community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: Pittsburghers act in response to the Israeli invasion of Gaza, We explore a controversy surrounding a small group of Guantanamo detainees, Fed-up brings us a report from inside the Prison Industrial Complex,and Immigrants rights advocates and the homeless speak out at the presidential inauguration </li> <li> Plus more in our local and global headlines </li>
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Rustbelt Radio for January 26, 2009
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.
In July of 2008, an Allegheny County Non-discrimination Ordinance was proposed by Democratic Councilwoman Amanda Green, who represents Stanton Heights.
The proposed ordinance would protect all county citizens from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Other municipalities, including Allentown, Erie County and Philadelphia have such civil rights legislation, including Pittsburgh where most civil rights have been protected since 1976, and sexual orientation and gender identity became protected classes in 1990 and 1997, respectively. But there are no such protections for gender identity or sexual orientation on the state or national levels.
Green says there are members of Allegheny County Council who do not realize people can be fired or discriminated against in housing because of sexual orientation or gender identity, because their constituents have not complained to them about these issues. Green insists to her colleagues that she is not making this stuff up.
The county anti-discrimination bill was co-sponsored by 12 members of County Council, but lost support among some council members after lobbying from individuals and groups. One group is the American Family Association of Pennsylvania.
Diane Gramley, President of the local chapter, states her groups's main opposition to the legislation:
Gramley added, (quote) "There is an overall attempt to normalize a very dangerous lifestyle, " referring to homosexuality.
Amanda Green, also an attorney for the United Steelworkers, voiced her disappointment about the loss of support for the measure:
Green spoke at a rally in favor of the County Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Schenley Plaza in Oakland on January 10th. The rally was attended by 100 supporters in freezing rain and temperatures. Other speakers included State Representative Chelsa Wagner, City Council President Doug Shields, and the Reverend Janet Edwards.
Sue Kerr, a member of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats, a political advocacy group, and author of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondants blog, helped to organize the rally, and underscored it's goals:
A public hearing was held on January 15th at the Allegheny County Courthouse where 90 people in the public and private sectors voiced their opinions for and against the measure.
Allegheny County residents can still e-mail or call their councilperson about this issue. Residents can find out who represents them on the County Council at www.alleghenycounty.us/council/members.aspx.
Fed Up, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Human Rights Coalition brings us this week's report on the prison industrial complex.
The New Olde Bank Theatre in Verona will be putting on a second run of the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie, which chronicles the true story of an American activist killed in Gaza. Corrie went to Palestine with the International Solidarity Movement. While there, she lived with Palestinian families and joined other activists in protesting against the actions of the Israeli military. On March 16, 2003, an Israeli bulldozer crushed her to death as she tried to block it from demolishing a Palestinian home.
My Name Is Rachel Corrie, recounts the young woman's life from journal entries, letters, and e-mails she left behind, from a script was compiled and edited by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner. Actress Courtney Day Nassar, who portrays the title character, explains the political and personal relevance of the play:
Though popular in London, few productions have been staged in North America. Scheduled performances in New York, Oregon, Florida, and Toronto were canceled due to public outcry over the criticisms of Israel spoken by Corrie in the play. However, responses in Pittsburgh have been mostly positive--the show sold old out its original run in November 2008, which led Director Sean O'Donnell to put on a second run.
The play shows for 4 nights, on January 30th and 31st, and February 6th and 7th, at 8 p.m. People interested in purchasing tickets can call 412-251-7904 or go online at www. new o b t. com.
On January 24, from 1 to 3 p.m., Voices For Animals of Western Pennsylvania carried out a protest at the Downtown Macy's store on Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street. The local, all-volunteer animal rights organization intended the event to be part of a series of protests against Pittsburgh businesses that carry fur products. The focus of this protest was on the fur trim clothing that Macy's sells. VFA Coordinator Lindsay Zurosky describes VFA's reasons behind objecting to the production and sale of fur products:
A total attendance of thirty to forty people was estimated by organizers. The group played video footage of animal mistreatment on fur farms, which included graphic descriptions of living conditions and methods used to kill the animals. The images halted some passing shoppers. Ultimately, Pittsburgh Police ordered the recording shut down, citing a regulation about amplified noise in public space.
