Joanne Landy, a visionary that inspired so many of us striving for a world free of war and oppression, died October 14 in Manhattan. She was 75.
Joanne - whose imagination rejected the binaries that so often limit our political work - spent a lifetime engaged in a "neither East nor West" critique of Cold War politics. She was a co-founder of Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD) and a member of the editorial board of the magazine New Politics. A veteran of the 1960s Berkeley Free Speech Movement and a life-long socialist, Joanne was an energetic presence in New York City, on the streets and at the many contentious CPD-sponsored discussions over the years. These debates often featured organizers from regions under the gun, highlighting the leadership and vision of movements in the Global South, that she understood to be essential for the realization of all our dreams. WRL and WRL-members worked closely with her on many projects and campaigns.
She practiced a "Third Way" politics with little tolerance for repressive regimes of either the left or the right, whichever side a government stood on the Cold War. Joanne's was a people-centered solidarity always standing with those fighting for justice, whether under Western bombs or authoritarian thumbs.
She promoted grassroots opposition movements including 'Solidarity' in Poland and the Sandinistas of Nicaragua. She opposed the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Western Europe and supported anti-austerity forces in Greece. More recently, she was a founding member of 'Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression.'
With the break up of the Soviet Union, Joanne continued to campaign tirelessly on several fronts including for a humane and democratic U.S. foreign policy as well as a single-payer system to deliver health care for all. She will be dearly missed.