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Thursday, August 21, 2003 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: FCC Head Michael Powell Backpedals & Announces Study...
2003-08-21

Ex-Weather Underground Member Kathy Boudin Granted Parole

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After 22 years in jail, Boudin was granted parole yesterday. We talk to her son Chesa Boudin who was 14 months old when his parents were arrested; her attorney Leonard Weinglass; Jeff Jones, a founding member of the Weathermen and Norma Hill, who called for Boudin’s release even though she was a victim in the 1981 bank heist that led to Boudin’s arrest. We also play excerpts of the new documentary "Weather Underground." [Includes transcript]

Click here to read to full transcript

"When I walk out of the prison gate I will gently touch the air that surrounds me like a shawl. It is autumn and the leaves are floating in circles of reds, browns, and oranges. I am with my child in freedom, a reunion with my family and friends who have lived these decades with me."

These are the words of Kathy Boudin, a former member of the radical group the Weather Underground. She has served 22 years in prison for her role in a botched armed robbery in 1981 in which three men were killed.

She was granted parole in a surprise decision yesterday. She is 60 years old.

In the 1960s Boudin, daughter of civil rights attorney Leonard Boudin, joined the Weather Underground a radical group who were convinced that only militant action could end racism, inequality and the war in Vietnam.

They took responsibility for bombing two dozen public buildings, including the Pentagon, eventually landing on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

In 1981, Boudin was recruited by Black Liberation Army members to drive the getaway vehicle in an armored car heist in Rockland County, New York. The idea was to have white people drive the getaway vehicle, a U-Haul truck, to throw off pursuers.

A security guard was killed in the robbery at the Nanuet Mall. Their truck was later stopped at a roadblock and two police officers were gunned down by gunmen at the back of the truck. Boudin was unarmed and sitting in the passenger seat at the time. She was apprehended as she fled, pleaded guilty to felony murder and robbery and was sentenced to 20 years to life.

Her son was just 14 months old at the time.

In prison, Boudin has served her time as a model inmate. She developed a program on parenting behind bars and helped write a handbook for inmates whose children are in foster care. She also earned a master’s degree in adult education and literacy. In the late 1980s she helped design an AIDS support program that is now used as a model at prisons across the country.

Boudin has spent 22 years behind bars. She is expected to be freed from her New York state prison by late September.

Her possible release has been staunchly opposed by the families, friends and colleagues of the three men killed.

Boudin said she was terrified during the gun battle and aid there was no way "to pay the debt for my being involved or participating in the crime that destroyed families and destroyed men."

  • Leonard Weinglass, attorney representing Kathy Boudin.
  • Chesa Boudin, son of Kathy Boudin. He recently graduated from Yale University and received a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He was a baby when his parents were arrested and imprisoned. He was raised by Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, themselves former members of the Weather Underground.
  • Tape: * "Weather Underground,"* new documentary directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel
  • Jeff Jones, former member of the Weather Underground. He now works as the communications director for the Environmental Advocates of New York.
  • Norma Hill, she was dragged from her car at gunpoint during the 1981 robbery and testified for the prosecution in the ensuing trials, but later befriended Kathy Boudin while both were working with AIDS patients in prison.

Related Links:

KathyBoudin.com

Democracy Now! archived interview__ with Susan Rosenberg

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined right now by her son, Chesa Boudin, who got the word on the road yesterday as he was driving across country. Welcome to Democracy Now! Chesa.

CHESA BOUDIN: Thank you very much.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what are your thoughts today?

CHESA BOUDIN: Well, it’s an overwhelmingly happy day for all of us. And of course it’s my birthday today which makes it all that much sweeter, and I certainly couldn’t ask for a better birthday present than this.

AMY GOODMAN: Were you surprised by the ruling?

CHESA BOUDIN: To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew that there was always a chance, you have to you have to have hope in these situations. But it is certainly, I wasn’t optimistic going into it, that’s for sure.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re also joined in the studio by Leonard Weinglass. He has represented Kathy Boudin, what, for two decades now?

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Yes. Likely over.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about actually what happened yesterday in this parole hearing?

