From the Trenches for Feb: UIC Faculty Strike, NATO3 Trial, Media Q's
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN FEBRUARY 2014:
* UIC FACULTY GO ON STRIKE
Faculty at the University of Illinois-Chicago went on strike, marking the first time in recent memory that faculty at a major research university went on strike. We'll get an insider perspective from Lennard Davis, a professor of English at UIC and one of the strike's participants.
* NATO3 TRIAL
The trial of the NATO3 -- a group of three activists arrested on terrorism charges during the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago -- took place, with activists and citizens accusing police of entrapment. We'll learn more with Kevin Gosztola, a contributor to the website Fire Dog Lake.
* MEDIA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
We'll also hear some questions and answers about the American media system at a recent presentation in Oak Park, Illinois.
* Plus headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.
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RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE WORLDWIDE INDYMEDIA NETWORK:
Argentina: "39 Senators Complicit in Genocide"
Argentina Indymedia featured a protest against the ascendance of a controversial choice to head Argentina's armed forces. Cesar Milani, who has been linked to crimes against humanity in the previous Argentine dictatorship, has been approved by a 39 to 30 vote in the Argentine Senate to the top tier of Argentina's three armed forces and the head of the Joint Chiefs. Quoting from a translation of the feature: "A number of human rights agencies and leaders expressed their repudiation [of the choice]. The Association of Detainees and the Disappeared in a statement said that 'the 39 senators who approved the…rise of Cesar Milani, through their participation in the genocide committed during the dictatorship, are complicit in the cover-up and impunity."
Albany Bulb Arts Space in East Bay Evicted
Indybay featured a story about the eviction of a decades-old community arts and residential space in the Easy Bay of northern California. Quoting from the feature, dated December 19, 2013: "On December 9, which was one of the coldest days of the season, the eviction of the Albany Bulb began. Workers from the City of Albany's Department of Public Works used a backhoe to dismantle homes located at the autonomous wild space where people have lived and created art for decades. Bulb residents' belongings were thrown in dump trucks behind the lines of Albany police. Community members attempted to defend the Bulb by blocking work crews from destroying homes and possessions, and a variety of legal representatives were present, encouraging residents not to sign any papers without an attorney present. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, authorities claimed the camps were 'empty' and that they had resident's permission to proceed."
Baystate Nurses Win Contract, Call Off Strike
Boston Indymedia featured a victory by a Massachusetts nurses' union who won a new contract and called off a strike at the last moment. Quoting from the feature, dated Februrary 9, 2014: "The registered nurses of Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract, averting a one-day strike that was planned for Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. The pact provides protections the nurses had sought to prevent the use of mandatory overtime as an alternative to providing safe staffing at the hospital. It also includes improvements to the nurses’ health insurance benefit and will grant the nurses pay raises." A statement by the union recognized "all the support the nurses received from the communities throughout Franklin County in reaching this hard-fought victory that stretched over more than two years and 44 negotiating sessions."
Ten arrested at L.A.-area protest against police brutality
L.A. Indymedia featured a protest demanding justice for a homeless man who was beaten to death by police. Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was accused by police of vandalizing cars and was beaten to death by two police officers. On January 18, 2014, some 150 protesters gathered at the Fullerton Police Department to affect future investigations of Thomas' death. Protesters also drew their ire on a camera crew from a local CBS affiliate, which was covering the protest and taking pictures of anarchist graffiti near the protesters. Protesters responded to the CBS crew by saying, "You're just here to make us look uncivilized." One woman was arrested on suspicion of assault, with ten protest participants in all who were arrested on charges of vandalism and "failing to disperse".
Chicago activists respond to inflammatory Tribune op-ed
Chicago Indymedia posted a feature headlined "The Chicago Tribune's War on Dissent: Activists Respond". Quoting from the feature, dated February 12, 2014: "On February 10, the…Chicago Tribune published a lengthy…editorial embracing police spying, entrapment and law enforcement tactics grounded in [violence and provocation]. A jury had found three defendants innocent of bogus state terrorism charges in the NATO3 case -- a case which was wholly initiated, incited and put into motion by two undercover police officers, whose bosses admitted they colluded with federal authorities to create the case…Dozens of respected activists and groups came together to rebut the Tribune’s endorsement of state-sponsored spying, entrapment and the use of undercover police agent provocateurs to wage war on dissent -- a response that the Tribune has refused to publish." The response, reposted on Chicago Indymedia's website, noted that "protesters had to battle for months for the right to protest -- including against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s infamous 'sit down and shut up' ordinance" and that "hundreds of protesters were kettles and assaulted by police on May 20, 2012".