Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Poster of the Week

El Futuro es la Paz/
The Future is Peace

Asela Pérez
Comisión Permanente
Offset, 1978
Havana, Cuba
XI Festival Mundial De La Juventud Y Los Estudiantes

El Futuro Es La Paz/The Future is Peace

Many Cuban posters are multilingual, especially those intended for export. Spanish, English, Arabic and French are used the most frequently. This stunning poster contains six languages (Spanish, English, Russian, Arabic, French), and was designed by Asela Pérez Bolado (1931-2001). She received a degree in journalism from the University of Havana, won first prize in major Cuban exhibitions, including the National Poster Salon in 1978. She also served as staff graphic artist for Editora Politica, a department of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, which is responsible for disseminating the policy of the Cuban government. 

The poster was produced for the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students, an international event organized jointly since 1947 by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Union of Students. The event is held in different countries, generally every two, three or four years, and in 1978 it was held in Havana, Cuba. The primary themes are anti-imperialism and peace.

Lincoln Cushing: Revolucion! Cuban Poster Art, Chronicle Books, 2003

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Poster of the Week

Obama...Give Me Five!
Jorge Martell, design
Gonzalo Canetti, photo
Digital Print, 2012
Oakland, CA

CSPG's Poster of the Week celebrates the release of the Cuban 5 and Obama's move towards normalizing relations with Cuba.

The Cuban 5, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, were arrested by the FBI in 1998. All were convicted in 2001 of conspiracy to commit espionage against the United States. The trial was held in Miami, Florida, a center of Cuban exile hostility to the Cuban revolution, where no fair trial was possible.

The Cuban 5 neither committed nor intended to commit espionage against the U.S. They were sent to the U.S. to monitor anti-Cuban terrorist organizations in Miami responsible for bombings and deaths in Cuba.  Since the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, Cuba had been the victim of more terrorist attacks than any other country in the world, killing 3,478 and injuring 2,099. The vastly majority of those attacks originated in southern Florida, by groups tolerated and partly financed by the US government.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review their case in 2009. Fernando González has been on parole since October, 2011 after serving every single day of his 13 year term. René González was released from prison earlier this year, but remained on parole.  To avoid being forced to remain IN MIAMI ON PAROLE, Rene, a natural-born US citizen, had to give up his US citizenship. As of December 17, 2014, after more than 16 years, the 3 remaining members of the Cuban 5 were finally freed and all are now home in Cuba.

Next wish for the New Year:  End the Blockade!

For more information on the Cuban 5:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014



Torturing Detainees Off of U.S. Soil Since December 2001
Mike Gavayan
Digital Print, 2005
Frostburg, MD

The nation is currently shocked by the grisly revelations contained in a Senate report released this week of the torture carried out by the CIA. Yet CSPG's Poster of the Week was made nearly a decade ago. The awareness that the U.S. has long been torturing people is known to the world. To be outraged now is not due to historical amnesia, but due to purposeful obfuscation by politicians and the corporate media.

The Guardian (London) commented, "While parts of the programme had been known - and much more will never be revealed - the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish and reads like something invented by the Marquis de Sade or Hieronymous Bosch." Although the report is highly redacted, the tortures it lists include waterboarding, rectal feeding, sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, mock executions and Russian roulette, sexual abuse, threatening detainees' parents and children, and more. The report also describes how the CIA gave inaccurate information to Congress, to journalists, and that White House wanted to ensure that Secretary of State Colin Powell be "kept in the dark."

In spite of escalating calls to punish the perpetrators, the Obama administration continues to wage what journalist Glenn Greenwald called, "aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the war on terror crimes committed by Bush officials."

When will we demand justice!

CSPG's Poster of the Week was made by Mike Gavayan, at the time a student in Fereshteh Toosi's Introduction to Graphic Design class at Frostburg State University, Maryland. Gavayan places the horrific photo of the hooded man, the most iconic of the photos of U.S. torture victims from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, in front of red, white, and blue, to refer to torture as an American tradition. The only thing missing are the electric wires dangling from the victims fingers, featured in the original photo.

To read more about how this poster came about, read Fereshteh Toosi's letter below, in which she describes the assignment and the students' reactions.


http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer   [Glenn Greenwald]

Fereshteh Toosi is an interdisciplinary, Chicago-based artist.  In 2005/6  she taught a Graphic Design class in Maryland.  Her students were asked to create posters for CSPG's Prison Nation exhibition.

Asking my students to create posters for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics' "Prison Nation" exhibit was one of the most valuable teaching moments from my first semester as instructor of ART 207: Introduction to Graphic Design at Frostburg State University. Located in a small rural town in western Maryland, students in the 2 sections of this class were a mix of art and communications majors at different stages in their academic careers. In terms of my pedagogical goals, it was important to provide them with a real-world design problem that was not directed towards a commercial end. The CSPG's call for entries seemed an ideal opportunity to direct the students in the importance of developing process, research methods, and techniques for idea-generation.

My own awareness about the prison industrial complex came about during my time as a student at Oberlin College, but it happened outside of the classroom. In the mid 1990s the Mumia Abu Jamal case was a popular cause on college campuses and I learned about the larger problems of prisons and prisoners' rights through friends who were well-informed and passionate about activism around this issue. I was lucky in this regard. Most young people in this country do not gain knowledge about the severity of prison issues through formal college education or mass media. It continues to be something many Americans choose to ignore. As an educator I was excited by the prospect of asking students to develop their design skills while addressing such a topic. 

When I initially announced the premise for the project, many students were disappointed and annoyed. Several dismissed it quickly, joking about the need to "lock criminals up and throw away the key". "Just kill 'em all!" or "I don't give a damn about these people" were common remarks. I had left the topic open to interpretation, but I was concerned that too many students had already made up their minds that it was not worth further investigation. I knew I needed something that would make an impact. In our small university video library I found only two videos with any mention of prison issues. The Eyes on the Prize documentary series addresses the 1971 rebellion in New York's Attica prison, which I chose to screen along with footage from the Stanford prison psychology experiment of that same year. My lessons included information on the parallels between then and now, as well examples of political posters from the last century. To this end we were very fortunate to have access to the art in the CSPG's on-line collection.

Students became more motivated to investigate the topic further, and this is when the real discoveries began. Comments changed in tone: "This is too depressing" was the new complaint. I'm not sure if anyone radically changed their viewpoint on any particular issue, but I was pleased to see them embrace the challenge to find compelling creative solutions to expose a very complex social cause. Also important was the way in which creating a poster for the CSPG expanded students' notions of the purpose of design. I am grateful for the teaching opportunity that this exhibit provided, and my students are proud to be involved. Thank you for including us.

Fereshteh Toosi
March 2006

2nd Featured Poster of the Week 

The struggle for justice continues to be stymied.  Last week a Missouri grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.  This week a New York grand jury cleared an NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, also unarmed and black. Garner's death was caught-on-video and the only people arrested were the videographer and his wife.  As 1000s continue to demonstrate across the country against this blatant impunity, we must recognize that these events are not isolated incidents, but a consistent part of U.S. government policy, at home and abroad.  45 years ago today, Fred Hampton, head of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, was assassinated by the FBI.  His poster and story are below.


Fred Hampton - We, the People
          Artist Unknown
          Offset, 1970
          United States

Fred Hampton (1948 -1969)  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.

This poster merges the assassination of Fred Hampton with images of the My Lai Massacre. On March 16th, 1968, U.S. troops arrived in the village of My Lai in the northern province of South Viet Nam. The soldiers opened fire even though they had not come under attack. The violence quickly escalated into an orgy of killing. More than 500 villagers were murdered, most of them women, children and the elderly. The massacre was kept secret from the U.S. public for over a year, until investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story about the massacre and its cover-up on November 12th, 1969. When the massacre was uncovered, it proved to be a turning point for American public opinion about the war. Hersh was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his expose. Fortyfive years later, Hersh is still breaking stories about war. In 2004, he exposed the Abu Ghraib scandal in The New Yorker magazine, also a turning point for U.S. public opinion about the current wars.
When will we ever learn? 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Poster of the Week

The Real Face of Globalisation
Raghu Rai
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Offset, 1983

Continuing the theme of the Good, the Bad & the Ugly, CSPG's Poster of the Week commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal tragedy, the worst industrial disaster in history.  More than 20,000 people died from toxic gas that leaked from Union Carbide's pesticide factory on December 2& 3, 1984.   500,000 more were poisoned.  The story becomes even more profoundly Bad & Ugly as Union Carbide and its parent company, Dow Chemical, have refused to pay for cleaning the site or face charges in India's court. 

The only "Good" part of this story was the brilliant prank performed by the Yes Men, a culture jamming activist group. On the 20th anniversary of the disaster, Andy Bichlbaum, one of the leading members of the Yes Men, impersonated a Dow spokesperson and took full responsibility for it-including setting up a multi-billion dollar compensation package.  Dow was profoundly (and deservedly) embarrassed.  Although that doesn't help the victims, posters like this keep the story alive, reminding all of us and teaching new generations that we will not forget.

Poster Text:
The real face of globalisation. This child died in Bhopal, India, in 1984, killed by the greed of Union Carbide (a Fortune 500 corporation now owned by Dow Chemical) and the negligence of the Government of India. Lust for profit that ignores people, safety, health and the environment -- and the blind eyes of politicians -- this is what Globalisation really is. 20,000 people have died in Bhopal since December 1984, tens of thousands are still seriously ill, and the killers are still absconding from justice. Contact the nearest Dow Chemical office and your nearest Indian Embassy or Consulate and ask them what they propose to do about it. Please act now. Bhopal Group For Information And Action justiceinbhopal@yahoo.co.in www.bhopal.net, www.bhopal.org, www.bhopalexpress.com Bh?pal 1984 Till When?

Additional Reference:

Poster of the Week for Nov. 25

"I Don't See an American Dream, 
I See an American Nightmare"
                                   Malcolm X

Scott Braley
Fireworks Graphics
Prairie Fire Organizing Committee
Offset, 1992
Berkeley, CA

Ferguson, Missouri continues to burn after a grand jury decided not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager last August 9. CSPG's Poster of the Week reminds us of another act of police violence 22 years ago, when rioting and burning took place throughout Los Angeles and other cities after an all-white jury acquitted the four police officers on trial for brutally beating Rodney King, an unarmed African American motorist. But at least there was a subsequent federal trial about the police actions regarding Rodney King. In Ferguson, following a highly criticized grand jury process, no charges were filed.

This poster was produced in Berkeley, California and shipped down to Los Angeles, while Los Angeles was under curfew during the 1992 uprising. It was going to be distributed at a demonstration held in front of LAPD headquarters at Parker Center, downtown L.A. As hundreds of protesters arrived, the LAPD rescinded the permit and declared the demonstration to be an illegal assembly.

