Cathlyn Platt Wilkerson
Cathlyn Platt Wilkerson was a former regional secretary of the Students for Democratic Society in Washington, D.C. who oversaw the development of chapters through the region.

Wilkerson was first active in the greater Washington, D.C. area when she was a student at Swarthmore and became active in the civil rights movement in Cambridge, Maryland. Radicalized by the Cambridge experience, she became more involved with the Students for a Democratic Society.

She became editor of New Left Notes and in 1968 moved to Washington, D.C. working out of a rented office at 3 Thomas Circle NW, a building that housed a number of other radical organizations.

While in Washington, she was arrested during the takeover of the Sino-Soviet Institute at George Washington University and was a regular fixture at SDS meetings throughout the area, including those at the University of Maryland.

When SDS broke up into different factions in 1969, Wilkerson went with the Weatherman (later Weather Underground) group. She was indicted for the group’s activities during the 1969 Days of Rage in Chicago and went underground shortly after.

She has been alleged to have participated in a number of protest bombings of federal and corporate buildings during the group’s decade-long existence, including the bombing at the U.S. Capitol, Pentagon and State Department.

Three people were killed at her father’s townhouse in an explosion in 1970 who were all members of the Weather Underground. They apparently died when a bomb they were preparing exploded prematurely. Wilkerson was reported to survived the explosion and fled the townhouse.

They were the only deaths in the group’s long bombing campaign.

Wilkerson received a three-year prison sentence of which she served 11 months. In 2007

Wilkerson’s memoir of her Weather Underground days entitled, “Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman” was published.
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