Dr Donald Tibbs at the Organ Barn in Guilford. Hip Hop and the Law!

23 07 2015

Sunday, July 26, 5:30 pm – Potluck Supper and Speaker’s Night: “Raw Life Meets the Law: Music, Politics and Hip Hop’s Role in the Quest for Justice”, featuring Donald Tibbs, author of From Black Power to Prison Power and co-editor, with Pamela Bridgewater Toure and andre cummings, of the forthcoming Hip Hop and the Law. At the Organ Barn at Guilford, 158 Kopkind Road. What’s on your mind?tibbs_bio_v2

Maria Margaronis tribute to Andrew Kopkind

23 03 2015

150th Anniversary Issue of the Nation

kopkind street sign.

Kopkind, Selma — 50 years ago.

7 03 2015

An excerpt from the Prologue of Andy Kopkind’s “The Thirty Years’ Wars”.   Andy had just left Time Magazine  as a reporter and had become an editor of The New Republic in early 1965.  One of his  first assignments was to cover the activities going on in Selma.

“But when I worked for The New Republic — it’s hard to imagine now — this world of possibilities opened up. I could actually have some authenticity and integrity doing the work that I liked. Those were the two things — authenticity and integrity — that Time robbed you of. One of the first things that happened, about six weeks after I got to Washington, was the Selma march. I had never been to the South to report before, but I went off to Alabama and hung out at Brown’s Chapel Church and got to know all these people and all the SNCC workers, black and white. This world had opened up. They were saying exactly what I’d been thinking all these years but had never actually heard. I didn’t know that anybody was acting out these ideas, and it was great.

It wasn’t just about civil rights, not just about laws, but about power, and power to the people, power to the community. And they were analyzing the white power structure.

Anyway, I just thought these people were real heroes. The SNCC workers and the black workers from the counties; we would just go and hang out in the sharecroppers’ houses and in the little chapels, and this was so beautiful. I thought I was part of this tremendously exciting historic, romantic movement. And… I was. So I came back and I wrote the first piece sort of discovering SNCC for a national left-liberal audience.”

From the first piece in his “The Thirty Year’s War” book, the first paragraph of his piece “A Walk in Alabama” published in The New Republic, April 3, 1965.

“There are easier ways to get to Montgomery. The massed power of the army, the national guard, state troopers and the Justice Department does not lessen the sun’s glare or the force of thunderstorms. The pavement along the fifty miles of US 80 from Selma is just as hard on the feet, and the muddy campsites just as cold and disagreeable for all the complex battle plans of the marchers and their protectors. By Tuesday, when even the television cameramen began to lose interest, the march had been transformed from a carnival for 3000 into a crusade for 300. That night, a Presbyterian clergyman, one of the few whites left in the column — leaned against the clay-caked tailgate of a farm truck and picked at a cold pork chop. “This” he smiled, “is our finest hour.”

Pamela Bridgewater Toure — July 22, 1969 – December 27, 2014

31 12 2014
at Kopkind, Pamela Bridgewater and JoAnn Wypijewski, 2010

at Kopkind, Pamela Bridgewater and JoAnn Wypijewski, 2006

By JoAnn Wypijewski, President of Kopkind Board of Directors

Pam came into our lives first as a Kopkind ‘camper’, in 2001. She was an activist lawyer, deeply involved in movements for reproductive rights, clinic defense and the rights of people with AIDS. She was a scholar of women’s reproductive freedom and black emancipation, and merged both histories in her work by focusing on the experiences of black women. She was a diva, a pro-sex feminist, a sister whose wicked sense of humor was matched by her generosity of thought and care – a beautiful, bouyant soul.

Pamela leads a seminar at Kopkind

Pamela leads a seminar at Kopkind

Pam got her first taste of Kopkind, and she never left. She came to Vermont frequently as a guest, giving one daytime talk in 2004 on the history of slave breeding and her analysis of the Thirteenth Amendment as a constitutional basis for reproductive freedom that wowed everyone present, including the venerable Jack O’Dell, who told us later that coming to Kopkind was one of the best things he’d ever done, in part because listening to Pam that afternoon had blown open an entirely new door of perception. In 2006 Pam was back as one of the mentors for a camp on the theme of the law, the left and the state. Lisa Burriss, who was 24 when she participated in that year’s camp, told us recently of how formative that experience had been, how it still inflects her thinking, how in a profound sense Pam “showed me what it means to be a woman, a black woman, committed and confident.”

Professionally, while a professor at the American University Washington College of Law, Pam was among a group of pioneering lawyers and law professors interested in exploring the relationship between law, culture and hip hop. Beginning in 2009 she contributed to HipHopLaw.com and presented scholarship at the annual conference of the Society of American Law Teachers, the largest organization of progressive law teachers in the country.

Pamela with Kopkind Class of 2010 at Treefrog Farm Vermont.

Pamela with Kopkind Class of 2006 at Treefrog Farm Vermont.

