LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice

Posts from the ‘Protest’ category

unnamed-3The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is pleased to be able to release the online version of the exhibit that appeared in our gallery last July.  This documentary Multimedia online essay is titled: Free Speech – Earth Liberation Front Press Office April 5, 2001: Communications Equipment Seized by FBI Released 14 Years Later (Returned Objects: A Multimedia Art Installation)

Below is an edited excerpt from the Gallery statement about the exhibit:

Art means many different things

At the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery, the exhibits we choose illustrate and demonstrate the intersection of the realms of art and politics regarding the times in which we live.

Sometimes art should creatively communicate the reality hidden behind the propaganda we encounter in or our daily lives, where most communication is designed to sell something you probably do not need or that makes you feel good about yourself–from McMansions to reality shows, to drugs and/or belief systems with  no mental challenge.

In this exhibit, we demonstrate how art and Free Speech are intrinsically tied together. Fourteen years ago the FBI raided the Earth Liberation Front’s Press Office in Oregon and confiscated their communications equipment. The equipment seized by the FBI, along with related photography, news clips and Federal Agency documents are now on display online in Free Speech – Earth Liberation Front Press Office April 5, 2001: Communications Equipment Seized by FBI Released 14 Years Later (Returned Objects: A Multimedia Art Installation)

A group of artists and activists worked almost a month to turn a pile of obsolete office equipment seized from Burning Books co-owner Leslie James Pickering during the 2001 FBI raid into an installation highlighting free speech, art and state repression.

In addition to the now released office equipment (still tagged as evidence), the show features censored government documents, photographs, first-hand accounts, and statements by Pickering and Civil Rights attorney Michael Kuzma.

It is ludicrous and absurd that the FBI held these objects for fourteen years. If there were any incriminating evidence, it would likely have been found very quickly. The seizure of the equipment, and its confiscation for fourteen years, was intended to squash free speech.

This exhibit is about art, the repression and liberation of free speech and maybe a subliminal or not so subliminal message: In a world where we see more and more potentially apocalyptic scenes, especially with increasingly common climate catastrophes, is “civilization” and the dominant economic system pushing the inhabitants on Earth to the brink?

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From Nation of Change

Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly and Washington Post's Wesley Lowery were charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer a year after being detained during the Ferguson riots. This raises troubling questions about press freedom. Published: August 13, 2015 | Authors: Andrew Emett | NationofChange | News Report

Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly and Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery were charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer a year after being detained during the Ferguson riots. This raises troubling questions about press freedom.
Published: August 13, 2015 | Authors: Andrew Emett | NationofChange | News Report

Two journalists for the Huffington Post and The Washington Post have been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer nearly a year after being detained during the Ferguson riots. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 11 reporters were detained in Ferguson last year while several other journalists reported being shot with police tear gas and rubber bullets. The CPJ is condemning this judicial intimidation and calling for these charges to be dropped immediately.

Four days after Officer Darren Wilson gunned down 18-year-old Michael Brown, Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post were covering the protests and violence erupting across Ferguson, Missouri. Several reporters had been using the McDonald’s located a few blocks from the scene of Brown’s death to access WiFi and recharge their electronic devices. While charging his phone on August 13, 2014, Lowery noticed police officers in uniforms and riot gear enter.

Officers requested to see their identification before ordering Lowery and Reilly to leave. While recording the officer with his cell phone in one hand, Lowery began packing his notebook and pens with his other hand. As one officer instructed Lowery to exit to his left, another officer blocked his path and ordered him to go another way. When Lowery’s backpack began to slip off his shoulder and he asked to retrieve it, multiple officers grabbed him.

“My hands are behind my back,” Lowery told them. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.”

After slamming Lowery into a soda machine, which set off the Coke dispenser, they placed him in plastic cuffs and escorted him out the door. On his way out Lowery asked Reilly to tweet about his arrest, but Reilly was arrested along with him.

