kojisaysaloha kojisaysaloha

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Andrew Koji Shiraki  artist & activist | colormake


#NoBanNoWall - Fred Korematsu was 23 in 1942 when he refused to leave his home after FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans to be "interned" (a sanitized term for incarceration). Korematsu was eventually arrested, convicted for evading internment, and ruled against by the Supreme Court. His conviction was upheld until 1983, but the Supreme Court decision was never overturned. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. Following the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, he spent the rest of his life advocating for Muslims. We celebrate Fred Korematsu today because his story is still important as we fight to protect our Muslim brothers and sisters (and all minorities) from state violence and oppression and work to create an equitable society for all.

My name is Andrew Koji Shiraki. My middle and last name are Japanese. I remember my history and my family - my great aunts, great uncles, and cousins who were incarcerated during WWII for being Japanese American. I stand and march with you who fight for freedom and love today.

Women's March tomorrow, see you there.

I'm having the best time with @thgchoir and I can't believe we only have two shows left. Thanks to everyone who has made this tour awesome. Baltimore tonight and Philly tomorrow! 📷 by @chrisbavaria

The tour picks up again today in Richmond. It's been an honor touring with @thgchoir. We've been having good and tough conversation with people all along the rust belt and sorting out some of what needs to be done to create equity and justice for all people. Thanks for letting us be a part of this community and showing us the good in people. See ya soon!
12/14 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
12/15 - Baltimore, MD @ The Sidebar
12/16 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Voltage Lounge
Photo by @dsummersphoto. South Bend, 2010. #springsongvol1 #ssv1 #houseshow

Tour with fellow freedom fighter, @thgchoir, starts today. #unity

12/9 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto Project
12/10 - Detroit, MI @ The Majestic Cafe
12/11 - Ft. Wayne, IN @ This Old House
12/12 - Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness
12/14 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
12/15 - Baltimore, MD @ The Sidebar
12/16 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Voltage Lounge

Photo by @danifreakinfresh.

I'm honored to announce that Spring Song Vol. 1 is coming to vinyl via @thenativesound. The record is strictly limited to a one-time pressing of 300 copies spread over two variants – half translucent green / black, limited to 100 copies, and a solid translucent green, limited to 200 copies. Orders will ship late-January 2017, with a digital download of the record delivered to your inbox immediately. Link in profile.

Thanksgiving Day Parade, Gila River Japanese Concentration Camp, 1942. During World War II, over 120,000 American citizens of Japanese descent were imprisoned. At the time, they used euphemisms such as "relocation" and "internment" to soften the perception of white supremacist, totalitarian policies like Japanese mass incarceration on Native American reservations like the one pictured above. As a Japanese-Filipino American, I've always struggled with Thanksgiving mythology because it reminds me of the erasure of my people (and of so many people) from United States history.
Even now, mass incarceration, mass deportation, and many other forms of institutional oppression still exist. Language is being used to normalize hate. This morning, I talked with my parents about the proposed "Muslim registry" where "Japanese internment" was used as legal precedent for it and how people do not see anything wrong with it. In fact, people (some of whom are my family and friends) in the United States just voted for it in the presidential election.
But now is not the time to despair. Difficult conversations will be had as our loved ones come together to break bread this holiday weekend. We must work to be present with each other even when we disagree. I just wanted to write this reflection for the person who might have a hard time on holidays like Thanksgiving or Columbus Day and so on--you are not alone. And for everyone who wants positive change in their family, community, and world. It's a blessing to be here to do the work together.

I love you all. In solidarity, Koji.

I'm giving away a ton of rare vinyl through my @getdownwrite page to support the Water Protectors at Standing Rock as they fight to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Proceeds will go the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. Link in profile. #NoDAPL #decolonize

On Sunday night, three hundred Dakota Access pipeline demonstrators were treated for injuries after police sprayed them with tear gas and water cannons. Please support the Water Protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation as they work to protect their sacred lands and waters from Energy Transfer Partners and their proposed Dakota Access pipeline. #NoDAPL #decolonize
Call the following people and let them know what is right:
Jack Dalrymple
Governor of North Dakota / 701-328-2200

Army Corps of Engineers (demand to reverse the permit) / 202-761-5903

The executives at Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline:
i. Lee Hanse
Executive Vice President / (210) 403-6455
ii. Glenn Emery
Vice President / (210) 403-6762
iii. Michael (Cliff) Waters
Lead Analyst / (713) 989-2404

Muhammad Ali transcends. #restinpower

Got to speak to an awesome group of future leaders tonight. If you are in this video, tag 3 new HOBY friends to win a Peacemaker key. @thegivingkeys #HOBYinSociety #cpahoby2016 #cpahoby

Yuri Kochiyama is a great inspiration to me. She was a piano and Sunday school teacher, mother of six, Asian American activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who advocated for Civil Rights, ending the Vietnam war, nuclear disarmament, and reparations for Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II, among many other causes. Yuri Kochiyama was with Malcom X the day he was assassinated and held him as he lay dying in the Audobon Ballroom in Harlem. She would have been 95 today and Malcom would have been 91. #restinpower

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