[FoRK] More Eyes on the Prize

Tom Higgins tomhiggins at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 22:11:53 PST 2005

(got mpg4?  got bt? )


"In meeting assembled, Saturday Feb 5, Bay Area Veterans of the Civil
Rights Movement unanimously adopted the following statment of support
for the protest screenings of "Eyes on the Prize" being organized by
Downhill Battle. The statement is now being circulated to veterans
around the country and we are confident that other Movement sisters
and brothers will sign on and we will forward their names to you.
Please feel free to use our statement in any way you wish if you think
it will be useful.

We have signed up on your website to host a screening on February 8 in
Berkeley, CA at 2300 Carleton St. We will make an effort to obtain
press coverage, but we don't know if that will succeed.

Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement
Statement: "Eyes on the Prize"
February 8, 2005

We who are veterans of the Southern Freedom Movement of the 1960s
support efforts to open the corporate copyright vaults and allow
people to view "Eyes on the Prize."

We strongly defend the original purpose of copyright which was to
protect creators, -- artists, composers, performers, photographers,
writers, and others, -- from commercial theft of their work, and to
ensure that creators could make a living from their craft. But today
media conglomerates have imprisoned the copyrights that once belonged
to the creators, seizing the income that rightfully belongs to those
who did the work, denying access to those who cannot afford to pay
their exorbitant fees, and sequestering information that runs counter
to their corporate political agendas.

Information, -- and particularly history, -- is as much a necessity of
intellectual and economic life as food is of biologic life. Not only
is it morally wrong to deny people the necessities of life, it's
impractical because when people cannot afford to buy food they steal
it. As citizens we know that without full access by all to multiple
sources of news and information, democracy itself becomes a myth. And
as Toni Morrison told us in 1986, "Access to knowledge is the superb,
the supreme act of truly great civilizations."

To us, knowledge is a human right every bit as important as the right
to vote and the right be treated with courtesy and respect. Therefore,
we do not believe that reading, or viewing, or listening is, or should
ever become, a crime. Nor should access to information become a luxury
sold only to the wealthy.

The events, images, narratives, and songs of "Eyes on the Prize" were
not written, created, or performed by the corporations who now have
the copyrights under their lock and key. It was those who gave their
lives in the struggle, the heroic children of Birmingham, the
courageous citizens of Mississippi, the Selma marchers, the school
integrators, the sit-ins and Freedom Riders, and the people of a
thousand colleges, towns, and hamlets across the South who created the
Civil Rights Movement and we have a right to have our stories told.

Therefore, in the spirit of Southern Freedom Movement, we who once
defied the laws and customs that denied people of color their human
rights and dignity, we whose faces are seen in "Eyes on the Prize," we
who helped produce it, tonight defy the media giants who have buried
our story in their vaults by publicly sharing episodes of this
forbidden knowledge with all who wish to see it.

Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement

Chude (Pam Parker) Allen
Connie Currie
Hardy Frye
Aviva Futorian
Miriam Cohen Glickman
Bruce Hartford
Phil Hutchings
Don Jelinek
Joyce Ladner
Martha Livingston
William Mandel
Claire O'Conner
Gwen Patton
Wazir (Willie) Peacock
Charles Person
Betty Garman Robinson
Jimmy Rogers
John (Hunter Bear) Salter
Florence Tate
Jean Wiley

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