What do the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, the Move Organization and Black Lives Matter have in common? They have all been denounced and delegitimized by the corporate establishment and mainstream media.
The Civil Rights and Revolutionary Struggles of the ‘60s and 70s challenged American racism, classism and sexism. They also disrupted our imperialist foreign policy. Eventually, the United States Government brought down or seriously humbled the Black Panthers, the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, the American Indian Movement, etc. Many leaders were jailed. Will the current struggle face the same fate?
In the late 1990s, a movement to free all U.S. political prisoners and prisoners of war began to take root. Several wide scale political actions took place in Washington, DC and Philadelphia. Filmmakers, Liane Scott, Joan Yoshiwara, Eddie Becker and Jorge Abeledo covered these events. The result is The Walls of Jericho and the Movement That’s Shaking Them, a two-hour documentary, that includes activists protesting on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, the Move 9, the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners, Black Panthers Russel Maroon Shoats and Eddie Conway and many more.
Revolutionary thinkers Kathleen Cleaver, Carl Dix, Chokwe Lumumba, Angela Davis, Ramona Africa all weigh in on the state of the movement and the related issues of police brutality and the prison industrial complex. Rank and file activists also share their knowledge and opinions. The Walls of Jericho serves as a popular education primer on political prisoners jailed as a result of the civil and human rights uprisings of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
It cannot be denied that in the last half century, racism, heterosexism, xenophobia, etc. have become less overt. But at the same time, US military misadventures migrated from Central America and Southeast Asia to the oil-rich Middle East. The planet’s resources continue to be assaulted. Police brutality and mass incarceration replaced Jim Crow. The revolutionary work that blossomed in the ‘60s and ‘70s is not finished. Tactics used to disrupt activism of the past are and will be used again.
We invite you to join us at this screening of The Walls of Jericho and the Movement That’s Shaking Them and the follow up discussion. In the spirit of Sankofa, we will learn from the past and move even more boldly into a future shaped by the people and not the forces of oligarchy.
Below is a segment from the documentary that focuses on police brutality.