The FBI's War On Democracy
--Claude Marks discusses the new film COINTELPRO 101
By Angola 3 News
Claude Marks, Director of The Freedom Archives, talks to Angola 3 News about the highly anticipated new documentary film, entitled COINTELPRO 101, which is premiering on October 10, at the Mission Cultural Center of Latino Arts in San Francisco.
According to its website, the Freedom Archives "contains over 8000 hours of audio and video tapes. These recordings date from the late-60s to the mid-90s and chronicle the progressive history of the Bay Area, the United States, and international solidarity movements. The collection includes weekly news/ poetry/ music programs broadcast on several educational radio stations; in-depth interviews and reports on social and cultural issues; diverse activist voices; original and recorded music, poetry, original sound collages; and an extensive La Raza collection."
Freedom Archives has released other audio and video documentaries, including the recent video about the San Francisco Eight, entitled "Legacy of Torture." Legacy of Torture can be viewed online, as well as the previous films Voices of Three Political Prisoners (featuring Nuh Washington, Jalil Muntaqim and David Gilbert), Charisse Shumate: Fighting for Our Lives, and Self Respect, Self Defense & Self Determination (featuring Mabel Williams and Kathleen Cleaver, introduced by Angela Davis).
Angola 3 News: What can you tell us about your upcoming film COINTELPRO 101?
Claude Marks: We've been aware of the need to talk more about COINTELPRO since we made The Legacy of Torture the video about the government torture of the Panthers in New Orleans in 1973 which later became the unjust basis for the San Francisco 8 Case. In travelling with that film and organizing for the dropping of charges, we referred to COINTELPRO but often were talking to younger people in particular, who had not heard the term and had no historical frame of reference for that period of intense repression.
So we undertook to make this new film, knowing that no government agent or agency has ever been held accountable for the assassinations of leaders, the destruction of organizations, the imprisonment and political targeting of so many people people who still remain prisoners of the wars against movements for liberation and self-determination within the US borders.
COINTELPRO 101 is not the first or only film on the subject, although there have not been many, but we hope it can help reinvigorate some organizing work, and reopen some thinking about the violence directed against progressive movements, this hidden history, and nature of the state and its agencies of repression.
A3N: How was the film showing and related workshop at the US Social Forum received by the audience?