tv [untitled] CSPAN June 8, 2009 2:30am-3:00am EDT
he is at maybe of the panels and always has a thought-provoking question. so we have 9/11 -- i understand, sir. we're going to leave it there, we're running tight on time. we have 9/11 and what brought you above ground. >> host: how? >> guest: um, 9/11, i think -- you know, i assume with a little bit of skepticism left over i assume that the people who were identified as having cearld out 9/11 did carry out 9/11. i don't really think it was a conspiracy except in this broad seasons the u.s. failed -- the administration, both clinton and bush administration, failed the obvious warning signs-failed to see and respond to the obvious warning signs. i think it was a network of people, small network of'em, real till live small network of people in the world. we won't go down that road so i
guess i don't agree with you about the conspiracy and i don't think the ma sad was involved. i was a fugitive for 11 years. the charges original charges against us -- let me say that 11 years i can't even comprehensive now. at the time i went by fast but now -- 11 years? and bill was extremely loving and patient and let me kind of come to my own decision when it was over and it was time to turn ourselves in. but by the time we had our second son it was clear to me that we were alone, our organization was over and there was no reason to continue this except my own stubborn desire not to turn myself in. but when we did, contact the authorities, the federal charges had all been dropped due to fbi
misconduct. so -- well, they told us that at the time we turned ourselves in but the fib misconduct was the whole period of the 70s. so kind of interesting timing. on december 4, 1980, re turned ourselves in and the only charges remaining against me were demonstration charges from 1969. and so they were -- the way you get in a demonstration where you get arrested and get tree charges usually, right, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace and what's the other one? action. and so they ended enu up being miss dem minors. i went to prison the year after that for refusing to cooperate with a federal grand jury.
>> that was seven months? >> guest: that was seven months. >> host: seem as long as the 11 years? >> guest: seemed much longer. i was terrible because we had three young children. i went involved in the brinks action and was quite critical but i felt that government couldn't coerce my testimony. many people refused to cooperate with the fbi through the 60s and the 70s. just as a matter of principle, until i felt that i couldn't cooperate and i thought they already knew. they had tons of my hand writing. all they wanted was my handwriting and the government had rooms full of my handwriting. >> michigan you're on. >> since your proopinions then of public education, should teachers have tenure, and then once teachers obtain tenure, they seem to slack off or do their own thing.
and then, my last question is, should unions protect teachers who break the law, once the law has proved guilt in cases such as molesting? >> host: tenure. >> guest: i don't know what cases you're referring to but let me say in general, because the question was a general one, stephanie, i think teachers absolutely should earn ten-under and that means they should be protected and teachers should have strong unions, very strong unions and why? because they are working people who deserve to be protected from the whims of our system. i mean, people who hate teachers unen yo act as ifboards of education are somehow not self-interested or not -- you know, not capable of arbitrary and ridiculous action. the fact is that teachers are working people, we ought to encourage stability, stand is encouraged by high pay, by
tenure, and by a strong union. the idea -- and this goes back to what debbie was describing in the 980s. the idea that being a member of a union is being a member of a special interest group is ridiculous. the fact is that teachers are professionals who have lots of training. those who have experience bring that experience with them. the ought to be protected from the arbitrary whims and desire of any board of education or state legislature. that means they ought to represent them and most cases do represent the interests of not only their wages and benefits but the children and the families and the communities. teachers are also parents and voters. so, i'm a huge proponent of teacher unions. i think teachers need unions and i think unions have got an bad name and it's a mistake. the reason we have in the middle class is because of the power of the unions over the last 60 years. the fact that is being re- roded
is a problem going forward. i want to add to that. you just said teachers are parents but in their job as teachers, and in their role in the union, they're primary teamers and i think this strong teachers union which i totally support, has to be balanced is this wrong word but has to be paired with a strong parent mobilization and organization the way in which schools get good are when parents are involved. you see it in the suburbs, what upper class kids have, in the good schools schools and that tn our urban and rural areas so youonstrom parent presence and parents have to have flex time in their jobs, have to be able to go to school, have to be able to volunteer, to be there, you know to do the cookie sales and operate the library and the arts and all the things we want in hour schools because it isn't just a question of driving
