Coalition for the Homeless
New York, New York
You Can Jail a Revolutionary
But You Can’t Jail the Revolution
Fred Hampton (1948 -1969)—was a charismatic and brilliant orator, organizer and head of the Chicago Black Panther Party. He was assassinated on December 4, 1969 by the F.B.I, working with the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Attorney’s Office.
Born in Illinois, Hampton was a student leader in high school and an activist with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1968, he joined the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, and quickly became the Illinois State Chair of the organization. Hampton organized weekly rallies, taught political education classes, attended the Breakfast for Children program daily, and helped establish the Free People’s Clinic on Chicago’s West Side.
A powerful and eloquent speaker, he was set to be appointed the Party’s Central Committee as Chief of Staff in November 1970. Fearing Hampton’s ability to spread the Panther’s message, the FBI, through an informant, obtained a floorplan of his apartment. The same informant gave Hampton a drugged hot chocolate before he went to bed on December 3 to ensure he wouldn’t wake up. At 4:30 a.m. on December 3, 1969, the FBI raided the apartment, killing Hampton and Panther Mark Clark, and wounding several others.
The Murder of Fred Hampton was part of the Domestic Counter Intelligence Programs (COINTELPROs). COINTELPROs were covert operations designed to infiltrate, destabilize, and destroy organizations that law enforcement and government officials deemed as threats to national security. In the 1940s and 1950s, COINTELPROs were directed almost exclusively at the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party, USA. During the late 1960s the vast majority of COINTELPRO operations were directed against black organizations, for the purpose of causing internal dissent and conflicts with other black organizations. The special COINTELPRO division labeled “Black Propaganda” included fabricated publications designed to give organizations a bad public image, fabricated cartoons and letters to foster tensions between groups, infiltration by informers, false rumors, fabricated evidence, and police assaults. In August 1967, the FBI launched a COINTELPRO operation against the Panthers which contributed to the Panther's siege mentality.
Los Angeles, California
I often tell people that I am an ex-drag queen, ex-hooker, ex-IV drug user, ex-high risk youth, and current postoperative transsexual woman who is HIV-positive.
– Connie Norman
Born in Texas, Norman fled to Hollywood at the age of 14. Having recovered from drug addiction, Norman underwent therapy and then a sex-change operation in 1976. She began her political life as an AIDS and Queer activist with the Los Angeles chapter of ACT UP. In 1991 she transformed the media landscape by becoming the first openly queer host of a commercial talk radio show. “The Connie Norman Show” aired daily on XEK-AM where she was able to share her views on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and human rights issues. In 1993 Norman became the first transgender Director of Public Policy at AIDS Service Center in Pasadena, a California non-profit agency. Norman’s reach was broad, as she also co-hosted an LGBTQ Cable TV program and was a newspaper columnist for a San Diego publication. Because of her unyielding activism, she was honored with awards from various groups including the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, California State Senate and California Assembly. ACT UP/LA never gave an award or honor to anyone except Norman. Just before her passing they made official her self-proclaimed status as “AIDS Diva”. Her ashes were scattered on the lawn of the Clinton White House as part of the national ACT UP "Ashes Action" on October 13, 1996. Her legacy is sustained by Christopher Street West who established the Connie Norman Award to honor an individual or organization for outstanding achievement in fostering racial, ethnic, religious, and gender unity within the LGBTQ community.
World AIDS DAY
AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981 and an estimated 33.3 million people worldwide, including at least 2.5 million children, live with HIV, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.
Freedom to Lead
CSPG’s Poster-of-the-Week celebrates the release of Aung San Suu Kyi,
Aung San Suu Kyi may have been released but there are still more than 2,200 political prisoners in
Modern Electric Chair
Juliano Ijichi Machado
Requiem para los del 3 de mayo
Aida Torkamani Asl
It must be stopped
Death is Not Justice*
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics’ Posters-of-the-Week commemorates October 10, 2010, the 8th World Day Against the Death Penalty.
The death penalty is a violation of human rights, and more than two thirds of countries in the world have banned executions. 58 still persist in killing people in the name of “justice.” In 2009, countries with the highest number of executions were Iran (with at least 388 executions), Iraq (at least 120), Saudi Arabia (at least 69), and the United States (52). In China information regarding the death penalty remains a secret, but according to Amnesty International China executes more people than the rest of the world combined.
