Features » February 16, 2016
This Video Appears To Show Bernie Sanders Being Arrested at a 1963 Civil Rights Action in Chicago
It looks like there’s proof of the presidential candidate participating in civil disobedience to end segregation
A just-unearthed video shows the arrest of what appears to be presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a 1963 protest against school segregation in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.
The footage was taken from Kartemquin Film's '63 Boycott project, which chronicles the Chicago Public School Boycott of 1963, and was filmed by Kartemquin co-founder Jerry Temaner.
The protest on Chicago's South Side took aim at racist education and housing policies being carried out in Englewood—namely the proposed contruction of a new school for black students made up of aluminum trailers known as “Willis Wagons,” named after the Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Benjamin Willis who first ordered them. These trailers were used by the city to deal with overcrowding in black schools, thereby preventing integration of black students into less-densely populated white schools.
A Chicago Tribune report from the time confirms that Sanders was in fact arrested at the action and charged with resisting arrest.
Controversy recently sprung up over the accuracy of photos of Bernie Sanders at civil rights actions in Chicago during this period. Time magazine published a story last November claiming that photos of Sanders distributed by his campaign do not actually depict the Vermont senator, but rather show fellow University of Chicago classmate and activist Bruce Rappaport. Since publishing that story, the original photographer Danny Lyon has come forward maintaining that his photos are indeed of Sanders.
This newly-released video seems to confirm Sanders' active role engaging in civil disobedience in a historic civil rights protest demanding equal treatment for black students in Chicago schools. Sanders is currently working to galvanize African-American support ahead of the Feb. 27 primary in South Carolina, as well as primaries in other minority-heavy states on Super Tuesday.
He plans to meet with civil rights leaders on Thursday morning and his campaign has recently released ads hailing his record on racial justice issues as well as his endorsement from Erica Garner, Eric Garner's daughter. Sanders has also received support from other prominent African-American activists, thinkers and artists including rapper Killer Mike, former N.A.A.C.P. president Benjamin T. Jealous, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Cornel West and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.
If Sanders' campaign is looking for a new way to prove the candidate's dedication to the movement for civil rights and racial justice, this video may be just the proof it needs.
What do you want to see from our coverage of the 2020 presidential candidates?
As our editorial team maps our plan for how to cover the 2020 Democratic primary, we want to hear from you:
It only takes a minute to answer this short, three-question survey, but your input will help shape our coverage for months to come. That’s why we want to make sure you have a chance to share your thoughts.
Miles Kampf-Lassin, a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School in Deliberative Democracy and Globalization, is a Web Editor at In These Times. He is a Chicago based writer. email@example.com @MilesKLassin
if you like this, check out:
- No One Should Ever Listen to Anything Rahm Emanuel Has to Say About Politics
- The Short Case for Making College Free and a Universal Right
- Here’s Exactly Who’s Profiting from the War on Yemen
- Young Democrats Are Furious Over the DCCC’s Blacklist Punishing Insurgents
- Joe Biden Is Railing Against Hedge Fund Managers, But He Has a Long History of Courting Them