Monday, April 30, 2012

Poster of the Week

May 1st, 2012 A Day Without the 99% 
No Work – No School – No Housework – No Shopping 
 Take the Streets on Tuesday! 

CSPG’s Poster of the Week Celebrates May Day and supports the 2012 General Strike organized by the Occupy Movement.

Eric Drooker
Occupy May Day 
Digital Image

The celebration of May Day as a labor holiday marked by parades and red flags began on May 1, 1886. Behind the campaign was the universal adoption of the 8-hour working day, an improvement on the recent fight for a ten-hour day. In Chicago, the center of the movement, workers had been agitating for an 8-hour day for months, and on the eve of May 1, 50,000 were already on strike. 30,000 more swelled their ranks the next day, bringing most of Chicago manufacturing to a standstill. In a notorious riot that followed (the Haymarket massacre) the 8-hour movement failed, but the Chicago events figured prominently in the founding congress of the Second International (Paris, 1889) to make May 1, 1890 a demonstration of the solidarity and power of the international working class movement. Ever since, May Day has been celebrated globally as the international workers’ holiday.

For May Day 2012, Occupy is organizing the first truly nationwide General Strike in U.S. history. Building on the international celebration of May Day, past General Strikes in U.S. cities like Seattle and Oakland, the recent May 1st Day Without An Immigrant demonstrations, the national general strikes in Spain this year, and the on-going student strike in Quebec, the Occupy Movement has called for A Day Without the 99% on May 1st, 2012. This in and of itself is a tremendous victory. For the first time, workers, students, immigrants, and the unemployed from 135 U.S. cities will stand together for economic justice. 

To find events in your city:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

CSPG’s Poster of the Week is dedicated to Pete Jimenez, who died of AIDS last week at age 48. Pete was an amazing person who was fearless, funny, outspoken, gutsy, dedicated and committed. He was the quintessential activist, focusing on AIDS, anti-war, homophobia, universal healthcare, and militarism.

Over 300,000 U.S. AIDS Deaths
Jeff Schuerholz; ACT UP/LA
Photocopy, 1996
Los Angeles, California

This poster was created for a demonstration on February 6th, 1996 in front of Chasen’s Restaurant, West Hollywood, where Ronald Reagan's 85th birthday/fund-raiser was being celebrated.

"We went there to spoil their party, the way they've spoiled our lives,"
said ACT UP Los Angeles member Pete Jimenez.

This was a very dramatic demonstration. Ronald Reagan did not attend the event for health reasons. 300 demonstrators banged drums, blew whistles shouted through bullhorns and created a very loud and boisterous disturbance about genocidal Republican AIDS policy. As Newt Gingrich, California governor Pete Wilson, Colin Powell, other Republican leaders and celebrities arrived, they were greeted with signs reading "You killed all my friends" and shouts of "Money for AIDS, not for dining!" Many demonstrators carried signs with a picture of Ronald Reagan and caption; "Over 300,000 US AIDS deaths - SHAME!" Several times the demonstrators surged toward the entrance of the restaurant only to be held back by the West Hollywood Sheriffs.

During his presidency, Reagan ignored his own Surgeon General and public health advisors, and allowed HIV/AIDS to spread unchecked with no concern for the mounting death toll.

The demonstration was organized by ACT UP/LA (the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power). Other participating groups included ACT UP/Ventura, WAC (Women's Action Coalition) Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Coalition, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and students from UCLA and LA High School for the Arts. Also Radical Fairies, The City AIDS Coordinators office of Los Angeles, members of the West Hollywood City council, some AIDS doctors, and scores of people with AIDS and their supporters.

This photo of Pete and Angela Davis was taken November 6, 2011, when Angela received CSPG’s Historian of the Lion’s Award.

To see a 2010 interview with Pete Jimenez and Jeff Schuerholz, President of CSPG’s Board, and Pete’s partner for more than 20 years, where they discuss this poster and more:

Two informative and moving obituaries:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Posters of the Week

One Million Hoodie March

Artist Unknown,

Digital, 2012

New York, New York

Still Waiting for Justice

Hunter Langston

Digital 2012

Detroit, Michigan

On the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1968, CSPG’s Posters of the Week commemorate the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, 17.

The story is now well-known: On February 26, 2012, Trayvon was shot to death in Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, who stalked and then fatally shot the unarmed youth while Trayvon was returning from a convenience store. That Zimmerman was not arrested and allowed to keep his gun continues to fuel the national outrage.

But initially, the case received little press attention, and for the first 10 days after Trayvon's death, the story was only covered by the Florida media. Not until March 8, 2012, did the national media begin covering the case. And much of the subsequent attention is thanks to grassroots efforts.

On March 17, Maria Roach, Maryland resident and mother, began circulating a petition through, demanding justice for Trayvon Martin. Nine days later, she delivered more than 500,000 signatures to the Department of Justice in Washington. If you want to add your signature:

The case continues to polarize the nation, and demonstrations demanding justice for Trayvon, and the arrest and trial of George Zimmerman, have taken place throughout the U.S., including Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Indianapolis and New York. Many demonstrators wear “hoodies” to protest the stereotyping and racial profiling that led to this tragedy.

The two posters included here are very different, but both are inspired by the same tragic event. The first, done anonymously, has helped mobilize demonstrations around the country. The second, by Hunter Langston, a professional graphic designer, places the event in the context of Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, as well is in the larger national debate around the need for gun control.

Sources: also has numerous articles and interviews regarding Trayvon Martin.