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Well, as you know attorneys are not permitted to be present at the parole hearing, so I’m getting it second hand. But from what I understand, she appeared before two parole board commissioners. The hearing lasted over an hour, about an hour and 15 minutes, and afterwards the parole commissioners huddled and decided that she should be released and informed Kathy of that decision.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about how this parole hearing was different than the one three months ago, different from the one in 2001.

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Yes. There seems to be a misperception that just three months ago the parole board denied her parole. Why is this parole board granting her parole now? The parole board that met three months ago met pursuant to a court order that set aside the 2001 parole decision. But what the board three months ago was considering was Kathy Boudin’s status as of 2001. And so it was an anomalous situation, where there was an exceptional parole hearing, based on a court ordered parole hearing.

AMY GOODMAN: What has changed.

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Well, Kathy has changed. She’s a 60-year-old woman. She has served her time admirably. To say she’s a model prisoner is an understatement. Her situation at the crime was such that the judge who sentenced her deemed her role to be secondary and he clearly expressed himself that she should be released at the end of 20 years. So I think the feeling was, 22 years was certainly enough.

AMY GOODMAN: So, why did yesterday come as such a surprise then, as her attorney?

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Well, to be honest with you, I was one of the few people who told Kathy that I thought she probably would be released. That was my feeling all along. Given all of the circumstances in her role as a prisoner.

AMY GOODMAN: Chesa, have you spoken to your mother?

CHESA BOUDIN: I have not been able to. I was in the car all day yesterday, driving across the country, and she’s not allowed to call cell phones.

AMY GOODMAN: Leonard Weinglass, you’ve spoken with her?

LEONARD WEINGLASS: It would be more accurate to say I listened to her. She called me immediately after the decision and she was crying, she was with the chaplain at the prison, Sister Elaine. She was barely able to convey the sense, although I caught it right away, that the parole board had decided her released and she was joyous and crying and tearful and incoherent, and it wasn’t a long conversation.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeff Jones is also on the line with us, a former member of the Weather Underground. Now works as communications director of Environmental Advocates of New York in Albany. You have long worked for the release of Kathy Boudin, can you describe your thoughts today?

JEFF JONES: Like Chesa, and Lenny, Amy, by the way, thank you for including me in this conversation, it’s just a great morning, a morning of great joy for all of us who have believed that Kathy should get out of jail. I talked to her myself just a few minutes ago, and she really is a happy person and one of the things that’s so exciting is how happy everyone is around her in the prison. It’s really a place where people grasp for hope and they have some hope this morning. I also was able to talk last night to Chesa’s father, David Gilbert in Attica. He heard about it listening to National Public Radio, and David also was extremely happy with this news. He’s happy for Kathy and he’s happy for Chesa.

AMY GOODMAN: Chesa, you have spent your life visiting between your father and your mother, now David Gilbert at Attica, and your mother at Bedford hills. You live in Chicago, you’re going off as a Rhodes scholar to Britain in a month, graduated from Yale in May. Can you talk a little about your journey between your parents and your own growth.

CHESA BOUDIN: Well, it’s hard to sum up all the ups and downs of having parents in prison. I think for me the main thing has been that I’ve been very lucky to have wonderful support network of family members and extended family. I grew up within a wonderful family, and actually had four parents instead of two. So, in that regard I was very lucky. And certainly, compared to most children with parents in prison, I’ve had a lot of opportunities. But it has been hard, especially when I was younger, you know, the stress of visiting my parents and of trying to maintain a relationship and build a relationship with them from the distance that incarceration creates. It was a challenge, and I was lucky to have all the support that I had along the way.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, you were raised by another family, friends of your parents, Bernadine Dorn and Bill Ayers, who themselves were former members of the weather underground.

CHESA BOUDIN: Correct. And, you know, growing up in a household where politics are important and where people think about those ideas has been a huge advantage to me, just growing up caring about the world I live in, as compared to a lot of families where politics are de-emphasized.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Chesa Boudin, son of Kathy Boudin. Also Jeff Jones on the line with us, former member of the Weather Underground and Leonard Weinglass, civil rights attorney. We’re gonna break and then come back to this discussion. Stay with us.

