Radio Interviews by Sue Supriano. Featured issues: peak oil, climate change, 9/11, media, indigenous people, fraudulent elections, oil, environmental pollution and toxicity, chem trails/aerosol sprays, human rights, civil rights, racism, militarism, weapons, immigrants, genetic engineering, Buddhism…
The guest is S. Brian Willson, local anti-war activist and member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. He'll talk with KBOO host Sue Supriano about his new autobiography, "Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson."This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Political Perspectives program on 6/22/2011. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Host Sue Supriano speaks with Leuren Moret, a geoscientist who has worked around the world on radiation issues, educating citizens, the media, members of parliaments and Congress and other officials.This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Political Perspectives program on 04/06/2011. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Host Sue Supriano speaks with Daniel Pinchbeck, an author and editorial director of Reality Sandwich, a blog website centered around New Age philosophy and activism.This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Radiozine program on 3/28/2011. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Host Sue Supriano speaks with Anthony Johnson, the Clinical Director of Oregon Green Free and the political Director of Progressive Reform of Oregon, and Sara Duff, board member at the Institute for Cannabis Therapeutics and Human Resources Director at Oregon Green Free.This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Political Perspectives program on 3/25/2011. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Host Sue Supriano speaks with Steve Bhaerman, aka Swami Beyondananda, "a serious/funny guy" whose new book is "Transforming Through 2012: Leading Perspectives on the New Global Paradigm."This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Radiozine program on 03/21/2011. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Host Sue Supriano speaks with Daniel Lerch, Program Director of Post Carbon Institute about his book, The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises.This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Political Perspectives program on 1/12/2011. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Host Sue Supriano speaks with Paul Stanford, founder of the Hemp & Cannabis Foundation, about medical marijuana, hemp and cannabis.This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Talk Radio program on 12/10/2011. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Per Fagereng and Sue Supriano host this program starting off our special Peak Oil Day programs. His guests include analyst, author and activist Antonia Juhasz, whose new book is "The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry - And What We Must Do to Stop It."This program was originally aired on KBOO, Portland, Oregon on 9/30/2008. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the program
Host Sue Supriano interviews longtime peace activist Robert (Bob) Bowman, a former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force in the Ford and Carter administrations, and a former United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. He was an early public critic of the Strategic Defense Initiative. He has been active with Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the 9/11 Truth Movement.This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Political Perspectives program on 9/15/2010. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Host Sue Supriano interviews Linda Neale of the Earth and Spirit Council about their event with Grandmother Maria Alice Campos Freire on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. She will be speaking on Our Sacred Planet, Our Sacred Mother: The Preservation of Spirit and Nature.This program was originally air on KBOO radio's Radiozine program on 11/22/2010. Play Audio will take you to the KBOO archive for more info and to listen to the show.
Max Rameau is an organizer of “Take Back the Land”. The organization is based in Florida where it started in Miami in the fall of 2006 and has since emerged as a national movement with affiliates in Atlanta, NYC, Boston, New Orleans, Washinton DC, Chicago, Madison, New Orleans, Toledo, Sacramento and Portland (Right to Survive). Take Back the Land holds the position that housing is a Human Right.At this time there are as many vacant homes as homeless families. Because this housing is available we should move homeless people into these unoccupied homes. But the real objective of building homes is not to house people but is to make a profit. So houses stay empty and people stay homeless. Take Back the Land identifies government owned homes that have been foreclosed and, without permission from banks or government, moves homeless people into them. Take Back the Land also supports other local groups who value humans over corporations in housing. They call themselves a “translocal movement”—facilitating the processes of action in alignment with their values by taking pre-existing and newly formed organizations and connecting them with each other.Take Back the Land believes the law should be set up to protect human beings who need homes first and foremost. Rameau also believes the Movement must be led by the people who are most affected or they’ll fail. He says shanty towns and tent cities are popping up in many places in the US and he wants to be sure they are led by the people most affected. In many cases these are low income women. We need to redesign housing and human rights needs and fight laws that support the owners along with learning from homeless people’s struggles in other countries as well.Interview conducted in August, 2010.
David Chandler is a physics teacher, a Quaker peace activist, and an independent 9/11 researcher, active with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and on the board of the International Center for 9/11 Studies. He noticed that something was amiss with the way the buildings fell on 9/11 and did precise measurements of the motions associated with the building collapses and straightforwardly applied Newton's laws of motion to show what this implied about the forces at work.Chandler thinks that the free fall of the buildings is one of the clearest smoking guns for the use of explosives on 9/11. A paper describing his analysis can be found online at the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Chandler's' analysis proves that approximately 90% of the structural support had to have been removed from the North Tower for it to come down with constant downward acceleration as it did. Building 7 (the third building to undergo rapid, total destruction on the evening of 9/11) came down at absolute freefall as well so that also had to have its existing inner structure previously removed. Besides clarifying the dynamics of the building collapses, David Chandler has built a solid case that the official NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) investigation was an elaborate coverup, involving not just errors, but that it was fraudulent. Chandler is working on a documentary DVD that will tie together all of his work. Go to his website below and the numerous analytical videos posted by him on YouTube for more details.
David Cobb is a community organizer and attorney living in Eureka, CA when he's not on the road sharing his concerns and organizing for a more democratic USA. He has run for president on the Green Party ticket in the past. Presently he is a leader of the group Democracy Unlimited of Humbolt County, a group which is working toward leading a non-violent grassroots uprising to make democracy real and legal in the United States. Democracy Unlimited’s present focus toward legalized democracy is a response in particular to the recent Supreme Court decision that gives corporations the same rights as an individual. In the past, if a person’s constitutional rights were being infringed upon, that person could go to the court system and find relief. However, with the January 2010 Supreme Court decision, now corporations have that same right as well. This means that now any effort to control the corporation’s conduct through legislation is subject to being overturned in court. Cobb says this particular legislation giving corporations the same rights as an individual person is very dangerous.He urges people to get involved, either at a federal level (www.movetoamend.org) or at a local level (www.duhc.org) to make change. Cobb believes that great change can be produced by joining together with your community of radicals, conservatives, democrats and republicans—because on a basic level we all have the same goals. We want clean air, good food, clean water and security. Our government and court systems will not provide these things for us without pressure. Historically these established institutions have instead worked to protect the property rights of the elite. We can change this through local nonviolent acts of civil disobedience.He urges all of us to organize and connect with this very very important campaign.www.movetoamend.org- Tel.; 702-269-0984www.duhc.org- Tel: 702-269-0984Interview conducted in February, 2010
Dr. Michael Fry, a wildlife toxicologist, is the Director of Conservation Advocacy at American Bird Conservancy and the Committee Chairman for the Federal Advisory Committee for Minerals Management Service. He says the EPA (Environmental Protections Agency) began developing technology 14 years ago with which it is just now beginning to test the chemicals all around us that are, as Dr Fry explains "endocrine interfering" chemicals which, though they are rarely mentioned, can have huge affects on humans and other animals and their endocrine systems (eg., gender development). He mentions that plastics are a major source of our contacts with these chemicals. Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 are toxic and should be avoided. Plastics numbered 2, 4 and 5 are non-toxic.On another matter, Dr. Fry explains some risk involved with wind as an alternate energy method. The problem is that windy places are also places where birds are. At Altamont Pass--east of San Francisco-- 1000 golden eagles and 1700 hawks and owls have been killed in the last twenty-five years. Windmills interrupt migratory paths of birds as well. Dr. Fry wishes to help develop guidelines for windmill production in order to encourage the least risk to birds. His view is that the mindset of endless growth is not sustainable. Development, while it cannot be stopped altogether, needs to not affect wildlife adversely.Interview conducted in Jan. 2010
The MOVE organization was started in the 1972 by John Africa and included members from different religions, race and gender but all were cemented by the belief that nothing is more important than life. The members of MOVE staged demonstrations at institutions they felt exploited life on earth, including circuses and zoos, chemical plants that were polluting our water, and homes for the elderly where residents were not being treated with respect. The police didn't appreciate the protests and reacted with brutality and bombings many times over. This brutality came to a head twice in MOVE's forty year history -- once in August of 1978 and again in May of 1985. Both times homes and lives were lost in the fight. In 1978, police officer James Ramp was killed. Nine members of the MOVE organization were convicted of the murder and, over thirty years later are still in jail. In 1985, the police came to the new MOVE house under the guise of following up on complaints by neighbors. The police tried to remove the MOVE members from the house. When the MOVE family refused to leave, the police bombed the house, killing 11 people.Twenty-five years later Ramona, the sole survivor from that blast, is still heading the movement to fight oppression, to not stand down in the face of danger, to not be bought by the highest bidder. Fred Riley, also a member of the MOVE family warns, however, that the stronger you stand in defiance of oppression, the more the hostility and brutality will increase. Regardless of this fact, Ramona Africa says that people need to "love themselves enough to fight."MOVE can be contacted at (215) 387-4107 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.orgIt is the self within ourselves that we have to sacrifice. It is our own heart that has to be torn out of the false being and offered to the light.Interview conducted March 2010.
