A young, former Communist has told, in a copyrighted story in Campus Life magazine, how, as a member of a German branch of the Students for a Democratic Society, he helped to foment mass demonstrations.
He pointed out that the trick is to get a few trained, hard-core people with an understanding of mass psychology. The hardcore stirs up a crowd until they have to march.
As soon as the crowd is confronted by police, the hardcore throw rocks or molotov cocktails, then disappear to the back of the crowd and cheer them on. If the Communist organizers are lucky, the police will fire on the crowd and kill one innocent bystander — just what the hardcore organizers want.
The tragedy gives them an opportunity to profess great sorrow for the victim and make an issue of police brutality. They cynically work on the sympathies of the mob while staying safely back from the firing line. As a former participant in such demonstrations, the young ex-Communist said the pattern was reminiscent of the incident at Kent University in the United States.
The youthful former Communist lost interest in the Communist philosophy when he discovered many of his colleagues were merely in the movement for fun or profit. He mentioned one who sold his memoirs at a fat price and became a capitalist after which he would have nothing to do with his former companions.
It is sickening to conjecture how much strife and how many broken lives, injuries and deaths have resulted from these mob-rousing tactics described by a youth who speaks from firsthand knowledge.
Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, Texas) Jul 8, 1971
Bill Ayers was also a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society.