Mark Rudd

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Mark Rudd

Mark Rudd was born June 2, 1947 in Irvington, New Jersey. Rudd led the riots at New York's Columbia University in 1968. Rudd was one of the Weather Underground (WUO) leaders. He was arrested during the Chicago "Days of Rage" in October 1969 and attended the WUO Flint, Michigan War Council in December 1969.

Guerilla training in Cuba

In February, 1968, Rudd along with a group of approximately twenty-two people and approximately nineteen other SDS/Weatherman members, and two Cuban Government officials with diplomatic status traveled to Cuba via Mexico City at the request of the Cuban Government, which paid all of the expenses. One of the Cuban Government officials in the group was the former First Secretary at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations (CMUN) who was also a Cuban Intelligence Officer. While in Mexico City, the group stayed at the Cuban Consulate. Several of the SDS members had previously traveled to other foreign countries friendly to Cuba. The group was destined to the Instituto Cubano para Amistad entre los Pueblos (ICAP-Cuban Institute for Friendship between Peoples) although the ICAP operated as a cultural exchange organization on the surface, it was in fact the Cuban Government's School for Ideological Indoctrination and their chief instrumentality for providing training to foreign radicals in revolutionary and guerilla tactics. Rudd and others visited the ICAP on this trip. During their four-week visit, SDS members also talked with representatives of the NLF (the political arm of the Viet Cong) and with individuals from North Korea.

Fomented Columbia University insurgency

Mark Rudd reminisces in 2006 about the Maoist inspired subversion of America's Vietnam War effort.

Upon his return from Cuba, Rudd was elected Chairman of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Chapter at Columbia University and became a leader of violent disturbances. It was believed by the FBI that such disturbances were planned in Cuba and that the visitors to Cuba received specific instruction from Cuban officials in regard to the demonstrations. At Columbia, Rudd led the largest student strike in the United States. Although there had been various demonstrations in prior years, the main feature of the spring 1968 strike that distinguished it from earlier demonstrations was Rudd's brand of confrontation politics which involved physical confrontation, including the take over of buildings and the ransacking of offices. By the end of April, 1968, 700 to 1000 students had taken over five university buildings and eventually had to be removed by a force of 1000 policemen. In addition to Rudd, a number of others involved in the leadership of the Columbia strike later played prominent roles in the Weathermen. They included Ted Gold, John Jacobs, Robert Roth, Martin Kenner and Jonah Raskin. Rudd was later interviewed about the Columbia riots by the Cuban publication, Prensa Latina.

Maoist faction

On September 30, 1969 an interview with Rudd was broadcast on WAAC radio at Terre Haute, Indiana. An enchanting with the interviewer, Bob Rouse, went like this:

ROUSE: Excuse me for interrupting but you said a moment ago that the primary purpose of the SDS is to inform.
RUDD: No, it's to fight.
ROUSE: You mean to literally fight.
RUDD: The purpose...
ROUSE: To overthrow our government as you stated before, right.
RUDD: No, that's the goal. Absolutely. But I said the purpose was to win Americans to this.

Rudd further stated, "the revolution is being forced on us by outside force, and that is good." Another exchange went like this:

ROUSE: Well, are you saying to me that life in Cuba, and life in Russia and life in North Vietnam or any other communist country is better than life in the U.S.
RUDD: Well, first of all, I think that it is true that life in Cuba for the Cuban people is a lot better off in a lot of ways than life in the U.S., even though they have tremendous economic problems for a tiny country. Russia I am not going to defend, because I don't think Russia is a communist country...The U.S. very much wants to build a ring of satellites around China in order to hold in and hold back social revolution...communism is a system that benefits the people of the world and will eventually benefit the Americans....I am part of a faction that is somewhat Maoist...we believe that the third world revolution is happening, that the black struggle is happening, it is starting now...[1]

Progressives for Obama

Mark Rudd is a leader of Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS)–a grouping of former Weather Underground leaders and senior Communist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America and Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism activists.

Several MDS leaders, including Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Carl Davidson and Rashid Khalidi know Barack Obama personally. Several MDS leaders including Tom Hayden, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Barbara Ehrenreich and Carl Davidson were involved in setting up Progressives for Obama–an organization tasked with uniting the far left behind Barack Obama.[2] Rudd also is a member.


  1. Foreign Influence - Weather Underground Organization (WUO). FBI Chicago Field Office Report, August 20, 1976. Section IV. Individuals. Mark William Rudd, Page 217-223 in original (p. 32-38 pdf).