Episode 85: Dollop: SLA

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SLA weren’t the only countercultural group rejecting the status quo and the hippies’ message of peace. Here’s a really quick and incomplete roll call:

Students for a Democratic Society (socialists)

The Weather Underground (which means that the app makes me laugh every time I run across it; I imagine a tiny little angry rally inside the App Store, with teeny explosives) (socialists)

Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers (anarchists, but you could have guessed that, yes?)

the Youth International Party, known as the Yippies (socialists):

We shall not defeat Amerika by organizing a political party. We shall do it by building a new nation – a nation as rugged as the marijuana leaf.

Abbie Hoffman, figurehead of the Yippies

Ah, but back to Ms. Hearst. . .

Kent State shootings WKSU archiveMay 4, 1970: The Ohio State National Guard opened fire on a student protest, wounding nine and killing four. I found an incredible archiving site dedicated to this watershed event, actively maintained by Kent State University radio: kentstate1970.org. Audio, news reels, video, and testimony. People can even add their own stories.

If you weren’t aware of this event, you do owe it to yourself to poke around this site, to see why kids and young adults so distrusted adults, why they would look to the SLA or Charles Manson instead of society’s structures of family and college and occupation. See how terrified and angry they were, for good reason.

And then there was Patty Hearst. The emblem of the white establishment. Princess of American royalty, heiress to the King of the Newspapers. You think a corset was restrictive, try on her Hearst-encrusted crown. Ow.

Much more breathing room. Much easier to move around.
Much more breathing room. Much easier to move around. Especially in the crotch area. Relief.

I am just going to list the founding members of the SLA, because they are complicated enough as it is, with their changing nicknames and constant moving around. This list is thanks to the pedia of Wiki, trimmed a little by me:

  • Russell Little (Osceola or Osi), arrested for the shooting of Marcus Foster. Little was in custody during the time when Patty Hearst was with the SLA.
  • Joseph Remiro (Bo), arrested with Russell Little. Little and Remiro were the prisoners whom the S.L.A. intended to swap for Hearst.
  • Donald DeFreeze (General Field Marshal Cinque Mtume), an escaped prisoner and the SLA’s only African-American member
  • William (Willie) Wolfe (Cujo)
  • Angela Atwood (General Gelina)
  • Patricia Soltysik, aka Mizmoon Soltysik (Zoya)
  • Camilla Hall (Gabi), Soltysik’s lover
  • Nancy Ling Perry (Fahizah)
  • Emily Harris (Yolanda)
  • William Harris (General Teko), Emily Harris’ husband, and eventual leader of the SLA


the birth of Stockholm Syndrome, thanks to history.com

Patty was officially pardoned by President Clinton in 2001.

Band names from this episode:

  • Cobra Grave
  • Urban Guerilla
  • Bombfactory
  • House of Bombs

Cultural references from this episode:

In 1991, a boy was discovered wandering the streets drugged and confused, he was 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone. The two women that found him called 911; however Dahmer chased after his victim and stated to the police that he was his 19-year-old boyfriend. Without a sex offender background check or age verification, the police handed Sinthasomphone back over to Dahmer. Later that same night, Dahmer killed and dismembered Sinthasomphone and kept his skull as a souvenir.(source)


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