Freedom Fighter

Freedom Fighter

Picture this: You go into the local library, drop off the kids at story hour and browse the Internet while you wait. You follow a couple of leads, track a few sources, read some international takes on American foreign policy. Later that day the FBI pays a visit to your local librarian to check what you read. You are now part of a secret investigation pertaining to "the enforcement of federal laws," none of which you have violated. Unlikely? Carolyn Additon Anthony '71 doesn't think so.

By Ru Freeman


 
Anthony's family,including her husband, William Anthony '71, a lecturer in the German department at Northwestern University and director of the study-abroad program there, and their two daughters,is solidly behind her fight for civil liberties, and they recount anecdotes they say show Carolyn's spirit and courage. William recalled a Quaker meeting the couple attended in 1978 in Dresden, in what was then East Germany, when Carolyn rose to her country's defense (in less-than-fluent German) by describing the American peace movement to her suspicious hosts. "Despite my better language skills, it was she who had the courage of her convictions to actually give voice to what needed to be said," he said.

Carolyn Anthony says she is acutely aware of the nature of the opponent she has chosen to engage and that, in some ways, it would be easier to say nothing. "It is difficult to organize opposition when the assault [on civil liberties] is subtle and incremental," she said, "but it is vital. If you don't do it now, you will lose the ability to do it at all. It is like the way Nazism took over Germany. It was so subtle at first nobody noticed. People ask, why did we have slavery? Why did we accept Japanese internments? Why didn't we stop McCarthyism? Well, we are doing the same thing now if we remain silent in the face of immense injustice and the transformation of our country."
 
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