Past Program Archive
Listen: This week we talked with Dr. Arlene Blum about flame retardants and their prevalence and effects on us.
Dr. Blum is a biophysical chemist, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry, and author of Annapurna: A Woman’s Place and Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life. Dr. Blum’s research contributed to the regulation of two cancer-causing flame retardants used in children’s sleepwear in the 1970s, and prevented unnecessary flammability standards that would have led to the use of hundreds of millions of pounds of persistent toxic chemicals each year. Her awards include selection by the UK Guardian as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring women, the National Women’s History Project as one of 100 “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,” and as Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Blum was also recently elected to the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence. Please see www.arleneblum.com for more information about her adventures, life, and work.
Listen: Following the recent decisions not to indict police officers who had killed unarmed Black men in Missouri and New York and the resulting protests in cities all over the country, we revisited our conversation with Prof. David Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. We also spoke with local activist and community organizer Chandra Arthur. Ms. Arthur is a graduate of Florida State University and has just applied to Howard Law School.
We discussed not only the public outcry, but also the larger social issue of institutionalized racism in the United States. Topics discussed include the school-to-prison pipeline, disparate sentencing and incarceration rates for Black Americans in comparison with Caucasians, and the deep economic inequalities faced by Black citizens and minorities in the U.S.
Listen: Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners!
Join us as we acknowledge and give thanks to the people and organizations that gave us hope and inspiration throughout the year.
WHO ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR?!?
We will be speaking with Mike Ewall, Founder and Director of Energy Justice Network, about incinerators and the burning of biomass and biofuels for energy. The idea for Energy Justice Network was conceived by Mike during a presentation by a state-wide environmental justice network at a national Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) training in Louisiana in 1999. Mike has successfully stopped a multi-state nuclear waste dump and two incinerators planned for his home state of Pennsylvania, and he is building a statewide grassroots community networks and regional student environmental networks.
Since 2001, the energyjustice.net website has served as a valuable resource used by community activists worldwide to obtain critical information on the hazards posed by a variety of harmful energy and waste technologies. Energy Justice specializes in documenting the harmful effects of combustion technologies that are often promoted as clean, green or renewable, such as the burning of toxic landfill gases, "biomass" and biofuels. More information at www.EnergyJustice.net and follow on twitter @Energy_Justice!
We will also talk with James Rustad, a songwriter/vocalist/guitarist, political activist, and social commentator based in the Tampa Bay (Florida) area. He has earned critical acclaim from top journalists and an obsessive cult following on Twitter. He often performs at the legendary Sacred Grounds Coffee House in Tampa and his next show there is coming up on Saturday, December 20, 8 - 11 PM.
James covers a wide variety of topics with his music. His latest recording "Ferguson USA" is available for listening and download online at bandcamp.com. James’s songs about Governor Chris Christie have been featured on the “Chasing Jersey" television program and in The Bergen Record (NJ) Sunday newspaper. His satire song about the Sarah Palin Family Brawl has been viewed on youtube nearly 14,000 times and featured in the Washington Post, the Seattle PI, the Alaska Dispatch, Firebrand Progressives, Politicalgates, Inquisitr, and Amanda Coyne's Alaska political blog.
James's website is www.jamesrustad.com and you can follow him on twitter @jamesrustadsong!
Listen: When we recorded this show, we were in the process of getting some equipment updates in the studio, so you may hear an intermittent buzz during parts of the show. Even with the technical difficulties, the information in this show is certainly worth hearing.
This year, the 113th Congress is on track to be the least productive Congress in 60 years. But days after an election that allowed the GOP to capture a majority in both houses, the first piece of legislation up for discussion and splashed all over mainstream news is the looming passage of the Keystone XL pipeline. The House has already passed it and Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is championing it in the Senate as it is critical to her runoff campaign against Rep. Bill Cassidy. Even if it doesn't pass this year, it's a given for next year's Congress.
--And the supposed urgent reason for building the pipeline? Jobs! Pipeline supporters tout 42,000 jobs, but according to the U.S. State Department, only about 50 ongoing jobs will be created. On the other hand, tens of thousands of jobs are already being created in renewable energy: for example, 13,000 in Pennsylvania and over 30,000 in Ohio.
Join us as we talk about what would really create jobs: investment in renewable energy! We talked with Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering about whether it was possible to transition to 100% renewable energy. Professor Jacobson specializes in computer modeling and analysis of air pollution, weather, and climate and the impact of energy technologies on the atmosphere. He co-authored a study published in the journal Energy Policy detailing how to convert New York State's energy infrastructure to one powered by wind, water and sunlight by 2030. He concludes that it is technically and economically feasible. This study follows two papers published in 2010 in Energy Policy by Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi entitled, "Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power."
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we are pleased to present our discussion of the mid-term elections and the functioning of a state legislature with Senator Joe Bolkcom, Assistant Majority Leader of the Iowa Senate.
Senator Bolkcom has represented Iowa's 43rd General Assembly District in the Iowa Senate since 1998. His district includes most of Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa. Senator Bolkcom is Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and also serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Human Resources Committee, and Environment and Energy Independence and the Natural Resources Committees.
Senator Bolkcom previously served on the Johnson County, Iowa Board of Supervisors from 1993-1998. He graduated from Saint Ambrose University in 1983 and holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs from the University of Iowa.
Senator Bolkcom has been actively involved in environmental advocacy work for more than 25 years. He has worked on energy, air quality, solid waste, clean water, and alternative transportation issues. He is employed as the Outreach and Community Education Director at the University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and the Iowa Flood Center. He is Board Chair of the Progressive States Network, which is merging with American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange (ALICE), a progressive answer to ALEC.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we are happy to welcome Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care – the main organization advocating for approval of Florida Amendment 2 in November approving medical marijuana. He is a founding partner of LSN Partners, which provides strategic counsel for clients as they manage their relationship with local, state, and federal elected officials. In addition to our show today, you can follow some of this discussion on Twitter: #yeson2 #medmj.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we are happy to welcome Dr. Carolyn M. Byerly of Howard University to our show. Professor Byerly is Chair of the Department of Communication, Culture & Media Studies at Howard University. She teaches research methods, communications theory, feminism and media, development communication, and political communication. Her research includes the relationship of women, racial, and sexual minorities to the news media, including a study on reshaping the Federal Communications Commission policy to expand media ownership by women and people of color.
Before entering academic life, she worked as a journalist, government public information officer, and director of non-profit organizations. She is the author of The International Handbook of Women and Journalism (2013), Global Report on the Status of Women in News Media (2011), the co-author of Women and Media: A Critical Introduction (2006), and the co-editor of Women and Media: International Perspectives (2004). Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Howard Journal of Communication, Feminist Media Studies and edited volumes.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we are happy to welcome to our show Jonathan Kaplan, director of the Food and Agriculture Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Jonathan leads initiatives to reduce antibiotic use in the livestock industry, promote more ecologically-integrated farming systems, and eliminate toxic chemicals and contaminants from the food supply. We will talk with him about the growing issue of antibiotic resistance and the broad use of antibiotics on livestock.
Prior to joining NRDC, Jonathan directed programs at San Francisco BayKeeper and Environment California, leading regulatory, legislative and public outreach initiatives addressing pesticides and other pollutants. Jonathan serves on numerous related boards and advisory groups serving academic, government and non-profit organizations. He has a Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University and a B.A. in English from Cornell University.
Listen: Air Occupy presents our next installment of the People's Mic series: Voices from the People's Climate March in New York City on September 21.
400,ooo+ people, representing thousands of groups who thronged the streets of New York to demand immediate action on climate change. The March was a myriad of individuals and people representing environmental, political, economic, social and cultural rights groups, civil rights groups, labor, atheists, agnostics and many faith-based groups. What was remarkable about this, the largest environmental demonstration to date, was not its shear size, but the diversity of those participating. Every ages, virtually every place of origin, skin color, region, class and political persuasion -- led by indigenous peoples form North America, the march included many scientists, writers, students, low wage workers, artists, clergy, farm workers, teachers, lawyers, alternative energy businesses, activists, musicians, and every walk of life. There were drummers, band, and street theatre as well as chants and inspired signage along the way. Really inspiring, and bringing energy, hope and optimism to the streets were the tens of thousands of young people who turnout to express themselves. This is what we bring to you in our People's Mic! Enjoy!
