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(en) US, NY, [nycanarchists] Francoise Cachelin, 1918-2003

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 13 Oct 2003 23:22:06 +0200 (CEST)

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i'll tell you people, this woman was a fighter -- she
coukld barely make it up the stairs at her homestead
and she laid it down on the shit heads when they came
to bulldoze our garden on 9th street next to dos
blocos squat -- i knew she had a bad heart and wanted
so much to interview her and share her story with
everyone -- please bring friends to her birthday
celebration and we can celebrate the life of a fighter
-- she inspired the hell out of me and i loved her and
it is so fucking sad she is gone

Francoise Cachelin, 1918-2003

Dear friends --

Francoise Cachelin, an amazing and inimitable fighter
for justice, passed away in her sleep early yesterday

Many of you will remember her from her years with the
Lower East Side Collective and her tireless work to
save New York City's community gardens.

You may not know that she was a member of the French
Resistance during World War II, repeatedly risking her
life to smuggle Jewish and Communist children out of
Nazi-occupied France. After coming to the States after
the war, she helped run an underground abortion clinic
in New York City before abortion was legalized, and
later was a pioneering squatter in the Lower East
Side, homesteading the East 6th Street building she
lived in until her death. A lifelong anarchist, she
was a war tax resister for many years, and could be
found each April 15 on the steps of the Main Post
Office with other members of the War Resisters League
handing out leaflets about the misuse of our tax

Petite, with her gray hair tied back in a proper bun,
Francoise loved to confound people's expectations.
I'll never forget the time she did jail support for me
and two other garden activists after we did a lockdown
action in a top bureaucrat's office. Mistaking her for
a harmless little old lady, the police let her come
freely in and out of the police station, visiting us
in our cell, bringing us food, and the like. Each time
she came in, she would wave sweetly to the police and
then whisper to me, in her thick French accent, "They
are so stupid -- they don't know I hate all cops, I
think they are vermin and should be exterminated."

No one who knew Francoise will ever forget her. A
private memorial service for family and close friends
will be held later this week, with a larger memorial
to be held on or around December 18, which would have
been her 85th birthday.

Leslie Kauffman

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