“Are you or have you ever been a member of a terrorist organization – or government?”

The text of this political poster plays off the line Senator Joseph McCarthy made famous in the 1950s, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”

The original is Archibald Willard’s most famous picture, The Spirit of ’76, circa 1875 which hangs in Abbot Hall in Marblehead, Massachusetts, one of the most noble pieces of US propaganda every created and kept nicely.

About 10 x 15 on paper and wheat pasted to a wood board covering a broken window of a downtown garage on SW 12th Avenue, this poster looks like it was badly photocopied from a worn t-shirt. The gluer has added the words “fuck the FBI” and “wiretap” and “ARL” and then finally, “throw away the chains.” I’m not sure what ARL stands for. And which chains? Rosseau? Marx? Marley’s Ghost? Kunta Kinte? Hard to tell.

The second poster, glued next to the first at the same time, shows a white hand holding a black hand, the words “Unity” and “Solidarity” printed and “Forever!” penciled in.

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