About the CWLU
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Chronology of Significant Events in the History of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and of Liberation School for Women

( Editors note: undated but probably late 1970's)


CWLU founded in November, with a fairly loose structure, poorly defined member ship, representative Steering Committee with limited power, and unpaid staff. Abortion Counseling Service, Women's Graphics Collective, South Side Women's Liberation Center, and other groups affiliate with CWLU.


CWLU membership expands tremendously, largely as a result of media publicity about the women's movement. CWLU structure evolves towards monthly city-wide meetings, regular Steering Committee meetings and paid staff.

Liberation School formed in fall, based in part on previous educational ideas from the Political Education Committee, College Organizing Committee, and Alice Hamilton Women's Health Clinic.

Other CWLU work groups formed in 1970: Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band; Anti-Imperialist Committee; Alice Hamilton Women's Health Clinic (which became Pregnancy Testing); and La Dolores/Northside Women's Center.


In April, CWLU holds first membership conference since its founding, which tightens up membership and structure, and clarifies Steering Committee's decision-making powers. (This came at the end of, a struggle involving women from Socialist Worker's Party/Young Socialist Alliance, along with other women, who wanted a looser structure.)

Liberation School holds its first session in February (there were 4 sessions held in 1971, 3 per year thereafter).

LS involved in women's studies conferences in Chicago (in early spring) and in New York City (May).

Other work groups: Action Committee for Decent Childcare; Legal Clinic; Sister Center (in Rogers Park) ; and WOMANKIND (monthly newspaper).


CWLU membership conference in November adopts revision of SC structure to include co-chairs chosen from CWLU as a whole ; adopts two position Papers (Socialist Feminism: A Strategy... and Lesbianism and Socialist Feminism); and changed Political Principles to include support for gay liberation.

LS begins to develop in the direction of doing more outreach classes.
Other work groups: Direct Action for Rights in Employment (DARE); China Group; Gay Group; Rape Crisis Line; Connecting Link; and High School/Junior College Outreach (later called SECRET STORM).


The first co-chairs are chosen at the beginning of the year; in November, the membership conference adopts a proposal for a 5-person Planning Committee (2 co-chairs plus 3-other people).

In June, LS sponsors a conference for women's schools from other cities.

Other work groups: Abortion Task Force; Health Evaluation and Referral Service (HERS); Women's Prison Project; and Emma Goldman Women's Clinic.


Planning Committee forms,and co-ordinates major International Women's Day demonstration in March. Later in year, there's the beginning of a struggle around Revolutionary Union's position on gay liberation (which particularly affected LS, since most of the work group was gay, but also had one RU member).

Other work groups: Lesbian Group (later called BLAZING STAR).


Culmination of RU struggle results in expulsion of one member from CWLU and voluntary withdrawal of several others. Later in year, another major struggle begins after PC writes a position paper and is rebutted by "Two Line" position.

National Conference on Socialist Feminism is held in July--CWLU was involved the planning, and LS sponsored study groups in advance of the conference.

Other work groups: Asian Women's Group.


Co-Chair and PC elections not held due to internal chaos. CWLU suffers a big split in March, 'In which "Two Line" supporters are expelled.

Liberation School folds in summer


Chicago Women's Liberation Union disbands in April.