community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: Police attack a Mayday music show under the Bloomfield Bridge; Never Alone Tour comes through Pittsburgh to raise awareness about the FBIs ongoing campaign of repression against anarchists; A whistle blower's story on the death of one of the last jaguars in the United States; A prisoner at SCI Rockview is killed during a cell extraction and more in our local and global headlines.
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Rustbelt Radio for May 7, 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.
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We turn now to local stories.
This story was produced by Hannah Taleb.
While people across the US woke up this past May 1st in anticipation of celebrating the labor holiday, May Day, the top story in the news was about anarchists attempting to bomb a bridge in Cleveland.
The announcement of these arrests came as no surprise to many activists. They were carefully unveiled on May Day, so that instead of people hearing about anarchists that are preventing home foreclosures, starting community gardens, and teaching organizing skills, they were bombarded with stories about an FBI-guided “terrorist plot.”
Most importantly, undercover FBI agents helped shape the plot, offered advice on how and where to use explosives, and allegedly sold explosives to the activists.
For instance, on April 10, in a conversation that was recorded by an FBI informant, one of the activists explained that Quote “he does not know what to do with the explosives and he has never considered blowing anything up before.”
What’s troubling is that the government had a heavy hand in creating the very plot it thwarted.
This case comes as no surprise to members of the Never Alone tour, a group that came through Pittsburgh only a week before May Day to raise awareness about activists that are serving long prison sentences due to terrorism charges.
Members of the Never Alone tour gave a presentation at the Big Idea bookstore in Bloomfield about two political prisoners in particular, Eric McDavid and Marie Mason.
Eric McDavid is an activist that was given conspiracy charges and is now serving an almost 20 year sentence for what amounts to a thought crime.
Eric McDavid was arrested in 2006 and charged with a single count of conspiracy to damage and destroy property by fire and explosive, even though no action ever took place. Eric was arrested after being entrapped by a government informant, who was paid over $65,000 for her work with the FBI.
Despite the fact that Eric McDavid was ultimately convicted, there was opposition amongst the jury to Eric's conviction due to inconsistencies during the trial.
Eric McDavids lawyers said that there could have been no conspiracy at all without Anna. Anna provided much of the financial support, the encouragement, and the know-how needed to turn their talk into action.
Another activist caught up in the Green Scare is Marie Mason, a mother of two and a long-time activist in the environmental and labor movements.
Marie Mason was arrested in 2008 and faced a life sentence if she went to trial. So, she accepted a plea bargain and admitted to her involvement in two acts of property destruction, one that damaged an office connected to GMOs or Genetically Modified Organism research, and another that destroyed a piece of logging equipment. No one was injured in either act.
In 2009, she was sentenced to just under 22 years, the longest sentence ever given to any green scare prisoner.
She says that Marie Mason continues to stay positive and asks for people to not just support her but to continue the struggle in solidarity with her.
Vandana Shiva is a well-known author and activist in India where anti-GMO actions are commonplace, as well as throughout Europe, where many GMO foods are banned due to actions like Maries.
The presentation continued by giving lessons that have been learned so far and what activists can do to deal with government repression and support current prisoners.
The main objective of the Never Alone tour is to raise awareness of these cases and of the International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners on June 11th.
For more info, go on the web to never alone tour dot wordpress dot com
This story was written by Seth Bearden for Rustbelt Radio.
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Our hosts this week are Emily Laychak and Stephanie Fello with contributions from Jessica McPherson, Seth Bearden, Hannah Talib, 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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