AMY GOODMAN: Here on Democracy Now!, the War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we talk about the case of Kathy Boudin in a surprise ruling for many, the parole board yesterday at Bedford Hills in New York state ruled — granted Kathy Boudin parole after 22 years in jail. In a minute we’re going to play an excerpt of the film, "The Weather Underground" and a conversation that we had a little while ago about this new documentary. But right now we’re going to play an excerpt from it about the bombing of a townhouse or an explosion, an accidental explosion, within a townhouse in Greenwich Village in New York that Kathy Boudin had escaped from about 12 years before the 1981 arrest. Leonard Weinglass, correct me if I’m wrong in setting the stage for this.

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Yes, no, that’s correct, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: This is an excerpt from "The Weather Underground" and some of the documentary footage of the time.

MARK RUDD: The townhouse was part of a small autonomous group in New York City that was being led by Terry Robbins.

BILL AYERS: Terry more than probably anyone else represented the view that it was too late for any kind of reconciliation inside this country and that the best that we could do was to bring about a catastrophic series of actions that would get the attention of the world.

MARK RUDD: the group that was led by Terry in that house on west 11th street was building a bomb. They had decided to set off the bomb at a noncommissioned officers dance at Fort Dix. The idea being that there are no innocent in this war of aggression.

INTERVIEWEE: What we wanted to do here was deliver the most horrific hit that the United States government had ever suffered on its territory. We wanted to light it up. Our slogan was bring the war home, and we really wanted to give the United States and the rest of the world a sense that this country was going to be completely unlivable if the United States continued in Vietnam, and that was the goal of this group.

TODD GITLIN: I think what has to be stared at is that they brought themselves, they were not brought, they brought themselves to that point, to the point of which they were ready to be mass murderers. This is mass murder we’re talking about. They came to this conclusion which is the conclusion that was come to by all the great killers, whether Hitler or Stalin or Mao, that they have a grand project for the transformation and purification of the world. And in the face of that project, ordinary life is dispensable. They joined that tradition.

VOICE OVER: On March 6, 1970, as the Weatherman group on West 11th street put the final touches on the bomb there was a short circuit in the wiring and the device accidentally exploded.

NEWSCAST VOICE OVER: An expensive townhouse in Greenwich village was destroyed by three explosions which killed at least three people. The police still only know a part of the story. What they still have to find out is a good deal more about the extent of the bomb plot and the extent to which the student protesters of the 1960’s have turned into more serious revolutionaries using far more lethal weapons. One body was identified as that of S.D.S. member Theodore Gold. A second dead man has not yet been identified. A third victim was identified as 28-year-old Diana Outin, a member of the S.D.S. Weatherman faction. She was the daughter of one of the richest men in the small town, Dwight, Illinois. When he heard the news of his daughter’s death, James Outin, a local banker and former Republican member of the Illinois house, cut short a vacation in London and hurried home.

JAMES OUTIN: I’ve been asked how I would advise other parents and I have answered that I have no advice at all. I wouldn’t know how to advise myself. I’m looking for guidelines myself from somebody else.

DAVID GILBERT: I was in Denver. We had a collective there. I heard something on the radio. We were actually driving to the mountains to do target practice. I heard something on the radio, and it was [static-like], about somebody Gold was killed in an explosion in New York City. Later I got a call saying that it had been our people. I would say that that is the one point in my life where I was overwhelmed by the heaviness of it. That was a really difficult loss.

INTERVIEWEE: When the townhouse went up, it was at that point that the F.B.I. knew that it was in a battle and that these were truly committed revolutionaries who planned on doing a lot more to achieve the violent overthrow of this government than just talking about it. These Weatherman people were actually randomly bombing and intended to kill people. At that point, pressure came all the way from the White House to catch these people. It was very, very high pressure.

BILL AYERS: When this explosion happened a group of us disappeared from sight and that was really the official beginning of what came to be called the Weather Underground.

AMY GOODMAN: An excerpt of the new film "The Weather Underground". Leonard Weinglass, as you hear this, Kathy came out of that building, where was she? How did she make it out?

