Thursday, July 29, 2010

Poster of the Week

Wouldn't you go to jail if it would help end the War?
Sister Mary Corita Kent
Silkscreen, 1971

The Pentagon Papers, was a U.S. Defense Department authored top-secret history of U.S. political-military involvement in Viet Nam from 1945 to 1967. Concerned about the escalating war, Daniel Ellsberg, one of the contributors to the Pentagon Papers and a former State Department official, gave the documents to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1969. When the war continued to escalate, Ellsberg gave the Pentagon Papers in early 1971 to the New York Times, Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. The papers revealed that the U.S. had deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, and coastal raids on North Viet Nam, none of which had been reported by the U.S. media.

It took Ellsberg and Tony Russo, his co-worker at the RAND Corporation*, weeks to secretly photocopy the 7,000 pages at night. Russo and Ellsberg were later charged with espionage, theft, and conspiracy. After learning that Ellsberg's psychiatrist had been burglarized (ordered by the Nixon administration) and the F.B.I had been illegally taping telephone conversations, federal court Judge William M. Byrne, Jr. dismissed all charges against them on May 11, 1973, before it reached a jury. During the trial, the Nixon administration had also offered Judge Byrne the position of FBI director.

Ellsberg later said the documents "demonstrated unconstitutional behavior by a succession of presidents, the violation of their oath and the violation of the oath of every one of their subordinates". He added that he leaked the papers to end what he perceived to be "a wrongful war". A 1996 article in the New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance."

The complete quotation is:

“But I was not wrong to hope that exposing secrets five presidents had withheld and the lies they told might have benefits for our democracy that were worthy of the risks. Wouldn’t you go to jail to help end the war?”

Pentagon Papers II

On Sunday, July 25, 2010, 92,000 classified documents were released by* to the New York Times, Guardian (UK) and Der Spiegel (Germany). Almost instantaneously referred to as “Pentagon Papers II”, these documents detail the war in Afghanistan between 2004 and December 2009, including “friendly fire” and civilian casualties. PFC Bradley Manning, A 22-year-old U.S. Army intelligence analyst, has been arrested after alleged chat logs were turned in to the authorities by a former hacker in whom he had confided.

On 5 April 2010, released classified U.S. military footage from a series of attacks on 12 July 2007 in Baghdad by a U.S. helicopter that killed 12 civilians, including two Reuters news staff, on a website called "Collateral Murder".

*RAND is a global policy think tank formed to offer research and analysis to the U.S. armed forces. Its Santa Monica headquarters is often referred to as “CIA West”.)

* is an international organization, based in Sweden. It publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive documents while preserving the anonymity of sources. Its website, launched in 2006, is a prime portal for unauthorized, accurate accounts, documents and video from distant battlefields. To see the recently released documents go to:,_2004-2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Poster of the Week

Free Nelson Mandela

Rupert García

Offset, 1981

San Francisco, California

Nelson Mandela Day

In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly, announced that Nelson Mandela's birthday, 18 July, is to be known as "Mandela Day” to mark his contribution to world freedom. Celebrated around the world, this year also marked his 92nd birthday.

Mandela (born 1918) was an anti-apartheid activist and the leader of the African National Congress’ (ANC) armed wing. In 1962, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. He served 27 years, many on Robben Island with other political prisoners, opponents of the apartheid regime of South Africa. Apartheid was legalized racial segregation that was enforced by the National Party government between 1948 and 1994. Following Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990, he supported reconciliation and negotiation, and helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994-1999, the first South-African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. In 1993 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Not until 1990, the same year he was released from prison, did a retired Central Intelligence Agency official admit that the CIA was responsible for Mandela’s capture.

South Africa's apartheid government had designated the ANC a terrorist organization during the group's decades-long struggle against whites-only rule, and ANC members were barred from receiving U.S. visas without special permission. Despite being one of the most respected and revered people in the world, Mandela remained on the U.S. terrorism watch list until July 2008, when it took an act of Congress to remove him from this list.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Poster of the Week

Keep Our Families Together!

Melanie Cervantes

Taller Tupac Amaru

Offset, 2008

Oakland, California

This poster is unusual in combining two themes—immigration and LGBTQ rights—that are rarely combined. Lesbian, Gay, and Queer families are impacted not only by racially discriminatory immigration laws but by heterosexist reunification laws that keep bi-national partners and their children from being together. This print honors those struggling families who are victims of these policies.

This is one of a 5 part poster series produced for the historic conference convened by TIGRA (Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action) that took place in May 2008 in Mexico City. It brought together over 300 migrant leaders from the United States, Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America to form a global association of remitters and their families. The other 4 posters in the series were designed by Jesús Barraza, Dylan Miner, Artemio Rodriguez & Favianna Rodriguez.

Keep Our Families Together! is included in two CSPG exhibitions:

Out of the Closet & Into the Streets—

Posters of LGBTQ Struggles & Celebrations

Currently on display at:

ONE Archives Gallery & Museum through September 26, 2010

626 N. Robertson Blvd. (entrance on El Tovar, North of Melrose)

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Friday: 4:30-8:30

Saturday & Sunday: 1-5

No Human Being is Illegal—

Posters on the Myths and Realities of the Immigrant Experience

Selections from this exhibition, including the poster of the week, are currently on display at:

The Annex at Avenue 50 Studio

Highland Park, CA 90042


July 10 through August 8, 2010

Tue-Thurs 10-4 pm; Sat-Sun 10-4 pm