By Ryan Ekvall | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON — Like a Taliban speed dating luncheon, a scheduled meet-and-greet in Madison for domestic terrorist Bill Ayers has been cancelled due to lack of demand.
A staffer at the Madison Public Library Foundation, which had scheduled the event, told Wisconsin Reporter they “didn’t have the kind of interest” they thought they’d get, so they nixed the hour long event.
Tickets were $25 a pop.
Fans of Ayers or pathology can still come out and see the co-founder of the Weather Underground, a group of communist revolutionaries that bombed the New York City Police Headquarters, the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon in the 1970s in protest of the Vietnam War.
He will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Overture Center in downtown Madison to plug his new book “Public Enemy.” That speech is free and open to the public.
In a 2008 New York Times revisionist history op-ed , Ayers denied he engaged in acts of terrorism.
“Peaceful protests had failed to stop the war. So we issued a screaming response. But it was not terrorism; we were not engaged in a campaign to kill and injure people indiscriminately, spreading fear and suffering for political ends,” he wrote.
Larry Grathwohl, the FBI informant who infiltrated Weather Underground, said that’s a load of hooey. After describing failed Weather Underground bomb plots that would have caused mass casualties, he wrote: “Bill, like Charles Manson, never exposed himself to any kind of danger. He always gave orders and then left it to his then-girlfriend, Diane Oughton, and others to implement his plan. If you listen closely you can even hear the similarities in the arguments Manson and Billy use today to justify what they did: the 60s made me do it.”
Ayers and President Barack Obama were linked together in the 2008 presidential campaign when Sarah Palin famously accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists.”
Ayers and Obama have denied having a substantive relationship with each other. In his new book, Ayers wrote:
“Bernadine and I had hosted the initial fundraiser for Obama and uncharacteristically donated a little money to his campaign,” Ayers said. “We lived a few blocks apart and sat on a couple nonprofit boards together. So what? Who could have predicted it would blow up like this?”
Contact reporter Ryan Ekvall at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @Nockian.