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A video clip was shown of an interview with Jed Duvall responding to a story in the book in which he is mentioned. It is a…. Laurence talked about his memoir, The Cat from Hue: A Vietnam War Story , published by Public Affairs, and about the traumatic Vietnam War stories he covered that became a personal burden that he carried long after the war was over. Indeed she is David Gilbert's wife and was alleged to be inside the building that blew up on 11th Street in New York.
Inasmuch as that was such a prominent aspect of the explosion and its aftermath, I am very curious to know why that whole angle was left out. However, they had the guts to risk their futures for more than personal gain and are to be admired for this. Let's hope that we can still fight for the common good of all. That's what both the Islamic terrorists and our Prez are doing.
At the same time, can real change occur without some sort of violence?
Would the need for black civil rights have come to the forefront without Malcolm X because he made MLK palatable to white people? I'm not advocating violence because basically I'm a pacificst. But I'm on the fence when it comes to deciding if the Weatherman were terrorists or progressive protesters. It takes a certain extravagance to go around wrecking buildings when you know you and your family are going to be paying for it anyway. If the personal is political, then the opposite is also true. Worth, Tx. I was in high school at that time. As far as the "myth of the sixties" there many values and causes that were born during those times.
I didn't agree with the bombing of the weathermen, but I did march in protest, wrote letters, work with groups, and tried to work within the system. There should be loud protest today as to who now sits in the Whitehouse. Bush has caused many reasons to protest, he lied about Iraq the econmy is still in trouble, and Bush is the envirorments' worse enemy. I think you will see some of the old sixties protest appear this summer at the Republican National Convention! The absolute mercenary and atrocious behaviour and actions by our government, which are still going strong to this day, seem to be white washed and swept under the carpet or regarded as legitimate when in reality it is on par with the most heinous acts of terrorists.
I really dont understand how people can regard our government as something to be proud of. Our "great" nation while founded on many noble ideas and principles was also carved out through genocide and slavery. Our government while on paper is democratic is also an institution of violence. This is how it preserves its power. It still takes part in criminal acts only now its much more sophisticated affair. So for me what was most interesting about the documentary was getting an understanding of how the sheer size and magnitude of our governments violent oppressive nature drove people to violence.
Its that "pushed to the brink" situation of violent overwhelming oppresion which either breaks you or turns you into a "terrorist" or "revolutionary" depending on whose lens it is seen through, as your only recourse. In my opinion violence against the government can draw attention to your cause and be understandable within a context but never really work because it will be marginalized and maligned and rewritten as criminal or crazy just as Mark Rudd had pointed out.
I sat in our student lounge and talked briefly with them. They felt that their days were numbered then. The film certainly was a bitter-sweet walk through memory lane for me. I was most struck with Mark Rudd's comment about "knowledge,. I felt that then and I feel that today; that vague knowledge that our country is being guided and controlled by elite, selective groups of people that are working together, perserving and increasing their power and wealth in the name of what is best for commerce and therefore what is best for the people at large.
The reality is that ever increasing numbers of our citizens are being marginalized and denied what John Adams referred to as "safety and tranquility, their natural rights and the blessings of life. Apparently their egos have prevented them gaining any perspective on their actions. I have also enjoyed reading these posts. Two people really can see the same event and come away with totally different stories of what happened.
Thanks again. The Weather Underground is an important documentary because it succeeds in bringing the viewer into the discussion and raises questions about the past, present and future. There is no difference between a terrorist and a revolutionary - both ultimately believe so strongly that they are willing to go beyond acceptable norms in order to alter what they view as unjust. There is no characteristic ideology that forms the revolutionary. Terror is a last response to the frustration of perceived immovable injustice.
The Weatherman viewed injustice through a shared lens and they chose to resort to violence as a means to express their shared perception. Those who perceive injustice in the Arab world have also chosen the path of violence. Those who oppose a woman's choice have perceived injustice and have also resorted to violence.
The current administration has sent the country into a war in response to their own perceptions about injustice. Violence is a response born out of frustration - it is an act of selfishness. It is a means to an end, of which that end, not all will embrace. When vast numbers of people perceive injustice in the same way and are willing to respond not just as individuals, they join to become a movement. Americans became Americans acting as terrorists and revolutionaries. A movement had begun and had taken hold.
The shared perception of injustice by the colonists regarding England fueled a revolution. Who is really the enenmy? What is evil? What is unjust? Each of us search our souls and inevitably arrive at our own conclusions. If our conclusions merge a movement beckons, action ensue and decades later another audience will view our history and determine our worth based on our course of action or inaction.
Although this was on way to late for me to be able to participate in the viewing. Please let me know if there are going to be any more airings of this movie. Maybe this would also give others a chance to see the history of the political extremes, and consequinces of war. I returned from Vietnam September 3, and went directly to school at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. I was very angry at my country over the war and became involved with the VVAW. In the current political climate where Kerry is being hammered for throwing his medals away I think it is important for people to put that action in perspective.
This film does a fine job of showing the hopelessness many people felt after years of protesting the war with no impact at all. While there were people in the VVAW who embraced violent action to try to stop the war the overwhelming majority simply wanted to use our status as Vets to help bring the war to an end.
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To cast Kerry as some kind of wild-eyed radical is such garbage. He was as moderate as anyone in the VVAW could have been. Thanks for a great film.
I never knew just how violent the sixties got. The war was not the same as the iraq war today. I was born in 74 and I never knew that the anti war movement took those necessary steps to oppose the war. This made me very grateful of my own generation X that we HAVE learned from the mistakes of the past. Allthough, anarchism is the same in some regards, it does not beleive in violence as a solution. Property damage only hurts deep pockets. But, they never resort to violence towards humans. When people oppose terrorism, I feel they are ignorant and in denial.
