Bernice Linton died in New York City Feb. 9 at the age of 92. Born Oct. 19, 1911, in Washington state, Linton was the daughter of a German-Ukrainian mother and a father whose forbearers arrived in the 1600s. She worked most of her life as a waitress and member of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union. She and her longshoreman husband joined the Communist Party in 1937, a decision that led her to a life dedicated to struggle for equality and social justice. Linton often said that the right to be called a “progressive” is earned through “doing a good share of the work needed to change our vicious social system.” For her, this included helping to build the anti-fascist American League for Peace and Democracy in the 1940s, campaigning for FDR’s third term and other New Deal candidates in the state of Washington, and legislative campaigns for workers’ rights.

As chair of the Berkeley, Calif., branch of the Civil Rights Congress in the 1950s, she organized and led numerous mass actions against segregation and discrimination, police brutality and frame-ups of African Americans, including the case of Willie McGee that gained national prominence.

Linton’s artistry as a quilt maker and doll maker were put to use in raising money for the People’s World and the Daily Worker, later the Daily World – newspapers of the Communist Party – or to send people to demonstrations, including the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Her last marriage was to Ed Linton, with whom she shared many years of happiness and partnership in the social justice movement. He died in the early 1980s. For many years, Linton volunteered at the offices of the Communist Party and in later years was a member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

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