New book on IWW gay activist

Marie Equi coverAuthor Michael Helquist, also a PNLHA member, will release Marie Equi – Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions at a launch party on September 14 (7-8:30 p.m.) at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland (1200 W Park Ave.).

“On the West Coast, Dr. Marie Equi, a lesbian firebrand and member of the Industrial Workers of the World, earned notoriety for doctoring her injured comrades and distributing contraceptives, wrote Linda Averill on the Freedom Socialist Party web site.

“With the start of World War I, Equi was jailed for treason, although the Oregon AFL spoke in her defense. A climate of anti-Red hysteria swept the entire U.S., silencing rebels like Dr. Equi, but not before they had made their mark on labor.”

The book, published by the Oregon State University Press, tells the almost hidden history of this “fiercely independent lesbian doctor regarded by J. Edgar Hoover as ‘a menace to the good morals, happiness, and peace’ of society.”

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