Statement: Lori Nairne, Presente!

Many of you may have already heard the shocking, sudden and sad news that Lori Nairne has died. We are all devastated. We loved Lori; she was our dear campaign sister and friend.

Lori was a dedicated and active member of the Wages for Housework Campaign (WFH) since 1973 when she first met Selma James. She was a founding member of Wages Due Lesbians (now Queer Strike) in San Francisco, and with the Global Women’s Strike (GWS) since it was launched by WFH in 2000.

Lori was a movement person before we met her. She had been in student organizing in the ‘60s in Berkeley and in her ‘Independent Republic of San Francisco’. She loved movement life and was involved in every important occasion and initiative we took part in. With Rachel West she helped organize our campaigning in the San Francisco Bay Area. She coordinated Legal Action for Women there and worked closely with the US PROStitutes Collective, Women of Color in the GWS and Payday men’s network, and in support of Haiti Action Committee. She spearheaded the successful struggle for Chelsea Manning to be named Grand Marshall of the 2014 SF Pride March, military recruiters to be banned from the march and the removal of the pro-corporate Pride board. She was part of our delegations to the 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston, the UN Decade for Women in Nairobi in 1985 and Beijing in 1995, the World Social Forum in Caracas in 2006, as well as all our international conferences in the US and the UK. She also did much of the daily organizational housework that keeps a campaign functioning.

Importantly she was a nurse; like many other women in the movement, she wanted to earn her living by doing a caring job. She later became a homeopath because she rejected big pharma’s capitalistic domination of healthcare – what she called ‘western’. She loved homeopathy’s holistic approach which begins with each individual’s ‘vital force’. Many of us internationally consulted her about health questions for ourselves and our loved ones (human or animal). She was often our first and sometimes our only possible port of call when we needed information and a knowledgeable alternative view on health. She was cheerful, warm and caring, and made herself readily available. In 2011 she spent a month in Guyana training women in our network who were interested in learning how to use homeopathy. She worked with the homeopath at our women’s centre in London and was often on skype or email with someone in our network who needed help.

Not a mother herself, Lori was involved in the raising and caring for a number of children. She loved them and they loved her, and they remained close as adults.

Lori was found in her home on Saturday, August 19th. A close friend who had borrowed her car and was returning it with some groceries, called the police when Lori didn’t answer the door, though the light was on. After further calls they finally turned up and broke in. The exact cause of death is not yet confirmed. Lori had some health problems but no one had thought them life threatening so the news was entirely unexpected.

There will be a witnessed cremation with close family and friends at the beginning of September and a public celebration of Lori’s life and her contributions to the movement in October – date to be confirmed. We want to include everyone’s memories and what she meant to them. Please send us your thoughts and photos so we can circulate them together.

Lori, Presente! You will be badly missed. Global Women’s Strike