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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta THE PHENOMENA OF POLITICAL KIDNAPPING Saturday, March 23, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 'Conditions push people to the brink of violence' By MURRAY OLDERMAN SAN FRANCISCO (NEA) In the Bay area of northern California, says the Rev. Cecil Williams, you can "pull off almost anything." And so a small band of desperate young people, naming itself the Symbionese Liberation Army, rumored to be led by an exconvict who calls himself General Cinque kidnapped Patricia Hearst on Feb. 4 of this year. The phenomenon of this terrorist act is its frank political exploitation by radical ethno-class groups who see the kidnapping as an expression of disaffection with society. "As long as conditions exist which push people to the brink of violence, these things will said Dennis Banks, and Indian leader on trial for the uprising at Wounded Knee, S.D., who came rushing to this traditional hotbed of activists. "The act of Feb. 4 will raise the consciousness of America COMPLETE HOMEOWNERS' INSURANCE AT LOWER RATES HUNT INSURANCE AGENCIES LTD. 1201-3rdAve.S. Phone 328-7777 ABSTAINER'S INSURANCE COMPANY only Caiwdiin Company providing automobito and lo to the desperate needs of the poor." His American Indian Movement was one of the coalition of liberal and activist groups named by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) to assist in negotiations with the Hearst family to meet the SLA's demands for feeding the poor people of California. The Rev. William's unorthodox Glide Memorial Church, a parlay of religion and rock and social action, is also part of that coalition. Williams has been its spokesman, and when the coalition leaders appeared recently on a local television show to discuss the kidnapping, the net effect of Patricia Hearst had a strong beneficial effect. "That's just a realistic shrugs Williams, a bearded, animated man. "We, weren't condoning it, but it happened. SLA didn't realize how vast a response there would be. One, they kidnapped the girl. Two, they got a person whose father is in the power elite. And who also is involved in the strongest industry in America, communications. "I can sit down with Randolph Hearst and say, 'What are you trying to do, man? You better come to grips with this.' We've had to him, educate him and revolutionize him if at all possible, to use his mind as he's never used it before. "This is a class struggle. Hell, all they got to do is give us a little bread." Williams feels revolutionary activity, even that as violent as the SLA, comes' logically to this northern California cove because "it's always on the cutting edge of whatever may emerge in America and is also infested with the more progressive academic communities." It was in Berkeley across the Bay and where Patricia Hearst was snatched forcibly from an apartment that the Free Speech Movement started in 1964, on the campus of the University of California, and signalled the new political consciousness of American students. On Durant Avenue, just a couple of blocks above Telegraph Avenue, where the street people mill, Dr. Nevitt Sanford puffs a pipe contemplatively in the Wright Institute, which he founded in 1968. It is an independent organization for social research and grants doctor of. philosophy degrees in social psychology. Dr. Sanford is himself a distinguished psychologist with a vast academic and practical background in "human problems." He wrote a book, "Sanctions for which deals with "official violence" as in the My Lai massacre and the Algiers Motel incident during the Detroit riots (the subject of a John Hersey "That's the way people killed Indians all over he says. "It looked like a hunting party, but this was backed up by a national idealogy which said in effect the only good Indians are dead Indians. We were going to take their lands in any case, but we dressed this up by depicting them as savages and thieves. "In her taped message, the girl, Patty Hearst, made a point of the difference between ordinary ciminals and people who would die for what they believed in. So they were sanctioning violence in the name of a belief system. "It makes no sense to talk about this particular movement without looking at the injustice that actually exists in our society. Nothing is so infuriating as injustice. We have large segments of our population, the Chicanos and the blacks, who are not much better off than the poor people in Uruguay, where the Tupamaros have done this kind of political kidnapping. And I have no doubt the young people in the SLA said, 'Why don't we try To sociologists and psychologists who contemplate these phenomena, there is aside from the moral wrong a strong element of irrationality in the terrorist acts of the Symbionese Liberation Army. "The says University of California sociologist Robert Blaner, an intense student of racial is a total misreading of how you change the United States. This is a typical example of the way the so-called Left in the United States can never find a native, indigenous American way toward radical politics FOR MEN ONLY! CANADIAN WESTERN NATURAL 6AS COMPANY LTD. presents... BARBECUE COOKING THREE WEDNESDAY SESSIONS il 3. April 10. April 17 to p.m. GAS COMPANY AUDITORIUM 410 STAFFORD DRIVE, LETHBRIDGE REGISTRATION FEE: (Includes Chefs Hat and Apron and Personalized Gourmet Cook Book) Registration is limited. Please fill out the form below and return tt together with your gff registration fee to the BLUE FLAME KITCHEN. Your application will be acknowledged by mail. CANADIAN WESTERN NATURAL GAS COMPANY LIMITED I wish to register for Jhe men's Barbecue Cooking Session and enclose registration fee. Cheque or money order payable lo Canadian Western Natural Gas Company Ltd. NAME ADDRESS PHONE Return Jo BLUE FLAME KITCHEN, Canadian Western Natural Gas Company Ud 410 Stafford Drive. Lethbridge. and is constantly importing models from other countries that just don't work or apply. Now we have Latin American terrorism, patterned after the Tupamaros of Uruguay. It's the last thing that makes sense in the conditon of the United States." The reactions of Dr. Nevill Sanford of the Wright Institute to the SLA murder of Oakland school superintndent Marcus Foster and the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst were "outrage, revulsion, horror." But he also notes, "We have large segments of our population, the Chicanos and the blacks who are not much better off than the poor people in Uruguay. So there's a lot of tension. "What our poor people suffer from is not only poverty per se but lack of dignity. You have to almost sympathize with people who are in fact oppressed and have bad images of their oppressors and resort to violence. I believe it has a lot to do with the acceptance of violence as a way of solving problems by us as a nation. Nobody could have missed the point of the Vietnam war. If some people out there in Asia don't do what we like, we know how to take care of them. If our interests are threatened, we think nothing of sending in B-52's. It doesn't seem violent to many people because it's so far away "But probably oppressed people who know what it's like for that force to come down from above can say the fact 'they do it certainly gives us an equal right.' Albert Bandura is a psychologist at Stanford who has dealt with problems of agrression. "I have a he says, "that the events of recent years Vietnam, black uprisings have shaped up aggressive tactics as a means of forcing change. The collective protest has now embraced blacks, Indians, Chicanos, homosexuals, women, and now even the hardhatters, the truck drivers, use it. "People who profit from meptual conditions want to maintain them. Berkeley 1964 new political awareness W A CHARGKX LETHBRIDGE HONDA CENTRE 1117-2nd AveoweS. SALES AND SERVICE Phont 327-8889 ;