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Fresh Ayers: Diana Block - "Clandestine Occupations"

  • 57th Street Books 1301 East 57th Street Chicago, IL, 60637 United States (map)

Diana Block discusses "Clandestine Occupations: An Imaginary History." She will be joined in conversation by Bill Ayers.

At 57th Street Books

About the book: Radical activist Luba Gold makes the difficult decision to go underground to support the Puerto Rican independence movement. When Luba’s collective is targeted by an FBI sting, she escapes with her baby, but leaves behind a sensitive envelope that is being safeguarded by a friend. When the FBI come looking for Luba, the friend must decide whether to cooperate in the search for the woman she loves. Ten years later when Luba emerges from clandestinity, she discovers that the FBI sting was orchestrated by another activist friend who had become an FBI informant. Told from the points of view of five different women who cross paths with Luba over four decades, "Clandestine Occupations" explores the difficult decisions that activists confront about the boundaries of legality and speculates about the scope of clandestine action in the future. It is a thought-provoking reflection on the risks and sacrifices of political activism as well as the damaging reverberations of disaffection and cynicism.

About the author: Diana Block has been a radical activist since the 1970’s. She spent thirteen years living underground working in solidarity with the Puerto Rican Independence and Black Liberation movements. She is a founding/active member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and lives in San Francisco with her life partner, former political prisoner Claude Marks. She is the author of the memoir "Arm the Spirit: A Woman’s Journey Underground and Back" and the novel "Clandestine Occupations- An Imaginary History." 

About the interlocutor: William Ayers, formerly Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has written extensively about social justice and democracy, education and the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. His books include "A Kind and Just Parent;" "Teaching toward Freedom;" "Fugitive Days: A Memoir;" "Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident;" "On the Side of the Child;" "Teaching the Personal and the Political;" "To Teach: The Journey, in Comics;" "Teaching toward Democracy;" and "Race Course: Against White Supremacy."