community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: We hear reports back from the Developing for Unconventional Gas summit protest in Pittsburgh PA; inspiring actions and words from the Initiative for Transgender Leadership's commencement ceremony; Vandana Shiva speaks to Carnegie Mellon on how to change the culture of science; Pittsburghers occupy the Greenfield Bridge to demand more jobs and investment in infrastructure and more in our local and global headlines.
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Rustbelt Radio for November 21, 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.
The Initiative for Transgender Leadership, or I-T-L, had it's commencement ceremony for their first fellow, Rayden Sorock, on the evening of November 18th. For this event, over one hundred people gathered at the Union Project in celebration of Sorock, the ITL and transgender human rights. In addition to speeches and acknowledgments, food was shared, music was played, spoken word was presented and acrobatics performed.
The ITL was formed in 2009 by Madeline Hershey, R.T. Peck and Jen Saffron to provide career and leadership opportunities for trans youth in Pittsburgh. As the ITL fellow, Sorock, age 25, maintained an internship at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership and with a program of Coro Pittsburgh called the Regional Internship Center of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
As the ITL fellow, Sorock wrote forty articles for the ITL blog, fifteen for the Regional Internship Center's blog, and enlisted other authors to write for those blogs as well. Sorock was interviewed by local media outlets, and interviewed local organizations about their internship programs. He performed seven trainings on trans education and attended over 100 community meetings to make connections and build relationships. As an ITL fellow, he also created an LGBTQ "Toolkit" for Coro that will serve as a reference guide for the organization as it builds inclusion. The toolkit includes research on LGBTQ workplace discrimination, rules for etiquette and suggestions for outreach, as well as a list of local LGBTQ organizations. Sorock did all of this as an out trans man, something that the audience was reminded takes courage within this society.
Sorock spoke to the broader importance of having such a program, which can act as a deterrent to violence perpetrated in the name of transphobia - which is the fear and hatred of people who are transgendered. Sorock acknowledged this in his speech:
Sorock also reminded the audience of the violence against LGBTQ people in Pittsburgh, the reactions from the media and the necessity of education to combat stereotypes and misinformation:
Sorock describes his future role as a post- ITL fellow, as a megaphone for possibility:
Up next for the ITL is to review the possibilities of creating another internship and also to begin a mentoring program for trans youth. Sorock will stay on as a advisor for the initiative.
To read the ITL blog that Sorock authored, go to trans youth leaders [dot] blog spot [dot] com.
This story was recorded and edited by Lizzie Anderson.
On November 13th, Mumia Abu Jamal, a political prisoner housed in near by State Correctional Institution Greene, released a radio report on the recent news coming out of Penn State and it's connections to broader abuse and mistreatment. Here it is in full.
There is a rally on December 9th in Philadelphia to mark Mumia's 30th year on death row and to demand his release. For more information, visit millions4mumia.org.
On November 3rd, Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva came to Pittsburgh as the keynote speaker for the Thomas Merton Center awards dinner. She also made time to speak at Carnegie Mellon University, and brought a special message for students to reconsider some of the cultural approaches to technology that prevail in western academic settings.
In the last several decades India has experienced a massive shift in agricultural practices as western technologies such as genetically engineered seed, chemical fertilizer, and pesticides were introduced. This shift was termed the "green revolution". However, Shiva argues that it has caused massive social and ecological disruption, including putting farmers into crushing levels of debt that have contributed to a quarter million farmer suicides in that country. She addressed the cultural ideology that frames this technology as acceptable:
She described an example of technology deployed without regard for context:
Shiva also argued that science has become far too pigeonholed by discipline, preventing those who develop technology from seeing its full impacts. She began by addressing genetic engineering and synthetic biology:
That was Vandana Shiva speaking at Carnegie Mellon University. This story was produced by Jessica McPherson
[ 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 bi-weekly review of news overlooked by the corporate media.
Wednesday, November 17 was a national day of action and solidarity for the occupation movement. With many cities, including the occupation at Wall Street in New York, undergoing pressures to disperse by police and officials, actions were planned across the country to demonstrate the movement's resistance, dedication, and staying power.
