Rustbelt Radio for December 4, 2006
Welcome to this week's edition of Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of the news from the grassroots, news overlooked by the corporate media.
On today's show...
- Radical magazine Clamor calls it quits in the face of financial difficulties
- The annual demonstration at the School of the Americas draws over 20,000 supporters
- An interview with a Guyasuta fellow about how to improve transportation in our region
- plus more stories on casinos, Oaxaca, and Cameroon in our local and global headlines
Rustbelt Radio airs live every Monday from 6-7 PM on WRCT 88.3 FM in Pittsburgh, PA, and again on Tuesday mornings 9-10 AM. We're also on Pacifica affiliate WVJW Benwood, 94.1 FM in the Wheeling, West Virginia area, on Thursdays from 6-7 PM. And we can be heard on WPTS, 92.1 FM from the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, Saturday mornings from 9-10 AM.
We're also available on the internet, 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.
We turn now to local headlines.
[3:00] Pamela Lawton Update
On Thursday November 30th, Pamela Lawton appeared at Pittsburgh’s Municipal Court for the second time since being charged with disorderly conduct during a traffic incident this summer. Accompanied by about 30 concerned community members, Ms. Lawton attended this preliminary hearing where it was decided that her case would go to trial at a later date.
Police Officer Eric Tatsuko had stopped Pamela Lawton on Aug. 26 at the intersection of Kentucky and Negley avenue for an expired inspection sticker on her car. Lawton and her supporters are saying that during this traffic stop Officer Tatsuko threatened the children in Lawton's car with a gun and threatened to shoot. At the preliminary hearing officer Tatsuko testified that he did approach the car with his hand on his holster and eventually pulled his gun but held it at the ground and never in the face of the child or towards the car. Lieutenant Cindy Windsor, who arrived on the scene shortely thereafter said she attempteed to calm Ms. Lawton down for fifteen minutes and finally told her that if, “she didn’t quiet down she was going to call Child and Youth Services.” The prosecutors claim that Ms. Lawton was acting belligerent and suspicious and feared that she was going to pull a gun. Ms. Lawton claims that the officer refused to come over to the drivers side of the car, was aggressively shouting orders causing the children to be afraid, and pulled his gun out and pointed it in the car.
Both Tatsuko and Lawton claim that the other was being loud and aggressive. The prosecution also added an additional charge against Lawton claiming that the children were improperly belted in the car. The defense stated that the child in question was 7 years of age and was properly restrained according to Pennsylvania code.
Paradise Gray, a Community Leader, stood in support with Ms. Lawton at her hearing and described the court proceedings as "business as usual"
Gray said Lawton's supporters give him some hope.
Pamela's Lawton will appear again in court on February 22.
[4:00] Dr. Goddess Cease and Desist
Mark Stewart of the WolfBlock law firm in Harrisburg, PA, representing The Isle of Capri Pittsburgh and Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. (IOC) has sent Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D. a/k/a Dr. Goddess a "cease and desist" letter, and threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against her. Kimberly Ellis, a Hill District resident who has been organizing the "Raise your Hand: No Casino on the Hill" campaign describes the letter.
In the "cease and desist" letter the WolfBlock Law firm referenced a letter that Dr. Godess had sent to City Council member Bill Peduto and other politicians urging them to reconsider their support for the casino. Ellis's letter had referred to a riverboat casino that Isle of Capri had proposed several years ago in Kimmswick, Missouri. In her letter she said that Isle of Capri's license had been revoked but in reality it had not been granted in the first place.
In the Tribune Review Les McMackin, spokesman for Isle of Capri, said the "cease and desist" letter was (quote) "not intended to stifle debate about the proposed casino." but instead to (quote) " stop the dissemination of information that was inaccurate and misleading about how our company does business." Councilman Bill Peduto did not respond to Rustbelt Radio's request for comment.
Kimberly Ellis recognized that her letter contained a factual error, but said that it was a mere mistake and she had not included it to slander the Isle of Capri Casinos. She feels that there is a larger issue at the heart of this cease and desist letter and says that these threats will not stop her campaign.
: kimlawsuit2.ogg 1:10
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control board will decide who they will grant their license to on December 20th. Kimberly Ellis will be hosting a rally against the proposed casino on December 16th in the Hill District.