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This review of my exhibit was by Jack Foran was published in Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v14n23 (06/11/2015) » Art Scene. Artvoice (print and web) is one of Buffalo, NY’s two major alternative weeklies. Additionally, the exhibit continues through June 19, at which time I’ll give a walk-through and talk about the various photos, scheduled from 6 to 8 pm. Wine and hors d’oeuvres provided. The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is located at 148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201- OL

PORTRAITS OF STRUGGLES

ORIN LANGELLE’S PHOTOGRAPHS ON DISPLAY AT ¡BUEN VIVIR! GALLERY

By Jack Foran

Photographer Orin Langelle’s website concludes with two quotations. From Brazilian educator and philosopher Paolo Freire: “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” And folksinger and activist Phil Ochs: “It is wrong to expect a reward for your struggles. The reward is the act of struggle itself, not what you win. Even though you can’t expect to defeat the absurdity of the world, you must make that attempt. That’s morality, that’s religion. That’s art. That’s life.” They pretty much sum up Langelle’s life and work.

A potpourri of his witness to the struggle photos from the 1980s and 1990s is currently on view at his r1¡Buen Vivir! gallery on Elmwood in Allentown. Including the iconic photo of an unidentified environmental activist, poised on a log tripod construction, arm and fist raised in spirited gesture of we shall overcome, at a training camp in non-violent disruption techniques in Vermont in the late ‘90s.

r2The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of activist Judi Bari (1949-1997), an activist against redwood logging in northern California who narrowly escaped death when her car was blown up by a pipe bomb—following which she was arrested by the FBI on charges of eco-terrorism. The FBI alleged she had been transporting explosives. Laboratory and other analyses discovered that the explosives inr3 question were placed directly under the driver’s seat and equipped with a motion sensor trigger to cause them to detonate when the car was driven, whereupon the Oakland District Attorney declined to press the FBI charges. Bari filed a violation of civil right suit on matters including false arrest and illegal search. Five years after her death her estate was awarded $4 million in the case.r4

The targets of the protests to which Langelle’s photos bear witness range from roadway expansion schemes in London, England, to golf course expansion and development of condominiums on land sacred to the Mohawk Indians, to logging activities within the Trail of Tears State Forest r5in Illinois, to Hydro-Quebec plans for hydroelectric production facilities on Cree Indian lands in northern Canada, to a protest against the Tasmanian Forestry Commission, Australia, an agency that is supposed to protect forests from rapacious practices of commercial timber interests, for failing to do so.

r6One photo is of an activist arrested—in New Hampshire—for handing out fliers urging people to write to their representatives in Congress in opposition to a timber harvest scheme in the White Mountain National Forest. Another—in Vermont—shows Abenaki Tribal Chief Homer St. Francis standing up in court, when he was told he was “out of order,” responding, “No, Judge, you’re out of order.” The Abenaki apparently had never ceded their land to any state or federal government, and continued to issue their own license plates and hunting and fishing permits. They were demanding that all Abenaki land be returned to them. Ultimately, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that all Abenaki claims had been “extinguished due to the increasing weight of history.” History apparently was to blame.

Not all the protest activist photos show protest actions. There is a wonderful portrait of a Cree elder woman, looking ancient and patient—but not infinitely patient—taken during the photographer’s journey to Cree territory to learn about and document the struggle against the Hydro-Quebec project. The second phase of the project, that is. The first phase, the La Grande Project dam, had already flooded thousands of acres of Cree land, displacing resident natives and resulting in environmental devastation such as when an untimely water release drowned 10,000 migrating caribou. The second phase was another dam proposal that was postponed indefinitely following protests in Canada and worldwide. One photo shows protesters in front of the Quebec consulate in London with a banner denouncing the hydropower scheme. The second phase was ironically well-named. It was called the Great Whale Project.

The exhibit continues through June 19, at which time Langelle will give a walk-through and talk about the various photos, scheduled from 6 to 8 pm.

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The show opened 3 April 2015.

struggle final show

Please come to this closing reception and gallery walk-through – refreshments include wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Struggles for Justice is the last show in the present gallery space.  The ¡Buen Vivir Gallery is moving to the first floor of the same location at 148 Elmwood Ave., in Buffalo’s Allentown. The Grand re-opening of the gallery will be on 7 August 2015 with a photo exhibit by Anne Petermann entitled Triumph Over Tragedy.

Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and the Coordinator of the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees.

 

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About Judi Bari

Judi Bari, center, walks on a Pacific Ocean beach in California with the support of two women friends  after a pipe-bomb ripped through her car in 1990 - See more at: http://photolangelle.org/blog-2/#sthash.H5VB3OGI.dpuf

Judi Bari, center, walks on a Pacific Ocean beach in California with the support of two women friends after a pipe-bomb ripped through her car in 1990

Judi Bari was a North American environmentalist and labor leader, a feminist, and the principal organizer of Earth First! campaigns against logging in the ancient redwood forests of Northern California in the 1980s and ’90s. She also organized efforts through Earth First! – Industrial Workers of the World Local 1 to bring timber workers and environmentalists together in common cause.

In 1986, Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz acquired Pacific Lumber Company and doubled its rate of timber harvesting as a means of paying off the acquisition cost. This enraged environmentalists and drew attention from government agencies because of his use of junk bonds.


In 1989 Judi and other Earth First!ers came up with the idea of Redwood Summer, protests inspired by Freedom Summer, and by the Freedom Riders of the civil rights movement. Bari was instrumental in the process of calling in demonstrators from college campuses across the United States. Reactions to her lobbying tactics were severe, including the ramming of her car by a logging truck in 1989, as well as death threats.

On 24 May 1990, in Oakland, California, the vehicle used by Bari and colleague Darryl Cherney was blown up by a pipe bomb under Bari’s seat. Bari was severely injured, but was arrested for transporting explosives while she was still in critical condition with a shattered pelvis and other major injuries. The FBI took jurisdiction of the case away from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, alleging it was an eco-terrorism case.

Bari’s injuries disabled her to the extent that she had to curtail her activities. While she lay healing, Redwood Summer took place. In late July 1990, the Oakland district attorney declined to press charges against Bari and Cherney, claiming insufficient evidence. The false arrests and illegal search warrants became the basis of Bari’s civil rights suit filed the following year but not decided until 2002, five years after her death, when her estate was awarded $4 million in damages.

Recently Mary Liz Thompson and Darryl Cherney produced the documentary Who bombed Judi Bari?

This photo taken by Orin Langelle is part of the exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights – Late 80s to Late 90s is dedicated to Judi Bari (7 November 1949- 2 March 1997). The exhibit is on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo and is online here

________________________________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release       

Twenty-five years later: Who Bombed Judi Bari? to be presented in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY (18 May 2015)–A quarter of a century ago this month a pipe bomb ripped through the car of activist Judi Bari in Oakland, CA as she and Darryl Cherney were on their way to a rally to support halting the logging of ancient redwood trees.

At 7 p.m. this Thursday, 21 May, Buffalo-based Global Justice Ecology Project, Langelle Photography and Burning Books will present the documentary Who Bombed Judi Bari? at the Burning Books bookstore, located at 420 Connecticut Street, Buffalo. This showing is one of many events occurring across the country in observation of 25th anniversary of the bombing of Bari and Cheney.

The multi-award winning feature documentary Who Bombed Judi Bari? is a suspenseful story about people who risked their lives to save the California redwoods and took on the FBI for trampling their freedom of speech. It showcases an amazing protest movement that succeeded against all odds – with creativity, music, and humor.

Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann said, “As part of a slander campaign against Bari and Cherney, the FBI arrested them for the bombing and never pursued any other suspects, Charges were never filed for lack of evidence. Bari and Cherney later sued the FBI successfully for violating their civil rights, and were awarded $4 million.”

“Judi Bari was not only an Earth First! activist, she also organized workers in the timber industry, attempting to bring them together with environmentalists, explaining the industry was destroying both the redwoods and the workers’ livelihoods,” said Orin Langelle, Director of Langelle Photography.

An excerpt from an interview with Bari about the bombing before she passed away in 1997 can be heard here

Global Justice Ecology Project co-founders Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann, friends of Bari and Cherney, will speak at the event.

Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) explores and exposes the intertwined root causes of social injustice, ecological destruction, and economic domination.