Locally: steelworkers, ironworkers, nurses, public school teachers, port authority employees (including some laid off), varied preachers and social activists rallied at mcgee park in Greenfield. Among the many speakers, an occupy pittsburgh representative read the statement of solidarity and commitment written at the latest general assembly.
we the individuals of occupy pittsburgh, have assembled to resist and abolish the political, social, and economic injustices that contront us in our communities. we recoginize that the current system encourages large corporations and the wealthy 1% to weirld excessive influence over our political and legal systems, economy and culture. we recognize that this prevents genuine democracy and deprives us of our liberties; sacrifices our health, safety, and well being; threatens our relationship with the rest of the world; has detroyed and continues to destroy cultures and peoples throughout the world and critically compromises the ecological systems that sustain life itself. we are a nonviolent, decentralized movement working to create a just society. we are claiming a space for public dialogue and the practice of direct democracy for the purpose of generating and implenting solutions accessible to everyone. to this end, we are excercising our rights to assemble peacefully and speak freely, thus demonstrating our commitment to the long work of transforming the structures that produce and sustain injustices. also to that end, we are working toward all forms of inequality and discrimination including those based on age, ability, diagnosis, size, religion or lack thereof, class, culture, immigration status, nationality, history of incarceration, housing status, race, color, ethnicity, indigeonous status, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. we stand in solidarity with those who have come before us in Pittsburgh and elsewhere who have fought for political, social,and economic justice. we are your next door neighbors. we are your friends. we are your relatives. we are the 99%.
Following that statement from OccupyPittsburgh and the rally at the park, the demonstators marched through the neighborhood to Greenfield bridge as the bridge was used as an example of the infrastructure in need of repair and the opportunity for work, directly improving American life in American communities.
Guillermo Perez, of the United Steel Workers, facilitated the rally before calling the crowd to march.
this story was produced by Emily Laychak.
Rustbelt Radio will return after this musical break.
That was Milemarker with "Shrink to Fit."
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-weekly review of news from the grassroots.
On November 15, demonstrators and flash mobs descended upon the David Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh to rally against the Developing for Unconventional Gas East conference, also known as DUG East. We now turn to Rustbelt Radio correspondent, Gretchen Neidert, who attended the protest.
That was Gretchen Neidert reporting from the November 15th, Developing Unconventional Gas East, or DUG East, protest in Pittsburgh, PA.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
* On Saturday, November 26th, Mama Africa's Green Scouts is inviting parents and their children to come learn how to be an enterperneur and community leader. This event, for kids ages three through eighteen, will be held at the Hill House Association from noon to three pm. The Open House will focus on the environment and African culture. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* PennEnvironment is hosting a set of trainings focusing on Marcellus Shale which give citizens the skills to act as advocates and activists on this important environmental issue. The trainings emphasize teaching citizens how to effectively lobby their elected officials and work with the media regarding Marcellus Shale. There is a December 3rd training in Monroeville and December 10 will see a Pittsburgh session from 1 to 4pm at Carnegie Public Library, 5801 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields will be among the presenters at this session. For more information about anti-fracking events, visit marcellusprotest.org
* At the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, a new exhibit "Common Ground: Affrilachia! Where I'm From", features nearly 50 works by artists from Western Pennsylvania and beyond, both emerging and established, whose works typify the themes and sensibilities that spring from rural and urban life in the Appalachian region. Free and open to the public.
* Occupy Pittsburgh continues on in Mellon Green downtown, at the intersection of Grant and 6th. Visitors are always welcome. Check the calendar at OccupyPittsburgh.org for times of General Assemblies and other event listings.
* Check out Radio Occupy at www.radioOccupy.tv for music, news and informational videos from musicians supporting Occupy Wall Street and occupations around the country.
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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 Emily Demarco and Juliana Stricklen with contributions from Lizzie Anderson, Seth Bearden, Hannah Taleb, Emily Laychek, Jessica McPherson, Gretchen Neidert, and Nigel Parry. This week's show was produced by Shawn Watson. Special thanks to all of our hosts, producers, and contributors.
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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.