Terry Hurst had ridden his bicycle from Salt Lake City, Utah to Eugene, Oregon when Sue Supriano met him. His destination was the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s a Board Member of the Mestizo Center of Culture and Arts in Salt Lake City—a nonprofit culture and arts organization on the west side of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City is very ethnically diverse. Hurst’s neighborhood is 45% Latino, 3% Native Amer., 3% African American, 8% Pacific Islander, 6% Asian and 30% Caucasian. There are also many refugees—Tibetan, Vietnamese, Serbian and Ruandan. Of course these groups, including the GLBT population have their own churches, temples and centers.etc.—just in his neighborhood. The truth is that this diversity is the model for the US. Hurst believes that when you see people as the problems you build more jails and more “at risk” programs. When people are seen as the solutions you build more businesses, banks, community gardens and green programs for the neighborhood. Since the latter is the attitude of the organizers and organizations in his community this neighborhood now has the lowest crime rate in the city. They even had kids fixing up the living spaces of the elderly and other types of jobs which accomplish more than one thing.The reason why Hurst is riding his bike, something he has never before done, is to raise money in small amounts from many people to build this “green” building on the West Side of Salt Lake City. It will be built by and for the youth he works with, thus changing the culture of the area by showing that it can be done. His dream is to get $1.00 from lots of people and to rebuild networks and movements of positive social change in the world. We can be good mentors and help these kids who respond so quickly. Hurst urges people to invest in programs like theirs which get folks working together and building community—“green” communities at that.More info at: bikeforart.com, mestizoarts.org, blog.fivemilliondollarfund.org and look for videos on U-tube. Recorded in January, 2010
As a child Musikka suffered from congenital cataracts, which developed into glaucoma after several surgeries. She began using marijuana to treat this condition despite the opinion of her ophthalmologist who felt that she should have surgery instead. Musikka chose to have the surgery on one eye, while continuing to treat the glaucoma using marijuana, obtained illegally to treat her other eye. She was in constant fear of getting arrested and losing her children, but the marijuana was working. By 1987 the eye she was having surgery on was blind and Musikka was arrested for possession of marijuana. By this point her children had left home for college. The press was alerted to the story and followed every move from her arrest to her trial. At the trial, Dr. Palmberg convinced the judge that no marijuana for Musikka would be a “life sentence to blindness.”On August 15, 1988 Musikka was acquitted. Later that same year she was enrolled in an experimental program run by the Federal Government that annually supplies her with a year’s worth of marijuana. Although she also completes a progress report every year it is never published, because, according to Musikka, the government is driven by the demands of the pharmaceutical, tobacco, alcohol and prison industries which all gain by the “hideous prohibition” of medical marijuana. Since her acquittal, Musikka has become an activist to help other patients who are in the same position she was.In September 1988 Francis L Young of the DEA stated that “marijuana in natural form is a benign therapeutic substance.” He also stated that for a government to come between patient and health benefits of medical marijuana is “capricious, unreasonable and arbitrary”—Musikka adds that it is also unconstitutional and immoral. Musikka travels the country speaking with legislators to push for changes in the law regarding medical marijuana and also speaks at educational functions in order to raise consciousness about this issue. There are 20 million people in jail for drug possession. There are one million drug related arrests per year. Elvy Mussika says (citing the source www.medicalcannabis.com) that our government is “arresting and robbing own citizens.” She also says that it is our own “personal responsibility to end this hideous prohibition.” If we don’t, the consequence will be on us.Recorded in January, 2010
Ian Hill is the founder and CEO of Oregon based Sequential Biofuels which consists of both a biofuel production company, producing a yearly five and a half million gallons of fuel, including ethanol, in the plant in Salem, OR and a filling station in Eugene, Oregon. At the time that Hill came from Tennessee to Oregon there was no demand for biofuel. After lots of study and believing that of the advantages of the lower carbon emissions of biofuels, and using recycled oil for the fuel would be a factor in making the world a better place SeQuential Biofuel was founded in 2002. Ninety percent of the fuel is made from recycled cooking oil which is very important to make this fuel sustainable without the many down sides of using land for growing fuel instead of food. Hill believes that we humans have ruined our own nest and feels strongly about not further perpetuating that model. The Eugene filling station is the first and only of its kind in that it is a passive solar building that uses 35% less energy than most convenience stores, has solar panels, produces 45% of its energy needs on site, has organic snacks, a “living” roof and the founders promised themselves they would never try to grow bigger than the food stock that was regionally sourced. For them, it’s about building community based wealth which means relying on locally made fuel and focuses on building local economies. The farms in E. Oregon that do grow some corn for use as fuel use human waste from Portland as fertilizer. Hill also makes the point that still the biggest impact we can have is to use less fuel in general.
Jan Spencer lives in Eugene, Oregon where he is an elder activist for more sustainable living as well as an artist . In this interview we talk about the transformation of his standard ranch style house with a medium sized yard into a permaculture paradise producing lots of food, biological richness and beauty. Spencer says “permaculture is a big toolbox designing interrelated systems that work with each other and enhance the positive functioning of the larger system. It can apply to any region from one’s backyard to the world. It takes in economics, the larger system, the environment and the person designing the system. It can change the whole world for the better and much of it is using our common sense which too often we’ve lost track of. Spencer rides a bike, leads tours of Eugene neighborhoods for others who he encourages to be on bikes as well, gives talks and works tirelessly to bring people’s attention to the “system” that tends not to be good for us and encourages others to make important changes in their lifestyles, private backyards, and thinking.Spencer points out that, in this system which, in his opinion, often encourages people to do the wrong thing, the word “sustainable” is too often used as a marketing mechanism to encourage people to do more of the “wrong thing”—as in “sustainable cars”. The “psychology of previous investment” makes people servants of the economy and making “dumb choices” like building more roads in a time of “peak oil” rather than a system, which has a mythology that actually works for the health of our planet and us. Cheap oil and cheap credit haven’t been in our interest really. Both are going away. To acknowledge these mythologies is important as well as to look at what we have now that will serve us well in the future and nurture those qualities and services that will be assets for our future. Neighborhood organizations and working locally are very very important for the future. He sees the goal of civilization to nurture and bring out the best people have in themselves. Downsizing our needs and localizing the meeting of our needs to be more local is crucial. Do we value ourselves enough to demand and participate in creating a way of life we can be proud of that’s peaceful and uplifting spiritually is a question that is core to the issue.
