community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: Job training goes green in Braddock, Radio Rootz brings us another Radical Day in History, Israeli Professor David Wesley Speaks in Pittsburgh, A look inside Pittsburgh's first annual Sunstar women in music festival And more in our local and global headlines
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Rustbelt Radio for March 9, 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.
Fed Up, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Human Rights Coalition brings us this week's report on the prison industrial complex.
Next, a story about green jobs training in Braddock, a community near Pittsburgh struggling to create economic opportunity.
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.
On Wednesday March 4th, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his part in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region of that country.
Local activist Mary Dawn Edwards of the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (PDEC) responded to Rust Belt Radio's question about the concerns of some in the diplomatic community, who say that bringing such charges would hamper peace talks and create more violence:
The P.D.E.C. has collected over 10,000 signatures to bring awareness to the public and government leaders about the situation of the people of Darfur.
Over 300,000 have died in Darfur, where 2.5 million residents have become refugees because of the persistent fighting between rebel groups as well as the government and associated militia groups.
Radio Rootz brings us this radical history lesson for March 9th.
Although President Obama made climate change a top issue early in his administration, there are those who advocate further, especially where Congress is concerned. On Monday March 2nd, some 12,000 protesters clad in green hard hats came to the Capitol complex to demand further action on greenhouse gas emissions, especially concerning the damages caused by coal and other fossil fuels. The protests, dubbed Capitol Climate Action, were organized by and in conjunction with the PowerShift '09 conference, held at the D.C. Convention Center that weekend.
The events of civil disobedience included 4,000 students visiting nearly every congressional office, and some 2,500 people blocking the gates of the nearby Capitol Power Plant for nearly four hours. The coal-burning plant is owned by Congress and provides energy and heat to their offices as well as the Supreme Court building and the Library of Congress.
Members of PowerShift called it the largest mass civil disobedience for climate change in the nation's history The annual conference attracted 5,000 college and high school students in 2007 and a mere 200 in 2005. Organizers claim that the the climate change movement is finally gaining momentum. Said guest Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and one of the organizers of the power plant action, "I've been waiting 20 years to see what the climate change movement would look like, and it looks great."
The group and others like them have both their allies and enemies in Congress. One congressman supporting their actions is Jim Moran, Democrat of Virginia. He spoke with the American News Project in advance of the protests, noting his direct view of the Capitol Power Plant from outside his office window:
Moran1.ogg: Jim Moran 1 (0:25)
Moran even advocates civil disobedience in support of this important cause:
Moran2.ogg: Jim Moran 2 (0:21)
PowerShift and other green groups are pushing for Congress to make some kind of environmental legislation before world leaders arrive in Copenhagen this December to negotiate a replacement to the Kyoto Accord. Even with the vocal support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid, this will not be an easy task. According to the Center for Public Integrity, there are now four climate-change lobbyists for every U.S. Senator, an increase of 300% in the past five years.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
Last Monday, March 2nd, Israeli anthropology professor David Wesley spoke in Pittsburgh about his studies of the cultural roots of social inequality between the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. Wesley moved to Israel in 1955 with a strong commitment to help build a Jewish homeland, and spent 30 years living on a Kibbutz, a communally operated Israeli village. However, Israel's relation with Palestinians eventually caused him to become disillusioned with the Jewish nationalist project:
The state of Israel includes a substantial minority of Palestinian inhabitants, living mainly in neighborhoods and towns that existed before the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. These Palestinians have Israeli citizenship, and are referred to as Arab-Israelis. Wesley describes their current situation:
Although Israeli laws give Jews citizenship and various immigration advantages not granted to Arabs, and do not recognize collective rights for minorities, there is a strong legal framework asserting equal rights for all individual citizens.
Wesley studied land development patterns in the Galilee region, which includes the large Arab city of Nazareth and several smaller Arab villages, as well as the Jewish settlements of Upper Nazareth and Carmiel. He focused on land use because it forms the basis of economic development, and because it is viewed, he says, as the basis of existence and continued presence in the region.
Wesley’s work finds that two cultural stereotypes, widely held among Israelis, fuel discriminatory land development patterns.
Wesley also outlined examples from his work where the stereotype of the Arab traditionalist image allowed Israelis to view the lack of economic development in Arab towns as a cultural preference. Israeli officials also enforce this stereotype: Wesley cites an instance when the city of Nazareth applied for a permit for an industrial plant, but was denied on the grounds that (quote) the proper industry for Nazareth is tourism. A 1977 national development plan for the Galilee region set the groundwork for a future in which the Jewish settlements became industrial and administrative centers, while neighboring Palestinian towns supplied labor and became dependent on Jewish towns for civic services.
Wesley asserts that “normalization” is the mental mechanism by which inequality is tolerated in a society that prides itself on being a progressive democracy.
* [2:20] normalization.ogg: normalization.ogg
Wesley finds hope in those who are looking outside of the dominant Israeli cultural paradigm, and redefining it according to a vision of coexistence.
Wesley describes how the situation of Arab-Israelis is relevant to the future prospects for coexistence of Jews and Palestinians in the region.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
Seats cost $35, and scholarships are available. For more info, check out the Anti-War Committee's website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the Thomas Merton Center at 412-361-3022.
[ 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 Helen Gerhardt and Jessica McPherson with contributions from Jessica McPherson, Mary Colleen Halley, Jon Heiman, Margaret Hagan, Kara Holsopple, Carlin Christy and Lizzie Anderson. 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.