Filed under SDS & Weather

Still angry after 38 years: a pissed-off SDS member gets in his licks

by Tom Cleaver

The following is an unsolicited e-mail received Sept. 30, 2006, from Tom Cleaver in L.A. He graciously allowed me to post it here.


My old friend Jeff Segal sent me the URL for your site and I’ve just been reading it.

You likely don’t remember me, but during the seven years you were underground, I’d have turned you in to the FBI in a heartbeat for your crimes against the movement. I used to be in sds, but left it in 1968 over the bullshit put forward by you and the would-be revolutionary army, and the PL morons. I well remember you and Dohrn coming down to Austin in December 1968 to speak at a conference I had spent the previous four months organizing, getting 180 lawyers in Texas to come together around defending radicals. 30 minutes of baloney from you and Dohrn, and the argument with the drooler who was “Chairman Mao” of the UT sds PLfreaks over the proper use of “communist rhetoric” had all but 5 of those people out of there for good. Having only missed going to Huntsville for 20 years that previous summer for the crime of being “found” with a roach under the driver’s seat of our car up in Killeen the week of the Democratic Convention (we were running The Oleo Strut GI coffeehouse), I was pretty seriously pissed off at you idiots for making life more dangerous for all of us while you went back to playing Che Guevara in Chicago. Top that with 7 years of harassment from the FBI for the crime of having known you, I’d have shot you myself had I run across you.

That, however, was 36 years ago, a long time to hold hatred in one’s heart. I read your op-ed in the local fishwrap here in El Lay last November and was pretty seriously surprised to see you take responsibility for all those failings. Jeff told me you’d been saying that for a good long while by then.

So you’re officially forgiven now.

Tom Cleaver