Spreading the Jam

On Tuesday February 14, the 2nd installment of this semester’s `Culture Jam Film Festival’ was held.

According to Isaac Grimm, the festival’s supervisor, the goal of Culture Jam, which takes place every Tuesday at 8:00pm in the CC Theatre, is to inform students and the public about, “important social and political issues.”

This week’s film, The Weather Underground, focused on the title organization’s battle with the government.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s an organization known as Students for a Democratic Society rallied and peacefully protested against the war in Vietnam and over the growing polarization in the United States concerning civil rights.

At the same time that SFDS was staging sit-ins, the Black Panther Party was taking a more active stance against the “Establishment” formed as a malignant offshoot of SFDS, The Weathermen’s goal was to ultimately ally themselves with the Panthers and bring the revolution to the streets.

Though the group was unsuccessful in forming an official Black Panther liaison, they were succesful in bombing various government establishments all across the country. Eventually they were put on the FBI’s most wanted list, and forced underground.

From 1970 well into the 1980s, The Weather Underground conducted a small-scale war against the United States government. They were successful in bombing the US Capitol building (3/1/71 to protest the US invasion of Laos), the Pentagon (5/19/72 in response to a US bombing raid on Hanoi). They were later hired by The Brotherhood of Eternal Love to break Dr. Timothy Leary out of jail and transport him to Algeria.

The group lacked proper organizational skills. While underground, they often ingested psychedelic drugs and held free love, group sex orgies. Like many Hippie idealists, the Weather Underground failed to succeeded in accomplishing anything significant.

Nixon resigned his presidency, and Vietnam ended. The discriminatory climate of the country settled, and with the coming of the 1980’s and the Ronald Reagan economy began to climb.

None of these events could be attributed to the radicalism of the Underground.

After years of leading clandestine lives, the members of the Underground decided the time was right to face the light of day and turn themselves in to the proper authorities.

It was with their confession that the Weather Underground stuck the proverbial thorn into the side of `The Man.’ In the midst of their crusade the W.U. had raided an FBI office and obtained documents that proved illegal maneuvering on the part of the Bureau concerning the apprehension of the group.

Using this evidence in court, many members of the Weather Underground were able to avoid imprisonment, and in some cases charges against them were dropped completely.

Isaac assured me that Culture Jam, “Does not promote violence,” but he hopes that these films will encourage students to stand up for their rights and, “make a difference,” on local and national issues.

This week in the Culture Jam series is, OutFoxed a film about Rupert Murdoch and the supposed bias of his so called “fair and balanced” Fox News Network.