Radical Ties To Obama AND His “Green Czar” Van Jones: Weather Underground and New Party Maoists

From Trevor Loudon at New Zeal *With his permission*:


**Note links to information and facts are in BROWN….not BLUE**

Obama File 80 here

Fox News has been focusing much attention lately on president Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones’ hard core communist background and his ties to the influential Apollo Alliance.

A grouping of Green, labor union and social “justice organisations”, the Apollo Alliance has had huge influence on the Obama administration and has succeeded in getting Apollo founder and longtime board member Van Jones a job in the White House.

Van Jones helped found Apollo and served on its board until recently-alongside Gerry Hudson of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) supporter Carl Pope and Joel Rogers-founder of the radical New Party-which Barack Obama joined in Chicago in 1995.

Despite its power Appollo is a relatively small organization on the ground with only fourteen affiliates nationwide-one of them being Van Jones’ tiny Oakland California based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

The New York state Apollo Alliance Director is Jeff Jones.

According to Apollo’s website,

Jeff Jones campaigned to remove PCBs from the Hudson River, clean up toxic pollution in inner-city and rural neighborhoods and reverse global warming. From 1995-2005, he was the Communications Director of Environmental Advocates of New York. Previously, he was a reporter covering state politics and policy for a variety of news organizations.

Mr. Jones has devoted much of his time to researching and confronting federal and state energy policies that contribute to global warming and catastrophic climate change. In 2006, he represented the state Apollo Alliance on the governor’s Energy and Environmental Transition Task Force. He serves on the boards of directors of several organizations, including the Healthy Schools Network, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and West Harlem Environmental Action (WeAct for Environmental Justice).

Here is Jeff Jones talking about his commitment to environmental activism and “green jobs”.

If the name Jeff Jones rings a few bells-this may be why.

That’s right Jeff Jones is a former member of the 1970s terrorist organization, the Weather Underground. More than that Jones was a founder and one of four key leaders of the organization with Mark Rudd, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Remember those names.

The Weatherman connection to Apollo is hardly surprising. I revealed here that Van Jones had links in San Francisco to two other former Weathermen supporters Jon and Nancy Frappier.

Jon Frappier’s organization DataCenter worked closely with Jones’ Ella Baker Center. Coincidentally Nancy Frappier attended a Weather Underground organized Hard Times conference in 1976, with the late Ella J Baker herself.

Jon and Nancy Frappier have both donated to Jones’ later creation, Green for All.

Diana Frappier, believed to be a relative of Jon and Nancy has worked with Van Jones in Copwatch and helped Jones found and run both Ella Baker and Green for All.

Jon Frappier has links to the Rag Blog, which lists among its contributors former Weather Underground leader Mark Rudd.

Van Jones was a leader of Bay Area Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM).

Mainly composed of young activists “of colour”, STORM worked extremely closely with a grouping of older Maoists-mainly veterans of Line of March and the Venceremos Brigades to Cuba, most of whom in the early 1990’s joined the Communist Party USA offshoot Committees of Correspondence (CoC).

Betita Martinez

Jones was very close to CoC activist Betita Martinez and her friend of thirty years Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Martinez and Dunbar-Ortiz have worked together on countless projects in the Bay Area including supporting Van Jones’ War Times-anti Iraq War publication in 2002. the pair are now both advisors to the Catalyst Project, a Bay Area radical organization.

:Our advisory board brings together long-time mentors and comrades who have supported our political and organizational development over the years.

Van Jones and Martinez were both involved in a Catalyst Project “Challenging White Supremacy “workshop.

:“To solve the new century’s mounting social and environmental problems, people of color activists and white activists need to be able to join forces. But all too often, the unconscious racism of white activists stands in the way of any effective, worthwhile collaboration. The Challenging White Supremacy workshop is the most powerful tool that I have seen for removing the barriers to true partnerships between people of color and white folks. If the CWS trainings were mandatory for all white activists, the progressive movement in the United States would be unstoppable.”

