Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Illegal? No Human Being is Illegal
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
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
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:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Freedom From Choice
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.
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.