Academic journal article Social Justice

Social Justice Salutes Beverly Axelrod

Academic journal article Social Justice

Social Justice Salutes Beverly Axelrod

Article excerpt

BEVERLY AXELROD, ONE OF THE NATION'S MOST EXTRAORDINARY CIVIL RIGHTS and social justice attorneys, died on June 19, 2002, of emphysema at her home in Pacifica, California, at the age of 78.

Ms. Axelrod, who graduated from Brooklyn Law School when few women attended, dedicated her entire adult life to serving as "a people's lawyer." Her civil rights work in the early 1950s included service with the NAACP in California; representing the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee and Cesar Chavez; working for the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in Louisiana; and acting as counsel for Mississippi Voter registration efforts. While doing this work, she also participated in picketing and boycotts.

On the international front, she was a delegate to Women for Peace meetings in 1965 with Vietnamese women to help organize the first antiwar protests. In the U.S., she served as lawyer for innumerable people arrested for protesting the Vietnam War. She also coordinated protest actions during the Cuban missile crisis.

Ms. Axelrod was a lawyer in the struggle against housing and employment discrimination in San Francisco, where she also served as chief counsel for hundreds of activists arrested at the Sheraton Palace Hotel and Auto Row for demonstrating against racial discrimination. An early honorary member of the Black Panther Party, she represented Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, and others, and helped start the Panther newspaper.

She participated in and served as lawyer to the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, was active in protests at San Francisco State University, and represented Yippee Jerry Rubin before HUAC in Washington, D. …

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