Monday, August 7, 2017

Jonathan Jackson Marin County Courthouse August 7, 1970

On August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson, the 17-year-old brother of prison revolutionary
George Jackson, entered the Marin County courthouse armed with a submachine gun. He
hoped to force the release of the Soledad Brothers— George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo, and
John Clutchette, who were charged with the murder of two guards at Soledad Prison after
guards had killed another prisoner. Jonathan gave guns to three prisoners who were present
in court— Ruchell Magee, a jailhouse lawyer who was testifying at the trial of fellow prisoner
James McClain, and William Christmas. The three then took the judge, the prosecutor, and
three jurors hostage. They left the courthouse and placed the hostages in a county van.
Before the armed men and their hostages left the courthouse, the Marin County sheriff had
ordered his men not to shoot, but the van was hit by a hail of gunfire from San Quentin
prison guards and other law-enforcement personnel immediately after it left the building's
garage. Jackson, Judge Haley, McClain, and Christmas were all killed.--from The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground