In a radio interview on Robert Stark’s show with Rabbit, Pilleater and Ryan England, England remarked in a baffled tone that I had seemed to have moved far to the Left. This wasn’t really a true statement, as there really wasn’t anywhere to the Left remaining for me to move to. I would have fallen off the cliff if I did. I have always been Hard Left. I am a former member of the Communist Party USA. I used to contribute to the Weapons Funds of Latin American armed revolutionary movements like the FMLN in El Salvador. At one point, I was talking to a representative of the ELN armed group in Colombia, and I was thinking about translating some of their articles for them. I chickened when I worried that I could maybe get 10 years in prison for such harmless activity.
From 1988-1990, I was even on the mailing list for the Weather Underground! I received regular mailings from them.
That was the Weathermen, an underground guerrilla movement that took up arms in the 1960’s to fight the US government. They set off many bombs all over that country. During the period of radical activism from the 1960’s to the 1970’s, a total of 50,000 bombs were set off! I believe in 1970 alone, there were 3,000 bombs set off all around the country. And very few people were hurt or even killed, as they often set them off in the middle of the night and often telephoned in warning calls first so the area could be evacuated.
There was a very large community helping those people – I would estimate 200,000 people at the very low end. The FBI had a very hard time infiltrating the Weathermen because the community was so dedicated to them. People hid them, supported them, moved them around, gave them tips, and funded them with lots of money. A lot of rich people supported them too, especially at the universities and in the legal community. There was a whole group of lawyers who were more or less actively helping them. That was one of the reasons it was so hard to break the movement – you would have had to arrest tens or hundreds of thousands of people.
I used to subscribe to their above-ground publication called Breakthrough. It was put out by something called the John Brown Book Club, headquartered in either Berkeley or San Francisco as of ~1990. The above ground component was legal, and the underground component was illegal.
The Weathermen only killed one person accidentally in their many years of armed action. That was a chemistry student who was up all night working on something in the lab when they bombed at ROTC Headquarters at the University of Wisconsin. Some cops were killed in a bomb attack in Berkeley at Police Headquarters, but I do not think the Weathermen did that. The Weathermen were not the only maniacs running around setting off bombs back then. There were all sorts of groups doing that.
Unfortunately the Weathermen got in with the radical Blacks of the Black Liberation Army and some others and in 1980, they held up an armed car and killed one of the drivers. They got a lot of money, but I did not approve of that action. A couple of them were caught. Afterwards there were raids on Weathermen hideouts all over the US. The FBI mostly found nothing. I remember in one raid in New York City, the Weathermen had left so quickly that burners were left on on the stove. Obviously they had sympathizers inside the government and even law enforcement who were tipping them off to the raids. They why they usually were already gone before they got raided.