The Weather Underground Organization

Topics: Bill Ayers, Vietnam War, Bernardine Dohrn Pages: 5 (1502 words) Published: April 15, 2014
Abstract
This paper explores the terrorist group named the Weathermen Underground Organization that was active in the United States from December of 1969 to the middle of 1974. It explains their history of the terrorist group and how they got started. Through the splitting of different organizations the founding members emerged and started the new organization. The paper will also explore the groups ideologies and goals of the Weathermen.   The Weathermen Underground Organization’s History, Ideologies and Goals HISTORY

In November of 1964, violence had reached a point in the country of Vietnam that a decision was made to send military forces. Lyndon B. Johnson, the newly elected president started off by sending around 200,000 men and women to fight off the north Vietnam forces, the Vietcong (). Technology in the United States at this time had improved to a point where color pictures and video could now be produced and fed to the general public. Reporters captured the atrocities of war and the unforgiving destruction to villages that are in the way. This news coverage turned the American people against not only the Soldiers, but also against the government. Shortly after the war started, an anti-war fever spread across the nation, especially on college campuses. Just like so many of these groups to include the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Progression Labor Party (PLP), the Weathermen emerged from the same. Young men and women joined hand in hand to fight for what they felt was right and just; basing their party from the opposition to the Vietnam War and as well as from the civil right movement. The origins of the Weathermen can be traced from the collapse and division of the SDS and PLP in the summer of 1969 (Green, 2003). Bernardine Dohrn, an early leader, emerges during this fragmentation and published a document titled “Toward a Revolutionary Youth Movement” (RYM), which encouraged the youth, who he believed possessed the potential to be a revolutionary force to defeat capitalism. Another internal split of the Revolutionary Youth Movement followed and Dohrn led ‘RYM II’ who sided with the radical Black Panthers (Briley, 2008). The Students for the Democratic Society held a convention starting on the 18th June of 1969 in Chicago. This was the first national convention where leaders of the future Weathermen handed out a document tilted. “You Don’t Need a Weathermen to Know Which Way the Wind Blows” that latter outlined the position of these men and women. This document called for “creating a clandestine revolutionary party” and how the “Weathermen would shove the war down (the Government’s) dumb, fascist throats and show them.” It also stated how it encouraged their followers to “bring the war home (...) and turn the imperialist was into a civil war (Gillies, 1998).” Just that next month, 30 members traveled to Cuba to meet with North Vietnamese militia to gain from their revolutionary experience. A few months later in October, the Weathermen joined in the streets of Chicago after splitting from the SDS and becoming a new organization, decided to hold the “Days of Rage.” It was predicted to be a huge rally with thousands in attendance, where the Weathermen wanted to “Bring the War Home!” unfortunately only a few hundred showed up to the rally. Even though with the small attendance, it was a huge success for the group with cost the state of Illinois over $180,000 in expenses due to damages and personnel injuries (Green, 2003).

The Weathermen joined again in December of the same year for its last National Council meetings. This one dubbed, “War Councils” had over 300 in attendance deliberated on two major topics. The first was the decision to go underground and to be a violent, armed struggle whose enemy was the state. They also agreed that they would not pursue the idea of trying to organize a greater population of the public (Rudd, 2009). The second decision was the abolishment of the SDS. The...

References: Briley, R. (2008). Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground at Forty . Retrieved 10 16, 2013, from George Mason Univeristy History New Network : http://hnn.us/article/93754
Gillies, K. (1998, 11). The Last Radical. (A. Pilon, Ed.) Vancouver Magazine .
Lozano, C. (Producer), & Green, B. S. (Director). (2003). The Weather Underground [Motion Picture].
Gussow, M. (2003, 3 5). The House On West 11th Street . The New York Times , p. 3.
Maryland, U. o. (2010-2013). Weather Underground Organization (WUO) / Weathermen. Retrieved 10 15, 2013, from National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism: http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data_collections/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=4312
Organization, T. W. (1969 , 7 28). You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind is Blowing. Chicago, Illinios, USA.
Rudd, M. (2009). My Life with SDS and the Weathermen Underground. New York: William Morrow.
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