:-Van Jones, Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

When former SDS and Line of March leader and Committees of Correspondence member Max Elbaum released his book “Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che” in 2002-Dunbar-Ortiz, Martinez and Van Jones contributed these comments;

:“In the many contentious interpretations of the volatile 1960s and their aftermath, one key element is virtually excluded: the independent Marxists who tried to develop a new collective revolutionary project…Finally, here is a book that tells their story, and mine.

:Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

:Here is the first in-depth account of the New Communist Movement of the 1970s, from its roots to its demise, and finally we can understand why it inspired thousands of Americans at the time.”

:Betita Martinez

:By unearthing a hidden history of radical US politics, Max Elbaum has erected an invaluable bridge between the generations. Finally, we have one book that can successfully connect the dots between the battles of the 1960s and the emerging challenges and struggles of the new century.”

:Van Jones

A book also reveals some connection between Dunbar-Ortiz, Martinez and Jon Frappier. Susanne Jonas the author of The Battle for Guatemala: Rebels, Death Squads, and US Power (Westview Press, 1991) thanks Elizabeth Martinez…Jon Frappier, who first introduced me to Guatemala in 1967… Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Richard Adams, Jorge Castafieda, Barbara Epstein…. for their help with the book.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reveals on her website;

:Dunbar-Ortiz was also a dedicated anti-war activist and organizer throughout the 1960s and 1970s. During the war years she was a fiery, indefatigable public speaker on issues of patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism, and racism. She worked in Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade and formed associations with other revolutionaries across the spectrum of radical and underground politics, including the SDS, the Weather Underground, the Revolutionary Union….

As a footnote to the same piece former SDS and Weather Underground leader Mark Rudd adds;

:Roxanne Dunbar gives the lie to the myth that all New Left activists of the ’60s and ’70s were spoiled children of the suburban middle classes.

In 2006 a group of activists from Democratic Socialists of America, Committees of Correspondence, Communist Party USA and former members of SDS and the Weathermen joined forces to create a new organization Movement for A Democratic Society (MDS).

Key figures in MDS included all four of the key SDS/Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dorhn, Jeff Jones and Mark Rudd, plus several former SDS comrades who had rejected the Weathermen in the late 1960s to take the Maoist road to Revolution.

Dorhn, Jones and Rudd were all MDS board members as were former SDS leaders turned Maoist Carl Davidson and Mike Klonsky and unsurprisingly Betita Martinez and Roxanne-Dunbar Ortiz.

Several MDS leaders have known or worked with Obama in Chicago-including Ayers, Dorhn, Carl Davidson, Mike Klonsky and Rashid Khalidi. MDS chairman and Commmittees of Coorrespondence leader Manning Marable has written;

What makes Obama different is that he has also been a community organiser. He has read left literature, including my works, and he understands what socialism is.

Mark Rudd, far left, Marable centre, black shirt, Jeff Jones second from right MDS conference New York January 2007.

In early 2008 MDS board members Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher Jr(both Democratic Socialists of America members), Tom Hayden (former leader of SDS) and Carl Davidson established Progressives for Obama to rally far left support behind the Obama campaign. Mark Rudd has endorsed the organization.

MDS/Progressives for Obama has taken a strong interest in who gets appointed to the Obama administration.

Shortly after the November 2008 election, Mark Rudd wrote a column in The Rag Blog, to re-assure leftists alarmed at some of Obama’s appointments.

:If you’re anything like me, your inbox fills up daily with the cries and complaints of lefties. Just the mere mention of the names Hillary Clinton and Lawrence Summers alone conjure up a litany of horrendous right-wingers appointed to top level positions.

:Betrayal is the name of the game.

:But wait a second. Let’s talk about a few things:

:Obama is a very strategic thinker. He knew precisely what it would take to get elected and didn’t blow it…But he also knew that what he said had to basically play to the center to not be run over by the press, the Republicans, scare centrist and cross-over voters away. He made it.

