Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Poster of the Week

Community Solutions, Not Jail Expansion

Mary Sutton, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, CURB, Youth Justice Coalition


Los Angeles

Los Angeles— Over two hundred community members showed an enthusiastic display of opposition to
the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Department’s move to expand LA County’s jails. After noting much
community pressure, the Supervisors immediately backed down from the $1.4 billion dollar expansion
plan that Sheriff Baca proposed in October. While the supervisors did not decide to withdraw the
county’s application for state AB 900 Phase 2 jail construction funding, they did slow the pace on the
commissioning of a $5.7 million report on possible jail expansion.

Throughout the meeting a series of reports from the Vera Justice Institute, ACLU, and the anticipated
report form expert Jim Austin were cited, outlining countless solutions to LA’s notorious jail conditions
and overcrowding. “If the Board of Supervisors is so concerned about improving conditions in the jail then
let’s do what we know. The only solution is to reduce the jail population, not to build more cells” notes
Emily Harris, Statewide Coordinator for Californians United for a Responsible Budget. “We know the
Supervisors won’t vote for an outright $1.4 billion dollar expansion, but moving forward with the AB 900
applications shows that the Supervisors are still investing in moving forward with failed expansion policies.
We fear that in the place of a one-time massive allocation, they will try to deceive LA residents by pushing
forward a series of small expansion plans that amount to the same thing.

Outside the Kenneth Hahn administrative building, nearly a dozen LA-based organizations rallied their
people for two hours before entering the hall and giving an hour and half of public comment to the Board.
“Obviously we want the board of supervisors to align themselves with the vast majority of LA residents in
opposing any new jail cells in our county,” said David Chavez of Critical Resistance and the Youth Justice
Coalition, two lead organizers of Tuesday’s mobilization. “While the Board voted against the voices of the
people today, it is also clear that people are not going to back down from there demands that resources go
toward reentry services, educating residents of this city, toward healthcare, toward jobs, not toward locking
them up. We will certainly be back, and I am sure we will be back even stronger.”

Emily Harris

CURB Statewide Coordinator!/pages/Californians-United-for-a-Responsible-Budget-CURB/171549902894327

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Poster of the Week

E. Galeano Has Seen This Before--
The Hooded Prisoners Recognize Each Other by their Coughs

Dara Greenwald (1972-2012)
Stencil 2005
New York, New York

CSPG’s Poster of the Week is by Dara Greenwald, who died this week at age 40 after a long battle with cancer. Dara was an artist, activist, curator, and a member of the Just Seeds’ Artists Cooperative founded by her partner, Josh MacPhee. Dara and Josh were co-curators of Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures, 1960s to Now, a traveling political poster exhibition and co-editors of the accompanying book. Dara was also a PhD Candidate in the Electronic Art Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Dara and Josh visited the Center for the Study of Political Graphics while they were researching Paper Politics: An International Exhibition of Socially-Engaged Printmaking that traveled from New York to Oregon from 2008 to 2010. In reviewing Paper Politics, the Pittsburgh City Paper called Dara’s stencil “one of the exhibit's best works …with just a few dozen block letters, Greenwald summons the complex horror of such injustices [as extrajudicial detention].”

Eduardo Galeano is an Uruguayan journalist, author and novelist, who experienced the brutal military regimes in Uruguay and Argentina, was imprisoned and lived in exiled for many years. The title of Dara’s poster, “The hooded prisoners recognize one another by their coughs” comes from Galeano’s second novel, Dı́as y noches de amor y de guerra /Days and Nights of Love and War (1978). She used it in this poster to evoke many incidents of torture in prisons, but specifically refers to the U.S. military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As this week marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Dara’s striking poster is even more poignant. The Cuban camp has held 779 foreign captives, and 171 remain. The prison was set up to hold and interrogate detainees suspected of links to al Qaeda, the Taliban and other groups classified by the United States as terrorist organizations.

To mark the 10th anniversary, human rights protesters dressed in orange prison-style jumpsuits and covering their heads with black bags marched past the White House on Wednesday, January 11. Protests were also planned for Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris, Toronto, Madrid, Berlin, London, Brussels and other cities. The same day, detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay also launched a hunger strike, inspired in part by U.S. activists who have called for a national day of action.

Protesters voiced anger with Obama’s failure to close the prison—which he promised to do during his 2008 presidential campaign—and with his approval last month of the National Defense Authorization Act, which codified the U.S. government's authority to detain prisoners, including U.S. citizens, indefinitely without trial.

¡Dara Greenwald PRESENTE!