The Apollo Alliance, which helped craft portions of the $787 billion “stimulus” legislation that the President signed into law in early 2009, exerts a powerful influence on the environmental views and policies of the Obama administration. Specifically, the Alliance had a hand in writing the “clean energy and green-collar jobs provisions” of the bill, for which $86 billion was earmarked. Apollo Alliance’s name gained some notoriety in recent weeks because of its ties to Van Jones, the communist revolutionary who resigned his post as Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” during Labor Day weekend. But there is another highly noteworthy Jones – Jeff Jones (no relation) – who also holds a lofty post with the Apollo Alliance, and who, as such, also has the ear of the President. Remarkably, Jeff, like Van, also has a history as a communist revolutionary – with longstanding, intimate ties to domestic terrorism, no less.
Today Jeff Jones is director of the Apollo Alliance’s New York State chapter. Apart from that, he heads Jeff Jones Strategies, a consulting firm that specializes in helping grassroots environmental organizations promote their agendas. His company website offers a sterile overview describing Jones as “a media expert, writer and campaign strategist with experience helping grassroots and progressive groups achieve their goals”; a former “communications director of Environmental Advocates of New York, a statewide government watchdog group”; a former “reporter and editor covering New York State politics and policy”; and “a regular contributor to The Green Blog, hosted by the Albany Times Union,” who “posts regularly on environment, clean energy and green jobs issues.” We also learn from the website that Jones is “an avid hiker, camper, biker, kayaker, and skier.”
But what Americans might find somewhat more interesting about Jones is that, in addition to the foregoing activities, his past pursuits as an outdoorsman have also included rioting in the streets, clashing with police, and calling for violent revolution.
In 1965 Jones joined the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and became active as an anti-war speaker on college campuses. In April 1967 he quit school to become the regional office coordinator of New York City's SDS chapter, a position he held until December 1968. SDS supported America’s Communist enemies in the Cold War while denouncing the U.S. as a nation rife with bigotry, injustice, greed, and unrestrained militarism – and calling for America’s unilateral disarmament.
During his tenure with SDS, Jones became a sworn enemy of the United States government. Believing that America’s military involvement in Southeast Asia was immoral, he sided openly with the North Vietnamese communists. Formally renouncing the conscientious-objector status that had been conferred on him as a result of his Quaker lineage, he began referring to himself and his ideological comrades as “communist revolutionaries.”
In August 1968 Jones participated in a large-scale protest at the site of the Democratic National Convention, a protest that escalated into rioting in the streets of Chicago. At one point, Jones shouted to his fellow rioters:
“The power belongs to the young people and the black people in this country. We’re going to remake this country in the streets. Don’t get hung up on this fourth party bullsh**. Don’t get hung up on peace candidates. Come on! We gotta fight it out where the only power we can build is. That’s at the base. We gotta build a strong base and someday we gotta knock those motherfu**ers who control this thing right on their ass!”
By mid-June of 1969, Jones, along with Bill Ayers and Mark Rudd, became a leader of SDS’s most militant wing and formed a new radical organization, Weatherman. They issued a Weatherman “manifesto” eschewing nonviolence and calling for armed opposition to U.S. policies; advocating the overthrow of capitalism; exhorting white radicals to trigger a worldwide revolution by fighting in the streets of the “mother country”; and proclaiming that the time had come to launch a race war against the “white” United States on behalf of the non-white Third World.
Jones helped to promote and organize an October 1969 demonstration in Chicago, where he exhorted participants to take violently to the streets, thereby unleashing the so-called “Days of Rage” which featured rioters (many of them affiliated with Weatherman) smashing windows, damaging cars, and attacking police officers. In the 1980s, Jones would fondly reminisce about the Days of Rage:
“The point of [the action] was that if they’re going to continue to attack the Vietnamese and to kill the [Black] Panthers, then we as young white people are going to attack them behind the lines.... That’s why we ... smashed up people’s private property ... and fought the cops.... The situation was so grave, what the U.S. was doing -- this of course was true -- that we had to take extreme measures.”
In March 1970 Jones and his fellow Weathermen adopted a new name, the Weather Underground Organization, taking fake identities and restricting themselves exclusively to covert activities. Also in 1970, Jones and the Weather Underground issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States government. The FBI launched a manhunt to track them down.
Jones would elude law-enforcement authorities for more than a decade. He lived for over a year in San Francisco with fellow fugitive and Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn, who would later marry the America-hating terrorist Bill Ayers. Dohrn and Ayers, you may recall, would eventually (in the mid-1990s) give Barack Obama his start in politics when they hosted meet-and-greet events for him at their home in Chicago.
In 1971 Jones and Weather Underground comrade Eleanor Raskin relocated to the East coast and later married. In 1974 Jones co-authored -- along with Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Celia Sojourn -- the book Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, whose title was an allusion to Mao Zedong’s observation that “a single spark can start a prairie fire.” This publication contained the following statements:
- “We are a guerrilla organization. We are communist women and men ... deeply affected by the historic events of our time in the struggle against U.S. imperialism.”
- “Our intention is to disrupt the empire, to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks, to make it hard to carry out its bloody functioning against the people of the world, to join the world struggle, to attack from the inside.”
- “The only path to the final defeat of imperialism and the building of socialism is revolutionary war.”
- “Revolutionary war will be complicated and protracted. It includes mass struggle and clandestine struggle, peaceful and violent, political and economic, cultural and military, where all forms are developed in harmony with the armed struggle.”
- “Without mass struggle there can be no revolution. Without armed struggle there can be no victory.”
- “We need a revolutionary communist party in order to lead the struggle, give coherence and direction to the fight, seize power and build the new society.”
- “Our job is to tap the discontent seething in many sectors of the population, to find allies everywhere people are hungry or angry, to mobilize poor and working people against imperialism.”
- “Socialism is the total opposite of capitalism / imperialism. It is the rejection of empire and white supremacy. Socialism is the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the eradication of the social system based on profit.”
Since his capture in an October 1981 police sweep, Jones has found a home in the environmental movement, the place where many former communists have established a platform from which to promote anti-capitalist agendas and portray Western industrialized society as the scourge of the natural world.
Jones identifies “climate change and global warming” as his chief environmental concern. “What bothers me about it,” he says, “is the impact that it will have on people, and the people who are least able to deal with it…. We know that sea-level rise is going to affect island nations, poor nations like Bangladesh. These are human-rights, social-justice issues that really impact me personally a lot.”
The message is a familiar one, coming from the left: Capitalist America is the very wellspring of countless injustices that place millions of lives in the Third World in deadly peril. By logical extension, America should take all possible measures, however self-destructive economically, to minimize the suffering it allegedly inflicts on billions of innocent victims around the world. Cap and Trade is just the beginning.
Remember President Obama’s enthusiastic support for an initiative known as the Global Poverty Act (GPA), which, if signed into law, would compel the U.S. to transfer some $845 billion from its Treasury to “cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade, debt relief,” and other means – all in the interests of “social justice.”
After all those years as a communist revolutionary seeking to undermine capitalist America, Jeff Jones has finally found his way back home. Now he can pursue that same objective under the more socially acceptable auspices of the Apollo Alliance, the organization whose board of directors features that other Marxist, Van Jones – the man whom President Obama selected six months ago as his highest-level environmental adviser.