On this week's show...
* Plans for the City of Pittsburgh to divest from Sudan
* Interviews from Copenhagen, Denmark, where an autonomous social center was raided and demolished.
* An interview with Faith Pennick, the director of the film "Silent Choices," on Black Women and Reproductive Justice
* More local and global headlines
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...
Plans for the City of Pittsburgh to divest from Sudan
Interviews from Copenhagen, Denmark, where an autonomous social center was raided and demolished.
An interview with Faith Pennick, the director of the film "Silent Choices," on Black Women and Reproductive Justice
More 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're on at a new time on WPTS - 10-11AM on Wednesday mornings on 92.1 FM from the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
[3:30] Pittsburgh, Darfur divestment
At the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition's, or PDEC's (pronounced "P Deck") luncheon on Feb. 21, Ruth Messinger, executive director of the American Jewish World Association, said (quote) Pittsburgh is the leader in the effort to respond to the needs of the people of Darfur (end quote). Examples of this effort include rallying and great involvement in a poastcard campaign aimed at raising awareness, but also include local city government action.
According to a PDEC press release, on March 8 (quote) the Board of Directors of the City of Pittsburgh Comprehensive Municipal Pension Trust Fund instructed fund managers to divest from a company doing business in Sudan. Fund managers will immediately divest $385,000 from Schlumberger, a global energy company with operations in 80 countries (end quote).
Amy Langham, Executive Director of Global Solutions Pittsburgh, a member of the PDEC, had this to say about the recent City Council action:
Langham speaks on the importance of divestment, and how this local action has a global effect:
Councilman William Peduto, sponsor of the Sudan Divestment Resolution passed last October, says (quote) One percent or two percent will have no bearing on our pension fund, but it will have a definite impact when we say as another American city that we are not willing to use any of our tax dollars to invest in the blood that is being spilled (end quote).
PDEC will host a rally in Pittsburgh next month. Amy Langham:
For more information on the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, visit www.pittsburghdarfur.org.
[3:30] Transit Rally
Wednesday, March Seventh, the 'Stop the Bus Cuts' campaign held a rally and press conference at County Executive Dan Onorato's office. Rachel Canning, of the SEIU:
The principal organizers of the 'Stop the Bus Cuts' campaign are the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, the Service Employees International Union and Unite Here, the League of Young Voters, Save our Transit, and ACORN. The campaign is open to anyone who wants to get involved.
That was Rachel Canning, of the SEIU and the Stop the Bus Cuts campaign.
[3:00] Word on the Street
Rustbelt Radio brings you 'Word on the Street'
word on the street (2:35)
That was this week's edition of 'Word on the Street.'
For more on local news, you can visit pittsburgh dot I-N-D-Y-M-E-D-I-A dot org.
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.
[3:45] Sedition Books Arson
On February twenty sixth, between three and four AM, the Houston, Texas radical bookstore and lending library 'Sedition Books' burned down. The store had been open a little over a year. The two resident members asleep inside the Sedition Books building made it out alive, along with a cat. Houston Police Department Investigators confirmed the fire was deliberate.
More on the arson of Sedition Books from Houston Indymedia:
Collective members of Sedition Books continue to look for a new space for the infoshop. To support, contact Sedition Books at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[1:20] Guatemalan opposition to Bush visit
On Sunday, March 11, Guatemalan organizations took to the streets of Guatemala City and Cobán, Alta Verapaz to demonstrate their indignation at the economic and war policies of President Bush, during his tour of Latin America. The march was made up of over two thousand people belonging to various social, campesino, women, youth, student and human rights organizations.
Bush's tour comes about two weeks before the twenty-fifth anniversary of the coup d’état that brought to power General Efraín Ríos Montt. Montt seized power from his predecessor, President Romeo Lucas García, on March 23, 1982. During the reigns of these two leaders, more than one hundred thirty-two thousand civilians were killed. Montt was trained at the School of the Americas, and received explicit support from US President Ronald Reagan.
Bush was met by protests throughout Latin America because of opposition to US trade and immigration policies that continue to exasperate poverty in the region, forcing people to leave their families, cultures, and homeland in search of work. The tour has made stops in Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Guatemala, and will end this week in Mexico.
[6:30] Justice For Scotts
Miami, Florida is suffering from an affordable housing crisis, as the city has been deluged with high-end housing and condo development coupled with the destruction of public housing. In response, residents and activists have launched campaigns demanding affordable housing and were recently victorious in the "Justice for Scotts" campaign concerning the reconstruction of the Scott Carver Housing Projects. Gihan Perera, Executive Director, of the Miami Workers Center, one of the organziations active with the campaign, outlines the history of the Scott Carver Housing Projects.