Recently retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, 90, said that the lone vote he regrets in his nearly 35 years on the High Court is one that he cast to restore the death penalty in 1976. **
To educate and inspire people to work against the death penalty, we are featuring some amazing posters produced for Poster for Tomorrow, an independent, non-profit organization based in Paris and founded by Hervé Matine. Matine invited Carol Wells, CSPG’s founding director to be one of 100 online international curators to select the top 100 posters out of several thousand submissions. A live jury then picked the 10 winning posters which can be seen at http://www.posterfortomorrow.org/
The ten winning designs will become part of the permanent collection of nine internationally acclaimed design museums. The Center for the Study of Political Graphics will be the only U.S. institution to receive them. The other museums are:
- Dansk Plakatmuseum, Denmark
- Design Museum Gent, Belgium
- Graphic Design Museum, The Netherlands
- Lahti Poster Museum, Finland
- Les Arts Decoratifs, France
- Museum für Gestaltung, Switzerland
- Wilanow Poster Museum, Poland
- Victoria and Albert Museum, England
Most of the activities of Poster for Tomorrow promote active citizenship through the medium of design. They want to encourage people, both those in and outside the design community, to make posters to stimulate debate in the local and international communities on issues that affect us all.
* The title of the anti-death penalty design organized by Poster for Tomorrow .
Build A Wall Of Resistance
Silkscreen, circa 1980
San Francisco, California
CSPG’s Poster-of-the-Week has been reproduced a number of times over the past thirty years, always in response to FBI harassment of activists and Grand Jury subpoenas. It is currently being reissued after FBI SWAT teams broke down doors of anti-war leaders and activists in Minneapolis and Chicago on Friday, September 24, 2010. The activists were served with Federal Grand Jury subpoenas; personal papers, photographs, computers and cell phones were seized.
Friday’s raids came on the heels of a Justice Department probe that found the FBI improperly monitored activist groups and individuals from 2001 to 2006. Just two days earlier, the Boston Globe published an editorial about contemporary red-baiting, and how groups such as The Catholic Worker and The Thomas Merton Center—which had absolutely no connection with 9-11—were being investigated by the FBI. For more on the FBI’s ongoing post 9-11 war against dissent, targeting environmental, peace and social justice groups see: http://warisacrime.org/content/inspector-general-criticism-doesnt-faze-fbi-raids-midwestern-anti-war-activists.
Poster history—Build a Wall of Resistance: Don’t Talk to the FBI.
This poster, designed by Fireworks Graphics Collective in San Francisco in the late 1970s, was silk-screened on newsprint and posted on the street. Its purpose was, and is, to inform people that they do not have to talk to the FBI, and that refusing to talk to the FBI or testify to Grand Juries are ways of supporting the movement for social change. It was one in a series of posters supporting members of the Puerto Rican independence movement in Chicago, New York, and Puerto Rico, who were being harassed by the FBI and being subpoenaed to testify at Grand Juries. Several people went to jail for refusing to appear, but no one testified, and the Grand Jury was unable to break the solidarity of the movement.
It was reprinted several times in the 1980s, including in 1984 to support members of the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee in SF (JBAKC), who had been subpoenaed to a Grand Jury in Chicago under the ruse that a threatening letter had been sent with the JBAKC mailbox in San Francisco as the return address. After a few months of refusal to testify, the Federal Attorney dropped what was one of their more blatant fishing expeditions.
In 2005, three new San Francisco Grand Juries occasioned another reprinting of the Build a Wall poster.
Several environmental and animal rights activists were subpoenaed to a Grand Jury fishing expedition about small explosive devices that went off outside at Chiron corporation, an Emeryville (SF Bay Area) biotechnology firm, and Shaklee corporation in Pleasanton. The government was unable to find the suspect, so tried to get friends and animal rights activists to testify against him and the movement. It is believed that everyone resisted testifying, and the Grand Jury eventually died.
Also in 2005, Josh Wolfe, a San Francisco activist and videographer, was subpoenaed to a Federal GJ for video he took at a demonstration at which a policeman was injured. The San Francisco prosecutor refused to bring charges, so the police lied and said that the policeman’s car had been burned, and got a federal Grand Jury to subpoena Wolf based on the spurious “evidence” that since the Federal Government gave money to the SF police, the Feds had an interest in the car, and a right to call a Grand Jury. (Not a joke. That was the story). Wolfe was held for several months in the Federal prison in Dublin, CA for refusing to hand over video. Eventually the judge saw the video in question, told the prosecutor there was no footage of the injuring of the policeman, or of the burning car, (which never happened) and Wolfe was released.
