Award-winning documentary, COINTELPRO 101, will be shown at Adams State

(03-17-2014)

COINTELPRO may not be a well-understood acronym but its meaning and continuing impact are absolutely central to understanding the U.S. government's wars and repression against domestic, progressive movements in the post-World War II era.

The documentary, COINTELPRO 101, will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in Adams State University McDaniel Hall room 101. A panel discussion and question and answer session will follow, panelists include Dr. Priscilla Falcón, Ricardo Romero and Francisco "Kiko" Martínez.

COINTELPRO represents the state's strategy to prevent movements and communities from overturning white supremacy and creating racial justice. COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program of the FBI) is both a formal program of the FBI and a term frequently used to describe a conspiracy among government agencies, local, state, and federal, to destroy movements for self-determination and liberation for Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous struggles, as well as mount an institutionalized attack against allies of these movements and other progressive organizations.

The recent publication of Betty Medsger's book, The Burglary, The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI, documents how the public came to learn about COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO took on even more meaning today when Eric Snowden released information about the global surveillance apparatus operated by the National Security Agency.

COINTELPRO 101, a 56-minute educational film, will open the door to understanding this history. This documentary will introduce viewers, new to this history, to the basics and direct them to other resources where they can learn more. The intended audiences are the generations that did not experience the social justice movements of the sixties and seventies.

Persons featured in COINTELPRO 101 include, Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford), founder of the Revolutionary Action Movement and professor at Temple University; Bob Boyle, attorney representing many activists and political prisoners targeted by COINTELPRO; Kathleen Cleaver, former leader of the Black Panther Party, now professor of law at Emory and Yale Universities and expert on COINTELPRO; Ward Churchill, recently-removed professor at the University of Colorado who has written extensively about COINTELPRO; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, long-time Native American activist and educator; Priscilla Falcón, Ph.D., San Luis Valley native, history professor at the University of Northern Colorado, Mexicana activist whose husband, Ricardo Falcón was assassinated for his leadership in the Chicana struggle; Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, deceased, former leader of the Black Panther Party, falsely imprisoned for 27 years in a COINTELPRO case; Jose López, history professor at University of Illinois-Chicago, director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago and long-time advocate of Puerto Rican independence; Francisco "kiko" Martínez, San Luis Valley native, civil rights attorney, community activist and brother of Reyes Martínez, one of six Chicana activists whose controversial deaths in May 1974 are documented in COINTELPRO 101; Lucy Rodríguez, Puerto Rican Independentista and former political prisoner; Ricardo Romero, a founding member of the Crusade for Justice and Escuela Tlatelolco, National Coordinator-Chicana Delegation of the Poor Peoples Campaign, and founding member of the Mexican National Liberation Movement. Romero was imprisoned as a grand jury resister; Akinyele Umoja, African American history scholar at Georgia State University; and Laura Whitehorn, radical activist and former political prisoner who was targeted by the federal government.

COINTELPRO 101 is a critically acclaimed documentary produced by The Freedom Archives. The video documentary has received the following accolades, Best Documentary North Carolina Black Film Festival 2011; Official Selection Jubilee Film Festival 2012; Best Documentary DIFVF 2012; Free Speech Award 2012. It has been shown on Link TV, Free Speech TV, Mesa Redonda in Cuba and the Islam Channel in the UK.

The Freedom Archives in San Francisco houses and preserves a unique resource—over 10,000 hours of original historical audio and video recordings of major political, social, and cultural events from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s, as well as related documents, flyers and ephemera. Taken together, these materials constitute a compelling record of 50 years of social transformation and cultural diversity. The late historian Howard Zinn said, "The Freedom Archives makes a wonderful contribution to the unrecorded history of people's struggles."

The event is sponsored by Adams State CIELO, CASA, the Student Multicultural Club, and the Department of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish.

For more information contact Carol Guerrero-Murphy at cgmurphy@adams.edu or 719-587-7386.