Rodney King background:
Glen 'Rodney' King, an African American motorist, was beaten repeatedly by Los Angeles Police officers on March 3, 1991. Unbeknownst to the police, a bystander, George Holliday, videotaped the beating and it aired on television throughout the world. The incident raised an outcry, as many people, both within and outside the African American community, believed that the beating was racially motivated, excessive and an example of police brutality. Although 27 officers were witnesses and/or participants, only 4 were brought to trial. The trial was moved from Los Angeles to Simi Valley, because the defense argued that it was not possible to have a fair trial in Los Angeles. The defense team also preferred Simi Valley because its population is more affluent, contains a much smaller proportion of African Americans, and contains a disproportionately large number of law-enforcement officers.

The April 1992 acquittals in a state court of the four officers triggered massive rioting in Los Angeles, which left hundreds of buildings severely damaged or destroyed and dozens dead. Smaller riots occurred in other U.S. cities. King made an appearance before television news cameras to plead for peace, saying, "Can't we get along here? Can't we all just get along?"

On May 1, 1992 as the unrest continued, President G. H. W. Bush announced that he would most likely charge the officers with violating King's civil rights. King testified in this Federal trial on March 9, 1993. Then on August 4, a federal judge sentenced LAPD officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison on this charge. The other officers were not convicted, and there was no rioting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Poster of the Week

33% of The Homeless Are Veterans
San Francisco Print Collective
The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
Silkscreen, 2006
San Francisco, California

November 11th is Veterans' Day, when too many politicians give lip service to Veterans, while the statistics reveal a reality of obscene neglect. In 2009, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimated that between 130,000 and 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.

America's homeless veterans have served in World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Iraqi Freedom, or the military's anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. 47 per cent of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam Era. More than 67 per cent served our country for at least three years and 33 per cent were stationed in a war zone.

As this poster asks: Why do our taxes support war but not the people who fight it?  When will we ever learn?

For More Information:


Friday, November 7, 2014

Poster of the Week

Lex Drewinski
Silkscreen, 1990
Berlin, Germany

The Berlin Wall--which had divided East and West Berlin for nearly 30 years--fell on November 9, 1989, 25 years ago this weekend. The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) began construction of the fortified barrier in 1961 to prevent East German citizens from defecting.   

There are many dramatic photos of West Germans pulling parts of the wall down with hammers and machinery, but the wall's actual demolition by the East German military didn't begin until June 13, 1990 and was not completed until 1992. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification which was formally concluded on October 3, 1990.

As the world commemorates the destruction of one wall, other walls continue to be erected: The Separation Wall (also known as the Apartheid Wall) being built by Israel in the Occupied West Bank, and the border wall being erected between the U.S. and Mexico. When will we ever learn. 

CSPG's Poster of the Week by Lex Drewinski plays on both the headline N.E.W.S. made when the Wall fell, and the East-West divide.  It shows how after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, there was no longer an "East" as the majority of people living in East Germany wanted the freedom and lifestyles symbolized  by the West.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Poster of the Week

Nightmare on Bush Street
Paid for by:  Clinton·Gore '92
Offset, 1992
Little Rock, Arkansas

On Halloween eve, an even scarier date approaches - election day November 4.

This is one of the most imaginative U.S. campaign poster in the collection--and it really was paid for by the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign.  All the text is below.  Please note how too many of the 22 year old slogans listed here haven't changed at all.  Others are surprising.

If you thought the original was scary...  Nightmare On Bush Street  Part 2
Four More Years
Leaving theaters November 3
Trickle  Down  Terror!
The Trickle Down Terror Of  Voodoo Economics:
·         See 35,000 Private Sector Jobs Fall  Victim To Bush's Recession!
·         Watch In Horror As Middle-Class  Incomes Plummet $1,600!
·         Duck Under Your Seat As The Debt  Explodes To $4 Trillion!
·         Experience The Worst Growth In  Fifty Years!

Blood-  Curdling!  Bush's Bloodcurdling Broken Promises:
·         Read His Lips As Bush Signs The Second  Largest Tax Increase In History!
·         Gasp As The Environmental President  Guts The Clean Air Act!
·         Shudder As Dr. Bush Pulls The Plug On  Health Care Reform!
·         Tremble As The Education President  Decapitates Head Start, Slashes Federal  Education Funds, And Stalks Student Aid!

From The Producers Of "The Recession That Ate My Job"
Starring George Bush As The Man With  A Thousand Faces
Also  Starring Truth as the First Victim · Nightmare On Bush Street - Part 2 
Executive Producer Ronald Reagan
Produced  By James Baker
Directed  By James Baker
Screenplay  By James Baker
Based On A Story By Herbert Hoover 
Best  Boy Dan Quayl [sic.]
Gaffer Marlin Fitzwater
Filmed In Lack-O-Vision
Edited  By the Far Right
Travel  Arrangements By John Sununu
Stunts  Coordinated By Richard Darman
Original Music By Pat Robertson and The Extremists 
D Rated D for Dismal and Disappointing  May Not Be Suitable For The Weak Pocketbook 

Any similarity to real leadership is purely coincidental. [union bug]®

Same Old Line Cinema 
·         Iran-Contra  Iraq-Gate  State  Gate  Cable  Television Bill  RIP  10/3/92  Resurrected  10/5/92
·         Emergency  Unemployment  Compensation  RIP  10/11/91
·         Family and  Medical Leave  RIP  9/22/92  Graveyard  Vetos [sic.]
·         Motor Voter  Bill  RIP  7/2/92
·         Civil Rights  Bill  RIP  10/22/90
·         Middle Class  Tax Cut  RIP  3/20/92

Paid for by Clinton-Gore '92

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mystery Poster of the Week

Please Help CSPG Identify This Poster

This stunning poster was just donated to us and we don't know where it came from or when it was made.  It was collected in the 1980s, but the photo is from an earlier time.  Any leads, clues, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Poster of the Week

¿Donde estan nuestros hijos?
Rini Templeton
Frente Nacional Contra la Repression (FNCR)
Offset, 1982

CSPG’s Poster of the Week focuses attention on an ongoing crisis in Mexico, where six students were killed and 43 others were kidnapped by police a month ago and are still missing. 

