Tag Archives: Weather Underground

Weather Underground

Weather Underground
Weather Underground
from the movie Don’t Look Back
It was March 6, 1970. While calendar may have indicated that the 60s were over, they weren't. Drugs continued. Festival music continued. Civil rights demands continued. The Vietnam War continued.
The issues of the 60s had simply morphed into the issues of the 70s,  just as many of the same issues continue today.
Theodore Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins were part of the Weathermen, a radical offshoot of the Student for a Democratic Society. The Weathermen's mission permitted violence and Gold, Oughton, and Robbins were constructing a bomb that day in a Greenwich Village townhouse. The plan was to bomb a non-commissioned officers' dance at Fort Dix, NJ.
The bomb accidentally exploded and all three were killed. At first the explosion was thought to have been the result of a gas leak (>>> NYT article).

Weathermen

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" was a line from Bob Dylan's 1965 "Subterranean Homesick Blues." That line was the genesis of the group's first name.
By 1969, like other frustrated groups whose mission was thwarted by the Establishment's power and control, the Weathermen emerged when Bernardine Dohrn and other split with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The Weathermen felt that the SDS's peaceful protests against the continuing Vietnam War were futile.
The ultimate goal of the Weather Underground was to overthrow the US Government. From its June 18, 1969 Manifesto: "...people in this country must ask in considering the question of revolution...where they stand in relation to the masses of people throughout the world whom US imperialism is oppressing."
Weather Underground
from the movie, The Weather Underground
On October 6, 1969, the Weathermen had planted a bomb that blew up a statue in Chicago built to commemorate police casualties incurred in the 1886 Haymarket Riot (NYT article).
Chicago rebuilt the statue and unveiled on May 4, 1970 ironically,  the same day as the Kent State massacre The Weather Underground blew it up again on October 6, 1970 (NYT article)
Chicago repaired the statue again and placed it under round-the-clock surveillance before cost considerations brought about the decision to put the statue in the Police Headquarter lobby (NYT article).

Weather Underground

Three days after the first bombing, the Days of Rage (October 8 - 11, 1969) in Chicago followed. To the Weathermen, protest meant direct action and direct actions included vandalization and confrontation. A huge Chicago police and State militia presence prevented most demonstrations from achieving their goals. Dozens were injured, and more than 280 protesters were arrested.
Weather Undergroun
FBI wanted poster
Early in the morning on February 21, 1970 gas bombs exploded in front of NY Supreme Court Justice John M. Murtagh's home.  Murtagh was presiding over the pretrial hearings of Black Panther Party members regarding a plot to bomb New York landmarks and department stores. No one was hurt.

Weather Underground

Weather Underground
from the movie, The Weather Underground
At that point, the Weathermen went into hiding and re-named the group the Weather Underground.
On June 9, 1970, a bomb exploded in the headquarters of the New York City Police Department. No one was hurt.
Weather Underground
from the documentary, The Weather Underground
On May 19, 1972, North Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh’s birthday, the Weather Underground placed a bomb in the women’s bathroom in the Air Force wing of the Pentagon. No one was hurt.
Arrests were often made, but mistrials and dropped charges often followed due to the illegal methods the government had used to gather evidence.

 

Weather Underground
poster from The Weather Underground documentary
In 2002, The Weather Underground documentary told the story of the organization's rise and fall. (link to that film >>> Snag films dot com)
A faction of the Weather Underground continues today as the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee. Their official site apparently read (though the site no longer is extant: We oppose oppression in all its forms including racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and imperialism. We demand liberation and justice for all peoples. We recognize that we live in a capitalist system that favors a select few and oppresses the majority. This system cannot be reformed or voted out of office because reforms and elections do not challenge the fundamental causes of injustice

Weather Underground

Ironically, today if you Google search "Weather Underground," the top result is the commercial weather service. The Establishment has co-opted Che again.
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October 5 Peace Love Activism

October 5 Peace Love Activism

Native Americans

Tecumseh
October 5, 1813:  during the War of 1812, General William Harrison's American army defeated a combined British and Indian force at the Battle of the Thames near Ontario, Canada. The leader of the Indian forces was Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief who organized inter-tribal resistance to the encroachment of white settlers on Indian lands. He was killed in the fighting. Tecumseh's death marked the end of Indian resistance east of the Mississippi River and soon after most of the depleted tribes were forced west. (see March 3, 1819)
Chief Joseph
October 5, 1877: Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians surrendered to U.S. General Nelson A. Miles in the Bear Paw mountains of Montana, declaring, "Hear me, my chiefs: My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Earlier in the year, the U.S. government broke a land treaty with the Nez Perce, forcing the group out of their homeland in Wallowa Valley in the Northwest for relocation in Idaho. In the midst of their journey, Chief Joseph learned that three young Nez Perce warriors, enraged at the loss of their homeland, had massacred a band of white settlers. Fearing retaliation by the U.S. Army, the chief began one of the great retreats in American military history.

