Bill Ayers ‘Dancing in the Aisles’ Over Obama’s Pardon of FALN Member Oscar López Rivera
Former Weather Underground terrorist group leader Bill Ayers on Tuesday said he was on an airplane “dancing in the aisles” over news that President Obama commuted the sentence of FALN activist Oscar López Rivera, whose group was linked to over 100 bombs placed in U.S. cities in the 1970s and 1980s.
Ironically, Ayers, a former associate of Obama’s, was on his way from Havana, where he wrote that he was celebrating the 75th birthday of his wife, fellow Weather Underground member Bernadine Dohrn.
Like the FALN, Ayers’ Weather Underground was also linked to bombings in U.S. cities, including those targeting the U.S. Capitol building, the Pentagon, and numerous New York police stations.
Ayers wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday:
Still in the air, dancing in the aisles: Just in from sister Jan Susler:
We are thrilled to announce that today President Obama made the wise and just decision to grant unconditional executive clemency to Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who served 35 years in U.S. prison.
One day earlier, he had tweeted that he was on his way to Havana and would return “in time to rise up in Washington” – seemingly a reference to the protests slated for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.
Oscar Lopez freed!
Chelsea Manning out!!!
Joy an Justice!
Obama commuted the sentence of Rivera, the longest-serving FALN member who was convicted of numerous crimes, including seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to commit robbery and transport explosives with intent to destroy government property, and later a conspiracy to escape from prison.
The New York Times reported thusly on Rivera’s FALN, which is the Spanish acronym for the Armed Forces of National Liberation:
The F.A.L.N., which waged a violent campaign for the independence of Puerto Rico, was considered by the authorities to be among the most elusive and resilient terrorist groups to operate in the United States. Among its notable attacks was a bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1975 that killed four people.
The group was known for its tight-knit membership, fanatical zeal and hit-and-run tactics, as exemplified by the bombings of four government buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve in 1982 that seriously wounded three police officers.
Mr. Lopez Rivera was not specifically charged in the Fraunces Tavern bombing but more broadly with, among other things, the interstate transportation of firearms with the intent to commit violent crimes, and transportation of explosives with intent to kill and injure people and to destroy government buildings and property.
From 1999 to 2002, Obama served alongside Ayers as a paid director of the Chicago nonprofit the Woods Fund.
Obama also worked closely with Ayers in 1995 at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge education group, according to the CAC’s archived records.
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