We Owe It All to Marv (Who Says There’s Not Love in the Movement)

Marv changed my life. It was because of Marv that I met my future wife, Jacqueline.

When I was asked to sing at a demonstration against Honeywell, I told the organizer, Marv Davidov, that I would, but I would not be participating in any nonviolent action, which might lead to arrest. But when I saw the four McDonald Sisters sitting down on the steps of the entrance to Honeywell, I felt called to sit down with them in memory of my close friend Max Siegrist, a Vietnam Veteran against the war, who died tragically in a tractor accident not long after returning home.

The next thing I knew I was in the paddy wagon being hauled to jail for civil disobedience. The McDonald Sisters represented themselves at the trial, but I enlisted the help of attorney, Doug Hall. Doug was the founder of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, who fought on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised in the city. He had a long ponytail with a gray receding hairline. Doug was one of those quiet warriors in the courtroom, who drew little attention to himself, but highly respected by all of the public defenders and progressive lawyers. Jacqueline was both.

When I tired to sing on the witness stand the judge stopped me in mid verse and said, “There will be no singing in my courtroom.” It was at that moment I looked down from the witness stand and noticed Jacqueline in the backroom with my Lakota, Vietnam Veteran friend, Rick McArthur, who worked at the Legal Rights Center as a field worker for the First Nation community. It’s important to note that the Legal Rights Center was located on Franklin Avenue, where the American Indian Movement (AIM) got started in response to the overreach of law enforcement against the large exodus of native people moving from their homes on the reservations into the city. The Legal Rights Center grew out of the need to represent many of these cases and Doug Hall was one of their lead lawyers.

Though the McDonald Sisters and I truly believed we were operating by a higher law than man, we were found guilty of trespassing. We had a choice of doing a hundred hours of public service or three days in the workhouse. I righteously, or self-righteously chose the later.

The only book I took with me to read in jail was Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth. For years I had tried to read it, which I successfully did in my steel woven jail cell on the first day.

Before going into the workhouse I asked Jacqueline if she would like to go on a date after I got out. She laughed and said, “Yes.” “Great!” I said, “Let’s go to Puerto Escondido, Mexico.” Without missing a beat, Jacqueline said, “Sure!”

It was on one of the best surfing beaches in North America on the south edge of Puerto Escondido, Playa Zicatela, which means ‘place of large thorns’ with a strong undertow, where I proposed to Jacqueline with a bottle of rum.

This year we celebrate our twenty-seventh year of marriage. Together, we now have three grown children and a granddaughter.

Who says there’s not love in the movement? We owe it all to Marv.