On September 26, 2014, local police in Iguala, Mexico attacked a group of students from the Normal Rural School in Ayotzinapa, killing six and wounding seventeen. Another 43 students teachers were last seen being herded onto buses—and simply vanished. Iguala is in the state of Guerrero, 81 miles SSW of Mexico City.

An international outcry has forced the federal government to send in the army and federal police to look for the missing students. On October 9, tens of thousands of people marched throughout Mexico, to demand justice for the missing students. More than 20 police, as well as some members of Guerreros Unidos, a local criminal organization with ties to local politicians, have been taken into custody, but have yet to face criminal charges over the murders and kidnappings. The left wing of the national teachers' union and the rural teachers' colleges have called for an indefinite strike until the missing students are found. 

The Raúl Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School in Ayotzinapa is a teachers' college established in 1926 as part of a national program to train teachers and extend public education to rural communities throughout Mexico. The school has a strong tradition of resistance and a militant student union. Graduates have also been the backbone of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) — the left-wing section of the national teacher's union— in Guerrero state, where opposition to the neoliberal education reform agenda of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has been strongest.

Students from the Normal Rural School at Ayotzinapa are no strangers to harassment by police, given their history of resistance, but the attack they suffered on Friday, September 26, is unprecedented. Police violence on this scale hasn't been seen in Mexico since the massacre of Tlatelolco when army forces killed and disappeared university students on the eve of the 1968 Olympics.

Ironically, the youths were reportedly gathering resources for the 46th anniversary march in commemoration of the Tlatelolco massacre, when they were assaulted. The students were unarmed and en route to a peaceful demonstration against job discrimination against teachers from rural areas. The Tlatelolco massacre occurred on October 2, 1968— 10 days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City— in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. About ten thousand people, many of them students, had gathered to protest escalating government repression and the closing of the National University; when shooting broke out, three hundred people were killed and more than 1300 were arrested.  To this day, however, the official death count is less than 50.

The events are considered part of the Mexican Dirty War, when the government used its forces to suppress political opposition.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week commemorates the 1968 Massacre at Tlatelolco, but the banner above the church resonates with the missing students today, as it asks,

Where are our children?  Mobilization against repression! March for the presence of the disappeared and against repression October 2, 1982 from Tlatelolco to the Zocalo




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lex Drewinski
Silkscreen, 1994
Berlin, Germany

Unfortunately, this 20 year old poster continues to be as relevant as today’s headlines.  Whether due to famine, HIV/AIDS, genocidal wars or Ebola, the African continent, birthplace of civilization, continues to suffer, and the legacy of colonialism and imperialism has only worsened their problems.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Poster of the Week

Don’t Miss CSPG’s Special 25th Anniversary Celebration, Sunday October 12th
Deadline for ads is Monday.
Order Tickets and Tables
Honoring Dolores Huerta, Samella Lewis, Larry Gross & Scott Tucker

Places The U.S. Has Bombed Since W.W.II
Josh MacPhee
Spraypaint; stencil, 2002
Chicago, Illinois

Now we must add Syria to this growing list of places the U.S. has bombed since W.W.II  When will we ever learn.

China 1945-46
Korea 1950-53
China 1950-53
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-61
Guatemala 1960
Belgian Congo 1964
Guatemala 1964
Dominican Republic 1965-66
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Lebanon 1982-84
Grenada 1983-84
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1981-92
Nicaragua 1981-90
Iran 1987-88
Libya 1989
Panama 1989-90
Iraq 1991
Kuwait 1991
Somalia 1992-94
Bosnia 1995
Iran 1998
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia – Serbia 1999
Afghanistan 2001-present
Iraq 2003-2011
Pakistan 2004 – present
Yemen 2004 - present
Libya 2011
Somalia 2011- present
Iraq & Syria 2014 – present
Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-1961
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Iran 1987
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
Kuwait 1991
Somalia 1993
Bosnia 1994, 1995
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Yemen 2002
Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)
Iraq 2003-present
Afghanistan 2001-present
Pakistan 2007-present
Somalia 2007-8, 2011
Yemen 2009, 2011
Libya 2011




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Poster of the Week

Attend the People’s Climate Change March in NY on Sunday,  help save the planet & collect posters for CSPG

Warning Against Warming
U. G. Sato
Pan-Pacific Committee for Environmental Poster Design Exhibition
Silkscreen, 1998
Tokyo, Japan

On Sunday, September 21st, New York City will host what organizers are predicting will be the largest climate change protest in history. More than 100,000 people are expected to converge for a People’s Climate March. The march precedes the United Nations climate summit which opens Tuesday, where leaders from 125 countries are expected to announce nonbinding initiatives to reduce carbon emissions that fuel global warming. Nonbinding initiatives are an insult in the face of escalating global danger. Following the hottest summer on record, devastating droughts, super-storms, etc., all of us should be protesting the inaction of our government. 

