Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Carol R. Sternhell

WSA Charges Weathermen With Attacks on Workers

First Published: Harvard Crimson, September 30, 1969.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Spokesmen for the Worker-Student Alliance (WSA) wing of SDS yesterday attacked Mark Rudd and his followers as “agents of those who run this country.”

WSA went on to call the faction’s activities “an attempt by the Establishment to discredit SDS.”

The charge was made during an SDS press conference yesterday afternoon, called by national members of the WSA faction to make public a statement condemning recent Revolutionary Youth Movement (RPM) activities, particularly last Thursday’s attack on the Center for International Affairs.

RYM is the group that walked out of the SDS national convention last June. The Weathermen, criticized during the press conference, are Rudd’s militant followers in RYM, lately disavowed by less extremist members of the RYM faction.


The press statement, read by John Pennington ’68, national secretary of SDS, calls the CPLA attackers “thugs.” It charges that “they assaulted the workers at the Institute, not the bosses who profit from its efforts to exploit cheap labor abroad, and to suppress movements of oppressed people around the world.”

“SDS has nothing to do with these attacks on the people,” the statement continues. “They are the work of provocateurs and police agents and those they mislead. Their aim is to discredit and destroy the student movement, and to discourage people from fighting the ways the system hurts them.”

James T. Kilbreth 69, editor of the WSA-oriented New Left Notes, accused RYM of “having only contempt for the working people.”

Kilbreth also reported that three resolutions were passed at the SDS regional conference held Sunday at Harvard: pledging an alliance with campus workers; supporting an Oct. 4 march on the JFK Federal Building, and condemning “RYM provocations.”


“This clique of provocateurs from the ’Revolutionary’ Youth Movement walked out of SDS because their ideas had been thoroughly rejected.” the press statement says. “They maliciously attack campus workers. SDS is trying to ally with these workers.”

“We oppose war research. ROTC, and military recruiters because they are attacks on working people and serve only big business.” it continues. “SDS is an open, democratic organization that believes in fighting–and fighting hard to win real concessions. SDS is trying to fight on the side of working people, not against them like Rudd and his goons.”

About 100 WSA-SDS supporters endorsed the press statement dissociating themselves from RYM at a meeting last night-with one amendment. The sentence calling RYM actions “the work of provocateurs and police agents” was omitted, and in the phrase “their aim is to discredit and destroy the student movement” ’aim’ was changed to read ’effect’.

“Sure they’re willing to die.” Judith R. Kauffman ’70 said last night of the Weathermen, “but what are they going to create?”