US: 3,000 professors sign support for Ayers

More than 3,000 educators nationwide have signed a statement supporting William Ayers, the former radical activist and current distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago who Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain called a "washed-up terrorist" at the third presidential debate, reports CNN.

Ayers was a co-founding member of the radical activist group the Weather Underground in 1969. The group's extreme tactics to end the Vietnam War included planting bombs in the Pentagon and the United States Capitol, says a UWIRE report published by CNN.

In recent months, the McCain campaign has criticised Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama for his connection to Ayers. Both residents of the Chicago area, Ayers and Obama first met in 1995 when they served on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school reform initiative. They also were board members of the Woods Fund, a Chicago charity, from 2000 to 2002.
Full report on the CNN site