Accuracy in Media

It’s been quite a turnaround for Bill Ayers. The Communist terrorist who planned bombings of police stations, in order to inflict maximum injury and death on police officers, is now depending on the police at the University of Illinois, where he is a “distinguished” professor, to protect him from the tough questions of students’ parents. In fact, one parent who presented Ayers with a Bible and a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was arrested last Thursday night and charged with the curious offense of somehow interfering with university affairs. A visibly-nervous Ayers accepted the books but quickly placed them down on a table.

Mark Thompson, the parent of the University of Illinois student, is scheduled to be in court on March 18, Wednesday, to face possible charges and be prosecuted for daring to confront Ayers.

Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, have been denounced as “murderous cowards” for planting anti-personnel time bombs that killed police when they and members of their Weather Underground Communist terrorist group had safely fled the scene. Now it appears that Ayers is even afraid to engage tough critics in verbal exchanges.

This wouldn’t be the first time. When Ayers gave a speech at St. Mary’s College in California on January 28, the question-and-answer period was cut short before Larry Grathwohl, a former FBI informant in the Weather Underground, was about to ask a question. Grathwwohl has charged that Ayers planned bombings intended to kill police and that Ayers confided in him that Dohrn had planted the bomb that killed San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell on February 16, 1970. This bomb contained fence staples and was placed on a window ledge during a shift change ensuring the presence of the greatest number of police officers and the greatest possibility of death and injury,” Grathwohl has said. 

Retired San Francisco Police Officer Jim Pera, one of the first on the scene, said that McDonnell took shrapnel, consisting of fence-post staples, through his eyes, throat and brain. He died two days later. 

According to Lt. Roy Acree of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Police Department, parent Mark Thompson was arrested on a charge of “interference with a public institution of higher education” because of his activity at the Ayers lecture. Ironically, the statute (720 ILCS 5/Art. 21.2 heading) was passed “in recognition of unlawful campus disorders across the nation,” which is precisely what Ayers and his comrades in the Students for a Democratic Society were doing on college campuses in the 1960s.

The law was designed to squelch activities “which are disruptive of the educational process, dangerous to the health and safety of persons, damaging to public and private property, and which divert the use of institutional facilities from the primary function of education…”

Acree said it was his understanding that the law is designed to prohibit somebody from interfering with the institution’s “day-to-day operations.” He acknowledged that the statute was originally meant to apply to disruptions of university board of trustee meetings, presumably by campus radicals.

According to the official calendar of the event, Ayers, identified as a school reform activist and Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was speaking as a “Unit One/Allen Hall Guest-in-Residence” during the nights of March 9-12, and all events were “open to the public.” This occurred on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

On the night of March 8, there was a screening of “The Weather Underground,” described as “the Oscar-nominated documentary about Bill Ayers and the rise and fall of this radical movement.”

The dates and titles of the programs were:

  • March 9: Yes We Can: Reflections on Campaign 2008
  • March 10: Fugitive Days [the title of Ayers book about his days in the terrorist Weather Underground]
  • March 11: Education for Democracy
  • March 12: The New Activism

Thompson, who attended every session with Ayers, believes that Ayers is a “political pedophile” who engages in the socialist brainwashing of America’s college students.

Ironically, Ayers was speaking on the subject of “activism.” Thompson counters: “If anything I was the perfect case study for a lecture on ‘the new activism,’ as the evening [March 12] lecture was titled.”

Decide for yourself: a YouTube video, recorded by one of Thompson’s friends, captures the event. While it shows Thompson engaging in what could arguably be said to be obnoxious behavior at certain points, during the question-and answer period following the Ayers lecture, there is no indication that he threatened Ayers or disrupted the event before campus police arrested him.

While local papers portrayed Thompson as an angry and confrontational man who resisted arrest, he replies, “I never once disrupted the speech. I made a point to let him spew his rhetoric, so I would have the ammunition to rebut him. I only interjected when Q and A time arrived.” 

“I confessed that I intended to be arrested,” Thompson says. “But the idea that I resisted arrest is crazy. View the video. If that is resisting or obstructing an officer, wow.  That part is absolutely false.” 

Thompson, whose daughter attends one of the University of Illinois campuses, has made it his mission to expose and challenge Ayers. “Only in America can an admitted Anarchist, terrorist bomber, Socialist and communist sympathizer become one of the nation’s foremost educational leaders in curriculum development, from pre-school to post graduate, to teaching teachers,” Thompson says. “Bill Ayers’ influence can’t be overstated, as the vice president of ‘curriculum development’ for the American Educational Research Association, the largest organization of its kind comprising over 25,000 professors and researchers.”

Acree told AIM that Thompson had said that he figured his actions would get him arrested, and that he apologized to the police officers who arrested him later. Still, what did Thompson do that broke the law?

“I wasn’t there,” Acree said, although he did watch the incident on YouTube. “I felt like at that time that Thompson was at the point of interrupting the speaker, who was an invited guest of the university, and was preventing the speaker from speaking.” 

But the video seems to show that the meeting was breaking up at that point.

Thompson, a Christian, wanted Ayers to have a copy of the Bible as an expression of concern for his well-being. He also wanted Ayers to take Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged and give it to his friend, President Barack Obama. He believes the book should also be used in educational classrooms. “That would be the most bang for your tax dollar buck, to educate in the matters of the free market American mindset as well as Socialism’s foundational flaws, as history has proven over and over,” he says.

He is also adamant that Ayers should be dismissed from the University of Illinois and that the state government should create a commission to investigate the subversion of our educational system by Ayers and his ilk.

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