Celebrate People's History: Los Siete de la Raza

Artwork
Identifier:
2020.23.46
Artist:
Fernando Marteí
Credit:
GVSU Collection
Medium:
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
Date:
October 2010
Dimensions:
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
Description:
Poster is titled “Los Siete de la Raza." A blue, black and brown poster where the title "Remember Los Siete!" is above a depiction of three men, the man in the middle speaking into a microphone. Below them is a black background with light brown text. Text reads: “Los Siete de la Raza eran siete jovenes de la Misión de San Francisco, acusados de matar a un policia el primero de mayo de 1969. Su juicio fue un momento clave en la conciencientización de Latin@s en la Bahía. Despues de un juicio de 18 meses que mobilizó a la comunidad, todos fueron absueltos. El Comité de Defensa de Los Siete se transformó en una organización comunitaria radical, animada por principios de auto-determinación y “sevir al pueblo,” comenzando un programa de desayunos gratis, una clínica médica gratis, un restauran de trabajadores, y el periódico Basta Ya! Los Siete desarrollaron un internacionalismo tercermundista revolucionario, encarnado en el término inclusivo “Raza,” ligando las luchas de Latin@s con otras comunidades de color, incluyendo la toma de Alcatraz, las Panteras Negras, y los Young Lords Puertoriqueños. Los temas que alzaron Los Siete—incluyendo la lucha contra represión policiaca, deplazamiento, y líderes vendidos, la necesidad de programas del pueblo contra dependencia en caridad o el estado, ligando organización comunitaria con trabajo cultural, y enfrentando el desafia de ser “revolucionario” y mantener su base en la comunidad—continúan siendo relevantes en las luchas de hoy. “Los Siete de la Raza were seven youths from San Francisco’s Mission District, accused of killing a cop on May 1, 1969. Their trial was a key moment in the awakening of consciousness for Latin@s in the Bay Area. After an eighteen-month trial that mobilized the community, all the Los Siete were acquitted. The Los Siete Defense Committee transformed itself into a radical community organization, animated by principles of self-determination and “serve the people,” starting a free breakfast program, a free medical clinic, a workers’ restaurant, and the Basta Ya! newspaper. Los Siete developed a revolutionary Third World internationalism, embodied in the inclusive term “Raza,” linking the struggles of Latin@s with those of other communities of color including the Alcatraz occupation, the Black Panters, and the Puerto Rican Young Lords. The issues that Los Siete de la Raza raised—including fighting police repression, gentrification, and sellout leaders; the necessity for people’s programs vs. dependence on charity or government; linking community organizing with cultural work; and facing the challenges of being “revolutionary” and staying community-based—continue to be relevant in today’s struggles.”
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.