[Marxism] Re: Weather Underground

Brian Shannon brian_shannon at verizon.net
Tue Jan 3 21:35:43 MST 2006

> What we did with direct confrontation was just that-- direct
> confrontation.  Best example I can give you (this is 38 years ago,  
> so I
> may have forgotten a detail or two):  Dupont came to Uof M to recruit.
> Prior to the recruiters arrival, we produced leaflets about Dupont's
> role in the occupation of  Wilmington, De. after the murder of MLK;
> Dupont's role in defense contracts, etc.  And we promised a splendid
> time for all who showed up to greet the recruiter.  And a splendid  
> time
> was had by all except the recruiter and the recruitees, as the  
> recruiter
> was blockaded behind his table by several hundred people who showed up
> and weren't interested  in employment.
> We weren't too polite about it either.  Recruiter made a hasty exit.
> Sure, we alienated some business students and chemical engineers, but
> the overwhelming response was positive, and "greet the recruiter"
> actions became much anticipated and attended events.
> U of M threatened to bring the police to protect the recruiters and we
> said "Go right ahead."  They rethought that position.
> This was all done without the "weatherpeople,"  who by that time were
> out raising an army of thousands of groovy white kids with black  
> people
> at the head.  — rrubinelli

It looks like I misunderstood your support to "direct confrontation."  
I blame you for that. I thought that you were suggesting some other  
kind of "direct confrontation." However, as you say, the  
"weatherpeople" were not involved in this very defensible militant demo.

Your description is very similar to a 1966 or 1967 demonstration at  
Berkeley by the Student Mobilization Committee.* Dow Chemical and  
several other recruiters had come to interview graduating seniors.  
The interviews were conducted under virtual siege conditions. They  
did not return or if they continued their interviews in secret. I  
think that one of the photographs that I took was the first one that  
I got into The Militant. It showed Camejo and other students  
confronting one of the campus police.

Brian Shannon

* The Berkeley SMC continued to call itself the VDC or Vietnam Day  
Committee for several years after the big Teach-In of 1965, which got  
a lot of publicity nationwide as well as in Berkeley. There had been  
several "debate" formats in the East and Mid-West. Then Jerry Rubin,  
Barbara Gullahorn and Robert Fitch had the dynamic idea of having a  
"Teach-In" of the Left. There was also to be a formal debate between  
defenders of the government war and opponents. But this new "Teach- 
In" would be rooted in opponents of the war and the U.S. government  
in general. The teach-in lasted for a continuous 34 hours and marked  
a new stage in the student movement. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/ 

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