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Yes. That was a very tragic event. Actually Kathy who was suffering with Mononucleosis at the time was asleep in a bedroom on the top floor of the building. The bomb was being constructed in the basement. When the building was leveled she was simply able to walk out of the bedroom and onto the street. There was, as you can imagine, a massive investigation of this event. And at the conclusion, the District Attorney of New York, Mr. Morganthal wrote in a letter to Kathy Boudin’s sentencing judge, that there was no evidence connecting Kathy Boudin to that bomb, and that she was never charged with constructing that bomb or having anything to do with it. As a matter of fact, she had to pass a polygraph given by the police related to the fact that she was never involved in any act in which anyone was injured. And so, we have the District Attorney, we have the polygraph and we have the physical setting all indicating, and it’s always been accepted by law enforcement, that Kathy Boudin had nothing to do with that event.

AMY GOODMAN: But that’s when she went underground after that?

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Yes. When she fled from the house she together with a number of people in the Weather Underground went underground and she stayed underground until the 1981 robbery.

AMY GOODMAN: We are speaking to Leonard Weinglass, Kathy Boudin’s attorney for 22 years, also Jeff Jones on the line with us. Kathy Boudin’s son, Chesa, who learned on the road yesterday as he was traveling cross-country that his mother had been granted parole. And now joining us on the telephone is Norma hill. She’s actually at CNN studios, so we thank her for picking up her cell phone. Norma hill is one of the victims of the armored car heist. Norma, maybe you could tell us what happened to you the day that Kathy was arrested and your thoughts today.

NORMA HILL: Well, I was driving up Route 59 going home and I got stuck behind a U-haul truck, which became the truck that was filled with the six armed men. Kathy was a passenger in the truck and David was the driver. My car — after the shooting began and I saw Kathy alight from the car with her hands up, I did see the two police officers get shot and then one of the shooters saw me sitting in the car which was right next to the truck and he came over. He put a gun in my face and he pulled me out of the car, threw me on the ground and took off with the car with my mother in it. I picked myself up and ran after him begging of him to let my mother go, which my mom was able to undo the seatbelt, and she was pushed out of the car. After that, I spent the next three years testifying against Kathy and I am pleased that she has been released because I did reacquaint myself with Kathy ten years ago, when we were both working on an AIDS project. At that time, I was aware of all of the things that she had been doing in the prison system. And I began to rethink about, you know, my feelings toward her.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain that, it’s very unusual. You ended up meeting her at Bedford Hills. Your brother had died of AIDS?

NORMA HILL: My brother was a Hemophaeliac that had died from AIDS, and so I became interested in AIDS issues. And when I went to Bedford hills, I wanted to unite the women with AIDS with the rest of the population, so I suggested that we make panels for the AIDS quilt. I required — I was required to get some volunteers and of course, Kathy was one of the people that volunteered to come and help with this project. And that was the first time that we reconnected after our ten years.

AMY GOODMAN: Did she recognize you as the person who had testified against her all of those years?

NORMA HILL: No, she did not.

AMY GOODMAN: Did you know it was her?

NORMA HILL: Yes, I knew it was her. And I was very nervous and I was — I was really extremely nervous. However, I decided at that point that the healthiest thing to do would be for us to sit down and talk with one another and discuss the particular day that this issue took place. And that’s what we did. I made an appointment through her lawyers and I sat down with her in the visiting room. And we spent about three hours talking about the day that the incident took place. And Kathy only wanted to know how it had affected me and how it had affected the other families and, of course, my involvement was not tragic to the extent that the rest of the people’s were. However, from that day forward, I spent a great deal of time with Kathy Boudin and it was never a moment during that time that she did not express her remorse and she expressed it verbally, but I also think that she expressed it by the things that she did, by her actions in the prison system. And her day-to-day living was so exemplary and such an incredible example to anybody that’s incarcerated. And I do believe that because of her, there are women now that are outside the prison system that will never go back. And I think it’s in many cases due to the fact that Kathy helped them get an education and helped them get a feeling of self worth, which they have now taken outside of the prison and have passed along to their children. Instead of passing along the heritage of selling drugs, they are now pass along the heritage of an education. And I think that is the reason why Kathy Boudin deserved her parole yesterday and I think it was a wonderful decision.

AMY GOODMAN: I’m looking at a number of pieces, one of them in the "New York Times," relatives of victims not ready to forgive. Talking about the death of one of the police sergeants, Edward O’Grady. Have you been spending time with his family? Yesterday they put up a happy birthday sign, flowers on his grave.