In a resurrected conspiracy case in 2005, a San Francisco Grand Jury subpoenaed five former members of the Black Panther Party. All of the men refused to testify, and were put in jail for several weeks until the Grand Jury ended. In 2006 the five men plus four others, were charged by the California Attorney General with the killing of a San Francisco policeman in 1971. (Another case where local authorities were not willing to bring charges; in this case Jerry Brown, then the state Attorney General, brought charges). After being charged in January of 2006, they became known as the San Francisco 8. Evidence against the 8 was based solely on statements made by three men who were tortured by New Orleans police in 1973. Because of the torture, the case had been thrown out of court in 1975. Courtrooms were packed with supporters for the next five years. By late 2010 one defendant had died, two had pled to substantially lowered charges in exchange for probation, and the prosecution was forced to drop all charges against four of the others. One former Panther, Francisco Torres, still had one charge that the prosecution had not dropped by February 2011. www.freethesf8.org.
Since September 11th, 2001, many Muslims and people from Middle Eastern countries have been questioned by the FBI, some being asked to be agents within their own community, and some being set up on terrorism charges. This has caused a great deal of fear in the community, and concern about civil rights.
In the fall of 2010, several political activists’ houses in the midwest were raided by the FBI and Homeland Security, supposedly investigating support for terrorist organizations. (Several of the activists did solidarity work with Palestine or Columbia, and most of them had helped organize demonstrations against the 2008 Republican National Convention). Twenty-three people were subpoenaed to a Chicago Grand Jury. All refused to testify. In response to the Grand Jury, several Know Your Rights workshops were held in the SF Bay Area, organized by the National Lawyers Guild, and co-sponsored by several civil rights groups, including the local Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR, which was already concerned about civil rights issues within the community). Some of the materials for the workshops included the “Build a Wall of Resistance” poster. The poster was used by Fox News and various right-wing groups to attack CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the US. A racist and McCarthyite Federal Congressional hearing was organized by Congressman Peter King (R-NY) in March 2011, which also used the poster to attack CAIR and other Muslim organizations for not being “cooperative”. Among other things, Congressman King alleged that “There is a real threat to the country from the Muslim community and the only way to get to the bottom of it is to investigate what is happening.”
The poster has been used against many other instances of government oppression for over three decades.
A short political explanation of the dangers of speaking to the FBI is available at http://grandjuryresistance.org/ .
If you or a friend is visited by the FBI or subpoenaed to a Grand Jury, contact the National Lawyers Guild at http://www.nlgsf.org/. In October of 2010 the Guild set up a hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265).
Remember, whatever they tell you, whether you are a US citizen or not, you are not legally required to talk to the FBI or any other police, and you should not do so. It is illegal to lie to the FBI, Grand Juries, or other police, and everything you say will be bent to enable the prosecution of someone. Just say: ”I do not want to talk to you”, ask for a business card, and close the door. If you do not feel comfortable with that, add: “I will talk to my lawyer and he will get back to you”. Do not say anything more, and call the National Lawyers Guild immediately.
CSPG’s poster of the week commemorates Lolita Lebrón who died August 1, 2010 at age 90.
Lolita Lebrón ¡Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
La Raza Silkscreen Center
San Francisco, California
Todos Somos Pequeños, Solo La Patría Es Grande Y Está Encarcelada
¡Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
All of us are all small, Only the Mother country is great and it is imprisoned!
Long Live Free Puerto Rico!
Lolita Lebrón (Dolores "Lolita" Lebrón Sotomayor) was an active and passionate advocate for Puerto Rican independence. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she joined the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party after moving to New York City in 1941. Within the organization she promoted ideals based on socialist and feminist principles.
In 1954, Lebrón and three other Puerto Rican nationalists entered the visitors’ gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, unfurled Puerto Rico’s flag, shouted “Free Puerto Rico!” and shot pistols wounding five congressmen. She proclaimed that, "I did not come here to kill. I came here to die," and carried a note in her purse that explained their action:
Before God and the world, my blood claims for the independence of Puerto Rico. My life I give for the freedom of my country. This is a cry for victory in our struggle for independence which for more than half a century has tried to conquer the land that belongs to Puerto Rico.
