Tea Party groups all over New Jersey are sending notices to their e-mail lists, urging their followers to rally outside a lecture hall where prominent progressive activist William Ayers is scheduled to speak at Montclair State University in two days.
Ayers, best remembered as the husband of convicted Weather Underground saboteuse Bernardine Dohrn, will speak on Thursday, March 24, from 8:15 to 10:15 p.m. (barring a schedule change), in Room 1030, University Hall, at Montclair State. The title of his lecture will be “Education and the New Activism.” After that, he will be available to sell and autograph copies of his latest book (the title was not made available in the announcement).
The sponsor of the event was the item that this Examiner’s sources found most alarming: Students for a Democratic Society, the very organization to which Ayers originally belonged. Ayers and Dohrn were two of the more militant activists who formed the violent offshoot of the SDS known as “The Weathermen” (from a song lyric that ran, “You don’t need a weatherman to tell you how the wind blows”). The Weathermen went underground eventually. Dohrn was arrested after several years on the lam, and convicted for her part in an armored-truck robbery.
The spectacle of Dohrn and Ayers being such close associates of a sitting President of the United States has been a prime motive for criticism of President Barack H. Obama, who apparently takes the Ayerses into his confidence. Mark Kalinowski of the North New Jersey Tea Party Group sent this message as a reminder:
As a reminder, Ayers calls himself a “small ‘c’ communist,” and chortles that “maybe I am the last communist willing to admit it.” Ayers remains defiantly unrepentant for his terrorist activity (“I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”), such as bombing the New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, the U.S. Capitol building in 1971, and the U.S. Pentagon in 1972. Obama launched his first campaign for the Illinois Senate in Bill Ayers’ living room.
The Northern New Jersey Tea Party (Bergen County), Morris Patriots, Americans for Liberty, and the Essex County Tea Party Coalition are among those who have sent out e-mails urging Tea Party activists to attend. (The Bayshore Tea Party and Jersey Shore Tea Party Patriots are also participating as co-hosts.) According to Kalinowski, the activists should have a perfect right to hold a rally on the campus, because Montclair State University is a public college, supported by public money, and is not, therefore, “private property” in the usual sense of the word.
Nevertheless, Kalinowski and others emphasized that they want no violence, and no attempt to enter the room itself or to interrupt Ayers or anyone else. Kalinowski urged his followers to bring a “pro-liberty” sign, a camera, a recording device, and any literature that they might wish to hand out.
Whether the Tea Party people will be able to enter remains an open question. Parking, as the organizers note, is limited, and campus security guards all gates.
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