“The bombing won’t stop us. We’re still going full speed ahead with our plans.”
Jack Weinberg, a member of the Vietnam Day Committee, said this quietly only hours after he and 10 other VDC members had narrowly escaped death in a midnight bomb blast that ripped through the VDC headquarters on Fulton Street here [in Berkeley, Calif., not indicated in print original] April 9. Four VDC members were treated for minor injuries at the University Hospital, and released.
The explosion blew out more than 100 windows in the neighborhood and caused extensive damage to two adjoining buildings. It was similar to the blast that destroyed the W.E.B. Du Bois Club national headquarters in San Francisco last month, according to S.F. Police Inspector Robert McLennon. “They’re carbon copies,” he said.
When the blast went off at 12:09 a.m., VDC members in the two-story frame house were making preparations for a local street demonstration in sympathy with rioting students in Danang and Saigon. Witnesses reported that a strange man came into the building about 30 minutes before the blast, wandered around without speaking, then left. Ten minutes before the explosion, another person who appeared to be carrying a package was seen walking between the VDC headquarters and an adjoining house.
Occupants escaped the full force of the blast because they were in the front of the building when it took place. The rear foundation was wrecked and the outside was shattered. A three foot crater was gouged out where the back steps had been. Police said the explosive evidently was placed under the steps.
“We’ve had anonymous bomb threats in the past,” Weinberg said, “but nothing recently.” Weinberg said he thought the attack might have been triggered by a recent attack on the VDC by the Oakland Tribune, a rightist newspaper owned by former U.S. Sen. William F. Knowland.
See Fifth Estate’s Vietnam Resource Page.