Fellow worker, fearless activist, and intrepid legal assistant Karen Weill passed away on March 10th 2020, after a months-long battle with cancer. She died peacefully with her beloved husband Larry Hildes at her side, as he had been every day throughout her long illness.

Within the IWW, she helped charter the Whatcom-Skagit branch. In the branch she is remembered as a steadfast Wob, attending all events, walking picket lines, coming to May Day picnics, organizing events, and bringing meals to the Organizer Trainings and socials. She was thoughtful and could be counted on to come up with ideas to improve the branch or the way members ran it. And she was a fierce environmentalist and feminist.

Karen Weill was an active member of the National Lawyers Guild for years. She worked tirelessly alongside her husband and attorney Larry Hildes, and the two took on local governments, abusive police departments, the coal industry, the FBI and every branch of the US military in major civil liberties and civil rights cases from coast to coast. She worked tirelessly over the years defending activists and organizers, war resisters, union activists and Wobblies, environmental justice activists, political prisoners (including Leonard Peltier who called Karen a “sister warrior”), socialists and anarchists, and radicals of every stripe. Karen stood in the face of riot cops and police batons, and weathered surveillance from the federal government and US military.

Karen always stood out for her dedication, her wit, her love for her fellow humans, compassion, selflessness and humility.

For more about Karen, there is an obituary here: https://www.nlg.org/guild-notes/article/remembering-beloved-nlg-member-karen-weill/

Friends and family are raising funds to properly honor Karen with a gravestone where she rests in the Beth Israel Cemetery in Bellingham, Washington State. You can donate to this fundraiser by visiting the GoFundMe page:


Let’s continue Karen’s fight for a better world, and fight like hell for it!

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