Jyoti is the Spiritual Director of the or California based Center for Sacred Studies which is, among other things, sponsoring and supporting the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. The Center for Sacred Studies is in the mountains of N. California. It is a place for people to pray in whatever form they wish and much of their prayer is to heal and transform the history of violence against the Native Miwok and other Native people who were driven off their lands. One of the elders of Jyoti's larger international community, Kayumari, brought a message that one of the main purposes of the Center is to preserve different lines of prayer. Jyoti went to Africa to learn about the Iboga plant and there she met Bernadette Rebienot who is now one of the Grandmothers on the Council. Bernadette had made contact with the ayahausceros of the Amazon—ayahausca and iboga both being "plant" medicine/teachers that come out of the pharmacy of the earth. The people from the South American Amazon and Africa need to speak with soldarity and insist that their sacred plants need to be protected can no longer be taken from their communities and their natural homes to be used by pharmaceutical companies or whatever else.Jyoti got the spiritual message to organize the Council of 13 of Indigenous Grandmothers, contacted them and they all met in a the Dalai Lama’s Medicine Buddha’s Retreat Center in Ca. where Jyoti learned of the many First Nations that have a prophecy that the 13 Grandmothers would come together. The grandmothers are from North and South America, Africa, Africa and Asia. Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim, of the Siletz Nation in Oregon is 85 years old, the oldest and the chairwoman of the group. This August, 2009, the Grandmothers are meeting in Lincoln City, Oregon to do prayers and workshops. They visit each others homes twice a year as well as do other events. They will be in Sedona, AZ in Dec. 09 visiting Grandmother Mona who lives there. When they come together and hold public events they pray for peace together but in their own ways.Jyoti is a most impressive woman as well. She worked with children in Texax for 13 yrs. who taught her about the strength of spirit since there lives were so hard. She studied at Jung Institute, worked with severely disturbed kids, was the Director of the Spiritual Emergence Network in SF started by Stan and Christine Grof and and trained people in Europe to do similar work with people going through tumultuous times while “awakening” which some people mistakenly called "psychosis". She brought attention to the fact that, in fact, these people are often our healers. She has developed her own style breathwork, studied in India is married and a grandma and talks about "listening to the divine mother” for guidance. The Grandmothers are reminding us we need to go back to our roots because there we will find a history of people living in balance, marking the seasons and calling on and thanking the Great Mother because they knew she provided everything. Unfortunately temples and churches were built on those sacred sites of the original people's and She was thrown out of her house. When She is back on her house and we call on her we won’t have wars and we’ll be back in balance. We have this ONE chance says Grandma Aggie. First Nation people and people that are holding a vision of new world and one that is based on kindness and regard are standing up and meeting more and more frequently all over the world says Jyoti.The film about the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothersm, For the Next Seven Generations, can get be previewed and purchased online at www.forthenext7generations.com and the book about them, "Grandmothers' Council the World" can be found in nine different languages in bookstores or over the internet.Meet the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, introduced by Janet Weber: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASE0Ri_0F8g
Mary Wood is a Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Oregon School of Law. She calls the issue of climate change a "planetary emergency" and a matter of survival. Her idea is that it is crucial for the U.S. Government to hold the environment in public trust for the future of our children. Wood states that since it’s unclear whether we’re now past the “tipping point of no return”. Our best hope at survival is to act like we haven't past it and continue to try to lessen the negative effects of climate change. However it is clear that we will be over the tipping point very very soon if we don’t radically reduce our carbon emissions. Climate scientists are saying our carbon pollution will produce a “transformed planet” and it is a threat to humanity and to civilization as we know it. Wood challenges every parent to look their children in the eyes and know that our actions NOW will affect our children and all of life on the planet as we know it.Wood wants to re-frame the issue and say that the environment is a legal trust that the government and people hold for future generations. The air, the atmosphere, the forests, the wetlands and the wildlife are protected natural assets, held in perpetuity and managed by the government so these resources can support the children in this country and in the world in perpetuity. Carbon dioxide and methane are the two main contributors to climate change and we can certainly control those if we choose to. We can do this by moving away from burning fossil fuels and use wind and solar and other renewable sources to create the energy we need for survival. Scientist warn we are “looking the tipping point in the eye”. The seas can’t absorb any more carbon. They are releasing carbon now as well as is the melting permafrost in Alaska. The seas are so acid the shellfish can no longer survive, there are “dead zones” in the ocean stretching tens of thousands of miles, every single big commercial fishery in the world is at the point of collapse. “Our ways” of our modern industrial society are the primary cause of all this.Our legislators are negligent and uninformed and acting very irresponsibly—consciously or not. Regulators are not doing their jobs. We need to inform ourselves and actively pressure the agencies to be well informed and act in the interests of all of us. There is no sign they will change without massive public pressure. Wood is urging people to join with others all over the world who are already volunteering to be “climate victory speakers” and educate people about the facts and what we still have a chance to do. We have to write, write, write and call, call, call our representatives!!!! True sustainability is “doable”. We can live off the interest of the environment, not the capital.Recorded June, 2009
Trask has represented Native Hawaiians in the United Nations and various other global forums. She is the author of several books of poetry and nonfiction, an activist and outspoken advocate for the Hawaiian sovereignty movement (ke ea Hawai‘i), which consists of organizations and individuals seeking some form of sovereignty for Hawaii.In this interview she speaks of the ailing economy in the Hawaiian Islands and the negative effects of Hawaii’s tourism industry on the welfare of the Hawaiian people. She refers to the huge United States military presence in Hawaii and its devastating effects on self-determination and self-governance for people of whole or part native Hawaiian ancestry in their homeland. Hawaii is not surprisingly experiencing the effects of the economic collapse of the US and the wider world. Trask thinks its very sad that rather than planting food in these sunny, fertile islands with a year round growing season, too many local people are focused on getting more tourists to come to Hawaii. She brings attention to the fact that more native Hawaiians now live outside of Hawaii, mostly on the US mainland, while sadly the population of the Hawaii includes more and more non-Hawaiians, many of whom are so rich that they build huge houses there where they spend only a few weeks a year. Trask vividly draws a picture of the economic, cultural and spiritual elements behind her opposition to the tourism industry and briskly states how non-native listeners can best be a positive element for change by not visiting or residing in Hawaii.Interview conducted in May 2009
Media activist David Weisman from the California organization Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility (www.a4nr.org) reminds us that the negative effects of nuclear energy far outweigh the benefits. He recaps the problems experienced by such reactors as Diablo Canyon, Rancho Seco and the Three Mile Island meltdown and release of radiation. The problems that these older reactors had have not been solved since those times, and we run the risk of repeating them. Human error can have serious consequences at reactors, as was seen at Three Mile Island. Disposal options for dangerous “spent fuel” the negative effects of which last for millions of years, are still limited to storage in low-population areas such as Nevada, where there are already problems with contamination of soil and water. Contact with plutonium and nuclear waste result in deadly serious health problems including cancer. Another issue to consider is the security threat posed by countries moving to weapons manufacturing after establishing nuclear power plants built for peaceful uses. Finally Weisman points out that even if these issues could be solved in theory it will not happen soon enough to make any difference in global warming about which experts predict that we have 10 or at the most 15 years to make significant changes. Weisman’s film, Everything Nuclear (www.everythingnuclear.org), gives more historical and technical background on all of these issues. Weisman concludes that efforts to find new ways to generate power should focus on other sources with fewer problems, such as solar and wind power.Recorded February, 2009
Riki Ott is a marine pollution scientist, author and activisit. She speaks here about her recent book Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in 1989 in Prince William Sound, Alaska. In this interview, she goes beyond the damage caused by oil tanker spills and by the oil industry as a whole (through extraction and automobile exhaust) to look at the bigger picture: how corporations are able to amass money and power, which in turn are destroying democracy. Ott speaks about how the courts ordered the Exxon Corporation to pay economic compensation to the citizens affected by the spill – for example, the pink salmon and herring industries collapsed – but the emotional cost of the spill, the damage done to Native culture and the way of life in Cordova, were not considered a “real” loss.Ott began to realize that the issue was greater than an oil spill: the crux of the matter is that corporations are granted human rights which are allowed to trump private lives. Corporations became persons in the eyes of the law in 1886. These corporate persons have since then usurped many personal rights that the Founding Fathers only intended for real human beings. For example, corporate persons can use First Amendment protections to pour money into political campaigns. Ott has launched a campaign (see ultimatecivics.com) to support repeal of the 28th Amendment, which would strip corporations of their human rights and hold corporations accountable for the consequences of their actions.Ott also addresses the damage that oil does in terms of health and political instability. Current medical research links polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (the “backbone” of oil) to asthma and reduced lung capacity in children. Oil spill workers show similar symptoms. PAH’s are persistent and bioaccumulant. Ott believes that oil corporations have suppressed this information. Governments have not envisioned a future beyond oil, although oil is a toxic substance that causes damage every step of the way from extraction through combustion.Recorded February, 2009
A veteran war-tax resistor, who wishes to remain nameless, talks about her twenty-year history beneath the radar of the Federal government. Living in anonymity, the Resistor has paid only $35 to the government since her decision not to pay war taxes. She is independently employed and rather than doing her taxes in April, she calculates what she would owe and uses the money to benefit the community directly, through loans, grants, and other support for under-represented citizens.The Resistor is active in the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. While these resistors have all chosen to protest the government’s funding of violence, there is diversity in both tactics and motivation. The Resistor maintains that they are not protesting taxes, but advocating for citizens to conscientiously object to paying for war. As the Resistor states, “bodies and money are the requirements for war. To pay for murder is to murder.”The Resistor argues that the benefits of this lifestyle choice outweigh the risks. Fear is counterbalanced, she says, by living in accord with her own ethics. Ultimately, the Resistor states that “Our inconvenience is nothing” compared to the atrocities and violations experienced at the other end of our military spending.Recorded in January, 2009
Alexis Zeigler, author of Culture Change: Civil Liberty, Peak Oil and the End of Empire, takes a broad and integrated view of economy, ecology, culture and politics to propose a deeper truth about our current civilization. We have subscribed to a top-down “mental” view of societal change while for the most part ignoring the ecological and economic underpinnings that drive change from below. Zeigler uses the example of the women’s movement in this country, which has not been a linear trajectory towards liberation, but rather has had ups and downs which have been tied to the need for women’s economic contribution to society. He speaks about the efforts to control women’s sexuality by the anti-abortion movement as a symptom of increased restrictions.Zeigler observes that civilizations generally achieve the peak of democracy at the height of their colonial power and he sees the shift to an economy not based on growth, which is crucial, also as a time of potential restrictions to civil liberties. We are in trouble because we do not have anyone formulating a coherent view of the future. We need to get “ahead of the curve” and take action to ameliorate the effects of global warming rather than react when it is too late. Many are in denial about peak oil, and even those who see a solution in green energy are blind to its high cost. (Zeigler addresses this issue in particular in his book Beyond Greenhype: Real Solutions for Global Warming, downloadable from his website, listed below). Zeigler advises localization of economics and power, reduction of energy consumption, empowered child-rearing and community use of resources.Recorded in January, 2009
Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim Baker, the oldest living member of the Takilma Siletz nation of Southern Oregon, is the Chairperson of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. The Grandmothers who are from Brazil, Nepal, Africa, Mexico, Tibet, Japan, the U.S. etc. travel all over the world sharing the knowledge, wisdom and hope gained through a lifetime of experience. Grandmother Aggie speaks on behalf of all Grandparents, and all those who would learn from indigenous, inherited knowledge in these times and will light our way through the uncertain future. She describes the Council, their mission, and some of their many adventures. She speaks passionately to the Elders of every society and to us all; calling us to greater action, appreciation, and gratitude for the world in which we live.From meeting with the Dalai Lama to agitating in the Vatican City, the Grandmothers stand as a reminder of the knowledge and prayers that we desperately need in our time for the healing of Mother Earth and her inhabitants. Grandmother Aggie asks us to know the history of our lands, and to build a more positive and beautiful history for the generations that are to come. For they, and not us, own the world. The grandmothers will be visiting Grandma Aggie this August, 2009, in Oregon where they will be holding public events.Grandma Aggie's book: Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for Our Planet (Paperback)Interviewed in February 2009
David Bacon explains that what the US government and the governments of other rich industrialized countries do through their actions and policies towards poorer and developing countries is, in fact, designed to benefit the economies and large corporations of those “developed” countries and that these actions and policies often lead to what he refers to as “forced migration”. The policies of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) are terrible for working people of poor countries. In fact, the workers in both North and South America lost out with NAFTA. Workers in the U.S. lost when 800 jobs went to Mexico and Mexico lost a million jobs. Another way in which NAFTA creates poverty, for example, is that it allows U.S. corporations such as the huge food corporation of Archer Daniel Midlands to dump its products on the Mexican market at a very low price thus undercutting the price of local corn that has been grown by s¬¬mall farmers for centuries. As a result the local corn farmers have to go elsewhere to get money to feed their families. They often migrate to cities, to the U.S. and to the maquilladores --factories along the U.S.-Mexican border, which pay little and often mistreat workers. From 1994 when NAFTA went into effect until now about six million people have come to the U.S. from Mexico because there was no other way for their families to survive. Corporations want this flow of “cheap labor” because they profit from it but they want it in a certain controlled way in which people leave if they aren’t working and have no rights while they do work in the U.S. Twelve million people are now in the U.S. without visas and therefore have no political or labor rights. “Illegal” means you’re without rights and can be controlled. The same was true for the Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants of the past. Notice as well the inherent racism, the stereotypes of “illegal” people are overwhelmingly people of color. The Real ID Act and the Patriot Act make working outside of federal recruitment plans mean one will go to prison, as thousands of people do. There is a court in Tucson, Arizona where so-called “illegals” are brought in wearing chains, and then approximately seventy people a day from this group go to federal prison, thus making an example of them for the others. Local police and immigrations authorities work together—e.g., police set up roadblocks looking for driver’s licenses in the attempt to identify and arrest immigrants.To contact David Bacon: email@example.comRecorded in February 2009
Leonardo Cerdo, a young indigenous Ecuadorian, has been an activist since he was nine years old. He works with issues of the terrible environmental and human health issues in Ecuador caused by Shell, Texaco and Chevron who have been drilling for oil in Ecuador for thirty years or more, mostly in the northern part of the Amazon region. For twenty years people were afraid and not allowed to speak up until recently. Due to the extensive and horrible effects of oil development, many groups are now speaking up against the companies as they move south causing terrible skin, breathing, pregnancy problems and very, very high cancer rates for children as well as adults. Where the oil companies go there are swamps filled with toxic water and huge toxic pits--all together more than the size of Manhattan. Now people need medicines to battle these new sicknesses with pharmaceuticals (for which they need money) since their local plant herbal remedies are also polluted. People’s life styles have changed and are more money centered. Cerdo and other activists educate about sustainability options in the Amazon and in the city, including schools and universities.“We don’t think nature belongs to us, we think we belong to nature” says Cerdo. The land belongs to the future people as well and it’s all we have. He works with a human rights club there at his university in Quito and wants to let students, most of whom are from privileged backgrounds and unaware of much of what’s happening to the less privileged. He wants them to know what’s going on, especially with the indigenous people. Cerdo is part of a collective in Quito, FAOICIN, which is part of the larger collective La Casita del Arbol. They work against mining companies, and with collectives of urban people who go work on the land and see where food comes from as well as many other campaigns in the Amazon, etc. They all work together. People need to eat so they work together to strike for their rights. They also have a co-op of products to put the growers and the urban folks together. The movement is large and made of groups of indigenous, students, urban groups, rural groups-- all working together and helping each other out. Cerdo is part of Rising Tide—a big network in the US--www.risingtideinternational.org. He’s also in charge of networking and grassroots organizing for a huge and open gathering next summer where all will be talking about climate change, social justice and environmental justice.If interested in helping out/being involved contact Leo at firstname.lastname@example.org.His organization’s contact is: FAOICIN@gmail.comRecorded December 2008
Kathy Kelly is a nonviolent peace activist, founder of Voices in the Wilderness, now renamed-- Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and an active participant in the Catholic Workers. Since 1996 she has been involved in matters of Iraq and since 2006 has been living and working with Iraqi people in Jordan. At the time of this interview she was working to help Iraqis who have come to the U.S. In this interview Kelly remarks how protective and concerned American families can be about their children and that Iraqi families are the same. However due to the commonness of death threats, family members in prison, houses being destroyed, dealing constantly with multiple traumas and symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome etc., it’s an immense challenge to stay calm and positive. People get through the days by drawing on wells of deep courage. It is by taking inspiration from the others around her that Kelly personally keeps going with her work in war zones and her time in prison.Kelly speaks about the plans for the Voices for Creative Nonviolence Camp Hope project-- a 19 day encampment in Chicago from New Year’s day to Jan 19, 2009. They camp near the Obama’s house in Chicago because they wanted to tell Obama that they hold him responsible to follow through on his campaign promises—e.g. close Guantanamo, ratify the Kyoto Protocol, seek full employment, declare a 90 day moratorium on housing foreclosures, bring the military back from Iraq, take nuclear weapons off air-trigger alert, stop the immigration raids and work on health care coverage for all. Kelly points out that even if all 40,000 combat troops came home there would still be 180,000 private, armed, security contractors working in Iraq who can be very dangerous—some names are Blackwater, Triple Canopy, Dyncorps, Halliburton, Bechtel, Kellog, Brown and Root.Kelly reminds us it is our tax money that pays these companies and these expenses in Iraq, which some people are resisting using a war tax boycott. One can start small and take $100 of taxes owed by them and redirect it to either Common Ground Clinic in New Orleans working with victims of Katrina, and/or to the Direct Aid Iraq Initiative to pay the medical bills of Iraqis who have escaped Iraq to Jordan and can’t pay medical bills. Kelly emphasizes that we need to stop funding the killing of people.Voices for Creative Nonviolence link: VCNV.org Tel: 773-878-3815Link to: National War Tax Resistance Coordinating CommitteeLink to: Camp Hope 2009
Chilean Miriman is a University Professor of History, author of the book, Escucha Winka, and a person of Mapuche (indigenous people of S. Chile) heritage. Seline Jaramillo, also of Mapuche heritage, translates.The Mapuche people, who make up over ten percent of the population of Chile, have been asking for their human rights to be protected since the 1970’s and especially during the last ten years. Their cultural has a very rich knowledge base. They know about medicines and healing, their governing system is built on horizontal, non-centralized distribution of power, their economic structure is in relationship with their environment and some of their traditions have never been interrupted. The Mapuche lived independently and were unaffected culturally until about 100 years ago. The present oppressive situation started about thirty years ago with a decree by the military dictatorship of Pinochet, which divided and put up for sale the communal lands of the Mapuche people so they would serve the interests of the market. The Pinochet government said that as long as there are no Mapuche in Chile there are no Indians and the people are all the same. When the Pinochet dictatorship came to an end the Mapuche were disappointed to find that the same attitudes and the neo-liberal economic policy went on the same as before. No one cared what the Mapuche thought about the damage that was being done to their lands and their lives. When the Mapuche speak up, they and their supporters are targeted with anti-terrorist laws which can put them in prison. Since there is no reason to trust the system of justice Mapuche activists go into hiding rather than to trial.They don’t want to be victims of development. They ask for respect of their rights, which are “human rights”, and a healthy relationship with the environment as a basic principle. They want to resolve their differences with the government peacefully. They want an autonomy model wherein they can rule themselves or, if they live in a mixed community they can share power with others. They want “interculturality”, which means that equal respect should be given to the Mapuche vision of health, education, culture and economic development. They want to live in their own culture, not assimilate and actually be respected. The politics of segregation and repression lead only to more conflict.Interviewed in October, 2008
Dr. Sha says his total mission is to create a peaceful and harmonized world and universe by transforming the consciousness of humanity and souls in the universe. He immigrated to Canada from Asia in 1990. In 2003 he had an awakening about the soul and soul healing and, since then, he has offered enlightenment retreats to thousands of people. Within six months he, along with five helpers, did 140 events worldwide. 95% of the money he got for his healings went to the mission, to pay for the trip expenses, to “service” in order to better serve people and to researching for what he calls, the “soul wisdom knowledge”.Karma is the root cause of success and failure in every aspect of life, both on the individual and planetary levels. For example people have taken out oil, destroyed the forest and the balance on the earth. People warred, were greedy, fighting, and now we have natural disasters, etc. Right now Mother Earth is going through a spiritual purification, which will take a few years. If we join in our hearts with love it will help Mother Earth’s transition. He teaches about the soul because everybody and every thing has a soul. He is creating an international practice. Every Friday 5:30-6 pm you can participate by telephone from anywhere and sing soul songs for world peace and healing with hundreds, and maybe thousands of other people. There is a daily free teleconference to teach about the power of the soul. Dr. Sha sings a soul song about which he says, “This is just the beginning for us all over the world for healing and life transformation. I love my heart and soul is for self healing, I love all humanity is to give service, consciousness, join hearts and souls together is a divine calling, and for love peace and harmony is because after Mother Earth’s transition we will create peace, love and harmony for all humanity, mother earth and all universes.” He thinks this transition will take at least six or more years. He urges people to prepare because from now on the challenges could be heavy. Prepare in heart and mind. Sha’s three empowerments are 1) be a universal servant and offer universal service 2) teach healing to empower people to heal themselves and others 3) teach soul wisdom to empower people to enlighten themselves. We have to go through this. One of the most important ways to make our life easier is to chant because a chant shares the vibration of love.Link to Dr. Sha's Soul Songs website.
