Bill Ayers: Weather Underground Bombings Nothing Like Boston Attack

Image: Bill Ayers: Weather Underground Bombings Nothing Like Boston Attack Weather Underground members Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn with lawyer Michael Kennedy outside Federal Court in New York, May 18, 1982.

Monday, 06 May 2013 05:57 PM

By Greg Richter

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Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers says the bombings of government buildings by his 1960s radical group cannot be compared to the Boston Marathon bombings.

Speaking at the annual commemoration of the Kent State shootings over the weekend, Ohio.com reports that Ayers said the the two have no more in common than a shooting at a firing range has to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left more than two dozen children and staff members dead.

"Just because they use the same thing, there’s no relationship at all," Ayers said.

Ayers co-founded the Weather Underground to protest the Vietnam War. The group bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon, among other targets in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Ayers later became a professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

After giving the keynote address at Kent State, Ayers was asked by a reporter to compare his Weather Underground actions with the Boston Bombings.

"There's no equivalence," he said. "Property damage. That’s what we did."

Ayers mentioned in his speech that he lost three friends, including his lover, in the Weather Underground, but didn't say that they had died when a bomb they were building blew up. Asked afterward why he didn't, he told a reporter that to have done so would have been "inappropriate."

The bombs were to have been set off at a dance at Fort Dix Army base, authorities have said.

"No one knows for sure, but I think they were," Ayers said. "And had they carried it out it would have been a catastrophe. But they didn’t, and it didn’t happen. But what did happen is, on that same day John McCain murdered civilians. Do we have any responsibility for that? Should there be any reconciliation for that? Should he tell the truth about it?"

McCain, now a Republican U.S. senator from Arizona, was a Navy pilot in Vietnam. He was captured by the North Vietnamese and held as prisoner of war between 1967 and 1973.



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