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...formed a kind of study group within it and they began educating themselves on social and political issues. Like many young people who became politicized in the late 60’s and 70’s; they drifted towards Marxism and its critique of western style capitalism, and the various social consequences of it. The denouncement of the Marxist/Leninist ideal with the fall of the Soviet Union and its allies was still fifteen years away. So, states like Cuba became models for many of these young idealists as it did for this small group of ex-cons as well. At some point they got in contact with the United Freedom Front (UFF) a underground leftist group. As a result they were visited a few times by UFF leaders Thomas Manning and Raymond Luc Levasseur, both of whom were on the run, and both of whom I met.
It must be said that in these post 9/11 days that most rebels; which includes both those who take up arms, and those who turn to terror, are usually idealists. Their actions are sparked by a deep and abiding sense of moral outrage. This is not to condone the violence. I am merely trying to point out what should be obvious. It is something that has to be considered if we are to ever truly address the issue. This is true of all political revolts... the Patriots of the American Revolutionary war were terrorists to the Tories who supported the crown. The Jewish freedom fighters were terrorists to both the English and the Palestinians in the lead up to Israeli independence and so on. Its also an issue that a knee jerk conservatism likes to gloss over because to admit it would be to admit that our nation is not perfect and has done many wrongs both at home and abroad. That our actions fuel terrorism, not suppress it. Violence is always born out of desperation and a sense of frustration. Terrorism is almost always the weapon of choice the poor use against a more powerful foe. That is not to say all terrorists are poor; rather, it is often the tool of the weak and oppressed against the established elite.
The reason I bring this up is what happened with these guys. They may have been ex-cons but they were also idealists. They wanted to change things; first in prison and later in society at large, and for whatever the reason, they felt powerless to effect a change. So, as their studies became increasingly politicized they became more radicalized. That would have been fine if study was all they, did but they drifted (or were coaxed) into action instead.
Unfortunately for them, this was also the years that the Justice Department and the FBI was systematically snuffing out leftist political cells in this country.
I am a little confused by what happened next. I was out in California and Washington State when it all went down. I learned about the events of fall 1976 from ____ when I got back.
Between September and November 1976 they went on a crime spree that included a couple bank robberies; a bombing at the Northern Maine Power Company plant in Bangor, and another one in Seabrook New Hampshire near the hotly contested nuclear power plant being built there. Boston’s Logan airport was also bombed. There was a botched attempt at the kidnapping of an executive at Kodak. I think there were a few other actions as well. How these acts were supposed to foment revolution is beyond me but that is generally the rhetoric that justifies them. They had become a media sensation and were known in the press as the mad bombers of Portland Maine. Then _____ (who was the fellow who had joined last) was arrested running guns from (or to, I have never known exactly which) the Canadian border. He turned states evidence and that blew the whole thing open. The rest were arrested shortly afterward.
In early March ____ and a few friends decided to have a fund raiser for the trial down in Biddeford south of Portland. There would be a band and food and they invited the famous radical lawyer William Kunstler to come up from NYC to give a talk and he agreed. Well, the big day arrived. It was a sell out and everyone had a good time but Kunstler never showed up. The next day ___ got a call from him asking how the blizzard up our way was. She told him that we hadn’t had any snow for two or three weeks. He told her that when he got to Boston he’d been told that the flight to Portland Maine had been canceled because of a blizzard and when he called the bus line he’d been told the same. So, he turned around and went home. It seems he had been intercepted and prevented from coming. It was then I realized I was in way over my head and started distancing myself from the trial.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Just to be clear, I have no problem with the "Impeach Bush", "Bush is a murderer" pictures. That's free speech. It's the "Death to Bush" talk that disturbs me.
Originally posted by marg6043
Warning, most Radical left in history will end leaning into socialism or communism.
Originally posted by grover
this was how the so-called leftist threat was destroyed in the 70's and 80's.
Originally posted by grover
I said earlier in this thread that the FBI specifically sought out, spied on and destroyed radical left groups in the 70's and early 80's regardless of whether they were violent or not and that such actions have not been preformed on most of the corresponding hard right groups.
So, what was the intended relationship between Weatherman/WUO and the black revolutionary struggle in the United States? If one takes a look at their founding document “You Don’t Need a Weatherman...” one finds these words:
The only third path is to build a white movement which will support the blacks in moving as fast as they have to and are able to, and still itself keep up with that black movement enough so that white revolutionaries share the cost and the blacks don’t have to do the whole thing alone.
One big difference I see in the right and left is the coupling of religion with a political stance. People on the left are religious, but generally, their religions aren't attached to their politics. I wonder how that happened... I have no problem with people exercising their religion, but when faith tangles with politics, I think it's a very dangerous brew. I think political views require logical reasoning. If we take the principles of faith (unquestioning belief) and apply them to politics, we get people "believing" in a political viewpoint as a fact instead of approaching it with a logical and questioning mind. I see danger there.
Originally posted by DarkStormCrow
I would disagree with this view, through history The Religious or Christian Left has had a large influence in American politics exaples include the Abolistionist movement, John Brown, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, Jerimiah Wright, Cornel West, Helen Prejean, so there are plenty of folks out there on the Religious left, they just tend to get better media coverage than the Religious right.
Originally posted by calcoastseeker
To be honest not really sure what extreme far left really means today.
Groups have differing opinions at different times in our countries or any countries history.
Our form of government is always evolving and changing as it matures.
You could remove all the conservatives and Republicans from office and sooner than later the liberals and Democrats would be broken into separate factions calling each other incompetent and crooks.
We used to have political parties called Whigs and Federalists. Internal fighting and bickering caused them to dissolve.
But not all is lost.
I can tell you of some extreme left wing liberals.For their time.
If you want to know their names,you will have to read their signatures.
[edit on 18-9-2009 by calcoastseeker]