community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: A member of Chicago Indymedia talks about the role of Indymedia in activism; As the war on drugs in Mexico continues to increase the country's death toll, we speak with one woman working to build peace through activism and embroidery; An update on the death of John Carter; Rustbelt continues its coverage of the so-called "Bloomfield Bridge Riot" and more in our local and global headlines
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Rustbelt Radio for June 4th, 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 stories.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between mainstream and independent media? Why at some protests their is a mainstream black out? Nick Kalas of Chicago Indymedia explains
This story was submitted by Don Carpenter and Produced by Chicago Indy Media. For more information please visit www.chicagoindymedia.org
On the last show Rustbelt covered the story of the death of Pittsburgh native John Carter at the State Correctional Institute Rockview, after he was reportedly found "unresponsive in his cell"on April 28th. In 1995, at the age of sixteen, John was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of second degree murder after taking part in a robbery that resulted in the death of one man. John's family immediately suspected that his death was not of natural causes. John had been held in solitary confinement for years because of his filing lawsuits and grievances regarding his and other prisoners' situations, and had told his family about the abuse he suffered there. Soon after they received a report from another prisoner at Rockview detailing the events of April 28th. John had been subjected to a cell extraction; a procedure where guards in riot gear enter a cell with pepper spray and electroshock weapons in order to move a prisoner to another cell. During the extraction the guards reportedly used six canister of tear gas in John's cell before proceeding to beat him to death. Prisoners also sent reports to local prisoner advocacy organization the Human Rights Coalition. Bret Grote, investigator and volunteer with HRC spoke with Rustbelt.
Department of Corrections officials released very few details about John's death for several days afterwards. Eventually, after numerous calls from the family and advocates the prison public relations administrator, Jeffery Rackovan admitted that there was a cell extraction the day John Carter died. The prison also informed the Carter family that an investigation would be carried out by the Pennsylvania state police.
Carter's family has filed a criminal complaint about John's death, which they have sent to the Pennsylvania District Attorney, the PA State Police as well as other bodies that could further investigate the killing. They have also pursued their own autopsy, the first one carried out by state police coming back as "inconclusive". The Carter family is also committed to drawing attention to the conditions that still exist for other prisoners across Pennsylvania, as John's sister Michelle expressed in the last show.
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Bret reflected on the likelihood that the DOC will be held accountable for the death of John Carter, and the reality that prisoners and the abuse they suffer exist in.
For more updates on the investigation or to read the Human Rights Coalition's weekly prison reports you can visit their website at www.hrcoalition.org
This story was produced by Hannah Taleb (ta-lib)
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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 will return after this musical break.
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That was Regina Spektor performing "Prisoners."
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-weekly review of news from the grassroots.
It has been almost 6 years since Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched a war against organized crime shortly after taking office. And in 2008, the U.S. began providing billions of dollars in aid to Mexico's drug war via the Merida Initiative. Since then, Mexico has seen a dramatic and tragic increase in murders, disappearances, kidnappings and well as a general state of insecurity that has gripped entire states and regions of the country. In the last 5 and a half years, over 60,000 people have been killed. At the same time, there has been no significant reduction in drug trafficking to the U.S. or the weakening of organized criminal groups. Many in Mexican society are frustrated and exasperated by the overwhelming amount of violence. The violence is not isolated to those involved with gangs and drug cartels. It is also affecting thousands of citizens including children, housewives, journalists, human rights defenders, social movement leaders, and students.
When nationally recognized poet and journalist Javier Sicilia's son was murdered along with six of his friends in March 2011, Sicilia decided to create a new national peace movement to confront the drug war. The group is called the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and they have given a voice and visibility to the thousands of victims of the drug war.
On April 20-22, 2012, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity held a national gathering in Cuernavaca, Morelos. In attendance was Margarita Sierra from Guadalajara Jalisco. In an interview with Rustbelt Radio contributor and member of the Witness for Peace Mexico Team, Carlin Christy, Margarita describes the impacts of the drug war violence on Mexican society. She also talks about the work she is doing locally to confront the destruction of Mexico's social fabric.
* Margarita_Work_in_Guadalajara_final_interview.mp3: Margarita Sierra on Mexico War on Drugs (12:00)
You've been listening to Margarita Sierra, a member of Mexico's Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. For more audio from the gathering of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, please visit the Soundcloud page of Witness for Peace at www.soundcloud.com/witness-for-peace
This story was produced by Carlin Christy.
Self-contained file (AIFF and MP3 versions):
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
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Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WSDR Pittsburgh, WIUP Indiana, WNJR Washington, WLRI LanChester, and FRSC Santa Cruz.
Our hosts this week are Jessica McPhersonand Emily Laychak with contributions from Carlin Christy, Don Carpenter, Nigel Parry, and Hannah Talib. 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.