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Native Hawaiians and people of conscience are protecting the sacred site the mountain of Mauna Kea. Please stand with them.
Sign the petition: http://chn.ge/1CpiERl
Sending love, prayers and solidarity to the relatives fighting to protect Mauna Kea in Hawai'i. The struggle is to protect the sacred site, a place of the ancestors, from the intentions to build a "Thirty Meter Telescope" on it's peak. I wanted to create a quick graphic to express my solidarity with the people out there struggle to protect the land. No more desecration of sacred sites.
I am really happy to share my newest project. I have worked with Enlace on the first phase of their Prison Divestment Campaign and I am happy to share a poster for the next phase of work connecting movements.
Enlace is a strategic alliance of low-wage worker centers, unions, and community organizations in Mexico and in the U.S. They support their member organizations through capacity building trainings and strategic campaigning.
Enlace works to create cross border and multiracial coalitions across sectors to build a stronger international peoples movement for self-determination. Their work will tip the power balance back to the working people.
The Prison Divestment Campaign began in 2011 from the need to launch a comprehensive strategy to decriminalize immigrants and demilitarize the border. It was not only Politicians that they needed to target, but also Private Prisons and Wall Street who were the other powerful force behind immigrant detention and deportation.
The Campaign has since expanded, looking at how the private prison industry works to divide communities of color. They are building strong multiracial coalitions, emphasizing Black and Brown unity, to combat mass incarceration and immigration enforcement.
Enlace brings together organizations working on immigrant rights, criminal justice, another social justice groups to end mass incarceration and achieve legalization for all migrants.
Chicana/o studies wad borne of the efforts of the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) Student Strike at Berkeley in January-March, 1969, which resulted in the establishment of the first Ethnic Studies departments in the U.S. In my first year at community college, in 1995, I took my first Chicana/o history class and learned about historical events never spoken of before in my public school history courses. I started to learn the names of the people who refused to accept the injustices inflicted on our communities by racist laws policies and the people who wrote and enforced them.
I began to learn more about organizers like Cesar Chavez, Reises Lopez Tijerina and Bert Corona and the movements they were part of. And I immediately wanted to know more about the women whose stories were often eclipsed by the overinflated narratives about the men. It sent shivers down my spine to learn about Dolores Huerta, Emma Tenayuca, Luisa Moreno and Josefina Fierro de Bright.
It is in the spirit of the third world Liberation Front and my own ongoing education in Xicanx and Ethnic Studies that I create the type of artwork that I do. I am starting a new series of portrait of organizers, the movements and the history they made in hopes that they might help a new generation of people curious about these genealogies from which we emerge. This portrait is of Josefina Fierro de Bright. I have included a small symbol in the bottom right corner to symbolize the slogan “bread and rose” which appeals for both fair wages and dignified conditions.
“Born in the border town of Mexicali, Baja California during the tumultuous years of the Mexican Revolution, Josefina Fierro was raised in a familial heritage of revolutionary activism. Her father was an officer in General Francisco "Pancho" Villa's northern revolutionary army, a fact that made him largely absent from her life. Raised by her mother, who separated from her husband and immigrated to the U.S. when Josefina was a baby, the language of revolution and social justice was a constant in her young life. Her mother's family was followers of Ricardo Flores Magon, a Mexican anarchist banished from Mexico for promoting radical reforms as part of his Partido Liberal Mexicano, a movement he continued while in exile on the U.S. side of the border. As a "Magonista," Josefina's mother taught her daughter to stand up for the underdog, to speak out against injustice, and to treat others with dignity and respect. It was no surprise that Josefina would eventually use this background as a basis for assuming leadership within the Mexican American community in California as she came of age.
Josefina's successful organizing efforts and her emergence as a key leader in the Los Angeles Mexican community attracted the attention of Latino leaders, especially Luisa Moreno, who were preparing to launch the first-ever national Latino civil rights organization, El Congreso del Pueblo de Habla Española (the Congress of Spanish-Speaking People) The Congress was founded in Los Angeles in 1939, and young Josefina was elected national secretary, the second highest ranking position in the organization. For the next several years, she and her colleagues led a broad-based civil rights movement for Mexican Americans and other Latinos in California and in the Southwest. A fiery orator who could captivate an audience, Josefina traveled throughout California to participate in various demonstrations and activities aimed at bringing down the walls of discrimination against Mexicans in housing, employment, education, and other public places.
She played an instrumental role, in addition, on the defense committee of the infamous "Sleepy Lagoon Case" in war-time Los Angeles (a murder trial involving several Mexican American youth accused and sentenced to prison for a crime they did not commit). The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee eventually won the release of the defendants from state prison two years after the original convictions. A year later, in June 1943, Josefina almost single-handedly brought an end to the days of rage and physical assault on Mexican Americans in downtown and in East Los Angeles during the so-called "Zoot Suit Riots." With the L.A.P.D. unwilling to stop the brutality in the streets against Mexican American youth, Josefina flew to Washington, D.C. with a Mexican consulate official to prevail upon the Vice-President of the United States, Henry Wallace, to help bring an end to the violence unleashed against her community. Convinced by her graphic, first-hand stories about the beatings of Mexican Americans by servicemen, buttressed by an armful of newspapers she carried with sensational headlines about the riots, Wallace secured a military order that restricted all service personnel to their respective bases until order was restored.
As Josefina's efforts to advocate for Mexican Americans attracted more notice, she was labeled as a "communist subversive" by the California Committee on UnAmerican Activities. After her divorce from John Bright, she returned to Madera where she organized on behalf of Henry Wallace's Independent Progressive party. By 1948, after being hounded by the FBI and fearing arrest and deportation, she decided to leave the United States and head to Hermosillo, the Mexican port city where she lived the rest of her life.”- from the Online Archive of California See it here http://bit.ly/1zveKcI
To learn more about the life and organizing of Josefina Fierro de Bright I recommend the following books as resources.
The white walls of the gallery are always being talked about, but when I saw a white wall are on the street it just made me think about the possibilities. The wall is at the intersection of East 14th and Fruitvale, part of a construction site repairing a building that had burned recently. It just seemed to out of place there, but perfectly in its place because it’s just a wall at a construction site. I brought some posters and put them up there, it just seemed the perfect place to share some art with the community. Not sure how long it’ll stay up, but hey it was a cool opportunity to share stuff there and I hope people walking by liked it.
Impromptu Dignidad Rebelde exhibit in the Fruitvale on Fruitvale and International Blvd.
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