Who is Williams Ayers?

How a self-centered, spoiled rich kid was brainwashed at college and became a terrorist

William Ayers was born December 26, 1944.  Ayers grew up in Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.  He is the son of Thomas G. Ayers, former Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison.(1973 to 1980) Ayers earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in American Studies in 1968.

In 1965, Ayers got his first teaching job at the Children's Community School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a preschool operating in a church basement. The school had no grades or report cards, and the teachers had pupils address them by their first names. Within a few months, at age 21, Ayers became director of the school. In 1968, the school lost its funding because of performance shortcomings, such as the fact that few students learned to read.[1]

Ayers became involved in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and rose to national prominence as an SDS leader in 1968 and 1969. At its last national convention in June 1969, SDS members elected Bill Ayers one of its three national officers.  At the time of Ayers's election over 80,000 young people called themselves SDS members. Ayers worked with other youth movement leaders to take SDS in a more militant direction. Together, they formed a radical, violence-oriented organization, referring to themselves collectively as "Weatherman." Less than a year after his election, SDS had ceased to exist while Ayers himself had become a fugitive and a leader of the Weather Underground Organization (WUO).

Ayers proudly participated in the Days of Rage riot in Chicago in October 1969, in the fantasy that they were aiding their Communist allies in North Vietnam. Bystanders were assaulted, store windows shattered, cars bashed and the police attacked.  In December, he was at the "War Council" meeting in Flint, Michigan. Larry Grathwohl, an FBI informant in the Weatherman group from the fall of 1969 to the spring of 1970, stated that "Ayers, along with Bernardine Dohrn, probably had the most authority within the Weatherman".[2]

Later in 1969, Ayers participated in planting a bomb at a statue dedicated to riot police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket Riot confrontation between labor supporters and the police in Chicago.[3] The blast broke almost 100 windows and blew pieces of the statue onto the nearby Kennedy Expressway.

In March 1970, Divine justice intervened when three Weatherman, including Ayers's lover, Diana Oughton, and close friend and former roommate Terry Robbins, died when a bomb they were making, armed with roofing nails and packed with dynamite accidentally detonated. According to Mark Rudd, a former Weatherman, the plan was to set the bombs off that evening at a dance for noncommissioned officers at the Fort Dix, New Jersey Army base.[4]

Ayers participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, the United States Capitol building in 1971, and The Pentagon in 1972.

In an interview with ABC7 (San Francisco) with reporter Alan Wang in January 2009, Larry Grathwohl stated that Ayers wanted to overthrow the United States government. "The thing the most bone chilling thing Bill Ayers said to me was that after the revolution succeeded and the government was overthrown, they believed they would have to eliminate 25 million Americans who would not conform to the new order."[5]

Ayers responded that "Now that's being blown into dishonest narratives about hurting people, killing people, planning to kill people. That's just not true. We destroyed government property," said Ayers. However, when asked if he ever made bombs, Ayers replied: "I'm just not going to talk about it."[5]

Ayers was charged with conspiracy to destroy government buildings and inciting a riot, but because of illegal federal wiretaps, charges were dropped. Dohrn pleaded guilty to separate charges of aggravated battery and jumping bail; she was fined $1,500 and given three years' probation. Ayers reflected on his odyssey in a conversation with journalists Peter Collier and David Horowitz: “Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country,” he exulted.


1  Powers, Thomas. "Diana: the making of a terrorist". Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1971.
2  Grathwohl, Larry, and Frank, Reagan, Bringing Down America: An FBI Informant in with the Weathermen, Arlington House, 1977, page 110
3  Jacobs, Ron, The way the wind blew: a history of the Weather Underground, London & New York: Verso, 1997. ISBN 1-85984-167-8
4  Rudd, Mark. "The Kids are All Right".
5  http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/east_bay&id=6630368

Fugitive Days by Ayers 

In his book Fugitive Days, published in Sep 2001, Ayers offers a memoir focused on the decade from 1965 to 1975. Ayers book reveals a man who is incredibly self-indulgent and morally clueless. Ayers reminds his readers repeatedly that his book is a license to lie:  “This story is only one version of events... There is, too, a necessary incompleteness here, a covering over of facts and a blurring of details, which is in part an artifact of those fugitive days and those exquisite and terrible times . . . Is this, then, the truth? Not exactly. Although it feels entirely honest to me. (preface).

Ayers had to omit or change many facts throughout his book because they describe actions on his part that are illegal.

The book is sickening in its hypocrisy and the kind of arrogant fanaticism that demands everyone come into alignment with his Marxist ideas by any means no matter how violent and how destructive.  “Momentous or puny, we were into the matter deeply, conversing, meeting around the clock, drafting and redrafting, shouting down opponents as we shook our Little Red Books [of Mao] in the air... The big line debate in the hall that summer was over the role of the national liberation movements in the world struggle, or what Marxists called the National Question. We read Castro and Guevara, Lenin and Mao, Cabral and Nkruma, but on any point of ideology we turned most often to Ho Chi Minh... “ (page 138)

“Could we understand the aspirations of people ten thousand miles away? ...Of course we’re tiny, I thought, because white people are mostly brainwashed. We lucky few will wake them up. I could imagine the tall towers in downtown Chicago shaking.” (page 140)

 “The revolution was at hand, the question of power in the air, and along with the question of power, the question of armed struggle. We wondered how to develop an armed unit, a brigade or a legion or a division, how to build a force of clandestine militants with an advanced fighting capacity ... We set about to found an American Red Army. (page 141)

Concerning the bombing of the Pentagon in 1972, Ayers writes: “Although the bomb that rocked the Pentagon was itsy-bitsy - weighing close to two pounds - it caused 'tens of thousands of dollars' of damage. The operation cost under $500... (page 261)

Being a good Marxist, he deserves rewards for all his sacrifices and talks often of his Movement conquests: “We talked about girls we had been with ... and women we dreamed about being with...  Each had been unique in some way, and the future beckoned, warm and wet and welcoming.” (page 68)

Ayers talks about a ceremony in Washington, DC where 3 Vietnam vets were honored and then wonders when the nation will honor the 3 Weatherman who blew themselves up building pipe bombs for a dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. “How much longer for the three who died on Eleventh Street? How much longer for Diana? (Oughton - one of the bomb builders) When will she be remembered?” (page 277)

Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism  by Ayers and others 

In 1974 Ayers co-authored the book Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism with other members of the Weather Underground which they dedicated to close to 200 people. The list includes Sirhan Sirhan, convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.

Urban Education
What has Ayers done for education? He has continued to wreak havoc on America but instead of planting bombs he now brainwashes kids as well as teachers.

None of Ayers “urban education” is about better ways to learn to read, spell or do math. Ayers “reforms” are nothing but political brainwashing. Ayers is a Marxist - small c communist as he describes himself. Ayers blames America for pretty much everything and uses education to turn students into America hating Socialists. How does he do this? By encouraging students to read only books that support his world view. Ayers is one sided in his teaching methods and encourages others to be just as biased.