Listen: Air Occupy reports from the NYC Climate Convergence held just days before the historic Peoples Climate March. We feature Naomi Klein's plenary from Friday, Sept. 19 where she discusses her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. We also discuss the March and #FloodWallStreet. Next week's show will feature our People's Mic Project where we interviewed people on the street to talk about why they attended the march. Join us! Peace, Liz, Jerry, and Shannon
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we are happy to welcome to our show 15 Now Tampa activists. Following the successful protest on last Thursday that brought more attention to the issue of a living wage, we talk with Rose Roby and Christian Brook about 15 Now Tampa's upcoming plans. Check out 15 Now Tampa's Facebook page for pictures from the protest! We also discuss a recent National Labor Relations Board decision that found that McDonalds was a joint employer - with its individual franchises - of all McDonalds employees. This designation can have far-reaching implications for the wages of employees of any franchise.
From 15 Now Tampa, Rose Roby has been a social justice activist and a political independent for over 20 years. She’s the Chair of the St. Pete Green Party, active in the Green Party of Florida, and a spokesperson for 15 Now Tampa Bay.
Christian Brook has been a member of the Socialist Alternative since 2008 and is currently a branch organizer for 15 Now Tampa. The Socialist Alternative is the organization of Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Member, and Christian helped with Kshama's successful campaign to get a $15 dollar minimum wage in Seattle. Christian is also a full-time retail worker and part-time student.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we talk with David Cobb of Move to Amend about the upcoming Global Climate Convergence. David is the National Projects Director of Democracy Unlimited. He is a lawyer and political activist who has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials and run for political office himself – he was a candidate for President for the Green Party. He has also been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. We look forward to a wide-ranging discussion about corporate personhood and the intersections between corporate power and climate crisis.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we spoke with Dr. Rodolfo Dirzo regarding his recent research on what may be the beginning of the Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction, caused by humans. Dr. Dirzo is a senior Fellow at the Standford Woods Institute for the Environment and Bing Professor in Environmental Science at Stanford University. Additionally, he heads the Dirzo Lab in the Department of Biology at Stanford. Dr. Dirzo specializes in the ecology of tropical ecosystems. Specifically, he studies plant-animal interactions from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Recently, he has focused on the consequences of anthropogenic impact (deforestation, fragmentation, defaunation) on tropical ecosystems, particularly in terms of the disruption of ecological processes, such as biotic interactions.
Listen: As protestors stood in the streets of Ferguson, we spoke with Professor David Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, about racial profiling and the militarized police response to public protest resulting from the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, MO.
Professor Harris is regarded as the country’s foremost expert on racial profiling, and has testified in Congress numerous times on profiling and related subjects. He teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and classes on criminal justice policy and national security at the University of Pittsburgh. His books include Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (2002), and Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing (2005). His newest book, Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science, explores why police and prosecutors have largely resisted changes recommended by decades of scientific work on eyewitness identification, interrogation of suspects, and non-DNA forensics, and how we can break through this resistance in order to have fewer wrongful convictions and a more accurate criminal justice system.
Professor Harris also works on law enforcement and police/community relations around the country and around the world. He gives speeches and does professional training for law enforcement, judges, attorneys, and community groups, and presents his work regularly in academic conferences. He also works frequently with the media (the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, and many others). You can find his blog on developments in criminal law at failedevidence.wordpress.com.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy we are "Wild About Birds" with our guest Gina Holt. We talk with her about birds of prey and the effects that humans have on their habitat and health. Gina is the founder of Wild About Birds, a non-profit dedicated to environmental education, conservation, and preservation of habitats for the benefit of Florida's birds and wildlife. She is a former staff member of the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, where she became passionate about teaching children and others about the dangers facing wildlife today. She is permitted by the U.S. Fish and. Wildlife Service to keep non-releasable birds of prey for use in education programs.
Also this week, Air Occupy will be one of the media organizations hosting a press briefing with Occupy groups from around the nation at the Occupy National Gathering in Sacramento. Other organizations involved include: Democracy Watch News, the Media Consortium, InterOccupy, and independent journalist from Seattle Mark Taylor Canfield. The Media call will be held on Thursday, July 31 from 3-4 p.m. If you'd like to join the conference call, go to http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/NF9QFUVI6XG3O199 or find more information at www.InterOccupy.net.
Listen: We’re so accustomed to turning on the tap and taking for granted the water that falls freely from the spigot. But maybe we should all be giving a little more thought to the use of this most valuable resource. Liz recently attended a water-quality workshop for our local county council. At the workshop, environmental attorney Clay Henderson presented information from a recent study investigating human impact on water quality. This week we’ll hear more about water quality and Florida's Water and Land Legacy Amendment 1 that is up for a vote in November.
Clay is Senior Counsel with Holland & Knight, practicing in public policy areas such as environmental law, land use, and Smart Growth. He represents public agencies, large private landowners, and conservation organizations. He has extensive experience in conservation land acquisition and planning and has negotiated the acquisition of over 250,000 acres of land, now part of national and state parks and preserves.
Clay has long been associated with environmental policy in Florida. He was president of Florida Audubon Society, the state’s oldest and largest conservation organization. He served on the Florida Constitution Revision Commission and sponsored the Conservation Amendments which were ratified by Florida's voters in 1998. He co-authored the “Save Our Everglades” constitutional amendments ratified in 1996. He developed the first county endangered lands acquisition program and helped launch Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever, the nation’s premier conservation programs.
Listen: The 3rd Annual Occupy National Gathering (NatGat) is coming to Sacramento, CA. Tune in for info about plans, activities, workshops, and caravans. Also, more fallout from the Hobby Lobby case.
And … some real big Air Occupy News! Tune in and cheer with us.
Listen: The Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS, has just finished its session for this year, and we're having our 3rd Annual SCOTUS Round-Up! We read the decisions for you and translate into plain English.
We'll talk Hobby Lobby, the 5-4 decision that came out today which allows private employers - citing a religious objection - to refuse to provide workers with contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act. McCullen v. Coakley, the case that obliterated a 35-foot "quiet zone" around Massachusetts abortion clinics in favor of free speech. For all people who value privacy (which should be all people), police must have a warrant to search your phones in Riley v. CA. Other major decisions: presidential power lost out over recess appointments, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to public employee unions, and a group is now allowed to challenge the Ohio False Statement Law by arguing that lies during a campaign are protected free speech.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, Professor Robert Hockett of Cornell University Law School returns to our show to talk with us about where the housing crisis is now.
In part motivated by the effects of the foreclosure crisis in our community, we produced a three-part series late last year. The first two parts were interviews with Professor Hockett and the third was with Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, CA. From those discussions and working with a local civic group, we began researching the extent of the problem and potential solutions, particularly with regard to the vacant and deteriorating foreclosed houses in our area. We worked together with city government and local officials and recently presented our findings to our city commissioners and to the public at large. Both presentations were well-received and the presentation open to the public was standing room only – a good indicator of how far reaching the effects of the crisis have been in our city. Now, we are returning to our conversation with Professor Hockett to discuss our findings, talk about next steps, and find out about an ancillary issue we discovered in our research: in our area and around the country, large hedge funds have been purchasing many of the foreclosed properties to use them as rentals.
Listen: The morning after Seattle raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, we spoke with Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant. Ms. Sawant, who pushed for the measure, called it a “history victory” for workers. Ms. Sawant is a member of the Occupy movement and a member of the Socialist Alternative party and advocates for democratic socialism and an end to the two-party system.
