community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: Wikileaks releases the first of 5 million e-mails from private intelligence corporation Stratfor; The government subpoenas an Occupy Wall Street activist for his Twitter records; We air an interview from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting about Apple and coverage of Apple with longtime workers' right advocate and researcher Jeff Ballinger; Radio Against Apartheid interviewed CODEPINK's Medea Benjamin about her recent experiences in Bahrain; We hear from local activist, Brittany McBryde, on her new documentary, "The Image of Black Women" and more in our local and global headlines.
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Rustbelt Radio for February 27, 2012
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 and regional stories.
Many of our listeners have Apple iPhones. The recent New York Times series on working conditions at Apple suppliers in China--conditions that have reportedly driven as many as 20 workers to suicide--is disturbing and compelling. But is it the sort of work that leads to real reform, or just journalism awards? Janine Jackson, Program Director at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting talks about Apple and coverage of Apple with longtime workers' right advocate and researcher Jeff Ballinger.
We now turn to an interview with local activist, Brittany McBryde (pronounce mc-BRIDE), on her documentary, “The Image of Black Women,” premiering at the August Wilson Center on Saturday, March 17th at 6:00pm.
That was Emily DeMarco interviewing Brittany McBryde. For more information about the film, visit www [dot] theimageofblackwomen [dot] com.
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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 U.S., and around the world.
One minute past midnight, on Monday 27 February, WikiLeaks began publishing what it calls "The Global Intelligence Files" – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered private intelligence company, Stratfor. The emails cover seven-and-a-half years from July 2004 to late December 2011. Wikileaks commented:
[quote] They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods [end quote]
One e-mail, from Stratfor CEO George Friedman to Stratfor's Director of Analysis Reva Bhalla, on 6 December 2011, offers the following advice to Bhalla on exploiting an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.
[quote] "[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control... This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase" [endquote]
This e-mail and an initial crop of others were published today at Wikileaks.org. More e-mails will be released daily.
This report was prepared by Nigel Parry.
Several weeks ago, an activist involved with Occupy Wall Street was notified by the social media site, Twitter, that the government subpoenaed his Twitter records. The Obama administration wanted Twitter to keep the request quiet but they didn't listen.
The reason for the subpoena stems from the arrest of activist, Malcolm Harris, during the Brooklyn Bridge march in 2011, an action which helped to launch the occupy movement. Most of the protesters that were arrested, including Malcolm Harris, were charged with the mundane crime of disorderly conduct, a charge no more consequential than a speeding ticket.
The subpoena raises questions about the government's use of warrantless surveillance and it's attempts at suppressing activists' use of social media.
We now go to an interview on Russia Today with Malcolm Harris, the Occupy Wall Street Protester who received the subpoena.
That was Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protester whose Twitter account history was recently subpoenaed by the government for an arrest in 2011. Critics are accusing the government of conducting a fishing expedition. Why would the government need Tweets from months before and after the October 1 protest to prove he was obstructing traffic on the bridge?
Hanni Fakhoury (Fa-couri), a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy organization, explains the case involving Malcolm Harris' Twitter records:
(Quote) " Given that much of Mr. Harris' Twitter information is already public, it's very likely that the government was really after something else: location data.
By attempting to subpoena these records, the government can get around the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against warrantless searches by requesting information that includes IP addresses.
Twitter keeps track of IP address information every time a person logs into Twitter. Armed with IP addresses, the government -- without a warrant -- can go to an Internet Service Provider or ISP, to determine who was assigned that particular IP address. And if that person connected on a mobile device -- which is where the majority of Twitter users access their accounts -- the ISP will hand over to the government the specific cell tower, including its geographic location.
This allows the government to piece together a map of where a person physically is when he opens Twitter on his smartphone. And with that information, the government could get a record of Mr. Harris' movement over the three months it requested from Twitter." (End Quote)
Earlier this month, Malcolm Harris said the ultimate goal of the subpoena is to discourage activists from using Twitter:
(Quote) "It’s a win-win for prosecutors: Either they use Twitter archives to build cases against demonstrators, or they scare us away from using the platform."
This report was prepared by Seth Bearden.
Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK was recently deported from Bahrain. She travelled there with Witness Bahrain, an international solidarity movement that was set up to monitor and report on human rights abuses, collective punishment and suppression of Arab Spring democracy activists in the Kingdom, as the struggle approached its first anniversary.
In this interview she discusses the 'samud' (an Arabic word meaning "steadfastness") of the women she met, the arming of the Kingdom by Western powers, and the need to take action against the companies who sponsor and promote the F1 Grand Prix which is set to take place in Bahrain in April.
This interview was brought to you by Radio Against Apartheid, a show on Western Philadelphia's WPEB 88.1FM. For more features and shows from the Middle East, visit RadioAgainstApartheid dot L-I-B-S-Y-N dot com
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-weekly review of news from the grassroots.
That was Laney Trautman performing "Fallen Empires" at the Brew on Broadway Coffee shop in Beechview, recorded live on February 18th.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
* The Pittsburgh Port Authority is facing another massive budget shortfall because the state is refusing to provide a dedicated source of funding for transit, despite 20 years of public support to do so. Concerned Pittsburghers are meeting Wednesday, February 29th at 12 noon, at the David Lawrence Convention Center for a RALLY AGAINST PUBLIC TRANSIT CUTS!
[ 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 [Nigel Parry] and [Don Carpenter] with contributions from [Nigel Parry, Emily DeMarco, Seth Bearden, Hanna Talib, Jessica McPherson, Don Carpenter, Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting, and Western Philadelphia WPEB's Radio Against Apartheid]. This week's show was produced by Shawn Watson. 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.