Terrorism is unfortunately modern warfare. It's not going to be solved by a idiot like bush 2. It is part of our modern history. War is terrorism. No matter what side shoots first. I only hope that generation x continues to avoid bombing places and continues to use art and free speech as a weapon. I think the older generations should be proud that we are just as passionate about this current quagmire in iraq but will continue to be non violent. You should be proud of us instead of drowning us in debt. It is also evident that they didn't then and still don't have a clue regarding the various communist governments they thought of as being a better alternative to the government which they were and are still living under.
None of those communist governments then or now would allow such 'activism' to take place for long. Once caught they'd be tried, convicted and either pitched into deep, dark prison hole or be taken out for 're-education' and never return. Perhaps you should consider doing an 'Indepent Lens' on the refugees of Viet Nam that left after the take over of the South and then maybe then reality will set in.
It just isn't acceptable to the oppressors.
The Weatherman's tactics only began to lean toward terrorism when their progressive protests were met with government sanctioned terrorism. I find it admirable and courageous that they reassessed their tactics even in the face of insurmountable odds and proceeded with a program to inspire instead of alienate.
What wasn't counted on was the desire for people to get inspiration from extreme makeovers, teenage divas, sitcoms, video games and amatuer talent shows. They were however, ahead of their time with special effects. The sixties has been co opted by the fashion industry and the media who depict sixties "survivors" as psychos, burnouts, lovable but addled old timers with no firm grasp of today's reality, or at best, well meaning parents who look back fondly on their wacky ways, having seen the light.
It's in the best interest of society to portray these people as crazies or clowns than to address their values in an intelligent manner. In fact, the intelligence of the ideals of the era is never addressed. It is simply and laughably dismissed as drug induced fantasy. The documentary was refreshing in that it brought to light the serious issues of the sixties. I named my youngest child, who is now thirty and politically progressive, after Bernardine Dohrn.
A single spark can start a prairie fire. Why were there no details provided regarding the loss of property suffered by those who were viewed as the enemy by the student radicals? Why was there no perspective to show that the nation changed its mind about the war in spite of the student radicals, not because of their advocacy?
Why were these people given so much air time, with little heard from those who were appalled by their behavior? I greatly appreciate you showing quality programming that inspires and educates. I feel it is essential that members of generations who where not alive to experience such important history get an honest, and thoughtful representation such as this. We cannot understand our present unless we have a critical understanding of our past. There is no difference between them and any other terrorist group of today. They shoul have been executed any way.
Notre Dame, Indiana Something in "The Weather Underground" invited me to touch that deep murkiness of my soul, which is terrifying, yet, at the same time,is the source of my connection with all things.
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I think particularly of the comments by two of the members, toward the end of the film, that when one is convinced of being on a moral highground, that person or group is capable of doing horrible things. I was in college from I am now a Catholic priest.
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And I still find myself wanting to seize that moral high ground. I want to separate myself from "them," from the wrong-doers, from the perpetrators of violence. I not only want to struggle against them, I want to "win," I want to convert them to the rightness of my position -- because that, of course, will mean the victory of right and justice and goodness for all. But what I've discovered is that most often I don't stop the violence.
Instead, I am co-opted into being violent trying to force my will on another myself. As some have said, I become what I hate. Analogously, it's like those who are convinced of the rightness of the death penalty --"the way to stop killing is to kill the killers! I don't believe it ever can. In the same way, to "Bring the War Home," does not stop war, it only broadens its scope. I tend to get caught up in the violence of this "moral high ground will to win," I believe, because I tend to equate "activism" with "achieving results.
While results are vitally important, I believe that, paradox-ically, they can only come when I can let go of them. Bill and Bernadine, in the on line interview spoke of wishing they had done more to connect with other groups working for similar ends. It seems to me I have to go much further. I need to connect, I would even say profoundly identify, with those who are doing the violent acts I find despicable. This is not some sort of mental game-playing. It can't be. I have to know that I AM "those people. Communion has to be with those who agree with me and with those whose actions I despise.
Only then, it seems to me can I be led to those actions which will co-operate with that Spirit of life however I choose to name it that is much bigger than "my" vision of results that "I" believe constitute true justice. I guess I would appreciate a follow up to the film that would explore the specifically spiritual journies of the members.
I was born in when all of this was happening, and while I may not have been able to express an opinion then, I can express one now.
I feel that we are now "re-living" this kind of hell all over again. How many more people have to die? Is this our "illustrious" leader's plan? To wipe out the human race? This kind of nonsense has been going on for too long. When are our so-called leaders going to realize I was sickened by the apparent lack of remorse demonstrated for the damage they did. People were killed in thier wake, it makes me sick that most of those interviewed seemed to forget that. A revolutionary has ideas and actions that live on. The weathermen simply had actions not ideas. I don't think the Weatherman did anything for America but get themselves a paragraph or two in a college History text.
It seems that most of those who are participated turned 30, stopped suckling off mommy and daddy's trust fund and started working "straight" jobs. They now live in seeming Volvo driving suburban splendor. The "Myth of the sixties" is just that, a myth. It was a violent time and unsure that has been looked at through rosey lenses. Almost every mall in America has some sort of "head shop" so that the youth of today can have just a "taste" of the turbulant 60s and 70s.
Activists need to stop trying to "live up" to the sixties and start taking action. It also seems that Activists of that period are critical of activists now. Wally Haralson. Jim Hayes. Ray Latham. George Jones. Curtis Davis. Keith Smith. Dennis Miller. Richard Carlile.