Contact: Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator, 716.867.4080
[email protected]

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Tin soldiers and Nixon coming – 4 dead in Ohio

Protest at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, FL. Photo: Langelle

Protest at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, FL.      Photo: Langelle

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, when the Ohio National Guard killed 4 students during a protest against the war in Vietnam and the invasion of Cambodia. We should never forget. I know I will not.

Today, once again we see the National Guard in our streets, called into action to quell protests.  It is therefore even more important that we remember the results this had in the past.

Jerry M. Lewis and Thomas R. Hensley wrote  in a paper “THE MAY 4 SHOOTINGS AT KENT STATE UNIVERSITY: THE SEARCH 
FOR HISTORICAL ACCURACY” [1] :

On May 4, 1970 members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators, killing four and wounding nine Kent State students. The impact of the shootings was dramatic. The event triggered a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close. H. R. Haldeman, a top aide to President Richard Nixon, suggests the shootings had a direct impact on national politics. In The Ends of Power, Haldeman (1978) states that the shootings at Kent State began the slide into Watergate, eventually destroying the Nixon administration. Beyond the direct effects of May 4th, the shootings have certainly come to symbolize the deep political and social divisions that so sharply divided the country during the Vietnam War era.

[1] PUBLISHED IN REVISED FORM BY THE OHIO COUNCIL FOR THE SOCIAL STUDIES REVIEW, VOL 34, NUMBER 1 (SUMMER, 1998) PP. 9-21

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For workers and for all inhabitants of Mother Earth

Photo: Langelle

Photo: Langelle

Earth First! and the Industrial Workers of the World ( IWW) join autoworkers in a Fenton, MO protest against Chrysler (1989)

This photos is from my exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights Exhibit Late 80s to Late 90s  now on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. More on the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery.

More on May Day

Workers

Words engraved on the Haymarket Martyr’s Monument in Chicago. This monument was erected in 1893 after workers’ demonstrations were answered with police repression and unjust trials resulting in the conviction of workers on trumped up charges, with four (the Haymarket Martyrs) being executed [notice the original meaning of “thug”]:

THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.
Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we’ll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

Please read the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument for more information and a fairly thorough historical explanation of the events that led to the monument’s existence. Many radical people from the labor movement at the time are buried next to the Haymarket Martyrs,  including Joe Hill, who was murdered by the state of Utah 100 years ago this year.

The Earth

From Ancient Origins:

The 1st of May is an ancient Northern Hemisphere festival, now known as ‘May Day’, which traditionally marked the return of spring. It is believed that the celebrations originated in agricultural rituals intended to ensure fertility for crops, held by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Later developments included the Celtic festival of Beltane…

For a more thorough explanation see May Day History: An Invitation From the Sun:

The First of May sounds a clarion call announcing the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The sun is in its ascendancy, pouring light and warmth onto the Earth, whose creatures bask in the joyous tide of burgeoning life, sensuality, fertility, and abundance. From Scandinavia to Scotland, from Hawaii to China, people come together to celebrate the irresistible rising of the life-force as they are touched by the warmth and light of the sun. There is a promise of love and a reminder of the constant greening and renewal of life.

For those who follow an Earth-based spiritual tradition, this is a sacred time of the year, celebrated in ways that promote a joyful communion both with each other and with the Green World of nature. Although the practices of modern pagans, Wiccans, Druids, and other groups may differ, in general Beltaine is a time of connection, of honoring the “three Ls:” life, light, and love. (“Beltaine” is the Gaelic spelling; it’s also known as “Beltane.”) Read More

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Formerly with The United Freedom Front

As a member of the United Freedom Front (UFF), Kazi Toure was imprisoned for his role in 20 bombings combating Apartheid in South Africa and United States Imperialism in Central America. The UFF has been called “undoubtedly the most successful of the leftist [guerrilla groups] of the 1970s and ’80s” and struck powerful blows to South African Airways, Mobil, IBM, Union Carbide, & various courthouses and US Military targets. [Source: NYC Anarchist Black Cross]

As a member of the United Freedom Front (UFF), Kazi Toure was imprisoned for his role in 20 bombings combating Apartheid in South Africa and United States Imperialism in Central America. The UFF has been called “undoubtedly the most successful of the leftist [guerrilla groups] of the 1970s and ’80s” and struck powerful blows to South African Airways, Mobil, IBM, Union Carbide, & various courthouses and US Military targets. [Source: NYC Anarchist Black Cross*]

I shot this portrait of Kazi Toure immediately prior to his speaking event at local independent radical bookstore Burning Books in Buffalo, NY on 25 March 2015.