[2:30] Pog Police Behavior
On Nov. 28th Pittsburgh Organizing Group held its 43rd picket at a military recruiting station in Oakland. Many of these pickets have been met with a strong police presence, particularly one incident where activists were tased and a woman was bitten by a police dog. During this picket POG members say that police abuse took the form of verbal harassment and allege that the cops made homophobic, sexist and various other inappropriate comments. Ryan from POG describes the picket:
For more on local news, you can visit pittsburgh dot I-N-D-Y-M-E-D-I-A dot org.
[ HMB BREAK RUSTBELT - 0:20 (fades down 0:10 in to start global intro) ]
You are listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news overlooked by the corporate media. We turn now to news from other independent media sources around the world.
[3:30] Oaxaca Update - Fall of 'Radio APPO'
The last weekend of November was marked by another clash between Federal police and the people of Oaxaca, Mexico. Federal Police entered and occupied the city on October 28 of this year.
What was supposed to be a peaceful eight-mile march on Saturday, November 25 from the offices of Governor Ulises Ruiz to the Oaxaca City Center, ended in violent confrontations and a five hour battle between police and protesters.
Two hundred arrests were made over the weekend. Fifty people have been reported missing, and are believed to be ‘disappeared’ by the federal police and paramilitaries. There are allegations of torture and sexual abuse of arrestees.
The Oaxacan People’s Popular Assembly, known by the acronym ‘APPO’ surrendered the University owned radio station “Radio Universidad”, which has come to be known as “Radio APPO”, at four p.m. on Wednesday, November 29, the day after the Federal Preventive Police entered the Benito Juarez Autonomous University in Oaxaca and took over a barricade called ‘Cinco SeĂ±ores.’
Cinco SeĂ±ores was the last line of defense for the radio station. Without the protection from this barricade, it was only a matter of time before the PFP entered the University to attack Radio APPO. With this in mind, the APPO surrendered the radio station to University officials.
The radio was an integral part of communication and coordination for the movement in Oaxaca. The APPO used the station for announcements, news, commentary, music, and as a forum in which to organize and distribute information.
Bertha Elena MuĂ±oz, nicknamed “La Doctora”, was one of the principal broadcasters for Radio Universidad. The struggle for social justice is nothing new to her; she was a first year medical student in Mexico City during the 1968 student massacre. In an interview, she was asked about the importance of radio for the movement. In her reply, she said [quote]
The radio has served as a point of union among the different actors in the movement. Besides that it has also served as the voice of the people, because people talk and they denounce [what’s happening]. For the first time there is a space where we can denounce what’s wrong, where the people can say what they feel, and where they have the freedom to speak. The radio broadcasts the agreements of the APPO and serves as a space to analyze the problem of Oaxaca from various points of view: from the indigenous perspective, cultural perspectives, from the perspective of healthcare- there are many messages to broadcast.
On one of the last days of broadcast for “Radio APPO,” November 26, Radio Universidad reported that three people who were not (quote) murderers or drug traffickers (end quote) but members of the movement were killed by police. In reference to the police, the announcer asked the sub-Secretary of Governance; “??What were they doing??”
We bring you a segment of that broadcast:
[1:20] Cameroon Forces Slay Ambazonian Students Again
Cameroon Forces opened fire on striking students at the University of Buea-Ambazonia (UB) leaving two dead and three injured. The students had been protesting university corruption, a tuition increase and the lack of basic amenities like drinking fountains; as well as fighting for the right to operate a Student Union on campus.
On November 27th, 2006 students began their strike after it was revealed that Cameroon Officials in the Ministry of Higher Education had fixed the results of an entrance exam to the newly opened Faculty of Medicine at UB.
On the third day of the strike, November 29th, the Pro-Chancellor Peter Agbor Tabi ordered the students to call off their protests and when they refused, he called in the police. The Police arrived at the demonstration and began firing tear-gas at the students who responded by throwing stones. The police then increased their use of force and fired live ammunition that killed the two students Yufani and Abiadong.
This is not the first time that such violence has sparked at UB. Just last year three students were murdered at a similar protest of a tuition hike.
The students say they are determined to continue the strike unless the results are changed for the entrance exam. They are also demanding a publication of the findings of the Presidential Commission that was supposedly investigating the death of the students who died last year.
