From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- On March 6, 1970, an explosive the Weathermen were constructing was accidentally detonated, costing three Weathermen (Ted Gold, Terry Robbins, and Diana Oughton) their lives.
Weatherman, known colloquially as the Weathermen and later the Weather Underground Organization, was a U.S. Radical Left organization consisting of splintered-off members and leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society. The group referred to itself as a "revolutionary organization of communist women and men" whose purpose was to carry out a series of militant, terroristic actions that would achieve the revolutionary overthrow of the Government of the United States (and of capitalism as a whole). Weatherman imploded shortly after the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975, which saw the general demise of the New Left, of which Weatherman had been a part.
They claimed that revolutionary war against the United States and the capitalist system should begin immediately. To that end, they carried out a campaign of bombings, jailbreaks, and riots. While causing no casualties they performed terrorist acts to bring media attention to various world political issues. Many of the issues were given brief mentions by news services only in relation to the terrorist acts.
The group also took a $25,000 payment from a psychedelics distribution organization called The Brotherhood of Eternal Love to break LSD advocate Timothy Leary out of prison, transporting him to Algeria. Leary joined Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria; his initial press release contains revolutionary rhetoric sympathetic to the Weather Underground's cause. When Leary was eventually captured by the FBI, it is alleged he offered to serve as an informant to capture the Weather Underground members to reduce his prison sentence. Others, such as Robert Anton Wilson, claim he was just feeding false information to the authorities in an attempt to reduce his sentence. Ultimately no one was charged, and Leary served a few more years in prison.
The Weather Underground members remained largely successful at avoiding police and intelligence agencies. Finally, most turned themselves in at the end of the 1970s or early 1980s.
- List of Weatherman actions
- Weatherman Member List
- May 19th Communist Organization
- Resistance Conspiracy case
- Students for a Democratic Society (1962 organization)
- The Weather Underground, documentary film
- Underground, documentary film