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American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts

American Friends Service Committee Records

1975-2005
24 boxes 36 linear feet
Call no.: MS 459

Established in 1968 in response to the war in Vietnam, the AFSC office in western Massachusetts did not limit its focus to draft and military counseling, instead the organization broadened its focus over time to include educational and outreach programs for a variety of peace and socal justice issues. Today the chapter focuses on economic justice, campaigns against U.S. military intervention, and actions to combat racism and classism. With an emphasis on serving the community of western Massachusetts, the program is equally committed to calling attention to issues of both national and local importance. Recent campaigns range from ending the war in Iraq and supporting peace in Columbia to preventing the construction of a new jail in Chicopee.

The collection consists chiefly of subject files that together provide a picture of the various issues in which the western Massachusetts AFSC was involved. Topics range from the organization’s earliest focus, the Vietnam War, to the first Gulf War, landlord/tenant relations, immigration, and landmines. The collection also includes materials relating to public figures, some of whom traveled to the region to speak.

Subjects

  • Activists--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Economic conditions
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
  • Social justice--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts
Boschen, Allan C.

Allan C. Boschen Esperanto Collection

1852-2015
ca.750 items 18 linear feet
Call no.: RB 028
Image of Esperanto travel book, 1927
Esperanto travel book, 1927

A constructed language developed by a Polish physician, L.L. Zamenhof, and first published in 1887, Esperanto is the most widely spoken auxiliary language in the world. Fundamentally utopian in origin, Esperanto is a simplified and highly rationalized language derived from a pastiche of languages, primarily European. By creating a universal second language, Zamenhof hoped that Esperanto would help transcend national and cultural boundaries and thus promote peace and understanding in a fractious world. Allan Boschen, an engineer with General Electric in Pittsfield, was a student and teacher of Esperanto and longtime officer with the Esperanto Society of New England.

The Esperanto book collection includes instructional materials in the language from around the world along with a diversity of imprints ranging from novels and poetry to travel books, histories and biographies, political writings, materials on China and Vietnam, children’s literature, and even a cookbook. We expect to add to the collection in future.

Subjects

  • Esperanto
  • Ido
  • Languages, Artificial
Bowman, Mitzi

Mitzi Bowman Papers

ca.1970-2010
10 boxes 15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 761
Image of Mitzi Bowman, 2012
Mitzi Bowman, 2012

For years, Mitzi Bowman and her husband Pete were stalwarts of the progressive community in Connecticut, and tireless activists in the movements for social justice, peace, and the environment. Shortly after their marriage in 1966, the Bowman’s settled in Newtown and then in Milford, Conn., where Pete worked as an engineer and where Mitzi had trouble finding employment due to her outspoken ways. In close collaboration, the couple became ardent opponents of the war in Vietnam as well as opponents of nuclear weaponry. The focus of their activism took a new direction in 1976, when they learned of plans to ship spent nuclear fuel rods near their home. Founding their first antinuclear organization, STOP (Stop the Transport of Pollution), they forced the shipments to be rerouted, and they soon devoted themselves to shutting down nuclear power in Connecticut completely, including the Millstone and Connecticut Yankee facilities, the latter of which was decommissioned in 1996. The Bowmans were active in a wide array of other groups, including the New Haven Green Party, the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, the People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE), and they were founding members of Fight the (Utility Rate) Hike, the Progressive Action Roundtable, and Don’t Waste Connecticut. Two years after Pete died on Feb. 14, 2006 at the age of 78, Mitzi relocated to Vermont, carrying on her activism.

The Bowman Papers center on Mitzi and Pete Bowman’s antinuclear activism, dating from their first forays with STOP in the mid-1970s through the growth of opposition to Vermont Yankee in the approach to 2010. The collection offers a valuable glimpse into the early history of grassroots opposition to nuclear energy and the Bowmans’ approach to organizing and their connections with other antinuclear activists and to the peace and environmental movements are reflected in an extensive series of notes, press releases, newsclippings, talks, ephemera, and correspondence. The collections also includes extensive subject files on radiation, nuclear energy, peace, and related topics.

Gift of Mitzi Bowman, Dec. 2012

Subjects

  • Antinuclear movement--Connecticut
  • Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
  • Don't Waste Connecticut
  • STOP (Stop the Transport of Pollution)

Contributors

  • Bowman, Pete
Bruskin, Gene

Gene Bruskin Papers

1963-2018
8 boxes 11 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1020
Image of Gene Bruskin
Gene Bruskin

Gene Bruskin arrived at Princeton in 1964 as a basketball player and left as a political radical. After taking part in the Second Venceremos Brigade, Bruskin got involved in antiracist and labor organizing in Boston. As president of the United Steelworkers of America local during the busing crisis of the 1970s, he helped win overwhelming support among the city’s bus drivers to have the union represent them, leading successful campaigns for better wages and working conditions. In the years since, he has held numerous high-profile positions nationally and internationally, including as labor director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Secretary Treasurer for the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War, an organization promoting peace and the demilitarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bruskin was a major figure in the largest private union election in the history of the United Food and Commercial Workers when he led the successful campaign to unionize 5,000 workers at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina. Since retiring in 2012, he has continued to consult with unions. In addition he has returned to some of his earlier undertakings in producing cultural works as a poet, songwriter, and playwright, centered on social justice and working class themes.