[2:00] Leftist Rafael Correa wins in Ecuador
On November 26, Ecuador held the final round of presidential voting, and leftist candidate Rafael Correa won resoundingly by more than 15 percentage points over opponent Alvaro Noboa. Noboa, a banana tycoon who is the richest person in Ecuador, had campaigned on advancing the economy through neoliberal policies and close ties with the United States. Correa is a 46 year old economics PhD who rose from obscurity during the campaign on a platform of governmental reform, opposition to neoliberal economic policies, and ties with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The election results solidly demonstrate popular opposition to neoliberal policies in Ecuador. Correa opposes the signing of free trade agreements with the US, and also wants to renegociate foreign debt and expel the World Bank representative from the country. Another major campaign promise was to convene a Constitutional Assembly, for reform of the government based on popular input. This is similar to the process that Evo Morales has initiated in Bolivia.
Forty percent of Ecuador's population is of indigenous origin, and support of the indigenous organization Pachakutik was critical for Correa, who speaks Quechua (ke- chew-ah) and spent a year in his youth as a teacher in indigenous communities.
The election also reflects the split in Latin American between allies of the U.S. and a block of various leftist leaders of whom Hugo Chavez is the most outspoken. During the election Noboa repeatedly disparaged Correa's association with Chavez, even stating that (quote) the Chavez-Correa duo has played dirty in an effort to conquer Ecuador and submit it to slavery (endquote). Correa, for his part, openly disparaged President Bush, saying that (quote) Calling Bush the devil offends the devil. Bush is a tremendously dimwitted President who has done great damage to the world. (endquote).
Ecuador is the second largest South American exporter of crude oil to the U.S., and hosts the only U.S.military base in Latin America. Correa has promised to renegociate agreements with petroleum companies operating in Ecuador for more favorable terms, and has also said he will not renew the agreement granting the U.S. permission to operate the Manta military base when it expires in 2009.
The recent victories of Alan Garcia in Peru and Alvaro Uribe Perez in Columbia have signaled that the leadership of those counties will continue alliance with the United States. Correa joins Nestor Kirchner in Argentina, Michele Bachelet in Chile, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva in Brazil, and Tabare Vasquez in Uruguay to grow the field of leftist leadership in Latin America.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
SOA annual demonstration [13:30]
On the weekend of November 17th, an estimated 22,000 people gathered at the gates of Fort Benning in Georgia to demand justice, accountability and the closing of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, more commonly referred to as the School of the Americas, whose over 60,000 Latin American soldier graduates are known for committing horrible human rights violations.
This annual demonstration, starting as a reaction to the killing of 8 people in El Salvador by SOA graduates on November 16, 1989, drew its most people yet to make it the largest demonstration to happen at a U.S. military base since the Vietnam War. There were speeches, music, information and merchandise booths from all over the country, workshops, a solemn and powerful vigil to remember those who were victims of SOA graduates’ crimes, a sense of hope and dancing. Not only was the focus on the SOA, but also on many events happening around the world especially relating to US foreign policy and its negative effect in the global community, demonstrated by this clip:
- [SOA_1st_part]]: 9:00 min
Edith Wilson, a Pittsburgh community member who is heavily involved with the Thomas Merton Center and has been attending the annual SOA demonstration for several years, speaks to us about what Pittsburghers can do:
- [SOA_2nd_part_edith.wav]]: 3:00 min
Clamor, Left Turn, and Radical Magazines [11:00]
Based in the Rustbelt city of Toledo, Ohio, the magazine Clamor has for seven years offered readers a steady alternative to the predictable mainstream glossy: a lively bimonthly collection of interviews, investigative articles, critical essays on art and music, and photographs, all from radical perspectives. Clamor Magazine's projects included a music festival and the Allied Media Conference, an annual convergence of grassroots media activists held in Bowling Green, Ohio, in years past. Last week, on November 29th, following 7 years and 38 issues of publication, the publishers of Clamor announced that Clamor Magazine will no longer be in print. The announcement followed years of severe financial strain in the midst of thriving creative output.
To find out more about Clamor's history and the future of radical magazines, we spoke to Jen Angel, Clamor co-founder and publisher, and Jordan Flaherty, editor of Left Turn magazine.
