The Weather Underground

Sam Green, Bill Siegel. | 92 minutes. <br>The Free History Project.

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Though it has been years in the making, the timing of this documentary portrait of the Weathermen — college students who spent the ’70s planting bombs and plotting revolution — is uncanny. Watch the film, and it’s impossible not to wonder what response the Weather- men’s bombs might provoke today.

The documentary traces the Weathermen’s violent opposition to the Vietnam War — starting with breaking shop windows in Chicago in 1969 and escalating to the bombing of a U.S. Capitol lavatory in 1971. Aided by a superb array of archival news footage and present-day interviews with former Weathermen and one of the FBI agents who pursued them, the film captures the symbiotic relationship of the right- and left-wing political zealotry of the Vietnam era. The violence and racism of that war spurred the activists to splinter from the Students for a Democratic Society. But, equally true, the government and the media used the Weathermen’s strikes to discredit the entire antiwar movement.

With the fall of Saigon in 1975, the militants ran out of ammunition, so to speak, and their numbers dwindled. The film concludes with ’80s images of one-time radical Jane Fonda leading the nation in a recuperative workout, and the sight of former Weathermen member Brian Flanagan winning $20,000 on Jeopardy. You don’t need a weatherman to know that only the most bizarre act of nature could change the prevailing winds today.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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