** Poetry month is ending this week, and there will be an infinitesimal amount of events to choose from. Poetry workshops and readings will be occurring all day at the Harold Washington Library at 400 S. State on Saturday.
For instance, Poets and Patrons is sponsoring a workshop in the HWL that day at 1 p.m. The workshop is titled, “Love Poems with an Attitude.” It is free and open to the public. There are also many other lectures and work shops during the day at the library.
The Poetry Bomb is also going to occur the same day all over Chicago. At 3:30 many poets will take to the streets at the same time (3:30) and read poetry at different places.
To get more info and an update on Waiting for the Bus features go here.
“We have freedom of speech. Just watch what you say.”—–Ice-T
Two recent events have occurred which made me question just how much freedom of speech we have on this country.
In a middle school an eighth grade student named Sophie Thomas posted for a school pic wearing a T-shirt that had the word “feminist” on it. We can assume that she thought it revealed something about her personality and political sympathies.
When she later saw the picture she was horrified to see that the word was digitally removed. It turned out that her principal, Kendra Young had the word taken off, and she told journalists that some people might find it too controversial and offensive. Young later apologized and Thomas started a page called Keep Feminism in Schools. See https://twitter.com/search?q=%23KeepFeminismInSchools&src=typd.
To me the principal’s move was very dictatorial, and it reminds me of when the Soviet leaders erased Stalin from many pictures with other politicians after his death. In a related story a woman in England was expelled for having pink hair See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/pink-hair-suspension-hailey-sto…, and another was threatened with expulsion for having an afro. See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2513893/Florida-girl-threatene….
With plummeting across the board reading skills, don’t administrators have anything better to do?
** Speaking of Freedom of Speech there is going to be a benefit for American Indian Center and an important pro freedom of speech film will shown called “Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist.” This indie film was directed by Nancy Bechtel. Here’s the info.
● Event Location: AMERICAN INDIAN CENTER in Tribal Hall
1630 W. Wilson Ave. Chicago
● When: Thursday, APRIL 30th, 2015 6:00 doors open — 6:30 p.m. film starts
* Cost: Donation – all proceeds go to benefit the American Indian Center
Chris Drew was the Executive Director of The Uptown Multi-Cultural Arts Center (UM-CAC) located for 25 years in the American Indian Center of Chicago.
Trailer is on http://www.youtube.com/user/madpalX and is listed on IMDb.
Indie music in the film courtesy of Hey Now Records,
Behind the Sun: Andy Alton & David Mansfield. “Paper Airplane” http://www.heynowrecords.com
Background: Chris was arrested for selling Art Patches for $1 (in an act of civil disobedience to protest the Peddlers License since “Art is Speech” a 1st Amendment Right) but unexpectantly those charges were dropped and changed to a Class 1 Felony Eavesdropping under the Illinois Eavesdropping Law , one of the strictest in the nation, with 4-15 years in prison if convicted.
In 2009 this law was generally unknown.
Two pro bono attorneys defended him from 2009-2012. First, Mark Weinberg challenged on the free speech constitutional ground; then Joshua Kutnick, criminal defense, defended and won in the courtroom of Judge Sacks 2012, citing the Illinois Eavesdropping Law Unconstitutional.
Epilogue: The Illinois Supreme Court overturned the Illinois Eavesdropping Law, March 2014. But, Dec 30, 2014 a NEW Illinois Eavesdropping law was passed. As Chris would say, “when it comes to your rights, the struggle is never over.” Chris Drew ( RIP 1950-2012 )
Contact information: email@example.com or the American Indian Center.