Roz Payne


“Roz Payne was born in Patterson, New Jersey, and grew up in a political household. Her mom, Edith Berkman, was of Jewish and Polish descent and a Communist labor organizer. She was arrested during the Lawrence, Massachusetts, textile strike in 1931. Afterward, the U.S. Department of Labor attempted to deport Berkman to Poland. Berkman was held in Boston by the U.S. government without bail for more than seven months. During that time, she developed tuberculosis and engaged in a hunger strike. Her case became fairly well-known among radical activists and labor organizers at the time, particularly on the East Coast. Payne’s father, James Cristiano, was Italian Catholic and ran for the New Jersey state legislature on the Socialist Party line. She recalled as a child listening with interest to the regular political discussions between her parents and their friends at dinner parties and other gatherings. Beat poet, Allen Ginsburg, whose parents were friends with Payne’s folks, was also her occasional babysitter. … Her values and interests moved her increasingly toward activism. Payne, who was also a photographer, joined Newsreel Films in 1967, ‘a group of independent filmmakers, photographers, and media workers [that had] formed a collective to make politically relevant films sharing our resources, skills, and equipment.’ … Ultimately, Newsreel had offices in San Francisco, Detroit, Boston, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Vermont, and Atlanta. ‘We made films and distributed our films in the hope that the audiences who saw them would respond to the issues they raised,’ Payne stated. ‘We wanted people to work with our films as catalysts for political discussions about social change in America and to relate the questions in the films to issues in their own communities.’ In a very real sense, the films Newsreel created were organizing tools. … She was a founding member of the radical feminist group, W.I.T.C.H. (‘Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell’) and travelled to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade. Payne had connections to the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, SDS and many other New Left organizations. She was also involved in dozens of smaller, lesser-known actions during this period. In the early, 1970s, Payne moved to Vermont, where she joined her friends, John Douglas, Jane Kramer, Robert Kramer and others at the ‘Green Mountain Red’ commune in Putney, Vermont. …”
Roz Payne Bio
NEWSREEL (Video)
Roz Payne Sixties Archive (Video)
Another One Moves On: Roz Payne, Presente! by Ron Jacobs
RIP Vermont Revolutionary Roz Payne

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This entry was posted in Allen Ginsberg, Black Power, Bobby Seale, Chicano, Cuban Revolution, Documentary, Feminist, Movie, SDS, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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