I state forever that the United States of America are betraying the sacred principles of mankind in their continuous subjugation of my country, violating their rights to be a free nation and a free people, in their barbarous torture of our apostle of independence, Don Pedro Albizu Campos.
The four were sentenced to life in prison, and spent 25 years before being pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. After her release, Lebrón returned to Puerto Rico and became president of the Nationalist Party. She remained active the rest of her life.
In 2001, at age 81, Lebrón was arrested for protesting the bombing of the island of Vieques by the U.S. Navy. Puerto Rico, one of the last remaining colonies in the world, endured almost 60 years of U.S. aerial target practice and war games, including dropping napalm and depleted uranium shells on Vieques. The cancer rate in Vieques is 26% higher than the Puerto Rican average. The U.S. navy stopped bombing Vieques in 2003.
About the Artist:
During a trip to Cuba in 1974, Linda Lucero met many Puerto Ricans from New York, and was profoundly moved by their efforts for self-determination. Lucero also felt that there were many posters of heroic men, but not enough about heroic women. Upon returning to La Raza Graphics Center in San Francisco, Lucero produced a poster featuring Lolita Lebrón. Lucero produced a second poster featuring Lebrón in 1977, and it was reissued a year later. This is the poster featured here.
At a time when growing numbers of U.S. activists identified with and supported many liberation movements, Lebrón epitomized national liberation struggles, women’s struggles, and the struggles of a Spanish-speaking people under U.S. domination. Lucero’s posters were part of a growing movement within the United States and in Puerto Rico which demanded the Puerto Rican nationalists' freedom.
U. G. Sato
Produced for the 1995 JAGDA Peace and Environment Poster Exhibition
The Nuclear Age began 65 years ago this month, during World War II, when President Harry S. Truman ordered nuclear bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On Monday, August 6, 1945, "Little Boy", the world's first nuclear bomb, was dropped over the central part of Hiroshima, Japan. The uranium-based detonation exploded about two thousand feet above the city with a blast equivalent to 13 thousand tons of TNT. On Thursday, August 9, “Fat Man,” a plutonium bomb, was detonated over Nagasaki. These two events are the only active deployments of nuclear weapons in a war. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians
The poster of the week was produced for the 50th anniversary of the bombing. It was made for a poster exhibition sponsored by the Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA). The JAGDA Peace Poster Exhibition was inaugurated in 1983 as a way of promoting peace through the medium of the poster. Since then it has continued, both in Japan and overseas, to hold exhibitions of posters with a message created by association members under themes including peace, the environment, World Heritage and Japan.
The featured poster text says, "I'm here." The ruined building was the closest building to ground zero—only a few meters away—to remain standing following the bombing. Designed by the Czech architect Jan Letzel in 1916, it was the city's Industrial Promotion Hall. In 1966 it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site over the objections of the U.S. and China. It is known by several names: the Hiroshima Dome, A-Bomb Dome, or Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Featured Artist: U. G. Sato was born in Tokyo in 1935. After graduating from Kuwasawa Design School in 1960, he established Design Farm in 1975. His works have been exhibited worldwide, including group shows and several solo exhibitions. His first U.S. exhibition took place in 2002, when the Center for the Study of Political Graphics produced, East West Graphics of Resistance--Posters of U.G. Sato (Japan) and Lex Drewinsky (Germany) at the Art Galleries of California State University, Northridge. This award winning artist has also initiated emergency Fax-Art campaigns. In 1995 he organized an anti-nuclear poster fax campaign in Paris and Tokyo to protest nuclear testing in the Pacific by France. In response to the United States military action against Iraq in 2003, he organized an anti-war poster fax campaign with Japanese artists.
CSPG depends upon the donation of posters and prints to make this resource as representative as possible of the many historical and ongoing struggles. CSPG collects graphics with overt political content that were produced in multiples—including offset, silkscreen, stencil, digital output, woodcut, linocut, etc. Old and contemporary posters, as well as duplicate posters, are welcome.
To donate posters, rent an exhibition, or for more information on the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, please visit our website: www.politicalgraphics.org
Center for the Study of Political Graphics
3916 Sepulveda Blvd. - Suite 103/104
Culver City, CA 90230