She organized and worked with law students from various student groups and her popular culture and the law seminar at AU to prepare one of the early symposia on the subject. In its first year the Roots and Reality symposium explored the connection between grassroots organizing and social justice lawyering. In its second year, it brought together lawyers, law students, activists, scholars and artists to examine the relationship between their work, hip hop culture and social justice theory. A critical reader titled Hip Hop and the Law, which she co-edited with andre douglas pond cummings and Donald F. Tibbs, will be published later this year.

Pam was about 39 when she was first diagnosed with cancer, and 45 when she died. The metaphors of cancer as a war, a battle, a fight, are so common as to be cliché, and true for that even if irritating from overuse. Pam didn’t resort to those metaphors much, but she expressed them in tenacity, willfulness and remarkable strength in the face of this cussed disease. She was graceful; she was gracious. The home that she made with her husband, our friend Kweku Toure, in Washington, DC, was a place of love and warmth, great fires and genuine fun in hard times. She held court from a hospital bed as easily as from a seminar table or hot tub at Kopkind – the back of her hand pressed against her brow, head tilted, a kind of announcement of thought before the words came sharp and precise. Pam made life a performance in the best sense, vivid and surprising.

Pamela with campers in Vermont at Kopkind, 2010

Pamela with campers in Vermont at Kopkind, 2006

Shortly before she died, heavily medicated against the pain, she wanted to hear about the protests in New York and chimed in, “I marched for about two blocks, but then I got tired and went back to the hotel— oh, what am I saying?” A wave of her long, lovely hand, a light laugh: she dreamt of demonstrating when most people would have given up. We loved her and are grateful to have had her love. Our sympathies are with Kwe and all whose life she touched.

There will be a memorial service for Pam in Washington later in January. We will update this notice when details are set.


Andy Kopkind (1935-1994)  and Pamela Bridgewater (1969-2014)

Andy Kopkind (1935-1994) and Pamela Bridgewater (1969-2014); Painting by Bill Brassard

Kopkind Board Member Dottie Morris has made a donation to Kopkind in Pam’s memory.  If you would like to do so, we will have a list of those who have done so on our website at the time of Pam’s memorial service.  You can go to Donate button on this site to make your contribution this week.



14 09 2014

 KOPKIND REUNION DINNER (are you on the snapshot history below? then you are invited!)

 Calling all past participants – campers, mentors, featured speakers and filmmakers!

As part of our annual Harvest program – this year in New York City – we are throwing a reunion of Kopkind alumni to reconnect, talk story, report from the frontiers of our recent pasts and revel. Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:30 – 9 pm * Judson Memorial Church * 55 Washington Square South (at Thompson Street)

Tickets, $10   If you didn’t get an invite in the mail, then you can RSVP (Mail check to John Scagliotti, 158 Kopkind Rd, Guilford, VT 05301 and include you email and address with check. )

Information: yatesmckee.cooper@gmail.com, stonewal@sover.net, 646.498.5810 

Kopkind Snapshot History


October Harvest Fundraising Late Brunch, with music by Patty Carpenter 


Theme: Can you have a left media without a left movement? Mentors, Margaret Cerullo (Hampshire College), Ron Nixon (Roanoke Times), Makani Themba Nixon (Praxis Project)  Campers, Jennifer Berkshire (Boston), Kim Diehl (Raleigh/Durham), Theo Emery (Amherst, Mass.), Liza Featherstone (New York), Marti Garza (Houston/Boston), Prasi Gupta (Rochester, NY)

Movie Night – U & I dot com, with director Branda Miller

Speaker’s Night – JoAnn Wypijewski on “Sex, Crime and the Culture of Straight Men”

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “Socialism and Media at Century’s End”, a conversation between Doug Henwood and Laura Flanders


Theme: After Seattle: global justice, urban justice, a new landscape for the left?

Mentors, Alexander Cockburn (CounterPunch), Janine Jackson (FAIR), Bob Wing (Applied Research Center/Color Lines) Campers, Angela Ards, (New York) Rico Cleffi, (New Bedford, Mass.) Rona Fernandez, (San Francisco) John Grebe (Boston), Mindanao Hickey (San Francisco), Maureen Lane (New York), Emile Turner (New York)

Movie Night – Lavender Lake, with director Allison Prete

Speaker’s Night – Patricia Williams on “The Body Politic”

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “Election 2000: Al Gore and the Politics of Lowered Expectations”, with Alexander Cockburn


Theme: The left in Bush time

Mentor, Mandy Carter (Southerners on New Ground) Campers, Tomas Aguilar (Boston), Pamela Bridgewater (Jacksonville, Fla.), Candace Carpenter (Austin), Pia Infante (Boston), Claudine LoMonaco (Los Angeles), Susan Phillips (Philadelphia), Yun Jong Suh (San Francisco)

Movie Night – Yes, In My Backyard, with director Tracy Huling

Speaker’s Night – Katha Pollitt on “Women, Liberty and the Left in the Age of Bush”

