Rising Up Angry (1969-76) began in Chicago as a newspaper designed to build a political organization. Initially the mission was to organize white working class youth to ally with Blacks and Latinos to create a Rainbow Coalition to fight injustice and build a better world.
Rising Up Angry began as a newspaper designed to build a political organization. RUA initially looked to organize white working class youth to ally with Blacks and Latinos to create a Rainbow Coalition to fight injustice and build a better World.
The Vietnam War, the Black Power movement, systemic racism, and police brutality were the galvanizing forces that brought them together. We evolved to fight for voters rights, women’s liberation and workers rights. We organized boycotts and protests in partnership with the United Farm Workers, the American Indian Movement and the Black Panthers. We built alliances with the Young Patriots, Students for a Democratic Society, the Yippies, and the Young Lords, all radical political organizations in alignment with their fight.
As the organization grew, RUA offered free breakfast for school children, free healthcare at the Fritzi Engelstein clinic, and free legal services.
After RUA dissolved, their members continued to be politically active, some went on to work in union organizing, publishing (The Heartland Journal), healthcare advocacy, education, documentary film, radio, and health food restaurants (The Heartland Cafe in Chicago IL and Beans and Barley in Milwaukee WI).
We look forward to talking with younger organizers and leaders of movements for justice on many fronts. Onward. All Power to the people.
Materials: Matte photo card
Michael James is a documentary photographer and longtime political organizer and activist based in Chicago. He co-founded both the newspaper/organization Rising Up Angry (1969-1975) and the legendary Heartland Café (1976-2012). He works in film, is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild, and teaches at DePaul University.