Shatzi Weisberger, known as the People's Bubbie after going viral as a fixture at New York protests in support of everything from Black Lives Matter to Free Palestine, has died at the age of 92.
Weisberger, who was Jewish and a lesbian and often referred to herself as a dyke, often went viral for her protest signs, like "Jewish dyke standing with Palestine queers" or "92 year old dyke saying FIGHT LIKE HELL + LOVE EACH OTHER HARDER."
"Shatzi was in her own home when she died, exactly according to her wishes, thanks in large part to the support this community showed her by donating and sharing her GoFundMe," a caption on Jewish Voice for Peace NYC's Instagram stated. "She said over and over that she felt utterly surrounded in love. In her own words this past week: 'I am dying, and yet this is the best time of my life.'"
Weisberger got her start in advocacy by opposing redlining and then nuclear technology. In June 2020, she broke curfew to attend a Black Lives Matter protest. That same month, she wrote a column for HuffPost and said that all she wanted for her 90th birthday was the abolishment of police.
"The police brutalize and kill too many Black people for me to remain on the sidelines," she wrote. "Like our signs say, 'White silence is violence.'"
At a 2021 anti-Zionism protest, Weisberger carried a sign that read "Zionism is genocide!"
"I had to come here today," she told Middle East Eye. "I am outraged at what the Zionists are doing. I am outraged at the media and their distortions."
Her death sparked an outpouring of grief and gratitude on social media.
She was a nurse for most of her life, but toward the end, she became a death educator and hosted "cafés" where people could talk openly about death. Last year, Weisberger told the Advocate that she wanted a green burial and for her friends to be with her when she died.
"I'll be wrapped in a shroud and Amy is going to drive my body upstate," she said. "I have a spot in the woods upstate and I'm going to be buried there in the woods. At some point, my body will start to deteriorate and something will grow. It might just be weeds or it might be a bush or a flower. It might be a tree. So I perceive my end of life as bringing life into the world. That's what I'm hoping for. Whether or not it happens that way, who knows? We'll have to see, but that's my desire."