Sara Jane Olson - Symbionese Liberation Army

Symbionese Liberation Army

Kathleen Soliah was born in Fargo, North Dakota while her family were living in Barnesville, Minnesota. When she was eight, her conservative Lutheran family relocated to Southern California. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Soliah moved to Berkeley, California with her boyfriend, Jim Kilgore. There, she met Angela Atwood at an acting audition where they both won lead roles. They became inseparable during the play's run. Atwood tried to sponsor Soliah into the SLA. Regardless, Soliah and Jim Kilgore, along with her brother Steve and sister Josephine followed the SLA closely, but did not join.

When Atwood and other core members of the SLA were killed in 1974 during a standoff with police near Watts, California following their murder of the Oakland school superintendent, the Soliahs organized memorial rallies, including a rally in Berkeley's Ho Chi Minh Park where Soliah spoke in support of her friend Atwood, while being covertly filmed by the FBI. At that rally, Soliah said that her fellow SLA members had been:

viciously attacked and murdered by 500 pigs in L.A. while the whole nation watched. Well, I believe that Gelina and her comrades fought until the last minutes, and though I would like to have her with me here right now, I know that she lived happy and she died happy. And in that sense, I'm so very proud of her. SLA soldiers - I know it is not necessary to say; but keep on fighting. I'm with you and we are with you!

She asserted that Atwood "was a truly revolutionary woman ... among the first white women to fight so righteously for their beliefs and to die for what they believed in."

Now a fugitive, founding SLA member Emily Harris disguised herself and visited Soliah, who was on the job at a bookstore. Soliah later recalled, "I was glad she was alive. I expected them to be killed at any time." She felt sorry for the group and agreed to help the remaining group hide from the police and FBI. She assisted them by procuring supplies for their San Francisco hideout and birth certificates of dead infants that could be used for identification purposes.

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