Kopkind/Independent Press Association collaborative session

Theme: Ethnic press and community

Mentors, Abby Scher (IPA, NY), Gregory Tewksbury (New School for Social Research), Greg Morris (City University of New York) Campers, Arkady Kagan, Reginald Juste, Yajaira deLeon, Dania Rajendra, Tom Watkins (all with ethnic or labor newspapers in NYC)

Movie Night – “41 Shots” and other videos from the youth film collective Listen Up!, with director Rhea Mokund

Speaker’s Night – Robin D.G. Kelley on “Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination”

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “Independent Politics, Independent Thought in Dangerous Times”, with Ellen David-Freedman of the Vermont Progressive Party


Theme: War, ‘terror’ and the left

Mentors, Kevin Alexander Gray (Black News; South Carolina ACLU), Doug Lummis (Tsuda College, Tokyo, ret.; Okinawa peace movement activist) Campers, Adina Berrios (New York), Malkia Cyril (Oakland), Kathleen Fitzgerald (Boston), Richard Kim (New York), Angelo Logan (Los Angeles), Katy Reckdahl (New Orleans), Roopa Singh (Berkeley)

Movie Night – a 25th anniversary John Scagliotti film retrospective

Speaker’s Night – Edward Said (canceled due to ill health)

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “War, Dissent and the Artist’s Voice”, with Grace Paley


Theme: ‘The second superpower’, a new internationalism?

Mentor, Mike Marqusee (freelance journalist, author, founding member of Britain’s Stop the War Coalition) Campers, Rehan Ansari (New York/Pakistan), Gabriel Arteaga (Chicago), Eunice Cho, (San Francisco), Elizabeth Fox (Washington, DC), Ronald Lwabaayi (Toronto/Uganda), Jen Soriano (Oakland/Philippines), Rhianna Tyson (New York)

Movie Night – Novela, Novela, with director Liz Miller

Speaker’s Night – Selves and Others, a filmed conversation with Edward Said

Kopkind/EqbalAhmad Initiative collaborative session

Theme: Covering the Middle East at home and abroad

Mentors, Nabil Abraham, (Henry Ford Community College), Dunya Alwan (International Women’s Peace Service, Palestine), Margaret Cerullo (Hampshire College/Eqbal Ahmad Initiative), Sue Katz (freelance journalist, founding member of Israeli peace groups Women in Black and Black Laundry), Alisa Klein (former Zionist, Western Mass. peace and Palestinian rights activist) Campers, Brennen Bartlett (Minnesota), Kerry Eleveld (Berkeley), Tram Nguyen (Oakland), Melanie Smith (New York), Camille Taiara (San Francisco), Tom Wallace (Boston), Bernice Yeung (San Francisco)

Movie Night – The Settlers, with former Israeli settler Uri Strauss, and Gaza Strip

Speaker’s Night – Rabab Abdulhadi on “Sex, Gender, War: Radical Reinterpretations of Politics and Resistance in the Middle East”

October Harvest Fundraising Movie – Dangerous Living: Coming Out in the Developing World, with director John Scagliotti

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “The Clash of Fundamentalisms”, with Tariq Ali


Theme: Cultures of resistance, histories of “our side”

Mentors, Rabab Abdulhadi (Center for Arab-American Studies, UM, Dearborn), Jack O’Dell (veteran labor, peace and civil rights activist), Jaime Veve (former Young Lord, founding member of New Directions, Transit Workers Local 100)  Campers, Peter Asen (Providence, RI), Paula Dobbyn (Anchorage), Willie Johnson (Detroit), Sarah Kim (Los Angeles), Kiyoko McCrae (New York), Saja Raoof (Detroit), Standard Schaefer (San Francisco), Talia Whyte (Boston)

Movie Night – The Weather Underground, with former Weather people Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn

Speaker’s Night – Phyllis Bennis, Jack O’Dell and Saja Raoof in conversation on “The War Abroad, the War at Home”

Late summer Speaker’s Night – Bill Dobbs of United for Peace and Justice on “Are We in a Police State?: Dissent, Repression & the Run-up to the Republican Convention”

October Harvest Fundraising Movie – Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “War, the Elections and the Politics of Fear”, with Carol Brightman


Theme: Religion and politics

Mentors: Suzanne Pharr (longtime activist in the women’s and gay rights movement, former director, the Highlander Center), Jeff Sharlet (editor of The Revealer, an online magazine of religion and politics; co-author of Killing the Buddha and author of a forthcoming book on the roots of the religious right, The Family) Campers: Billy Sothern (New Orleans), Roberto Lovato (Los Angeles), Malachi Garza (Oakland), Jen Angel (Toledo, Ohio), Camilo Romero (New York and Colombia), Jessica Wilbanks (Washington, DC)

Movie Night – Born Again, with filmmaker and author James Ault

Speaker’s Night – Eddie Glaude, Jr. on “What’s God Got to Do With It?: Religion, Rage and Resistance in American Life”

October Harvest Fundraising Movie – Sir, No Sir!, Vermont premier of the documentary by David Zeiger

