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

Miles Kampf-Lassin February 16, 2016

Is this Bernie Sanders? It sure looks like it.

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. 

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. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @MilesKLassin

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