City of Portland Archives and Record Center. Record # B/11981. Police Historical/Archival Investigative Files: People’s Army Jamboree (women’s liberation parade)City of Portland Archives and Record Center. Record # B/11981. Police Historical/Archival Investigative Files: People’s Army Jamboree (women’s liberation parade)

Investigators Fixed Their Gaze on Feminists

Scan down the list of groups the police investigators listed for surveillance, and you’ll discover the following groups with the word “women” or “feminist” in the title:

Black Women’s Rap Group
Coalition for Battered Women
Coalition of Labor Union Women
National Organization for Women (NOW)
Radical Women
Union Women’s Alliance to Gain Equality
United Indian Women
United Feminists Against the Right
Women of All Red Nations
Women Strike for Peace
Women’s (& Children’s) Rights Coalition
Women’s Crisis Service
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
Women’s Mental Health Project
Women’s Night Watch
Women’s Rights Coalition

Then there are other files—Mom’s Garage supported women who wished to be auto mechanics. Lavinia Press was the innovative newspaper associated with Women’s Night Watch. The featured image in this report actually comes from the police investigator’s extensive photographic surveillance of the People’s Army Jamboree—a coalition of groups coalesced in protest to then-President Richard Nixon’s 1970 visit to Portland. What becomes clear in the pile-up of these files is that these investigators feared women organizing. Organizing to protect victims of violence—domestic and otherwise. Organizing around intersections between gender and race or ethnicity. Organizing against war. Organizing around health. Organizing around labor. What becomes clear in the pile-up of these documents is that investigators feared women organizing for better conditions.