CSPG’s Poster of the Week warned against climate change 16 years ago, and things have only gotten much worse.  There’s a 1972 poster in CSPG’s collection that predicts the extinction of polar bears, bald eagles and other species by the year 2000.  We are not far behind this prediction.  When will we ever learn.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week will be included in our 25th Anniversary Portfolio, and is also featured in our newest exhibition: Art is a Hammer—25 Years of Posters That Have Galvanized Social Action, which can be seen on https://www.flickr.com/photos/politicalgraphics/  

For more information about our 25th anniversary Celebrating the Art of Resistance, please visit.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Poster of the Week

When Love Is a Contact Sport Women Lose
Liz Harvey
Women's Action Coalition (WAC)
Offset, 1995

CSPG’s Poster of the Week features a photograph of Nicole Brown Simpson, made during trial of her ex-husband, football hero and television star O.J. Simpson, who was charged with murdering Nicole and Ron Goldman in 1994.  Nicole is shown with eye black, the grease football players put under their eyes to cut glare.  The black eyes also refer to 911 tapes played during the trial that revealed a history of domestic violence throughout their relationship.  Simpson was found not guilty.  It was one of the most sensationalist trials in U.S. history.

Unfortunately, domestic violence takes everywhere and everyday, but only make headlines when the abuser is high profile.  This week two cases of domestic violence involving prominent athletes were in the news—the video of the Baltimore Ravens football star Ray Rice beating Janay Palmer his then girlfriend, now wife, and the acquittal for premeditated murder of Oscar Pistorius, South African Olympic runner and double amputee, who killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, while she was  in the bathroom of their apartment.  Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on 12 September 2014, but plans to appeal.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Poster of the Week

Pray For the Dead
Northland Poster Collective
Silkscreen, no date
Minneapolis, MN

This week’s poster features a quote from Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, an Irish-American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a tireless labor and community organizer. Mary Harris Jones began working as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers Union after her husband and four children died of yellow fever and lost all of her possessions in the great Chicago fire of 1871. She committed herself to the labor struggle for humane wages and working conditions and participated in hundreds of strikes across the country from the late 1870s through the early 1920s. In the 1890s, Mother Jones became an organizer for United Mine Workers in West Virginia, mobilizing miners’ wives to march with brooms and mops in order to block strikebreakers from entering the mines. When Jones was denounced on the floor of the United States Senate as the "grandmother of all agitators," she replied, “I hope to live long enough to be the great-grandmother of all agitators.”

Following in Mother Jones’ footsteps, this week, fast food workers around the country are planning a set of one-day walkouts, according to Fast Food Forward, an organizing group for the protests. The strikes will take place in 150 cities at restaurants such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s and KFC. Over the past two years, fast-food workers have been actively organizing the “Fight for 15” campaign to demand pay of $15 an hour—what they call a living wage—and the right to unionize. This past July, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonald’s is jointly responsible for wage and labor violations that are enacted by its franchise owners.

On Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017. Los Angeles has the highest percentage of its population living in poverty, with 28% of Angelenos today living below the poverty line. Thirteen states increased their minimum wages at the start of the year by an average of 28¢, and the city of Seattle has approved a $15 minimum wage.




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Poster of the Week

Chicano Moratorium
Ramses Noriega
Silkscreen, 1970
Los Angeles, CA

Friday, August 29, marks the 44th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium, a movement of Chicano activists opposed to the war in Viet Nam. Formally known as the National Chicano Moratorium Committee, it was broad-based but fragile coalition of Mexican-American groups organizing against the war and for civil rights. Led by activists from local colleges and members of the "Brown Berets," a group with roots in the high school student movement that staged walkouts in 1968, the coalition peaked with an August 29, 1970 march in East Los Angeles that drew an estimated 30,000 demonstrators. 

Three unarmed civilians were killed that day by the L.A.P.D. and L.A. Country Sheriffs: Brown Beret Lynn Ward, activist Angel Diaz, and journalist Rubén Salazar.

Rubén Salazar was a well-known writer and journalist for KMEX-TV and the Los Angeles Times.  After covering the Chicano moratorium march on August 29, Salazar and two friends stopped for a beer at the Silver Dollar Bar near Laguna Park.  Sheriffs surrounded the place, allegedly looking for a man with a rifle, who had actually been caught hours before. A ten-inch tear-gas projectile was shot into the bar to make the occupants leave.  The missile hit Salazar and killed him. He body was left there for hours.

40 years later there are still many unanswered questions surrounding his death. Before dying Salazar had been working on a story that highlighted how local government seemed intent on ignoring all the complaints and violations involving police and sheriff encounters with Mexican-Americans.  No one was ever tried for his death, even though sheriffs admitted the tear-gas should not have been used in the incident.

In March 2010, the Los Angeles Times filed a California Public Records Act request for records of the shooting.  Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca refused to release eight boxes of records regarding Salazar’s death. Two years later, on April 23, 2012, Baca was sued by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for continuing to refuse to release records regarding Salazar’s death.  Finally on December 6, 2012, MALDEF secured the release of unredacted records in the Salazar case.

Unprovoked attacks by law enforcement continue to take place throughout the country. Michael Brown (18, Ferguson, MO), Ezell Ford (25, Los Angeles, CA); Eric Garner (43, Staten Island, NY) are recent examples of police violence against the people they are supposed to protect. 

