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The Knotted Line

Evan Bissell, Author

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1942: The Straw Dummy

1942: All persons of Japanese descent are ordered by the U.S. government to internment camps. Within six months more than 100,000 Japanese are in camps or centers.

2001: Only a month and a half after the September 11th bombing, the U.S. government passes the USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act. It curtails civil liberties and expands powers for domestic surveillance. [User Created Media]

Actions for Self-Determination:
  • 1969: Richard Aoki, a Japanese-American founding member of the Black Panther Party whose family was interned in World War II, helps found the Third World Liberation Front, which led strikes that helped create an ethnic studies program at UC Berkeley.
  • 1977: Yuri Kochiyama (also interned during WWII) and the Young Lords occupy the Statue of Liberty for Puerto Rican political prisoners. She is active in numerous efforts for self-determination throughout the 20th century.
Discussion Questions:
  • Compare Executive order 9066 and the Patriot Act. Should citizens give up liberties during "war time"? Who is most likely to have to give up their civil liberties in these times?
Additional Resources:
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