SDS Founder Attacked


Fifth Estate # 79, May 15-28, 1969

CHICAGO (LNS)—Dick Flacks, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and founding member of SDS, was severely beaten in his university office May 5.

Flacks was beaten over the head, causing multiple skull fractures, and his right hand was almost cut off in an attempt to leave him to bleed to death.

Flacks has sufficiently recovered to recall that his assailant gained entry to his office by posing as a newspaper reporter seeking an interview.

Flacks’ wife Mickey has blamed the attack on an individual psychotic who was egged on by the public statements of President Nixon and Attorney General Mitchell calling for a crack-down on campus militants.

Flacks attended the Port Huron Convention of SDS and the following year drafted the SDS Convention statement called “America and the New Era,” which contained SDS’ first analysis of corporate liberalism, and surveyed the prospects for a politics based on “local insurgency.”

He also headed SDS’ Peace Research and Education Project.

While not taking a leading part, Flacks was one of the few faculty supporters of the recent student occupation of the University of Chicago administration building.

The Chicago Tribune frequently cited him as an example of the radical professor behind student disorders.

Mickey Flacks has asked friends to respond to this political attack by sending contributions to the NUC (5510 So. Woodlawn, Chicago, Ill. 60637) in Dick’s name.

Flacks will probably be hospitalized for another two weeks and will not recover the full use of his right hand. The University has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the assailant.