Who is the David Gilbert

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					Who is the David Gilbert?                                                                       Exactly what Gilbert did in the Weather
                                                                                             Underground between 1970 and the
  David Gilbert was a founding member of                                                     group’s demise around 1975 is not entirely
Columbia University Students for a                                                           clear. Although not on the group’s coordi-
Democratic Society and a member of the                                                       nating committee (the Weather Bureau), he
Weather Underground Organization. After                                                      did act as a regional leader, spending at
eleven years spent underground, he was                                                       least some of these years in Colorado.
arrested with members of the Black                                                           The Weather Underground committed sev-
Liberation Army and other radicals follow-                                                   eral bombings and actions in this period
ing an armored car robbery in 1981. He is                                                    against government and business targets.
currently serving 75 years-to-life.                                                            As support for the group began to wane
  David Gilbert grew up in a Jewish family                                                   on the Left, the pace of actions lessened,
in Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of                                                     and some members reemerged. Most were
Boston. Inspired in his teens by the                                                         not prosecuted or did not serve time in
Greensboro sit-ins and other events of the   in February 1965, experiences he                prison because of serious police miscon-
American Civil Rights Movement, he joined    describes as formative. Known by the late       duct and illegal tactis.
the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) at    ‘60s primarily as a young theorist, publish-       Gilbert did not emerge, however; he and
age seventeen. He entered Columbia           ing articles in New Left Notes and other        his partner Kathy Boudin remained active
University in 1962. In his junior year he    movement publications, he went on to play       even following the birth of their son Chesa
helped found the Independent Committee       an organizing role in the April-May 1968        Boudin in August 1980.
Against the War in Vietnam (ICV) and later   Columbia student strike.                           In the early 1980s some of the former
the school’s chapter of Students for a         As Columbia SDS grew during the spring        members of the Weather Underground
Democratic Society. He traveled regularly    1967 term, Gilbert tended to return to the      joined up with members of the Black
to Harlem while working as a tutor, and      Columbia campus only to offer a ‘radical        Liberation Army. Together they formed a
saw Malcolm X speak at Barnard College       education’ counter-course for Columbia          new organization called the Revolutionary
                                             SDS freshmen and sophomores in a                Armed Task Force (RATF).
                                             lounge in Ferris Booth Hall. Most of his           On October 21, 1981, the group partici-
                                             activism was centered in downtown at the        pated in an expropriation of funds from a
                                             New School for Social Research or at the        Brinks armored car at the Nanuet Mall,
                                             New York SDS Regional Office.                   near Nyack, New York. During the incident,
                                               In 1969 SDS split into different ideologi-    a shootout broke out resulting in the death
                                             cal factions. Weatherman emerged, its pur-      of one guard, minutes later two police offi-
                                             pose being to build up armed struggle           cers were also killed in a shootout at a
                                             amidst young white Americans in support of      roadblock. Also killed in a subsequent
                                             the Black Panthers and other militant           shootout days later was a BLA soldier by
                                             groups, and also oppose the war in              the name of Myatari Sundiata.
                                             Vietnam with actions that would ‘bring the
                                             War home.’ Gilbert joined this group in
                                             1969 with his friend Ted Gold, who in early
                                             1970 would die in the infamous New York
                                             City townhouse explosion that killed three
                                             Weather members. The group’s partici-
                                             pants went into hiding at this point, and the
                                             organizations was renamed the Weather
   Kathy Boudin, Judith Clark, Samuel
Brown and David Gilbert were captured as
they fled from the scene. Several days
later, Sekou Odinga was arrested and tor-
                                                    Free David Gilbert
                                                                                      David Gilbert
tured after a high-speed chase and
shootout with police. During the altercation,
BLA soldier, Myatari Sundiata was killed.
   Marilyn Buck, Kuwasi Balagoon and sev-            Write to the David Gilbert at:
eral others were also arrested in connec-
tion with the incident.
   In the fall of 1983, David Gilbert was sen-            David Gilbert
tenced, along with Kuwasi Balagoon and                       83A6158
Judith Clark, to 75 years-to-life for three                 CCF MAIN
counts of felony manslaughter. Their                      P.O Box 2001
extremely long sentence for participating in
this action may be due to their decision not
                                                       Dannemora, NY 12929
to participate in their trial and not recogniz-
ing the authority of the state to try them.           Local groups working with
   Gilbert continued his activism despite                   David Gilbert:
being in prison. He co-founded an inmate
peer education program on HIV and AIDS
in the Auburn Correctional facility in 1987,
                                                  JERICHO AMNESTY COALITION
and a similar more successful project in                  PO Box 34186
Great Meadows prison in Comstock follow-              Los Angeles, CA 90034
ing his transfer there. His work in HIV and
AIDS education was prompted by the death          Anarchist Black Cross Federation
of his comrade Kuwasi Balagoon to AIDS
in 1986.
   He has published book reviews and                        PO Box 11223
essays in a number of small/independent                  Whittier, CA 90603
newspapers and journals, which were col-                 email: la@abcf.net
lected in the anthology No Surrender:                                                 Former Member of the
Writings from an Anti-Imperialist Political
Prisoner (Abraham Guillen Press) in 2004.                                             Weather Underground
He has also published longer single pieces
on the topic of misleading AIDS conspiracy                                                Sentenced to
theories and white working class political
consciousness. The 2003 documentary                                                      75 Years-to-Life
The Weather Underground featured inter-           YOU CAN HELP BY GIVING POLITICAL
view segments with Gilbert, illuminating his      PRISONERS A VOICE AND VISIBILITY
profile beyond those in the small political
prisoner support network who have been              THE TRUTH CAN SET THEM FREE!
following his case.

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