Brian on JJ

Thoughts on the tenth anniversary of the passing of John “JJ” Jacobs (1947-1997), the author of the original 1969 SDS position paper “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”. He taught us internationalism.

Neither high nor very far,
Neither emperor nor king,
You are only a little milestone,
Which stands at the edge of the highway.
To people passing by
You point the right direction
And stop them from getting lost.
You tell them of the distance
For which they still must journey.
Your service is not a small one,
And people will always remember you.
– Ho Chi Minh

We were young, restless, homegrown revolutionary internationalists, children of the civil rights era and the war in Vietnam. At some point we decided that we had had enough and we would take our stand and go to war.  There were armed robberies, jailbreaks, and bombings. We will tell you that we did them but none of us will ever tell you who did what. We were driven by that fundamental idea that no American life is more valuable or sacred than any other life. And that stoned, hope-to-die, John Brown internationalism will be the final enduring legacy of the Weather. I am eternally proud to have been part of it.
               Brian Flanagan

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