community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: A special "Word on the Street" about the election, Non-english speaking parents fight for translators in Philadelphia public schools, An investigation into the preparedness of polling places across America, Excerpts from a local forum on anti-muslim discrimination, with focus on the recently distributed "Obsession" DVD, and - a fond farewell to a beloved oral historian, Studs Terkel.
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Rustbelt Radio for Monday November 3, 2008
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 other 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.
Due to a push from local voting activist, Allegheny county has tested a handful of its 4,700 electronic voting machines last week. 18 of the 4,700 touch-screen voting machines have the proper "firmware"--the Commonwealth-approved software that tabulates the votes--according to Denver, Colo., testing firm, SysTest Labs. The ES&S iVotronic has been used in the past two elections, and Allegheny County is the only place in the country that has run tests on these machines. Still activists say, they could have done more.
The Word on the Street team would also like to add that we could not find any McCain supporters willing to speak with us.
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.
Radio Rootz brings us this radical history lesson for November 3rd:
The immigrant workers organization JUNTOS (HOON-Tose) is organizing parents around the serious lack of translators in Philadelphia public schools, especially in South Philly, where many parents speak little or no English. Milena Velis (Mee-LAY-na VAY-LEASE) spoke to parents about their campaign.
Since this piece was recorded, members of JUNTOS succeeded in getting 4 deputies of the Philadelphia School District to meet with them and listen to their demands. But parents are still waiting to hear whether the school district will create an office of translation to address the need for more interpreters. JUNTOS plans to hold a public action soon to bring more attention to this issue.
This piece originally aired on Labor Justice Radio, a show produced by members of UNITE HERE, Taxi Workers Alliance of PA, SEIU Local 32BJ, and the Media Mobilizing Project. You can hear the show at laborjusticeradio.podomatic.com
The famous author, oral historian, radio host, activist, and Chicago symbol, Studs Terkel died a the age of 96 in his home on Friday October 31. Rustbelt Radio now takes a moment to reflect on the legacy of a man who deeply believed in hope, and the inherent decency and intelligence of the American People.
In Terkel's multifaceted life he was most noted for his radio programing on WFMT in Chicago. "The Studs Terkel Show" aired in 1952 and was primarily a music program, which later evolved into the award-winning "Studs Terkel Program." It aired on 98.7 WFMT between 1952 and 1997. The one hour program was broadcast every weekday for those 45 years and featured interviews and panel discussions with an array of celebrated and non-celebrated characters from Bob Dylan to Leonard Bernstein to Alexander Fray. The radio program enabled him to explore civic interests and the arts, and to make important connections between the past, the present, and the future. Terekel authored over a dozen books, including "Divison Street" in 1967, "Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century by Those Who've Lived it" in 1995, "Hope Dies Last: Keeping faith in Difficult Times" in 2003. His most recent, "P.S: Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening" was published this year. Terkel went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for his book "The Good War." The Buffalo News called him the "ageless master of listening and speaking," and he was known at WFTM as the "resident free spirit".
Studs was born Louis Terkel, in New York in May of 1912. His family moved to Chicago and opened a rooming house in 1922. They operated another from 1926-1936 called the "Wells-Grand Hotel". Terkel credits his knowledge of the world to the people who gathered in its lobby and at the nearby Bugshouse Square: a meeting place for activists, organizers dissidents and the unemployed. "When you become a part of something," he said once, "in some way you count; it could be a rally, even a brief one. You're part of something, and you suddenly realize you count. To count is very important. Ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things, and thats what its all about, they must count!"
William Grimes, of the Herald Tribune, recently wrote, "In his oral histories, which he called guerrilla journalism, Terkel relied on his enthusiastic but gentle interviewing style to elicit, in rich detail, the experiences and thoughts of his fellow citizens. Over the decades, he developed a continuous narrative of great historic moments sounded by an American chorus in the native vernacular."
Last year, Amy Goodman had the pleasure of interviewing Terkel on Democracy Now. In the interview, he reflects on experiences of engaging people, and why they matter.
"Why are we born?" Terkel asks, " We're born eventually to die, of course. But what happens between the time we're born and we die? We're born to live. One is a realist if one hopes. I think it's realistic to have hope. One can be a perverse idealist and say the easiest thing: 'I despair. The world's no good.' That's a perverse idealist. It's practical to hope, because the hope is for us to survive as a human species. That's very realistic."
Rustbelt Radio would like to say thank you in reverence to Studs Terkel, for his life time contribution of history, humor, enthusiasm and hope. You will be missed.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
We now bring you an excerpt from National Radio Project's election series titled Live from Main Street. On this edition, host Laura Flanders, broadcasting from Ohio, facilitates a discussion about nation-wide voting problems. In many key swing states, significant voting problems not addressed since the last presidential election in 2004 are once again major issues. Some of these problems include long lines, a shortage of voting machines, voter challenges, and unprocessed registrations.
Here, Laura Flanders and guests discuss problems of past elections which still persist and key voting rights issues that not only affect Ohio, but all citizens who prepare to cast their votes on Election Day.
More from Flanders and guests on voting accuracy and about initiatives to restore voting integrity.
Live from Main Street was provided courtesy of The Media Consortium, National Radio Project, and Making Contact. Visit radioproject.org to hear more from their election series.
(Also Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of media culture and communication at New York University, urges voters to let people know if they run into problems on election day, there are two hot lines you can call to report voting issues. If you are told you are not registered and you know in fact you are, if a machine flips your vote, or even if you are imtimitated or harassed at the polling place, let some one know, make sure the story gets out, says Miller "because this is the kind of evidence that has to be gathered and preserved." Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, or 1-866-MY-VOTE1, and report your problems. This project is run by Liberty Tree, as part of their pledge for No More Stolen Elections! Their website is www.libertytreefdr.org.
On Wednesday, October 29th, nine local and national Islamic organizations hosted a public forum on the subject of mainstream America's perceptions of Islam. The forum was inspired by the widespread use of anti-Muslim rhetoric in this year's election campaign. There continue to be persistent attempts by McCain supporters to convince the public that Barack Obama is a Muslim, and also a terrorist. In addition to these rumors, recently the Clarion Fund paid millions of dollars to distribute a DVD in 9 swing states, including Pennsylvania, entitled "Obsession: America's war against radical Islam" The DVD consistently used the term "Islamo-fascist" and many Islamic organizations considered it hate speech. The DVD was distributed through direct mailings, and also as a paid advertising supplement in numerous prominent newpapers, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The keynote speaker, Ra'ed Taeh, addressed American prejudice against Muslims:
In the panel discussion that followed, Qualin (kway-lynn) Nassar from the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission spoke about the role of the HRC. The Pennsylvania HRC is a public entity whose purpose is to pursue discrimation and hate crimes based on religion, country or origin, race, gender, or ethnicity. Nassar emphasized that there is legal recourse to those who suffer discrimination, and encouraged people to file complaints in such situations.
Father Jack O'Malley, a Catholic Clergyperson and board member of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, spoke on his reaction to the "Obsession" dvd:
Greg Victor, Op-Ed forum editor for the Post-Gazette, spoke to why the paper decided to distribute the DVD:
We'll now hear excerpts of the question and answer session, starting with Titus North, Green Party candidate for U.S. house of representatives.
That was Ra'ed Taeh, keynote speaker at a recent forum in Pittsburgh on discrimination against followers of the Islamic religion.
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 Jessica McPherson and Colleen Halley with contributions from Carlin Christy, Jessica McPherson, Colleen Halley, and Veronica Milliner. 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.
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