Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiques of the Weather Underground 1970-1974
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Outraged by the Vietnam War and racism in America, a group of young American radicals announced their intention to "bring the war home." The Weather Underground waged a low-level war against the U.S. government through much of the 1970s, bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, and evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history.
Sing a Battle Song brings together the three complete and unedited publications produced by the Weathermen during their most active period underground, 1970 to 1974: The Weather Eye: Communiqués from the Weather Underground; Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism; and Sing a Battle Song: Poems by Women in the Weather Underground Organization.
Sing a Battle Song is introduced and annotated by three of the Weather Underground’s original organizers—Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Jeff Jones—all of whom are all still actively engaged in social justice movement work.
Idealistic, inspired, pissed-off, and often way-over-the-top, the writings of the Weather Underground epitomize the sexual, psychedelic, anti-war counterculture of the American 1960s and 1970s.
mistakes, of course, because we could never see fully or far enough, we could never know all things in all ways. We were limited as is everyone, our theories, like all others, flawed. Still, I knew in my heart that the greater crime would be to do nothing, or not enough, as our country attacked, occupied, bombed, and slaughtered—and enslaved our own citizens to do the carnage through the draft. Inaction was not an option. Stepping into history, we would make errors; staying aloof from history
her countrywomen rise from the ancient soil I shall not resign myself to the usual lot of women. The cochin women sat in high circles crouched in caves hidden in mangrove forests, taking careful aim. Her graceful hands with nails ripped out held the pen; she made a sign. The moon turned scarlet. Now the children can be born. 27 January 1973 WELCOME Red moon child your soft breathing long labored for. the struggle to create you harder more ordinary than lyrics or stories
any revolutionary working-class activity in this country because—and this was an adaptation of Lenin’s argument in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism —they believed that the white working class was a privileged class, had been bought off by the spoils of Empire, and was thoroughly racist and sexist. Weatherman claimed that only a minority of white people would join with the oppressed and fight for liberation. They tended to dismiss the history of militant class struggle in this country,
with press releases, “new images,” Madison Avenue doublethink. But as Custer discovered at the Little Big Horn, as the French found at Dien Bien Phu, and as Nixon is learning in the Laotian hills west of Khe Sanh, the arrogance of the white man can lead to his own destruction. The war that began ten years ago was to be a quick mop-up job to search and destroy the Vietcong. Instead it has become the longest war this country has fought since the wars to conquer the Indians. Faced with the whole
move it.” Police cars rushed to the address, which housed the Office of California Prisons. But before they got there, the bomb—three to five sticks of dynamite—had already destroyed a women’s bathroom on the sixth floor. “The explosion,” the L.A. Times reported, “turned the rest room into a mass of twisted pipe and splintered wood, blew gaping holes in the roof, knocked out an elevator door, cracked walls, ripped up the floor and severed electrical lines and water mains.” No one was hurt. A