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “Direct From the Heart of Texas: The Abu Ghraib Trials and the War at Home”, with JoAnn Wypijewski


Political Camp

Theme: The law, the left and the state

Mentors: Pamela Bridgewater (American University professor of law), Mike Ferner (member of the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy, author of Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq) Campers: Alicia Schwartz (Oakland), Lisa Burriss (New York), Lisa Jervis (San Francisco), Bennett Baumer (New York), Cole Krawitz (New York), Erica Sagrans (Providence, RI), Maria Lupe Arreola (San Francisco), Ivy Schlegel (Boston)

Movie Night – The Road to Guantanamo, with civil liberties lawyer Aziz Huq

Speaker’s Night – Maria Elena Letona and Gary Younge in conversation on “Who You Calling ‘Illegal’?: Borderlines and the Immigrants’ Rising”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: Diversity in filmmaking

Participants: Savannah Washington (New York), Joel Katz (Woodstock, NY), Deb Ellis (Burlington, VT), Emily Kunstler (New York), Eli Moore (Syracuse, NY), Alexandra de Gonzalez (Boston), Jennifer Kaplan (Cambridge, MA), Rebecca Snedeker (New Orleans), Robbie Leppzer (Wendell, MA), Nancy Kates (Berkeley), Tim McCarthy (Provincetown, MA)

Grassroots Film Festival, August 10-12

Far Out, work in progress

Sam Lovejoy’s Nuclear War and selections from other films from the 1970s antinuke movement, with filmmaker Charles Light

Cruel and Unusual, with filmmaker Dan Hunt and local transgender activist Michael Yowe

The Peace Patriots, with filmmaker Robbie Leppzer

The Devil’s Miner, with First Run distributor, Seymour Wishman

October Harvest Fundraising Movie – Grey Gardens, with co-director Muffie Meyer

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “The World Turned Upside Down: The Joy of Politics”, with Michael Bronski



Political Camp

Theme: Looking South: The US and across borders

Mentors: Ajamu Dillahunt (Black Workers for Justice), Chris Kromm (Southern Exposure/Institute for Southern Studies) Campers: Jee Kim (New York), Tiffany Ten Eyck (Detroit), Cynthia Greenlee Donnell (Durham), Hope Hall (New York), Isaac Evans-Frantz (Putney,VT/New York), Robynn Takayama (San Francisco), Desiree Evans (Washington, DC)

Movie Night – The Sixth Section, by Alex Rivera, with sociologist Margaret Cerullo

Speaker’s Night – Amy Jordan, Ajamu Dillahunt and Chris Kromm in a panel discussion on “Katrina Two Years After: Disaster, Race and American Politics

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: Creativity

Participants: Nancy Kelly (Berkeley), Jonathan Skurnik (Los Angeles), Tim McCarthy (Provincetown, MA), Nancy Kates (Berkeley), Karen Everett (Berkeley), Bennett Singer (New York), Natalie Lardner (New York), Savannah Washington (New York), Carlyn Saltman (Greenfield, MA), Jim Wolpaw (Providence, RI)

Grassroots Summer Film Festival

Black Dawn and Haiti’s Piggybank, with filmmakers Robin Lloyd and Doreen Kraft

The Man of Two Havanas by Vivien Lesnick Weisman, with Sandra Levinson, Cuban Studies Center

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, with filmmakers Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer

World music concert featuring The Bakers and the Shakers

October Harvest Fundraising Movie – Hearts and Minds, with filmmaker Peter Davis

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture — “Left Alive?”, a conversation with Alexander Cockburn and JoAnn Wypijewski


CineSlam: LGBT Film Shorts Camp and Pride Weekend Film Festival

Participants: Peter Condon (Keene, NH), Jonathan Gann (Washington, DC), David M. Hall (Guilford, VT), Tom Murray (Sarasota,FL), Larin Sullivan (New York), Joe Wilson (Washington, DC)

Winner of the festival’s Chessie Award: Love on the Rocks, by Yun Jong Suh

Political Camp

Theme: The politics of everyday life

Mentors: Frank Bardacke (sixties militant, onetime farmworker, local activist in Watsonville, CA, and author of the forthcoming history of the UFW, Trampling Out the Vintage), Kevin Alexander Gray (longtime civil rights/liberties activist in Columbia, SC, author of the Waiting for Lightning to Strike!) Campers: Justin Goldberg (New York), Charles Jones (Oakland), Kathryn Joyce (New York), Dani McLain (Minneapolis), Matt Nelson (Minneapolis), Angel Seda (New York), Spring Ulmer (Iowa City)

Movie Night – Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbowed, with filmmaker Shola Lynch

Speaker’s Night – Jeff Sharlet on “Sex, Power and the Faith of Obama: How the Religious Right Is Re-Inventing Itself for a New Day”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: Storytelling