From her webpage, she states her issues as “raising the minimum wage, … affordable housing, and … taxing the rich for public transportation and public education. As a city councilor, I will use my position to help build, unite, and give political voice to the struggles of low-paid workers, youth, people of color, and all those who are shut out by the political machine tailored to protect the interests of the big corporations and the wealthy elite. Together, we can make 2014 the year of $15 an hour!”
Ms. Sawant’s election and success in advocating for a higher minimum wage offer hope and inspiration to the 99%.
Listen: We talk with Velcrow Ripper, Director of the documentary Occupy Love, who covered the peaceful uprisings all over the world leading up to the Occupy Movement. As a moving, hopeful documentary, Occupy Love shows our interconnectedness with each other and with the planet. It premiered at the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival.
Velcrow Ripper is a Canadian Academy Award (Genie) winning filmmaker, writer, sound designer and public speaker. He creates powerful, cinematic documentaries that deal with the central issues of our times. Occupy Love is the culmination of his epic “Fierce Love Trilogy” which began with Scared Sacred, named one of Canada’s Top 10 movies of 2004, and winner of the 2005 Genie (Canadian Academy Award) for best feature documentary. In it, Ripper visits the "Ground Zeros" of the planet. The Trilogy continued with 2008′s award winning Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action, a moving account of Spiritual Activism.
Listen: What is radical democracy and a horizontal political process? When everyone not only gets a vote, but also gets a voice. On Air Occupy this Tuesday, we speak with Richard D. Bartlett, an electronics engineer with a background in open-source hardware, education, and community organizing. He is one of a group of New Zealanders who were inspired and frustrated by their experience of collective decision-making at Occupy. Since the movement left the city squares, they have been developing Loomio: an open source software platform for collective decision-making. Their mission is to create a world where it's easy for anyone to participate in decisions that affect them.
Listen: We interviewed Sean Cononie, humanitarian, homeless advocate, and founder of 14 agencies that deal with human rights and poverty. In addition to his founding of the Homeless Voice Newpaper and the shelters the paper supports, Mr. Cononie is best known for his work to raise awareness of and bring an end to hate crimes against the homeless. Mr. Cononie was one of the people responsible for Governor Crist's passage of a hate crimes law for the State of Florida. We spoke with Mr. Cononie about his newspaper for the homeless and the shelters funded by it.
Joining us on the show was returning guest and friend of the show, Mr. Edward Davis, vice president of H.O.M.E. of Daytona Beach, a Florida non-profit homeless advocacy organization founded by Brad Carter and other homeless individuals to raise awareness of the issues faced by people who lack shelter and to advocate for their rights. H.O.M.E. is currently exploring the possibility of starting a newspaper as well.
Listen: This week on Air Occupy for our 101st program, we broadcast our interview with Nathan Schneider, author of Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse and God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet. Nathan is founding editor of Waging Nonviolence and editor of the online literary magazine Killing the Buddha. His writing has been published in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Harper’s and the Nation, among others. You can find more of his writings on his website, The Row Boat.
In Thank You, Anarchy, Nathan chronicles the Occupy movement from its inception - meetings and gatherings pre-September 17 and into Occupy's second year. His firsthand experiences with OWS and involvement in Occupy Faith make for fascinating reading, and we look forward to hearing about them in our interview with him tomorrow.
"Water, water everywhere, and nor any drop to drink..."
--The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
In Florida, water is all around us - lakes, springs, rivers, oceans, bays, inlets. But we are facing conservation issues with our water: salt water intrusion into fresh water springs; fertilizer/nitrogen contamination and its consequences, such as the algae blooms and effects on wildlife in this area, including manatees; and our gift of fresh water for free to be bottled and sold by companies such as Niagara. What is the future of water in Florida, and how will this future effect the animals, birds, fish, and humans in Florida?
This week on Air Occupy, we have in-studio Dr. Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation with the Save the Manatee Club. Dr. Tripp received her Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Florida, where she conducted research on manatee physiology. Dr. Tripp was a lecturer, laboratory instructor, and graduate research assistant at the university. She has worked as a manatee consultant for one of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects and also worked as a biologist with FWC’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab where she assisted with manatee necropies, carcass salvage, marine mammal rescues, and various research projects. She has co-authored multiple abstracts and research papers on manatees. Among her many honors, she was chosen as the Florida League of Conservation Voters’ Betsy Wood Fellow and was a Ford Foundation and Morris K. Udall Scholar. At the 2008 Marine Mammal Health Conference organized by the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine and others, Dr. Tripp received the Reep-Bonde Florida Manatee Biology and Conservation Award for her research that furthered the basic knowledge of fundamental manatee biology.
Listen: "Trash Talk with the Rebuilding Exchange." Our guest this week, Elise Zelechoswki, has been referred to as a "garbage guru" for her pioneering work in sustainable development and redevelopment, waste management and recovery, and sustainable building deconstruction.
With over 40% of building materials finding their way into our overflowing landfills, Ms. Zelechowski suggests that we need to re-envision the waste paradigm: turning would-be liabilities into assets, creating new markets, living wage jobs for people with barriers to employment, and forging a sustainable local economy. We speak to Ms. Zelechowski about the need to rethink the waste stream, the economic and environmental impacts of creative reuse, and how making trash visible is key to making it manageable.
Elise Zelechowski has recently joined Thoughtworks in Chicago in the position of Director of Social Impact for North America. Prior to joining Thoughtworks, Elise spent nine years with the Delta Institute, most recently serving as Managing Director of Ventures Innovation. She is the founder and former director of the Rebuilding Exchange, a sustainability and social enterprise initiative in Chicago involving the reclamation and re-use of building materials. Elise began her career developing sustainability programs for the Chicago Center for Green Technology, an initiative of the Chicago Department of Environment. Elise is a member of the Illinois Task Force on Social Innovation and a board member of the Building Materials Reuse Association. She is a graduate of The Evergreen State College and Harvard Business School.
Listen: "Moral March." Listen to the voices from the Moral Mondays movement as people from all across the nation participate in the March on Feb. 8 in North Carolina protesting the repressive and discriminatory legislation there.
Listen: "Zombie Politics and Youth in Revolt with Henry A. Giroux." We were thrilled to interview Professor Henry Giroux, Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Canada. The author of more than 50 books and 300 articles, Dr. Giroux is one of the founding theorists of cultural pedagogy in the United States. He has been named one of the top 50 educational thinkers of modern times. We talked with Dr. Giroux about his zombie metaphor, as he wrote in his book Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism. He has written extensively about the Occupy movement, the neoliberal attack on education and other pillars of democracy, and the U.S. decline into authoritarianism. We discussed all of these subjects and more with him in this hour-long interview.
Listen: "Keystone XL Pipeline." This week, in honor of the recent final environmental impact report released by the U.S. Department of State, we are playing our interviews from the largest environmental protest in U.S. history. Ironically, around this time last year, over 40,000 people gathered in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. We thought it was important to hear what they had to say.
We would also like to draw some attention this week to the MI CATS. Last week, the court ruled against three protesters from MI CATS - Vicci Hamlin, Lisa Leggio, and Barb Carter - who had engaged in non-violent civil disobedience for attaching themselves to construction equipment to try to draw attention to and slow down constructon of a pipeline. The three activists, mothers, grandmothers, and volunteers in the community, were immediately handcuffed and taken into custody prior to sentencing in March.
Information on how to help can be found here on their webpage.
Listen: "Occupying the Media." Each week we talk about Occupy the Media Collective and the podcasting platform we share on OccupytheMedia.Podomatic.com. This week you get the chance to meet the hosts of the other podcasts and radio programs in the Collective:
We talk about independent media and its necessity, reform v. revolution, and Occupy.
