21Pentagon Bombing, 1972On 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.
221973: Cease-fire accord in Vietnam The Paris Peace Accords of 1973, intended to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam Conflict, ended direct U.S. military involvement and temporarily stopped the fighting between north and south.
23Charges Dropped, 1973In 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.
24Prairie Fire 1974With the help from ultra-leftist (expelled from the Communist Party) Clayton Van Lydegraf, the Weather Underground sought a more Marxist-Leninist ideological approach to the post-Vietnam reality.
25Dissolution1977Weathermen Mark Rudd and Cathy Wilkerson emerge from years of hiding and surrender to the police, receiving two years of probation and three years in prison, respectively.
26Dissolution1980Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers resurface from the underground, pleading guilty to bail- jumping charges from a anti-war protest.Dohrn is fined $1,500 and given three years’ probation.
27Dissolution1981:The unofficial end of the Weather Underground occurs when Kathy Boudin resurfaces to participate in an armed robbery in New York, which results in the shooting deaths of three men.Boudin is sentenced in to 22 years in prison, and is paroled in 2003.
28Weathermen TodayPart of the leadership of the Weather Underground, Dohrn was considered the organization’s figurehead.She spent the 1970s living underground and was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.Today, Dohrn is an associate professor and director at Northwestern University's Children and Justice Center.
29Weathermen Today: Bill Ayers A central figure in the Weathermen, Ayers lived underground for ten years, an experience he wrote about in his memoir, Fugitive Days.Now married to Dohrn, Ayers is currently a school reform activist and a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
30Weathermen Today: Mark Rudd Rudd was best known for his role in the Columbia protests.As part of the Weather Underground's leadership, he lived underground for several years during the 1970s.He now teaches at a junior college in New Mexico.