I believe the photograph is very relevant in today’s world. I watched Baltimore on fire last night [27 April 2015] and listened to the media pundits (especially on Fox) saying they had no idea why people are so angry. The pundits were blaming the black mayor and a myriad of other people for what was going on. The racist garbage spewed continuously from the TV screen. Of course they conveniently skipped the root causes of the unrest.

I did hear many black people interviewed explaining why people are so angry – from police brutality, racism, and living conditions, to the incarceration of young black men. The NAACP reports:

African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population…African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites.

I have no idea how many people last night were protesters, rioters or agitators – but they were people. And it is evident that many people are angry and not just in Baltimore.

I do not know what take Kazi Toure has on all of these developments, but I felt today was a good day to look back at a not so distant history, as I do not want “history” written by Fox.

In Kazi Toure’s own words prior to his parole:

I am a New Afrikan political prisoner who has been held in captivity my entire life. Every since the mid 1960s when I learned about Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, slave revolts and the history of resistance, I’ve been of one mind in spirit with Afrikan peoples’ struggle for self-determination and freedom.

The u.s government was founded on the genocide of native people, the enslavement and colonization of Afrikan people, and the robbing of Mexican peoples’ land. Our only means of survival is building our New Afrikan nation, fortified by stiff resistance. We must organize our communities and build alternatives to meet that community’s particular needs, and also be able to defend ourselves and our communities. No people have ever gotten their freedom without a fight.

In 1982, I was convicted on federal charges of possession of firearms and sentenced to six years. Later I was convicted on the same charges under state law and sentenced to a consecutive four to five years.  I am currently serving a sentence of seven years for the conviction of Seditious Conspiracy—conspiring to overthrow, put down, destroy by force and violence the u.s. government. I am one of the few, if any, New Afrikans to be charged of this act. I will be eligible for parole in October, 1991. Stand Firm… Amandla.

This was the third of a series of candid portraits I have taken and will continue to take of radical movement figures in collaboration with Burning Books.  The point of this endeavor is to document some of the people who have participated in the making of history in the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice – a history of victories, losses, mistakes and successes, that we can and should learn from.

Personal Note: Richard Charles Williams, a member of the United Freedom Front, died while in prison in December 2005. In the early 2000’s I had the pleasure of meeting his son who was a freshman at the University of Vermont. After his graduation there, he moved to the Vermont countryside. I consider him to be a friend.

* As stated, NYC Anarchist Black Cross was the source for the photo caption.

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*9 Smurf Day_0870699-R1-E012

Earth First! and “Mud People” present a check to the 1990 Earth Day (Smurf Day) Committee in St. Louis, Missouri. Monsanto was the main sponsor of the event.

The action was the feature evening news story on a major television network affiliate in St. Louis with a reporter attempting to interview a mud person. An Earth First! “translator” fielded the reporter’s questions in English and then translated to the mud person in mud language; the mud person responded in mud language and then the Earth First! translator gave the answer to the reporter.

The above photo is part of Orin Langelle’s exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights  – Late 80s to Late 90s at Buffalo’s ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. The exhibit runs through 19 June 2015.

 

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Forest Cover 47: Bioenergy Special Edition, covers many different issues that are very much connected to the fate of our planet including bioenergy, and all that that falls under that category. Covered also are  genetically engineered trees, GMO soy, unsustainable livestock production and much more.

I photographed the front and back covers of this publication, Forest Cover 47: Bioenergy Special Edition, by the Global Forest Coalition.  The front cover was photographed in Mapuche Territory (Chile). And my photo essay “The Pillaging of Paraguay” is featured inside.

The print edition can be downloaded in this hi-resolution PDF.  To subscribe to future editions of Forest Cover, please send an email to <[email protected]>

***forestcover-big2-1

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