Ethan Hughes talks about the continued commitment of he and his partner, Sarah, to Radical Simplicity, "inner" --personal/spiritual-- work, and political activism. Ethan and Sarah put out to the universe and their contacts that they wanted a community that embodied those qualities and very quickly raised the funds with which they bought,sight unseen, an 80 acre farm in Missouri . They never use cars except in dire emergencies so they took the train to Missouri and rode their bikes the four miles to their farm to see it for the first time. Ethan personally has been in a car seven times in the past ten years. On their farm they grow organic food and live sustainably. Their place is electricity free and therefore is also free of computer and other electricially powered technology. Over 600 guests have visited so far. They invite others to visit. Their community is also the Headquarters for the Super Heroes, an organization Hughes founded of young folks who go out to help where they're needed as, for example when 25 young people biked to New Orleans to help for a few months or more with the Katrina disaster.One of the important guidelines by which they live and are consciously creating the future is the importance of experiencing joy in what they do. If they are not feeling joy they stop what they're doing until they deal with whatever is in the way and they return to joy. Nonviolent communication is also a way of life as is not paying taxes for war as well as creating their own art and entertainment. Hughes shares that one of the most interesting and wonderful things that they're learning in their local rural Missouri community is that the kindness of people is totally unrelated to their political affiliation and ideology which has been so influenced by the corporate media. The most important thing is to be in your heart path!Contact info: The Possibility Alliance, 28408 Frontier Lane, Laplata, Missouri 63549tel: 660-332-4094Recorded February 9, 2009
Ruth Rosenheck is a Canadian who has been living for some time in Australia where she is Co- Dir. with John Seed of the Rainforest Information Center. They work on issues of the environment and environmental justice and one aspect of their work is leading workshops, based on the work of Joanna Macy as well. They are called by different names-- The Work that Reconnects, Deep Ecology, Despair and Empowerment. This interview was conducted during a workshop in S. Oregon and includes interviews with a few of the participants as well. Ruth led, in order to train us to lead ourselves, a workshop she calls “deep ecology” because it focuses on how we’re part of the earth and when we destroy the web of life we’re destroying our own home—ie, when we toxify the water, cause the extinction of other species, etc. we’re weakening the fabric of life, the biological web that we depend upon. Ecological collapse is looming before us in ways we have no idea about. It is normal to feel anxious or afraid or sad or angry about the injustices that occur in the world. There’s a strong taboo in this society about showing feelings so by the time we’re adults we are likely to push the feelings down and judge ourselves for having them. We’re so numbed we don’t even notice we have feelings. If we do we may think we’re weird and feel isolated and self-doubting, wonder what’s wrong with us, go to therapist who may make it a “personal” problem and we leave with anti-depressants. Rather it could be seen that these feelings are a natural and healthy reaction to what’s going on with the destruction of our earth that we love,. These feelings can be seen as part of our ancient intelligence of instinct and intuition that enabled us to survive time and time again. We could walk out of therapist’s office inspired to work instead of depressed and trying to adjust to a dysfunctional society. The work of Despair and empowerment is to be present and witness these feelings of fear and sadness about the earth in ourselves and each other and acknowledge them as part of our wisdom and vision and, in fact, they can bring us great inspiration and vision to act. Joanna Macy says we can lose our intuition if we don’t let ourselves feel. We’re discouraged from feeling strongly and considered insane if we’re either too sad or too happy. In fact, it is healthy, crucial and revolutionary to feel and not push it away—and if you feel it it’ll move right on along and out. Joanna’s book on this work is entitled “Coming Back to Life”. We are wrong to think we can necessarily “solve” everything but we can do the best that we can—both inner and outer work—with love is the best that we can do.Rosenheck has also produced a film, “Earth, Spirit, Action”, which she describes as a 15 minute prayer for the earth that asks for a radical change to occur planetary-wide. It includes herself, Starhawk, Vandana Shiva, Mathew Fox and John Seed and herself speaking on Deep Ecology, Living Democracy and Revolution in Consciousness.Toward the end of the show Lilith Rogers speaks of how happy she was during the weekend to be able to talk about and perform her one woman play about Rachel Carson, who wrote in the early ‘60’s and is often referred to as the mother of the environmental movement. Carson is the author of Silent Spring, The World Around Us, and the breakthrough book called “The Sea Around Us. She talked about the dangers of pesticides, particularly DDT and it got the public focused on those dangers and their use and DDT banned. Tina talks about We Moon--a calender produced at this land and a must have book for many women who want the ecofeminist voice. Another woman talks about making a cob studio on their land as self-sustaining as it can be.Recorded September 2008To hear/see Joanna Macy speaking about her book, Coming Back to Life, & her specific group work go to http://www.turntowardlife.tv/ and/or get the book.
Paul Scott, Co-founder of Plug-In-America and Chairperson of the Electrical Vehicle Association of California, owns a Toyota Rav 4. He’s driven the car 63.000 miles in 6 years, charging it with electricity from his solar panels. There is no oil to change, no gas to buy, nothing to fix. Every day he gets in, turns it on and it operates perfectly. Every day he gets in, turns it on and it operates as well as the day he bought it. Since he gets electricity from the sun, Scott’s electric bill last yr. was $44.09 for both his house and his car.In 1990 California mandated that by 1998 car manufacturers had to make electric vehicles and make them available to the public so there were some electric cars manufactured. The lobbyists for the gasoline fueled car makers got rid of that law in 2003 and the manufacturers destroyed the cars so no one could say how good they were and how long they lasted. People protested and won against Ford and Toyota and saved about 1000 cars which are still running today and of which one is owned by Paul Scott. These NEVS (Neighborhood Electric Short Range Vehicles) cost from $10,000-18,000, go about 25 or 30 mph and have a range of 30 or 40 miles, but they’re not allowed on roads with speed limits over 35 or 40 miles per hour. There is a growing demand for these cars and that they should be allowed on the highway so car companies are working on developing them. The manufacturing process of a standard car and an electric car take equivalent amounts of energy. Electricity is the best energy. It's domestic and nonpolluting and even if it comes from coal it’s still much cleaner than a Prius. Electricity can be made from solar, wind or hydro, geothermal and tidal instead of coal and/or nukes. Due to government subsidies of solar one can get the cost of the solar panels greatly reduced. An electric car goes about 120 miles on a charge. That’s plenty for Scott who lives in Los Angeles. For a bigger range buy a bigger battery. If you want to go on a very long trip you’d want a plug-in hybrid and can combine with gas but it still uses almost no gas. Mass transit would be much improved using electricity for power as well. In California there is a measure to develop an electric bullet train to go from San Diego to Sacramento. It can use solar panels during the day and wind energy at night. This eliminates the big carbon footprint from flying. Scott describes several models for charging stations—one is like a parking meter where you plug in, do your business and come back to a car that is charged and your money has gone to your municipality, for example, rather than an oil company; another is for a parking lot to have solar panels on top that generate electricity that charges cars underneath while they are keeping cool. The money for the charge goes to whoever owns the parking lot.Contact Paul: Paul@pluginamerica.orgRecorded October 2008
Storm describes himself as a revolutionary ecologist, activist and meteorologist with graduate degrees. He is a founder of Rising Tide, one of the sponsors of this West Coast Climate Change Convergence in Oregon. The Convergence is a climate justice action group that seeks to confront the root causes of climate change and to do it in a nonhierarchical, equalitarian fashion. Storm says that, of the six great mass extinctions in earth’s history, this sixth one that we’re in now is the biggest and worst one of them, and the only one that’s been entirely human caused. He travels and looks at weather patterns, helping people plan and act proactively for what’s coming to their region and the challenges they are likely to face. Some things he considers most important are: listening to indigenous people because they know deeply about where they live, protecting sacred sites, working for the survival of ALL species and restoration of ecosystems is crucial. Regarding “techno fixes”—he says that what we need are LOCAL solutions and it’s up to us to do it ourselves.Gerri has been on the road as well. She worked in New Orleans with a couple of helping organizations and describes the emergency program where she worked. She describes how 200 victims of Katrina who had nothing were coming back every day to the Lower 9th Ward where they had been living just to eat. Also there were many resources such as child care, referrals to direct people to women’s shelters, public events, washing machines, rape crisis hotlines, clinics, etc.. Gerry did everything from delivering and picking up kids at the school bus to doing dishes ten hours a day—no time to think, process, just cranking it out. When she left there she went to Common Ground, another helping organization in New Orleans. She also volunteered with on the Clearwater, an environmental education sailboat where she worked with youth on the Hudson River. She tells of living outside of a jail house with the Earth First jail support group in Ohio, living and working with Alisa Young who is fighting the coal industry and its horrible side effects in Southern Appalachia. Gerry was happy to be able to attend the Indigenous Environmental Network’s- “Protecting Mother Earth Conference” in Nevada on an Native American Reservation. She found it wonderful to see the land struggles of Appalachian people come together with those of Western indigenous people. These two dedicated activist are shining examples of what folks can do for each other.
