From The Trenches Radio for July: Jensen on Journalism, Sizing Up NATO Protests

From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.



Journalism scholar and noted activist Robert Jensen talks about the future of American journalism.


A panel of political activists and organizers discuss their experiences at the 2012 NATO protests and give their prospects going forward

* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.





From The Trenches airs on the 4th Sunday of each month at 6pm on WLUW 88.7 on Chicago northside radio:

From The Trenches also airs on the immediately subsequent Thursday at 1:30pm on WHPK 88.5 on Chicago southside radio:


Ecuador to withdraw troops from "School of the Americas"
DC Indymedia featured recent developments related to the controversial military training school formerly known as the School of the Americas. The feature syndicated a press release from School of the Americas Watch headlined, "Ecuador to Withdraw Troops from the School of the Americas." Quoting from the Press Release: "On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, at a meeting with a delegation of SOA Watch, made the announcement that Ecuador is ceasing to send Ecuadoran soldiers to the School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation [WHINSEC]). Ecuador joins Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia, who have pulled out of the SOA/ WHINSEC. SOA/WHINSEC has a long history of being involved in military coups in Latin America. In April 2002, the democratically elected Chávez government of Venezuela was briefly overthrown, and the SOA-trained soldiers Efrain Vasquez Velasco, ex-army commander, and Gen. Ramirez Poveda, were key players in the coup attempt. On June 28, 2009, Honduran graduates of the SOA/ WHINSEC led a military coup that ousted Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected President of Honduras. While trade unions, students, campesinos, teachers continue to struggle for economic and social justice, human rights violations and violence against the people are increasing. Since 1946, the SOA/WHINSEC has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counter-insurgency techniques, sniper skills, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. Human Rights groups are calling for the closure of the institute.

Occupy Seattle HQ raided by SWAT police
Portland Indymedia featured a report of a raid of Occupy Seattle by armed police. In the early morning hours of July 10th, SWAT police forced their way into the Seattle apartment used by organizers of Occupy Seattle, breaking down the door, throwing flash grenades into the house, and threatening those in the apartment with automatic weapons. One neighbor reported the noise by the police: "The crashing and stomping continued for a long time as they [the police] tore the place apart." The warrant for the raid said that the police were looking for "anarchist materials" and for specific pieces of clothing allegedly connected with some incident on May Day, May 1st. The apartment had been a hub of organizing activists from a number of Seattle and West Coast activist groups, including that for a planned west-coast-wide festival of activists in August.

Indybay Journalist Wins Payment and Policy Agreement over journalists' rights
Indybay featured the victory by an Indymedia journalist over California police. Quoting from the feature, dated July 9th, 2012: "David Morse, a veteran independent journalist and long-time member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay) has settled his lawsuit over the University of California - Berkeley Police Department’s improper arrest, imprisonment, and seizure of journalistic materials during a student demonstration he was covering as a journalist. In exchange for Mr. Morse’s agreement to dismiss the lawsuit, the University of California Regents have paid $162,500 and have agreed to modify police policies and procedures regarding acceptable means of seeking materials from a journalist or anyone possessing materials with an intent to disseminate to the public and have also agreed to conduct extensive training sessions for officers regarding protections for journalists under federal and state law. Police arrested Mr. Morse while he was covering a demonstration on the UC-Berkeley campus on December 11, 2009. Mr. Morse was making news photographs of a march on the UC-Berkeley campus, in which some participants caused damage to the exterior of the Chancellor’s house and other property, when UCBPD officers arrived at the scene. Mr. Morse identified himself as a journalist, and offered to show the officers his press credentials. The officers instead immediately detained and then arrested Mr. Morse and seized his camera, telling Mr. Morse that they wanted his camera because they believed it contained evidence of a crime. Mr. Morse was charged with attempted arson of an inhabited structure, vandalism, participation in a riot, attempted burglary, threatening a university official, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer."

Occupy Homes forces banks to back off unjust home seizures
Twin Cities Indymedia featured efforts in Minneapolis and across America by the campaign known as Occupy Homes, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, to oppose unjust home foreclosures. Quoting from the feature: "Around 6:30am [on June 21, 2012] a large balloon banner reading "Evictions Stop Here" was deployed above the embattled home of the Cruz family as 15 supporters of the Cruz family began an occupation of the rooftop in protest of the family's unjust foreclosure. By 8:30am two were cut out of a lockbox device with an electric saw, handcuffed, taken down a ladder and arrested for trespassing. The action kicks off a national day of action in 18 cities demanding PNC Bank negotiate with the family to allow them to return to their home...Alejandra and David Cruz, two Minneapolis residents, fought against an unjust foreclosure of their home. That struggle has become a focal point for the Occupy movement and garnered media attention from around the country. Although PNC has acknowledged the foreclosure was due to a bank error, executives have repeatedly said they are working "behind the scenes" to fix the situation, and although Executive Vice President Dan Taylor said that he would look into the Cruzes' case, the bank has not offered a negotiation. "We feel like PNC and Freddie Mac have forgotten us," said David Cruz. "So we're going to remind them." The Cruzes stopped in Chicago to visit Freddie Mac, the current owner of the home, at their regional office, where 40 supporters rallied with the Cruzes' battered front door. Supporters then marched to a local PNC branch where they were denied entrance by Chicago police officers and the branch refused to accept the Cruzes' loan documents."

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