Edited by John Brian King
Death to the Fascist Insect is a compilation of the writings and transcribed recordings of the Symbionese Liberation Army (1973–75), a radical left-wing group based in the Bay Area of California. This publication chronicles the militant, if half-baked, political theories that inspired the SLA, as well as the ways that the SLA used violence and manipulation of the media to further the group’s goal of provoking armed revolution from the underground.
Founded by escaped convict Donald DeFreeze, aka Field Marshal Cinque, the SLA was mostly composed of young, largely white and middle-class men and women, whose stated aim was to destroy all forms of racism, sexism, and capitalism. One of the SLA’s first acts was the murder of the Oakland superintendent of schools; SLA members went on to kidnap newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, demand millions of dollars from her wealthy family for free food for “people in need,” and rob a bank in San Francisco with Hearst. Most of the SLA, including DeFreeze, died in a fire after a gun battle with police in Los Angeles, while Hearst was later pardoned.
This publication features an introduction by editor John Brian King, a chronology of the SLA, the writings and transcribed recordings of the group presented in the context of events at the time, and a fifty-page appendix of notable articles, letters, and other texts related to the SLA.