Participants: Betsy Kalin (Los Angeles), Daniela Broitman (Rio de Janeiro), Bene Naudin (Storrs, CT), Grace Shuler (Tel Aviv), Erin Sisk (New York), Heather Kaplow (Boston), Sarah Hesterman (New York), Lynn Cadwallader (Cambridge, MA), Terry Holzgreen (Los Angeles); guest adviser, Lyda Kuth (Lef Foundation

Grassroots Summer Film Festival

The Water Front, by Liz Miller, with regional Clean Water Action activist Tina Clarke

For the Bible Tells Me So, with filmmaker Dan Karslake

Body of War, by Elen Spiro and Phil Donahue, with regional Veterans for Peace activist Eric Wasileski

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “The Political Moment”, with Laura Flanders


CineSlam: LGBT Film Shorts Camp and Pride Weekend Film Festival

Participants: Connor Clements (Belfast), Kelsey Chauvin (New York), Parthiban Shanmugam (Atlanta), Erika Martinez (Los Angeles), Robert Philipson (Oakland), Ethan Shoshan (New York), Lauren LoGiudice (New York), Arnie Levin (New York), Christopher Dawes (New York),

Winner of the festival’s Chessie Award: James, by Connor Clements

Political Camp

Theme: Crisis and opportunity

Mentors: Robin Blackburn (former editor New Left Review, prolific author and professor at the New School and University of Essex), Susan Smith Richardson (former newspaper reporter/columnist/editor in Sacramento, Austin and Chicago, senior writer at the MacArthur Foundation) Participants: Jamilah King (Oakland), Jeremy Gantz (Chicago), Robbie Clark (Oakland), Joseph Phelan (Miami), Prerna Sampat (Chicago), Mischa Gaus (New York), Lia Tarachansky (Ottawa/Washingon), Irene Monroe (Cambridge)

Movie Night – William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, with filmmaker Emily Kunstler

Speaker’s Night – D.D. Guttenplan on “Izzy and Andy: Journalism on the Edge”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: Brainstorming to the future in filmmaking

Participants: Dean Hamer (Washington, DC), Ann Bennett (New York), Bret Story (Montreal), Sharon Arkin (Tucson), Sanford Lewis (Amherst, MA), Matt Gossage (Austin), Kavita Pillay (Cambridge, MA), Betsy Kalin (Los Angeles), Joan Mandell (Detroit)

Grassroots Summer Film Festival

Polis Is This, with filmmaker Henry Ferrini

Straightlaced, with filmmaker Debra Chasnoff

Sneak preview, with filmmaker Liz Canner

October Harvest Fundraising Movie – Orgasm Inc., with filmmaker Liz Canner

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “Alien Nation: The Peculiar Politics of Obamatime”, with Patricia Williams


CineSlam LGBT Film Shorts Seminar

Participants: Alison Segar (Burlington, VT), Betsy Jose (TK), Betsy Kalin (Los Angeles), Christopher Dawes (New York), David M. Hall (Guilford, VT), Dan Dowling (Boston), Kelsey Chauvin (New York), Laura Terruso (TK), Madeleine Olnek (TK), Mark Payne (Los Angeles), Matt Bucy (White River Junction, VT), Richard Davis (New York), Veronique Courtois (TK)

Political Camp

Theme: Past Present: the legacy of Andrew Kopkind & the convergence of culture, history and politics

Mentors: John Scagliotti (Guilford, VT), JoAnn Wypijewski (New York) Participants: Jake Blumgart (Philadelphia), Rae Gomes (New York), Amanda Haas (San Antonio), Adam Kader (Chicago), Emily Ratner (New Orleans), Brett Story (Montreal), Gina Womack (New Orleans),

Movie Night – Land of Destiny, with filmmaker Brett Story

Speaker’s Night – Chris Tinson on “Hip Hop Politics”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: Making it

Participants: Ben Achtenberg (Boston), Jesse Achtenberg (Washington, DC), Annie Berman (New York), Gabriela Bohm (Los Angeles), Woody Bovota (Cape Cod), James Demo (Boston), Marcia Jarmel (San Francisco), Susan Rivo (Boston), Ken Schneider (San Francisco), Andrea Torrice (Cincinnati)

Grassroots Summer Film Screening

Stonewall Uprising, with filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

October Harvest Fundraising Performance – Palestine, a staged reading by Najla Said of her solo show

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “Echoes of Colonialism”, with Vijay Prashad


CineSlam LGBT Film Shorts Seminar

Participants: Blair Doroshwalther (TK), Ewan Duarte (TK), Giovanna Chesler (TK), Jon Crawford (TK), Jonathan Gann (Washington, DC), Pierre Stephanos (TK), Rodney Evans (TK), Ryan Logan (TK), Sam Berliner (TK), Yoruba Richen (TK)

Political Camp

Theme: Learning from the world

Mentors: Greg Berger (Cuernavaca, Mexico), Blanca Estela Kempis Robles (Cuernavaca, Mexico), Marina Sitrin (New York) Participants: Aja Beech (Philadelphia), Divad Durant (New York), Dianne Enriquez (Chicago), Luce Capco Lincoln (Philadelphia), Masum Momaya (Gilberts, IL), Hira Nabi (New York/Islamabad, Pakistan), Lysandra Ohrstrom (New York)

