From The Trenches: McChesney on Activism/Media, Timuel Black on Civil Rights History
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN MARCH 2015:
McCHESNEY ON ACTIVISM AND MEDIA
We speak with Robert McChesney, one of America’s leading scholars on media and activism, about his new book Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy.
TIMUEL BLACK ON CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY
We’ll also hear from longtime Chicago civil rights activist Timuel Black, who spoke about his experiences.
* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.
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RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE WORLDWIDE INDYMEDIA NETWORK:
Teachers hold tech bus blockade in anti-gentrification protest
San Francisco Indymedia featured a bus blockade organized by teachers against some of the most world's famous tech companies. Teachers at San Francisco bilingual public Fairmont Elementary School joined with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project to block 3 private buses. In a feature dated February 6, 2015, "Buses from Google and Facebook were blocked, as [activists] protested the takeover of what
had been four parking spots for teachers at the school by a tech bus stop. Teachers had not been consulted before their parking stops were
privatized [in 2015]." Protester Claudia Tirade stated, "In this city, gentrification does not only mean being displaced from one's
home, but also from public spaces and city infrastructure. From parks to BART plazas to public bus stops, we are seeing public spaces
increasingly privatized and surveilled."
Georgia prisoners go on hunger strike over harsh conditions
Atlanta Indymedia featured a story about Georgia prisoners going on hunger strike over harsh prison conditions. The feature reprinted a
letter attributed to prisoner Kelvin J. Stevenson, dated March 6, 2015, who recounts his actions and his reasons. Stevenson writes:
"Prisoners are stripped of all personal property and placed in a single occupancy cell, with a roommate that has a toilet that has no
inside flush valve, and forced to live 24 hours a day receiving half portion food trays, thus deliberately malnourishing the prisoners into
submission. Any prisoner that files grievances to complain about the denial of outside exercise periods, cell sanitation, law library
access, telephone and visitation access to family, the mice and spider infestation, are targeted by...administrators and subjected to
assaults...and are sprayed with MK90 riot mace which is used to subdue attacking bears." Stevenson has been refusing food since February 23, and has asked for human rights and U.S. government investigations into the reported atrocities.
It’s Jesus vs. Satan in 2015 Chicago Mayoral Runoff
Chicago Indymedia reported on the 2015 Chicago mayoral runoff with a feature headlined: "It’s Jesus vs. Satan in 2015 Chicago Mayoral
Runoff". The headline alludes to the two finalists, Cook County Commissioner Jesus [HAY-zoos] "Chuy" Garcia, and incumbent Rahm
Emanuel. Rahm held a host of advantages in terms of money, endorsements, and a flood of TV and radio ads, and yet his policies in
his first term have negatively affected most Chicagoans on everything from mental health clinic and school closings. The result: the first
runoff since Chicago switched to non-partisan elections in 1996. Early polling has given Emanuel a slight lead, but endorsements from
various groups and Chicago public figures have favored Garcia, who arguably has the momentum going into the runoff scheduled for Tuesday,