'"No Surrender: Writings From an Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner," Abraham Guillen Press and Arm The Spirit, Canada, May 2004.
I woke this morning from a dream about Dave Gilbert. Dave is serving a life sentence in New York State for his part in an attempted robbery of a Brinks truck in Nyack, New York, in 1981 during which a guard and two policemen were killed.
I haven't seen Dave Gilbert in thirty years, nor is he the sort of fixture in my dream life that some old friends or acquaintances become. I knew Dave at Columbia College in the late '60s, when he was the gentle yet charismatic center of an anti-war movement that had not yet turned to dogma. I knew him later in Weatherman, the left splinter group of Students for a Democratic Society that was committed to violent revolution and driven by a potent though short-lived combustion of ideals and idiocy. I lost contact with Gilbert when the above ground unit of Weatherman folded, to be replaced by a Weather underground to which I did not belong. The War in Vietnam ended in 1975. Weatherman became extinct not long thereafter, as members began to surface. But Dave stayed hidden for six more years, until flushed out by headlines about the botched Brinks job.