The Weather Underground Review During the Vietnam War, a radical protest group rose up on the campus of the University of Michigan. Weathermen, as they became called in everyday vernacular, were actually nothing like weathermen at all – they protested, rioted, bombed, and broke people out of jail, to mention a few of their actions. The name was formally changed to Weather Underground Organization a year after the founding, and their acts of terror followed shortly after.
Earlier in the semester, a documentary about the Environmental Liberation Front was viewed. In this documentary, titled If a Tree Falls, a radical protest organization rises up to confront environmental issues. In this essay I will compare and contrast the two. The Weather underground Organization was formed in order to protest the United State Government’s intervention in Vietnam, although it expanded to an array of other issues as time passed. The Civil Rights Movement became another catalyst for protest, as the notion of “black power” was not something very appealing to the members.
Bill Areas, a prominent leader of the group, owned because he was upset with the war in Vietnam and wanted to do something about it. The group was nonviolent towards people and to this day says that they never killed an innocent person. Three of their members died when a bomb they were making exploded, but that was all. They bombed mostly government buildings and some banks, with notable attacks being done on the United States Capitol building, The Pentagon, and the New York Police Department.
These attacks were all done to send a message of fear to the people in power in an effort to make them change their ways. To justify the actions of the group, Bill Areas was quoted saying, “Large numbers of people are broken from the notion that the system is working for people, that the system is just or humane or peaceful. ” The United States government reaching peace with Vietnam toward the middle of the sass was the reason for the organization going out of style, as they had no Issue left to protest.
The Environmental Liberation Front was formed after a group of people became upset with how government policies were favorable for businesses looking to expand and remove forestry. Within the group, which only served o protest, there was a small cell that turned to arson in order to perpetuate their views. The leader, Daniel McGowan, organized various attacks on businesses and corporations that were cutting down trees. One of the better- known attacks was at a Colorado ski resort that resulted in hundreds Of thousands of dollars in destruction.
The group was also nonviolent toward people, having never claimed a life. The Environmental Liberation Front leaders that were purporting the violent attacks were captured and arrested by United States Federal officials and tried in court in the last couple of years. Both of these organizations have many things in common; beginning with them being categorized as terrorist organizations. The terrorist organizations were founded in response to a public issue that they felt was not receiving enough attention and quickly turned to violence to get their message sent to the people in power.
Both Bill Areas and Daniel McGowan were strong leaders with a substantial following of people, too. The attacks carried out by the organizations were also very meticulously planned out as to not kill any civilians, which would have seen the reaction from the government and police be much more significant. Their targets were similar then, in that regard, as it was entirely buildings that were bombed. The Weather Underground Organization’s reason for formation and action was due to the Vietnam War, which they strongly opposed.
The reason that the Environmental Liberation Front’s formation was entirely different; it was completely related to the destruction Of trees by businesses. Therefore, their targets differed in scope. The Weather underground Organization almost exclusively bombed government buildings, with some banks added in. To the contrary, The Environmental Liberation Front targeted businesses that cutting own forests for their personal benefit. The organizations both differed in how they faded out.
The end of the Vietnam War saw the Weather underground Organization lose it’s relevance while the arrests of leaders in the Environmental Liberation Front caused it to cease its violent attacks. The class defines a terrorist act as something that has political motives, involves violence or the threat of violence against noncombatants, intends to have far-reaching psychological repercussions, and is perpetrated by people who believe they are altruists. The Weather Underground Organization had al the makings of a terrorist organization based on this four-part definition.
The motives of the group were entirely political; it was created in response to the United States Government authorizing involvement in the Vietnam War and also grew in scope during the Civil Rights Movement. Without the political catalysts to get the organization started, it would not have been formed in the first place. Violence was found throughout the organization, as their attacks involved bombs on buildings, as well as freeing a person from prison. The threat of violence continued in the wake of attacks, as people ere constantly worried that their building was next.
Moreover, the victims were noncombatants, as they were simply working for the government. The psychological repercussions were intended to be far reaching -? to the executive branch of the United States Government. They intended to influence the government at all levels to change their ways. Finally, the perpetrators were acting as if they were altruists. Clearly they felt that the Vietnam War was wrong and that, by their actions, they were going to make things right. During the Vietnam War, a radical protest group rose up on the amass of the University of Michigan.