Movie Night – “The Revolution Will Be Videotaped”, a compilation of documentary shorts, Youtube videos and other web postings from the Arab Spring

Speaker’s Night – Maria Margaronis, on “Euro-Turmoil: Notes on Greece and Politics in Extremity”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: You

Participants: Jesse Freeston (Ottawa), David A. Goldenberg (Cranston, RI), Jonathan Goldman (New York), Julia Haslett (New York), Lily Keber (New Orleans), Jan Krawitz (SF Bay Area), Pearl J Park (New York), Marilyn Pennell (Hartford), Karen Schoucair (Boston area/Beirut),
Martha Swetzoff (Providence, RI).

Grassroots Summer Film Festival

Coexist, with filmmaker Adam Mazo

Left on Pearl, with filmmaker Susan Rivo and Sue Katz

October Harvest Fundraising Event – “A Celebration of Guilford at 250 & the Contributions of Verandah Porche”, with Verandah Porche, music by Patty Carpenter and a screening of The Stuff of Dreams, by John Scagliotti


CineSlam LGBT Film Shorts Seminar

Participants: Cheryl Furjanic (NYC), Elliott London (Los Angeles), JC Calciano (Los Angeles), Kareem Mortimer (Bahamas), Matt Paco (NYC), Randall Jenson (Chicago), Renee Sotile (Los Angeles), Sebastian La Cause (NYC), Mary Jo Hodges (Los Angeles)

Political Camp

Theme: Occupy, one year after

Participants: Patricia Gonzalez (New York), Laura Gottesdiener (New York), Amin Husain (New York), Diego Ibanez (New York), Lindsey Krinks (Nashville), Stephanie McGuinness (Philadelphia), Kate Savage (Nashville), Nathan Schneider (New York), Loren Taylor (Chicago)


Movie Night – American Autumn, with filmmaker Dennis Trainor, Jr. and members of the Occupy movement

Speaker’s Night – Robert Pollin on “Life vs. Austerity”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: You

Participants: Jenny Alexander (Malden, MA), Alexandra de Gonzalez (Cambridge, MA), Helen De Michiel (Albany, CA), Maryanne Galvin (Boston), Bob Nesson (Somerville, MA), Michael Rossi (New York), Emmy Scharlatt (Berkeley), David Tames (Roslindale, MA), Bruce Weaver (Lummi Island, WA), Lise Zumualt (New York)

Grassroots Summer Film Screening

White: A Memoir in Color, with filmmaker Joel Katz

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “The Selling of the Presidency 2012: Big Money, Dirty Tricks and the Future of American Politics”, with Craig Unger


CineSlam LGBT Film Shorts Seminar

Participants: Brennan Peters (Houston), Bryan Horch (Northampton), Heath Daniel (Los Angeles), Jonathan Skurnik (Los Angeles), Matthew Moore (Los Angeles), Ryan Steele (Vancouver), Sam Berliner (Berkeley), Sean Devaney (NYC), Viridiana Lieberman (Florida)

Political Camp

Theme: Border-crossings: danger, desire and delusion in this “country of immigrants”

Mentors: James Garcia (Phoenix), Debbie Nathan (New York) Participants: Jamie Blair (Philadelphia), Michelle Chen (New York), Matt Gossage (Austin), Laurie Ignacio (New York), Hannah Mintz (Oakland), Jose Orduna (Iowa City), Kristin Pak (New York/Seoul, S. Korea)

Speaker’s Night – Jennifer Berkshire on “Apart at the Seams: Race, Class and the War over Public Education (a farce)”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Participants: Vendana Sood-Giddings (Missoula, MT), Maureen McNamara (Cambridge, MA), David Pavlosky (New York), Laurel Chiten (New York), Meagan Murphy (Easthampton, MA), Lisa Leeman (Los Angeles), Casey Callister (Washington, DC), Irene Zabytko (New York), Robin Truesdale (Boulder, CO), Andrea Meyerson (Santa Monica, CA)

Grassroots Summer Film Screening

Still Moving: Pilobolus at Forty, by Jeffrey Ruoff

October Harvest Fundraising Lecture – “After Trayvon: Revisiting MLK’s ‘Triple Evils’, Reimagining Freedom”, with Pamela Brown


CineSlam LGBT Film Shorts Seminar

Participants: Austin Bunn and Bob Hazen (TK), Casper Andreas (TK), Christopher Baum (TK), Dan Goldes/Urbanstreet Filmas (TK), Ewan Duarte (TK), Iris Moore (TK), Kareem Mortimer (Bahamas), Nathan Adloff (TK), Seyi Adebanjo (TK)

Political Camp

Theme: Solidarity vs. Alienation: recovering the commons, envisioning social happiness