:Obama plays basketball. I’m not much of an athlete, barely know the game, but one thing I do know is that you have to be able to look like you’re doing one thing but do another. That’s why all these conservative appointments are important: the strategy is feint to the right, move left. Any other strategy invites sure defeat. It would be stupid to do otherwise in this environment.

:Look to the second level appointments. There’s a whole govt. in waiting that Podesta has at the Center for American Progress. They’re mostly progressives, I’m told (except in military and foreign policy). Cheney was extremely effective at controlling policy by putting his people in at second-level positions….

It will be no surprise to learn that Van Jones was a Fellow at the Center for American Progess.

Carl Davidson has been a huge fan of Van Jones and has pushed his barrow at every opportunity-just as he pushed Obama’s in the 90s and early 00s.

In a March 2009 The Rag Blog review of Van Jones’ book ‘Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems’ Carl Davidson wrote;

:It’s time to link the newly insurgent U.S. Green Jobs movement with the worldwide efforts for the solidarity economy. Both are answering the call to fight the deepening global recession, and both face common adversaries in the failed “race to the bottom,” environment-be-damned policies of global neoliberalism.

:That’s the imperative facing left-progressive organizers with connections to these two important grassroots movements. It’s even more important in the wake of the appointment of a key leader of one of these movements, Van Jones of “Green For All,” to a top environmental and urban policy post in the Obama administration.

:“Green Collar Economy” was instantly a powerful voice in policy circles. It gained a wider and deeper significance in light of the financial crises that hit the fan soon after it reached the bookstores. Just as the voter revolt against Wall Street helped lift Obama to the Oval Office, so too was Van Jones’s urban policy monograph raised into a “What Is To Be Done” manifesto for deep structural reforms capable of busting the onset of a major depression.

:Where Van Jones’ approach to both the green and solidarity economies most compels our attention is that he starts where the need is greatest, the millions of unemployed and underemployed inner city youth. The structural crises of neoliberal capitalism has long ravaged this sector of our society through deindustrialization, environmental racism and a wrecking ball approach to schools in favor of more prisons. To borrow from Marx, these young people are bound with radical chains, and when they break them with the tools suggested in Green Collar Economy, they free not only themselves, but the rest of us are set in a positive direction as well.

:But Green Collar Economy’s core mass base remains a united Black and Latino community in close alliance with organized labor, the same engine of change that put Obama in the White House. And by asserting the interests and needs of that base, the green jobs and infrastructure proposals in Obama’s stimulus package serve to drive the entire recovery effort in a progressive direction.

Davidson also promoted Van Jones’ vision at the Democratic Socialists of America runApril 2009 Left Forum at Pace University in New York.

:I had to quickly get to the next panel, since I was on it, and there was only about five minutes between sessions. “Building a Progressive Majority and Advancing a Vision of Socialism” was the title, and it was pulled together by my group, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, and chaired by Pat Fry, an SEIU staffer.

:I led off by presenting Van Jones’s program for Green Jobs for inner city youth, but framing it as a larger structural reform project that could, if done right, unite a progressive majority and help get us out of the current crisis. At the same time, we had to unite a militant minority around socialist tasks, so I offered the solidarity economy movement and its projects as practical examples of cooperative forms that could, within the capitalist present, point to a socialist future.

There you have it-sextegenarian Maoists, unforfilled Weathermen, socialists and communists are pushing their agenda in the White House through a mouthpiece they have promoted and nurtured over many years.

“Green Jobs” is a cover for increased socialization of the US economy-driven by a man who only seven years ago was an ultra militant San Francisco street communist.

Now hopefully, you have more understanding as to why Van Jones (and Barack Obama) hold the positions they do today.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You guys keep trying to make MDS into something it’s not. Nationally it’s little more than a letterhead–but that’s why you like it. It gives you lots of ‘paper rivets’ that are meaningless in the way things really work.

    Response by Romanticpoet:

    Hey Carl! Nice to see you here. BTW Trevor at New Zeal says hi.