Sue Supriano talked to Anne Wright at the Oregon Country Fair, where she was a speaker in July 2008. Ann Wright spent 13 years of active duty in the US Army, and 16 years in the Army Reserves attaining the rank of Colonel in the Army. In 1987, Wright went to work for the Foreign Service within the U.S. State Department and served as US Deputy Ambassador and other positions in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Mongolia, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada and Nicaragua. She resigned from working for the State Department the day before the invasion of Iraq to which she objected saying that, without the authorization of the UN Security Council the US had no legal right to attack. She objected to the curtailment of civil liberties within the United States as well. While Wright was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the early 1980s, one of her duties was to draw up contingency plans for invading several countries, one of which was Iraq. She would later express dismay over what she considered the dismissal of such carefully laid plans in the actual invasion of Iraq in 2003. Wright's eventual resignation was not the first time she had spoken out against U.S. policy. She said that she spoke out against United Nations bombing tactics waged in Somalia and she many times "held her nose" about US policies, continuing her State Department work despite her own disagreements with the policy.Since her retirement from the State Department, Wright has become a prominent figure in the movement opposed to the occupation of Iraq. She has attended many conferences and given numerous lectures on her political views and her experiences before and after her resignation. Wright is on the move 365 days a year-- traveling the US and criticizing the policies of the Bush Administration and their implementation, including and especially the war in Iraq and a pending Iran war. She works with several front line peace organizations including Code Pink, Iraq Vets against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Women for Peace. She worked with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on several occasions, including helping organize the Camp Casey demonstration outside George W. Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch in August 2005, and by accompanying the southern leg of the Bring Them Home Now bus tour. She also volunteered at Camp Casey 3, the Veterans For Peace shelter for Hurricane Katrina victims in Covington, Louisiana, during the bus tour. Wright has willingly been arrested while taking part in anti-war demonstrations, the first such arrest occurring in front of the White House on September 26, 2005. It has been followed by other arrests too numerous to mention here. She has said in interviews that she does not remove the arrest bracelets attached to her wrists upon the processing of her arrest, but rather collects them.Recorded July 2008.
Community radio stations fill many roles, especially in rural and indigenous communities where means of mass communication are almost non-existent. Radio is a relatively cheap medium and is financially possible for many communities and organizations. Freelance reporter Shannon Young is a headline editor for Free Speech Radio News (FSRN) and currently lives in Oaxaca, Mexico. She discusses the power of community radio in the context of the ongoing indigenous civil rights/democracy movement in Oaxaca. It is one of the poorest states in the country and has the largest indigenous population in Mexico counting 16 languages amongst its citizens. Many of these communities have found in radio a way to preserve and disseminate their languages and cultures in the face of official neglect and the cultural onslaught of the mass media. In 2006 the local teacher’s union helped catalyzed a popular uprising using Radio Planton, the community radio station they had established in the capital city, as a primary organizing tool. The government eventually stepped in and shut down the station along with some of other radio and news outlets in the capital. The station came back on the air but eventually the operators shut it down out of fear of unjust prosecutions and death threats.This wide-ranging discussion covering the genesis of Radio Planton from a yearly, local teacher’s sit-in to a revolutionary catalyst shut down by the government, provides an interesting overview of the independent media movement in Mexico and broader issues such as control of media, media’s influence on politics, social justice, indigenous liberation movements and much more.
Jesus, an indigenous artist/painter from Oaxaca, Mexico, describes the ongoing repression and indigenous uprising in response to the oppression that has taken place over the past few years in his home state of Oaxaca. Oaxaca is the 5th largest state in Mexico and very resource rich. At the same time it is one of the poorest states in the country and has the largest indigenous population in Mexico counting 16 languages amongst its citizens. The picture Jesus paints is one of long-term resource exploitation, which the indigenous peoples realize is keeping them impoverished and destroying their local physical and social environments. He illuminates the electoral and physical repression of the P.R.I. government and the effects of corporate imperialism, in which the government is also a partner. Indigenous land is being confiscated and cultural repression is being actively practiced with the destruction of rural communities and their inhabitants reduced to servitude. This is now true in the cities now as well, where many are forced to work for and help expand the tourist trades as well as becoming cheap labor for corporate sweatshops where they work for less than subsistence wages. One of the ways that we in the United States feel the effects of these repressive policies is in increasing illegal immigration to the US.In the past few years the Oaxaca situation boiled over into a full-fledged uprising Jesus discusses the role that independent media played in that process and the ongoing consequences. Many local communities had found in low power FM radio a way to preserve and disseminate their languages and cultures in the face of official neglect and the cultural onslaught of the mass media. In 2006 the local teacher’s union helped catalyzed this popular uprising using Radio Planton, a community radio station they had established in Oaxaca city during a strike. After six months the local government stepped in and brutally shut down the station along with many other radio and news outlets in the capital which the local people had taken over to give voice to their struggle. The federal government of Mexico in response has now created a military police state in Oaxaca under the guise of drug interdiction efforts. These and many other challenges facing indigenous people not just in Oaxaca, but globally, are discussed. -JTRecorded October 28, 2008 in Eugene, OregonLink to related movie: A Little Bit of So Much Truth, documentary mentioned in the interview about the ongoing struggles in Oaxaca.
Ever wonder how Steppin’ Out of Babylon got started and how it has remained fresh and relevant for over (change to "nearly") thirty years? Have you been curious to know a more about the intrepid host/producer who has brought you some of the most important, insightful and inspiring voices from the front lines of the social, political and environmental movements? Then this is the show you’ve been waiting for! In this wonderful anniversary edition, her friend and fellow activist and author, Dr. Margret Paloma Pavel, interviews Steppin’ Out of Babylon creator, producer and host Sue Supriano. She discusses the childhood roots of her interests in radio, social activism and issues of racism and political justice. Supriano talks about many of the early radio documentaries she did, including the first one about her friend Max Scheer the Founder and Editor of the world famous underground newspaper, the Berkeley Barb, along with her early affiliations with KPFA, Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, California. In the early 1980’s during a trip to Jamaica she interviewed many performers at Reggae Sunsplash as well as a range of other Jamaicans which eventually evolved into both a documentary on Jamaica as well as a first show in the Steppin’ Out of Babylon series.This is a wonderful, wide ranging conversation in which Supriano shares not only remembrances of some of the most interesting and intense interviews and stories she has produced, but also her personal vision of social justice, her belief about the power and importance of independent media and low-power FM radio, along with advice for young people interested in getting involved in media activism including an overview of some great existing resources. She concludes with a touching explanation of the values and motivations which have sustained her in this work over the decades and an insightful view as to what the future holds and how we can work toward a more peaceful, egalitarian society. -JTInterviewed by Dr. Margeret Paloma Pavel.
