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Rustbelt Radio for July 2, 2012
by Pittsburgh Indymedia: Rustbelt Radio Collecti Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2012 at 12:03 AM

On today's show we look back over our last 8 years and also remain focused on the present while we touch on issues of health care, the prison system, transit, the Fourth of July and more.

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Rustbelt Radio for July 2nd, 2012

[1:00] Intro

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 we look back over our last 8 years and also remain focused on the present while we touch on issues of health care, the prison system, transit, the Fourth of July and more.

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.

Before we turn to local stories, today's show needs a special introduction.

Rustbelt Radio first aired on May 25th, 2004. So this May 25th, 2012 was our 8th anniversary of bringing this area news from a perspective overlooked by the corporate media. Today's show is the first of at least two shows where we will revisit past events Rustbelt Radio covered along side contemporary events of a similar nature. Please stay tuned to see a little bit of history from Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond and celebrate our 8th year of dedication to airing our community's voices and stories.

And now we turn to local headlines


Local News

[2:00] Transit, then and now

As the 2011 state budget is about to pass without including funding for public transportation, forcing Port Authority to make its most extreme service cuts yet, we look back to 2005, when the issue of transportation funding was still relatively new.

That was Matt Toups, interviewing transit activist and former Rustbelt contributor David Meieran, in 2005. Matt was a co-founder and amazing long time member of Rustbelt Radio and he has since moved on to New Orleans. Jessic McPherson, another long time wonderful volunteer, dug it up from the archives to air this week.

Transit issues are still heavily reported on by Rustbelt Radio and still share similar issues to those described 7 years ago. For more on that, you can visit pittsburghersforpublictransit dot org.

[8:00] Summer 2004: Healthcare not Warfare March in Pittsburgh

Here at Rustbelt Radio and the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center, we have consistently focused on healthcare as an important issue to cover over the years. Here is a look back to our first year of being on the air, with a healthcare rally where hundreds gathered in Market Square in August of 2004 to ask the United States government to prioritize healthcare over warfare.

* 725.wav: (7:25)

That was a piece by multiple Rustbelt Radio volunteers from years past to the present.

[5:25] November 2009 UPMC Braddock Closing

Flash a little bit forward to Thursday, November 19th 2009. In a steady rain, Braddock, Homestead, Rankin, West Mifflin, and Swissvale residents protested the closing of UPMC Braddock's hospital, slated for January 2010. Outside the South Braddock Avenue entrance, organizers parked a truck with speakers and a microphone where a crowd of 2 to 300 gathered. Braddock Borough Councilman William Zachery, who suggested the rally, was the first to speak. He related his personal story of people over profits:

Claudia Detwiler of Western Pennsylvania Single-Payer Coalition:

Braddock Councilwoman Tina [pronounce: doo-SAY] Doose rallied the crowd by questioning UPMC's justifications for the closing.

Singer and organizer Ann Feeney also sang.

Braddock Council President Jesse Brown announced initiation of an injunction against the hospital:

Vice President of the United Steelworker's union, Fred Redman, pledged support in the struggle to keep UPMC open, remembering that its citizens had built the hospital and putting its closing in a national perspective:

One Bloomfield resident, who wished to remain anonymous, worried that UPMC's intentions were to focus its energies in Bloomfield to put the Western Pennsylvania Hospital, West Penn, out of business. Many of the citizens present, residents and non-residents alike, felt that the ramifications of the closing the Braddock UPMC would resonate throughout Pittsburgh and other communities.

Tona Buba, a filmmaker and organizer of Save Our Community Hospitals, a grassroots group formed on November 9th to address hospital closings, announced their plans for the future:

That 2009 piece was originially produced by Kara Holsopple, a lovely past volunteer, and taken from the archives by Emily Laychak, a fabulous current volunteer.

[4:00] UPMC appeal to City Council for support in forming union

Here is a current day look at more health care coverage with some added union highlighting, another topic we've dedicated much air time to over the last 8 years. On Tuesday June 26th, 2012, UPMC workers came together for a City Council Hearing to gain support in forming a union within the nonclinical staff, a voice for themselves, their patients, and their communities.

UPMC posted over $700 million in "excess revenues" last year while using its tax exempt not-for-profit status to avoid paying its fair share to support public services. Meanwhile, UPMC management has hired expensive union-busters and launched an intense campaign of fear and intimidation against workers as they struggle for support to form a union.

Kathy Cabbagestalk is a surgical instrument technician at UPMC Montefoire. She describes the reasons to form a union, the obstacles being faced, and why the appeal to City Council.

* upmckathy10.wav: (2:30)

While UPMC workers mean to hold the hospital accountible for the fair treatment of its own employees, many groups such as Pittburghers for Public Transit, and activists fighting for the maintenance of other social needs including education, shed light on the fact that the deficit in funding may be solved through UPMC tax contribution to the city at large.

UPMC workers appeal to community leaders for support while spreading this awareness.

That piece was produced by a still fabulous Rustbelt volunteer, Emily Laychak.


