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Against Amnesia



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Poster for poet and journalist John Ross. John’s writings were a “voice for those without a voice,” who stood with the poor and oppressed around the world, whether as the first English-language chronicler of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, defending olive groves in Palestine, or standing as a human shield against the bombing in Iraq. The image on the poster is how I remember him most in recent years, his bad eye finally gone, the victim of an SFPD beating from many years ago. John’s scribbled notes for a talk are across the top of the poster, and a verse from one of my favorite of his poems is below. We’ll miss you at Cafe Boheme, viejo tuerto!

…because the past will never go away:

the past is like a boomerang.

it will always return,

it is always present,

it is always future,

it is the most fundamental human right,


what belongs to us all.