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Thursday, April 20, 2006


We had a full house at UCLA yesterday with about 15-20 people standing in the aisles and the back. I was very impressed by the turnout. About 140 people turned out to see "Death in El Valle" at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Many of them were students and I am very grateful to Chair John Dagenais and Adriana Ruiz for getting the word out. The crowd was really warm, smart and knowledgeable about the issues. They also asked terrific questions. What was interesting to me was how much of our discussion centered on the larger issues rather than specific questions about the film. Since this was my intention, I was pleased that I had succeeded in bringing that out from the audience by putting last night's screening into the context of this year's important anniversaries in Spain. I was also really glad that Shirley Mangini could join us. She was a terrific speaker. Her expertise on this subject, both as a writer and scholar of the Spanish Civil War, and a member of ALBA's board, gave a nice touch to our evening.

I had a wonderful time, even though I was a bit nervous at first. I'm finding new inspiration and enjoyment out of talking in front of an audience. I would love to go around the country speaking to students at Universities about this topic!

Friday, April 14, 2006

April 14th, 70 anniversary of the Spanish Republic Franco overthrew

Had a great interview on KPFK's Uprising Radio with Host Sonali Kolhatkar and Prof. Paul Preston. Sonali wrote a really great introduction about Spain's history and Prof. Preston was so articulate. It was a very exciting way to spend April 14th, the 70th anniversary of the 2nd Spanish Republic. Here are some images from that historic day.

Friday, April 07, 2006


In order to really help this movement gather momentum here in the US, I would like to connect with as many natural allies as possible. Right now, just to give you an idea, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the Southern California Association for Democratic Action and UCLA are all backing this project in one way or another. I would love to get your input on what other organizations you think would like to join our effort in creating awareness about Franco's terrible human rights legacy!

Here are some of the things they could do:

1- Endorse the Amnesty International petition.

2- Send an email blast to members telling them about this website and urging them to sign the Amnesty Petition.

3- Hold a fundraising event for their organization. Screen this documentary and let me sell DVDs.

4- Buy DVDs at bulk price and give them away as gifts to their Premium members.

I look forward to hearing back from you.


Amnesty International Launches Petition

Amnesty urges action for Spanish Civil War victims

MADRID, March 30 (Reuters) - Spain's government must do more for victims of its Civil War and dictatorship, investigating mass graves scientifically and opening up archives, human rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday.

Hundreds of thousands of people died in the Civil War and many thousands disappeared or were tortured or imprisoned during General Francisco Franco's 36-year dictatorship.

"The State is doing absolutely nothing," said Esteban Beltran, head of Amnesty's Spanish section. "It is showing no signs of wanting to lift the barriers."

Amnesty criticised an inter-ministerial commission for making no significant progress after nearly two years of work.

It said Madrid should fund controlled investigation of burial sites and treat them like crime scenes with forensic experts making sure evidence is collected properly.

Amnesty believes tens of thousands of Spaniards are buried in mass graves that date from the Civil War and its aftermath.

The human rights group also said a draft law on rights for Civil War victims, which is more than a year late, should include wide-ranging provisions to improve archives.


It called on the government to open its files, which are difficult to gain access to, to improve conditions under which papers are being kept and to employ experts to index and maintain documents for the future.

"This isn't a case of right or left, it's a case of human rights and international law," Beltran told a news conference, making it clear there were victims on both sides of the conflict, which started 70 years ago.

Many Spaniards prefer not to rake up a violent past and memories of a war and aftermath of the war but others are still fighting for truth and reparations for what they suffered.

A new Amnesty report gave examples of families who tried to have decades-old death sentences on a relative annulled, only to be rejected by courts on the grounds that the case came under a 1977 amnesty or that, at the time, death sentences were legal.

"Magistrates are systematically and actively opposing the annulment of death sentences," said Eva Suarez-Llanos, author of the report.

Welcome to my Blog!

Dear Friends,

Welcome to my Blog - the best place to get the latest news about my journey on this great adventure!

I'll keep you informed you on what's going on with this project and how much closer we are to our goal of creating awareness about Franco's brutal legacy by making the Spanish government take action for his victims!

Please feel free to comment on my posting.... and I'll respond!


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