From The Trenches Radio for August: Ben Joravsky on TIFs, Hiroshima Anniversary
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN AUGUST 2012:
* CHICAGO READER'S BEN JORAVSKY ON CHICAGO'S CONTROVERSIAL "TIF" PROGRAM
Chicago's controversial Tax Increment Finance, or "TIF", program has been accused of being a massive effort to build a massive unaccountable "shadow budget" of Chicago's wealth. Ben Joravsky of the Chicago Reader explains.
* CHICAGO ACTIVISTS COMMEMORATE HIROSHIMA ANNIVERSARY
Norma Field, a Japanese-American scholar at the University of Chicago, discusses the legacy of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons in Japan and in the United States.
* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.
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RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE WORLDWIDE INDYMEDIA NETWORK:
London activists speak out, march against London 2012 Olympics
London Indymedia featured pictures and a report from a counter-Olympics demonstration held in East London on July 28, 2012. Quoting from the feature: "Nearly a thousand people representing a smorgasbord of campaign groups marched together under the banner of the Counter Olympic Network. The march was followed by speeches in Wennington Green. [A]s people assembled on the slopes of Mile End Park, they were joined by an intrusion of police liaison officers, disarmingly chatting and joking with the more gullible members of the crowd, while carrying out their usual agenda of surveillance and intelligence gathering. Meanwhile, a samba band tuned up, people made homemade banners, and friendly connections were made between the myriad campaign groups representing that day." The event also featured a counter-Olympics torch relay, passing a torch to representatives from Sochi, Russia, (home of the 2014 Winter Olympics) from the campaign nosochi2014.com, "who described the plight of the Circasian people exiled from their lands by genocide and erased from history by the Russians."
Austin sees launch of new police accountability project
Austin Indymedia featured the launch of a new police accountability project for Austin, Texas, in the wake of a successful pushback to a police assault. The project, called the Peaceful Streets project, was founded after an incident on New Year's Day 2012 at an Austin 7/11 in which two police officers harassed and assaulted an unidentified woman. A bystander on the scene, Anthony Buehler, began to use his cellphone to record the assault when those two officers turned their attention on Buehler himself, forced him to the ground, and forced him to take a breathalyzer test which returned a score of 0.00. Buehler would face felony charges for Harassment of a Public Servant, which he would evade when three other witnesses produced video of the incident clearing Buehler. But Buehler began to hear of other stories of police harassment and joined with other victims of police violence to form the Peaceful Streets Project, which launched the Peaceful Streets Summit, an all-day event on July 14, 2012, of education and inspiring stories, which also distributed 100 video cameras to attendees.
Oakland activists reclaim shuttered library
Indybay featured efforts by activists in Oakland, California, to reopen a shuttered library. Quoting from the feature: "The historic building at 1449 Miller Avenue was unveiled on the morning of August 13th as the Victor Martinez Community Library...renamed for a recently deceased author who overcame a life of hard agricultural work to become a successful writer and novelist. The building was one of seven branch casualties of budget cuts in the late seventies. On its first day, as garbage was cleared from the grounds and the building was cleaned, donations of books poured in and area children helped to start a community garden in a side lot. In less than 15 hours after [its] grand opening, however, OPD and the City Administrators Office deemed the occupation illegal and promptly raided the Community Library. During the raid, city workers and more than 30 police officers boarded up the entrance and sealed the fence; leaving activists and onlookers with piles of books, food, and cleaning supplies. The next morning, activists re-opened the library on the sidewalk in front of the building. It has been growing since and includes a garden created by neighborhood children."
Tampa to see two weeks of actions for 2012 Republican National Convention
New Orleans Indymedia featured a list of grassroots actions and events surrounding the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa for the week of August 27th through the 30th. In Tampa, a Food Not Bombs World Gathering precedes the convention. Food Not Bombs chapters will be convening in preparation to feed the thousands of expected protesters coming for the convention, but will also be hosting workshops, skillshares, concerts and actions, including an action against weapons manufacturer Raytheon. Actions during the convention itself include a March on the RNC, an anti-poverty March for Our Lives, a Roving Radical Dance Party, and a Really Really Free Market. Earth First has also put out a call for eco-actions during the RNC to highlight environmental destruction and devastation. A full list of all scheduled events is available on the website resistrnc.org.