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Martha “Marty” Nathan, Activist and Greensboro Massacre Survivor, Dies at 70

HeadlineDec 03, 2021

Social justice and environmental advocate Martha “Marty” Nathan has died after a battle with lung cancer and congestive heart failure. She was 70 years old. Nathan was a co-founder of Climate Action Now and the founder of the environmental group 2degrees Northampton. She was also a retired physician. Nathan spoke to Democracy Now! in 2019 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Greensboro massacre — when 40 Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis opened fire on an anti-Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina, killing five antiracist activists in a span of 88 seconds.

Dr. Marty Nathan: “Five people were murdered, including my husband Mike, and 10 people were injured. The police were nowhere to be found.”

In 2020, Greensboro’s City Council passed a resolution apologizing for the attack and the police department’s complicity in the killings. Marty Nathan said the Greensboro massacre showed how white supremacist violence continues to threaten movements for social and economic justice. 

Dr. Marty Nathan: “We stand for the rights of people to live and to live decently. In a time of climate change, threat of nuclear war and increasing economic disparity, we all have to be in the streets, and we do not want to get shot.”

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