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'Poison DUst' director explains video

Published Apr 26, 2007 9:54 PM

Community members and political activists attended the Milwaukee premier film screening of the Peoples Video Network (PVN) documentary “Poison DUst” on April 21 at the Center Street Library, an important gathering space for the Black community. The event was dedicated to long-time International Action Center organizer Rachael Nasca, who died unexpectedly on March 22.

A slate of community activists spoke before Sue Harris, director of “Poison DUst,” screened the documentary and engaged in a question and answer session.

IAC-Milwaukee member Bryan G. Pfeifer opened the program by describing the origins, history and mission of the IAC. He hailed recent youth actions in Wisconsin—including a recent protest against an Army recruiting station for which 21 youth were arrested, youth protesting restrictive racist policies at Mayfair Mall, and the occupation of the multi-millionaire Sen. Herb Kohl’s Madison office by dozens of members of the Campus Anti-War Network. He ended by calling on all those present to support the May 1 “Day without Latinos” statewide civil rights march and boycott sponsored by Milwaukee-based Voces de la Frontera.

Leaflets for the May 1 action were distributed, as were “Stop the War on Iran” posters and announcements of upcoming events sponsored by the Industrial Workers of the World, the Latin American Solidarity Committee at UW-Milwaukee and Africans on the Move.

People’s poet De’Shawn Ewing (Pyramid) electrified the crowd with two of his poems connecting the domestic war and the U.S. war on Iraq and other countries. Ewing’s words interspersed these themes with themes of the Black freedom struggle, including the murder of Emmett Till.

Ammar Nsoroma, a member of Africans on the Move and the Pan African Revolutionary Socialist Party and a well-known people’s artist in Milwaukee with many murals throughout the city to his credit, said that the war on Iraq is an outgrowth of capitalism and imperialism and that to end all wars for profit these economic systems must be abolished and replaced with socialism.

During the question and answer session Harris described how “Poison DUst” has been screened numerous times publicly throughout the United States and internationally, including in Cuba, Korea and Japan.

One woman described her outrage at not hearing about depleted uranium anywhere in the corporate media until she received a leaflet for this event. She said she would now be getting the word out and asked for more information, as did many others.

During and after the event many took copies of “Poison DUst” for personal viewing but also to screen for loved ones, veterans and at other community spaces.

Longtime community activist and people’s poet Eric Jefferson closed with his poem “Blessed Summer.”

The Peoples Video Network donated a copy of “Poison DUst” to the Center Street Library and a copy to the Central Library that could potentially be circulated throughout the 30 branches in the Milwaukee County Library System.

To obtain a copy of “Poison DUst” call PVN at 212-633-6646 or see www.peoplesvideo.org.