Making The River : LATEST EVENTS

February 21, 2008

Benefit Screening March 20, 2008


A benefit screening for Bill Wilson Center, a non-profit organization providing comprehensive services for at-risk youth, including counseling, living skills training, job readiness, housing assistance, health education. The Bill Wilson Center teaches youth in foster care the skills they need to become self-sufficient. Youth who are raised in group homes or foster care “age out” of the system at 18 regardless of whether they have a job, money, or the skills needed to be independent. Many end up on the streets and homeless.

Camera 12 Cinema
201 S. 2nd Street • downtown San Jose • Thursday, March 20
5:45pm: Catered Reception • 7:00pm: Film and Q & A
Tickets are $45

Please contact Judy Whittier, Director of Community Resources for ticket information or call (408) 850-6132

MAKING THE RIVER is the story of Native American Jimi Simmons who, along with his brother George, was charged with murdering a guard in Washington State’s Walla Walla prison. George was guilty. Jimi was innocent. The film chronicles Jimi’s quest for civil and religious rights, justice and freedom and the people who helped him along the way.

In 1954, when Jimi was only seventeen months old the US government dissolved his tribe, his family was torn apart and Jimi became a ward of the state, moving from orphanages, to foster homes, to juvenile detention and state correctional facilities.

In 1979, Jimi and his brother George were serving a sentence at Walla Walla prison for assault and robbery. There began a series of events, which led to the longest prison lock-down in Washington State history and first degree murder charges that were brought against Jimi and his brother George Simmons for the death of the prison guard.

George Simmons was tried first and was found guilty and eventually committed suicide.
When it was Jimi’s turn, he was appointed an attorney who had never defended a felony case. Faced with almost insurmountable odds that he would be convicted and executed, the defense team was formed. In 1981, after spending two and a half years in solitary confinement, Jimi was tried and acquitted of first-degree murder.

Featured in the film are key people who helped Jimi find justice. Included are Karen Rudolph, a San Jose native and feminist grassroots activist, who organized Jimi’s defense committee and became his wife in 1987 and Leonard Weinglass, a prominent social justice attorney and civil rights activist, who defended him. Weinglass is also known for having defended Angela Davis, Daniel Ellesberg and Tom Hayden, to name a few.


  1. Three cheers to Jimi for all of his work giving back to the community.

    Comment by Pat Song — March 3, 2008 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  2. Jimi and Family,

    Good to see another film out about an important topic. Right now there is a flyer in my front lawn about a benefit event to help foster children (we get about 10 or 20,000 cars by our house each day).

    If you get a chance check out what is happening on the Longest Walk 2, at People are posting issues under the Voices tab if they are walkers or under the [Public] Forums tab. Another website that covers the walkers on the North Route is the website and the website for live streaming radio and also recorded audio/interviews. LONGEST WALK 2 walkers left Alcatraz/San Francisco February 11, and after five months will be in Washington DC on July 11. Walking two routes a North Route and a South Route (main Route that Dennis Banks

    Comment by twodogkd — April 9, 2008 @ 10:02 am | Reply

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