:Political Repression in the USA - Then and Now 
Series: Title: Sub-title:
Not a Series  Political Repression in the USA - Then and Now  Panel following Red Squad documentaries 
Producer: Program type: Broadcast Restrictions:
WZRD Chicago  Events and Speeches  For non-profit use only. 
Summary: Featured speakers/guests:
Panel of Civil and Human Rights activists
comments on their own experiences with regard two documentaries - APRIL 27 and RED SQUAD that deal with the police riot in Chicago ahead of the 1968 Democratic Convention and police spying and gangsterism in 1970 New York City. First documentary about the police riot in April of 1968 when anti war demonstrators were attacked and beaten and brutalized by police on the order of then Mayor Daley. Second documentary about police spying on anti-war and Civil Rights demonstrators in New York City. At around 1:05:00, a panelists dates the beginning of police spying units to Chicago, around 1919 and the Palmer raids, when the industrial and financial elites of the day wanted to repress union organizing in order to shield their profits from workers demanding a livable wage and humane working conditions.  
Matthew Piers, Peter Kuttner, Micki Leaner,Hatem Abudayyeh,Moderator Rebecca Zorach, 
Notes: Credits:
South Side Projections and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts present a film screening and discussion of police and government surveillance from the 1960s to the present.

During much of the twentieth century, large cities in the United States employed police intelligence units that monitored, harassed, and infiltrated political and social groups suspected of dissent. Informally known as Red Squads, these units were originally formed to keep tabs on suspected Communists, but their purview quickly extended to anyone thought to be subversive. Their activities intensified during the domestic upheaval of the 1960s as police joined forces with the U.S. government to track and disrupt civil rights groups. Red Squads no longer exist, but domestic spying by government actors has continued, with new laws such as the PATRIOT Act and new technology making it easier for the government to monitor and harass those who voice dissent.

This program will examine domestic surveillance through two films about police spying during the 1960s and 1970s, followed by a wide-ranging discussion with people who have been spied on and harassed by the police and federal government from the 1960s through the post-9/11 era.

APRIL 27 (Chicago Newsreel, 1968, 10 min., video projection) documents a Chicago peace march turned violent by an unprovoked attack by police less than a month after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and just four months before the police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

RED SQUAD (Steven Fischler, Joel Sucher, Howard Blatt, and Francis Freedland, 1972, 45 min., 16mm print) documents the surveillance activities of the New York City Police Department s Bureau of Special Services, known as the Red Squad. When the filmmakers, NYU students enrolled in Martin Scorsese s production class, began to photograph people they saw photographing others at political events, they became targets of police and FBI harassment and arrest themselves. They in turn documented their harassers, leading Vincent Canby to remark in his New York Times review that the film becomes funny, in the way that two spies are funny when they suddenly discover they re spying on each other. Yet it s dead serious, the record of when four young filmmakers decide to run their own surveillance on the surveillants.

Discussants will include civil rights attorney Matthew Piers, filmmaker Peter Kuttner, and activist Micki Leaner, who were involved in the Alliance to End Repression et al. v. City of Chicago et al. civil suit whose 1982 settlement expressly prohibited political harassment and spying by the City of Chicago. Also joining us will be Hatem Abudayyeh, director of the Arab American Action Network, who will discuss government harassment of antiwar and Palestinian rights activists. The moderator will be art historian Rebecca Zorach, who has conducted research on police and FBI surveillance of the Black Arts Movement. 
South Side Projections and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts  
Politics and Activism | History | Police Brutality | Occupied Palestine  
Version 1:   
Total Length (HH:MM:SS)
Transcript, Announcer Script Location Recorded Release Date Language
View Script  Logan Center for the Arts, UC-Chicago  09-15-2015  English 
Segment Length
File Info
Panel  64Kbps mp3 (34.53MB) Mono 
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