Ayers' speech interrupted by protesters

January 28, 2009 11:56:14 PM PST
A controversial man, who became a political liability for Barack Obama during the campaign, was in the Bay Area on Wednesday night. The 1960's and 1970's radical and current college professor Bill Ayers spoke at St. Mary's College in Moraga. However, he was met with a large group of conservative protestors.

Bill Ayers, the former leader of the radical group The Weather Underground was interrupted several times. He quoted Dr. Martin Luther King and lectured on ethics and democracy, while a crowd outside called him a terrorist for his anti war activities.

"We will hound Bill Ayers to the gates of hell," said Melanie Morgan, from Move America Forward.

Ayers was charged with conspiracy to destroy government buildings, including the San Francisco park police station, in 1970, where a bomb killed a police sergeant.

"I think he's a loathsome despicable gutter crawling rat," said James Pera, a former San Francisco Police Officer.

The charges against Ayers were dropped because of illegal FBI surveillance.

"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.
"Did you make bombs?" asked ABC7 reporter Alan Wang.
"I'm just not going to talk about it," said Ayers.

Larry Grathwohl, an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated The Weather Underground, claims Ayers told him where to plant bombs. He says Ayers was bent on overthrowing the 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," said Larry Grathwohl, a former FBI agent.

"Never said it. Never thought it. And again, Larry Grathwohl, I don't know him today, but certainly the FBI was an organization built on lies," said Ayers.

The St. Mary's college lecture series called "Going Against the Grain" was set up to feature Ayers' work as an education reformer.

"And to explore it in a context that values critical debate and vigorous examination of ideas, which is something we pride ourselves on doing at St. Mary's," said Bethami Dobkin, the St. Mary's College provost.

The students asked contemporary questions regarding education. In the end, the protesters were not given a chance to grill Ayers.


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