toward the test. it's being in a place that is creating a whole child and teaching children, your children, your special children, with their special talents and skills. >> host: only 20 minutes left in our in-department from chicago. another question from the audience where are you from. >> i'm from chicago and i just have one question but first to say i'm a fan first of bill ayers book, a kind and just parent, so it addresses some of the things that the questions have been asking. also to say that bob dylan -- i'm thinking of bob dylan lately but his son-in-law is coming to chicago a week from wednesday, june 17th so like up peter, anyway. here's my question. i hear -- i have lived a long time, too i have just a few months till 60, and i have seen that most of the time change
happens, change comes from something really bad. and i know there are a lot of good things that people wish for and long for and i keep hearing about this longing for, but why do we just write about it instead of doing something? the good things before the bad things happen would be a good idea to act i'm. i'm wondering what's this dynamic. >> guest: do you -- do you have anything to say? >> guest: well, i agree with you that change comes from the activity of people, the activity of citizens, and as i said earlier, thick we have an administration for the first time in memory that actually understands that power exists from below. i don't want you to dismiss too easily writing about it. writing is a political act. speaking to one another, talk to be strain jersey, those are political acts. i think learning to talk beyond the silo of our particular
interest or what is right in front of us. some work on immigration rights, some only workers' rights. some of us on peace. we should recognize those things are united and coming together is the key thing. finding a way to change the dominant paradigm, to act out and all of this looking forward with a great dose offing a nose gholamreza nose -- --ing a nottickism. have have you seen the film knick? we see a young man at the age of 40 dvding he must become an activist, and as the credits are going by you see documentary footage of the arrests of gay men in bars, the shaming and
humiliation of gay men in bars and it's hard to believe that that was the 60s and 70s. wasn't the 30s or the dark ages. that was the dark ages of the 60s and 70s and then you remember that being homosexual in america was a crime until recently and interesting a homosexual in america until 1974 was to be crazy, according to the american psychiatric association. what changed that? well, the activism of harvey milk and many like him who stood up and in the film this what you see. he stood up and was knocked down herm stood up and was knocked down. he stood up again and was shot. that's why it's a film worth supporting because we see there the power of activism. we life in a very different world. it's not the gl rights aren't doing being debated. but it's true. that what we see in milk is we
see the role of an activist and the role of a movement of activists. people are vague, everything isn't just right. things aren't that good. let's change things for the the better and shifting the metaphor from crazy crimes to human beings with human rights. that's -- >> guest: can i add -- you may have already said this before i die here. so stop me. i think another great example, midwest example. illinois example, the moratorium on the death penalty here. i mean, we could not have imagined really 15 years ago to years ago, that illinois would be the country where the absolute broken system of the criminal justice system would come to be recognized by the whole population of illinois, not democrats, not liberals and it happened in a six-year peered. so sometime we look at the problems facing us and it's my
view that the obama administration will be judged and we will all be judged be our grandchildren on the great questions of this moment which i think are peace and poverty. and i guess the environment maybe we have to add, the future of the planet, the survival of the planet. but, but you look sometimes at the -- rate so overwhelming. what can i do about that? i'm tired. don't know how to bill a -- build a movement. you look at the examples, the life of harvey milk and you look at the fact that in 1991. illinois stopped executions. and resumed congratulations with the execution of john wayne gacey. a hideous, multiple murderer of young boys, and yet -- and so bill and i have been part of the
execution -- we had three little boys, we tossed a coin who was going to stay home with the kid's and who would go down there and hold a candle and oppose the resumption of the legal executions, and i stayed home, bill went down there, and was amazed to find a thousand cars in the parking lot at the prison. turned out they were all there to celebrate the execution. it was like a tailgate party. the execution pushed it waste to the front and there were six people with candles opposing the execution. four of them were nuns. two of the other two were larry marshall and his wife michelle. larry marshall is my colleague at northwestern who went on to do six of the cases or 11 of the cases. at the same time you have people like alice kin leading the illinois coalition for the
passion, and then uniting as many forces as possible. and i think it's an extraordinary example. everybody in illinois is happy that we have not resumed executions. not everybody but almost everybody really. so wide consensus and the best penalty is just an example of our broken criminal justice system and now we have to fix that. >> host: professor dohrn, there have been some remarks attributed to you regarding the manson murders that. >> guest: one remark. four or five years ago. >> host: i wanted to see if you wanted to reconcile that view and what has been said that you said about the manson murders. >> guest: at it an interesting example. we all know this from the election campaign. if you repeat something enough times, you can't even think outside of that thought, right? so you just repeat and it repeat it and repeat it. we all know, those in chicago, that the reverend airmy use wright is an extraordinarily accomplished and dignified and intellectual reverend, right?