Listen: "Beware of the #TPP #FastTrack flim-flam" This week on Air Occupy at 11am ET Jan. 21 on big1380.com, we again address the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Baucus/Camp Fast Track bills introduced in Congress last week. Relying on Melinda St. Louis of Global Trade Watch and U.S. Representative Alan Grayson, the show reviews the anticipated and controversial provisions of the secret so-called "trade agreement" and the attempt to force Congressional approval without amendment by our elected representatives. We also put the TPP in proper perspective by considering the "promises" made for free trade and the realities under the now twenty year-old NAFTA and the more recent bi-lateral trade agreements between the U.S. and South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
On Friday, Wikileaks released the text of the environmental chapter of the draft TPP, which confirms that environmental protections will not be enhanced in Pacific Rim countries. This revelation confirms the concerns about the TPP and does not bode well for those concerned with other TPP subject areas, including internet freedom, labor rights, food safety, availability of prescription drugs, financial services regulation and United States sovereignty.
Tune-in to stay abreast of recent developments as fast-tracking approval of the TPP - kept secret from even our elected representative but not from 600+ corporate lobbyists - careens forward in the corporatist U.S. Congress.
Listen: "Occupy Madison and Tiny Homes for the Homeless" Have you heard of the tiny houses for the homeless? Listen in to find out more! Our guest Brenda Konkel is from Occupy Madison Build, a group of activists whose motto is:"Doing what the government won't do." And what they are doing is building small homes - about 98 square feet including a bed, kitchen, bathroom, and storage. The goal is to build a village of tiny houses, giving shelter to those who need it. This Christmas Eve, a Madison, WI couple slept their first night in Occupy Madison's first tiny home. Plans for 2014 include building 30 more!
Listen: "Skin Deep with Environmental Working Group" We were delighted to speak with Sonya Lunder, Senior Analyst with the Environmental Working Group, about the chemicals that are in everyday consumer products, such as lotion, antiperspirant, cosmetics, cell phones, sunscreens, and cleaning products. The Environmental Working Group is an environmental health research advocacy organization, and the nonprofit which brings us the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, a website that details the ingredients and safety assessments of over 74,000 personal products. Sonya's focus at EWG is on toxic chemicals in food, water, air, and consumer products.
Listen: "Protest Songs" Listen this week to our listeners' favorite protest songs by request - and if you have some for next week, we're doing the show the same way for New Year's Eve. So tweet us your favorite protest songs @AirOccupy.....
"Strike Debt!" This week on Air Occupy we interview Ohyoon
Kim, member of Strike Debt, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot. Strike Debt
is building a debt resistance movement.
According to Strike Debt, most individual debt is illegitimate and unjust:
"Most of us fall into debt because we are increasingly deprived of the means to acquire the basic necessities of life: education, health care, and housing. Because we are forced to go into debt simply in order to live, we think it is right and moral to resist it.
We also oppose debt because it is an instrument of exploitation and political domination. Debt is used to discipline us, deepen existing inequalities, and reinforce gendered, racial,and other social hierarchies. Every Strike Debt action is designed to weaken the institutions that seek to divide us and benefit from our division. As an alternative to this predatory system, Strike Debt advocates a just and sustainable economy, based on common goods, mutual aid, and public affluence."
--from Strike Debt's Principles of Solidarity
Strike Debt has had two main projects thus far: the Rolling Jubilee and the Debt Resistors' Operations Manual (DROM). A revised and expanded DROM will be published in March. Through the Rolling Jubilee, Strike Debt bought - and forgave - nearly $13.5 in medical debt belonging to almost 2700 individuals.
We are delighted to speak with Strike Debt about these and other upcoming projects!
Listen: "Tar Sands Blockade." This week on Air Occupy, we talked with Grace of Tar Sands Blockade, a peaceful, direct action campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Tar Sands Blockade organizes in Texas to protect homes from eminent domain for the pipeline and the planet from the extraction, transport, and refining of harmful tar sands oil.
The group began direct actions in August 2012, when TransCanada began building the lower portion of the Keystone XL pipeline through Oklahoma and Texas to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Tar Sands Blockade was the subject of an hour-long documentary entitled, "Blockadia Rising: Voices of the Tar Sands Blockade."
Listen: "Thank you, Activists!" This Thanksgiving, Air Occupy wants to say thanks to all of the activists who are working to make our world a better place.
Some activists impressed us with brave civil disobedience, others with the information and passion shared. Listen in tomorrow to hear a little more about some of these activists:
Moral Mondays in North Carolina organized by William Barber, the head of NC’s NAACP chapter, saw 800 civilians arrested over Republican measures. The Dream Defenders, a group of courageous youth, camped out for 31 days in Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office over Trayvon’s Bill. Idle No More was a force in 2013 for Indigenous Sovereignty to protect water, air, land and all creation.
The Reverend Billy Talen and members of the Stop Shopping Choir were recently arrested in JP Morgan Chase offices in Manhattan while singing about human caused climate change. As Rev. Billy would say: Earth-a-lu-yah! At almost every Congressional hearing about war, Code Pink was there with red palms to remind our legislators that, by supporting war, they have blood on their hands. Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers run the website Popular Resistance, which gives a daily update of protest and movement news. Alexa O’Brien provided the world with unbiased, factual information about the Chelsea Manning trial this year. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Edward Snowden and whistleblowers everywhere, March Against Monsanto, Occupy Sandy, the Dreamers for Immigration reform, Food Not Bombs, Occupy Our Homes, the Tar Sands Blockade, MICATS, Occupy the Media Collective, Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee, the Progressive Voices Network, and many many more...
Who are you thankful for? Tells us via email, tweet @AirOccupy, or post on our Facebook page, AND be sure to tell that activist! Changing the world is daunting business ~ Happy Thanksgiving and keep up the good fight!
Jerry, Liz, and Shannon
Listen: "Eminent Domain of Mortgages with Mayor McLaughlin and Home Defenders League." This week on Air Occupy, we continued our discussion about the ongoing foreclosure crisis with Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, CA. In September, Mayor McLaughlin and the Richmond City Council approved a plan to acquire underwater mortgages through the use of eminent domain. Although the plan has raised the ire of Wall Street banks, the City passed its first legal hurdle, as a Federal District Judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Well Fargo. Mayor McLaughlin is a member of the Green Party and a fighter for social justice and a green economy.
We also talked with Jeff Ordower, Organizing Director for the Home Defenders League. The Home Defenders League is a national movement for the rights of underwater homeowners and fairness in the foreclosure crisis. Even before the Occupy movement was a spark in the air, the Home Defenders League has been teaching communities how to fight back against illegal and immoral foreclosures.
Listen: "Fukushima Update, Nuclear Power, and Thorium." Today on Air Occupy, we have Arjun Makhijani as our guest to talk about nuclear power, the ever-unfolding disaster in Fukushima, and using thorium in nuclear reactors. Dr. Makhijani is President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, specializing in nuclear fusion.
A recognized authority on energy issues, Dr. Makhijani is the author and co-author of numerous reports and books on energy and environment related issues. He was the principal author of the first study of the energy efficiency potential of the US economy published in 1971. He is the author of Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (2007). Dr. Makhijani has served as a consultant on energy issues to utilities, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Edison Electric Institute, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and several agencies of the United Nations. He has testified before Congress and is often featured on mainstream news programs, including ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, Democracy Now!, NPR, CNN, and BBC, among others.
Listen: "Eminent Domain of Mortgages, Part 2." This is Part 2 of our interview with Professor Robert Hockett about eminent domain as a solution to the foreclosure crisis. Last week, we had an in-depth discussion about the immense problem of underwater homes. This week, we plan on talking about how principal reduction would work.
Dr. Hockett is a Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School
and a Fellow of the Century Foundation. Dr. Hockett’s current works
include his recent paper, “It takes a village: Municipal Condemnation
Proceedings and Public/Private Partnerships for Mortgage Loan Modification,
Value Preservation, and Economic Recovery,” and he is widely published
in mainstream news, such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,
Reuters, ProPublica, and Salon.
