Doing Time for Political Crime: Paul and Silas, Bound in Jail
Dave Gilbert helped form the Weather Underground. Without killing anyone, the Weather Underground bombed military and corporate targets, during the early 1970s....Dave Gilbert wrote, “any white movement worthy of the name ‘revolutionary’ had to take on the task of building an underground that could carry on armed struggle against this criminal government.” This is the writing of historical agency, but it is also writing from too long a stay in the wilderness. What is a revolutionary? What court could bring “this criminal government” to trial? What is a “white movement”? These questions were not answered, though they remain on the table. As for the meaning of “underground”, and “armed struggle,” the answers became clear.
What David did wrong happened in 1981 when Thatcher and Reagan were in power, and the prisons grew. In fact it was the year when the “golden gulag” was placed around the neck of the republic, as Ruth Gilmore shows. David Gilbert was arrested for his role as a driver in a notorious attempt to expropriate a Brinks money truck in Nyack, N.Y., in which two police officers and one Brinks guard were killed. As an accessory he is now serving a life sentence in the N.Y. state prison system, shunted about according to the whim and ways of the Department of Corrections - now Elmira, now Attica, presently Dannemora.
At the opening of his trial in September 1982 he said to the court which he and his co-defendants, Kuwasi Balagoon and Judy Clark, refused to recognize, “We are neither terrorists nor criminals. It is precisely because of our love of life, because we revel in the human spirit, that we became freedom fighters against this racist and deadly imperialist system.”