Mentors: Peter Linebaugh (Ann Arbor, MI), Scot Nakagawa (San Francisco) Participants: Asam Ahmad (Toronto), Kevin Buckland (Barcelona/New York), Rebecca Burns (Chicago), Tristan Call (Nashville), Mara Kardas-Nelson (New York), Yates McKee (New York), Amity Paye (New York), Alyssa Rohricht (Washington, DC)

Speaker’s Night – Kevin Buckland on “We All Live Downstream”

Film Camp, in collaboration with Susi Walsh and the Center for Independent Documentary

Theme: You II

Participants: Derek Burrows (Mexico City/Bahamas), Lisa D’Apolito (New York), Alex Halkin (Burlington, VT), Lydia Harris (Cleveland? Cincinnati?), Indrani Kopal (New York/Kuala Lumpur), Melissa Langer (Boston/Palo Alto), Bill Lichtenstein (Boston), Roberto Mighty (Boston), Michaela O’Brien (Boston/Raleigh/Durham), Scott Ryan (Los Angeles), Tracy Heather Strain (Boston)

Grassroots Summer Film Screening

Power to the Pedals, with filmmaker Bob Nesson


October Harvest Fundraising Events: Kopkind Alumni Reunion

AND   “Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Andy Kopkind, 1935-1994”, with Maria Margaronis and friends of Andy and this living memorial IN NYC.

Peter Linebaugh’s Piece on K28

27 08 2014

No Commons Without Community; No Community Without Commons

The “Kopkind Room”

Peter Limbaugh K28 2014

by PETER LINEBAUGH  (an excerpt from his Counterpunch piece, for full piece go to: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/08/the-kopkind-room/ )

Usually called ‘the Big Room’ I preferred to think of it as ‘the Kopkind Room’ because JoAnn came in once and explained that the two glass-enclosed book-cases on either side of the window on the north wall, filled with Andy’s books, belong to the living memorial named for him; in fact they were the only things in the house that were.  Nothing surprising here. Tree Frog Farm, home of the Kopkind Colony, is not a mausoleum.  Yet the room will be the site of my historical/political projections and ruminations.

Andrew Kopkind died twenty years earlier in 1994, the most brilliant radical journalist of the era, one I admired immensely.  In accepting JoAnn Wypijewki’s invitation to be one of the two “mentors,” the other was Scot Nakagawa, for a week at the “summer camp with attitude” with eight young radical activists and writers, I had an emerging agenda of my own.

The themes for the week were The Commons and Alienation.  I didn’t feel I could teach much to these people apart from some nomenclature and a handful of dates and facts.  I accepted JoAnn’s invitation so readily because it gave me a chance to explore the sources of my admiration for Andrew Kopkind, “Andy” as they called him.  I prepared for my visit by reading him and I ended it by reading him aloud.

In ‘Kopkind’s Room’ I could pause alone for a moment to collect myself from the mild ribaldry of the kitchen and what they called “the breezeway” or from the performances one might be called upon to make down below, in the barn, on the patio, in the kitchen, or the lawn.  Here I might jot down a few notes in my notebook.  Here I wondered what made Andy a writer I so much admired.  He did the work, the research, he used his intelligence, his sentences were beautiful, what else?

JoAnn visited me in my room and showed me the scrap book kept on Andy’s birthday parties.  Alexander did much of the cooking apparently.  The scrap book was filled with his handwritten menus, all in French.  These radicals strove to live well:  to eat well:  to love long:  to fight hard.  They loved le mot juste.  There was nothing archival or musty about the room.   The spirit was alive and unperfumed.  Be as radical as reality. They wrote aware of “the unbelievable harshness of the now,” in JoAnn Wypijewski’s great phrase.  That gave them courage to take from the whole human past whatever they needed.

I believe we are never far from the commons. The “commons” was not Andy’s  thing at least not with that exact word, though he was certainly a man of community – radical and gay, and there is no commons without community.  As a journalist he listened very, very closely to those who were making history while they were making it.

After we finished dinner but before getting up and clearing our plates an angel of silence passed over as digestion began to set in, both from the meal and the week’s intense work.  JoAnn broke the silence, “Doesn’t anyone have any words?”  Here’s Andy on the Vietnam war.

“The lessons of liberation certainly came the long way around; they could have been found much closer to home if I had been prepared to look.  But I wasn’t prepared.  With the example of Vietnam slowly sinking in, I could experience the black movement, class struggle – even what is sometimes called ‘existential’ or personal liberation – in a different way.  Vietnam is often credited with ‘turning on’ people to a wide variety of issues.  But what that means, I think, is that the radical implications of the Vietnamese resistance gave people a consciousness that made sense of all those other issues.  In particular, the war and the resistance have helped me to make sense of privilege and power: what it means to be white, American, bourgeois, a man, technologically competent; how the power that flows from those privileges is used to oppress others; and what it feels like to be on the short end of the stick, as well as the long one.  The quantity of oppression (if measures can be made) differs hugely from case to case.  But there is a common quality of anger, fear, intimidation, threat, selflessness that a Vietnamese in American-occupied territory shares with a black person in an urban ghetto, a woman typist in a male-dominated office, a Native American in this Europeanized land … the list is long, but true for its length…. [He says he was lucky]:  “I learned enough to make myself permanently and constitutionally unable to accept America, and its external and internal empires.”