his one sentence got ripped out of context and replayed and replayed and replayed so that when we finally saw him you could hardly private was the same person, and everybody who was touched by him, including the president, obviously recognized his great gift. i'm not comparing myself to him but i'm simply saying, i said once, january 1970, as aen ironic joke -- ironic joke that charles manson had captured the american public imagination, and that you couldn't get enough of charles manson. it was on the front page of the papers. you know how mass measurers, every five or ten years you can get away from it. you want to protect gore children and grandchildren from hearinged but you can't because it's everywhere. and the charles manson murders were like that. we were like fred hampton and mark clark just handmurderred by the nib and the chicago police department. a thousand people a day or being killed in vietnam. pay attention to the real issues
and you couldn't because of the manson thing. so i gave a speech saying, dig it, charles manson. and i meant it in the most ironic terms. how could i possibly support a mass murderer who was a racist and hated women and children. inconceivable so of course i never supported him but that one sentence gets repeated and tagged with me ad nauseam. >> host: next question from though audience. >> i'm from chicago and i appreciate the fact that the two of you appeared to have lived your values, and that's something that i think we all admire. whether we agree or don't. i'm a former educator, retired, union member. i appreciate that comment, your support of the unions. my question, you have stated some very valid values, goals
for education, the fact is we have this umbrella of no child left behind. if you had the choice, ifoff had the power, what would you do? >> guest: i think i appreciate your bringing that up because when i answered the earlier questions about what would i do if i were the superintendent of -- i'm sorry, it's a business, the ceo. no superintendents left. this is metaphor. but i should have started exactly where you just were. i should have said the first thing i would do is reject no child left behind. it has to be rejected totally. one of the callers raised the question about aim rejecting tests all together? and absolutely not. i'm objecting the obsession with a single measure of a single
cognitive behavior at a certain day and certain area. no child left behind el elevates that a religious status. and that should be rejected. so, yes, sciri jacket no child left behind as a starting point for something much saner. when we begin to talk about how we evaluate kids, assess kids, i have some simple standards for that. one is, standards should be close to the school itself. in other words, teachers and families should be in the business of standard-making. we don't need an expert to completely make the standards for us. if with did that, our nephew went to a public school in new york, in order to graduate he had to present a port portfolio it had a douse -- dozen things in it. one was a record of standard test taking and the other was his record of community service, his plan for the next four years, his reading auto buy
owinggraph, original piece of art. a debate that he participated in. and a physical challenge that he had accomplished. then you can see standardized tests in context and you can understand them. so i have a simple standard. standards should be made close to the ground in a democracy, always, par tis pa tore democracy demands we all participate in standards setting. we're not stupid. we can do that. number two whatever assessments we do loops back to help teachers become smarter and competent. standardsizeed testing its off in some space that doesn't talk to us. so i don't know what to make of it except i know i will be judged on it. doesn't tell me how to teach. i want an assessment that is close though ground and close to teaching. >> host: got 0 couple e-mails
for both you. i participated in the the moratorium demonstrations in october and november. which do you believe contributed more to increasing opposition to the war? i believe it was the more tore pore yum. >> guest: you could be wright i don't have any causal. of the many choices people made around how to oppose the war -- and again i said the only decision i don't agree with is the decision not to be active. if you're active opposing the war, you're on the right side of history. oregon i think it's difficult to claim very much in terms of what affected. what i are business tated in the moratorium froze as well. i'm a bill big believer in direct nonviolent opposition and action but did those things help? the war went on for ten years. it went on for seven years after
