Thursday, February 16, 2012

Commemorate the incarceration of Japanese Americans

Join with Japanese American communities throughout the country who annually commemorate the date, February 19, 1942. This date marks when, during World War II, an executive order was signed which led to the imprisonment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans without due process and with no regard for their constitutional rights. The community now uses this date to encourage active participation in defending the basic civil liberties of all Americans. February 19, 2012 will mark the 70th year anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066.

The California premiere of the new documentary film "Prisoners and Patriots" - Saturday, Feb. 18th @ 1 PM
California Secretary of State's Auditorium at 11th & O St

We still have space available for our limited seating so please RSVP by Friday by emailing back (or calling in (916) 685-6747 or 427-2841) if you haven't had a chance to respond yet.

Meet filmmaker Neil Simon as he presents his film and holds a Q&A session. A Community Unity Candle Lighting Ceremony is also planned.  Admission is $15 general, $10 students 18 and over, and free for those under 18 years. Free parking is across the street in the surface lot by entering through the alleyway.

"Prisoners and Patriots" exposes the arrest by the FBI and unjust imprisonment of 17,000 Japanese American businessmen, journalists, Buddhist priests, language teachers, and cultural arts instructors in Department of Justice camps during the days following December 7th. These often secret imprisonments preceded the later incarceration of the rest of the 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast with which more people are familiar. 

With this year's 70th anniversary of the February 19, 1942 Executive Order 9066 imprisoning innocent Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, the issue of protecting American civil liberties and civil rights is especially timely. The newly passed 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a frightening flashback to the WWII mistakes. It uses the 9/11 attacks to justify the arrest and indefinite military imprisonment of American citizens and aliens without due process of law who are suspected of vaguely-defined terrorist ties.

The February 18th program also includes admission to the award-winning exhibit "Uprooted - The Japanese American Experience" at the adjacent California State Museum.  Museum admission is normally $8.50 each. 3,000 to 5,000 Northern California students tour this exhibit each year from January through March, led by volunteer docents, many of them former detainees offering first-hand experiences.  Students get to explore invaluable American concepts of citizenship, constitutionality, and redress. 

The annual Time of Remembrance event is organized each year by chapters of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)

This year's event is co-sponsored and endorsed by CAIR-Sacramento, the California State Museum, Elk Grove Unified School District, CSU-Sacramento Library, numerous local civil / human rights organizations, former World War II incarcerees, and officials. The Time of Remembrance has been commemorated for the past 30 years in the Sacramento area.

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