Documenting nearly fifty years of activism, Gene Bruskin’s papers are an exceptional resource for the labor movement in the 1970s through early 2000s, and particularly its radical end. Although Bruskin’s early years are relatively sparsely represented, there is a significant run of Brother, the first anti-sexist, “male liberation” journal that he helped found while in Oakland, and the collection includes important material from his work in Boston with the Hyde Park Defense Committee, the Red Basement Singers, and especially with the School Bus Drivers and their tumultuous three-week strike in 1980. The collection also contains a rich assortment of material on labor left and antiwar organizing in the 1990s and 2000s, the Justice at Smithfield campaign, and Bruskin’s work on behalf of single payer insurance, for International Solidarity, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

Gift of Gene Bruskin, April 2018

Subjects

  • Boston (Mass.)--History
  • Bus drivers--Labor unions
  • Charter schools
  • Jackson, Jesse, 1941-
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Labor unions--North Carolina
  • National Rainbow Coalition (U.S.)
  • Public schools
  • Smithfield Foods, Inc.
  • Strikes and lockouts--Bus drivers
  • Weatherman (Organization)

Contributors

  • Boston School Bus Drivers Union
  • United Steelworkers of America
Campano, Anthony

Anthony Campano Papers

1956-2007
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 617

Anthony “Tony” Campano and Shizuko Shirai met by chance in January 1955 as Tony was passing through Yokohama en route to his new post in Akiya. Recently transferred to Japan, Tony enlisted in the U.S. Army a little over a year earlier, serving first in Korea. As their relationship blossomed, Tony and Shizuko set up housekeeping until his enlistment ended and he returned home to Boston. Determined to get back to Japan quickly and marry Shizuko, the two continued their courtship by mail, sending letters through Conrad Totman and Albert Braggs, both stationed in Japan. By the summer of 1956, Tony re-enlisted in the Army, this time stationed in the Medical Battalion of the 24th Division located in Seoul, Korea. There he remained until August 1957 when he was finally able to secure official authorization to marry Shizuko. Cutting their honeymoon short to deal with her medical emergency, Tony returned to his post in Korea. The couple reunited in November of that year after Tony secured a new assignment in Yokohama.

The letters of Tony Campano to Shizuko Shirai during the year or more they were separated document their unlikely romance. Soon after Tony returned home when his first enlistment ended, friends and family tried to discourage him from pursuing a relationship with Shizuko. Despite their age difference–Shizuko was eleven years older– and the language barrier, the two ultimately married. In addition to the couple’s long-distance courtship letters, the collection also contains about 100 letters exchanged between Campano and Conrad Totman, dating from their early days in the U.S. Army to the present; taken together they document a friendship of more than fifty years.

Subjects

  • Japan--Social life and customs--1945-
  • United States. Army--Non-commissioned officers--Correspondence

Contributors

  • Campano, Anthony
  • Campano, Shizuko Shirai
  • Totman, Conrad D

Types of material

  • Letters (Correspondence)
Grace, Frank

Frank Grace Papers

1976-1985
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 863

A radical political organizer, Frank “Parky” Grace was a founding member of the New Bedford chapter of the Black Panther Party. Radicalized during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967, Grace became involved in the antiwar movement upon his return and organized the local branch of the Black Panthers shortly before the New Bedford Rebellion of 1970. In 1972, he and his brother Ross were charged with the murder, receiving life sentences. Parky Grace contended all along that he had been framed by the police for his political activity and in 1982, Ross admitted that he had been responsible for the murder, backing up his brother’s contention that he was not present at the time. Parky Grace was released from prison in 1984 and lived subsequently in New Bedford and Boston. He died in Boston in October 2001.

The Grace Papers consist of a powerful series of letters written to Gloria Xifaras Clark while Grace was confined in Walpole State Penitentiary. Informed by his revolutionary politics, the letters offer insight into the conditions of imprisonment, his treatment by guards, and his relationships with fellow prisoners.

Gift of Dana Rebeiro, April 2015

Subjects

  • Black Panther Party
  • New Bedford (Mass.)--History
  • Prisoners--Massachusetts
  • Walpole State Prison

Contributors

  • Clark, Gloria Xifaras, 1942-
Hasen, Irwin, 1918-

Irwin Hasen: A Legacy Portfolio

2005
10 items 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 744
Image of

A noted comic illustrator, Irwin Hasen enjoyed a career spanning over five decades, including work as staff artist for a number of classic comic book titles. He is perhaps best remembered as the artist behind Dondi, a strip about a war orphan co-authored with Don Edson, that ran nationally from 1955 to 1986.

