From The Trenches Radio for February: Occupy Chicago, Finkelstein Speaks at DePaul
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN FEBRUARY 2011:
* OCCUPY CHICAGO
We'll hear excerpts from a presentation by Chicago activist Bob Simpson, talking about Occupy Chicago, Occupy Wall Street, and the history and possible future of the movement.
* FINKLESTEIN RETURNS TO DePAUL
Norman Finkelstein, noted scholar and activist, returns to DePaul for the first time since his famous fight for tenure nearly four years ago. We'll hear one of the speeches he gave.
* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.
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RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE GLOBAL INDYMEDIA NETWORK
Protests against ACTA copyright treaty sweep Poland
Poland Indymedia featured the massive growth of protests against ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. ACTA is an international treaty that would allow copyright holders the right to take down entire websites that carry any copyrighted content in any country that's a signatory to ACTA. One feature on Poland Indymedia listed protests in 14 cities in Poland, organized through Indymedia and Facebook, held during the days of January 24th through the 26th. The protests appeared to have made a difference; in early February Polish prime minister Daniel Tusk, who stated his public support for ACTA, announced Poland's suspension of the ratification of ACTA, and since Poland is a member of the European Union, if ACTA fails in Poland it would likely fail across the entire EU.
Solidarity protests demand larger slice for British Pizza Hut workers
Indymedia UK followed recent developments on behalf of workers struggling against an international pizza franchise for "a larger slice". Quoting from one feature: "On February 4th, 20102, Sheffield Pizza Hut Workers Union, part of the Industrial Workers of the World, held a protest outside Pizza Hut in Crookes, Sheffield, over their ongoing disput over workers terms and conditions. [Solidarity protests were held across Britain, as well as in North America and Europe.] The dispute centers on several specific aspect[s] -- pay for working on bank holidays, mileage rates and recognition of the union. Also, the Pizza Hut Workers Union also has concerns outside of this dispute, including delivers staffs' safety gear, a decreasing pay package that falls behind inflation, and a demand for a real living wage for all Pizza Hut workers.
Occupy Movement Withstanding Outside Attacks
The worldwide Indymedia network has continued its coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement, some of whose stories include the following: Indymedia UK has been following the progress of students at the University of Birmingham fighting in February 2012 against an injunction obtained by the University which bans all occupational protest for 12 months. Austin Indymedia featured the results of a leak, discovered by the internet group Anonymous, suggesting that a private intelligence firm named STRATFOR has been working with Texas law enforcement to infiltrate Occupy efforts in Texas. Indymedia.us featured developments in Washington DC, San Francisco, San Diego, and Portland, opposing the influence of big money in politics, highlighting protests timed to January 20, 2012, the 2nd anniversary of the infamous Citizens United ruling at the Supreme Court eliminating corporate limits on political elections. Atlanta Indymedia identified an Atlanta police officer and Homeland Security agent, James Hodge, who has recorded recent Occupy Atlanta events. Rochester Indymedia posted a video showing two members of Occupy Rochester woken up by Rochester police at the Occupy Rochester encampment on February 2, 2012, at 2AM; hours later, the New York Civil Liberties Union released a statement demanding that Rochester police stop their illegal harassment. LA Indymedia featured a student protest at the University of California Riverside, disrupting a regents meeting, seeing police attack protesters, arresting three. And DC Indymedia reported on efforts by Occupy DC and other groups on February 20, 2012, a "day of action" against the prison system and the "new Jim Crow" as it's called.
Unanimous Voice Opposes New Jail at Champaign County Board
The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center featured efforts on the week of February 7, 2012, by community members united in opposition against expanding the Campaign County Jail. This marks the second consecutive week to oppose such plans, and ran the gamut of reasons voiced during public comment. Among them: Rebecca Ginsburg, a University of Illinois professor, pointed out the failures of the criminal justice system, citing the 51% recidivism rate in Illinois. Mikhail Lyubansky, who writes and teaches about restorative justice, said, "Jail is just one strategy, not the only one" to public safety and called on the County Board to look into alternatives to incarceration. Not one member from the public came to give their support for the plans for a new county jail.
City of Chicago Settles 2003 Antiwar Class Action for $6.2 million
Chicago Indymedia featured the resolution to a nine-year-old lawsuit over a major antiwar protest. Quoting from the feature: "Attorneys representing some 700 arrestees and detainees in the famed March 20, 2003 antiwar protest on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive announced that they have won a multi-million-dollar settlement with the City of Chicago over the illegal crackdown of that protest by the Chicago Police that night. The city has agreed to compensate all arrestees and detainees a total of $6.2 million; some of those arrested and charged may receive up to $15,000 in compensation. The settlement represents not only a financial win for protesters and members of the public but the intermediate rulings in the case affirm the rights of public protesters amidst open police crackdowns -- a development expected to help activists planning to protest the NATO / G8 summits in Chicago in May 2012.
Chicago Indymedia now on Drupal
And Chicago Indymedia has, for the first time in seven years, moved its website to a new software platform. On January 28, 2012, Chicago Indymedia's main website began using the Drupal content management system. More information is online at chicago.indymedia.org, and at drupal.org
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