CSPG’s Poster of the Week announced the coming moratorium.  The artist was a founder of the Chicano Moratorium, and the poster features Rosalío Muñoz, the first Chicano student body president of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).  In 1969, Muñoz refused induction and burned his draft card in protest over Chicano casualties in Viet Nam. In 1970, he was co chair of the Chicano Moratorium




Monday, August 18, 2014

Poster of the Week

Guilty of Brutality
Photographer: Charles Brittin
Community Alert Patrol
Offset, 1966
Los Angeles, California

This week’s poster, issued by Community Alert Patrol with photograph taken by Charles Brittin in 1966, addresses police brutality during the Watts Rebellion of 1965 and draws stark parallels to the recent uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri, where the police murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, sparked nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice in America.

“They beat and terrorized thousands of our brothers and sisters last August! How many of us will they brutalize this year?” reads this week’s poster, in reference to the Watts Rebellion that took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles from August 11 to 17, 1965. Over the course of the six-day rebellion, 14,000 California National Guard troops were mobilized in South Los Angeles and a curfew zone encompassing over forty-five miles was established in an attempt to restore public order. In the end, the clashes claimed the lives of thirty-four people, resulting in more than one thousand reported injuries, and almost four thousand arrests. Throughout the crisis, public officials advanced the argument that the riots were the work of outside agitators; however, an official investigation, prompted by Governor Pat Brown, found that the riot was a result of the Watts community's longstanding grievances and growing discontentment with high unemployment rates, substandard housing, and inadequate schools. Despite the findings, city leaders and state officials failed to implement measures to improve the social and economic conditions of African Americans living in the Watts neighborhood.

The past week has seen an outpouring of dramatic images of protests in the St. Louis suburb, where community members were met by police in full riot gear, with rifles, shields, helmets, dogs, and gas masks. According to an autopsy released Sunday evening, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Michael Brown at least six times, twice in the head. On Monday morning, the National Guard was called after a state-sanctioned curfew was put into place and residents were tear-gassed and fired on with rubber bullets night after night.

Police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes extra-judicially killed at least 313 African-Americans in 2012 according to a recent study. This means one black person was killed by a security officer every 28 hours. Last Monday, on the anniversary of the Watts Rebellion, a 25 year-old black male, complying with police orders, was fatally shot by LAPD officers in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles. His name was Ezell Ford.

“The announced function of the police, ‘to protect and serve the people,’ becomes the grotesque caricature of protecting and preserving the interest of our oppressors and serving us nothing but injustice. They are there to intimidate blacks, to persuade us with their violence that we are powerless to alter the conditions of our lives.”

-Angela Davis





Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Poster of the Week

Are You Ready For Big Water?
Danielle Foder; Street Art Workers (SAW)
Offset, 2006
United States

This week’s featured poster, created by Danielle Foder as part of Street Art Workers (SAW) in 2006, draws our attention to one of life’s most necessary resources: water. Universal to every living being on the planet, the right to water access is perhaps one of the most pressing issues of our time. This poster criticizes the increased privatization of water, asking that we “protect water for people. Not for profit.”

At the beginning of this year, California declared a state of emergency in the face of a historic and unprecedented drought. While California is facing its own water crisis, the issue of water access impacts countless throughout the world. Detroit recently shut off water service to thousands of residents who could not afford to pay their bills. Over the past decade, Detroit city residents have seen the rates of water costs more than double, while the city’s poverty rate has risen to nearly 40 percent, putting the cost of basic running water beyond reach for tens of thousands of households. According to Detroit Water and Sewerage Department records, industrial and commercial businesses owing millions have not been touched.

In April 2000, a popular struggle against water privatization in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city, organized a movement against rising water costs from the U.S. based Bechtel corporation. Through a broad alliance of farmers, factory workers, rural and urban water committees, neighborhood organizations, indigenous communities, and students, the U.S. corporation was forced to leave the country, restoring popular, democratic control of natural resources to the people.

As the struggle for water access intensifies throughout the world, we can learn from people-led movements working to find solutions to the global water crisis we face.  As the late Charity Hicks, co-founder of the Detroit People’s Water Board wrote, "We will not let water be used as a weapon to remake the city in a corporate image. We will re-establish what it is to live in a democracy, with a water system that is part of the commons, that affirms human dignity and that ensures everyone's access."


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Illegal? No Human Being is Illegal
Octavio Gomez
Central American Refugee Committees (CRECEN); Central American Refugee Centers (CARECEN); Central American Refugee National Network (CARNET)
Offset, circa 1989
Los Angeles, California

This week’s featured poster, created by Octavio Gomez in 1989, and issued by Central American Refugee Committees (CRECEN), Central American Refugee Centers (CARECEN), and the Central American Refugee National Network (CARNET), advocates the protection of Salvadoran refugees, demanding a change in policy that would end deportations and allow refugees to work legally in the United States. The poster also acknowledges the difficult realities immigrants face due to social and economic conditions in their countries of origin.
This poster is especially pertinent now, as the United States has seen an influx of nearly 52,000 unaccompanied children and underage youths cross the U.S. border since October- with over 75% making their journey from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In July of this year, tensions rose in Murrieta, California, where anti-immigrant protestors blocked U.S. Homeland Security Department buses filled with immigrant children being transported to a processing facility in the area.
While demonstrations from both sides of the immigration issue have swept the nation in the past weeks, many ignore deeper roots of the issue, which include the dangerous social and economic conditions in these Central American countries. Honduras, for example, has the highest murder rate of any country, with a rate of 90 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. According to the National Violence Observatory, more than half of those murdered in Central America are under the age of 30. In a region controlled by drug traffickers and criminal gangs, corruption, and instability - violence threatens the lives of Central American youth, who seek asylum in the U.S. as refugees.
The poster’s phrase “No Human Being is Illegal” is attributed to Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, who explained, “You shall know that no one is illegal. It is a contradiction in itself. People can be beautiful or even more beautiful. They may be just or unjust. But illegal? How can someone be illegal?” This poster attempts to shed light on the Central American refugees by framing the situation neither as a political or partisan issue but as one concerning human rights.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Poster of the Week

End The Occupation
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Offset, 2002
Washington DC

The CSPG poster of the week shows a Palestinian child detained by Israeli forces. The poster was created in 2002 by American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), but is being featured because of the recent kidnappings and killings of both Israeli and Palestinian individuals, many of which have been teenage children.

