Emily L. Quint Freeman

Emily graduated UC Berkeley in 1967 with a degree in Anthropology. As a university student, she became an activist for peace and social justice. Her family disowned her because she declared herself to be a lesbian troublemaker. During the summer of 1967, she moved to Chicago and joined a group of Movement activists organizing against the Vietnam War. In 1968, she became a draft counselor with the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social-action organization.

One May night in 1969, Emily and seventeen others hauled somewhere around 40,000 records of draft-eligible men from the draft board office on the South Side of Chicago and burned them, as an act of non-violent civil disobedience against the Vietnam War and racism. The group waited at the scene, singing “We Shall Overcome”, and were arrested.

Towards the end of her federal trial in 1970, she went underground for nineteen years, which ended with her voluntary surrender in 1989.

As surreal as it seems during her fugitive years and later in her career, she became a noted insurance and risk management specialist for professional liability, computer security and privacy risks. She held jobs as an underwriting manager and as a practice leader for two international brokers in the US and London. She has been interviewed on CNN Evening News and NPR, as well as quoted and published in numerous trade magazines.  She still maintains her spirit of resistance post-retirement: writing, growing organic vegetables, playing classical piano, and admiring the beauty of the natural world.

 

 

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