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Authority record

Hansen, Ann, 1953-

  • AR453
  • Person
  • 1953-

Ann Hansen is a Canadian anarchist, born in Ontario in 1953. Her early interest in anti-authoritarian activities led her to Europe, where she studied urban guerrilla groups as a part of the University of Waterloo’s Integrated Studies department. Upon her return to Canada, she became active with the prison-abolition movement, including the production of Bulldozer magazine.

In the early 1980s, Hansen formed the guerrilla organization, Direct Action (later also known as the Vancouver Five or the Squamish Five), in Vancouver with Julia Belmas, Gerry Hannah, Doug Stewart, and Brent Taylor. Direct Action’s major activities occurred in 1982; the bombing of the Cheekey-Dunsmuir BC Hydro substation on Vancouver Island in May, and the bombing of the Litton Industries factory in Toronto in October. Direct Action also participated in the collective Wimmin’s Fire Brigade firebombing actions against the Red Hot Video pornographic video store outlets in BC. The group were arrested in January 1983 on the highway near Squamish, BC; “Free the Five” rallies were organized in their support and to raise awareness of alleged biased media reporting concerning the trial. Direct Action members were sentenced to life in prison in June 1984; all members have completed their sentences and have been released. Hansen has since published Direct Action: Memoires of An Urban Guerrilla (Between the Lines Press, 2001), and co-authored, with Julie Belmas, This Is not A Love Story: Armed Struggle Against the Institutions of Patriarchy (2002; available for download from

Campbell, Jim, 1949-2007

  • AR459
  • Person
  • 1949-2007

Jim Campbell was an anarchist and publisher, primarily devoted to prison activism. Campbell was born on November 20, 1949 in Shelburn, Ontario, and grew up on the family farm near Orangeville. In the 1960s Campbell studied mathematics at the University of Waterloo before becoming active in various projects and issues such as food- and housing-cooperatives. In the late 1970s Campbell helped establish one of several hippie communes “Dragonfly farm” in the Bancroft, Ontario, which still operates; he left the commune in 1981. Campbell supported his activist activities through his work as a City of Toronto municipal worker.

Campbell was a significant figure through his involvement in the formation of the Bulldozer collective in Toronto in 1980 and the creation of the Bulldozer/Prison News Service (PNS) newsletter, which began publishing the same year. Bulldozer/PNS was modeled on the anarchist journal Open Road, which began in 1976 in Vancouver, and for which Campbell worked in 1977 and where he became more involved in activist oriented politics and prison issues. Regarding Bulldozer/PNS Campbell stated that “We never wrote long essays telling prisoners what they should think. Rather we tried to provide a forum in which prisoners, individually and collectively, could articulate and develop their politics.”

Through Bulldozer collective activities Campbell contributed to raising awareness regarding the treatment of indigenous peoples, the Black Panther movement, violence against women and pornography, and to the activities of the Direct Action group. To bring attention to environmental degradation and the military-industrial complex, Direct Action (also known as the “Squamish Five,” and the “Vancouver Five”) bombed a BC Hydro substation on Vancouver Island in May 1982, and a Litton Industries factory in Toronto in October 1982; Litton Industries produced components for American cruise missiles. Bulldozer collective support the distribution of Direct Action support leaflets, and as a result the office of Bulldozer was raided by police in 1983. After a hiatus in publishing, Campbell continued to assist in the publication of the prison newsletter the Marionette, which then became Prison News Service.

Campbell continued to be engaged in the changing anarchist movement in Canada until his death September 17, 2007 in Maynooth Ontario, at age 57. He worked with Dr. Allan Antliff on Only A Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology, contributing pieces “Bulldozer/PNS” and “Racism.” Campbell is survived by his partner Julie Thiers.

Amberstone, Celu, 1947-

  • Amberstone, Celu, 1947-
  • Person
  • 1947-

Celu Amberstone is an indigenous Canadian writer of Cherokee and Celtic ancestry, born in 1947 in the United States. She is Metis. As one of the “measles babies” of the 1940s, she was born with congenital cataracts from complications of rubella and is legally blind. As a child she had access to books on tape and became a voracious reader. She also developed an interest in traditional Cherokee spiritual, medicinal, and cultural practices. Amberstone began to care for her family when she was 12 years old, after her mother contracted cancer.

Amberstone earned her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and her M.A. in Health Education. However, because of her disability she initially struggled to find work, and worked for a time as a barmaid and go-go dancer. She moved to Canada after falling in love with a man from Manitoba, and to live among indigenous people who practiced their traditional way of life. She has been employed as health researcher and writer of educational materials for the Dene Nation in the Northwest Territories, a writer of cross-cultural awareness workshop material, a teacher and program coordinator of Native arts and crafts, a life skills coach and counsellor, and cook. She has avoided cities most of her life and has lived in “rain forests of the west coast, a tepee in the desert and a small village in Canada’s arctic.”1

After government cutbacks in the late 1980s, Amberstone turned to writing. Although without eyesight, her stories come to her in vivid dreams and visions. She was encouraged by her typing instructor to write, and used audio recordings of her dreams to learn typing skills, but it was not until her brother gave her a computer with text-to-speech technology that she was able to begin seriously. She writes primarily speculative fiction and is a member of SF Canada, through which she has co-edited and contributed to Communique, SF Canada’s newsletter.