On June 12th, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank as they hitchhiked to their homes. This act was followed by a ‘retaliation’ kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager. Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces have now been in an open fire conflict that has left hundreds in Gaza killed and thousands injured.  The latest report released on July 15th from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that 197 Palestinians have been killed and 1,390 have been wounded.  Most recent statistics have increased the number of those killed to 210, with the first Israeli civilian death since the initial June kidnapping occurring July 15th.  Of those that have been killed or wounded, alarming amounts have been women and children.  According to Gaza health ministry figures, of 1,140 wounded, 296 are children and 233 are women.

Along with the current events that are unfolding in the Israeli-Palestinian region, what this poster attempts to call attention to is the criminalization of Palestinian children. Children and underage youths make up 47% of Palestine’s population. According to a report issued by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to exposing human rights violations, some 2,500 Palestinian children and youth have been detained from January 2010 and June 2014, 400 of whom are between the ages of 12-15. For more information on detained Palestinian children, see this accompanying infographic:

Link to UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

Link to report:

Other sources:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Poster of the Week

Freedom From Choice
Robbie Conal
Offset, 1992
Los Angeles

Roe v Wade was the landmark 1974 7-to-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States. Conservative legislators around the country immediately responded by pushing through laws and regulations that attempted to chip away Roe v Wade.  While these efforts have not succeeded in making abortion illegal, they have increasingly restricted women’s access to abortion.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week was made in response to the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey which, on a 5-to-4 vote, significantly weakened Roe v Wade and reversed its previous ruling that limited state restrictions on abortion. It is frighteningly relevant this week, when the Court, again on a 5-to-4 vote, in Burwell v Hobby Lobby, ruled that corporations controlled by religious families cannot be required to pay for contraception coverage for their female workers.

Poster Background
Planned Parenthood commissioned Robbie Conal to design this poster and they printed 25,000 copies which were then posted in 75 cities throughout the U.S.—but not in NY.  All went up the same week.  Planned Parenthood even paid for a billboard in Los Angeles which 3M took down after receiving a complaint, without notifying anyone. After being threatened with a lawsuit for breach of contract, 3M put it back up 15 hours after taking it down, and left it up for 3 months—the term of the contract.

The NY branch of Planned Parenthood didn’t participate in the postering as they were having their own issues with the city and didn’t want to add illegal postering to their problems.  New York was the only major city that didn’t participate.   

It is important to note that although Justice David Souter is included in the poster—second from the left—he dissented and did not vote with the majority.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Poster of the Week

25 years ago this week, untold hundreds of unarmed civilians were massacred in Beijing’s Tienanmen Square, by the People's Liberation Army. Since then, the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has attempted to erase the event from memory and from history.

The Tiananmen Square protests were a series of demonstrations beginning April 15, 1989 in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Led mainly by students and intellectuals, the movement was generally against the government's authoritarianism, and voiced calls for economic change and democratic reform.

During the demonstrations, the students of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing built a 33 ft. statue in just four days, using foam and papier-mâché over a metal armature.  Although inspired by and resembling the Statue of Liberty, to have more closely modeled their statue on the U.S. icon would have been seen as "too openly pro-American."

The Tiananmen Square movement used mainly non-violent methods, but on June 4, 1989, PRC government troops and tanks fired into the square, killing between 400 and 3,000 civilians. The Goddess of Democracy was destroyed.

Louisa Lim, China based correspondent for NPR and the BBC, just published a book about this repression of memory, titled: The People’s Republic of Amnesia—Tienanmen Revisited. While researching the book, Ms. Lim showed many young people the iconic photograph of the still unidentified man stopping a line of tanks.  The photo, taken by Newsweek photographer Charlie Cole, won the 1989 World Press photo of the Year, and was featured in countless posters such as the one featured above.  Almost no one Ms. Kim interviewed recognized the image.  Some even asked if it were taken in North Korea or Kosovo!

But before we begin to applaud the U.S. for its freedom of speech and freedom of expression– after all, many photographs of atrocities committed in our name and with our tax dollars are available on the internet—we need to remember that 10 years before Ms. Lim wrote The People’s Republic of Amnesia, Gore Vidal wrote Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia.  Years of underfunding the U.S. educational system is finally paying off.    While few Chinese under the age of 30 may know the events of Tiananmen Square, an event that happened 25 years ago, few U.S. college students will recognize the iconic image of the hooded man from Abu Ghraib prison—and that was just 10 years ago.  Historical amnesia knows no national boundaries, but hurts us all.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Poster of the Week

This Is Apartheid, Don't Buy It
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
Offset, circa 1980s
London, United Kingdoms

CSPG’s Poster of the Week is one of more than 60 posters featured in BOYCOTT! – The Art of Economic Activism, an exhibition produced by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in collaboration with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

BOYCOTT! – The Art of Economic Activism
highlights diverse historical and contemporary boycott movements from the 1950s to the present, and features more than twenty domestic and international boycotts from grapes to sweatshops, from Montgomery, Alabama to the Middle East.