Listen: "Eminent Domain of Mortgages." This Tuesday on Air Occupy, please join us for a discussion with Professor Robert C. Hockett about his innovative solution to underwater mortgages: eminent domain. According to Professor Hockett's theory, a city would seize by eminent domain the mortgage and pay the owner of that mortgage - usually a bank - market value for the loan. The loan would then be re-issued to the owner of the physical house for an amount closer to the current market value of the property with more reasonable mortgage payments. This solution would provide a route around banks that have been resistant to principal write-downs on severely underwater mortgages and keep a homeowner in the house which, in turn, keeps neighborhoods stable and prevents blight. Richmond, California has begun this process, and the City cleared its first legal hurdle in September. We discuss with Professor Hockett the legality of this use of eminent domain and whether it could be used in other communities.
Dr. Hockett is a Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School and a Fellow of the Century Foundation. He is also a regular consultant to Americans for Financial Reform, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Monetary Fund, and other NGOs and nonprofit organizations. In 2011, Dr. Hockett, Daniel Alpert, a Century Foundation Fellow and a founding partner of Westwood Capital, LLC, and Nouriel Roubini, New York University Professor of Economics, co-authored “The Way Forward,” a white paper published by the New America Foundation that has been credited with providing a clear and concise explanation of the issues that gave rise to today’s global financial problems. His current works include his recent paper, “It takes a village: Municipal Condemnation Proceedings and Public/Private Partnerships for Mortgage Loan Modification, Value Preservation, and Economic Recovery,” and he is widely published in mainstream news, such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, ProPublica, and Salon.
Listen: "Occupy Sandy, No KXL, & the Trans Pacific Partnership." We spoke with a member of Occupy Sandy New Jersey and Daniel Kessler of 350.org. We also had an update on the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Listen: "MICATS and the Enbridge Oil Spill." This week, we spoke with members of MICATS: the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands. MICATS is a very active and vocal group: their actions range from tree sitting to prevent new pipeline from being laid and publicizing large petroleum coke piles sitting along the Detroit River to chaining themselves to pieces of equipment as a tactic of delay. Chris Wahmhoff of Kalamazoo has a pre-trial hearing this Friday, October 18 on criminal charges of trespass for skateboarding up one piece of Enbridge pipeline to delay its use. Their website and facebook pages are below if you would like to donate to help the MICATS defray their legal costs.
Listen: "Participatory Budgeting." We spoke with Maria Hadden, project coordinator for the Participatory Budgeting Project, a non-profit organization that began in Brazil that helps communities decide how to spend public money. The Project’s mission is to empower community members to make informed, democratic, and fair decisions about public spending and revenue. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It gives ordinary people real power over real money, allowing them to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives.
Currently, one district in San Francisco has a participatory budgeting project making funding decisions about money for businesses, books in Chinese, and people who need help with rent. The cities of Chicago and New York have also enacted some form of participatory budgeting.
Listen: "The Transnational Corporate Class." We interviewed Peter Phillips, professor of sociology at Sonoma State University, and founder and President of Project Censored, a nonprofit media research, education and advocacy organization that studies the news that didn't make the news. Dr. Phillips recently completed a new study entitled the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class, co-authored with Brady Osbourne, that examines who is in control of the world economy. The study names the persons on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. This extremely small, homogenous group manages $23.91 trillion in funds.
Listen: "Peace, Not War." This week on Air Occupy we talk about the situation in Syria and organizing for peace. First, we spoke with David Swanson, noted peace activist and radio host of Talk Nation Radio, one of the shows that are part of our Occupy the Media Collective. David's books include: War No More: The Case for Abolition (2013), War Is A Lie (2010), When the World Outlawed War (2011), and The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2012). He has been a journalist, activist, organizer, educator, and agitator. Swanson helped plan the nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in 2011. He blogs at davidswanson.org and warisacrime.org and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization rootsaction.org. David also works on the communications committee of Veterans For Peace, of which he is an associate (non-veteran) member, and he is Secretary of Peace in the Green Shadow Cabinet.
Then, we had a conversation with Bob Baskin, President of the Peace Alliance, a national, multi-generational, grassroots advocacy network that works to affect the way individuals, communities, and countries respond to conflict and violence. Bob joined The Peace Alliance as President in 2012 and has since been responsible for leading the operations and initiatives of the organization. Prior to joining The Peace Alliance, Bob was the CEO of Spotlight Analysis LLC, and he served 6 years as Chief of Staff for former Congressman Sam Gejdenson (CT -2). The Peace Alliance is embarking on a novel campaign to build a network of peace activists across the United States, and the organization advocates for a Department of Peace at the federal level.
Listen: "Popular Resistance." We interviewed Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese of ItsOurEconomy.US, PopularResistance.org, and Clearing the Fog radio in a wide-ranging discussion about ways to organize and some of the incredible events and initiatives they have been involved in in their effort to help restore democracy in America. Margaret and Kevin were organizers for the October 2011 event in Washington D.C. and of Occupy D.C. Both are members of the Green Shadow Cabinet.
Margaret Flowers is a pediatrician in Maryland, an advocate for single payer healthcare and former Congressional Fellow for Physicians for a Natioanl Health Program. She is on the board of Health Care Now and the coordinating committee for the Health Care is a Human Right campaign. She has appeared on Bill Moyers’ Journal and Democracy Now and many other national and international outlets and is published regularly in Truth Out and Aljazeera.
Kevin Zeese is an attorney and activist who advocates for peace, economic justice, shrinking the military budget and a non-interventionist foreign policy, and reviving American Democracy. He currently serves on the steering committee of the Bradley Manning Support Network, which advocates for Wikileaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning. He has been active in independent and third party political campaigns including for state legislative offices in Maryland, governor of California and U.S. president, where he served as press secretary and spokesperson for Ralph Nader in 2004. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and was the only person ever nominated by the Green Party, Libertarian Party and Populist Party. He was chief counsel and national director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and co-founder of the organization that became the Drug Policy Alliance. In addition to his involvement in litigation that stopped the use of herbicides in Mexico and in the United States as part of the war on marijuana, Zeese has filed bar complaints against the Department of Justice and CIA lawyers who wrote memorandums authorizing torture. He has filed a complaint against Rupert Murdoch and News Corp for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for hacking into private phones and bribing officials. He has also filed complaints against American Crossroads, the Chamber of Commerce and other super-PACs for violation of the tax laws for their misuse of 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations to avoid the reporting requirements of federal election law.
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged
by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
--Text of the Equal Rights Amendment, proposed amendment to the United States Constitution
This week on Air Occupy: the Equal Rights Amendment is back! We are delighted to interview Sandy Oestreich, Founder and President of National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance and ERA Education, Inc. Sandy has been working for ratification of the ERA, and she is a proponent of the "Three State Strategy" for ratification.
The ERA was sent to the state legislatures for ratification in 1972, after passage in Congress. To become part of the U.S. Constitution, 38 state legislatures needed to ratify; by 1979, 35 states had ratified within the seven year deadline imposed by Congress. We will discuss why the ratification process is still viable even despite the passing deadline, and whether the rescission of ratification by four states is valid. Most importantly, however, we will talk about how the ERA is still necessary.
Listen: "People's Mic: Voices from #NatGat2." We covered Occupy's (Inter) National Gathering in Kalamazoo, Michigan from Aug. 21-25, which was attended by Occupiers from the four corners of the United States and Canada, as well as activists and organizers from Backbone Campaign, the Indigenous Nations Network, Move to Amend, United States Social Forum, Hip Hop Congress, the Public Banking Institute, Global Trade Watch, the Assembly to End Poverty, The Media Consortium, the Alliance for Global Justice, and the Alliance for Economic Democracy. Listen in to hear what the participants and presenters had to say about the National Gathering, their important issues, and Occupy.
Listen: "Series on Homelessness, Part 2." Last week we presented a snapshot on homelessness both for the nation and for our local area here in Florida – which has been one of the areas hardest hit by the housing crisis. Using our community as a microcosm of the rest of the country, we examined the needs and issues of different homeless populations and talked about the changes that have occurred within those populations since the housing crisis and Great Recession.
