Margaret Sarber making a peace sign

Margaret Sarber-Nie passed away today. Many people whose lives intertwined with hers are mourning. Margaret was a hippie, an activist, a militant. Her resume includes involvement with some of the most radical organizations of the 60s and 70s. She was one of the founders of Community Festival, edited the Columbus Free Press, worked with the Indochina Coalition, SDS, and participated in demonstrations and actions – fighting for a revolution.

I can remember the first time I met Margaret. It was at Community Festival in the early 90s. I had just begun publishing the Free Press and she told me she was a former editor of the paper and I should look it up in the newspaper’s files. If I wanted to talk to her, I could call her at 268-FUCK. I did call her.

Margaret was a great storyteller and fascinating as the stories were – they were all true. From her being one of the Free Press staff arrested in 1972 for inciting riot during the Vietnam War to openly carrying a rifle to protect the community from law enforcement and the FBI (wearing a beret, of course).

She joined the Free Press Board while I was publisher and editor, and she became the Chair. She helped deliver the Free Press. We saw her monthly at the Second Saturday Salons. The Free Press honored her with a Board President award, athe Free Press “Libby” award for Lifetime Achievement in Community Activism, and just a couple years ago, the “Most Radical Editor” award.

When I think of Margaret and her passing, it’s worth paraphrasing the words of Frederick Engels’ speech at the grave of Karl Marx: “For Margaret was, before all else, a revolutionary. Her real mission in life was to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of capitalist society and of the state institutions which it had brought into being….”