May 19th Communist Organization

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The May 19th Communist Organization (also variously referred to as the May 19 Coalition, May 19 Communist Coalition, and various alternatives of M19CO), was a US-based, self-described revolutionary organization formed by members of the Weather Underground Organization. The group was originally known as the New York chapter of the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee (PFOC), an organization devoted to legally promoting the causes of the Weather Underground. This was part of Prairie Fire Manifesto change in Weather Underground Organization strategy, which demanded both aboveground mass and clandestine organizations. The role of the clandestine organization would be to build the "consciousness of action" and prepare the way for the development of a people's militia. Concurrently, the role of the mass movement (i.e., above ground Prairie Fire Collective) would include support for, and encouragement of, armed action. Such an alliance would, according to Weather, "help create the 'sea' for the guerrillas to swim in." [1] The M19CO name was derived from the birthdays of Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X. The May 19 Communist Organization was active from 1978 to 1985. M19CO was a combination of the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground. It also included members of the Black Panthers and the Republic of New Africa (RNA).[2] [3]

Objectives[edit]

This alliance between the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army had three objectives:

  • Free political prisoners in US prisons
  • Appropriate capitalist wealth (armed robberies) to fund the third stage, and
  • Initiate a series of bombings and terrorist attacks [4]

Activities[edit]

From 1982 to 1985 M19CO committed a series of bombings, including bombings of the National War College, the Washington Navy Yard Computing Center, the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building, New York City's South African consulate, the Washington Navy Yard Officers' Club, New York City's Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, and the United States Capitol Building. Three officers were killed during the Brinks Robbery, but no one was injured or killed in their bombings.[5] Almost all the M19CO members were all convicted in a US Court of Law for these offenses, but Elizabeth Ann Duke remains at large.

  • Jan. 28, 1983, M19CO bombed the federal building on Staten Island, N.Y.
  • April 25, 1983, they were responsible for a bombing at the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
  • August 18, 1983 bombed Washington Navy Yard Computer Center
  • April 5, 1984 Bombed the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building
  • April 20, 1984 bombing at the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club
  • On November 3, 1984, two members of the M19CO, Susan Rosenberg and Timothy Blunk, were arrested at a mini-warehouse they had rented in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Police recovered more than 100 blasting caps, nearly 200 sticks of dynamite, more than 100 cartridges of gel explosive, and 24 bags of blasting agent from the warehouse.
  • September 26, 1984 bombed the South African consulate
  • The M19CO alliance’s last bombing was on February 23, 1985, at the Policemen’s Benevolent Association in New York City.

Arrests[edit]

By May 23, 1985 all members of the group had been arrested, with the exception of Elizabeth Duke, who remains a fugitive. At a 1986 trial, group members Laura Whitehorn, Timothy Blunk, Alan Berkman, Susan Rosenberg, Marilyn Buck and Linda Evans were tried and convicted of multiple counts of domestic terrorism in the Resistance Conspiracy case. The Black Liberation Army members; including Jeral Wayne Williams (aka Mutulu Shakur), Donald Weems (aka Kuwasi Balagoon), Samuel Smith, Nathaniel Burns (aka Sekou Odinga), Cecilio "Chui" Ferguson, Samuel Brown (aka Solomon Bouines) were also all eventually captured by 1986 and sentenced to long prison terms.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacobs, Ron (1997). The Way The Wind Blew: A History Of The Weather Underground. Verso. pp. 76–77. ISBN 1-85984-167-8. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ LEFT-WING EXTREMISM: The Current Threat Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Office of Safeguards and Security. Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education: Center for Human Reliability Studies ORISE 01-0439. 2001. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2009. 
  3. ^ National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Responses to Terrorism, DHS (March 1, 2008). "Terrorist Organization Profile: May 19 Communist Order". National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Responses to Terrorism. Retrieved December 27, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ LEFT-WING EXTREMISM: The Current Threat Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Office of Safeguards and Security. Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education: Center for Human Reliability Studies ORISE 01-0439. 2001. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2009. 
  5. ^ PHILIP SHENON (May 12, 1988). "U.S. Charges 7 In the Bombing At U.S. Capitol". New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2009. 
  6. ^ LEFT-WING EXTREMISM: The Current Threat Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Office of Safeguards and Security. Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education: Center for Human Reliability Studies ORISE 01-0439. 2001. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2009. 
  7. ^ LEFT-WING EXTREMISM: The Current Threat Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Office of Safeguards and Security. Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education: Center for Human Reliability Studies ORISE 01-0439. 2001. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2009.