The 1981 robbery of a Brinks armored vehicle just outside New York City, during which two police officers and a bank guard were killed by Weather Underground radicals, was a seminal event in this country’s more recent relationship with anarchists. The event was used by right-wing forces for some time to justify all manner of repressive legislation.
Kathy Boudin, 78, was one of the people arrested and imprisoned for that crime. She died this week, according this story in The Guardian:
Kathy Boudin, a former Weather Underground radical who spent more than two decades in prison for her role in a fatal 1981 armored truck robbery and spent the latter part of her life helping people who had been imprisoned, has died at age 78.
Boudin, who lived in New York City, died of cancer on Sunday surrounded by family, including her life partner David Gilbert, who was released from prison last year for his own role in the infamous Brink’s armored truck robbery.
Boudin had expressed remorse for the robbery, in which a guard and two police officers were killed north of New York City. She was described as a model prisoner. She was released on parole in 2003, a move that infuriated some relatives and friends of the three men killed in the botched robbery. Boudin kept a low profile after her release and continued to work on behalf of inmates and former inmates.
I had never made the connection between Kathy Boudin and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin:
In a statement shared by the Columbia University Center for Justice, Chesa Boudin paid tribute to his mother and her legacy.
“My mom fought cancer for seven years in her unshakably optimistic and courageous way,” said Chesa.
“She made it long enough to meet her grandson, and welcome my father home from prison after 40 years,” he said. “She always ended phone calls with a laugh, a habit acquired during the 22 years of her incarceration, when she wanted to leave every person she spoke with, especially me, with joy and hope. She lived redemption, constantly finding ways to give back to those around her.”
Previously, he had spoken out about how his childhood growing up with both his mother and father incarcerated shaped his determination to “restore a sense of compassion” what it comes to the U.S. justice system.
What an interesting family that must have been as a kid.