Another protest is planned for February 20, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Saks, another Downtown business and the group plans to continue protests throughout the year.
To get involved, visit the Voices For Animals site at www.v f a online.org. To learn more about the fur industry, go to www.infurmation.com or the Humane Society’s website at www.hsus.org and look up the article “A Little Bit of Fur Is Big Business.”
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.
As Obama starts as America's 44th president he is faced with a huge agenda to implement his promises of hope and change. Homeless and formerly homeless people are among the millions who have recommendations for Obama during his presidency. Rustbelt Radio's Andalusia knoll brings us their voices from Washington DC.
That was just Andalusia Knoll bringing us people's recommendations for Obama to end homelessesness.
Radio Rootz brings us this radical history lesson for January 26th:
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
On January 18th, Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire to bring an end to the 3 week long military offensive in Gaza. In 21 days, the conflict left 13 Israelis dead. On the other side, in 21 days, one thousand three hundred thirty Palestinians were killed, including 437 children & 108 women. Over 5000 were badly injured. According to the BBC, more than 4,000 buildings were destroyed and more than 20,000 severely damaged. The attacks left 50,000 Gazans homeless and 400,000 without running water. Electricity and food also continue to be scarce throughout Gaza.
While much of Gaza is in shambles, here in Pittsburgh, the solidarity groups are energized and mobilized like never before. Fayyad Sbaihat, a Palestinian born in Jenin and a member of the Palestine Solidarity Movement Divestment Campaign, shares his thoughts about Israel's military action.
Among the people involved in the ongoing awareness campaigns is Sarah Moawad. Sarah, the Vice President of Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Pittsburgh, describes some of the reactions she has seen from the community.
Just down the street, at Carnegie Mellon University, a group of students decided to express solidarity with Gazans by painting the Fence. The Fence acts a billboard in the heart of the campus and, in a long standing tradition at Carnegie Mellon, it is only allowed to be painted from midnight to sunrise. It is one of the ways to make a strong statement on campus, even more so when it means braving the subzero temperatures for several hours in the dead of night. Nader Shakir, one of the leaders in the Muslim Students Association at CMU, explains why he decided to take part.
And finally, on Thursday January 15th, an audience of 150 people gathered in the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill for an event "Pro Israel - Pro Peace". Ido Roll, one of the organizers of the event, explains more.
Ido continues to speak in particular about of one of the voices that was heard that evening by conference call from Gaza:
Ido continues by describing the tragic events that would transpire just hours after this gathering:
That was Ido Roll. He is a peace activist from Israel who has served 10 years as a Captain in the Israeli Air Force. He also runs a blog, Jerusalem Syndrome at jerudrome.blogspot.com. That J-E-R-U-D-R-O-M-E dot blogspot dot com. We'll be back after this short break.
That was the Palestinian group DAM (say DAHm) with the song Meen Erhabe (mean - er- Hah-bee)
As the Obama administration begins, policy shifts towards detention and torture are beginning to take effect. Within hours of his inauguration, President Obama ordered a suspension of the Guantánamo Bay military tribunals. This decision currently impacts the cases of 21 men who are held at the detention center. Also among the 245 men remaining at Guantanamo Bay are a small group of men from the Uyghur (WEE-ger) Autonomous Region of China. Today we bring you a report on this group of detainees and the controversy surrounding their imminent release:
(no outro needed)
Andres Kwan, who attended the rally:
One speaker called upon the ancestors to be with the movement:
Reverend Fung from Chinatown in San Francisco:
Esquinolisco performed a purification ceremony for the ICE building:
Imam Johani spoke representing muslims in the Washington, DC area:
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
[ Outro Music ]
Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WPTS Pittsburgh, WNJR Washington, and WIUP Indiana.
Our hosts this week are [ ] and [ ] with contributions from Khalid Harun, Andrew Sydlik, Lizzie Anderson, Etta Cettera, Carlin Christy, Jessica McPherson, Andalusia Knoll, Kara Holsopple, Margaret Hagan [ ]. 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.