NORMA HILL: No, I have not. The family — I believe that the family feels in their hearts that I have betrayed them. But in reality, I have not, because I felt as strongly about Kathy being put into prison when I stood in the courtroom 22 years ago as I feel today that she should be released. She’s earned her parole. And that’s what parole is all about. Parole is being offered to you as — not as a reward but certainly for lack of a better word, as a reward for good behavior. She was — her crime is past now, but she’ll never forget it. She will live with it every day of her life. However it’s time to move on, and time for Kathy to be able to move on and do the things that she does best in society. I feel confident that Kathy is going to live a very productive life. She’s a quiet woman. She’s not a woman that seeks publicity, and I think that when she is released from prison she will go about her business in her usual quiet manner.

AMY GOODMAN: Chesa, as you listen to Norma Hill what are your thoughts?

CHESA BOUDIN: Well, I’m actually not able to hear anything she is saying, so I’m afraid I can’t comment on what she just said. I’m not hearing anything.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Norma Hill just described what happened to her on that day and said that she has come to know Kathy in Bedford Hills prison working with her on an AIDS project and that Kathy has expressed remorse repeatedly both verbally and otherwise to her. And supports her parole.

CHESA BOUDIN: I think my mom and her relationship with Norma are true testament to the human capacity for change, and how far my mom has come since that robbery.

AMY GOODMAN: What are your mother’s plans when she gets out?

CHESA BOUDIN: Well, I think we have a lot of planning to do ahead of us in this situation. I never wanted to plan all the details out too far ahead of time because it’s just asking to get let down. But I think the first step she’s moving in with friends who are medical doctors in Brooklyn, and she will begin working in New York City and building a life for herself there. I’m still very anxious for her to actually get out, there won’t be anything totally complete until she steps out of the prison gate and I can hug her for the first time in freedom.

AMY GOODMAN: Leonard Weinglass, when do you think she will get out? The parole board or state corrections people say some time before October 1st.

LEONARD WEINGLASS: Yes. I’m optimistic it will be much before October 1st. We’re actually going to start working on that today.

AMY GOODMAN: You’re quoted in the "New York Times" as saying in the next few days, possibly.

LEONARD WEINGLASS: I think that’s the earliest assessment. Kathy submitted to the parole board a parole plan which set out employment offers which she’s had here in New York City, as well as an offer of an apartment which Chesa just described. So her plan is already in place, and all that has to happen now is for the parole investigators to check up on the plan, to make sure she does have employment and to make sure she does have a place to live. I think that could be done in the very short period of time. So I’m still optimistic that it will be — I’m hoping the latest around Labor Day or shortly thereafter.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break, and then we’ll come back. We are speaking with Chesa Boudin who has just returned from a cross country trip, hearing his mother has been granted parole. Leonard Weinglass, Kathy Boudin’s attorney. Jeff Jones, final comment. We’re then going to go to excerpt, a longer excerpt of the film "Weather Underground."

JEFF JONES: Well, I’ve known Kathy since 1967 or 1968, when she was one of the great community organizers in S.D.S., and, in a sense, the townhouse segment is kind of unfortunate because it’s such a tragic thing, and it’s also so out of character for Kathy. And when she did finally find herself in prison these last 22 years, her tremendous skills at working with people, at helping people find direction, and make sense of their lives, is what created this great record of accomplishment that she had in prison. And I think that was a big part of what was recognized by the parole board. The other part of this, which hasn’t been mentioned in today’s program, is the wonderful and courageous people in Rockland County and in the Rockland community who stepped forward to support her after she had served her 20-year sentence and said they believed that she should be released as the judge had said. The possibility of bringing some reconciliation in that community is one of the unreported but wonderful things about this decision.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Jeff Jones, Chesa Boudin and Leonard Weinglass, thank you very much. You are listening to Democracy Now! When we come back a clip from our conversation about the film "Weather Underground." Stay with us.

