community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On this week's show... * Thousands march nationwide on May Day for immigrant rights and an end to raids and deportations * Environmental justice organizers kick off Biojustice 2007 in Boston * Media Minutes gives this week's report on the intersection of media and democracy * an interview with Staughton Lynd on Ohio's Supermax prison in Youngstown and the history of the Lucasville uprising * and more in our local and global headlines
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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...
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 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.
One week after being ranked America's most livable city on Rand McNally’s “Places Rated Almanac”, Pittsburgh finds itself at the top of another high-profile list—that of the American Lung Association’s most polluted cities.
The 2007 "State of the Air" report, recently released by the ALA, lists the Pittsburgh area as the second-most polluted metropolitan area in the country, just behind Los Angeles, California.
This ‘State of the Air” report measures the two types of air pollution that are especially dangerous to breathe—ozone pollution, also know as smog, and particle pollution, or soot. The rankings of the cities are determined based on the number of days they have unhealthful levels of air pollution.
Overall, Pittsburgh was the 2nd worst metropolitan area most polluted by short-term particle pollution and the 2nd worst metropolitan area most polluted by year round particle pollution. Pittsburgh was not on the list of the top 25 most ozone polluted cities.
The rankings are based on the particle pollution levels emitted from power plants, cars, and refineries. This type of pollution, which is made up of a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air, can contribute to heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma attacks. Those especially vulnerable to polluted air are children, senior citizens, people who work or exercise outdoors and people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
This isn't the first time the American Lung Association ranked Pittsburgh second most polluted. In 2005 and 2006 the city was also in the top 3 for worst polluted metropolitan areas.
Although the 'State of the Air report' lists the top 25 worst polluted areas across the US, citizens from other parts of the country are threatened as well. Nearly half of the U.S. population lives in counties that still have unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.
Declaring that no human being is illegal, hundreds of people in Pittsburgh gathered on MayDay as part of nationwide actions for immigrant's rights. Local organization, Pittsburgh Friends of Immigrants, and about 50 supporters held a vigil at the Allegheny County Jail and later marched towards the federal building downtown. CeCi Wheeler of Pittsburgh Friends of Immigrants stressed the need for people to be vocal in their opposition to raids on immigrant families.
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Courtney of Pittsburgh Friends of Immigrants made connections between globalization and immigration and highlighted the false promises of guest worker programs.
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A few hundred people participated in a march through Oakland that was organized by the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network. One of the participants, Serenia Caracheti believes that the rights of immigrants need to be respected.
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Another march participant, Nalleley (pronounce neye - yelly), echoed that sentiment.
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Nationwide thousands of people participated in similar events, marching against the raids and deportations, the forced separation of immigrant families, the militarization of the border, and the guest worker program. While celebrating May Day, the international workers holiday, they demanded living wages for all workers, education for immigrant children and paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Additionally many organizations demanded comprehensive immigration reform that would also give rights to people in same sex relationships.
At a MayDay rally held in Los Angeles, the LAPD fired rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds of hundreds of people who had gathered in McArthur Park. Community members and civicleaders are calling for an immediate independent police investigation of this incident.
Now, for this week's edition of 'Word on the Street'
That was '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.
Yesterday marked the opening day of Bio2007, a convergence of the biotechnology industry, at Boston's Convention Center. Scientists, executives, lawyers, and journalists are gathering for the conference, whose motto is "New ideas, bold ventures, global benefits." Workshops feature titles like "The Basics of Biotech: Learn Enough Biotech to be Dangerous!" and "The Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp." The program focuses heavily on how to market biological technology, including genetically modified foods and new drugs, to populations around the world.
From May 4th to May 9th, Boston-based activists, public health workers, healers, farmers, and others are holding an alternative to the Biotech convergence. Biojustice 2007 celebrates sustainable food and alternatives to corporate healthcare. The program features workshops, skillshares, free health care, music, and free non-GMO food for all who attend.
The movement for sustainable food highlights the importance of growing and eating your food locally. More on this from Erin Ryan Fitzgerald, an organizer with Biojustice who spoke with Rustbelt Radio:
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Sustaining a local food economy can be both challenging and rewarding:
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Biojustice features workshops on the uses of herbal medicine in preventing and treating ailments, as well as maintaining strong health. Erin Ryan, on what most doctors don't tell us:
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In the landscape of a large metropolis, struggles for environmental justice face unique obstacles:
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BioJustice 2007 will continue in Boston until this Wednesday. For more information, visit biojustice2007.org.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced on Monday, April 30, that he would pull the country out of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, saying (quote) "We will no longer have to go to Washington nor to the IMF nor to the World Bank, not to anyone" (end quote).
This is a largely symbolic move as Venezuela recently paid off their World Bank debt five years ahead of time, saving $8 million dollars. And in 1999, shortly after Chavez took office, Venezuela paid off all its debts to the IMF. The IMF offices in Venezuela closed late last year.
Chavez has said he blames the IMF and World Bank for the continued poverty across Latin America with their decades old tight budget control, open markets and privatization practices.
