Daniel Pollitt rests at last

Dan Pollitt was a dedicated activist and leader in our community for decades. He passed away this morning after a lifetime dedicated to peace and justice. My heart goes out to his wife Senator Ellie Kinnaird and the rest of his family. But the loss is all of ours. Pollitt was a beacon, lighting the way forward from just a little ahead of the rest of us.

Here's the Independent's profile of him from 10 years ago:

Chapel Hill attorney Bill Massengill nails it: "He's the aggressive-liberal gentleman. Dan can aggressively press his ideas without offending people." Even when those ideas are quite hopelessly out of fashion--as they so very often are.

Take, for example, Pollitt's defense of free association amid Red Scare panic. Or integration in the Jim Crow South. It took the times some time to catch up with Pollitt on those two.

Or what about advocating labor unions in a "right-to-work" state? How very un-20th century. And Pollitt's predilection for the abolishment of state-sanctioned executions? Next season, maybe, or perhaps the one after that.


"Dan Pollitt," says Deborah Ross, "is a combination of Don Quixote and one of the best legal minds we'll ever have."

"I believe in free speech, I believe in nude dancing, I believe in the works," Pollitt says, staking his claim.

"The people who need protection are usually the outsiders; the First Amendment isn't necessary for insiders. It's got to be something that's a little shocking, a little offbeat, something that's annoying, something that may be dangerous. That's the need of the First Amendment."

- The Independent Weekly: Taking Liberties, 3/15/2000

Please share your favorite stories of Dan and his many accomplishments.



Indeed a great loss, and a thoughtful man, to me an intellectual model.   Dan and Ellie were on my community radio show before the presidential elections - archived on iBiblio at this link to listen (long - 30+ minutes):http://www.ibiblio.org/wcom/podcast/mp3/mp3s/Carrboro_Live_10302008000.mp3 =Tofu Dave  dbellin@EcoTuneYourHome.com


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