    For those of you that don’t know Carl Davidson:

    Marxist anti-war activist
    Former member of Students for a Democratic Society
    Political supporter of Barack Obama

    Carl Davidson is an American Marxist who serves as a national steering committee member of United for Peace and Justice, a field organizer for the Solidarity Economy Network, and co-chair of Chicagoans Against War & Injustice. The latter organization has formed alliances with such groups as the League of Women Voters, Rainbow/PUSH, Citizen Action, People for the American Way, the Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Aiming ultimately to transform the United States into a socialist nation, Davidson advocates the mobilization of “new grassroots majorities required for progressive, systemic change.”

    As a college student in the 1960s, Davidson was a national secretary of Students of a Democratic Society and a national leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Penn State University and later found employment as a philosophy instructor at the University of Nebraska, also in the 1960s.

    Davidson and Tom Hayden take credit for having launched in 1969 the “Venceremos Brigades,” which covertly transported hundreds of young Americans to Cuba to help harvest sugar cane and interact with Havana’s communist revolutionary leadership. (The Brigades were organized by Fidel Castro’s Cuban intelligence agency, which trained “brigadistas” in guerrilla warfare techniques, including the use of arms and explosives.)

    Many years later, Davidson would reflect on his SDS days when he, along with Dave Dellinger and Tom Hayden, had taken advantage of an opportunity to converse at length with President Castro. Said Davidson: “He [Castro] is a remarkable man, with a photographic memory, wide knowledge and keen insights…. We should all wish Fidel and Cuba well, and double our voices against the blockcade.”

    In 1988 Davidson founded Networking for Democracy (NFD), an initiative that teaches computer skills and radical politics to Chicago-area teenagers. The NFD program encourages students to engage in “mass action” aimed at “tearing down the old structures of race and class privilege” in the U.S. “and around the world.”

    In 1992 Davidson became a leader of the newly formed Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist coalition of former Maoists, Trotskyists, and Communist Party USA members. The organization has since changed its name to the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, where Davidson remains a prominent figure.

    In the mid-1990s Davidson was a major player in the Chicago branch of the New Party, a Marxist political coalition whose objective was to endorse and elect leftist public officials. Most New Party members hailed from the Committees of Correspondence (the Marxist coalition cited in the preceding paragraph), the Democratic Socialists of America, and the militant leftist organization ACORN. Davidson first met Barack Obama through the New Party, which endorsed the latter in his run for the Illinois state senate in 1996. Obama had actively sought this endorsement, and he used a number of New Party volunteers as campaign workers.

    Davidson quickly became one of Obama’s most ardent political supporters. He helped organize a large 2002 rally where Obama first established himself as an eloquent anti-war spokesman.

    In Davis’ view, “[T]he U.S government, at least over the past 50 years, has been the chief terrorist and sponsor of terrorism in the world.

    In Carl Davidson’s Own Words:

    “I’ll tell you exactly who founded ‘Progressives for Obama’ and it’s never been a secret to anyone — Six people: First, Tom Hayden, Bill Fletcher, Danny Glover, Barbara Ehrenreich. They were the four authors of the Document. Then I agreed to be webmaster, and Tim Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America agreed to help with initial promotion.”

    MDS is an aging group of radicals that has now built a non-profit called MDS INC to raise money in support for the new SDS. http://www.newsds.org/



    The New Left Notes (NLN), Portside, MyDD are all mouthpieces for the far left.

    Of note: Tom Hayden writes for Huffington Post and Progressives for Obama.

    **Danny Glover is currently on TV announcing his support for UNION activity. Is there any truth Danny that Chavez from Venezuela is funding your films?**

    Carl Davidson, a former vice president of the Students for a Democratic Society who traveled to Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro and still praises the dictator today, is another proud radical for Barack Obama, serving faithfully as webmaster for “Progressives for Obama.

  2. […] Radical Ties To Obama AND His “Green Czar” Van Jones: Weather Underground and New Party Maoists […]

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