This Friday at La Belle Epoque in Montreal, join us for a conversation about political prisoners, and a screening of the film Freeing Silvia Baraldini.
Friday, March 1st at 7pm
La Belle Époque
1984 rue Wellington, Montreal, Quebec
This film documents the life of former U.S. political prisoner Silvia Baraldini. Silvia moved to the U.S. as a child, coming of age at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In the 1970's when hundreds of politically minded people folded back into the comforts of American society, Silvia deepened her commitment to revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle, becoming a national leader of the May 19th Communist Organization. In 1982 she was arrested by the FBI and sentenced to 43 years in prison for her involvement in various acts of resistance, including the liberation of former Black Panther Assata Shakur from prison. She was additionally charged with criminal contempt of court and given another three years for refusing to answer questions to a Grand Jury investigating the Puerto Rican Independence Movement.
Following her arrest, Silvia was one of six women incarcerated at the experimental "High Security Unit" at Lexington prison in Kentucky, a unit established to see if intense isolation and sensory deprivation torture could be used to force political prisoners to renounce their beliefs. While in Lexington, Silvia became ill with uterine cancer; it was only after the unit was closed as a result of protests and legal challenges that she was provided with medical care, eventually undergoing two surgeries and radiation therapy.
In 1999, Silvia was transferred to Italy to serve the remainder of her sentence; she was released on September 26, 2006. Despite the torturous conditions she had been subjected to, she never repudiated her beliefs and never provided the state with any information.
Freeing Silvia Baraldini presents Silvia’s side of the story. This film screening will be in English.