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I recently spent time talking with artist, activist and guest columnist for San Francisco MOMA's Open Space Blog, Adrienne Skye Roberts.
Our coversation covered several topics including Occupy and the movement of the 99%, how I define collaboration and people's art and she even took me back to my days as a teenager, growing up in Los Angeles.
Here is a snippet from the interview where I talk about being seventeen riding in the homecoming parade the same day major youth protests errupt against California's anti-migrant Proposition 187:
The next flashpoint for me was when Prop 187 was on the ballot and Pete Wilson was governor of California. It was the same year I was running for homecoming queen—which really speaks to the big shifts in my life. I was in a poofy dress, in a car in the homecoming parade the same day there were walkouts in protest of Prop 187. I remember having this moment of dissonance. There were helicopters all over the area and students were trying to jump the fence but the metal had been greased so students couldn’t get out. Latino students understood what Prop 187 meant. It didn’t take a whole lot of agitation to get them to demonstrate.
To read the full interview click here: Toma Las Calles! Take It To The Streets! An interview with Melanie Cervantes of Dignidad Rebelde
These English and Spanish posters are two of four poster designs we will be giving away on May Day in Oakland and San Francisco. I want to thank all the people who donated and made this project possible, through this generous community support we are printing 1000+ full color posters and 500+ screen prints. It feels good when community comes together, pitches in, letting you know they have your back and appreciates the work you do! Thank You Everyone!!!
To Download the poster in English Click Here
To Download the poster in Spanish Click Here
Join us for The People's Street Festival
Celebrating International Workers' Day and the 99%
12 Noon, Gathering at Montgomery & Market, San Francisco Financial District
A day of Protest, Performance, Art & Culture
We will be reclaiming the financial district for the 99%! Celebrate historic and present day worker and immigrant community struggles through:
Street Theater • Participatory Flashmob Dance • Peoples' Assembly • Protest Art • Teach-ins • And more! Bring your own creativity!
On International Workers Day, join the Oakland Sin Fronteras' contingent in the
March for Immigrant Rights! :: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 ::
3:00pm: GATHER AT FRUITVALE BART PLAZA
3:30pm: ASSEMBLE ON INTERNATIONAL for opening rally & program
4:00pm: MARCH DOWN INTERNATIONAL BOULEVARD
5:30pm: ARRIVE 14TH & BROADWAY for a community rally with speakers and performers!
Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Xican@ Moratorium Coalition, Anakbayan East Bay, Dignidad Rebelde
Eastside Cultural Center, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Alameda Labor AFL-CIO Council, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Hand in Hand National Domestic Employers Association, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Causa Justa;Just Cause, 67 Sueños, Young Workers United AYPAL, Youth Together, ACUDIR, La Raza Centro Legal/Day Laborers, Filipino Community Center, and more....
Why are we marching?
Oakland Sin Fronteras 2012 DEMANDS:
LEGALIZATION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS
SUPPORT WORKERS RIGHTS
Support immigrant workers’ campaigns to defend their rights. End workplace enforcement programs like raids and I-9 Audits (that has resulted in the firings of thousands of immigrant workers, at Pacific Steel, American Apparel, Chipotle,to name a few). Pass AB 889 the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.
STOP THE DEPORTATION OF ALL IMMIGRANTS
End the continuing harassment, racial profiling, detention and deportation of immigrants. Nearly 400,000 immigrants have been deported from the U.S. in just the past year, which is about 45 people deported every hour.
STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRANTS
BY FEDERAL AND LOCAL POLICE
Stop government surveillance of immigrant communities by the Dept. of Homeland Security through enforcement programs like “Secure Communities”. Stop the local “gang injunctions” and 100 block initiatives that criminalize Black and Brown youth. Redirect resources toward the prevention of root causes of crime in our neighborhoods, such as chronic poverty and systemic racism.
END U.S. MILITARY AGGRESSION & OTHER POLICIES
THAT DISPLACE COMMUNITIES GLOBALLY
More than 200 million people have been forced to leave their country of origin because of war, environmental degradation and unequal trade policies. Stop U.S. military aggression and intervention in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa and throughout the world. Stop policies like NAFTA, CAFTA and AFTA that force farmers off their land in Mexico and Central America, increases poverty and forces migration from underdeveloped countries globally. We want a stop to the use of U.S. taxpayer money to bail-out wall street and sustain policies of globalization which are responsible for pushing millions of U.S. families out of their homes and uprooting millions more globally.
DEFEND AND EXPAND ETHNIC STUDIES
Protect Ethnic Studies programs from attack in Arizona and throughout the country. We demand a stop to the book banning which is a violation of First Amendment rights. Ethnic Studies programs should be expanded to make educational curricula accurate and inclusive of all U.S. residents, and because it is a critical tool for ending institutionalized racism.
SFAI Urban Studies, the Indigenous Arts Coalition, and Student Union Present
Indigenous Arts & Activism Lecture with Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza of Dignidad Rebelde.
Wednesday, April 25th, 7PM-10PM
San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA. 94133
Opening blessings by Point Arena Pomo Dancers 7:30pm.
Dignidad Rebelde is a graphic arts collaboration between Oakland-based artist-activists Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes. Grounded in Third World and Indigenous movements their visual work encompasses people's power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture. Representing social movements through visual art means connecting struggles and seeking to inspire solidarity among communities worldwide.
Free food from Casa Latina Bakery!
Contact: email@example.com or 510-485-2612.
Workshop will follow during SFAI's Open Studios on April 28th 2-5pm with Native Youth Leaders and Undocumented Youth from 67 Sueños.
Also, Saturday, April 28th at 9:30 AM-10:50AM
Melanie Cervantes will be speaking at the 22nd Annual California Studies Conference-How Democratic Is California".
"Popular Media Organizing: From Posters to Blogs" Lincoln Cushing, moderator and presenter; Melanie Cervantes (graphic artist and co-founder of Dignidad Rebelde), Keith Kamisugi (communications director, Equal Justice Society.
Other panels will include presentations on subjects such as:
CSA thanks the California Council for the Humanities for funding to support documentation of this event.
Registration $40 general, $20 students/low-income;
Early registration (by March 30) $35 general, $15 students/ low-income
Registration includes lunch and CSA membership, as well as guided tour of “All Of Us Or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area” exhibition by curator
Venue: Oakland Museum, Location: 1000 Oak Street, Oakland
This month, marks the 15-year anniversary of the implementation of harsh immigration laws (including the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act) that have led to the detention and deportation of millions of immigrants. In order to help raise awareness about the impact mandatory detention is having on communities and society at large Detention Watch Network and Dignidad Rebelde have joined forces to create a graphic campaign to call attentionto this pressing issue. To help raise awareness about the impact of these laws on mandatory detention policy we are asking DWN members and allies to distribute the attached poster.
Link to downloadable 11 X 17 poster: http://www.dignidadrebelde.com/document/download/69
How to Spread the Word:
The poster features Nazry Mustakim and his wife Hope. Nazry, a 31-year-old green card holder from Singapore, was held in immigration detention for 10 months at the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall, Texas. Due to laws passed in 1996, Nazry’s prior drug conviction subjected him to mandatory detention, which meant that he could not be released on bond. After ten months of hardship and separation and unrelenting advocacy by Hope, his family and community, Nazry has been released from detention and is back home. However, Nazry's story is exemplary of the injustices immigrants face in detention daily. We must act now and raise awareness to repeal mandatory detention to stop unjust detentions.
For more about Nazry and Hope's story please click here.
To endorse the Dignity not Detention Campaign visit www.dignitynotdetention.org