Primary Artist: Terry Forman
Created: San Francisco Collective, 1981
Medium: Offset printed
Dimensions: 17.5″ x 21.5″
This 1981 conference was called to fight the Klan and other white supremacist organizations organizing around the country and to support the Pontiac Brothers, 16 Black prisoners who were blamed by the state of Illinois for a rebellion at Pontiac State Prison against overcrowding, brutality and unsanitary prison conditions.
Three white guards were killed and there were millions of dollars in damages. The Pontiac Brothers (all Black) were portrayed by the state as scary as possible—all were charged with murder and a bulletproof shield was placed between spectators (only six allowed) and the prisoners. The Pontiac Brothers were found not guilty by a mixed Black and white jury, all other charges were dropped when the state realized it would lose. It was the largest death penalty case in recent history.
Their lawyer was Chokwe Lumumba, VP of the Provisional Government of New Afrika, lawyer for the Republic of New Africa 11 (1971) and mayor of Jackson, Mississippi in 2013.
Image: In center 1/3, black and white photo of two cringing policemen protecting a group of bloodied Klansmen. On the right, superimposed on the photo, is Ronald Reagan dressed in a Klan robe and hat, pulling a mask part of the way over his face. At the top is a red block with text dropped out. On the bottom, a block of black with text dropped out. Split between the middle photo and the black on the bottom is hand-lettered “Death to the Klan.”
Words: Top: FIGHT WHITE SUPREMACY! SUPPORT BLACK AND CHICANO MEXICANO NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLES AND ALL NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLES. DEFEAT US IMPERIALISM. Center: Death to the Klan. Bottom: STATEWIDE ANTI-KLAN CONFERENCE AND DEMONSTRATION NOV. 14-15. SAN FRANCISCO.
Color: red and black ink on white paper
Event: Saturday Nov. 14, Mission Neighborhood Center. San Francisco. Demonstration: Sunday Nov. 15, San Francisco.
Sponsors: Committee to Free the Pontiac Brothers, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee
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