The Wrong Kind of 'Change'

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Despite endless months of campaigning, Sen. Barack Obama has avoided explaining his relationships with several groups, many stemming from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), that surround his friend, unconvicted terrorist and distinguished professor Bill Ayers.

While much is written about Obama's 1995 political career launch from Ayers' home, shared with his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, too little is being said about their effect on the presidential candidate.

Ayers and Dohrn were leaders of the self-proclaimed "revolutionary communists," who strategically bombed across America in the 1960s and 1970s. Their targets included the U.S. Capitol, police headquarters and stations, office buildings and the Pentagon. Both were fugitives and both have expressed only sparse regrets.

Obama should answer questions as to who else from Chicago's revolutionary groups participated in the launch of his political career. Was former SDS president Carl Davidson, now heading Progressives for Obama and a major figure in Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), there?

CCDS, founded by a splinter group from the Communist Party infuriated by the defeat of the "evil empire," remains hostile to America.

While CCDS is a small organization, it influences dozens of labor unions, city governments, academics and nongovernmental organizations. Some of its key activists are Heather Booth, Leslie Cagan, Angela Davis, Marilyn Katz, Merle Ratner, Mark Solomon and Manning Marable.

*3dDateline D.C. is written by a Washington-based British journalist and political observer.

CCDS includes some of those with leading positions in the Black Radical Congress, the Institute for Policy Studies, United for Peace and Justice and, of course, Progressives for Obama.

And, naturally, CCDS has close ties to Cuba, the Venezuelans and other communist parties including in the United States.

Today, many of them claim that SDS was a "peaceful organization." Take Marilyn Katz, who oversaw SDS security during the 1968 Chicago riots.

During the "Chicago Seven" trials, a police officer testified that on one chaotic night in Lincoln Park, Ms. Katz briefed a group of protesters on a new addition to their arsenal of anarchy -- guerrilla nails.

"She had two types," the officer recounted. "One was a cluster of nails that were sharpened at both ends and fastened in the center. It looked like they were welded or soldered. She said these were good for throwing or putting underneath tires. She showed another set that was the same type of nails, sharpened, but they were put through a Styrofoam cylinder. There was a weight put through the middle, another nail, held together with something that looked like liquid solder. …