Re: Regarding the Weather Underground... (multiple posts)
Tue, 29 Dec 1998 19:37:12 -0500


From: Jeffrey Apfel <>
Subject: Re: Regarding the Weather Underground... (multiple posts)

I find Michael Wright's posting puzzling. He states that Weatherman had
no mass base of support, but uses this assertion to make the point that
it ought to have engaged in less unsubtle "shrieking" and more
disciplined guerilla violence, like the IRA. I find it hard to see how
that change in tactics would have done anything to win over even a
semblance of popular support, without which revolutionary activity
cannot be differentiated from simple terrorism.

Jeff Apfel


From: (David Smith)
Subject: Weatherman

Regarding Fritz V. Wilson's entry,

I was a member of the Boston Weathermen. As I recall as a member of
Northeastern University SDS we were becoming more and more frustrated
with the inability of the movement to end the war. Another major
factor was that the level of violence was increasing. I remember three
ocassions when members of NU SDS were attacked. During one peaceful
protest march a small group of us were attacked. I was knocked down
and kicked in the head. Very bloody! This infuriated me. By the summer
of 1969 we were reading in the New Left Notes about the Motor City
9. We also read how a group of radicals had planted a North Vietnamese
Flag on a beach(I think it was Detroit)Of course they were attacked
and they defended the flag. The idea was occuring to many of us that
we needed to "fight on the side of the Vietnamese." You probably know
more details than I do Fritz about the evolution of more violent
actions taken by some SDS members. Nothing seemed to be working to
stop the war! And we were impatient. Too many were coming home in body

Each Weatherman group has their own story of course but our group went
to Chicago for The Days of Rage. There I was shot twice in the right
shoulder and side. Spent a week in the hospital. Praise for the
Medical Committee for Human Rights people who were there with their
own ambulances. When we got back to Boston we were raided by the
Cambridge Mass. police and charged with attempted murder. The raid
took place late at night. They burst into our apt. with guns drawn in
our faces. We were locked up for the rest of the night-mace squirted
in our faces. Terror--big time! I left the Weatherman on Dec. 4
1969. I remember the day because it was almost to the day when Fred
Hampton the Black Panther was murdered. When I read that Mark Rudd
has sold out (I've sold out too I guess) and that the Weathermen set
the movement back--so much of this is conjecture. We were immature,
naive-all those things but the actions taken by the Weathermen were
based on our experience and political judgement. The Weather
Underground was an outgrowth of the Weathermen. No doubt at least
somewhat a result of the oppression of the Weathermen. It certainly
turned out to be a disaster.

I was lucky to have survived the whole experience and am reminded of it
every day because my right shoulder is littered with buckshot.
Any Boston Weathermen out there?

David Smith



From: Phoenix <>
Subject: Re: Regarding the Weather Underground... (multiple posts)

It's not clear if blowing up those pentagon bathrooms shook up the
assholes but as someone whose first "military experience" was at
Whitehall Street, this GI smiled when that place was leveled.


Subject: Re: Regarding the Weather Underground... (multiple posts)

As an activist of a few years already at the time the Weather
Underground got going, I felt then that their attempts at "propaganda
of the deed" were too easily dismissible by the media, did not
reach/educate whatever masses very well, indeed seemed likely to turn
too many folks off, were too much a politics without hope/trust.
HOWEVER, fairly soon--and certainly since--it has seemed to me the
weatherpeople were simply one of "revolution's many heads" (or however
that phrase goes), and that the many attacks one heard of them (in
most cases as in one way or other "objectively reactionary") were one
of the many attacks by part of the Left on the other parts that has
played a role indeed very "objectively reactionary" as
An interesting comment on the weather underground was, incidentally,
the film "Ice" (1969 or 1970, by Robert Frank I think); this and Marge
Piercy's novel Vida make some interesting points on these matters.

Paula Friedman