March 26, 1947 |
|Occupation||Photographer and activist|
|Known for||Former member of the Weather Underground Organization|
Scott Braley (born March 26, 1947) was a leftist activist and a regional organizer for the Michigan State University's chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society, better known as SDS. Braley became a member of Weatherman (later known as Weather Underground Organization) in 1969 and remained so until the group disbanded in 1977. Braley was one of the original members of the Revolutionary Youth Movement, a group devoted to anti-racism and Third World struggles which later evolved into Weatherman.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspiration for Scott Braley, and the reason for Braley's desire to see an escalation in the struggle for equal rights. “It seemed like a pretty clear choice,” Braley was quoted as saying, “To be on the immoral and historically losing side of white supremacy, or to join a vibrant struggle for liberation around the world.” It was because of MLK that Braley dropped out of school in 1967 and started organizing SDS chapters in his area full time.
Flint War Council
Braley attended the December 1969 SDS National Meeting, held in Flint, Michigan and later called the Flint War Council. It was during this meeting that members of Weatherman officially decided to move underground. Attendees at the War Council discussed issues such as women’s liberation, youth culture, and the imperialism that existed in the events of the Vietnam War. SDS demonstrated these issues and opinions through satirical Christmas carols and spinoffs of popular songs, such as changing the lyrics to the Supremes’ “Stop! In the Name of Love” to “Stop This Imperialist Plunder.” Government documents note that the room in which the SDS National War Council was held was rented under Braley's name.
Government surveillance and violence against civil rights leaders served to strengthen Scott Braley's political resolve. Fred Hampton was an activist and the leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panthers. Considered by Weather members to be a comrade in the struggle for black rights, Hampton criticized Weatherman actions, especially those used in the Days of Rage, calling the group opportunistic and chauvinistic. Two months after the Days of Rage in 1969, Hampton was found murdered in his apartment, along with fellow Black Panther Mark Clark. When the murder was linked to the FBI, Braley was quoted as saying that the murders proved that “the stakes really were what we thought they were.”
Braley remained underground with the group until the dissolution of WUO in 1977. Originally opposed to the suggestion of surfacing, Braley stated in an interview excerpted in Dan Berger's book Outlaws of America that the decision was tormenting.
Red Dragon Print Collective
In 1973, the Weather Underground Organization established a printing operation called the Red Dragon Print Collective, a venture which Braley helped run. Operating out of a soundproof apartment, the print collective was a formative part of the Weather Underground Organization for its final three years. The Red Dragon Print Collective was responsible for producing the Weather Underground Organization's book Prairie Fire. All printing, binding, and collating of materials was done by the members themselves. As a precaution, work was done wearing gloves to ensure that no fingerprints would be left.
- See References below for publications cited
- Berger 56
- Berger 57
- Berger 122
- Berger 123
- Judiciary Committee (85-86)
- "Weather Underground" documentary
- Berger 119
- Berger 121
- Berger 241
- Berger 185
- Berger 311
- Berger, Dan (2006). Outlaws of America. Oakland, California: AK Press. ISBN 978-1-904859-41-3.
- FBI Files: Weather Underground Organization (Weathermen) Retrieved from http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/weather.htm
- Varon, Jeremy (2004). Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24119-0.
- The Weather Underground. Documentary produced by Carrie Lozano, directed by Bill Siegel and Sam Green. New Video Group, 2003, DVD.
- The Weather Underground: report of the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session. January 1975.