By Tervor Loudon
In the 1960s, revolution was in the air.
Campus radicals looked to Cuba and Vietnam for inspiration.
Members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) believed they could create a revolutionary force that would bring capitalist "AmeriKKKa" to its knees.
They were wrong. The American people were just "too dumb" to appreciate their ideas.
Bloodied, broke and bitter, the ’60s radicals turned inward. If insurrection in the streets wouldn’t work, then how about revolution from the top down? Infiltrate the system. Take power through the institutions. Italian communist Antonio Gramsci and Chicago radical Saul Alinsky became the new role models.
Gramsci’s works were a blueprint for infiltrating the unions, the media, churches, education, non-profits and the Democratic Party.
Alinsky’s combination of Marxism and Chicago Mobsterism taught the radicals how to legally "shakedown" businesses and government for money and to effectively exploit the poor and marginalized.
Today the ’60s rebels are now in their 60s.
This is their last shot at a socialist America, and they don’t intend to blow it.
The 2008 presidential elections gave them "hope," and they’re gonna do their damndest to effect some serious "change."
Here’s my "Top 11" list (because 10 just wasn’t enough) of ’60s radicals who changed America. These people are the "change" you should be afraid of.
1. Bill Ayers
Bill Ayers joined SDS at the University of Michigan. In 1969 he founded the terrorist group Weather Underground with Jeff Jones, Mark Rudd, and his future wife, Bernardine Dohrn.
After years underground, Ayers "surfaced" in 1980, to eventually become a professor of education in Chicago. In the 1990s, Ayers shaped the city’s school reform program, which had been started earlier by communist/Alinskyite Earl Durham. With a $49.2 million Annenberg Challenge grant, Ayers and his friend Barack Obama financed projects all over Chicago.
In 1995, Ayers and Dohrn helped launch Obama’s political career in a gathering in their Hyde Park home.
Dohrn was in regular contact with the Cuban Mission at the United Nations in 1968 and 1969, during which time she arranged for SDS groups to visit Havana. Continuing the family tradition, Ayers has made several trips to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, plus a trip to Cuba with Dohrn in 2007.
2. Heather Booth
Heather Booth was active in the Chicago SDS, while her husband Paul was SDS national secretary.
Today, Heather Booth is the president of Midwest Academy, an Alinskyite organization that has trained thousands of "community activists."
Booth was the director of the AFL-CIO’s campaign for universal health care coverage in 2008. In June 2009, she praised ACORN as an organization dedicated to "building a better society and a better world."
3. Carl Davidson
In 1968, Davidson, a national SDS leader, visited Cuba with Tom Hayden (see next entry). In a meeting with Castro, Hayden and Davidson proposed organizing a brigade of young Americans who would work for the Cuban revolution. This became the annual Venceremos Brigade, long used by Cuban Intelligence to recruit spies and terrorists.
Later, Davidson joined Mike Klonsky’s Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist). Today he is a leader of the Communist Party spinoff, Committees of Correspondence.
In the mid-1990s, Davidson worked closely with Barack Obama in the New Party, a composite of Committees of Correspondence, Democratic Socialists of America, ACORN and SEIU. In 2002 he and Marilyn Katz organized the Chicago peace rally where Obama came out as an opponent of the Iraq War.
In 2007, Davidson became a leader of the Movement for a Democratic Society with Hayden, Ayers, Dohrn, Mike Klonsky, Jeff Jones and Mark Rudd (see corresponding entries). Davidson has also worked hard to promote the work of Van Jones, the San Francisco communist, who briefly served as Obama’s "green jobs Czar."
4. Tom Hayden
In 1961, Tom Hayden founded SDS and later traveled to North Vietnam to strategize with Viet Cong leaders.
In 1970, Hayden attended the founding meeting of the Weather Underground, with Ayers, Dohrn, Jeff Jones and Mark Rudd, but declined to go "underground."
Hayden is currently a lecturer in Politics at the Occidental College, Los Angeles. Barack Obama made his first political speech at Occidental, at an anti-Apartheid rally organized by the student wing of Hayden’s Campaign for Economic Democracy.
In 2008, Hayden and Carl Davidson founded Progressives for Obama in order to unite socialists behind the Obama campaign.
5. Jeff Jones
In 1967, New York SDS leader Jeff Jones traveled to Cambodia to meet representatives of the North Vietnamese National Liberation Front.
In 1969, Jones, along with Ayers, Dohrn and Mark Rudd formed the Weather Underground, issuing a "manifesto" condemning nonviolence and calling for the armed overthrow of capitalism.
