This paper suggests an original interpretation of the American white radicals’ protest. The author points out that, despite the escalation of few fringes, such as the Weather Underground, this segment of the New Left in the United States of America paid respect to human life almost unanimously and constantly, and that it never crossed the threshold of violence against the people. The essay summarizes the historical evolution of this protest cycle, which developed between the Sixties and the early Seventies, gives evidence of its partial radicalization and proposes a hypothesis on the three key factors that could have moderated the procedures of action. First, the integration of some revolutionary issues by the political system, together with the isolation of the violent-prone fractions; second, the deterrent policing of protest (even if extremely repressive in several circumstances); third, the militants’ personal choices, shaped within a cultural background where the ‘antibody’ against hatred and violence were strong and effective. The author eventually suggests that a study about the containment of political violence can also be a helpful research tool in order to investigate the missing or non-operational factors in the historical cases of violent radicalization (e.g. Italy).
Keywords: Political violence, radicalization, containment of violence, Weather Underground, Weathermen, New Left in the United States of America