A life-long human rights activist and people's lawyer in Greenville, SC, Nwangaza is the founder/coordinator of the Afrikan-American Institute for Policy Studies & Planning and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for Self-Determination, a current representative on the Pacifica Radio Affiliates Board, past national chairperson of the Jericho Movement and ran for U.S. Senate in 2004 as a Green Party candidate.Nwangaza learned the power of radio as an organizing tool early in life from her parents who worked in international evangelical radio broadcasting. During her early years as a civil rights activist she dedicated herself to the betterment of her community and the oppressed in general. As an established activist and lawyer, with the assistance of her community and Prometheus Radio, she helped launch (June '07) WMXP, a low power community radio station. WMXP (95.5 fm), The Voice of the People, is Greenville's only non- commercial, community owned, operated, and funded radio station and is a project sponsored by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The station gives a voice to the voiceless and a home to knowledge, community enrichment and social justice advocacy. Nwangaza's interest in forming the station was driven by her desire to use the power of radio in the interest of liberation of people for political purposes, in a culture of consciousness and resistance. As she puts it: "Media is a life-line, not a commodity.".This is a wide-ranging conversation that shows the power of low-cost, low-power FM community radio as a vehicle for community organizing and local artistic, cultural and polictical expression. Topics include a contextual discussion of racism in today's culture and the criminal in-justice system along with why the station was developed and examples of hands-on community use of radio as a tool in community empowerment and youth leadership development projects, WMXP programming practices and more.Recorded at the Grassroots Radio Conference, Portland, Oregon in July, 2008.Websites of interest: Prometheus Radio Project
Agbo is the Green-Collar Jobs Campaign Statewide Organizer for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, California. She is also the former editor of the African American magazine and organizer of the Pan African Student Organization at the University of California, Davis. As a student athelete and double major, Agbo combined an interest in social justice and civil rights with concern for the environmental struggles of disenfranchised communities.In this interview, Agbo presents a powerful class analysis of the environmental issues, perspectives and solutions as seen through the lens of racism, community development and economic security. As we watch an entirely new "green" economy (the Green Wave) emerging before our eyes, work-force development programs such as the Green-Collar Job Campaign create long-term economic development opportunities and security for disenfranchised populations. This also allows them to become directly involved in the environmental conversations, which directly impact their communities. Examples of green-collar job sectors include solar installation, transportation systems, recycling, bike repair, water conservation and weatherization programs. Similar successful efforts in Los Angeles, Chicago, the Bronx and other cities are discussed along with how these rapidly growing programs are funded. Agbo is passionately committed to the work of the Green Collar Jobs Campaign because she believes that the pressing environmental justice concerns are the civil rights movement of her generation.Agbo gives a very optimistic, concise and information dense interview. Topics discussed are centered on the growing environmental justice movement and the path to eco-equity including: bridging the Environmental Justice and Social Justice movements; teaching anti-oppression and sustainability; creating green-collar jobs and pathways out of poverty; designing model cities; and, encouraging a politics of solution.Campaign link: Green Collar JobsRecorded April, 2008
Chris Carlsson, Executive Director of the multimedia history project, Shaping San Francisco, is a writer, publisher, editor, and community organizer. For the last twenty-five years his activities have focused on the underlying themes of horizontal communications, organic communities and public space. He was one of the founders, editors and frequent contributors to the ground-breaking San Francisco magazine Processed World. He also helped launch the monthly bike-ins known as Critical Mass that have spread to five continents and over 300 cities.Carlsson gives a hard-edged critique of work and society based on working for money. He reviles the current system of "wage slavery" which forces us to take jobs and do as we are told to earn money, thereby relinquishing our control over the world. We no longer think of ourselves subjectively as political agents who can make a difference in the world through our livlihoods. In fact, he feels that a huge percentage of the "work" currently being done is a complete waste of time, if not actually destructive of the planet-- such work as banking, insurance, real estate, advertising, military production and destruction, production of shoddy products designed to breakdown and be constantly replaced, etc. His vision of radical political change involves a deep transformation of our lives and approach to work. There are some signs though that a radical, community based revolution is beginning to grow and take shape. His new book, Nowtopia, extends his analysis of our current systems and documents how people apply their time and technological know-how to create a better world when they are not working for money. He calls for a move beyond the logic of money, markets and wage labor as the fundamental institutions which guide our society.Recorded June 2008, Eugene, OregonLinks of interest:www.nowtopia.orgThe Nowtopian (Blog):www.lipmagazine.org/ccarlsson/
Architect Carl Anthony has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning and the University of California Colleges of Environmental Design and Natural Resources. He is former president of the Earth Island Institute, founder and Executive Director of Urban Habitat Program, convener of the Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Development and former Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, where he also directed the Foundation's Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the Regional Equity Demonstration Initiative. He is currently finishing a new book, The Earth, The City, and The Hidden Narrative of Race, examining the connections between environmental justice, community development, and the changing face of globalization.In his book Anthony explores the important but usually hidden connections between the environmental movement, urban/community development and the social justice movement. The basic premise is that the three topics in the book's title (the earth, cities and racism) are generally considered separately. It's as if there's planet Earth, which is a green place that we are protecting, while most of us live in cities where people very often dissociate from the environment-- in fact thinking of cities as the antithesis of the environment. "Race" is usually invisible in both those contexts and it is an unacknowledged fact that many of the environmental problems we have are intimately connected with racism. To create sustainable cities and communities we have to start thinking of these things, not separately, but in relationship to each other. An outstanding, passionate advocate for urban social justice and environmental change, Anthony believes a multi-cultural coalition can lead the way to greener and more vibrant cities that work for all residents.This illuminating interview including topics such as: the paradox of the U.S. being founded on freedom and slavery, cheap oil replacing slavery as cheap industrial energy, the seminal influence of the civil rights movement of the 1960's on the environmental movement, how the environmental movement became a "white" movement, along with examples of the hidden threads connecting race, resources and many of our current ecological challenges.Recorded May 1, 2008 at Earth House Center in Oakland, California.
Dr. Pavel is an environmental and social justice activist, founder of the Earth House Center in Oakland, California and editor of the forthcoming book Building Sustainable Metropolitan Communities: Breakthrough Stories. Earth House was founded in 1990 by Dr. Pavel and currently conducts local, national and international projects in a variety of print and visual media including Journey to South Africa: Metropolitan Communities Leaders Reflect on the World Summit, a monograph; Voices from the Community: Smart Growth and Social Equity, a video; and Sustainable Solutions: Building Assets for Empowerment and Sustainable Development, a web-based video project of community-based projects around the globe). Earth House is both an environmental and social justice center in an urban setting. The group has worked supporting organizations working on issues of health, justice, education, legal services and metropolitan development with a series of environmental sustainability groups in the Pacific Rim, including Cambodia and Japan, and in the US. Earth House media projects link communication, technology and social advocacy. Dr. Pavel's educational background includes graduate study at Harvard University and the London School of Economics.As a child Dr. Pavel volunteered in Mexican orphanages, while her father offered free surgery in the clinics of Tijuana. This early awareness of border-crossings and all that it implies about class, race and nations has guided her work in both the environmental and social justice movements. In this interview she discusses issues of urban development and projects that stand at the intersection of these two critical. Where are the borders that need to be considered and crossed between nations, communities and within each individual? One example she uses to illuminate her work is the issue she calls "spatial apartheid" in which the development of a park/greenbelt in Oakland, became both an environmental and racial issue between two ethnically different communities. Other important topics discussed include "inclusionary vs. exclusionary" zoning, smart growth and social justice. Dr. Pavel concludes by discussing real life "breakthrough stories" of urban communities who took planning and the sustainable development of their neighborhoods into their own hands and the amazing, multi-faceted benefits that have been created.This is an uplifting interview that doesn't shy away from difficult truths, but also provides real life examples of successful, inspiring urban renewal and community development.Recorded in San Francisco, April, 2008 at the Ecocities World Summit.
