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Page 17
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<< 16. The Vietnam Experience or Coloring on a Tabula Rasa18. The Pledge >>

In Memoriam: Emily Ann Friedman (1947-2016)

By Ellie Shunas

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A few months ago our friend Emily Friedman died in Chicago. She was an activist in the movement against the war in Vietnam and a fighter for peace and justice.

Emily Friedman in the CAMP office, about 1972.

I first met Emily in 1970 — when we were both young and feisty. She was a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, scene of many anti-war protests. She moved to Chicago and joined the Chicago Area Military Project (CAMP). CAMP published CAMP News, a paper covering news about GI resistance in the military and exposing the US government's lies about what was going on in Southeast Asia. The CAMP staff, all volunteers, worked on the paper and corresponded with activists all over the world and published many first person accounts.

Emily skillfully guided the paper's content and production. Thanks to her efforts, we turned out an excellent and timely publication. I remember on many late nights, she directed the crew as we covered the floor of our small office with typed galleys and photos. No computers or printers back then. Somehow she managed to get it all organized.

We also counselled active duty GI's, most of them AWOL, who made their way to our office. Emily took the lead. She researched Army and Navy regulations as well as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (of course everyone called it INJustice) so that we could provide accurate information. We managed to stay a step ahead of the Army MP's and the Naval Investigative Service who frequently parked in front of our office. Several GI's that Emily helped kept in contact with her many years later.

After the end of the war, Emily turned her attention to health care and medical ethics. She wrote, lectured and consulted, always emphasizing that access to good health care is an issue of human rights and justice. She wrote for a number of health care/medical journals and was known for her thorough research and cogent analysis.

The last couple of years Emily began researching and writing about attacks on hospitals in war zones. Inspired by a hospital nurse whose patients were murdered during the war in the Balkans in the 1990's, Emily uncovered many such acts of terrorism. Many Doctors Without Borders (DWB) facilities in war zones in the Middle East have come under fire from warring factions, including the bombing of a DWB hospital by the US.

Emily never stopped fighting for peace and justice, never tired of speaking truth to power. We will miss her.

Ellie Shunas worked on CAMP News and is part of the staff for The Veteran. She lives in Chicago.

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