Bill Ayers, a co-founder of the Weather Underground terrorist organization that was responsible for several bombings, including the U.S. Capitol in the 1970’s, is scheduled to lecture on “Democracy and Education: Teaching for Liberation,” at Elgin Community College (ECC) in Illinois on Thursday September 26. According to the ECC communication director, Ayers will receive a taxpayer funded stipend for his time.
Ayers has been accused by leaders of the San Francisco police officers union of participating in a 1970 police station bombing that killed Sergeant Brian McDonnell, after being hit by flying shrapnel, metal nails, and lead bullets planted in the bomb.
After 42 years, the crime has never been resolved. Investigators at the time said the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army were likely responsible for the bombing.
Eight other police officers were wounded in the attack, including Brian Fogarty, whose face and legs were severely injured and was partially blinded.
Despite his history as a radical and violent terrorist, the Elgin Community College Humanities Center that will host Ayers this Thursday describes him in their program as a “distinguished professor” and “scholar” with no mention of his bomb throwing days of terror, or that he was denied emeritus faculty status at University of Illinois Chicago, where he was a professor.
William Ayers, formerly Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise.
His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly and popular journals, and his books include Teaching Toward Freedom; A Kind and Just Parent; Fugitive Days; On the Side of the Child; Teaching the Personal and the Political… Teaching Toward Democracy; (with Bernardine Dohrn) Race Course….and the Handbook of Social Justice in Education.
Ayer’s scheduled appearance has drawn strong opposition from members of the community as well as ECC alumni, which has prompted the ECC President David Sam to defend its choice to invite him (Ayers).
Sam told the Daily Herald:
“We feel it’s important to allow these discussions on college campuses, where issues and topics can be discussed and analyzed in an educational setting… The Speaker Series offers our students opportunities to question speakers on their views and form their own opinions based on their knowledge of the issues. This does not mean the college endorses the viewpoints of the speakers.”
At Gateway Pundit, Katey O’Malley points out that “also missing from ECC’s “bio” [of Ayers] is any reference to the 1976 report prepared by the FBI on Weathermen activities which concluded that Ayers and friends were Marxists intent on violently undermining the United States while aiding the North Vietnamese,” for which he asks, “Will ECC invite Vietnam Veterans to speak to students so they can share their perspectives of what life was like for them because of people like Bill Ayers and his wife fomenting hate toward them?”
Community members are asking Illinois residents to consider attending Ayers speech and help provide ECC students with a “variety of viewpoints.”
He will speak from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Thursday in the Building G Spartan Auditorium at ECC’s Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL. The event is free and open to the public.
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