[Marxism] The NYT Oglesby obit

Glenn Kissack gkissack at nyc.rr.com
Sun Sep 18 10:33:10 MDT 2011

> There were no surviving SDSes after the two post-split groups ended. PL's goal was to take over SDS by out-organizing the national leadership. They succeeded, but most everyone opposed to PL left with the national leadership's two factions, Weatherman & RYM II, including the Independent Socialist Clubs and the unaffiliated Madison chapter.


I completely agree with you about Oglesby, the NYT and the nuttiness of the Weatherman.

However, I was active in SDS at the time and I know that many chapters continued to thrive after the split. Most SDSers, including me, did not attend the '69 convention. Our chapter at Stony Brook -- which had scores of members and led demonstrations of hundreds against war research, military recruiters and in support of striking cafeteria workers -- pretty much ignored the split and continued our activities.

We had people in the chapter who supported both sides of the split, and we sometimes acted like sectarian jerks, but in large measure we worked together as SDSers.

In the fall of '69 -- after the split -- our SDS chapter organized busses to Washington, DC, to join a huge anti-war demonstration of hundreds of thousands. SDS organized a rally of some 5,000 people at the Labor Department in support of striking GE workers. When Nixon invaded Cambodia in 1970, SDS organized anti-war demonstrations on scores of campuses. From 1971 on, SDS and the anti-war movement in general began to fade. The bad publicity from the terrorist bombings by the Weatherman group certainly hurt.

Coming from a working-class background, and needing to work in the cafeteria to pay for books and extras, the Worker-Student Alliance faction was attractive to me. I liked the idea of supporting labor struggles (I was one of the cafeteria strikers) and bringing anti-war ideas to workers. I vividly remember giving out anti-war leaflets to hundreds of white construction workers erecting buildings on campus, and although I feared I would get my ass kicked, it turned out to be a very positive experience.


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