That was Gihan Perera with the Miami Workers Center. For more information on the Justice for Scotts campaign and for additional information about the fight for affordable housing in Southern Florida visit theworkerscenter.org
seattle hip hop (3:00)
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
The eviction of a youth center in Copenhagen has fueled international protests last week. The center, called Umgdonhuset, had been in operation since 1982, when it was given to autonomists from the squatter movement as a political compromise. It was the last anarchist-run social center in Denmark and the only autonomous space besides the zone called Christiana, which is also under attack by the current government. In 1999 the city council reneged on their agreement with the squatters and decided to sell the space for profit. In 2001, the fundamentalist Christian sect Faderhuset bought the space. The sale was challenged in court and last year a judge ruled against the youth center, allowing the eviction to go forward. Last Monday the activists occupying the house were evicted by the Danish Anti-Terror squad, which triggered massive protests in Denmark and solidarity actions throughout Europe. Jay, who was inside the building at the time of the eviction, describes what happened:
The eviction of Ungdomshuset led to widespread demonstrations and clashes with police over the course of several days. Ditte, a Danish activist, describes the situation on the streets following the eviction.
The street clashes led to over 600 arrests, raids of social centers in Denmark and Sweden, and deportations of non-Danish people. Ditte describes the raids that occurred in Denmark:
Danish media and the police blamed foreigners as the cause of the disturbances. Hannes, a German activist, explains the treatment of foreigners in the media, in Copenhagen, and at the Danish border.
Jay, arrested as a foreigner in Ungdomshuset during the eviction, describes the procedure he underwent through the Danish legal system.
The eviction of Ungdomshuset, despite community and international support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, is seen by many as part of a larger attack against autonomous spaces throughout Europe, and resulted in solidarity actions being held all throughout Europe, including the occupation of the Danish consulates in Venice, Milan, Oslo, and Bergen. Hannes describes the history and current situation of squatters in Northern Europe:
The youth center was housed in a 110 year old building with an impressive history. Built for the Danish labor movement in 1897, it was there that the first International Woman's Day was declared on March 8th of 1910. A supermarket chain plotted its destruction in the 1970s, but it was saved when the city protected it as a historic building. It had been a haven for underground culture, live music, and cinema since the 1980s. Jay describes the breakdown in the negotiations between the activists trying to save the youth center and the Danish government.
Following the eviction and demonstrations, the Christian group rushed to begin demolition of Ungdomshuset while activists in Denmark plan their response to the loss of this cultural center. Ditte describes this situation:
The spokeswoman for the Christian group that ordered the demolition declined to reveal the group's plans for the site.
To get more information about the situation in Denmark, visit www.indymedia.org. Danish prisoners can be reached through ABC Copenhagen, www.blackcross.dk.
[14:30] Black Women and Reproductive Justice
* lastsilentchoices.mp3: THE VERY FINAL VERSION SILENT CHOICES FEATURE
Faith plans to release "Silent Choices" on DVD later this year. Meanwhile, on Saturday April 21, New Voices Pittsburgh will host a Reproductive Justice 101 Training, with a location to be announced. To find out more about New Voices Pittsburgh, email email@example.com, or call 412-361-3022.
Calendar of Events
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
Tonight, from 6:30 onward, the Thomas Merton Center celebrates its 35th birthday at 5125 Penn Avenue in Garfield. The event is open to the public.
On Wednesday March 14th, from noon to 1:30 PM, Kathryn Neckerman, Associate Director of the Columbia University Institute for Social and Economic Research Policy, will speak on The Time Tax: Race and Spatial Equity in New York City. The event will take place in the School of Social Work Conference Center, in the Cathedral of Learning Room 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh. For more information call 412-624-7382, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday March 15th, from noon to 1:30 PM, Save Our Transit will picket against proposed Port Authority service cuts at the Port Authority headquarters, 345 Sixth Avenue, downtown. Contact email@example.com for more information.
On Thursday March 15th, from 4:00 to 5:30 PM, Pitt Arts hosts a free concert with Tucson, Arizona-based transgender singer/songwriter Namoli Brennet, at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on Schenley Drive. Staff from Pittsburgh's Persad Center will be on hand to speak to the audience about transgender issues. For more information call 412.624.4498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday March 15th at 7:00 PM, the Third Thursday Film Series presents "Palestine Is Still The Issue." The film will screen at Braddock Library Music Hall, 419 Library Street, Braddock, PA 15104. For more information, email email@example.com or call 412-874-9932.
[ Outro Music ]
Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WVJW Benwood and WPTS Pittsburgh.
Our hosts this week are Diane Amdor and Lizzie Anderson with contributions from Geoff Frost, Vani Natarajan, Lizzie Anderson, Thiago Hersan, Diane Amdor, and Andalusia Knoll, and music from Digable Planets, Lady Sovereign, Jean Grae, and M.I.A. Also, every week Rustbelt Radio features music by Antibalas and Hungry March Band. 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.