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Rustbelt TV for Summer 2006
by Rustbelt TV, Pittsburgh IMC video collective Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006 at 8:38 PM (email address validated) 412-923-3000

Pittsburgh Indymedia presents a new edition of Rustbelt TV - news from the grassroots - featuring these stories and more: * Anti Sweatshop activists hold a carnival for workers rights during the All Star Game * Cyclists celebrate as they ride in Critical Mass, a monthly bike ride * Surviving in an Asian Megacity- a video about life in Jakarta * Prometheus Radio holds a station barnraising in Tennessee * Evo Morales is elected as the first Indigenous president in Latin America

video: ogg theora at 289.5 mebibytes

Rustbelt TV for Summer 2006

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An all new Rustbelt TV, from Pittsburgh Indymedia, is now available online! Also broadcast on PCTV (, Rustbelt TV is produced in collaboration with Pittsburgh IMC's award-winning show Rustbelt Radio.

The new program features several segments from local indymedia producers, as well as some great segments from elsewhere in the Indymedia network. To get involved, contact: or call 412-923-3000

Click on one of the links below to stream or download the whole hour of Independent TV!

Stream video: Dialup Broadband
Download video: MPEG4 (147MB) XviD (733MB) Ipod video mp4 (340MB) Ogg Theora/Vorbis (289MB)

Individual Video Segments:

(TV Show contents and script follow)


Welcome to Rustbelt Television, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's Television program featuring news from the grassroots, news overlooked by the corporate media. This is our premier show of the season. Rustbelt Television is produced in collaboration with Rustbelt Radio which airs live every Monday from 6-7pm on WRCT 88.3FM in Pittsburgh and can also be heard both on WRCT's live webstream at W-R-C-T dot ORG and for download, stream or podcast at radio dot I-N-D-Y-P-G-H dot org.

Coming up on today's show...

We turn now to local stories:


[2:30] Justice for Janitors

When 9 janitors at the Center City Towers in Downtown Pittsburgh unionized for healthcare and better wages in 2003, management responded by firing the janitors, who had been working there for years.

The building's management company replaced their union contractor with PF Enterprises, a non-union company that pays its part-time employees near minimum wage with no health care benefits

3 years later, the 9 janitors no longer have health insurance and cannot earn a living wage. Center City Towers, and Sky Bank, who holds the mortgage on the building, continue to be symbols of economic injustice in Pittsburgh.

For this reason, The Thomas Merton Center, the SEIU and Labor Solidarity, and other organizations gathered in front of the building to hold the first annual Justice Block Party.

Smithfield Street was transformed from just another intersection of corporate buildings and office workers to a lively community street fair.

During the event, many local organizations gathered to provide free information to the public, and create a space to unite and celebrate the struggles going on in the Pittsburgh region. We will now see footage of the day's events.

[5:00] All Star Week

On Tuesday July 11th, Pittsburgh was home to the 2006 All Star game. The city prepared for the influx of tourists and its place in the national spotlight by installing a 1 million dollar robotic video surveillance network for downtown and Oakland, purchasing new K-9 units, patrol cars, and crowd control equipment. The city's Redd up Campaign involved boarding up abandoned buildings, removing graffiti, towing cars, cleaning up abandoned lots, and displacing homeless people from their normal gathering places on the Northside and Downtown.

The Pittsburgh City Paper reported that 54 law enforcement agencies came together during All Star week, including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, police departments as far away as Erie and Beaver Country, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The city of Pittsburgh went to these lengths for the estimated 25,000 fans and tourists who came to the city to watch baseball and eat 50,000 hot dogs.

While many Pittsburghers were excited for the game to come to town, others were disappointed with the civil rights violations that came along with it.

The city's homeless population felt the pressure of the City's Redd Up campaign. Many chose to seek refuge in temporary shelters that opened specifically during all star week.

At the request of the city and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, The United Church of Christ on Smithfield Street downtown, which is normally a shelter only on cold winter nights, opened its doors as a temporary shelter for homeless people from Friday the 7th until Wednesday the 12th. Approximately 75 to 100 people slept there each night, and even more came to receive a free meal at breakfast and lunch time.

Concern for Pittsburgh's homeless population was not the only issue that was swept under the rug in anticipation of the big game.

Workers rights and human rights were also not a central theme of All Star week, however, some Pirates fans combined their enthusiasm for the sport, with a global consciousness for the workers who sew major league baseball apparel. For the past four years, the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance, or PASCA, have been bringing attention to the sweatshop conditions that Pirate's apparel are made in. They have been calling on the City of Pittsburgh and the Pirates to go sweatfree, and purchase products that were made in fair working conditions.

The members of PASCA recently introduced a new resolution to City Council entitled "We are a Global Family Anti Sweatshop Resolution". This resolution calls for the Pittsburgh Pirates to promote the 'academic standard' for sweatshop accountability to Major League Baseball. The academic standard includes compliance with international fair labor standards, living wages, public disclosure of factory locations, independent monitoring of factories, and fair prices for factory products. On the morning of the big game, the Pittsburgh City Council passed the resolution which urges quote "companies and organizations that...have benefited from the continuous support of this behave in a way...consistent with the morals and values of the people who provided them with the opportunity to succeed."

In the evening, at the start of the game PASCA held a rally at Freedom Square in the Hill District followed by a march to PNC Park in order to put further pressure on the Pirates and major league baseball to end sweatshop abuses in the production of baseball apparel.