[ 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. This week's show is the first of several where we will celebrate our 8th year anniversary with a return to past aired segments and current day pieces on similar topics. We turn now to other independent news from around the world.

Global News

[ 9:15 ] Prison Report

The Prison Report has been a feature on this show for over a year now, focusing on issues within the prison system. Rustbelt Radio has been covering prison related issues for years. A feature we used to air was called "2.3 Million and Rising." We'll share some moments from the segment on our next show's continued retrospective.

Here's this show's Prison Report:

While the report is complied by many people within Fed Up's Pittsburgh and Philadelphia groups, we want to acknowledge terrific Rustbelt Radio volunteer Hannah Taleb who consistently makes the report radio ready for us to air.

[ 1:30 ] Radio Roots, Today in Radical History

A segment we've featured regularly on Rustbelt Radio over the years is Radio Roots' Today in Radical History. Today in Radical History segments are short history pieces covering history [quote] you probably did not learn about and brings us one significant historical event for each day of the calendar [end quote]. The pieces were researched and produced by high school students and their support researchers. The following is the segment for July 2nd, which is the original air date for this current show.

That was July 2nd's Radical Day in History produced by Radio Rootz.

[ 5:00 ] Mumia on Fourth of July

During the last 8 years, Rustbelt Radio has regularly featured Pennsylvania political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, both in updates of his case and his weekly commentary on political and social issues. A recent ruling made it so that Mumia is no longer on death row, but is still incarcerated for life. Since this is the season of Independence Day, we bring you a piece on this topic that Mumia recorded for his Prison Report from July 1, 2007:

That was a commentary on the Fourth of July by Mumia Abu Jamal from 2007.



You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's bi-weekly review of news from the grassroots, as we celebrate our 8 year anniversary.

[15:00] Retrospective on 2005 founding of Mountain Justice

As part of our almost a decade anniversary retrospective, we bring you some excerpts from our coverage of the founding of Mountain Justice Summer in 2005.

That was Rustbelt Radio's awesome correspondent and co-founder Andalusia Knoll interviewing Neil Ritchie of Katuah Earth First on our show for February 14th, 2005. Later that year, Mountain Justice Summer held its first event in Charleston, West Virginia. Jessie Buckner brought us this report, which first aired on April 11th 2005:

Organizer Judy Bonds again:

Pittsburghers organized several events as part of Mountain Justice Summer, including a protest at the National Coal Convention and a two-day conference. Here is an except from our June 6th, 2005 show:

* 2005-06-06.flac: 2005-06-06.flac [3:00]

Mountain Justice Summer evolved into a year-round movement that continues today, simply called Mountain Justice. It has achieved many of the goals organizers mentioned in 2005. At the time Mountain Justice Summer was first organized, mountaintop removal had been occurring in Appalachia for years, but very few outside the region had any knowledge of the situation. Today, after years of outreach by activists on college campuses and in communities across the country, and countless public protests and direct actions, the issue has been brought to national prominence.

The march on Washington that Judy Bonds dreamed of happened in September 2010. It was called Appalachia Rising, and it brought not just hillbillies but supporters from across the country. Here are excerpts from Rustbelt’s coverage of the march on our October 11th, 2010 show:

Air force veteran Adam Hall, of West Virginia:

Sadly, Judy Bonds was suffering from cancer and could not attend the march; she passed on in January of 2011, at the age of 58. Her death was covered in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The LA times, and National Public Radio.

There has been incremental progress in slowing the destruction of mountaintop removal; the EPA has enacted stricter limits on valley fill waste disposal and actually denied several large permits. The industry is challenging these limits in court, and the fight to end Mountaintop Removal completely is ongoing. West Virginia is within the Marcellus region, and now residents must contend with fracking as well. The Mountain Justice movement serves as a reference for anti-fracking organizers, and many are looking for ways to bring the movements together.

The previous piece was resurrected by lovely Rustbelt volunteer Jessica McPherson.

[ ] Musical Break

[ ] Feature 2


Calendar of Events

And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:

[1:00] Outro

[ Outro Music ]

Thanks for tuning in to our 8th year commemoration Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WSDR Pittsburgh, WIUP Indiana, WNJR Washington, WLRI LanChester, and FRSC Santa Cruz. And thanks to those stations who have aired us in the past.

Our hosts this week are [ ] and [ ] with contributions from [Andalusia Knoll, Matt Toups, Jessie Buckner, Jessica McPherson, Carlin Christy, David Meieran, Lizzie Anderson, Emily Laychak, Seth Bearden, Kara Holsopple, Nigel Perry and Hannah Taleb ]. This week's show was produced by Shawn Watson. Special thanks to all of our hosts, producers, and contributors.

And a continued special thanks and round of applause to all of the volunteers, producers, speakers, community groups and interviewees over the years. Without all of you, we could not have shared as much news as we have. News that otherwise may have been ignored. Please recognize that while similar fights are still being fought, your contribution has made an recognizable and important impact on this city and beyond. We appreciate you.

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.

Rustbelt Radio for July 2, 2012
by Pittsburgh Indymedia: Rustbelt Radio Collecti Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2012 at 12:03 AM

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