Albany Common Council Member in Attendance at Weather Underground/Occupy Event

April 19, 2012 at 7:14 am (Albany, Barbara Smith, Common Council, David Gilbert, Feminism, Naomi Jaffe, New York, Occupy Albany, Rush Limbaugh, SDS, Weather Underground)

Earlier this month, I wrote an extensive report about the attendees at a meeting titled, The Weather Underground Meets Occupy Wall Street.  Apparently the report was not as extensive as I had hoped.  While it focused on the Weather Underground members in attendance – the list reading like a veritable who’s-who of former domestic terrorists (bomb makers, convicted cop-killers) – I had overlooked another individual who actively participated in the forum – Barbara Smith.

Smith was elected to the Albany Common Counil in 2005, serving the 4th Ward.  She was re-elected in 2009 and continues to serve on the council.  Aside from serving on the council, Smith is an author of several works on feminism, and has been described as a community organizer.

Interestingly enough, Naomi Jaffe introduced the panel at the onset of the meeting, but never once referred to Smith’s current standing on the Albany Common Council.
Recently, the Times Union featured Smith after she had been selected as a profile subject in a newly formed national Women of Distinction organization.  The selection placed her in distinguished company indeed, mentioned alongside such names as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Oprah Winfrey.  The honor includes an effort sponsored by AOL, a multi-platform PBS project that will tell the compelling story of women’s advancement in America over the past 50 years.
Will that ‘compelling story’ include an exploration of why the Councilwoman was sitting alongside some of the most notorious domestic terrorists in our country’s history?  Will questions be asked about what she was thinking when she attended a meeting with those terrorists to “discuss common struggles between the Weather Underground and Occupy Wall Street”?  Unlikely.
Is the company Ms. Smith is keeping really that bad?
Observe… 

·         In attendance or serving on the panel were five major players in the domestic terrorism group – Naomi Jaffe, Jeff Jones, Eleanor Stein, Suzanne Ross, and Kathy Boudin.
 ·         All of the above named have been involved in the more radical elements of the group, including assaults on police officers, bomb plots, and murders.
 ·         All had been involved with the notorious Bill Ayers, some of which lived in a San Francisco ‘bomb factory’ that several entities have claimed was used in the San Francisco police station bombing that killed Officer Brian McDonnell. 

Smith herself was reading excerpts from a book written by David Gilbert, a radical American leftist organizer and activist serving time in the Auburn Correctional Facility. Gilbert remains imprisoned for his role in the Brinks Robbery of 1981, a botched effort that led to the murder of three people, including a security guard and two police officers.
In the midst of her chosen excerpt, Smith played the crowd, making a joke about Rush Limbaugh and a statement about ‘liberating’ a female speaker ‘with my cock’.
When referencing a report being presented at an SDS workshop, Smith read:
“… when Marilyn Buck took the stage to do so, all hell broke loose.  Men hooted and whistled from the floor, threw paper planes at Marilyn, and shouted such gems as quote, “I’ll liberate you with my cock,” end quote.”
At which point Smith added, “Rush Limbaugh was not there, so…”, a statement which received hearty laughter from the crowd.
Smith serves on the Albany Common Council and is considered a distinguished woman.  But in this instance, she is shown attending a meeting with the Weather Underground and Occupy Albany, while making sexual assault jokes involving Rush Limbaugh.
Is this the mark of a distinguished woman?
Is this behavior appropriate for a member of the Common Council?



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Occupy Wall Street Now Promoting the Weather Underground

February 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm (Albany Social Justice Center, Bill Ayers, Bombings, David Gilbert, Occupy Albany, Occupy Wall Street, Radical, Sanctuary For Independent Media, Terrorist, Weather Underground)

Occupy Albany has announced an event in March called, The Weather Underground Meets Occupy Wall Street.  The event will be held March 3rd, and is co-sponsored by The Sanctuary For Independent Media and the Albany Social Justice Center.  It is described as, “A book event and multi-generational dialog to celebrate U.S. political prisoner David Gilbert’s new memoir, “Love and Struggle.”

Gilbert is currently serving time in the Auburn Correctional Facility and is described as “an American radical leftist organizer and activist.”  He was imprisoned for his role in the Brinks Robbery of 1981, a botched effort that led to the murder of four people, including a security guard and two police officers.

Interestingly, Gilbert sounds strikingly similar to the Occupy protesters of today when he describes his actions during the robbery.  In an interview in 1985, he described the scene as such:

It was an attempted expropriation. That means taking money from those who amassed wealth by exploiting the people and using that money to finance the resistance.”

Justifying the killing of innocent people, and sugarcoating armed robbery by calling it ‘expropriation’.  How Occupy of him.

And now according to their Facebook posting, and in support of Gilbert’s efforts, Occupy Albany will be participating in the so-called ‘book event’.  Participants are also shilling for his new book.

The full description of events reads (emphasis mine):
David Gilbert’s new book, “Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond,” sparks a multi-generational dialogue about what social justice movements can learn from each other. Currently serving a life sentence for his participation in an armed action with a group of Black revolutionaries, Gilbert writes about the lessons learned in fifty years of a radical political life. A panel of today’s young activists will talk with ’60s revolutionaries about their common struggles, grounded by critical exchange and self-reflection.

So the Occupy movement is getting together to discuss common struggles with ’60s revolutionaries from the Weather Underground.  Problem being, the Weather Underground, you may have heard, were not revolutionaries – they were terrorists.  This is what the Occupy Wall Street movement is coming together for, to celebrate terrorist acts that they see parallels in?

One individual who has also heaped praise on Gilbert’s new book is Bill Ayers, former member of the Weather Underground, man who helped launch the first campaign of our current President, and unrepentant terrorist.  Ayers took part in a series of bombings in the 1970s that killed three activists.  The intent was much worse however, as the bombings were designed to kill army officers in New Jersey – It accidentally exploded in a New York townhouse. 


Lest we forget that in regards to the day he successfully bombed the Pentagon, Ayers said, “Everything was absolutely ideal. … The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.” 


And of course, there is William’s mantra to “Kill all the rich people. … Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents.”

More famously, in an article that appeared in the New York Times on September 11th, 2001, Ayers was quoted as saying that he did not regret setting bombs and, “I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Of course, none of this comes as much of a surprise.  A few weeks ago, Occupy Albany participants were actively wondering why they hadn’t begun emulating clashes in Syria, in which over 35 people had been killed amidst reports of ‘blood being shed.’

Is this really where the Occupy Wall Street movement is headed?  Is this an element they long to be associated with?  

Sympathizing with known murderers and terrorists because they share ‘common struggles’ is a scary, scary sign.

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