From The Trenches Radio for February: Cornel West on poverty, Setsuko Thurlow on Hiroshima

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



Longtime academic and activist Cornel West speaks in Chicago, at a presentation from November 2012, held at Northwestern University Law School on the issue of public media in Chicago and coverage (or lack thereof) of issues of poverty and power.


Setsuko Thurlow -- a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan -- spoke about her experiences regarding nuclear energy and nuclear weapons at a recent Chicago conference marking the 70th anniversary of the start of the nuclear age.




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:


Argentina protests establishment of Monstanto plan
Argentina Indymedia featured grassroots protests against the installation of a major U.S. conglomerate in a town in central Argentina. On January 29, 2013, the town of Malvinas Argentinas in the Cordoba province in central Argentina saw the establishment of a plant owned by the U.S.-based company Monsanto. The same day, more than four hundred people marched in protest, demanding that the very forces of Earth and life not be subjugated to the profit demands of an international conglomerate. A translation from one dispatch read in part: "We ask for a different life project, we do not want more loss of life, no more violence to our people caused by an international killer." Monsanto has faced worldwide criticism and protest for years over health concerns related to its genetically modified food products, efforts to undermine organic agriculture, control of food and seed stocks, and efforts to hide such information from consumers, including efforts at product labeling. Argentina Indymedia also reported that a judge did grant a temporary injunction against Monsanto, blocking the pending operation of the plant until an environmental impact assessment has been completed.

"Superbly restrained" British police caught on video beating protesters
Indymedia UK posted a feature headlined "Court report on baton use at student demonstrations", with the subheadline "A police commander has described his officers as 'superbly restrained' after watching video footage of them striking down at protesters' heads with batons during a student demonstration.". Quoting from the feature, dated February 16, 2013: Bronze Commander Woods, who was giving evidence at the trial of Alfie Meadows and Zak King for violent disorder at Woolwich Crown Court, had earlier said that 'batons should only be used as an absolute last resort' and that officers are made 'aware of the potential for injury or death from a strike to the head'. Woods was responsible for policing in Parliament Square during the student protests on December 9, 2010, that left Meadows with a life-threatening head injury following a baton strike to the head…After watching a video of officers striking out at protesters, some with bandanas around their faces, as they slowly jostled past, Woods said: “I believe the officers were incredibly restrained. Superbly restrained. I'm with them all the way. You have protesters masked up.”…The footage was filmed by police evidence gatherers as thousands of students demonstrated against a rise in tuition fees that was to be voted on in Parliament later that day.

Occupy LA offshoot highlights inequality at Tournament of Roses Parade
LA Indymedia reported of a clever Occupy-connected protest at a noted annual parade. Quoting from the feature dated January 2, 2013: "Occupy Fights Foreclosure (OFF), a subgroup of Occupy LA continues to fight against illegal foreclosures that are currently widespread in the state of California. OFF started the year 2013 by marching and chanting at the annual [Tournament of Roses] Parade in Pasadena. The group of activists and victims of illegal foreclosures met at Singer park on January 1st at 6am Tuesday morning to prepare for the parade. They adjusted a 15-foot-high float with [a giant puppet rendering of Rich Uncle Pennybags from the board game Monopoly] on a wagon and marched the 5 mile route following the Parade. [Spokesperson] Carlos Marroquin said that the reason for marching at the Rose Parade is not only to protest illegal foreclosure practices of the major banks but also to create public awareness and spread the word about banks' fraudulent actions."

Texas police caught in roadside rape
Austin Indymedia featured a story about Texas police committing a roadside rape against two women. Quoting from the feature, dated January 7, 2013: "Two Texas women are suing after state troopers subjected them to a humiliating and invasive roadside body cavity search that was caught on video. Female trooper Kellie Helleson is seen in the footage aggressively searching the [genitalia] of Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, 24, in front of passing cars. The women, who claim the trooper used the same rubber glove for both of them, were initially stopped by Helleson's colleague David Farrell on State Highway 161 near Irving after he saw one of them throw a cigarette butt out the window. Angel Dobbs said Helleson irritated a…cyst she suffers from…causing…severe and continuing pain and discomfort. The suit said that Angel Dobbs was overwhelmed with emotion and a feeling of helplessness and reacted stating that Helleson had just violated her in a most horrific manner. The two women are also suing the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steven McCraw, who[m] they claim ignored previous complaints about unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like. The Dobbs' lawyer Scott H. Palmer said the shocking incident, which was filmed on one of the trooper's dash-mounted cameras, was a roadside "sexual assault." He said the Texas Rangers investigated his clients' complaints but failed to take any action against the troopers. 'You can see what's happening clearly,' Palmer told the Dallas Morning News of the video. 'No one's ever seen the likes of this. We can't let them get away with it.'"

All charges dropped against Occupy Boston participants
Boston Indymedia featured a report saying that all charges against all remaining Occupy Boston activists have been dropped. Quoting from the feature, dated February 11, 2013: "On Friday, February 8, 2013, Suffolk County prosecutors decided to drop all pending criminal charges against all remaining Occupy Boston activists awaiting trial as a result of the mass police arrests in October and December 2011. This action amounts to an implicit acknowledgement of the unconstitutionality of the arrests and criminal charges brought against almost 200 Occupy Boston participants. By declining to pursue charges further, the state has finally admitted that the demonstrations by Occupy activists were legal and constitutionally protected activities. This decision -- which comes after more than 14 months of delay and evacuation -- is evidence of both the legality and the necessity of movements such as Occupy."

Flurry of action, arrests, in calls for south side Chicago trauma center
Chicago Indymedia featured recent developments by south side Chicago youth to establish a South Side trauma center. Quoting from the feature, dated February 6, 2013: "For years, activists with the Chicago south side group Fearless Leading by the Youth (abbreviated FLY) have pressured the Chicago establishment, particularly the University of Chicago, to re-establish one or more adult trauma centers on Chicago's south side (where there are currently no adult trauma centers). FLY has been particularly active on this issue ever since one of their members died in part because he couldn't be sent to a trauma center quickly enough." FLY staged a protest outside the new University of Chicago hospital near 57th Street and Maryland Avenue in Hyde Park, which saw four people arrested. The University nevertheless spent $700 million on the Center for Care and Discovery, and has continued to rebuff demands for a south side trauma center. The arrests have spurred many follow-up actions, including a petition, a vigil, and a call-in day of action on February 6th.

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