The United Liberation Front hosts movie night despite KCSO attempt to cancel

January 31, 2024 /

The United Liberation Front (ULF) released a statement regarding the attempt Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) made to stop ULF’s latest movie showing of “Gueto 2009,” a Spanish film depicting a Palestinian story, on January 26. The ULF, a pro-Palestinian activist group, held their gathering at a local studio in Kern County last Friday.

ULF is an organization that aims to encourage direct action and community mobilization to end the exploitation and marginalization of historically disenfranchised people globally. Now the ULF focuses on mobilizing individuals to act for a ceasefire in Gaza and liberation for Palestine.

The ULF said in their statement the event was organized to bring the Palestinian and Latino communities together in Kern County.

The ULF also said a few days before the movie showing, they were informed by an individual witness that the KCSO approached the studio owner in an intimidating attempt to stop the event from occurring. They allegedly pressured the owner to cancel the event and referred to the group as “dangerous people,” according to the statement.

A Kern Sol News reporter recently attended several events and demonstrations held by the ULF. During a caravan demonstration to raise awareness for Gaza, a Bakersfield Police Deputy approached the ULF and other demonstrators and mentioned that they had received complaints about the demonstrators being threatened. In contrast, there has been no known reports of illegal or harmful behavior by any individuals affiliated with ULF and the gatherings they organize.

Outside of KGET Newsroom in Bakersfield, CA photo courtesy by Haley Duval

“To be clear, we stand firm and resolute, unwavering in our determination to combat any attempts to be silenced or intimidated by law enforcement. Our commitment to uniting communities under the banner of liberation, solidarity, and justice is unyielding, and we will not be swayed by any external pressures or coercion,” the ULF said in their Instagram statement.

The ULF thanked the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) for their support of the open letter to KCSO, which acknowledged the wrongdoings made by KCSO against the activist group. It’s important to note that the physical communication exchanged is considered a violation of the ULF and the studio owner’s First Amendment rights.

The open letter quotes the 1995 Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia case ruling which stated, “It is axiomatic that the government may not regulate speech based on its substantive content or the message it conveys.”

In the future, it’s important for the ULF to feel safe on private property or during public events, and for the appropriate KCSO authorities to make apologies and also honor the ULF’s wishes to not have another peaceful event be patrolled. The open letter statement, which was signed by the ACLU and the DHF, can be found on the ULF social media pages and website.

According to the United Nations (UN) International Court of Justice (ICJ) Israel must immediately stop violence causing genocide and Israel is being ordered to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza immediately. The ICJ case South Africa brought on accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza will be ongoing and it’s currently unclear who will enforce these provisions.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has also been investigating Israel’s occupation in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem for as long as 2014. After growing tensions between the region’s nationalists led to an attack in October 2023 the ICC prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC made a statement to a crowd gathered at the Rafah Border Crossing weeks later.

“And there’s no denying that any right-minded person would agree that beyond that crossing, – and I had those pictures we see on the television around the world in my mind – beyond that crossing are innocent Palestinians, innocent children, boys and girls who should be at school, who should be playing in parks or playing football or playing with their friends, learning and studying and hoping to build a better future, hoping to cure the mistakes of this generation of leaders and our own shortcomings. And instead, they’re enduring unimaginable suffering,” Khan KC said.

Locally a federal court in California has taken on the case from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which is representing a Palestinian group named Defense for Children, and is accusing the United States President Joe Biden and other government officials of complicity during a genocide.

Kern Sol News observed that the community the ULF gathers cares deeply about the youth both abroad and in our hometown. All demonstrations, volunteer art-build meet-ups, protests, car caravans, and city council meetings have been participated in peacefully with hopes of engaging city officials.

Bakersfield, CA photo courtesy Dana Carrillo

The ULF organization attracts diverse individuals from a range of ages as young as elementary school age. So far the organization has partnered with other groups from California cities such as Los Angeles and Modesto.

Currently, ULF is calling for a ceasefire through a resolution that many volunteers want the city of Bakersfield to adopt. Individuals who promoted the resolution for a ceasefire attended the January 24th city council meeting and provided a public comment.

Residents who would like to get involved in the collective activism can check out the ULF’s website, call a city councilmember about adopting the ceasefire resolution, or follow the social media pages of journalists based in Gaza such as @Wizard_bisan1, @Motaz_azaiza, and @Wael_Eldahdouh.

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