From The Trenches for January 2015: Chicago Teachers' Strike, Rick Perlstein on "The Invisible Bridge"
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN JANUARY 2015:
* THE CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION STRIKE, REVISITED
We'll hear a panel featuring Chicago authors Micah Uetricht and Kari Lydersen on the 2013 Chicago Teachers' Union strike and its ramification on Chicago politics, and
* RICK PERLSTEIN ON THE TRANSITION FROM NIXON TO REAGAN
Chicago-area writer and journalist Rick Perlstein is the author of the acclaimed new book "The Invisible Bridge". We'll hear an excerpt of a recent discussion with Rick Perlstein.
* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.
LISTEN TO RECENT EPISODES ON OUR PODCAST:
SUBSCRIBE TO "FROM THE TRENCHES" ON ITUNES:
LISTEN ON BROADCAST RADIO:
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 Thursdays at 1:30pm on WHPK 88.5 on Chicago southside radio:
From The Trenches now airs on Saturdays at 8:00am on Q4, AM 1680:
RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE WORLDWIDE INDYMEDIA NETWORK:
Proposed Transatlantic Trade Treaty Looms Near
Ireland Indymedia reported on a planned transatlantic free trade treaty. A feature dated, Nov. 26, 2014, reported on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, abbreviated “tee-tip”, and the treaty’s potential repercussions. Quoting one example: “In 2010 the US mining and gas company, Renco, managed to successfully avoid having to pay compensation to Peruvian locals who were harmed due to pollution by their companies by successfully using a provision of the Peru-US Trade Agreement. Not satisfied with avoiding having to pay compensation, the company has since demanded $800 million from the Peruvian government as they argue that one of the companies they own, Doe Run, was forced into bankruptcy due to an expensive pollution clean-up which the Peruvian government required Doe Run to conduct.” Such strong-arm tactics are bound to escalate on both sides of the Atlantic if the “tee-tip” treaty is allowed to go into effect.
Roundup of Indymedia Coverage of Michael Brown / Eric Garner Protests
Independent Media Centers worldwide have chronicled some of the many protests locally regarding the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury rulings in late 2014. Here is a sampling of the coverage. The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center reported on a “A diverse group -- representing campus and community, black, white and brown, young and old -- chanted, sang, shared poetry, and marched in a "circle of hope" between the Champaign County Courthouse and the Sheriff's office and county jail.” In Atlanta in August, three demonstrations took place, well before the outcome of the grand jury proceeding were released. At the first demonstration around 200 people rallied in Decatur Square with a group comprised of mostly African-American students and activists and others. At the second demonstration between 1,000 to 3,000 people marched, featured speeches, and ended with the crowd marching around Centennial Olympic Park. The third and final demonstration in August 2014 took place at West End Park with a group of about 300 blocking traffic and intersections along the way. Puerto Rico Indymedia reported on the grand jury decision, noting statistics on police brutality towards African-Americans, and protests taking place in the US. In Portland two Ferguson Solidarity marches took place, noting two activists were “singled…out” by police and arrested. Boston Indymedia reported on anti-police violence protesters that took over downtown Boston on Dec. 4, and a Ferguson Solidarity march in Boston that took place on Nov. 26, where youth leaders and the community shut down the streets. Eastbay Indymedia reported on protests across the Bay Area in Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, and Berkeley, mostly in the form of marches with one San Jose protest shutting down traffic. And in Chicago activists took over and blocked Lake Shore Drive on multiple occasions; protesters also occupied Chicago City Hall and evaded arrest at the last possible moment. A Chicago protest on December 13, 2014, dubbed “MillionsMarchChi” took over downtown with marches and die-in protests; police repression followed, with some two dozen arrests, including two arrests on felony charges.
Rochester Police Exonerated from Apparent Assault of Elderly Black Man
Rochester Indymedia reported on another case of police exoneration after an apparent police assault of a disabled elderly black man. On May 1, 2013, Benny Warr, an African American man in a wheelchair with a prosthetic leg, was waiting for a bus on Jefferson Avenue in Rochester. At the time, police were conducting a sweep of the street to “clear the block” of any groups “hanging out” at the behest of an association of local businesses. Benny Warr was caught in this sweep, and was ordered to move by two Rochester police officers, Joseph Ferrigno and Anthony Liberatore. Warr explained that he was waiting for an approaching bus. The officers -- as confirmed by cellphone videos, surveillance videos and eyewitness testimony -- yelled at Warr, sprayed him in the face with pepper spray, pushed him out of his wheelchair, and repeated punched and kicked Warr. Despite the abundance of evidence accusing the police of assaulting Warr, the official Rochester police investigation of the incident could be charitably characterized as incompetent: independent witnesses were not contacted, investigators “played hard and loose“ with facts raised by surveillance footage, and relied solely on police testimony to arrive at its decision, despite contradictory police statements. What’s more, the case should have been reviewed by Rochester’s Civilian Review Board, but apparently wasn’t for unexplained reasons. In January 2015, an attorney representing Benny Warr went to court to demand the release of personnel files and other police documents.