With her husband Larry Hildes by her side, Karen spent nearly two months in the hospital and was only recently discharged and sent home in late November. This traumatic diagnosis is only the latest in other major disruptions in the lives of Karen and Larry over the past few years. Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer (and beat it!), Larry was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and before that, their house burned down (the two are still living out of a hotel in Bellingham as they await a green light from their insurance company for a new home). Suffice to say, things have not been easy for both of them.
But even as both Karen and Larry have been dealt one major blow in their lives after another, they have continued in their legal work in the National Lawyers Guild, taking on local governments, abusive police departments, the coal industry, the FBI and every branch of the US military in major civil liberties and civil rights cases from coast to coast. Karen and Larry have worked tirelessly over the years defending activists and organizers, war resistors, union activists and Wobblies, environmental justice activists, political prisoners (currently Leonard Peltier), socialists and anarchists, and radicals and rabble rousers of every stripe. Both have paid dearly for their dedication to the cause over the years - they stood in the face of riot cops and police batons, and weathered surveillance from the federal government and military. The two stand out for their dedication, their love for their fellow humans, compassion, selflessness and humility.
For any of us who know Karen, we know that she is a fighter. She is determined to fight this new onset of cancer and beat it! Karen and Larry however have not been able to work as much as they normally do and have incurred major medical bills.
Like the old IWW union saying goes: "an injury to one is an injury to all!" Let's lend a hand and help our friends Karen and Larry. They have given so much and asked for so little over the years. Please give what you can, and share with your friends and family.
Karen and Larry would also appreciate letters and cards. If you're a fellow activists, in the IWW or the NLG - even if you don't know them that well, or at all, give them a shout! And if you live in the Pacific Northwest, pay them a visit!
Karen Weill and Larry Hildes
PO Box 5405
Bellingham, WA 98227
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