community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: Changes for Garfield's future are presented by the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation; Occupy Pittsburgh holds its second general assembly meeting; The EPA holds a public hearing on new regulations that would affect air pollution from gas drilling; Community members in Butler County protest fracking at a local dairy farm and more in our local and global headlines
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Rustbelt Radio for October 10, 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.
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We turn now to local stories.
On Tuesday, October 4th, the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, Carnegie Mellon, and downtown developer Ever Picker held a Brainstorm for Change in Garfield presentation at the neighborhood's Community Center. The flyer asked the residents to [quote] explore 16 fantastic ideas for Garfield’s future with 70 architecture students. [endquote] Picker and the BGC were inspired by the 6% Place plan which hypothesizes that when 6% of a neighborhood's population are creative workers like architects and designers, the neighborhood becomes more attractive to newcomers. The newcomers Picker and the BGC have brought to work in the neighborhood are the 70 Carnegie Mellon architecture students.
Together the hosts and students gave an hour long presentation, breaking down the 6% plan, the data they've collected through talking to students and community members leading up to the meeting, and the 16 proposals for the students' projects. Among the proposals is a kids' cafe and activity center, a women-run and utilized cab company, artists' studios, an outdoor community market, and tiny houses. After the presentation, Picker opened the floor for a question and answer session before the brainstorming session.
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The 16 proposals were divided by 4 into 4 brainstorming groups and the community members were invited to pick the group with the ideas they'd like to discuss with the each proposal's respective student. During this brainstorming session, Rustbelt Radio correspondent Hannah Taleb was able to talk to longtime resident Susan Snodin followed by Mrs. Colwith about their thoughts on the presentation and their own ideas for the future of Garfield.
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This story was produced by Emily Laychak.
The annual Combus Day parade marched through Bloomfield this past Saturday and hundreds of folks and families came from all over the city to watch, dance, and eat candy thrown from floats. A small group of 20 among them, however, came to question the reason for celebration and to incite questioning among the crowd.
The Anti-Colmbus Day protesters wore signs that read messages such as "Columbus killed," "Colombus was a jagoff," and "happy indigenous day" while handing out fliers that began [quote]Another year, another columbus day parade, another celebration of genocide. Columbus was responsible for the murder of millions of indigenous people, was a slave trader in Africa, and began the slave trade in America. This day celebrates the doctrine of discovery - the legal process that stole native land, which still continues today.[endquote]
The flier went on to suggest the community's energy rather be put into making the community a safer, more welcoming neighborhood; that [quote]by celebrating a man who made his legacy in slavery and death, we are ignoring the amazing and resilient histories and struggles of indigenous peoples[end quote]
The flier also included the websites historyisaweapon.com which led to the first chapter of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States which begins [quote]
When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:
They ... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned... . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... . They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
These Arawaks of the Bahama Islands were much like Indians on the mainland, who were remarkable (European observers were to say again and again) for their hospitality, their belief in sharing. These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked Western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus. [endquote]
Protesters also referenced the website transformcolumbusday.org. Based out of Denver, The Transform Columbus Day Alliance [quote] actively rejects the celebration of Christopher Columbus and his legacy of domination, oppression, and colonialism. We also reject historical misconceptions regarding Columbus and his "discovery" of the Americas. By saying NO to Columbus and his day we are saying YES to a new future of mutual respect, collaboration, and equality, a future that respects the rights of indigenous peoples, the natural environment, democratic & economic justice, gender equity over global patriarchy, free and equal speech over hate speech.[endquote]
For another example of alternative education and celebration, visit reconsidercolumbusday.org.
This story was produced by Emily Laychak.
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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.
As the occupation of Wall Street in New York City enters its fourth week, other cities throughout the U.S., from Seattle to Atlanta to St.Louis-- as well as Pittsburgh-- are joining the occupation movement.
This past Sunday October 9th, several hundred people gathered in Schenley Plaza for a second meeting to discuss plans to occupy space in Pittsburgh. This meeting was not an ordinary meeting composed soley of neighborhood organizations, but a democratic gathering of individuals who all have a say in the organizing process, otherwise known as a general assembly.
The general assembly model is at the heart of the recent occupations, and according to the website, Occupy Together dot Org, there are over a thousand cities that are having general assemblies and occupations in the U.S., including Scranton, Harrisburg,and Philadelphia.
One city that was quick to adopt the general assembly model is Portland, Oregon.
Many of the occupations are using live video streaming on the internet to broadcast the general assembly meetings as they progress. The live video footage is accessed through websites that are created to organize events, workshops, and meetings that are scheduled every day at the occupied spaces.
