This is Camilla Hall. Today would have been her 76th birthday. She was an artist, a social worker, a gardener, a friend. People who knew her remembered her quick smile, generous laugh, and fine wit. She was a daughter and a sister. She fought to get women hired as full-time parks workers in Oakland in 1973, when those type of jobs were not open to women. She was a feminist and supported gay rights.
She also got caught up in the Symbionese Liberation Army, one of the last radical left-wing groups that had sprouted in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s. She died at the hands of Los Angeles police on May 17, 1974, with five other members of the SLA. My manuscript, BREAKING POINT: ONE WOMAN’S TRANSFORMATION FROM ACTIVIST TO RADICAL IN 1970s America, is not only Camilla’s story, but also gives us perspective on women today who are turning toward domestic terrorism. More than 10 percent of those charged in the January 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection were women.
Want to learn more? Search my blog for posts tagged “Camilla Hall” or “SLA.”