Special Section - 1907 Bellingham Riots

Film: Present In All That We Do

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2007. Bellingham's old city hall, now the Whatcom Museum of History & Art.

[History] [Film: Present In All That We Do] [News Coverage] [Links/Resources]

"History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do." – James Baldwin

In 1907, more than two-hundred South Asian workers in Bellingham, WA were attacked by a mob of white workers. The white rioters broke into the South Asians' houses and workplaces, stole and destroyed their valuables, and threatened and beat the South Asians until they were forcibly expelled from the city. In the course of one night, an entire community was driven from the town - in the approving words of a local paper, "wiped off the map." One hundred years later, 2007, hostility towards non-white immigrants in Bellingham continues. Raids and detentions by government immigration agents are ongoing; so are surveillance and harassment from both government agents and groups like the Minute Men. How have the events of 1907 shaped Bellingham as we know it in 2007? What has changed and what remains the same?

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"La historia, como nadie parece saber, no es algo solo para leer. Y no se refiere solamente, ni principalmente, al pasado. Al contrario, la gran fuerza de la historia viene del hecho que la llevamos dentro de nosotros, nos controla en muchas maneras inconscientemente, y la historia esta literalmente presente en todo lo que hacemos." - James Baldwin

En 1907, más que doscientos trabajadores del este de India que vivían en Bellingham, WA fueron atacados por una muchedumbre de trabajadores blancos. Los atacantes blancos entraron por fuerza en las casas y tiendas de la gente de India. Robaron y destruyeron las posesiones. Los atacantes blancos los amenazaron y golpearon hasta que por fuerza los expulsaron de la ciudad. En el curso de una sola noche, una comunidad entera fue expulsada del pueblo. Usando las palabras aprobadoras de un periódico local, "los borraron del mapa." Cien años después, en 2007, la hostilidad dirigida hacia inmigrantes que no son blancos continúa. Las redadas y las detenciones por los agentes de la oficina de inmigración del gobierno son continuas. También persiste la vigilancia y acoso por parte de los agentes del gobierno y grupos como los Minute Men. ¿Cómo afectaron y moldearon los eventos del 1907 al Bellingham que nosotros conocemos hoy? ¿Qué ha cambiado y que ha permanecido igual?

Made possible by
Community to Community Development
203 W. Holly, Suite 317
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 738-0893
www.foodjustice.org

Whatcom Human Rights Task Force
PO Box 2191
Bellingham, WA 98227
(360) 733-2233
www.whrtf.org

Written and edited by
Andrew Hedden and Ian Morgan

Narrated by
Antasia Parker

Interviewees
Andrea, Danielle Arellano, Tim Benson, Laura Bird, Navjot Brar, Virjot Brar, Sherman Buck, David Cahn, Katie Chandler, Tim Douglas, Harjap Grewal, Rosalinda Guillen, Sharon Hain, Christine Ham, Cecily Hazelrigg-Hernandez, Patricia Hixson, Harold Hoffman, Harry, Ika, Damon Jones, Rashpal Kaur, Jaspreet Khera, Claude LeBas, Juan Luna, Esmerelda Meza-Guzman, Roberto Meza-Guzman, Zoey Moyle, Michael Ramos, Bipanjit Sandhu, Mohinder Sangha, Satpal Sidhu, Michelle Siemion, Ajit Singh, Tim Smith, Aline Soundy, Alec Stieve, Lara Strouss, Hal Washburn

Research Help
Paul Englesberg, Chris Friday, Jeff Jewell, Seema Sohi, Ruth Steele, Midori Takagi

Special Thanks
David Cahn, Fairhaven College, Roger Gilman, Rosalinda Guillen, Kathy Hutchinson, Lanny Little, Teri McMurtry-Chubb, Mark Miller, Brian Nelson, Anna Preyapongpisan, Mary Elizabeth Quinn, Lambert Rochfort, Barbara Rofkar, Satpal Sidhu, Midori Takagi

Photos Courtesy of
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9123

Whatcom Museum of History & Art
Bellingham, WA 98225

Watch the film on-line

Present In All That We Do is available in three parts. Click the link below

Part 1
Present In All That We Do, Part 1


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