This week we are looking into some of the options and models for providing housing and assistance to the homeless. We are again speaking with Michael Stoops of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Lisa Hamilton of the Volusia Flagler Coalition for the Homeless and Judge Belle Schumann of the State of Florida’s Seventh Judicial Court, who handed down the decision on the constitutionality of the 40 year old Daytona Beach ban on sleeping in public last year. Judge Schumann has proposed a jail diversion plan to provide shelter here in Volusia County, modeled after the Pinellas Safe Harbor plan, which has been successfully implemented in Pinellas County, Florida. We are also interviewing Anthea Pennant, Director of Fund Development and External Affairs for Carrfour Supportive Housing in Miami, Florida.
Listen: "Series on Homelessness, Part 1." On any given day, people who might have been your neighbors before the Great Recession can be found sleeping on park benches or picnic tables in our community. There are nearly 4,000,000 Americans, about 1 in 100, who are homeless – a rate that hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression. Many more live on the edge of becoming so with just one tragedy, illness, or cut in hours. As Florida, and our area in particular, has been one of the areas hardest hit by the housing crisis, we decided to look at our own community as a microcosm of the rest of the country.
This week on Air Occupy we are providing a snapshot on homelessness in our county and the nation as part 1 of our series. We interview Michael Stoops of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Lisa Hamilton of the Volusia Flagler Coalition for the Homeless, and Judge Belle Schumann, who handed down the decision on the constitutionality of the 40 year old Daytona Beach ban on sleeping in public last year. Part 2 of the series will air next week and will outline potential solutions.
Listen: If you really want to know about climate change, this one hour show on methane release from the Arctic seabed touches on nearly every major known factor. We interview Dr. Peter Wadhams, noted oceanographer and glaciologist involved in polar oceanographic and sea ice research and concerned with climate change processes in the polar regions. He is professor of Ocean Physics and head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. Professor Wadhams is also the president of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean, Commission on Sea Ice, and serves on a number of other international committees, including the Arctic Methane Emergency Group. He recently co-authored a study published in the journal Nature that estimated the cost of Arctic change due to sea ice loss and escape of methane from the melting seabed to be $70 trillion. See "Climate Science: Vast Costs of Arctic Change" by Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope & Peter Wadhams.
Listen: "Banksters Revisited." Last year, in a very important show, we had as our guest Dr. Bill Black, white-collar criminologist, former financial regulator, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the author of “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.” He took pains to explain how we got where we are – in a fascist corporate state run by banksters (not to put too fine a point on it).
We are replaying segments of that interview and providing an update on bank prosecutions and actions by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Listen: "Nat Gat & Underreported News." In this show, we cover underreported news - the upcoming Bradley Manning verdict, the House vote on the amendment to defund the NSA program on spying, and protests all over: Dream Defenders, Fast Food Forward, and Moral Monday. Then we talked with Chris from Kalamazoo and Jackie of InterOccupy about the Occupy National Gathering and why it's being held in Kalamazoo this year.
Listen: "No Justice, No Peace with Stand Your Ground." In this week's show, we present the voices of Daytona Beach leaders, including ministers and elected officials, who spoke at last Saturday's rally, called by Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network in response to the not guilty verdict in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. We also interviewed two of the speakers at Saturday's rally in person. We spoke first with Dr. L. Ronald Durham, senior pastor of the Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and president of the Daytona Beach Black Clergy Alliance, and then at length with Cynthia Slater, president of the local branch of the NAACP, about racial profiling, Stand Your Ground laws, and voting.
Listen: "No More War." This week's guest was Cindy Sheehan, noted peace activist, just off her three-month cross-country bicycle "Tour de Peace." She rode across the United States, from her son Casey's gravesite in Vacaville, CA to a convergence at Arlington Cemetary and protest in front of the White House. Join us for an in-depth discussion of the Tour and the vitality of the anti-war movement.
Listen: "The Trans-Pacific Partnership." We spoke with U. S. Congressman Alan Grayson about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the recent revelations by Edward Snowden about United States' spy apparatus that is sometimes aimed internally, working from within the system for change, how corporations are using debt to enslave us, and much much more.
Listen: "Banking for the 99%." We spoke with Marc Armstrong, Executive Director of the Public Banking Institute. The Public Banking Institute argues that establishing public banks would harness the power of the public's money to make loans for projects that are in the public good and in support of local needs. For more information about public banking, go to the Public Banking Institute's website.
Listen: "Whow will watch the Watchers?" In the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA's web surveillance, we discussed web privacy with Alan Pearce, journalist, broadcaster, and author. In his new interactive ebook, "Deep Web for Journalists - Comms, Counter-Surveillance, Search" (DeepWebGuide.com), Mr. Pearce details steps - some simple and others more involved - that can be taken to protect private information from the government's or a corporation's prying eyes. Mr. Pearce has written for Time magazine, the Sunday Times, The Times, The Sunday Telegraph, as well as appearing on Sky News and BBC outlets, and he is the author of several books, including "Whose Side Are They On?" about Britain's surveillance state and the best-selling, "Playing It Safe: The Crazy World of Britain's Health and Safety Regulations."
Listen: "London Calling: The Global Skills XChange." Join us for an hour-long discussion with Vica, participant with Occupy London and organizer of the GlobalSkillsXChange taking place June 8, 9, and 13 in London. The GlobalSkillsXChange was developed as a way for activists to share tools, skills and experience to benefit both local struggles and global collaboration.
"From the uprising in northern Africa to the assemblies in Spain,
followed by the spreading of Occupy, new social movements have sprung
up all over the world. Our structures, ways of organising and tactics
are still in their embryonic form: working through experimentations
and learning from the inevitable difficulties. To progress and strengthen
theses processes, it is important that we come together to reflect on
them and build visions."
Listen: "State Secrecy, Democracy, and Transparency: Who will Protect the Whistleblowers?" We spoke with Alexa O'Brien, an independent journalist and primary source for reporting on the pre-court martial proceedings and detention of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is being held on charges of espionage and aiding the enemy for disclosing purportedly secret government materials which were eventually published through Wikileaks. In addition to this reporting, Alexa also covers the trial of Jeremy Hammond, political activist and web-developer who is currently facing federal criminal charges for allegedly publicizing internal files of the private spying agency Stratfor through the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, and she created an extensive searchable database for documents related to the continued detentions in Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
We previously interviewed Alexa as a plaintiff in the action entitled Hedges, et al. v. Obama, alleging that the government's authority to surveil and detain American citizens under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 is unconstitutional. She was also an organizer of Occupy Wall Street and founder of U.S. Day of Rage.
Listen: "If the Animals Could Speak." This week we discuss so-called"ag-gag" laws with Paul Shapiro, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection, with the Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society has been at the forefront of publicizing and fighting these bills.
Ag-gag laws target whistleblowers - animal welfare activists who take undercover videos, photographs, and sound recordings at factory farms. These laws have been criticized for violating the 1st Amendment, allowing animal cruelty to continue, and endangering the public's health by silencing persons who might expose problems with food safety.
We also discussed the March Against Monsanto taking place May 25 all over the world. Join us!
Listen: We talked with Dave Rauschkolb, founder of Hands Across the Sand, Hands Across the Land, along with Helene Hübl, local organizer of the event in Daytona Beach about our surprising individual and collective strength when organizing, the tragic effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and other extractive industries, and clean energy alternatives. Hands Across the Sand/Hands Across the Land is an the annual event that has taken place in all 50 states and nearly 50 countries worldwide to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels. This year, the event takes place at noon on Saturday, May 18, 2013, and it is co-sponsored by the Sierra Club, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, CleanEnergy.org, and Gulf Restoration Network.
Listen: "The Legality of Drone Warfare." This week we talk about weaponized drones with Mary Ellen O'Connell, the Robert and Marion Short Chair in Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at the Kroc Institute of Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Professor O'Connell is an expert in international legal theory, international law on the use of force, and international dispute resolution. She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles regarding the use of drones, including "Seductive Drones: Learning from a Decade of Lethal Operations," "Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones: A Case Study of Pakistan," and a 2010 Report to the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs entitled, "Lawful Use of Combat Drones."
