Friday, August 4 marks the 40th anniversary of the International Hotel (I-Hotel) evictions of mostly elder Filipino Americans, manongs, in San Francisco. The Manilatown Heritage Foundation is hosting an event including speakers and a screening of the documentary, Fall of the I-Hotel, with director Curtis Choy in attendance. An early version of the film screened at the inaugural CAAM film festival in 1982.
Writer and community activist Tony Robles, and nephew of poet Al Robles will share opening remarks. He shared this on FB (excerpted):
“The dream of the manong came to a halt on a morning when our elders were evicted from the I-Hotel 40 years ago. But the manong spirit, which is our spirit, did not die; we did not forget their struggle for dignity, for their struggle to remember. The real estate speculators, short term rental companies, realtors and the interests they serve want to erase the memory of the I-Hotel. To them, it is blight. There are some within our own community who are ashamed of what the I-Hotel stood for. To them, i say, LONG LIVE THE I-HOTEL! May we never forget, may we continue to fight against the death of spirit and death of community that is being imposed on us. We can’t afford not to.”
CAAM presented a special screening of Fall of the I-Hotel back in March during CAAMFest 2017, co-presented by the Manilatown Heritage Foundation.