Artists Break the Chains: Global Action to Defend Peoples’ Culture (Los Angeles)


In solidarity with “Artists Break the Chains: Global Action to Defend Peoples’ Culture” on February 20, we will be holding an event in Los Angeles several days before on Saturday, February 16, 2013, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

Lake Street Park
227 North Lake St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

  • Music provided by DJ Dwenz and DJ Juvvajoy
  • Open mic
  • Refreshments
  • Screen and printmaking activities. Bring blank t-shirts to print on. We’ll provide pre-designed screenprints.  Limited supply of blank shirts available for purchase.

All over the world, artists, writers, journalists, and cultural workers of all disciplines who lend their craft as a tool for progressive social change, challenge the status quo, or simply expose the truth, face various forms of persecution and attack from state apparatuses. We call on those artists, cultural workers and journalists to join us to build a global event to celebrate and defend people’s culture on February 20, 2013, United Nation’s Declared World Day of Social Justice.

Within that day, events will take place in numerous cities throughout the world showing the power of our crafts to advance peoples’ struggles for fundamental social change. We hope to build bridges across borders with fellow artists, writers, journalists and cultural workers and to contribute to the building of a united global movement to foster progressive grassroots culture and to protect freedom of expression.

Victor JaraUnder the brutality of the state that seeks to silence them, some of these cultural workers have paid the ultimate price for their artistic creations and visions that advance the cause of people’s liberation, such as Chilean artist Victor Jara, who was brutally tortured and murdered by the Chilean state in 1973.

Facundo CabralAnd still today, cultural workers continue to face state brutality. Argentine songwriter and singer, Facundo Cabral, an icon of Latin American folk and protest music, was shot to death in the early morning of July 9, 2011 by unknown gunmen who intercepted his car in Guatemala City.

Ericson AcostaOthers have been unlawfully arrested and imprisoned in order to keep them from creating works that give hope to the people such as Ericson Acosta, a poet, thespian, singer and journalist, who was arrested without warrant by the Philippine military on February 13, 2011 while serving as a volunteer researcher in a highly-militarized, poor, rural village in the Philippines.

Ferhat TuncFerhat Tunc, Kurdish singer and composer, has faced severe repression from the Turkish state for his songs that protest the oppression of Kurdish people, language, and culture. He was recently sentenced to two years in prison on terrorism related charges due to his invocation during a speech where he mentioned names of three deceased Turkish leftists.

Pussy RiotIn Russia, three members of the punk rock collective, Pussy Riot, were recently sentenced to two years in prison after performing a song in Moscow’s main cathedral criticizing Vladimir Putin.

Mumia Abu-JamalIn the US, journalist and former Black Panther Party member Mumia Abu-Jamal, has spent nearly 30 years on death row and remains held in strict isolation and solitary confinement for a crime many believe he did not commit.

Arundhati RoyStill other artists face continuous state harassment and threats to their lives such as Arundhati Roy, an award-winning novelist and essayist, who faces continuous hostility from the Indian government for her outspoken criticisms against media censorship and state brutality in Kashmir, and the state’s counter-insurgency operations against the Adivasi peoples. She also faces harassment from the state for writing and speaking sympathetically towards the Adivasi peoples and the Naxalites who have taken up arms to defend themselves against large foreign dominated mining and dam projects backed by the Indian state.

Julian AssangeWikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange became the target of the US State Department when Wikileaks released classified documents on the US military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan that exposed the disturbing extent of US involvement in said occupations.

Despite these obstacles, genuine peoples’ artists and cultural workers defy state repression and continue to create works that serve the interest of the oppressed, risking their lives every day.

Artists Break the Chains
February 16, 2013—Los Angeles Event
February 20, 2013—Global Action

For more information visit:

The Global Concert to Defend People’s Culture is an initiative of the Peoples’ Art Network and the International Conference on Progressive Culture. The conference, held in July of 2011, in the Philippines, consisted of over 80 visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, media practitioners and cultural workers from around the world.

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