Listen: Fresh from the Church of Stop Shopping's "Revolt of the Golden Toads Tour," we spoke with Reverend Billy Talen about his new book "The End of the World" and how consumption drives our destruction of the Earth. The Church of Stop Shopping uses theatrical performances to critique power: art as a way to open eyes. Wild, beautiful, funny, and poignant, Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir have sung and sobbed in many of the world's biggest banks - expressing emotion in a public space! - to bind us together with the planet. Earthalujah!
Listen: "Deciphering the Federal Budget." We discuss in detail the federal budget and process with Mattea Kramer, Director of Research with National Priorities Project. Mattea is the lead author of NPP’s book "A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget," and serves as a regular contributor for media outlets across the country, such as the Washington Post, the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Al Jazeera, and CBS News. She covers topics such as the federal budget process, federal spending and tax policy, federal health care programs, Social Security, military and homeland security funding, and debt and deficit.
Listen: "Living in the Plastic Age." On Air Occupy this week, we spoke with Beth Terry, author of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too and the website/blog My Plastic-Free Life. In 2007, she committed herself to stop buying plastic. Through her website, books, and presentations, Beth encourages people to examine and reduce their own plastic consumption. She also encourages us as consumers to pressure companies to use less plastic. More can be found on Beth's blog, My Plastic-Free Life.
We also spoke with our friend Cory of Aquarian Bath about packaging alternatives to plastic and a couple more handy household tips.
Listen: We talked with Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering about whether it was possible to transition to 100% renewable energy. Professor Jacobson specializes in computer modeling and analysis of air pollution, weather, and climate and the impact of energy technologies on the atmosphere. He co-authored a study recently published in the journal Energy Policy detailing how to convert New York State's energy infrastructure to one powered by wind, water and sunlight by 2030. He concludes that it is technically and economically feasible. This study follows two papers published in 2010 in Energy Policy by Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi entitled, "Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power."
More information can be found in Professor Jacobson's study, "Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight," and in the New York Times article about it, "Life after Oil and Gas" by Elisabeth Rosenthal.
Listen: WE ARE ONE YEAR OLD! What do you get a 1-year-old for its birthday? Share this post and Air Occupy with your friends!! Thank you to all of our guests in our first year and YOU, our listeners! This week's show is a compilation of the best clips and music. We've had an amazing time doing this show for the past year. We hope we have many more!
Another world IS possible!
Listen: This week on Air Occupy, we will interview Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs. Food Not Bombs is an international movement for non-violent social change protesting war and poverty. From the FNB webpage: For over 30 years the movement has worked to end hunger and has supported actions to stop the globalization of the economy, restrictions to the movements of people, end exploitation and the destruction of the Earth and its beings. Food Not Bombs has no formal leaders and strives to include everyone in its decision making process. Each group recovers food that would otherwise be thrown out and makes fresh hot vegan and vegetarian meals that are served outside in public spaces to anyone without restriction.
Food Not Bombs is often the first to provide food and supplies to the survivors of disasters, including the earthquake of 1989 in the San Francisco area, the September 11th World Trade Center attacks, the Asian Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. The organization also has provided meals for protesters at many occupations including Camp Casey outside Bush's ranch in Texas, at a 100 day occupation in Kiev, Ukraine during the Orange Revolution, at a two month Peace Camp on the west Bank in Palestine and at a 600 day farmer's occupation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Square in Sarajevo.
Listen: This week we interview Dennis Bonilla, Randy Cook, and Rusty Olsen, three employees of the U.S. Postal Service, about an upcoming national event to draw attention to the far-reaching effects of cutting postal service from 6 days to 5. Locally, the event for Daytona Beach will be held this coming Sunday, March 24, at 1 p.m. at the Post Office at 500 Bill France Blvd. Hope to see you there! If you live somewhere else, you can find your own local event here.
Why is this important? At a time when 25 states have just reported higher unemployment - years into a steep recession with a national unemployment rate that hovers near the 10% mark if you include discouraged workers who are no longer seeking employment and near 15% if you count the underemployed – the U.S. Postmaster General proposed cutting postal service from 6 days to 5, a move that would cost an estimated 80,000 jobs.
In 2011, the Postmaster General reported to Congress that the U.S. Postal Service was near bankruptcy and in danger of eminent collapse. Mainstream media largely picked up the talking points with alacrity, but barely mentioned that the Postal Service's fiscal crisis was entirely created by a 2006 law requiring the agency to fund 75 years of retiree health benefits over a 10 year span, which is far in excess of standard practice and something no other agency or business is required to do. The Postmaster General also proposed the elimination of 120,000 workers and reduced retirement benefits for the rest, in addition to closing several thousand facilities and scaling back deliveries. Without this requirement, the postal service actually would have turned a profit over the last five years. Democracy Now equated the proposal with "shock doctrine" austerity – manufacturing an economic crisis in order to sell off public assets to private entities. As Esquire asked in its comprehensive article from January of this year, do we really want to live without the post office?
Listen: to CJ Holmes, a licensed real estate broker in California and founder of Home Owners for Justice, a non-profit organization to aid home owners in understanding the housing crisis and to help people stay in their homes. She also has a daily livestream TV program to examine foreclosure issues in depth: bank fraud, foreclosure activist information, and the latest legal actions.
CJ has been organizing communities through foreclosure town halls to examine possible solutions. We talk about her experiences, what she's learned, and some of these options in our interview with her.
We were also joined in the second half of the show by Frank Pate from Honor the Soldier, whose mission is to provide legal assistance to veterans and their families who are facing difficulties with mortgage issues and foreclosures.
Listen: To an in-depth discussion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, with Melinda St. Louis, International Campaigns Director with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Melinda works with international allies to roll back WTO financial deregulation and to stop expansion of harmful trade agreements, including the TPP. For a transcript of this show (many thanks to our friend Niki!), go here.
The TPP would spark a global "race to the bottom" for corporations to find the cheapest labor, lax environmental standards, de-regulated financial markets, stringent drug patents preventing access to affordable generics, and lower food safety standards.
Listen: To the voices from the #NoKXL #ForwardOnClimate rally in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Feb. 17. We served as the People's Mic to amplify the sounds and voices from the rally where over 40,000 protesters marched around the White House to tell President Obama to say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline and YES to clean, renewable energy!
It is worth noting that while we were at the White House, President Obama was playing golf in Florida with oil executives - and press were banned from attending it. We think President Obama should listen to the people, so we asked everyone we interviewed what they would say to the president if given the chance. Because we were so moved by what we heard, we decided to compile those clips and any others people want to submit and send them to President Obama. If you'd like to participate in this project or if you would like more information, go here or just click on the People's Mic tab above. ONE EARTH - ONE PEOPLE - ONE HEARTBEAT
Listen: We talked with Chris Hedges, bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, senior fellow at the Nation Institute and columnist for TruthDig. We spoke with Mr. Hedges about media, Occupy, and the implications of the NDAA indefinite detention clause. Given Mr. Hedges's involvement in suing the Obama administration over that clause - a case he won in district court, but which has since been appealed - and his unique experiences as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, this was quite an informative and interesting discussion. In a related note, Mr. Hedges also wrote State of Fear, the piece published in TruthDig on FBI surveillance of Occupy, specifically highlighting Shannon's experience. Though we did not discuss that article directly, we did cover the very real effects of surveillance and encroachment on civil freedoms on the public voice and media.
Listen: Following our vigil in solidarity with the National Gathering's call to host vigils around the country in memory of the unnamed immigrant who froze to death due to lack of shelter in Kalamazoo, we interviewed Edward from HOME of Daytona Beach, an organization founded and run by homeless individuals seeking solutions to the lack of shelter in Volusia County; Michael Cornell of Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless, who was also previously homeless; and Spanish John, formerly of HOME and currently working on a documentary to tell the story of the struggles faced by people without a safe place to rest.
