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Lavender and RedLiberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left$
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Emily K. Hobson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279056

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279056.001.0001

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A More Powerful Weapon

A More Powerful Weapon

Lesbian Feminism and Collective Defense

Chapter:
(p.42) Chapter 2 A More Powerful Weapon
Source:
Lavender and Red
Author(s):

Emily K. Hobson

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520279056.003.0003

Between 1969 and 1975, lesbian feminists developed a politics of collective defense, which linked self-protection and community building to armed resistance and the radical underground. Collective defense first emerged through alliances between the group Gay Women's Liberation and the Black Panther Party. It expanded through lesbian feminists' support for armed radical groups, their opposition to state repression, and their involvement in political and self-defense trials. The cases of the Symbionese Liberation Army, of white lesbian radical Susan Saxe, and of women of color Inez Garcia and Joan Little proved central to activists' politics. Yet as the experiences of the organization Gente showed, collective defense simultaneously mobilized anti-racism and constructed barriers between lesbians of color and white lesbian feminists.

Keywords:   lesbian feminism, Black Panther Party, radical underground, self-defense, collective defense, Gay Women's Liberation, Gente, Symbionese Liberation Army, Susan Saxe, Inez Garcia

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