From The Trenches Radio for April: Chicago School Closings, Jensen on "Arguing for our Lives"
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN APRIL 2013:
* UNDERSTANDING THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL CLOSINGS
Teachers, students, and Chicagoans are taking action against the announced closing of 54 Chicago Public Schools. We'll speak with Chicago teacher and activist Xian Barrett.
* ROBERT JENSEN ON "ARGUING FOR OUR LIVES"
Longtime activist and journalism professor Robert Jensen is the author of a new book on critical thinking and its importance in addressing the world's major problems. We'll speak with Robert Jensen about the book and the issues it raises.
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RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE GLOBAL INDYMEDIA NETWORK:
Athens Indymedia resists Greek government shutdown attempts
The Greek government shut down Athens Indymedia and two other progressive independent news outlets on April 11, 2013, as part of a sweeping campaign to crush dissent that opposes their austerity schemes and state sponsored repression. The Athens Indymedia Collective released a statement which read in part: "Three of the contra-information media of the antagonistic movement, athens.indymedia.org, radio 98FM and Radio Entasi...are facing state repression. In a period where the whole of this society finds it difficult even to breath[e], due to the harsh economic, political and social repression, smaller or larger resistances, struggles of the workers, give courage and hope, pass on the flaming signals of revolution, inspire and plant the seeds of subversive and radical ideas needed to tear down once and for all this world of exploitation..." Efforts to restore the resources online have temporarily succeeded; an online search shows that the National Technical University of Athens has provided a physical home and server space for the outlets. Athens Indymedia is, as of late April 2013, online at athens.indymedia.org.
New Zealand Supreme Court denies appeal of Maori convicts
Aoteoroa Indymedia in New Zealand featured the story of four Maori people who were denied justice by the New Zealand Supreme Court. Quoting from the feature, dated April 23, 2013: "The Supreme Court has today refused to hear the appeal of the four people convicted of firearms charges in relation to the 2007 police raids around the country. The four people - Rangi Kemara, Urs Signer, Emily Bailey and Tame Iti - endured a six week long trial in Auckland last year where the jury was hung on the substantive charge of 'participation in an organised criminal group.' The four were convicted on a handful of firearms charges relating to legal possession...The four were tried using illegally obtained video footage acquired by the police by trespassing...and planting cameras...The 'organised criminal group' law has been heavily criticised by lawyers internationally as a sloppy law that allows prosecution absent any actual...criminal act or even the plan of a criminal act. Essentially just talking about a criminal act among people is enough to constitute a crime."
Indonesian activists call for solidarity efforts against 2013 WTO Ministerial in Bali
Indybay highlighted a call to protest one of the world's premiere trade organizations. The Indonesian People’s Movement Against Neocolonialism-Imperialism has announced for solidarity efforts in Asia and around the world in anticipation of the 2013 Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization, scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia, on December 3-6, 2013. The ministerial coincides with international efforts to push through dubious trade agreements, like the Transpacific Partnership Agreement encompassing all of the countries around the Pacific Rim, and a proposed US/European Union Free Trade Agreement. The call has already listed many Indonesian and international supporters. WTO protests have helped force the collapse of ministerials in the past, including those in Seattle in 1999 and in Cancun, Mexico, in 2003.
In efforts against striking workers, non-profit Minnesota food provider hires antilabor attorney
Twin Cities Indymedia featured the antilabor efforts of a nonprofit Minnesota food provider. Quoting from the feature: "On April 24, 2013, Sisters’ Camelot, a non-profit mobile food shelf engaged in a two-month-long strike of its canvass workers, rejected a settlement offer from the National Labor Relations Board, opting instead to fight the union in court. In order to do so, they have hired a right-wing, professional “union-avoidance” attorney, John C. Hauge from FordHarrison, a nation-wide anti-labor law firm, shocking the striking canvassers of the progressive organization. Concerned that Hauge is seeking to set precedent against independent contractors’ rights, the canvassers are seeking support from other unions and organizations."
NATO5 Arrestee Pressured into Guilty Plea After 329 days in Jail
Chicago Indymedia featured the developments in the NATO 5 case, reporting that one of the five people accused of terrorism during the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago, has taken a guilty plea after almost a full year in jail. Mark Neiweem, a 28-year-old Chicago activist, pleaded guilty in Cook County Court [on April 11, 2013] to felony charges brought on by interactions with undercover Chicago police officers who had infiltrated activist groups prior to last May's NATO protests. Neiweem, who had spent 329 continuous days in the appalling conditions of Cook County Jail while awaiting trial, will now serve out the remainder of a 3-year sentence in a state prison. He is expected to receive credit for time served and other reductions in the duration of his incarceration for good behavior. Rachel Unterman of the NATO 5 Defense Committee said in response: "The politically motivated prosecution and abuse Mark suffered in Cook County Jail point to a degree of coordinated state repression and coercion which was physically and psychologically unbearable."