After 10 years in the Weather Underground, Jones was arrested in a police sweep following the terrorist robbery of an armored truck in Nyack, N.Y.
In 2009, Jones was director of New York state’s chapter of the radical controlled Apollo Alliance, which helped craft portions of the $787 billion "stimulus" legislation that President Obama signed into law that year.
6. Marilyn Katz
Marilyn Katz was chief of security for SDS during student rioting around the 1968 Democratic Party convention in Chicago. Katz reportedly showed protesters a new weapon to use against the police—clusters of nails sharpened at both ends and fastened in the center.
In the 1990s, Katz moved in the same Chicago radical circles as Ayers, Dohrn, Davidson and Mike Klonsky. In 2007, Katz worked in the Movement for a Democratic Society and in 2008 supported Progressives for Obama.
Today, Marilyn Katz owns a public relations firm in Chicago. She has served on Barack Obama’s national finance committee and has hosted fundraisers for him in her home. She was an Obama delegate at the 2008 Democratic Party convention in Denver, Colorado.
7. Mike Klonsky
In 1968, Mike Klonsky was national secretary of SDS. At an October 1969 campus meeting in Chicago, with Hayden and Mark Rudd, Klonsky told the assembled students:
Look, I’ve heard a lot of people say that the campus pigs are OK, that they’re on our side. But I tell you, when the trouble comes, they’ll bring the guns down on our heads with the rest of them. To resist successfully, you have to have an outright hatred for all pigs.
Later, Klonsky led the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), a pro-Chinese organization. He was feted like a state leader during a visit to Beijing in 1977.
Later, Klonsky was one of the leaders of the small schools movement with Bill Ayers and Barack Obama. At one point, the trio reportedly shared office space in Chicago.
In 2007, Klonsky served on the board of Movement for a Democratic Society. In 2008, he operated a blog on Obama’s campaign website.
8. Miles Rapoport
Miles Rapoport was a leader of Harvard SDS.
In 1995, he became Connecticut secretary of state, immediately hiring Merrillee Milstein, a Communist Party supporter, as his deputy secretary. Milstein led the implementation of the National Voter Registration Act and other ACORN-linked electoral reforms.
In 2000, Rapoport became president and CEO of "progressive" Washington, D.C. "think tank" Demos. The organization was founded in 1999 by "social entrepreneur" Charles Halpern, who recruited Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama as a trustee. Several years later, Van Jones held the same position.
In 2001, Rapoport addressed a memorial service for Richard Cloward, who with his wife, Frances Fox Piven, had originated the Cloward-Piven Strategy, the deliberate overloading of state welfare offices, in order to crash the system and hasten revolution.
Under Rapoport, Demos has worked closely with ACORN.
9. Wade Rathke
In the late 1960s, Wade Rathke organized draft resistance for SDS, before joining the Cloward and Piven connected National Welfare Rights Organization.
Rathke then founded ACORN, which he led until 2008. He patterned his training of ACORN workers after Saul Alinsky’s activist tactics.
Rathke is also the co-founder and chairman of the Tides Center, a major funder of radical causes. He is an Executive Board member of the SEIU and is chairman of the AFL-CIO’s Organizers Forum.
ACORN, under Rathke, became in large part a "get out the vote" machine for the Democratic Party. By 2008, authorities were investigating ACORN vote fraud in 12 states.
10. Mark Rudd
In 1968, SDS leaders Mark Rudd and Bernardine Dohrn traveled to Cuba to meet with North Vietnamese officials. On his return, Rudd was elected president of the Columbia University chapter of SDS, but was soon expelled after a series of riots attracted nationwide attention.
After the 1969 SDS convention, Rudd joined Dohrn, Ayers and Jones in the Weathermen. They all went underground in March 1970, when a bomb, intended for a servicemen’s ball, exploded prematurely, killing three comrades.
Rudd "surfaced" in 1978, moved to New Mexico and became a math teacher at a community college. He has been a leader of Movement for a Democratic Society since 2006 and in 2008 was a supporter of Progressives for Obama.
11. Margery Tabankin
Margery Tabankin took part in anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and joined SDS at the University of Wisconsin. In 1972, as president of the National Student Association, she visited North Vietnam.
After college, Tabankin trained at Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago.
In 1977, as director of Volunteer In Service To America, Tabankin organized a meeting with leftist organizations including ACORN, Tom Hayden’s Campaign for Economic Democracy and Heather Booth’s Midwest Academy, to dole out federal grant money.
Since 1987, Tabankin has been the executive director of the Streisand Foundation, which funds environmental activism, gay rights, voter education, "abortion-rights," nuclear disarmament and gun control initiatives.