With roots in Art & Revolution, Solnit was one of the organizer's of the 1999 W.T.O. Seattle protests and the post-9/11 protests that shut down San Francisco. He is also the editor of Globalized Liberation: How to Uproot the System & Build a Better World and author, with Amy Allison, of the new book Army of None.In this engaging interview, Solnit ties his roots in protest art, global justice/anti-capitalism activism and organizing to his current anti-war efforts involving counter recruitment efforts around the country. At the core we are experiencing a struggle between human oriented social movements across the planet vs. a global corporate/capitalist economic and political system. He feels the war in Iraq is a military attempt to impose corporate globalization, which is the same goal that the W.T.O., N.A.F.T.A. and similar organizations and agreements attempt to impose economically and politically. In fact, it is truly the frontline in the struggle for international social/political justice. Solnit asks "What would a People Power strategy to address the war and stop it look like?". His answer is to help organize a counter-recruitment movement to stop the supply of troops available for the current war and continued imposition of our troops in other countries (The U.S. currently has over 170 bases in 130 countries along with 6000 domestic bases/facilities). His new book is an attempt to demystify the current recruiting techniques and outright lies being used to enlist young people.Solnit concludes by discussing some recent successful attempts at what he terms true democracies based on "horizontalism", unlike the top-down, command-and-control illusionary democracy we've come to know in the United States.Recorded in Eugene, Oregon
Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D., is co-creator of the concept of the ecological footprint and Executive Director of the Global Footprint Network. He is also an author and/or contributor to over fifty peer-reviewed papers, numerous articles and reports, and various books on sustainability that focus on the question of embracing limits and developing metrics for sustainability including Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, Sharing Nature's Interest, and World Wildlife Fund's International's Living Planet Report. He previously served as the director of the Sustainability Program at Redefining Progress in Oakland, CA, and directed the Centre for Sustainability Studies /Centro de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad in Mexico, which he still advises. Wackernagel is also an adjunct faculty member at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.The goal of the Global Footprint Network is to advance the science of sustainability. It is an accounting tool that looks at how many ecologic resources we have and how much we use to feed ourselves, absorb our wastes, house our buildings, etc. Calculated in acres, it asks the question "How many biologically active acres does it take to produce what you personally consume or your country consumes?". This is then compared to how many resources are available in your country, region and the world. Doing this we can see to what extent we use resources within the limits of what the earth, or particular region can renew. The Global Footprint Network has a web-based "footprint calculator" for people figure their own personal footprint.In a world of ecological constraints, ecological efficiency becomes increasingly important. People need to understand the interconnected nature of our daily choices and behavior and begin to reduce their footprint and use resources more efficiently. Wackernagel provides a concise overview of how this concept of ecological assets and liabilities, along with efficient resource use, is beginning to change the way individuals, local communities and nations are now planning for the future. He calls for true honesty about our footprints and their implications, including the example of his own somewhat large footprint created by his global consultation and educational activities. His ultimate goal, and the Global Footprint Network's main mission, is to build bridges between government, business, NGO's and academia-- to have a common understanding and language of our planetary resource constraints and how to live within them.Recorded at the Ecocity World Summit in San Francisco, April 2008
Masayesva relates the story of how the Hopi came long ago to Black Mesa, Arizona escaping an oppressive regime near the Teotihuacan (near Mexico City) area of Mexico. In what is now Arizona at Black Mesa they met, Masa --the Hopi equivalent to Jesus or Buddha-- who taught them how to live in a sustainable, peaceful way in harmony with the earth. Their agreements with Masa are inscribed on Prophecy Rock which claims that when they stray from these sustainable ways the world will come to an end with great suffering and purification. This is exactly what is currently happening today on a global scale.Masayesva is part of the water coyote clan of the Hopi. He explains that our relationship to water is primary. In Hopi cosmology there have been four worlds. The first world was all water, thus we are all originally from the oceans. We are literally "gourds" of water. Black Mesa Trust was founded to protect water and land in the Hopi and Navajo regions of Arizona, which have been used and abused by Peabody Coal Company. Using these aquifers properly is the way the Hopi have traditionally survived growing food in the harsh environment of the desert. Black Mesa Trust's main focus has been to protect the little water available to the Hopi from use by Peabody Coal Company. Now one of its missions is to educate people about the physical and spiritual importance of water as a key foundation of our common existence.On the earth we are at the now 11th hour of the fourth world and still repeating the mistakes that the elders of the third world made. We know what right and wrong is, so we have a moral responsibility to use our special gifts as humans to create a better world, which the Hopi call the fifth world. We still have that opportunity. We have the energy and intelligence to combine science with mysticism, or the soul, to achieve this. This interview is a wonderful presentation showing the wisdom of the Hopi world view and the direct correlations and parallels between their views and prophecies and what we are experiencing in the world today.Recorded at the Ecocities World Summit, April 2008, in San Francisco.
Arcwire.org is a website that functions as a clearinghouse which provides informed news and creates context for what is happening in the green movement. It is a clearinghouse for information regarding various issues and aspects involved in transition to a sustainable global culture including green building design, new transportation, renewable energy, environmental policy, creative capitalism and more. Manley gives a very upbeat, positive presentation. He claims we really need to start asking better questions in relation to where the global culture is headed.For example on peak oil the thing with it is nobody knows whether we hit peak oil last year, two years ago, or will three years from now. The point is it doesn't really matter. The real question is why aren't we switching to the only form of energy this planet survives on which is solar energy. Oil is a form of solar energy. We're taking past solar energy and burning through it as fast as we can in a way that harms our future. Too much of our current focus is on false choices such as should we drill for oil in Alaska, or go to war for another six months or few years of oil. The right questions are: What is all life on this planet dependent on and how can we harmlessly derive our energy, food, buildings, clothes, entertainment etc. from those sources? Instead of talking about energy scarcity we need to be looking at how does this earth survive on solar economy and how can we do the same? There is enough energy from the sun hitting the planet in an hour to power our civilization for a year. Combined with other renewable energy sources like wind, we can design a sustainable energy foundation that can in human terms last forever.Manley is excited about what is called the "triple top line", the idea that we can solve our environmental problems by solving our social problems and improve the economy at the same time. He provides intriguing examples of how this is already starting in many places. Arcwire.org is the nexus he has helped create which provides this information on an ongoing, daily basis.Recorded at the Ecocities World Summit, April 2008, in San Francisco.
There is no clearly accepted definition of a city. The U.N. goes by whatever individual nation-states use, which can vary widely. The pertinent fact to keep in mind is that 85-90% of people live in cities, towns and villages, in other words, the built infrastructure. The ecological health of our infrastructure is Register's focus in both his business and conference organizing efforts. The way we currently design, all the way down to the village scale, is unhealthy. One of the biggest problems is that we design for the automobile and gasoline. People ask is it possible to have cities without cars? "Sure," he says,"we've had cities for 4,500 years without cars and they were healthier than our current cities. Cities we design now are a major cause of climate change, collapse of species diversity and the end of cheap energy. We've burned it all up building the most short sighted, thrill seeking, ego gratifying structure we could think of to live in. It's an ongoing disaster."One of many ideas Register offers, which may seem radical to most, is to give free concrete and steel to developers of ecological cities for the benefit of the city's residents. Currently we give free concrete and steel to the construction of freeways for the benefit of drivers and developers of urban sprawl. They can count on the government subsidizing them with the entire highway system along with the defense of oil supplies via foreign wars. Register feels we are overly mobile and should shift to a more place centered perspective, put some roots down and build decent communities.The interview is rich with other ideas and examples of how this can and is beginning to happen around the globe. But we must act quickly. We need to utilize a large amount of the remaining fossil fuels we have to build the diffuse, renewable energy systems of solar and wind. If we don't invest in this type of energy base before much more fossil fuel burns, we might lose our opportunity and be stuck with infrastructure that can't be supported. In fact, Register points to some initial negative economic impacts from this that are currently occurring.Recorded at Ecocity World Summit, San Francisco, April 2008.Website: www.ecocityworldsummit.org
Peter Droege is an expert on the role of renewable energy within the fields of urban design, development and urban infrastructure with a wide variety of experience and responsibility. He has directed and developed Solar City, a research development effort conducted under the auspices of the International Energy Agency as well as carrying out academic roles at major universities in the United States and Japan. He is presently Senior Advisor, Beijing Municipal Institute for City Planning and Design, Steering Committee member, Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), Conjoint Professor, School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Visiting Professor and Director, Centre for Sustainable Urbanism, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, Beijing University and Chair, World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) Asia Pacific.The issues that drive his efforts are climate change-- caused in large part by burning fossil fuel--and energy security which is now in question due to Peak Oil. He speaks of the shackles" created by our current Industrial Revolution/fossil fuel based urban and socioeconomic infrastructures and the general environmental degradation, including personal health, caused by our current energy systems. Droege discusses how interconnected our life support systems are and how a total systems design approach must be applied as communities take on the transition from reliance on cheap energy from oil, with its multitude of subsidized, hidden costs. One example is the fact that half of all fresh water used in the U.S. today is used to cool oil and coal fired electric power plants. In today's world, he claims, many things seem upside down. It's more expensive to waste than save, but waste is more profitable. Efficiency must become a priority and profitable for individuals. We can't consume our way out of the problem either with a set of quick fix products or programs. We must reverse many of the "flows" which go out of our communities causing damage and decay. Many of the resources needed to make the changes to a renewable culture, can and should be freed up from current inefficiencies. We must change from our current toxic energy source. We can't consume our way out of the problem either with a set of quick fix products or programs. We must reverse many of the "flows" which go out of our communities causing damage and decay. Droege explains his vision of a new paradigm which replaces fossil fuel with renewable fuels as the energy foundation of our culture. This vision encompasses and goes beyond simple techno fixes to the heart of economic and cultural transformation. His vision realized will lead to real urban, social, environmental and economic reform, possibly revolution, by this transformation of our fundamental energy system. He gives examples from a variety of countries of a more self sufficient approach based on relocalization, community and individual empowerment, economic and social incentives and a basic reframing of what globalization is and how it may become a positive force.Interviewed at the Ecocities World Summit in San Francisco in April 2008.Websites of interest: www.solarcity.org, www.wcre.org (World Council for Renewable Energy).