Activists and solidarity groups have often responded to injustices by implementing boycott and divestment campaigns targeting companies and governments that support and sustain these injustices—and posters have been a primary tool for educating about the issues and inspiring people to action. This exhibition uses powerful posters to demonstrate the effectiveness of boycotts as a non-violent tactic to end injustice and oppression.

BOYCOTT! has been traveling around the U.S. since September 2013, and is currently in Los Angeles at Mercado La Paloma through June 29, 2014.

Mercado La Paloma
3655 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007

On Friday, May 30, there will be a reception and panel from 7-10 pm.  On Saturday, May 31,there will be an exhibition tour and political poster making workshop from 2 – 6 pm.  All events are free and open to the public.

“Nonviolent protest is the most effective weapon of an oppressed people.”
                                                                                                —Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Poster of the Week

Bring Back Our Girls
Artist unknown
Digital, 2014
Stone Mountain, GA
CSPG’s Poster of the Week focuses on the April 14, 2014 kidnapping of nearly 300 girls from a boarding school in Northern Nigeria. 53 escaped and two have died.  Of the 234 remaining in captivity, some have been sold, others forced to marry their captors.  Boko Haram, Islamic militants opposed to western education claimed responsibility. They kidnapped eight more girls, aged 12-15 May 5.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has done little other than spread false stories that the girls were rescued.  Nigerian  President Goodluck Jonathan vowed to win the girls’ release, but hours later, police arrested two women who helped organize protests over the government’s seeming inaction. The two had just met with first lady Patience Jonathan, who accused them of fabricating the story of the abduction in order to embarrass her husband’s government.  International embarrassment may be the only thing motivating President Jonathan, as Nigeria will host the The World Economic Forum on Africa, on May 13, 2014. 

Demonstrations have been held throughout the world, including Georgia, Los Angeles, New York, London and Ottawa.  CSPG’s featured poster promoted a rally in Georgia.  Another powerful poster is designed simply as words printed on a lined yellow sheet of paper, as one might find in any elementary school:

Clippers owner makes racist
comment and everyone protests.
Miley Cyrus twerks and we all talk.
Justin Bieber is arrested and it is on
all the news stations.  Kim and Kanye
have a baby and social media blow up.
234 GIRLS are KIDNAPPED from school in
And no one cares.

CSPG is looking for posters about this and other issues.  Please contact us.  


Monday, April 21, 2014

Poster of the Week

Earth Day Is Everyday
Earl Newman
Silkscreen, 1969/1970
Venice, California

Earl Newman describes the origins of the poster:
It was the beginning of more consciousness about recycling, and people trying to build more awareness…Israel Feuer, activist with the Peace and Freedom Party, came up with the slogan, “Earth Day is Everyday” before I came up with the design. 
The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970 was marked by environmental teach-ins held throughout the U.S. Approximately 20 million Americans participated and this date marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. 
Now, more than 40 years later, the situation is worse and the climate is changing rapidly and very noticeably. The polar ice caps are melting faster than scientists had predicted, extreme weather is becoming the norm, and expanding swaths of oceans and lakes are becoming dead zones where no marine life can survive due to depleted oxygen levels caused by pesticide runoff. In 2004, 146 dead zones in the world's oceans were reported.  A 2008 study counted 405 dead zones worldwide.  Meanwhile, new ways of polluting our air, soil and water are increasingly profitable therefore actively supported by industry and government alike:  from deep sea oil drilling, to fracking, to transporting tar sands across some of the most fertile and fragile agricultural land in the country. 
Adding insult to injury, the Koch Brothers and their cohorts in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), continue to try to destroy support for renewable energy, state by state.  In 2013, ALEC tried to repeal clean energy targets in 13 states and failed on all fronts.  They are trying again in 2014. When will they ever learn?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Poster of the Week

CSPG’s Poster of the Week is not in our archive, but belongs to the world. It is part of a growing international movement to stop drone attacks which are inflicting huge civilian casualties.  The giant 100-by-70 feet vinyl poster features a child whose parents and two young siblings were killed in a 2009 drone strike in Pakistan.  The installation was also designed to be captured by satellites in order to make it a permanent part of the landscape on online mapping sites.

The project is called “Not a Bug Splat.” In military slang, Predator drone operators often refer to kills as ‘bug splats’since viewing a body through a grainy video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed. To challenge this insensitivity as well as raise awareness of civilian casualties, a collaboration of artists comprised of Pakistanis, Americans and the French street artist JR., installed this massive portrait facing up in the heavily bombed Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa region of Pakistan, where drone attacks regularly occur. Now, when viewed by a drone camera, what an operator sees on his screen is not an anonymous dot on the landscape, but an innocent child victim’s face.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a U.K.-based non-profit, estimates that in the first 5 years of President Obama’s drone program, in Pakistan alone, between 416-951 civilians have been killed, including 168-200 children.  

Reprieve/Foundation for Fundamental Rights helped launch the effort which has been released with the hashtag #NotABugSplat. "We don't know if it is still there or not," one of the artists wrote in an email. The villagers were encouraged to "use the fabric for roofing and other useful purposes. The art was always meant to be utilized and not discarded after it was photographed."

Photo: Foundation for Fundamental Rights