Stating that Venezuela no longer needs the lenders that are run by (quote) US imperialism (end quote), Chavez hopes to establish a new lender run by Latin American nations, called “Bank of the South,” which would fund state projects across Latin America.
Other Latin American countries are following Venezuela’s example. Ecuador has said it has paid off its IMF debt and has asked the World Bank representative to leave the country. Nicaragua is negotiating to leave the fund and Argentina has begun to pay back large sums of their debt to the IMF.
Thursday, May 3 was celebrated around the world as World Press Freedom Day.
Timothy Balding of the World Association of Newspapers said [quote]
“Balancing the sometimes conflicting interests of security and freedom might indeed be difficult, but democracies have an absolute responsibility to use a rigorous set of standards to judge whether curbs on freedom can be justified by security concerns and should set them against the rights protected in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees freedom 'to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers'.
This is the clear message we need to impress on governments and their agencies on World Press Freedom Day. [end quote]
According to the World Association of Newspapers, one-hundred thirty-four journalists were imprisoned and one-hundred ten were killed in 2006.
In Mexico, thirty-seven journalists have disappeared or been killed since 2000. Journalists marched on the Attorney General’s office on Thursday to call for justice in these cases.
In Haiti, eight journalists have been killed since 2000. Amnesty International called for investigations into these cases on World Press Freedom Day. Four of the slain journalists worked for Haitian radio news programs, including the popular radio journalist, political commentator, and director of [*pronounce with Haitian accent – Rah dio ‘aiti, Jzan Lay-oh-pohld Doh-me-neek*] Radio Haiti, Jean Leopold Dominique.
In the United States, Fox TV camerawoman Patti Ballaz [*pronounce Ball- oz (ball like a baseball, Oz like Dorothy and the wizard*] announced her plans to file a claim against the city of Los Angeles after being beaten while covering the LA immigrants rights march last week.
Rustbelt Radio now brings you this week's Media Minutes
Indigenous women are at least 2.5 times more likely than other women in the US to be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime, according to a report released by Amnesty International on April 23. The report entitled "Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA" says that more than one in three indigenous women will be raped in their lifetime.
In the population at large, the attacker and victim are usually of the same ethnic group, but the report says at least 86 percent of reported rapes or other sexual assaults against indigenous women are committed by non-Native men, most of them European American, who are only very rarely prosecuted or punished.
The failure to pursue justice in such cases is due to a number of factors, Amnesty International noted, including chronic underfunding of police and health services and a "complex maze of tribal, state and federal jurisdictions that is so confusing that it often allows perpetrators to evade justice entirely."
Registered Native Americans, who make up about 1.4 percent of the US's 300 million citizens, are distributed among 560 tribal governments around the country.
While these governments are given substantial autonomy over their internal affairs, the federal government has steadily eroded their authority, including their justice systems, over time, particularly in areas that involve non-Native individuals or interests.
In one of the most far-reaching cases, Oliphant vs. the Suquamish Indian Tribe, the Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that tribal governments cannot prosecute criminal defendants who are non-Native, even if the crime of which they are accused takes place on tribal lands.
Sarah Deer, an attorney at the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, says the fact that non-Native perpetrators cannot be tried in tribal courts has actually drawn sexual predators to tribal areas to assault women, because they know that federal prosecutions are rare in those areas.
Tribal authorities, many of whose communities suffer the highest poverty rates in the US, are also chronically underfinanced, leading to major gaps in law enforcement and the availability of social and health services compared to non-Native communities.
Amnesty International is calling on Congress to extend tribal authority to all offenders on tribal land, and to expand federal spending on law enforcement and health clinics for Native American communities.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
The idea of living in a concrete box without knowing how long you'll remain there is known to create trauma symptoms similar to those experienced by hostages: anxiety, headaches, lethargy, insomnia, nervous breakdowns, perspiring hands, and heart palpitations.
Ohio's only supermax prison, located off state Route 616 in Youngstown, has been called "Ohio's Abu Ghraib." On June 13 2006, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said that (quote) "conditions at [the Ohio State Penitentiary] are more restrictive than any other form of incarceration in Ohio, including conditions on its death row." Kennedy also noted a holding policy that retained prisoners "for an indefinite period of time, limited only by an inmate's sentence." On July 10, 2006, Blackout News spoke to historian and activist Staughton Lynd of Youngstown, Ohio, about the prison there as well as the history of the Lucasville uprising.
That was from the July 10th edition of Blackout News, a radio production of the Cleveland Indymedia Center on WRUW-FM.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
[ Outro Music ]
Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WVJW Benwood and WPTS Pittsburgh.
Our hosts this week are Lizzie Anderson, Vani Natarajan, Andalusia Knoll and Matt Toups with contributions from Natalia Patiño, Andalusia Knoll, Carlin Christy, Vani Natarajan, Lizzie Anderson, as well as from the Asheville Global Report and freepress.net. 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 May 7, 2007 (ogg vorbis)
by Pittsburgh IMC: Rustbelt Radio collective Tuesday, May. 08, 2007 at 2:46 AM
email@example.com 412-923-3000 WRCT 88.3 FM
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