[9:00] Critical Mass

Critical Mass is a group bike ride that takes place in cities across the world on the last Friday of every month. Anyone with a bicycle is invited to show up and participate in the ride, which is a celebration of bicycles as an alternative to cars. On Friday, June 30, Pittsburgh saw a massive Critical Mass ride, which coincided with Pittsburgh's Bikefest 2006. Bikefest 2006 was a week and a half of events meant to both raise awareness of the bike as a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get around, and to highlight some of the interesting things Pittsburgh has to offer.

The following video shows some of the highlights from the Critical Mass bike ride. It began, as always, at the dinosaur next to the Carnegie Library on Forbes Ave. in Oakland, and ended with a fundraising party at Free Ride, a non-profit recycle-a-bike shop in Point Breeze. The party featured food, drinks, and music spun by local DJ's.

[3:00] Regatta

On July 1st through 4th, Point State Park was the setting for the annual Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta. This festival was billed as a space where families could "enjoy live music, water activities, a large Children's Village, great food and much more." According to organizers the Regatta is the region's largest community event and the largest inland regatta in the United States and attracts over 400,000 each year. From McDonalds to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the Regatta had many corporate sponsors, as one might expect. But also sponsoring were the U.S. Army and Navy--who had a set up a F/A-18 Flight Simulator and a Navy Seal Dive tank.

On the first day of the Regatta, several members of Pittsburgh Organizing Group attended the festival to challenge the highly visible presence of the army and navy recruiters amidst the inflatable toys, games and so-called fun events.

Global stories

[5:30] Surviving in an Asian Megacity

With a population of over 10 million, Indonesia's capital Jakarta is one of Asia's mega-cities. Like similar cities, there is increasing tension between an expanding elite population and a growing urban poor. The mayor of Jakarta has a solution to this problem - evict the urban poor. This next video, from the Oceania Indymedia newsreel, looks at life in three poor communities in Jakarta, highlighting their strategies for survival in very uncertain times. Thanks to Robert Wyrod for producing this piece for Indymedia.

[4:00] New Orleans Public Housing

Late last year In New Orleans, housing rights advocates marched in support of the Iberville Projects on Basin St. and New Orleans residents' right to return home after the hurricanes, especially residents of public housing. With 80% of the city flooded from hurricanes Katrina & Rita, and over a million Gulf South residents dislocated from their lives, the housing shortage, rapidly rising rents, and lack of sustainable government supports are just some obstacles faced by many thousands of people who wish to return to their homes and rebuild their lives. An epidemic of evictions, many illegal, swept the New Orleans area, worsening the housing problem.

Although less than 20% of New Orleans residents were back in town at that time, dozens marched from the Iberville housing project near the French Quarter down Canal Street. This next segment is brought to you by Mary Beth Black and the New Orleans True Video collective.

[13:30] Prometheus Radio Barnraising

The Prometheus Radio Project has been working for a free, diverse, and democratic media since 1998, when the organization was founded by a group of low power radio activists. Since then Prometheus Radio Project has set up low power FM (or LPFM) radio stations around the US and around the world, and has sucessfully sued the FCC to stop corporate media consolidation.

Our next segment is from a Prometheus radio barnraising in Nashville, Tennessee, entitled "Low Power to the People."

That was Prometheus Radio Project's radio barnraising in Nashville, Tennessee. They will be visiting Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania this year, to work with our communities on community wireless internet, low-power FM, and other media democracy issues. To organize an event or meeting in your community, or to get in touch with Prometheus, call 215-727-9620 or email

[11:00] Morales Inauguration in Bolivia

In December 2005 the Bolvian People elected Latin America’s first indigenous president Evo Morales. Evo Morales an Aymara Indian, Coca grower and former Union Leader, with his party (MAS) the Movement Towards Socialism, won 54 percent of the popular vote.

Morales's official transmission into power took place on January 21st and 22nd in Tiwanacu a sacred site of the Aymara Indians and in Plaza San Francisco in Bolivia’s Capital La Paz.

Andalusia Knoll attended the inaurgation festivities and brings us this report.

Since his inauguration Evo Morales has implemented major changes for the state of Bolivia. On May 1st he declared that he would nationalize the countries oil gas reserves and he also implemented some land reform measures. Morales and Vice President Linera have continued to affirm their devotion to ending neoliberalism in Bolivia by creating a “economy of solidarity” A cornerstone of this new economy is the People’s Trade Agreement which was recently passed to encourage sustainable development and allow the people to have more control of the economy as opposed to the typical neoliberal model in which corporations hold the power. On July 2nd. Representatives from social movements, indigenous groups and other public sectors were elected for the constituent assembly and are currently in the process of rewriting the constitution. For more information about bolivian politics you can go to,, and


Thanks for tuning in to Rust Belt Television here on PCTV

Our hosts this week are Anitra and Andalusia with contributions from David Meiran, Rob Cullen, Matt Toups, Ron Douglas, Mary Beth Black, Robert Wyrod, Jorge Ocsa Laime, Marco Arnez Cuellar. Special thanks to all of our hosts, producers, and contributors.

You can get involved with Rustbelt Television! To contact us, or to send us your comments email video at I-N-D-Y-P-G-H dot ORG.

We are a new project in search of filmmakers, reporters, and those with a commitment to independent media. This year we will be hosting a series of video and radio editing trainings. If you are interested contact us at (412) 923-3000 or e-mail to find out more information You can find some of these video segments at the website of the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's website pittsburgh dot indymedia dot org. To listen to Rustbelt Radio tune in Monday Nights at 6PM and Tuesday Mornings at 9AM on WRCT 88.3FM, and Saturdays at 5PM on WPTS 92.1FM.

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Congratulations! Tim Vining Sunday, Sep. 03, 2006 at 11:32 PM
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