What is violence?
According to the WUO (Weather Underground Organization), by not acting against violence, you are taking the side of the oppressor. In fact, you are the oppressor.
The WUO has controversially claimed that they do not intend to inflict violence on any person, but rather on institutions. I believe this claim is held true after a tactical change which occurred in response to the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion. While the bomb that was intended to kill police officers at a ball backfired and ended up killing three of their own, they responded by writing their first Communique, stating “Within the next fourteen days we will attack a symbol or institution of Amerikan Injustice.”
In this regard you could argue that The Weather Underground is not a terrorist organization, that terrorist organizations are meant to send a message through terrorizing people, not destroying things. The WUO is not trying to bring fear into the hearts of Americans as much as show them what they are doing (or what they are doing by not doing anything). Ayers wrote in his book “Fugitive Days” that “Terrorists terrorize, they kill innocent civilians, while we organized and agitated. Terrorists destroy randomly, while our actions bore, we hoped, the precise stamp of a cut diamond. Terrorists intimidate, while we aimed only to educate. No, we’re not terrorists.”
Dan Berger also brings up terrorism in his book “Outlaws of America” in which he states that the group had “purposefully and successfully avoided injuring anyone… Its war against property by definition means that the WUO was not a terrorist organization.” However this is controversial even within the group, Mark Rudd has mixed feelings of sometimes guilt and shame, Brian Flanagan compares his past actions to terrorism, while Bill Ayers is completely unrelenting.
Calling The Weather Underground terrorists when the US has done so much worse is a ridiculous argument that is common place today. In one interview by Good Morning America, posted in the Ayers/Obama page, notes that we need to look at the Weather Underground in the context of its time– it was when the US was in the war with Vietnam and bombing Laos. In the interview this point wasn’t taken seriously but when you look at the definition of “terrorism” and see that it’s violence and intimidation you cannot say that the US did not and does not even today fall under that category. Using the word “terrorism” implies something new since 9/11, something more than violent; Terrorism implies striking fear into the people and killing mass amounts of people and The Weather Underground does not fit under those categories… the US well, that’s another argument.
Here is a discussion by Anthony and I about WUO and Terrorism.