community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show... * A Mexican immigrant is beaten to death in Pennsylvania * Leading environmental activists speak out on climate change and its effect on the world's water supply * Mumia Abu Jamal is denied a new trial * and Northsiders rally for a Community Benefits Agreement
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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 is broadcast live from WRCT studios every Monday at 6 PM on 88.3 FM in Pittsburgh, and the program airs again on WRCT every Tuesday morning at 9AM.
We can also be heard weekly on the following stations:
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 from our website at radio dot I-N-D-Y-P-G-H dot org.
We turn now to local stories.
Fed Up, the local chapter of The Human Rights Coalition, brings us this week's report on the prison industrial complex:
On July 13 Luis Ramirez, a Mexican immigrant who had been living in Pennsylvania for six years, was brutally assaulted by 4 youths in a park near his home in Shenandoah, PA. He died in a hospital a few days later as a result of his injuries.
Although witnesses reported hearing the youths shouting ethnic slurs at Ramirez, officials maintain that the incident was a street fight that had gotten out of control, rather than a hate crime.
Rustbelt Radio spoke with Margaret Barajas (Bah- rah-hoss), CEO of PALO, the Pennsylvania Association of Latino Organizations. She told us about the increasingly hostile environment for Hispanics in Pennsylvania:
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Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta believes that his virulently anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic Hazleton Ordinance did NOT contribute to this hostile environment. Barajas disagrees:
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Despite the actions of politicians like Barletta, immigration patterns are unlikely to change anytime in the near future. Barajas speaks about the growing Hispanic population in Pennsylvania:
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Barajas believes that Americans should look to their own immigrant past before vilifying immigrants of today:
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The youths involved in the attack were formally charged on Friday, July 25th. Three will be charged as adults and one as a juvenile. Barajas is glad that the state has taken action but believes that charges could have been filed sooner:
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updates on this story will be reported as they occur.
On July 17th Northside United held a rally at the north shore site where Continental Real Estate intends to build a new Hotel. At the rally protesters showed their concern about how the new developments will affect the neighborhood and how the promises in the past have led to more parking lots on the North Side. The protesters stated that this time they are demanding a community benefits agreement, which will provide good jobs, clean air, youth programs, and housing assistance for Northsiders.
Micheal Glass co-chair of Northside United talked about how the developers need to start giving back to the communities that have suffered because of the recent stadium developments. He also further explains what needs to be done.
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Speaker Ed Pugh explains the importance of a community benefit agreement and why the citizens have a right to ask for these benefits.
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Speaker Dan Phillips noted the importance of this agreement and encouraged the community to stick together to make this CBA a reality.
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To learn more about Northside united go to www.pittsburgh united.org
For more on local news, you can visit pittsburgh dot I-N-D-Y-M-E-D-I-A dot org.
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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.
Two prominent Chicago activists, Prisoners of Conscience Committee Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. and Grant Newburger from the Revolutionary Communist Party, were arrested on the evening of Friday, July 25th after attempting to protect some youths from beatings and harassment by armed police officers. The incident occurred at a playground behind Henderson Elementary School. The altercation allegedly started when police showed up at a make-shift memorial service that youth were holding for Benny Ross, who had been recently killed in youth-on-youth violence, and began insulting Ross’s memory, even ripping up a picture of him.
A total of 11 people were arrested and witnesses say Newburger was severely beaten by the police, a claim later confirmed by First Defense Legal Aid lawyer Tony Hill.
Hill reported on Saturday morning that while police normally allowed him to have reasonably prompt access to arrestees, they delayed his access to the Henderson Elementary arrestees until Saturday morning.
Most of the arrestees were charged with one or more counts of misdemeanor mob action, a nebulous charge which attorney Tony Hill characterized as a "catch all."
Two of the arrestees are scheduled to go to court at 9 AM, Friday, August 1st. Several others, including Fred Hampton, Jr. and Grant Newburger, have a court date of 1 PM, Friday, August 22nd. Currently, No information is available about the juvenile arrestees' court dates.
On July 22nd, the Petition for Rehearing En Banc (pronunciation: like French) for the trial of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Rustbelt Radio spoke with Jeff Mackler, the national coordinator of Mumia's defense and director of the Mobiliation to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, who explains some of the background information of Mumia's case as well as an update on recent happenings:
To sign the petition or to get more information, please visit freemumia.org or call 510-268-9429.
Emmanuel Toto Constant, a former Haitian death squad leader, was on trial in a New York State Supreme Court charged with grand Larceny, forgery, and falsifying records. He was found to have orchestrated a scheme to flip properties at inflated prices by selling them to so-called buyers. Last Friday, Haitian human rights activists and supporters rallied outside Constant's trial in Brooklyn to draw attention to his record, which includes crimes of murder, rape, arson and terrorizing of the Haitian People.
Andalusia Knoll reports on the history of Constant's widespread abuses.
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On Friday, Constant was found guilty for all counts on grand larceny and mortgage fraud in New York’s Supreme Court. In a statement, Jennie Green of the Center for Constitutional Rights said, “The conviction gives…his victims hope that he will soon be brought to justice for his crimes in Haiti that included the murder and rape and other torture of thousands more. We hope that after he serves a stiff sentence in New York, he faces trial for those crimes.” Emmanuel Toto Constant will face up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on September 10th.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
Claude Barlow and Ge Yung are two activists speaking out about the effects of climate change. Both of these women, from Canada and China, believe climate change is having a strong impact on the abundance of water and its availability for the future. Making Contact, the weekly international radio program produced by the National Radio Project, brings us an interview with these women.
You were listening to Making Contact, for more information go to www. radio project. org
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
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Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WPTS Pittsburgh, WNJR Washington, WVJW Benwood, and WIUP Indiana.
Our hosts this week are and with contributions from Ace Yilma, Ellen Pierson, Lizzie Anderson, Andalusia Knoll . This week's show was produced by Phill Cresswell. 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.