AMY GOODMAN: You are listening to Democracy Now! That song is Bob Dylan’s song "Subterranean Home Sick Blues", and that’s where the term Weather Underground comes from. The Students for Democratic Society divided in two. This after the invasion of Laos, the killing of four Kent State University students by the National Guard, the relentless violence of the Vietnam war. These were the U.S. government’s actions 30 years ago. Many people felt peaceful protest was not stopping it. And so one group decided to meet violence with violence. They were called the Weather Underground. They broke off from S.D.S., they took responsibility for bombing two dozen public buildings including the Pentagon, eventually landing on the F.B.I.'s most wanted list. The new documentary "Weather Underground" tells the story of the militant anti-war group. It premiered in New York, and is premiering around the country now. Bob Dylan's song "Subterranean Homesick Blues" has the lyric "you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows", which is where they got their name. In this excerpt of our conversation about the film, Juan Gonzales was with me, co-host of Democracy Now!, and we talked to Mark Rudd, one of the founders of the Weather Underground, about how he got into it.

MARK RUDD: Normally when I tell the story I start around 1965 when I’m 18 years old and a freshman at Columbia. I often speak to college and even high school history classes. They want to know what it was all about. So I have — I tell my story it starts in 1965. To summarize, in 1965, was the major escalation of war. The beginning of the escalation of war. Before 1965 had been advisors, after 1965, U.S. ground troops. So, it had reached that stage in 1965, and had gone from about 25,000 troops in Vietnam to half a million by the end of 1967. That was the period of my college — beginning of college. I came to Columbia and immediately found students who were protesting, and that was the group I wanted to be with, because I was — they were relevant. They were dealing with the real problems of the world. That long period, which seemed to us to be long, of protests, and of petitioning against the war, and of opposing Columbia’s involvement in the war led eventually to confrontation, and eventually to a takeover at Columbia in 1968. That model of confrontation, which then drew in many more people, probably became our working model in our minds, that this was what was going to happen in this society as a whole. So, again to summarize, we developed a theory that, actually it had been developed by Che Guevara in Cuba, the Foco Theory, which is revolutionaries will begin arms struggle and the Compasinos of Latin America will join. And that was the model that we transposed into the United States. And that’s what we felt we were doing.

AMY GOODMAN: Juan, you were a part of that struggle in Columbia. You were in the S.D.S. before you helped to found the Young Lords. You knew Mark Rudd back then.

JUAN GONZALEZ: I knew Mark well.

MARK RUDD: This is a great reunion.

JUAN GONZALEZ: We actually haven’t seen each other in about 15 years. I think the last was 1988, maybe, around that time. It was folks like Mark and Dave Gilbert who’s prominent in the film who actually was —- we were in the same class. Mark was actually a year behind us. But -—

AMY GOODMAN: David Gilbert, now in prison for life.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And Dave, who I always thought was the most brilliant college student I met when I was in college. He was able to challenge the professors in political science on virtually any subject, and always seemed to best the professors in the class and would frustrate them tremendously. But it was Dave and Mark and the other people who were the leaders of S. D.S. who initially recruited me during the 1968 student strike, to join S.D.S. , And, of course, I left to go start to organize the Young Lords right around the time that they got into the Weathermen direction of S.D.S. after the 1969 convention. So, yes, we go a long way back.

MARK RUDD: I might add that Dave Gilbert amazed shots of clip Dave Gilbert in prison, is in the movie.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And he looks remarkably well for all the years now that he spent in prison, and remarkably composed, and as I understand has become a major leader at Attica and well respected among all the prisoners there.

AMY GOODMAN: Sam green, you interviewed him there?

SAM GREEN: Yeah. I was struck by the same thing. He’s a really intelligent, sweet guy and very sincere.

AMY GOODMAN: Well let’s go to the second clip that we want to bring you today. I’m not sure if Dave is in this but we’ll see. This is a clip from "The Weather Underground". It’s directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel.

MARK RUDD: Our country was murdering millions of people, actually the number is somewhere between three and five million people. This revelation was more than we could handle. We didn’t know what to do about it. It was too great a fact. Every second of my life from 1965 to 1975 I was always aware that our country was attacking Vietnam. I could be up in the mountains. I’d be thinking about the war in Vietnam. I could be taking an acid trip and I’d be thinking about the war in Vietnam.

BILL AYERS: My brother was drafted. My brother was in the service. So it wasn’t something that was abstract. It was something that was concrete and affected us personally and directly.


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