LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Posts tagged ‘FBI Repression’

Note: This comes from The Public, a widely read weekly in the Buffalo, NY region. I want to point out that Climate Change: Realities and Resistance is an international exhibit first displayed at the UN climate negotiations in Paris last December. The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is pleased to host it’s first viewing in North America. The photography exhibit was curated by the Critical Information Collective.  – Orin Langelle

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Photo: Luka Tomac [Croatia] Indigenous protestors at UNF climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico (2010)

Photo: Luka Tomac [Croatia] Indigenous protestors at UNF climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico (2010)

by Evan James

[ART] The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery presents a thought provoking look at some of today’s most troubling issues in Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change. Intended to explore the causes of climate change, and how racism, classism, and environmental destruction play into it, this show contains Climate Change: Realities and Resistance, a national exhibit featuring pictures from climate photographers, and Black on the Ground, White in the Air, an exhibit from artist Ashley Powell who made national waves with her “White Only” art project at UB. This exhibit opens Friday, March 4 running from 6pm to 9pm, but the exhibit will be on display until April 29.

When:
Fri Mar. 4, 6:00pm

Where:
Buen Vivir

148 Elmwood
Buffalo, NY

This article can be found in The Public here.

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Below John’s photograph and caption is an email I received from Global Justice Ecology Project board member and a long time personal friend, Karen Pickett. I think Karen expresses beautifully what many of us will remember for quite some time: R.I.P. John Trudell.
Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971 and served as Chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973 to 1979. In 1982, Trudell began recording his spoken word poetry with music. An example of his spoken word poetry is in Mike Mease’s video “Buffalo Wild,” below.

Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971 and served as Chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973 to 1979. In 1982, Trudell began recording his spoken word poetry with music. An example of his spoken word poetry is in Mike Mease’s video “Buffalo Wild,” below.

We have lost one who was wise beyond his human form.  A shining light when he talked, or recited his poetry, getting the brain synapses whizzing around, evoking tears, laughter, pens scribbling in a scrap of paper so you could come back to it and think about that one later…these ideas about energy, power, coherence.  I really latched on to his breaking down of power and what it really is when you’re a human being.

He was only 69.
On this same day 35 years ago, we lost John Lennon.
The sky is dark tonight—no moon

How did he shine after all he had been through? Subject to the FBI’s COINTELPRO tactics, and all the rest a radical thinker and activist bucking the system might be subject to. He came to Berkeley years ago, a year or 2 before the Judi Bari vs FBI trial and we had a ranging conversation about strategy, response, carrying on. It was very valuable for me…he was someone who was not only attacked himself, but lost his partner and children in a fire of questionable cause while he was in Washington DC burning the American flag.

In recent years, I was fortunate enough to see John and interact with him when he joined the Buffalo Field Campaign for their Bay Area road shows, which I was always involved with.  A little more than a year ago, he wrote a poem—Buffalo Wild—that is now in a video produced by Mike Mease, co-founder of BFC with the poem put to music by Goodshield and Mignon, who also tour with BFC. I include this link from You Tube:

As I write, I am listening to John’s CD released this year: Wazi’s Dream.
In “Earthling”, he not only says
“I am no more important nor less important in spiritbeing than any other of the species…”

but also
“I carry the energies of
the suns and universes
from the time before time
into the beyond beyond beyond
from where stars get their light”

Perhaps that’s where he’s gone, into the beyond, beyond beyond.
Blessed travels, John.

 

Please visit http://johntrudell.com

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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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Former Earth Liberation Front press officer, James Leslie Pickering unloading a box of items seized in a raid 14 years ago at the EFL Press Office in Oregon. Global Justice Ecology Project's Anne Petermann is on the right. The returned objects will be on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. through July 26.

Former Earth Liberation Front press officer, James Leslie Pickering unloading a box of items seized in a raid 14 years ago at the ELF Press Office in Oregon. Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann is on the left. The returned objects will be on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. through July 26. Photo: Langelle

Special Gallery Event – Opening July 15th, 6-9 p.m.

Returned Objects:

A Multimedia Art Installation

Earth Liberation Front Press Office April 5, 2001

Communications Equipment Seized by FBI Released 14 Years Later

This multimedia art installation of returned objects, Earth Liberation Front Press Office April 5, 2001: Communications Equipment Seized by FBI Released 14 Years Later, opens on July 15 from 6-9 p.m. The installation runs through July 26th.

On display will be items seized in an April 5, 2001 raid by a Joint Terrorism Task Force led by the FBI on the Earth Liberation Front Press Office in Portland, OR. These returned objects, fourteen years after the raid, include fax machines, computers, a cell phone, phone books, and typewriters. The communications equipment seized belonged to the former ELF press officers, including current Buffalo Burning Books co-owner, Leslie James Pickering. – More on Exhibit
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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
kip@globaljusticeecology.org.

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When Bob Dylan wrote those words in 1965 for his song Subterranean Homesick Blues, he was not referring to the climate crisis, though these words are certainly appropriate today as we stare down the jaws of the oncoming climate catastrophe.  One does not need to be a meteorologist to know that if we do not begin taking real, effective and just action to address the climate crisis, we are all in deep s#*t.

I shot this portrait of Bill Ayers, former Weathermen and Weather Underground founder, prior to his event at local independent radical bookstore Burning Books, here in Buffalo on 21 May.  This is the first of a series of candid portraits I will be taking of radical movement figures in collaboration with Burning Books.  The point of this endeavor is to document some of the people that 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.

Bill Ayres 1 DSC_0031Portrait of Bill Ayers before he spoke at Burning Books on 21 May 2014 in Buffalo, NY.   Photo: Langelle

From Wikipedia (for what it’s worth):

William Charles “Bill” Ayers (born December 26, 1944) is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the counterculture movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s radical activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction. In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group that conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings (including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon) during the 1960s and 1970s in response to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

“He is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. During the 2008 US presidential campaign, a controversy arose over his contacts with then-candidate Barack Obama. He is married to Bernardine Dohrn, who was also a leader in the Weather Underground.”

More on Ayers in Wikipedia and in The Buffalo News60s radical Ayers still wants a revolution

About the Portrait

I met Bill in 1969 before he went underground.  Before taking his photo, I told him that.   Bill said, “You looked the same then as you do now.”  I returned the humorous compliment.

I was glad to have this chance to take candid photos of Bill, and to talk to and know him better.

I think that a portrait done well is very personal and can bring out the real person – which is my goal.  I want the real image of the real person.  The image of someone who is deeply committed to what they do and provides us a glimpse of why they do it.

This is history and these stories and faces need to be remembered.

About the radical independent bookstore hosting his talk, Ayers commented, “Burning Books stands strong as an essential community space where we can gather, dream big, and act on what the known demands of us.”

How true that is.  And I’m glad to be working with them to collaborate on this portrait project.  Special thanks to Leslie James Pickering and all at Burning Books for making this possible. More information on how Leslie and Burning Books are standing up to the FBI can be found here. – Orin Langelle

And from the archives of the FBI:

 

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