Hasen’s Legacy Portfolio includes ten hand-pulled serigraphs signed and numbered by the artist, reflecting artwork from throughout his career. The SCUA portfolio is number 16 of 35 sets in the limited edition, with each print hand separated and printed in collaboration with the master printer Gary Lichtenstein.

Subjects

  • Cartoons and comics

Contributors

  • Hasen, Irwin, 1918-
  • Lichtenstein, Gary

Types of material

  • Cartoons (Humorous images)
  • Comic strips
  • Prints (Visual works)
  • Screen prints
Indusco Bailie Schools

Indusco Bailie School Collection

1940-1952
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 564
Image of Bailie Technical School boys with masks
Bailie Technical School boys with masks

Following the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, the New Zealand expatriate Rewi Alley threw his considerable talents behind the war effort. Building upon knowledge acquired over a decade of living in China, Alley helped organize the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Movement (CIC). The CIC coordinated the creation of industrial cooperatives throughout unoccupied China to keep industrial production flowing, and it sponsored a series of industrial schools named after Alley’s friend Joseph Bailie to provide training and support.

The Indusco Bailie School Collection includes documents and photographs relating to the establishment and operation of the Bailie Schools in China during and immediately after the Second World War. Probably associated with the Indusco offices in New York City, these documents include a model constitution for industrial cooperatives, typewritten reports on Bailie Schools, and published articles describing the schools’ efforts. The reports extend through 1949, and include three mimeographed newsletters from the Shantan Bailie School for the months immediately following the school’s liberation by Communist forces. Also included are printed works by Alley and eighteen photographs taken between 1942 and 1944 of students and scenes at Bailie Schools.

Subjects

  • China--History--1937-1949
  • Chinese industrial cooperatives
  • Cooperative societies--China
  • Shantan Bailie School (Kansu, China)
  • Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Indusco
  • Rewi, Alley, 1897-1987

Types of material

  • Photographs
Laymen’s Academy for Oecumenical Studies (LAOS)

Laymen's Academy for Oecumenical Studies Records

1956-1976
22 boxes 11.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 020

An oecumenical ministry based in Amherst, Massachusetts, that sought to inspire local citizens to act upon their religious faith in their daily lives and occupations, and to reinvigorate religious dialogue between denominations.

Includes by-laws, minutes, membership records, news clippings, press releases, treasurer’s reports, letters to and from David S. King, correspondence between religious leaders and local administrators, and printed materials documenting programs and organizations in which the Laymen’s Academy for Oecumenical Studies (L.A.O.S.) participated or initiated, especially Faith and Life Meetings. Also contains questionnaires, announcements, bulletins, and photographs.

Subjects

  • Christian union--Massachusetts--History
  • Interdenominational cooperation--Massachusetts--History

Contributors

  • King, David S., 1927-
  • Laymen's Academy for Oecumenical Studies (Amherst, Mass.)

Types of material

  • Photographs
Levasseur, Raymond Luc

Raymond Luc Levasseur Papers

1966-2017
10 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: MS 971

Raymond Luc Levasseur went underground with a revolutionary Marxist organization in 1974 and spent a decade in armed resistance against the American state. Radicalized by his experiences in Vietnam and by a stint in a Tennessee prison for the sale of marijuana, Levasseur became convinced that revolutionary action was a “necessary step in defeating the enemy — monopoly Capitalism and its Imperialism expression.” As a leader of the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit, later called the United Freedom Front, he took part in a string of bombings and bank robberies targeting symbols of the state including government and military buildings and corporate offices. All active members of the UFF were arrested in 1984 and 1985 and sentenced to long prison terms, although the government’s effort to prosecute them (the Ohio 7) on separate charges of seditious conspiracy ultimately failed. Levasseur served twenty years of a 45-year prison sentence, approximately thirteen years of them in solitary confinement, before being released on parole in 2004. He continues to write and speak out for prisoners’ rights.

The Levasseur papers are an important record of a committed revolutionary and political prisoner. Beginning with his work in the early 1970s with the Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform (SCAR), a prisoners’ rights organization, the collection includes communiques and other materials from revolutionary groups including the UFF, the Armed Resistance Unit, and the Black Liberation Army; Levasseur’s political and autobiographical writings; numerous interviews; selected correspondence; and a range of material on political prisoners and mass incarceration. Consisting in part of material seized by the FBI following Levasseur’s arrest or recovered through the Freedom of Information Act, and supplemented by newsclippings and video from media coverage, the collection has particularly rich content for the criminal and seditious conspiracy trials of UFF members (also known as the “Ohio 7”) in Brooklyn, NY and Springfield, MA, as well as Levasseur’s years in prison and his work on behalf of political prisoners.

Gift of Raymond Luc Levasseur, 2017

Subjects

  • Anti-imperialist movements--United States
  • Political prisoners--United States
  • Prisons--United States
  • Revolutionaries

Contributors

  • Armed Clandestine Movement
  • Black Liberation Army
  • Manning, Tom
  • Ohio 7
  • Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit
  • Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform
  • United Freedom Front
  • Williams, Raymond C.

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Trials