community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: Bread and Puppet Circus bring the De-capitalization Cabaret through Pittsburgh; Activists plan to remember victims of gun violence during this weekend's NRA convention in Pittsburgh; Young filmmakers draw attention to the dangers of incarcerating youthful offenders in adult prisons; We hear from CMU historian, Roger Rouse, on rebel piracy & corporate revisionism; Activists gather for a Bradley Manning solidarity bike ride, taking a local look at the military industrial complex and more in our local and global headlines
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Rustbelt Radio for April 25, 2011
Welcome to this week's edition of Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-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.
“Acres of Guns and Gear.” So proclaim the billboards around the region announcing the 140th annual convention of the National Rifle Association. The organization comes to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Downtown from Friday April 29th through Sunday, May 1st.
The NRA estimates that some 60,000 people will attend, many to shop at the more than 500 exhibitors of guns and ammunition. Shoppers cannot take possession of the weapons at the exhibit hall, but may order for later delivery. The NRA website advises participants that they may carry their own weapons at the convention center and at the CONSOL Energy Center. That’s where Mike Huckabee – a possible Republican presidential candidate, and conservative radio host Michael Reagan – will speak Saturday night. Guitarist-turned-pundit Ted Nugent, who calls the Second Amendment a “God-given right,” will also speak and sell merchandise during the convention.
But not everyone is in tune with the man best know for the rock anthem “Cat Scratch Fever.” From noon to 2 p.m on Saturday, April 30th, activists concerned about the toll guns are taking on their communities will hold a public forum at Freedom Corner in the nearby Uptown neighborhood. They will also conduct a memorial service for the nearly 100 Pittsburghers who lost their lives to gun violence in 2010.
Organizers include the Black Political Empowerment Project, the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, and CeasefirePA. CeasefirePA executive director Max Nacheman [ pronounce: NOCK-muhn ] said his organization has no beef with the majority of NRA members who agree that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is a good idea. The problem, he said, is with the NRA’s leadership, which owes its living to gun manufacturers, and who fight against reasonable laws that would make everybody safer.
Those reforms include the city of Pittsburgh’s 2008 lost- and stolen-gun ordinance, which requires firearm owners to report lost or stolen guns to police within 24 hours of discovering them missing. Such laws attempt to crack down on –quote- straw purchases of guns, in which people – the straw purchasers -- with clean records buy weapons and give them to criminals. If the weapon is later found to have been used in a crime, the purchasers simply claim it was lost or stolen.
The NRA has sued to overturn that law, but their case was thrown out first in an Allegheny County court and then, last summer, by a state appeals court.
Ceasefire also wants state lawmakers to adhere to the federal background check system by providing all drug crime and mental health commitment records to the FBI for inclusion in its national database. Gun vendors are supposed to make sure would-be purchasers are not on that list.
Nacheman urged anyone who cares about gun violence to come out at noon on Saturday.
For more information, check out the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network’s website at www [dot] P I I N [dot] org.
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has published a new handbook to help public school students in the Keystone State know their rights.
The booklet offers practical tips for students on their rights at school, when they can be exercised, and when school officials can limit them. Issues include freedom of expression; Internet use; privacy; sexual health and education; school security, policing and discipline; immigration and disabilities rights, and student contact with the military. Although written primarily for students, the handbook is also useful to educators, parents and guardians, and journalists.
The handbook can be downloaded for free in English and Spanish. Go to W W W dot A C L U P A dot ORG. Look for the orange-and-white Know Your Rights link at the bottom right of the page. [ DO NOT READ/FOR TRANSCRIPT: http://www.aclupa.org/education/studentsrightshandbook.htm ]
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After a fundraising event during the week of Manning transfer to Fort Leavenworth, President Obama stated that Manning has broken the law. When asked to compare Manning to Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg, President Obama declared the cases to be dissimilar because, [quote] Ellsberg material wasn’t classified the same way.
According to Democracy Now!, “ the material disclosed in the Pentagon Papers was designated Top Secret the highest secrecy designation under law—whereas the material allegedly leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks was marked secret or classified, among the lowest-level secrecy designations.
And in the latest news from Wikileaks, thousands of documents are being released from the U.S. Military prison at Guantánamo Bay.
For more on upcoming campaigns, visit B-R-A-D-L-E-Y-M-A-N-N-I-N-G [dot] org, or Iraq Veterans Against the War, at I-V-A-W [dot] org
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You are listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-weekly review of news overlooked by the corporate media. We turn now to other independent news from around the world.
That was Bill McKibben, founder of the climate justice organization Step It Up, speaking at the Powershift conference in Washington, DC, held April 15th through 19th. The mission of the conference is to build youth leadership for a clean energy future, and this year over 10,000 people attended.
In addition to educational speakers and workshops to train young organizers, actions were held throughout the weekend. 5000 people gathered in front of the White House, and other actions brought voices of protest to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the headquarters of B.P., and the headquarters of Gen-on, a coal burning utility in Virginia.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was targeted as a major example of the corrupting influence that corporate money holds over political decisions.
Powershift also marked the one year anniversary of the BP oil spill. Gulf Coast residents formed a vocal contigent at the conference, and on April 20th, hundreds of protesters shut down a BP station in DC. Cherri Foytlin, wife of a displaced oil worker and mother of six, walked over 1200 miles from the Gulf Coast to DC for the conference.
To learn more about the experiences of Gulf Coast residents, visit the independent media project BridgeTheGulf.org.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-weekly review of news from the grassroots.
