May 19 is the birthday of Vietnamese Communist Ho Chi Minh and black nationalist Malcolm X. The date supplied a name for the May 19 Communist Organization, a domestic terrorist group that has not received the attention it deserves, and whose legacy of deadly violence endures to this day.
As William Rosenau notes in Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol: The Explosive Story of M19, America’s First Female Terrorist Group, most M19 members were self-described lesbians. During the 1970s, radical feminists complained that “testosterone poisoning” had saturated American life and one lesbian collective aimed to “stomp out the Y chromosome” and eliminate “male mutants.”
The radical women built “penis-free enclaves” such as the Gutter Dykes in San Francisco, the Furies in Washington DC, and the Collective Lesbian International Terrors (CLIT) in New York. Lesbian liberation required national liberation, so revolutionary politics came first. As Rosenau explains, “Sexual oppression, capitalism, racism, imperialism – all that horror went together.” Judith Alice Clark, born on November 23, 1949, was a natural for the cause.
Her Communist father, Joe Clark, moved to Moscow and served as a Daily Worker correspondent. Red diaper baby Judith joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Weather Underground and WITCH, the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell.
Laura Jane Whitehorn, born April, 16, 1945, contended that “my lesbianism makes me a better anti-imperialist.” She considered herself a communist and revolutionary and joined both SDS and the Weather Underground, a group at war with “Amerika.”
Susan Lisa Rosenberg, born October 15, 1955, dropped out of Bernard College and in 1976 went to Cuba with the “Venceremos Brigade,” a leftist squad worshipful of Cuba’s white Stalinist dictator Fidel Castro. For all their dedication, the brigade did not remain in Cuba.
Back stateside, Rosenberg joined the Lincoln Detox Center, an acupuncture collective run by Mutulo “Doc” Shakur, aka Jeral Wayne Williams, who also headed the Black Acapuncture Advisory Association of North America (BAAANA.) Doc Shakur was involved in RNA, the Republic of New Africa in the south. This was a cover of Communist Party USA doctrine to establish a “Black Belt,” a separate nation for blacks in the south. Rosenberg was also close to the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, the Panthers’ Puerto Rican counterpart.
M19’s Donna Joan Borup was reportedly a speed reader with an IQ of 164. University of Wisconsin student Silvia Baraldini, born December 12, 1947, joined SDS and a Weather Underground front called Prairie Fire, close to the FALN, the Puerto Rican national liberation front. According to Rosenau, it was Susan Rosenberg who rebranded the Prairie Fire Organizing Community as the May 19 Communist Organization.
Silvia was tight with Vicki “Tip” Tipograph, born October 12, 1950. The criminal defense lawyer defended the Black Liberation Army (BLA), like the Black Panthers basically a violent gang posing as persecuted political activists. Silvia and Rosenberg worked as paralegals in Vicki’s law office, operated as another “collective.”
Marilyn Jean Buck, born in Austin, Texas, on December 13, 1947, enrolled at UC Berkeley and won a seat on the SDS national committee. Marilyn hired on with Newsreel, a leftist film outfit that produced a documentary of the Black Panthers in 1968. She also worked with the BLA, whose primary target was the police.
As Rosenau explains, Buck was the BLA’s “quartermaster,” buying guns under fake IDs. The BLA deployed the weapons in bank robberies and the murder of “at least” 15 police officers.
The M19 women served as the “white edge” for the black radicals, who privately called them “the crackers” but valued their services casing businesses and marking police officers for assassination.
“The women watched them at cop friendly bars and restaurants,” Rosenau notes. “M19 was now part of a cop-killing conspiracy.” A key player on that front was Joanne Chesimard, who called herself Assata Shakur and moved from the Black Panthers to the Black Liberation Army.
Chesimard was involved in the murder of New Jersey state patrolman Werner Foerster, “shot dead point blank” in Rosenau’s account. In 1977 Chesimard drew a life sentence and the left cast her as a political prisoner and victim of racism. In 1979, the M19 helped break Chesimard out of prison and she fled to Cuba. By this time, as Rosenau notes, the “white edge” had new some new faces.
Kathy Boudin was daughter of Leonard Boudin, the leftist lawyer who represented Cuba’s Communist dictatorship. Kathy and fellow Weather Underground member David Gilbert collaborated in the 1981 Brinks heist in Nyack, New York, that claimed the life of security guard Peter Paige and two police officers, including the African American Waverly Brown.
“A masked man stood over him and shot him dead with a 9mm pistol,” Rosenau recalls, and officer Edmund O’Grady died of gunshots from an M16.
In 1983, M19 bombed the U.S. Capitol and had marked out other strategic targets: the Naval Academy officers’ club, Fort Meade, the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Old Executive Office Building and others. According to Rosenau, M19’s arsenal of explosives was equal in power to the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut. In 1985, Rosenberg and Alan Berkman, a physician, were found guilty on weapons and explosives charges.
“It’s not a crime to build a revolutionary resistance against the single greatest enemy of the people in the world,” Rosenberg told judge Frederick B. Lacy. The pair got 58 years but wouldn’t do the time. Berkman suffered from cancer, served eight years, and gained released in 1992. On his last day in office, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of Susan Rosenberg and Linda Sue Evans, born in 1947 and an “armorer” for M19.
Judith Alice Clark, imprisoned in New York for the Brinks robbery, was the subject of lobbying by celebrities such as Glenn Close and Steve Buscemi. Gov Andrew Cuomo commuted Clark’s sentence in 2016 and she gained release in 2019.
Speed reader Donna Borup failed to appear in court and after 37 years remains at large but not alone. M19’s Elizabeth Ann Duke, born in 1940 and older than Joe Biden, is still on the run.