Listen: Jenny Nazak, permaculture designer and educator on working towards systems that are ecologically sustainable, economically sustainable, and socially just. Jenny was in studio with us again to talk about how permaculture addresses climate change as well as give a report on the First Florida Permaculture Convergence that was held last weekend.
Listen: Daniel Kessler with 350.org talking about the Tar Sands Pipeline (the Keystone XL) and climate change. For more information, visit 350.org. You can also find the most recent report on the state of the climate here (though another will be out soon) and Bill McKibben's recent statement here. James Hansen's piece declaring Game Over for the climate if the pipeline is built can be found here.
Listen: UN Climate Conference in Doha, Qatar with Niranjali Amerasinghe, Director of the Climate Change Program with the Center for International Environmental Law. Niranjali has worked on a range of issues, including compliance, REDD+ [Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation], international coal financing, and the intersection between trade and climate change. She has also analyzed key legal issues pertaining to national climate policies and their relationship with international trade agreements (i.e., WTO and FTAs).
Listen: Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics & Philosophy. In addition to authoring groundbreaking work in the field of linguistics, Professor Chomsky is a prolific writer and speaker on many topics, including foreign policy, media, politics, and war. He has been a vocal supporter of the Occupy movement, and in May, he published a book entitled "Occupy" through Zuccotti Park Press/Occupied Media Pamphlet Series.
Listen: David Cobb, an attorney and organizer for the Move to Amend coalition, currently on the Coast to Coast to Stamp Out Corporate Rule campaign, which he describes as a movement, creating awareness and culture change while working to establish a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and money is not free speech. As we’ve seen all too well in the last two elections, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2010 in Citizens United v. FEC opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending on elections. According to multiple news sources, 2012 was by far the most ever spent on an election at ~$6 billion. Mr. Cobb presents history behind the Citizens United decision and how we can work to abolish "corporate personhood" and reestablish a government of, by, and for the people.
Listen: Jay Feldman, Executive Director and Founder of Beyond Pesticides, dicusses pesticides and their influence on living organisms such as bees and bats. Also, what can we do in our daily lives to reduce the use of harmful pesticides? Check out Beyond Pesticides' website for a comprehensive look at recent news and science involving pesticides - www.beyondpesticides.org.
Professor Michael Nagler, president and founder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and Professor Emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC, Berkeley. The author of the award winning The Search for a Nonviolent Future (2002), Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of Violence (2005), The Upanishads (with Sri Eknath Easwaran, 1987) and other books and articles, he is the recipient of the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India. Professor Nagler will be talking about the Center’s ROADMAP – a strategy for long-term nonviolent transformation – among other subjects. We’ll also get an update on the Rolling Jubilee.
Listen: Mark Taylor-Canfield, Occupy Media & More: Mark is an independent journalist, blogger, and member of Occupy Seattle Media Working Group. Mr. Taylor-Canfield is a reporter for Free Speech Radio News and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, TruthOut, and CounterPunch. Most recently, he has been reporting on the arrests and grand jury investigations of anarchists in Seattle. His "Declaration of Independence from Wall Street" has been widely read and circulated.
Listen: Jenny Nazak is a permaculture designer and educator. She says that her permaculture study transformed her from an angry environmental activist into an effective green citizen. She's lived and traveled in many places, from Texas to Tokyo. She has a particular interest in creating resilient local communities where people have the means to support one another's well-being and prosperity. We’ll be talking about creating sustainable human systems - tangible buildings and landscapes as well as intangibles like organizations and legal codes - by mimicking patterns found in nature, working towards systems that are ecologically sustainable, economically sustainable, and socially just.
Listen: NDAA and Hedges v. Obama, talking about the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) with Alexa O'Brien, a journalist and named plaintiff in Hedges v. Obama, and Carl Mayer, attorney for the plaintiffs. In Hedges v. Obama, the plaintiffs - journalists, professors, whistle-blowers and activists - challenge as unconstitutional the NDAA Section 1021 and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens by the military without trial. After founding the US Day of Rage, an organization that helped Occupy Wall Street on September 17, 2011, Alexa O'Brien found herself labeled a likely high level cyber terrorist by the Department of Homeland Security. Because of the vague and undefined terms in Section 1021, journalists, whistle-blowers, and activists such as herself could face indefinite detention by the military. Although it denies that such arrests would be made, the Obama administration has vigorously defended the law. For more information about the NDAA or our guests Alexa O'Brien and Carl Mayer, go to www.alexaobrien.com and www.stopndaa.org
Listen: Sue Wilson, Emmy award winning journalist and director of the 2009 media policy documentary "Broadcast Blues." Ms. Wilson is currently working with the Media Action Center to put the "public" back into the "public airwaves." The discussion focuses on creating independent, non-corporate media alternatives.
Listen: Jeffrey Smith on GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Jeffrey is a leading consumer advocate promoting non-GMO food choices and Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. His first book, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating, is the world's bestselling and #1 rated book on GMOs. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, documents 65 health risks of the genetically modified foods Americans eat every day. Next, we will be talking with Adam from Occupy Monsanto about this week's actions by the Occupy Monsanto Genetic Crimes Unit. Over 75 protests are scheduled for this week to confront industrial agriculture and Frankenfoods. The protests got off to a great start with an action in Oxnard, CA where activists shut down all three entrances to the Monsanto seed distribution plant! We'll hear about that and all the other actions going on. If you haven't heard, we have an action here in Daytona Beach from 8 am - 12 pm at the corner of ISB and Williamson Blvd. An interactive map with times, dates and locations of the 75+ other protests can be found at http://occupy-monsanto.com/genetic-crimes-unit
Listen: William Black on Why Haven't We Had a Perp Walk? Professor Black is a white-collar criminologist, former financial regulator, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the author of “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.” In recent news, we've learned about HSBC's money laundering, JPMorgan Chase's "London whale," Wells Fargo's discrimination in mortgages, and Barclays' (as well as most of the large banks) fixing of the LIBOR rate. And no one has gone to jail over the crimes that brought us the "Great Recession."
Listen: Occupy the SEC with Alexis Goldstein and Elizabeth Friedrich, we discussed their 325 page dissection of the Volker Rule that has been cited in Bloomberg Business Week, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the NY Times and other national mainstream media.
Listen: On privatization with Donald Cohen, the Founder and Chair of In the Public Interest, a national resource center on privatization and responsible contracting, and the founder of the Cry Wolf Project, a nonprofit research network that identifies and exposes misleading rhetoric about the economy, regulation and government. You can visit their site here. We talk about the privatization of public assets. What could go wrong when we sell to the highest bidder (who has a profit motive) our libraries, schools, prisons and jails, roads, bridges, water, municipal governments, parks, security, police, airwaves, air, space program?
Listen: NUKE Free Now, talking about Fukushima and the nuclear energy industry in Japan as well as the new nuclear permits that we granted in the USA as well as about Nuke Free Now’s call to action on August 3-6 to commemorate Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima. We’re also talking to Alaric from Los Alamos, now in his 16th day of a hunger strike until his legislators and governor will meet with him and those striking with him to talk about what can be done NOW for the future of our children and the human race. Also, you have no idea what’s driving on our roads. This is a must hear show.
David Gespass, president of the National Lawyers’ Guild. We’ll be
talking with him about first amendment rights, particularly in relation
to protest. All occupiers, protesters, and citizens need to know about
the NLG. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), founded in 1937 as an alternative
to the American Bar Association, is a public interest association of
lawyers, law students, paralegals, jailhouse lawyers, law collective
members, and other activist legal workers, in the United States. In
2011 lawyers associated with the NLG became involved in the Occupy movement
in the United States, making use of temporary restraining orders on
behalf of encamped activists in an effort to forestall the forced dispersal
of their sites by law enforcement. Charging that the Occupy movement
was the subject of a "coordinated national crackdown," NLG
lawyers filed actions in Boston, New York City, San Diego, Fort Myers,
other cities seeking the temporary prohibition of site removal efforts.
Discussion on the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court decision
in Occupy Healthcare this week on Air Occupy.