We asked Jen how Clamor got its name:
We also asked Jen about Do It Yourself culture:
Jen told us about some of Clamor's most memorable stories:
In Clamor's 38 issue run, over 1000 artists and writers were featured in print. Jen told us why:
Among other traits that made it different from many radical magazines, Clamor was published in the Midwest. Jen talked about the importance of geographical place to her work as a co-publisher of Clamor:
Jen discussed the future of Clamor's projects:
: Continuing Projects
Among Clamor's friends in the world of grassroots media are Left Turn: Notes from the Global Intifada, a magazine cited as a favorite by Jen Angel of Clamor Magazine. Left Turn is written and published by a national volunteer network of activists.
Here's Jordan Flaherty, Left Turn editor, with reactions to news of Clamor ending publication:
: Jordan on Clamor
Clamor is known as a place where many writers got their start. Jordan talked about how people interested in radical magazines and radical media projects can get involved:
: Jordan: How to Get Involved
To check out selections from back issues of Clamor, you can visit www.clamormagazine.org. Stay tuned to future editions of Rustbelt Radio for news on the 2007 Allied Media Conference in Detroit, Michigan.
Guyasuta Transportation Interview [10:30]
The Guyasuta Fellowship is a yearly program initiated by Pittsburgh city councilmen Bill Peduto, where a volunteer group of Pittsburghers embarks on an intensive study of a policy issue important to our region's future. This year's group included about 60 people, who focused on improving transportation. Rustbelt Radio correspondant Jessica McPherson spoke with Andrew Ellsworth, one of the fellows, about the group's findings:
* guyasuta.ogg [10:00]
That was Andrew Ellsworth, a participant in the 2006 Guyasuta Fellowship, on the group's findings concerning transportation.
Calendar of Events
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
- On Wednesday, December 6th Colin Powell will lecture at Heinz Hall. Join Black Voices for Peace and The Black Radical Congress to protest the lecture. The groups will gather at 7:00 P.M. Heinz Hall is located at Sixth & Penn Avenues downtown. For more information contact bvfppgh @hotmail.com
- On Thursday the 7th, CMU Professor Johanna Fernandez will speak at the University of Pittsburgh. She will discuss the Young Lords, Black Panthers, and the Social and Economic Roots of Late Sixties Radicalism. This lecture takes place from noon to 1:30 at 2431 Posvar Hall in Oakland, across the lawn from the Carnegie Library Main Branch.
- Friday December 8th Voices for Animals will screen the film "Escape from Affluenza." This movie will highlight ways to reduce consumption and waste in America. FREE vegan food will be provided. This event will take place at 7pm at Dining Room A of the William Pitt Union, on Bigelow Boulevard between Forbes Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
- Saturday, December 9th at 7pm, join Democracy Now! correspondent Ana Nogueira and Redux Pictures photojournalist Andrew Stern Report as they report on Being in Southern Lebanon during the War. The Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee will present this event at the First Unitarian Church at 640 Morewood Ave in Shadyside, Ellsworth Avenue and also the following day at 1 pm at St. George's Syrian Orthodox Church located in Oakland at 3400 Dawson St, near the intersection of Dawson Street and Boulevard of the Allies.
- The Faces of Democracy film fest continues at CMU and throughout other locations in Pittsburgh. Log on to www.cmu.edu/faces for more information.
[ Outro Music ]
Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WVJW Benwood and WPTS Pittsburgh.
Our hosts this week are Carlin Christy and Matt Toups with contributions from Vani Natarajan, Lizzie Andersen, Andalusia Knoll, Etta Cetera, Jessica McPherson, and Diane Amdor. This week's show was produced by Donald Deeley. Special thanks to all of our hosts, producers, and contributors.
You can get involved with Rustbelt Radio! To contact us, or to send us your comments, email RADIO at I-N-D-Y-P-G-H dot ORG. All of our shows are available for download or podcast on our website at RADIO dot INDY-P-G-H dot ORG and this show can be heard again Tuesday morning on WRCT at 9 AM after Democracy Now!
Tune in next week at this time for another edition of Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
Rustbelt Radio for December 4, 2006 (ogg vorbis)
by Indymedia Rustbelt Radio collective
Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2006 at 12:01 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org 412-923-3000 WRCT 88.3 FM
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