As Rosenau recalls, nobody went to prison for the Weather Underground bombings, and prior to the Brinks heist the FBI knew nothing of M19. Overall, M19 came out pretty well, and so did Joanne Chesimard. How she escaped to Cuba is still unknown, and she boasts key allies.
Angela Davis, Lenin Peace Prize winner and Communist Party candidate for vice president in 1980 and 1984, supported her return from the island. Rapper Common celebrated Chesimard in “Song for Assata,” casting the BLA murderer as a “symbol of repression of African Americans.”
In 2011 President Obama invited Common to the White House. On a 2014 trip to Cuba, Obama reportedly raised the issue of the Chesimard. If so, nothing came of it.
Once the “soul” of the Black Liberation Army, Assata Shakur is now the hero of Black Lives Matter, whose Global Network Foundation praises the criminal fugitive. The fiscal sponsor of the BLM Global Network is Thousand Currents. By some accounts, M19’s Susan Rosenberg has served as vice-chair. On the far left, what goes around comes around.
Kathy Boudin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Brinks robbery and was sentenced to 20 years to life. She was granted parole in 2003 and became an assistant professor at Columbia University. In 2021, hours before leaving office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to David Gilbert, veteran of the Weather Underground and Brinks robbery.
Kathy and David named their son Chesa, after Joanne Chesimard. Weather Underground stalwarts Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn duly adopted the child. In 2019, Chesa Boudin was elected district attorney in San Francisco. His pro-crime policies led voters to recall him in 2022.
Rosenau attributes Weather Underground and M19 terrorism to Realitätsverlust, the loss of a sense of reality. Another explanation emerges in the author’s epigraph from Spanish painter
Francisco Goya: “the sleep of reason creates monsters.” With M19 it certainly did.
The M19 members were all intelligent, but as Saul Bellow said, a great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. With M19, the need for illusion was truly fathomless. French historian Hippolyte Taine was on to another dynamic.
In narrow, empty minds, general ideas can make a person literally possessed. For M19, the primary general idea is that the United States of America is nothing more than a bastion of racist oppression. For M19, as for the Communist Party, black Americans are a separate nation, at war with racist America.
Common criminals, bank robbers, murderers of police officers and fugitives from justice are really noble liberators persecuted by the authorities. Cuba’s all-white Stalinist dictatorship, holding hundreds of black political prisoners, is a model of freedom and social justice. These are the general ideas in the minds of M19, and George Orwell revealed another in Animal Farm.
The victorious animals decided that non-domesticated creatures such as rats are comrades in the revolutionary struggle. In similar style, the American left has relied on criminals to do the heavy lifting of deadly violence. This relationship was best dramatized in the 1976 film Network.
The “Ecumenical Liberation Army,” headed by the Great Ahmed Kahn, is really a gang of “wanted criminals,” as television producer Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) explains. Her contact for the group is Communist Party activist Laureen Hobbs, wonderfully played by Marlene Warfield. As cameraman Bill Herron (Darryl Hickman) says, “there’s a hell of a lot of liberation armies in the revolutionary underground.”
At the time of the film, one of them was the Black Liberation Army, for whom M19 and Weather Underground radicals served as the “white edge” of a cop-killing conspiracy.
Black Lives Matter is basically a revival of Black Liberation Army, with an important advantage for BLM. A powerful “white edge” in the high echelons of government trashes America, demonizes critics as racists, ignores or excuses BLM violence, and pushes for defunding the police.
“What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.” That was the chant of activists bearing Black Lives Matter signs in 2014. In the summer of 2020, BLM was heavily involved in the riots – billed as “peaceful protest” – that claimed more than 30 lives, including police officers such as David Dorn, whose execution was live-streamed.
Joanne Chesimard surely loved it, and M19 veterans doubtless approved. In the summer of 2024, as a crucial election approaches, the nation could see much more of the same.
Algorithmic Analyst says
Thanks Lloyd! They saturated the SF Bay Area with leftist propaganda that misled many young people.
Dana F Harbaugh says
Billingsley wrote: “…. Collective Lesbian International Terrors (CLIT)”
Thank you, I’ve always wondered what clit meant. Obviously, they’ll need to be licked.
Dana F Harbaugh says
A quick question: This article is packed with various connections in the world of Marxist soldiers, almost too densely packed.
FPM used to provide a link to “Discover the Networks”, and had a really cool graphic, (hoping to describe it correctly) that looked like a morphing spider web of click-able connections between the myriad Leftist nodes. Is that graphic still available?
Charles Vance says
Dana F Harbaugh says
Forgive me, I must have been too vague on my question. When DTN first showed up on the Internet, there was a really cool spider-web-like screen that had the names of all the various Leftwing groups, people, etc., where bicycle-spokes shot off in different directions and gave the viewer a real sense of perspective via all the nodes and connections. Not just a list. Anyone remember that tool?
SPURWING PLOVER says
The belong in Prison doing life without Parole instead of teaching their leftists lies to the collage crowd
Mo de Profit says
“ Kathy Boudin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Brinks robbery and was sentenced to 20 years to life. She was granted parole in 2003 and became an assistant professor at Columbia University.”
Kinda sums up how the establishment looks after its own.
Well, if the FBI’s efforts were less directed at influencing elections and pursing people peacefully protesting abortion maybe they’d have found people like Borup and Duke by now.
Andrew Blackadder says
How strange it seems that black and brown skinned people are al trying very hard to get into Free Market countries built, populated, and controlled by white skinned people and yet these same black and brown people call white people racist so explain to me why they want to get into mainly white populated countries other than they want free stuff and to call us racists while reading, studying and practicing the words of a European Man.
If a Lesbian Group wants to stay away from me Im fine with that as they will eventually commit their own downfall and demise as they cant create Sperm..
But that may be too forward looking and thinking for such ”females” as those.
Communism is against human nature.