For more than three months, Chief Joseph led fewer than 300 Nez Perce Indians toward the Canadian border, covering a distance of more than 1,000 miles as the Nez Perce outmaneuvered and battled more than 2,000 pursuing U.S. soldiers. During the long retreat, he treated prisoners humanely and won the admiration of whites by purchasing supplies along the way rather than stealing them. Finally, only 40 miles short of his Canadian goal, Chief Joseph was cornered by the U.S. Army, and his people were forcibly relocated to a barren reservation in Indian Territory.  (see November 1, 1879)

BLACK HISTORY

White terrorist vigilantism 
October 5,1920: four black men were killed in Macclenny, Florida, following the death of a prominent young white local farmer named John Harvey. According to news reports at the time, Harvey was shot and killed at a turpentine camp near MacClenny on October 4, 1920. The suspected shooter, a young black man named Jim Givens, fled immediately afterward and mobs of armed white men formed to pursue him. Givens’s brother and two other black men connected to him were questioned and jailed during the search, though there was no evidence or accusation that they had been involved in the killing of Harvey.

Those three men - Fulton Smith, Ray Field, and Ben Givens - were held in the Baker County Jail late into the night until, around 1:00 a.m. on October 5, a mob of about 50 white men overtook the jail and seized the men from their cells. The mob forced the men to the outskirts of town, where they were tied to trees and shot to death. A fourth lynching victim, Sam Duncan, was found shot to death nearby later in the day. Also with no alleged ties to the killing of John Harvey, Duncan was thought to be an unfortunate soul who had encountered a mob seeking Jim Givens and been killed simply for being a black man.

Three days later, the Chicago Defender, a Northern black newspaper, reported that most of the black community of Macclenny had deserted the area in fear of further violent attacks while whites posses continued to search for Jim Givens. (see Oct 20)

School Desegregation

clinton high school

October 5, 1957: early in the morning a series of dynamite explosions severely damaged the Clinton High School building [Clinton, TN] An estimated 75 to 100 sticks of dynamite had been placed in three locations in the building. No one was injured. Clinton High School did not reopen until  1960. (BH, see Oct 10; SD, see February 20, 1958)

Technological Milestone

Televised presidential address
October 5, 1947: President Harry Truman made the first-ever televised presidential address from the White House, asking Americans to cut back on their use of grain in order to help starving Europeans. In 1947, television was still in its infancy and the number of TV sets in U.S. homes only numbered in the thousands. (see Oct 14)
Space Race
October 5, 1957: the Soviet daily newspaper Pravda mentioned Sputnik in a short piece at the bottom of page one. When bold headlines and major stories run in British and American newspapers, the U.S.S.R. realized that the Sputnik program was a huge propaganda tool. (see Nov 3)

see October 5 Music et al for more

see Wynonie Harris for more
October 5, 1948: Wynonie Harris's "Good Rockin' Tonight" hits #1 on the R&B chart. (see March 31, 1949)

Love Me Do“/”P.S. I Love You
October 5, 1962, The Beatles before their US appearance: released first single, "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You", in the UK. (see Oct 27) 

Otis Redding

 

October 5, 1966: Otis Redding released Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul album, his fifth.

Jimi Hendrix
October 5, 1966: Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding played together for the first time. (see Dec 26)
Waiting for the Sun
October 5 – 11, 1968: The Doors’ Waiting for the Sun returned to the Billboard #1 album position.
 
October 5 Peace Love Activism

World Series

Pirates v Yankees
October 5 - 13, 1960: the 1960 World Series [Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) vs. NY Yankees (AL)] is notable for the Game 7, ninth-inning home run hit by Bill Mazeroski, which won the game for the Pirates 10–9.
Orioles v Dodgers
October 5 - 9, 1966: World Series: Baltimore Orioles against the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Orioles sweeping the Series in four games to capture their first championship in franchise history.

JFK Assassination

October 5, 1966:  the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the murder conviction of Jack Ruby, who was sentenced to death in for the slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy. (NYT article) (see January 3, 1967)

Nuclear/Chemical News

October 5, 1966: The Fermi Nuclear Generating Station, less than 40 miles from Detroit, suffered a partial fuel meltdown, although no radioactive material was released. It operated for another nine years before being deactivated. (see January 27, 1967)

Vietnam & Weather Underground

October 5, 1969: the Haymarket Police Statue in Chicago was bombed; Weathermen claim credit for the bombing in their book, Prairie Fire. (see Oct 8 – 11)

Iran–Contra Affair

October 5, 1986: Eugene Hasenfus is captured by troops of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua after the plane in which he is flying is shot down; two others on the plane die in the crash. Under questioning, Hasenfus confessed that he was shipping military supplies into Nicaragua for use by the Contras, an anti-Sandinista force that had been created and funded by the United States. Most dramatically, he claimed that operation was really run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (see Nov 3)

FREE SPEECHmapplethorpe

October 5, 1990: Cincinnati jurors took about two hours to acquit the Contemporary Arts Center and its director, Dennis Barrie, of the charge of pandering obscenity for showing sexually explicit photographs that were part of Mapplethorpe's traveling retrospective, ''The Perfect Moment.'' The acquittal was resounding because it took place in a city that has tough laws and a record of vigorously prosecuting obscenity. (see June 22, 1992)

US Labor History

California supermarket janitors
October 5, 2004: some 2,100 supermarket janitors in California, mostly from Mexico, win a $22.4 million settlement over unpaid overtime. Many said they worked 70 or more hours a week, often seven nights a week from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. Cleaner Jesus Lopez told the New York Times he only had three days off in five years. (see March 23, 2005)
Occupy Wall Street
October 5, 2011: thousands of union workers joined protesters marching through the Financial District, resulting in about 200 arrests later in the same evening when dozens of protesters stormed barricades blocking them from Wall Street and the Stock Exchange. Police responded with pepper spray and penned the protesters in with orange netting.  (NYT article)  (see Oct 25)

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