What I treasure in this passage is how experience must “sink in”.  I also treasure that ever so crucial “I think” right in the turning point of the passage, not as a mark of modesty but a reminder of thought.  You have to admire his metaphor for class because it is both perfectly apt and colloquial; it is the “stick” of the hierarchy.  Do you hold the short or the long end, or something in between?  Finally, considering the “long list” at the end, what else is on it? What lies on the other end of it?  Is there a “social class” of some kind?  Does a great transformation lie ahead? How shall we break the stick?  What sort of revolutionary struggle will it take to make ourselves permanently and constitutionally fair, equal, human?

Finally, one more scene from the past:  Andy’s in Lowndes county, Alabama, in 1966 with the Black Panthers.  He’s standing on the ground in front of a share-cropper’s simple house while John Hulett is on the steps going up to the porch putting the case for registering to vote despite the dangers, the dogs, the insecurity, the racism.  Andy’s standing there, and he hears the conversation, “You know it, we need good schools and running water for our houses.”

Almost fifty years ago, black folk came north to the auto plants, looking for good schools and running water, and now the auto companies have moved out, abandoning a city, and taking with them the common wealth of three generations of toil. They close down the schools and shut off the water. I’m not saying that Andy could foretell the future.  He listened to those who make it. Kopkind could write as though the earth and its waters belonged to the people!  This is what I was looking for.  Earlier I wrote that he did not condescend, he did not write down to us.  But he wrote down to them, the one percent.  It is in his style, I think, in his experiences of coming out as a gay man and refusing that silence that equals death, that enables us to sense in his writing the inevitable, historic collapse of capitalism, the breaking of the stick.  It shall pass, though not without a snap.

No commons without community, I said.  But it’s truer the other way around, no community without commons.  There is nothing more dangerous to the ruling class than when we get together.  That explains why they’re turning off the taps in Detroit.  The water is ours!

Peter Linebaugh taught history at the University of Toledo. His books included: The London Hanged,(with Marcus Rediker) The Many-Headed Hydra: the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic and Magna Carta Manifesto. His essay on the history of May Day is included in Serpents in the Garden. His latest book is Stop Thief! The Commons, Enclosures and Resistance.  He can be reached at:plineba@yahoo.com


Peddle Power at Kopkind Grassroots Film Festival

18 07 2014

 pedia power logo

Kopkind Presents

KOPKIND GRASSROOTS FILM PRESENTATION, Hooker Dunham Theater (Gallery Walk Night in Brattleboro), August 1st, 7:30pm


This documentary portrays the transformative vision and extraordinary efforts of Wenzday Jane, a young woman whose mechanical skills and innovative actions are reshaping her community. Wenzday goes to the heart of the sustainability issue by offering solutions, and suggests that things don’t have to be the way they are.

As a young child growing up in public housing, Wenzday Jane’s bicycle meant personal freedom. She watched her family and neighbors struggle with issues of dependence, disempowerment, and inertia. She has been working all her life to pull herself out from under the weight of these inherited conditions. Now, with a passion for mechanics and organization, she is creating the means and cultural conditions to replace trucks with human-powered, souped-up bicycles for many local deliveries.

Shot in an intimate, lyrical style, the film follows her as she builds an organization of riders and cargo bicycles that work in agriculture and food delivery, composting, recycling and waste-hauling – and community building. We follow a rider making the rounds of municipal recycling bins, emptying bottles and cans into the bike’s cavernous tank. Weaving his 300-pound load through traffic, he heads for the city’s waste sorting facility, where he dumps into a mountain of trash just like any other gigantic truck. Wenzday reflects on winning a substantial contract for municipal recycling pick-up, “I’ve always been interested in challenges, in problem solving… There’s an opportunity to learn something new by solving a problem.”

Power-lifting a huge axle and wheel assembly onto a stand, Wenzday then disassembles a complex cargo bicycle. “There’s no alternative: you can’t just take these to the nearest garage, like a car, to get them repaired.” Her hands are covered in grease as she removes a planetary gear. “Bikes represent self-reliance and autonomy,” she says. “Working on bikes gives me a platform for really thinking about how things work.” By designing her own cargo trikes and creating a business around them, Wenzday is lowering the carbon footprint of our transportation system, one bicycle at a time.

Director Bob Nesson work shopped the film at the CID/Kopkind Seminars two summers ago. “We are excited to screen the finished film.” Says Kopkind Administrator John Scagliotti.   Following the screening, Director Bob Nesson will lead a discussion about the film and the Pedal Power concept that the film portrays. Can Power Pedal happen in rural America?


http://powertothepedals.org/ click here for trailer