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Rustbelt Radio for September 24, 2012
by Pittsburgh Indymedia: Rustbelt Radio Collecti Monday, Sep. 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM

On today's show: Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper Meets with Concerned Citizens in Homewood; The Tour De Frack Brings their Message to Washington DC; A look into Pennsylvania's voter ID law; Reporting from the Pennsylvania Hearing on Solitary Confinement and more in our local and global headlines.

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Rustbelt Radio for (September) (24), 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...

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.


Local News

[ 9:50 ] Pennsylvania Hearing on Solitary Confinement

Well over one hundred people filled a conference suite at Temple University in Philadelphia on Tuesday, September 18, to hear testimony on the effects of solitary confinement. They included survivors of solitary, family members, community members, advocates, and lawmakers. The hearing was held by the Democratic Policy Committee of Pennsylvania at the request of Representative Ronald G. Waters of Philadelphia and a member of the committee. It comes in the wake of the first ever Congressional hearing on solitary confinement, held by a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in June, and serves as yet another marker of how the widespread practice of solitary confinement in American prisons and jails is quickly becoming a mainstream human rights issue.

Solitary confinement is the practice of forced isolation that confines a prisoner in an, often tiny, cell for 23 to 24 hours a day with no human contact. The United States began using solitary confinement in current day in the 1980s and is considered torture by the United Nations.

The hearing also followed a rally on Monday at Philadelphia’s Love Park, organized by the Human Rights Coalition. About 150 participants listened to speakers describe their experiences in solitary confinement, while holding signs and banners that read “Jobs Not Jails,” “Fund Schools Not Prisons,” and “End Torture in Pennsylvania.”

LuQman Abdullah, a member of the Human Rights Coalition and survivor of solitary spoke at both the rally and the hearing about his experiences and gave an indictment of how the system works.

Robert "midget" Molley, who now goes by the name Hakeem Shaheed spoke of his time in the federal prison system. Shaheed also presented testimony at Tuesday's hearing. Most of his time in solitary confinement was spent at Marion Prison, a federal super maximum security prison in Illinois that was built to replace Alcatraz.

Robert King of the Angola Three spent thirty one years in prison, twenty nine of which were in solitary confinement. He presented testimony on Tuesday and gave these words at the rally on Monday.

Jules Lobel, a University of Pittsburgh law professor and director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, presented testimony on a panel of legal experts on Tuesday. During his statement, Lobel compared the situation of Robert King and the other two members of the Angola 3, to that of Russell Maroon Shoats, a sixty-eight-year-old Pennsylvania man who has spent the last twenty-one years in solitary confinement. He called both cases "arbitrary, discriminatory, and inhumane".

Shoats' daughter, Theresa (Te-Ree-Sa), spoke at both the rally and the hearing about her father and the effects that prisons and the torture inside of them, has on community.

Representative Ronald Waters ended the hearing, reminding the audience how hard it will be to bring everything they had learned that day back to the rest of the lawmakers in Pennsylvania and gain any meaningful change. ”Its too easy to go along with the narrative of tough on crime, you see the stories that make the newspapers,” he said. Representatives who had stayed an hour and a half beyond the scheduled time greeted some of the panelists and filed out of the conference room, having received the message that the uphill battle to end solitary confinement in Pennsylvania is one those present felt is worth fighting.

This piece was recorded and produced by Rustbelt Radio volunteer Hannah Taleb.

[10:22] Voter ID Report

[ 1:30 ] Terrell Johnson Free At Last!

Only minutes before the close of court on Wednesday, September 12, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all three charges in the 18-year-old case of Commonwealth v. Terrell Johnson, causing the defendant and his family and supporters to burst into tears of joy. Terrell had spent more than 17 years in prison after being convicted of the 1994 murder of Verna Robinson. The jury found him not guilty of first degree murder, retaliation against a witness, and criminal conspiracy.

This victory represents a resounding testament to the power of faith and family, and it would not have been possible without the steadfast determination of Saundra Cole, Terrell’s wife, who tracked down the new evidence that led to the re-trial, inspired others to help organize press conferences, teach-ins, rallies, and community events, and together with Terrell raised and maintained a caring and supportive family throughout this trying but transformative struggle.

After a 24-hour processing period Terrell Johnson was released to awaiting family and friends. He had this to say to a local WTAE reporter waiting outside.

This story was produced by Hannah Taleb


[ 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. We turn now to other independent news from around the world.


[ 10:34 ] Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chief Nate Harper Town Hall Meeting

* Nate_Harper_Town_Hall_Meeting_piece.mp3: 10:34

If you'd like to watch video from the Town Hall Meeting, Please visit the Rustbelt Radio page on FaceBook

This Story was Produced by Don Carpenter.

[ 18:48] Tour De Frack Takes their Message to Washington DC

* Tour_De_Frack_Piece.mp3: 18:48

This Story was produced by Tom Jefferson.

[ 2:00 ]Amy Goodman for Independent Media recruitment special!

And we finish today's show with on a note about the importance of independent media. On Thursday September 13th Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy and long-time grassroots journalist, spoke at Carnegie Mellon about a new book she has published entitled "the Silenced Majority," about electoral politics and other pressing issues.

If you would like to heed Amy's call for Independent media makers you can get involved with us here at Rustbelt Radio! For more information you can contact us by sending an email to

This piece was recorded and produced by Rustbelt Radio volunteer Hannah Taleb.


Calendar of Events

And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:

[1:00] Outro

[ Outro Music ]

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 [ Kayla Slicker ] and [ Lizzie Anderson ] with contributions from [ Kayla Slicker, Don Carpenter, Hannah Taleb and Tom Jeffereson ]. 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.

Rustbelt Radio for September 24, 2012
by Pittsburgh Indymedia: Rustbelt Radio Collecti Monday, Sep. 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM

audio: ogg vorbis at 56.8 mebibytesaudio: ogg vorbis at 56.8 mebibytes

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