Yearly Archives: 1976

1976 Congressional Report: “Extremist Organizations”

This paranoid report to Congress makes Sheila a member of a far-flung conspiracy to destroy America, run by the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee and the Weatherman faction of SDS:

The Palestine Solidarity Committee, which was established in November 1975, is run by PFOC activitists George Cavaletto and Sheila Ryan. They operate this organization from a post office box in Manhattanville Station, New York. Cavaletto was a member of the Weatherman faction of SDS. He was identified by the Flint, Mich. Police Department as having been in attendance at the Weatherman “War Council” in Flint, Mich. in December 1969. He visited Havana in July 1969, presumably to meet with representatives of the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese. Ryan, who had also been active in the Weatherman faction of SDS, was one of the first members to visit Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade. Ryan and Cavaletto both spent a year in Jordan and Lebanon writing propaganda articles for the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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1976 FBI Report: Agent of the Weather Underground

In 1976, the FBI assembled a report on the Weather Underground that included Sheila and George on the same list as Bill Ayers and Benardine Dohrn.

This is inaccurate. Sheila and George were never members of the Weathermen or the Weather Underground.

However, because they had known and worked with a number of the SDSers who chose to go underground as the Weather Underground, and because of their ongoing activism, they were included in FBI write-ups of possible Weather Underground associates.

Sheila disagreed with the “small vanguardist strategy” adopted by the Weathermen, which she saw as undermining the efforts to build mass movements in the United States that could bring about real political change.

Eventually released under the Freedom of Information Act, the document is available through the FBI’s web site.

Here’s the FBI’s profile on Sheila as part of the Weather Underground network:

FBI-WU-p257-sheila

FBI-WU-p258-sheila

(PDF Version)