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Original Political T-Shirts

 

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Our Story

Christopher has been a local media activist in Minneapolis since the year 2000. He began his activist career while studying at the University of Minnesota, where he earned an undergraduate degree in political science. Volunteering with the Ralph Nader presidential campaign in 2000 helped open Christopher's eyes to problems with the mainstream media.* Media bias against Nader and other third party candidates who challenge the two party system goes a long way toward making such candidates "unelectable". Conveniently, after the mainstream media ignores or maligns these candidates to death, they then dub them unelectable.

Later in 2000, Christopher put on a film screening of the ground breaking documentary about the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization titled "This is What Democracy Looks Like" at the Bell Auditorium. The film deals with, among other things, the inaccurate and/or limited mainstream media coverage of the WTO protests. Most mainstream media went out of their way to justify the heavy handed, disproportionate actions of police at the WTO protests. Proceeds of the sold out screening were donated to the Twin Cities Independent Media Center (TC-IMC) to be used for starting an alternative newspaper. Christopher volunteered with the TC-IMC from 2000 to late 2003. He was also a cofounder of the Counter Propaganda Coalition (CPC), a media activism group which was spawned by a protest on October 30, 2002 at the offices of the Star Tribune. The paper was targeted for protest because of its horrible coverage, just days earlier, of the first big protest in Minnesota against the then impending war in Iraq.

Since September of 2001, Christopher has been designing and screen printing original political t-shirts. He initiated this counter propaganda t-shirt project in response to the blitzkrieg of racist, pro-war propaganda that hit the United States just after the September 11th attacks. The collective psyche of America was throbbing with the pain of loss and plastered with propaganda. Flag manufacturers were in 24 hour production mode, attacks against Muslims were rampant, and nationalist blather was on everything from television screens, bumper stickers, bus shelters and billboards to gas station signs, church bulletins and urinal screens. Suddenly, it wasn't enough to just yell at the television in defiance of lies, distortion and misinformation. Christopher was compelled to find an outlet of expression to help counter the propaganda being spread so thick. He chose t-shirts.

Simply put, wearing your point of view on your chest may be the easiest, most practical and legal way to express your opinions to people outside of the choir who often shun activists handing out flyers. Christopher's controversial t-shirts such as "Will Kill for Oil" (featured in Milton Glaser's 2005 book titled "The Design of Dissent") are a radically different take on current events than what you get from the mainstream media. He has twenty-two different t-shirt designs which address issues like racism, war and peace, civil liberties, abortion, media reform, gay rights, and more.

Christopher has sold his t-shirts at organized events like the Powderhorn Art Fair in Minneapolis (where he received the Spirit of the Powderhorn Community Award in 2005), and guerilla-style at many events such as the protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. While in New York City, Christopher also protested the war in Iraq, the Bush gang, and the Republican occupation of Manhattan. In the spirit of the protest he wore an improvised George W. Bush war crimial costume consisting of a bright orange Guantanamo-Bay-style prisoner jumpsuit, a George W. Bush mask, and the original cardboard Will Kill for Oil sign that was used to shoot the photograph which is printed on the Will Kill for Oil t-shirt. He wore this Bush costume in Minnesota at a protest or two as well.

In addition to printing his original counter propaganda t-shirts, Christopher also prints custom t-shirts and other clothing items for bands, political candidates, student groups and others. He prints on sweatshop free t-shirts and uses water-based ink (an indelible and less toxic alternative to the carcinogenic PVC-based plastisol ink which is used by most screen printers).