Under her Cherokee name Gua Gua La, Amberstone published a two-volume novel, Renewal: Prophecy of Manu and Teoni’s Giveaway (Penticton, B.C. : Theytus Books, 1985-1986). She has published two books under the name Celu Amberston: Blessings of the Blood: A Book of Menstrual Lore and Rituals for Women (Victoria, B.C. : Beach Holme, 1991), and Deepening the Power: Community Ritual and Sacred Theatre (Victoria, B.C. : Beach Holme, 1995). Under Celu Amberstone, her short story “Refugees” was published in anthologies So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy (Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004), and Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction (Tucson : University of Arizona Press, 2012). Her young adult novel The Dreamer’s Legacy was published in 2011 (Wiarton, Ont. : Kegedonce Press).

Amberstone currently resides in Victoria, B.C. near her children and grandchildren.

Beyer, Dana, 1952-

  • Beyer, Dana, 1952-
  • Person
  • 1952-

Dana Beyer, M.D. is an American activist, politician, and retired eye surgeon. She was born February 2, 1952 in New York, New York. In 1974 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University, and in 1978 she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine. She currently resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland and has two sons.

With colleagues Drs. Scott Kerlin (University of Victoria) and Milton Diamond (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa), Beyer conducted research on the impact of in-utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), an endocrine disrupting compound given during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage and stillbirth. Their findings suggested that the drug causes intersexuality and transgender expression in human beings. They presented their findings to the International Behavioral Development Symposium in 2005. Beyer was also medical advisor for the DES Sons International Network listserv.

After retiring from her career as eye surgeon, Beyer became involved in activism and politics. She is a transgender activist and has sat on boards of many LGBTQ rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Maryland, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland. Beyer has fought for anti-discrimination legislation in Maryland which would increase protections and rights of transgender people. In 2008 Beyer was the subject of an investigation by the Ethics Commission of Maryland for harassing petitioners against this legislation, and she subsequently filed a complaint for discrimination and rights violation. She was part of the DSM-V Task Force for Gender Identity Disorder, which was renamed Gender Dysphoria in 2012. In 2011 she co-founded Gender Equality Maryland and operated as the executive director until 2018. She won the 2010 Community Advocacy award from the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the 2011 Best Transgender Advocate award from the Washington Blade, and was inducted into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2014.

Beyer is Jewish and has also been involved with Jewish LGBTQ organizations. She sat on the Keshet Board of Directors, an organization which promotes the inclusion of LGBTQ Jews in Jewish life. She currently sits on the board of A Wider Bridge, the North American organization which promotes LGBTQ inclusion in Israel and equality for Israel, through cultivating constructive engagement. She is also Regional Advocacy Chair for J Street, a national organization which advocates for diplomacy with Israel and a peaceful two-state solution.

Beyer identifies as a Progressive Democrat and was the first transgender candidate for State Senate in American history. She ran three unsuccessful campaigns for public office: State Delegate in 2010, and State Senator in 2014 and 2018. She supported Hillary Clinton's candidacy in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Corbould, Alfred Chantrey, 1852-1920

  • Corbould, Alfred Chantrey, 1852-1920
  • Person
  • 1852-1920

Alfred Chantrey Corbould (1852-1920), artist and illustrator, studied with his uncle Charles Keene, who introduced him to Punch, where much of his work was published.

Frith, William Powell, 1819-1909

  • Frith, William Powell, 1819-1909
  • Person
  • 1819-1909

William Powell Frith (1819-1909), painter of historical and genre works, including large canvases such as Derby Day (1858). “The Race for Wealth” comprises five paintings, all based around a fictional central character, a corrupt financier called The Spider, and all dealing with the theme of reckless financial speculation. Inspired by characters found in the novels of Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope, The Spider persuades his victims to invest in dubious schemes. Often compared with Hogarth’s “The Rake’s Progress,” “The Race for Wealth” portrays The Spider’s initial success, his unmasking, his trial, and ends with his imprisonment.

Gilbert, Lara, 1972-1995

  • Gilbert, Lara, 1972-1995
  • Person
  • 1972-1995

Lara Gilbert (Catherine Grace Lara Lian Gilbert) was born in Burnaby, British Columbia on November 26, 1972 to parents Carole Itter, artist, and Gerry Gilbert, poet. Gilbert grew up in Vancouver’s Strathcona and Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods. During her infancy she lived in a large house with her mother and father, her father's parents, and her father's sister and partner. When she was four years old her parents separated and initially shared custody. When Gilbert was 12 years old, she requested to live with her mother full-time and did so until 1992, her third year of university.

Described as a solitary child, she excelled academically, and earned academic awards at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. She was considered a gifted writer from an early age; she began journal writing at approximately 8 years old, and continued writing until her death at age 22. As a child she invented an imaginary world called Kawiakee, including an encoded language and deity Goshiba, which she would refer to throughout her life.

Gilbert attended Lord Strathcona Elementary School, Brittania High School, and the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she earned an honours degree in biochemistry. Following the completion of undergraduate studies, she applied unsuccessfully to a number of Canadian medical schools. Her research paper, “Diagnosis of Viral Respiratory Tract Infections in Children by Using a Reverse Transcription-PCR Panel”, was published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, January 1996.

While continuing with her studies, Gilbert suffered from mental illness due to childhood and adulthood sexual abuse by her father and paternal grandfather. She was diagnosed with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder. She underwent various treatments including prescription medication, talk therapy, and psychiatric ward admission with electroshock therapy. During her 1993 admission at Vancouver General Hospital, she was sexually assaulted by an orderly. She filed a criminal complaint against VGH, which was ultimately dismissed. On a few occasions, she returned to the Downtown Eastside and experimented with street drugs and prostitution. Following many suicide attempts, Gilbert died from an intentional pharmaceutical drug overdose, October 7, 1995.

Excerpts from Gilbert’s journals were published posthumously in I Might Be Nothing (Trafford Publishing: 2004), edited and with an introduction by Carole Itter.

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