I moved to the Twin Cities after the Honeywell Project years so it took me a few years before my path crossed with Marv Davidov. It seemed to me that everyone involved in peace and justice protest in the area had worked with Marv at some time or other. He was a thorn in the side (or, more accurately, a pain in the ass) to those in authority who wished to protect a status quo which trampled the rights of the poor or marginalized or used military force against others. As one friend remarked to me, he was also a pain in the ass to many of his friends as well.
“A prophet without honor in his own home town” was an observation about another Jewish agitator a couple of millenniums ago; he ended up crucified by governmental authorities who wanted to repress his message which they thought was subversive to the empire. And what a subversive Marv was! Marv bristled at any sign of injustice and was quick to let you know his mind – but it was always tempered with his incredible sense of humor and his smile and laugh.
Marv gave me his blessing just before I went under the fence at the School of the Americas protest in 2005 and he told Christine I needed a proper reception when I was released from Federal Prison afterward so he, she, and some other faithful friends greeted me with a banner and noisemakers as I stepped off the Greyhound bus in my new prison-supplied clothes in 2006.
Carol Masters so wonderfully captured many of Marv’s adventures in the book she wrote with Marv (You Can’t Do That: Marv Davidov, Non-Violent Revolutionary) and it is great that this agitator for peace was able to be lionized before his passing. He loved being able to give readings from the book and then would embellish the story Carol had recorded with additional details and memories.
Thursday morning while visiting him at Walker Methodist Health Center, I told him I was stepping out of the room so one of his care-takers could change his dressing. He grabbed my hand, smiled, and said, “I love you, Steve” and I returned the sentiment. He knew his time was rapidly approaching and he dared not leave any loose ends. As I think of this brother with many fond memories, one of my favorites was his story about standing naked in the shower at a health club and his conversation with an FBI agent. If you don’t know it, get Carol’s book and enjoy some of the many adventures and stories of my friend and mentor.
Rest in peace, my brother. [Marv died about noon on January 14th]