the american people rejected it. so i find it difficult to make a claim that this caused that, that this equaled that. i'm reminded of in 1968, the mid-6s so, the premier or china was asked by a french journalist what the impact of the french revolution of the 18th century had had on the chinese revolution of the 20th 20th century. he thought about it for quite a long time and said it's too soon to tell. i think that's true. people who make claims about what did what, it's too soon to tell. >> guest: did a great job and i was also a participant in that and the days of rage. we don't need to compete with each other about which -- i income a way the doessive force became gi's turning against the war, i think in a way when they cam back. but everything was does does
decisive and yet nobody wassable to stop the war and nixon and kissinger were determined to have piece with honor. >> host: have either of you been to vietnam? yes. we went in the late 90s. we went as private citizens entirely. at the very end i met with a woman that acquired at the beginning and at the end she appeared. we went from the north, from hanoi, all the way down. we went out and look at u.s. battlefields, and at this point in etch 199 # i think it was vietnamese were only used to seeing american vets come back with their kids. so they treateds us -- even though we are a different kind of vet and they treated us as somebody who understood and loved their country.
vamp is a beautiful place, and i urge everybody to go there i did end up meeting with a whom who i had met with as the head of he delegation in bermuda bermuda pest -- buddha pest and we had an extraordinary afternoon with her listening to her life story. >> fugitive days about the last -- a lot about you also, professor ayers book. is there a fugitive days in you? >> guest: bill's book is two arcing love stories, his relationship with diana, and then with me, and, no, i'm not writing a memoir. >> oo period. >> guest: period. i'm writing and in the sense race course is memoiristic, so
i'm going to draw on my history and we have two sons who are writers, so that will happen without our approval. but i'm writing and talking but i'm not going to write. >> host: do you ever wake up in me morning and think i used be to on the fbi's most wanted list and shock yourself with that in. >> guest: i do. somebody gave me a book of the fbi's most wanted from 1921 when j. edgar hoover invested it to the present and everybody gets one page with the wanted picture and at the bottom it says when they were capturedded and at the time i was on the list, angela davis, h. rap brown, two young women from bran dies, and six of the ten most wanted so you go through bank robber, bank robber, thick-nicked guy and have all that's students and
young activityists and then you go back to bank robber. >> host: paul in new jersey, your on with bernadine and bail bill ayers. >> caller: to straighten out, defense spending little 19% but not 57% of the federal budget. mr. aer, the bomb went went off, mail bomb meant to go off at a dance. come clean about it. what did you have to do with the book? >> guest: the question of coming clean. the book discusses that at length. >> guest: new morning discusses it. >> guest: the fact is that the people who blew the whistle on what they were up to in the townhouse was us. and it was something that we tried very hard to -- you know, to work away from. so, yes, that was a terrible, terrible decision by the people who were there. fortunately it didn't actually
become what it might have become. unfortunately it did kill three of our dear frenches and comrades, and -- friends and comrades so we did come clean about it. i'm hesitant to ask you to buy the become. get it at the public library and i won't get a nickel. that's okay. >> host: do you stay? touch with kathy will kerrson or tom hay dep? >> guest: sure. i want to refer back to the comment of the woman who praised us for sticking with our values. most of the people from the 60s generation have trade few in big tike -- picture, tried to live our values, but of course we're filled with hippocras i and all you need is an adolescent in the house to tell
you. >> 30 seconds. >> caller: kevin, where do you rank global terrorism as a threat to the freedoms we enjoy in our country? and if you believe it's a significant problem now -- we talked a lot about your past. going forward, what do you believe is the right approach for our country to ensure our freedoms? >> guest: it's a long and complicated question. global terrorism doesn't describe anything to me. it describe as tactic that could be picked up by a religious cult, group of fanatics, a government. almost every government you name has conducted acts of terror. the russias, the chinese, the united states in vietnam, sherman's march to the sea. where do we begin in so terrorism is with us, yes, and should it be stopped? absolutely.