Category Archives: Freedom Archives Events and Trips

Handala

Posted on by 0 comment
1

Color Images taken in Dheisheh Refugee Camp outside Bethlehem (March 2016); Black and White Images taken from Democratic Palestine (Sept. 1987).

2

Color Images taken in Dheisheh Refugee Camp outside Bethlehem (March 2016); Black and White Images taken from Democratic Palestine (Sept. 1987).

 

Recently, the Freedom Archives was a part of the first US delegation to Palestine focused on political imprisonment and designed to strengthen the solidarity between Palestinian and US prisoners. During our ten day trip, we were empowered and humbled by stories of the ways many Palestinians maintain their culture and dignity while resisting the brutality of the Zionist colonial project. One of the methods of resistance is through revolutionary art, an example being the image of Handala.

Handala, created by political cartoonist Naji Al Ali, is a child refugee who always has his back turned to the audience as he watches policies and events unfold. Handala is now an icon of Palestinian defiance and is seen the world over as a symbol of resistance to oppression.

3

Top: The names of villages of origin are inscribed on the ceiling at the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp (March 2016). Black and White Image taken from Democratic Palestine (Sept. 1987).

Al Ali spent most of his childhood in refugee camps and began sketching outside and inside of his family’s tent. He also developed his drawing skills in prison after he was arrested by the Lebanese military intelligence. His political cartoons are critical of the Israeli, Arab and United States governments. Al Ali’s cartoons effectively called for change and revolution, making him a threat to Israeli occupation.

Al Ali was assassinated on July 23rd,1987 by the Israeli military.

The following images weave the historical representations of Handala with some of what we saw during our trip. Truly Palestinian resistance is still alive!

You can learn more by visiting our collection on Palestine.

The Burning Urgency of Now

Posted on by 0 comment

herman bell imageDo not condemn these men to prison for life as they’ve already spent decades there. Be not in a rush to throw fresh stones at this misfortune without taking a long look in your own mirror and see the face of injustice that has long been a bane to the long suffering of Black people so that others might exact from the sweat of their brow, stripes across their backs, and terrorist lynchings to attain the untold wealth and prosperity that this nation currently enjoys. And even today you continuously lock them in your prisons in unprecedented numbers. The urgency of now is upon us.

When is “enough is enough?” The burning urgency of now calls for change, for a sharp turn into the headwinds of new possibilities for ourselves, for our children and for our nation. We want these men home. Release of them would be symbolic. Thus retribution for retribution sake is liken to a dead letter with no forwarding address.

-Taken from a recent letter written by political prisoner Herman Bell. Read at Freeing Our Political Prisoners, San Francisco, California on October 23, 2015. Herman Bell is a former Black Panther who has been locked up since 1973. Since his imprisonment, Herman has continued his work as an educator and activist.

Prisoners and Politics: from the San Quentin Six to Pelican Bay

SQ6 defendants Fleeta Drumgo; Hugo Pinell; and David Johnson stage an impromptu sit in at San Quentin in 1975 when trial jurors toured the prison
SQ6 defendants Fleeta Drumgo; Hugo Pinell; and David Johnson stage an impromptu sit in at San Quentin in 1975 when trial jurors toured the prison.

Greetings,

Last Wednesday we co-sponsored Prisoners and Politics: from the San Quentin Six to Pelican Bay with Shaping San Francisco. 518 Valencia was standing room only with the space packed to capacity. The four panelists all shared interesting perspectives and drew important connections between historical and contemporary prison resistance. If you missed it, or just want to hear it again, follow the link below to a podcast of the entire event. We’ve also included the approximate timing for each panelists if you want to jump around. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great event!

Prisoners and Politics Podcast

Author of Captive Nation Dan Burger (08:00- 32:00); original member of SQ Six David Johnson (32:30-48:00); original member of SQ Six Luis “Bato” Talamantez (48:00-54:30); National Lawyer’s Guild attorney Caitlin Kelly Henry (54:30-1:12:00); Q and A (1:12:00-end).

-Nathaniel

 

Recent Outreach Updates

Posted on by 0 comment
WhenFreedomBecomesResponsibility2

Zine created and published by Brenda Montaño

Greetings,

This past week has been a busy one for the Archives! Please consider making a donation (on our blog) or here to help the archives continue to remain grounded in the community and conduct outreach programs such as these:

Asian Pacific American Library Association Conference at USF: We presented at the Building Bridges with Organizations Community Session which brought together a wide range of community organizations and Asian American librarians from all over the country. The session provided us an opportunity to showcase our resources, meet with potential collaborators in the Asian American community, and forge connections with libraries, information centers, and other organizations.

UC Berkeley Debate Camp: We visited a high school policy debate camp at UC Berkeley to talk with students about this upcoming year’s topic which is about curtailing domestic surveillance. We watched COINTELPRO 101 to provide students with a robust historical context on the issue of government surveillance and discussing the political stakes of domestic surveillance beyond individualistic privacy rights. After the documentary we split into breakout groups to further engage certain topics and get feedback from the students. The discussions were wonderful and the students were able to connect issues such as Stop and Frisk, TSA searches and Islamophobia to larger issues of counter-insurgency and state repression.

When Freedom Becomes Responsibility- Collecting Stories of Xican@ Resistance in Colorado: A former intern, colleague and comrade Brenda Montaño debuted her zine highlighting her experiences working with us in Colorado on our upcoming documentary on the Xican@ student movement. Lots of great stuff in this zine!!! To purchase her work search SING YOUR LIFE LITERATURE PRODUCTS on etsty.com.

-Nathaniel

Help Us to Continue Our Work

Posted on by 0 comment

Greetings friends,

vietnam 2We’ve had a productive and inspiring past six months with much to share! We helped organize a May 2nd teach-in at MetWest High School in Oakland, entitled “the Spirit of Viet Nam is Stronger than US Bombs.” Close to 200 people participated in the day-long inter-generational and anti-imperialist event which connected the legacy of the Vietnamese victory to challenges facing our communities today. We worked along with activists, youth groups from the Asian diaspora, veterans, and others, as part of the Viet Nam Victory Coalition. As a part of the lead up to the event, we launched an educational webpage featuring significant audio clips from the Archives, an interactive timeline with some short videos and pieces by Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Two examples are below.

Geronimo Ji-Jaga speaking about his experiences in Viet Nam and Detroit:

 

Audio from Chicano Moratorium Press Conference:

 

vietnam 5 The interaction between movement elders and youth activists was a powerful aspect of the day’s activities and definitely strengthened the fabric of resistance in the Bay Area and modeled anti-imperialist solidarity. Its so important to provide opportunities and experiences for young people to gain a more nuanced and robust understanding of the movements, strategies and lessons that shaped the world we live in today. This is the core mission of the Freedom Archives. However, we need your help to continue organizing events, creating educational resources and preserving the voices of the struggle. Your help ensures that the priceless perspectives and experiences are archived and accessible for generations to come. You can contribute here or at our website. Thanks for all of your support!

-Nathaniel

Translate »