panel on radical history of Lower East Side

ACT UP demonstration for access to clean needles, seventeen years ago

After yesterday's post, which was totally connected to current political activism, I'm going to turn back and examine what the territory looked like in the 80's and 90's.

Although many of us are still busy working on some of the very same issues which engaged New York activists, writers, artists, and residents in the previous two decades, it would make no sense at all if we were to ignore a radical activist history which can still inform what we do today.

On Tuesday, June 26, the New York Book Club at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Gotham Center for New York City History at CUNY are hosting a panel discussion in the Museum. Called "Resistance: A Radical History of the Lower East Side", the event's participants will be Jay Blotcher, Al Orensanz and Michael Rosen. The moderator will be Clayton Patterson.

I think all of these people (with very interesting but quite different backgrounds in the same neighborhood) are contributors to a new book with the same title, a collection of writings and images. Okay, it sounds like it's also a book signing, but on Tuesday it seems both oral and written history will be shared with those who stop by.

I know Jay well, originally through ACT UP, where he directed media relations, but in addition to his AIDS activism he has also worked as a collage artist, documentary filmmaker, journalist and publicist. If he's involved in something like this, it's likely to be at least worth a detour.

The address is 108 Orchard Street, near Delancey, and the time is from 6 to 8 pm.

[image from the film "Clean Needles Save Lives: Drug Users Doing It For Ourselves" via Creative Time]