Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why Weatherman Faction Excluded Big Media Reporters From 1969 SDS National Convention

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the June 1969 Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] National Convention in Chicago, the newspapers of the Big Media Monopoly conglomerates seem to be characterizing some of the anti-war/anti-imperialist activists who were members of the Weather Underground during the 1970s in a morally unflattering way. One reason might be that New Left members of the Weatherman faction of SDS apparently excluded Big Media reporters from the June 1969 SDS National Convention and issued the following June 1969 press release to explain why:

“Representatives of the capitalistic media have been excluded from the 1969 SDS National Convention for the following reasons:

“1. Mass media in the U.S. serve the interests of those who own it and their allies—SDS’s goal is to build a society with no ruling class in which the interests of the people are served. Those who work for the mass media ultimately serve the interests of their bosses despite their best intentions.

“2. The mass media fool the people—create false consciousness—in many ways: distortions, half-truths, commercialization, sensationalism and the placing of ideas, words, and events out of context. As long as people have a false sense of reality, they will not move in a revolutionary way.

“3. Repressive governmental agencies use journalists in their attempt to destroy our movement. Police photographers and investigators pose as professional newsmen, and FBI agents pressure journalists to give them information. Recently a New York Times reporter, authorized by his paper, gave testimony to the House Internal Security Committee—successor to HUAC. As long as the media continues to serve the ruling class and not the people—those who work for that media will be forced to act against the people’s movement.

“4. Our revolutionary movement has developed its own media. Unlike the capitalist media—where those who own it make their money from the labor of the working press—the movement media operate in the interest of the people and serve to fill the need to analyze the true nature of the capitalist society. The workers of the movement media are active participants in the revolutionary movement, not observers. Only active participants in struggle can portray that struggle with the necessary clarity, honesty, and creativity.”

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