community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show... * The US war in Iraq reaches the 6 year mark * The Great Lakes Urban Exchange talks about the future of local transportation * A CMU art student hopes to better deal with Pittsburgh's sewage waste * Fed-Up brings us a report from inside the Prison Industrial Complex * Plus more in our local and global headlines
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Rustbelt Radio for March 23, 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.
Pittsburgh's sewage system is more than 100 years old, and it has major problems, which result in raw sewage often ending up in the rivers. A CMU art student has built a special toilet, that could be a first step towards a better way of dealing with our waste. Margaret Hagan brings us more:
This week, Fed Up, the Pittsburgh chapter of the Human Rights Coalition, shares political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal's radio broadcast from March 10th.
The Great Lakes Urban Exchange --or GLUE-- is an organization working to improve life in Rust Belt cities. Abby Wilson, a law student at Pitt, is one of GLUE's leaders -- and she is trying to get Pittsburghers to talk about the future of transportation in the city.
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.
Radio Rootz brings us this week's radical history lesson for March 26th:
March 22nd is known as the United Nations’ World Water Day, and is held to highlight the significance of freshwater. Along with this year’s World Water Day, a week-long gathering called the World Water Forum was held in Istanbul, Turkey.
The significance of this day is recognized on a global level, and events were held in nearly 30 countries across the globe. In Pittsburgh, local university students organized a “Water Walk” which simulated the long distances women and girls must travel to access water.
On a global level, more than a billion people lack access to clean water, and 2.5 billion are without water for sanitation. 80 percent of all diseases are borne by dirty water, causing thousands of preventable deaths every day.
It is for this reason that many activists, environmentalists, farmers, and others from the developing world stand in opposition to the World Water Forum. This year, they organized their own alternative water forum, called the People’s Water Forum, which was held simultaneously to the UN gathering in Istanbul. Among their criticisms of the World Water Council is the claim that the WWC is driven by corporations and organizations which do not recognized the human right to water. This year’s forum defined access to water as a human “need” but would not say it is a human “right”. The international peasant movement Via Campesina stated: “ States, multinational corporations and private interest groups established the World Water Council to commodify and commercialize water resources, and to maximize potential profit… the Council is striving to ensure that the logic of profit is determining the direction of water’s flow.
The Center for Media & Democracy's Weekly Radio Spin gives us this report on the global gathering at the World Water Forum:
Free Press brings us this week's edition of Media Minutes:
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
We'll be back after this break:
On March 21, 2009, peace activists gathered in Washington D.C. for the Annual Anti-War march, also known as the March on the Pentagon. The Thomas Merton Center's Antiwar Committee brought a bus full of Pittsburghers to the march. Rustbelt Radio correspondents, and members of Pittsburgh's radical Break Away Marching Band, also attended the march to speak with protesters and liven up the march with protest music.
Before the march began, speakers from the coalition that organized the march addressed the crowd. Mathis Chiroux (PRONOUNCE: MAY - this shuh - ROW) of Iraq Veterans Against the War:
The protesters marched from Constitution and 23, around the Pentagon, and ending outside the offices of several big defense contractors in Arlington, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and KBR. Some of the protesters left coffins outside the doors to these office buildings.
Rustbelt spoke with a few protesters, including Anthony Teolis, representing the Veterans for Peace. Teolis explains is transition from being a soldier to peace activist, and why he is protesting outside the offices of the military defense contractors.
Rustbelt also caught up with Michael Nugent, a local protester, as he explained a little bit more about the events, who was hosting it, and the some goals of the organizers.
Since its inception, on March 19 2003 the death toll has reached 4,250 U.S. soldiers while wounded tens of thousands more. Over one million Iraqi's have been killed since the onset. The war has now cost the U.S. over 600 billion dollars, which equates to about 50 thousand dollars every minuet, and still increasing steadily.
Protesters are frustrated with Obama and his leadership in Iraq matters. Many feel is not taking the steps to fulfill his campaign promises of immediate with drawl, and has instead justified recent bombings in Pakistan. Nugent says despite the Obama's administrations plan to pull out troops after the Iraqi election in December, about 50,000 combat troops will still be stationed there in 2011, and maybe indefinitely.
On March 18th, it was reported that The State Department has quietly signed a deal that keeps the company formerly known as Blackwater in Iraq despite an Iraqi government ban. US signed a new contract with Blackwater in February, just days after the Iraqi government said it wouldn't renew Blackwater's operating license. The $22 million contract extension runs through September of this year. Blackwater is only one of the many private military contractors in Iraq. Nugent expresses his frustrations with the Obama administration thus far.
Still, despite these frustrations, many protesters between their shouts and chants, were caught smiling and cheering at Pittsburgh Break Away Marching Band. The band drove down to D.C. to uplift the spirits of the crowd, and played almost the entire length of the march, which lasted about three hours. The crowd seemed triumphant as they rounded the ominous Pentagon building, and heard We Shall Over Come, from the back of the line.. It seemed that the heaviness and reality of the event was lightened by their music.
We'll be back after this break:
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, and WIUP Indiana.
Our hosts this week are [ ] and [ ] with contributions from Lizzie Anderson, Margaret Hagan, Jessica McPherson, Carlin Christy, Colleen Halley. 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.