On April 11th and 12th, the film Stolen Dreams, about young people being tried and incarcerated as adults in Pennsylvania, was shown on the University of Pittsburgh campus. This 30-minute documentary was created by the Philadelphia-based project called Youth Arts and Self-empowerment Project or YASP. Originally a project of the American Friends Service Committee, YASP was formed in 2004 and became an independent project in 2006.
YASP provides year-round, on-going art, poetry, music and empowerment workshops for people under the age of eighteen serving sentences in Philadelphia adult jails. YASP also supports and offers leadership development for youth who come out of those jails. All paid staff at YASP are youth, with most of them being previously incarcerated in adult institutions.
There were four YASP members in attendance: Victor Saez, Sarah Morris, Jasmine Jackson and Jamie Carroll, who spoke about their experiences. First, here is Sarah Morris, an organizer with YASP, with more about the project and the situations of the people who are a part of the program:
The film, Stolen Dreams, includes interviews with teenagers who are currently in adult jails and their families, young people who have been incarcerated as adults, as well as a judge, social worker and teacher who work with youth charged as adults. The goal is to educate the public about Act 33. Prior to 1996, youth could only be tried as adults and kept in non-juvenile facilities if they were found guilty of murder. Act 33 changed that: youth 15 and older are now automatically tried as adults when accused of robbery, aggravated assault, rape, certain sex crimes, manslaughter, attempt or conspiracy to commit murder or any offense involving a deadly weapon. Here is more on Act 33 with Jasmine Jackson, Victor Saez and Sarah Morris speaking:
According to the movie, here are some of the effects of this practice:
Youth in an adult jail have a greater chance of victimization and death than youth in a juvenile facility.
Youth who have been tried as adults are, on average, 34% more likely to commit crimes in the future than youth retained in the juvenile justice system.
Youth in adult facilities are far more likely to attempt suicide.
There is little or no education, mental health treatment or rehabilitative programming for youth in adult prisons.
Youth tried as adults can be sentenced to life without parole.
And youth will have an adult criminal record, which will affect their chances to further their education and find a job.
The previously mentioned effects of Act 33 are realities for the youth interviewed in the film. Victor Saez shared his personal story on becoming involved in YASP:
Finally, Jamie Carroll with how YASP could use help with their campaign to end Act 33:
For more information on YASP and Act 33, please visit Y-A-S-P-R-O-J-E-C-T [dot] com.
Stay tuned for more Rustbelt Radio after this musical break.
That was Joy Toujours with Mayday in honor of May Day this Sunday.
We turn now to report on rebel piracy and corporate revisionism. During an April 21st lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, Associate Professor of History, Roger Rouse, explored the differences between the history of rebel piracy, and the corporate revisionism of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" series.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events. To get your event on this calendar, email email@example.com
* The Thomas Merton Center will be having their annual New Person Awards, honoring the Marcellus Protest Group, on Tuesday, April 26th, at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church on 116 S. Highland Avenue, starting at 7 PM. Tickets are $15. For more information, see www.thomasmertoncenter.org and www.marcellusprotest.org.
* On Thursday, April 28th, from 3-6, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Senator Ferlo's office will host a Town Hall Meeting on the deep well drilling of Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn at Pittsburgh University Center on 100 Lytton Ave in Oakland. To register, contact Senator Ferlo's office at 412-621-3006. For more information and the full agenda, visit www.senatorferlo.com.
* The Thomas Merton Center and the Battle of Homestead Foundation begun its season of films about working people and labor history at the Pump House. On Thursday, April 28th, Workers Memorial Day in Allegheny County, we screen two films about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911. For nore information, visit the Events page of battleofhomesteadfoundation.org.
* The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Center for Race and Gender Equity invites individuals, organizations, corporations, schools, hospitals, houses of worship, and government agencies to become a part of the YWCA national Stand Against Racism event. The 2011 Stand Against Racism: A Public Rally takes place on Friday, April 29th from 12:00 pm-1:00 pm under the Portico of the City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Downtown Pittsburgh
* The East End Share Faire, a Really Really Free Market holds its third event in Friendship Park on Sunday May 1st, from 1-5pm! A space to share goods and services with your neighbors, ice cream, potluck dishes and more. For more information, visit www.eastendmutualaid.org
*The Persad Center is an AIDS Service Organization providing a variety of services to the HIV/AIDS community. Come to our signature "Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art" event at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, on Monday, May 9th. The centerpiece of the event is an auction featuring over 200 pieces of art from local, national and international artists including photography, painting, sculpture and jewelry.
* Explore the personal rewards and benefits of tutoring! AmeriCorps and the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council are looking for tutors to help refugees and immigrants learn skills that they need to be in this country, such as English courses, computer courses, General equivalency Degrees, and more. On Friday May 20th at 6pm come to the Ava Lounge in East Liberty or, for more information, visit www.gplc.org/AmeriCorps
[ Outro Music ]
Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WIUP Indiana, WNJR Washington, WLRI LanChester, and FRSC Santa Cruz.
Our hosts this week are Bonnie Pfister and Jessica McPherson, with contributions from [Lizzie Anderson, Emily DeMarco, Emily Laychak, Amos Levy, Jessica McPherson, Hannah Talib, and Nigel Parry]. This week's show was produced by Shawn Watson (and) Phill Cresswell. Special thanks to all of our hosts, producers, and contributors.
You can get involved with Rustbelt Radio! To contact us, email RADIO at I-N-D-Y-P-G-H dot ORG. Become our fan on Facebook to receive updates on our latest episode, and follow us on Twitter @pghimc. All of our shows are available 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 bi-weekly review of news from the grassroots.