We will now hear interviews recorded at the Occupy Wall Street encampment that were posted on the website occupy wall street dot org
Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, the second general assembly has so far decided to have a permitted march on Saturday October 15th. A third general assembly is being planned this week before the march to make decisions about the occupation. Participants have organized working groups to deal with different aspects of the occupation, including media, food, first aid, and other needs.
To get involved with the planning, check out occupy pittsburgh dot org or find their Facebook group.
We now leave you with excerpts from New York.
This story was produced by Seth Bearden with audio from Occupy Portland and Occupy Wall Street.
Troy Davis convicted of and executed last month for the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia, in August 1989. We bring you commentary from Mumia Abu-Jamal on the widely protested execution.
[ ] Musical break
Rustbelt Radio will return after this musical break.
* rebeldiaz_troy_davis.flac: Troy Davis Lives Forever
That was Rebel diaz with Troy Davis Lives Forever.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-weekly review of news from the grassroots.
At a press conference organized by various environmental groups and organizations, Steve Hvozdovich of Clean Water Action and Pennsylvania resident Bridget Coyne explain the importance of the federal legislation.
* epapresscon.ogg: 4:50 epa
In addition to dozens of concerned citizens and community leaders, various gas industry officials spoke at the hearing. Kathryn Klaber of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a group representing over 250 companies involved in the gas industry, urged the EPA to delay the proposed New Performance Standards and questioned the economic benefits of the regulations. Kathryn Klaber explains.
* mscBS.ogg: epa :33
Despite the claim that natural gas is cleaner burning than oil and coal, the oil and gas industry is the single largest source of methane. As the primary constituent of natural gas, methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide. David McCabe, an Atmospheric Chemist with the Clean Air Task force, criticizes the proposed regulation for not addressing methane emissions.
The final two public hearings were held in Denver and Arlington, Texas the following day. The EPA must finalize the air regulations by February 28, 2012.
This story was produced by Juliana Stricklen.
On Saturday, October 8th, over 100 people gathered to protest fracking at a Butler County dairy farm. The group met in Evans City, Pennsylvania, and marched from the town to the Marburger Dairy farm, where a Marcellus well is currently being fracked by XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon-Mobil. According to their website, Marburger Dairy provides milk to (quote) over 2500 schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other businesses (endquote). Community members feared that the gas drilling may result in contamination of the milk, as well as exposure of nearby residents to air and water toxins. The protest was organized by Marcellus Outreach Butler, a local group whose mission is to protect their communities from harmful effects of gas drilling and preserve clean air and water.
The group planned its first large protest at the dairy farm because milk is particularly sensitive to chemical contamination in the environment. If a cow absorbs contaminants from feed, air, or water, these pass almost unfiltered into the milk. Furthermore, children are the largest consumers of milk, and are impacted by pollutants more heavily than adults because their bodies are still developing.
Although the farm did sign a lease for the drilling, protest organizers said their main target was Exxon-Mobil. Marcellus Outreach Butler found DEP records showing that XTO had 154 violations in the last three years. While the industry claims its safety record is continually improving, 40% of those violations occurred in the last six months. In an interview with the Sewickley Patch, an Exxon spokesperson called these “paperwork” violations. The DEP’s list, however, shows that almost all of XTOs violations were for chemical contamination or faulty well casings and waste containment structures.
Marcellus gas drilling has started relatively recently in Butler County, but the impacts are already being felt by residents. After the march to the dairy, organizer Mike Bagdes - Canning introduced several community members to tell their stories.
Kim McAvoy lives in a community called The Woodlands in Butler County. Her well water recently became contaminated. Rex Energy, which drilled nearby, claims the contamination is not caused by drilling. But the company did give McAvoy a water buffalo, which is a large portable plastic tank of water, to replace the toxic well.
Kim describes how the contamination has impacted her family’s life:
Kim’s household is not the only one in her community to have problems:
Kim feared that the company might take away her water buffalo if she spoke publicly against them. Companies commonly require people to sign agreements saying they will not speak publicly about problems, before the company provides compensation for the problems.
Janet McIntire is also from the Woodlands community. After Rex Energy started drilling Marcellus wells nearby in January of 2011, she suffered water contamination and air pollution.
Janet describes how they found out their water was contaminated.
Testing revealed the pollutants:
The air also went bad, but no one believed her at first:
Even as some Butler County residents continue to suffer from the effects of gas drilling, and others fear they may be next, the protest organizers say that fighting back has helped them build community. Mike Bagdes-Canning:
This story was produced by Jessica McPherson, audio recording by David Meieran.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
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