From The Trenches for April: A14 Shut It Down in Chicago, Victor Pickard on Media Activism history, WLUW swansong
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN APRIL 2015:
THE A14 "SHUT IT DOWN" MARCH AGAINST VIOLENCE BY POLICE
More than 200 people rallied in Chicago's Daley Plaza on April 14, 2015, as part of a national campaign decrying violence by police against people of color. We'll hear excerpts from the rally.
LESSONS FOR TODAY FROM 1940's MEDIA ACTIVISTS
We’ll also hear an interview with media scholar Victor Pickard, whose new book chronicles media activist efforts of the 1940s and their impacts on today.
* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.
* SPECIAL NOTE: This episode marks the final episode of From The Trenches after a run of almost exactly 14 years on WLUW 88.7 FM. The audio included as part of this post EXCLUDES the WLUW-centric content. You can hear the original uncut broadcast on WLUW from the final episode here:
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RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE WORLDWIDE INDYMEDIA NETWORK:
Pepsi Union wins collective bargaining agreement
Puerto Rico Indymedia featured a story about a labor union at a Pepsi plant winning a new collective agreement. On March 9, 2015, members of the Trade Union Solidarity Movement representing 300 employees of a manufacturing plant that makes Pepsi products in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, fought off threats by management of eliminating worker rights and benefits amid a poor economy. The union was able to keep its jobs, raise wages, improve benefits, and increase employer contributions to employee health benefits. The contract runs through March 2018.
Portland marks vigil for man slain by police
Portland Indymedia reported on April 12, 2015 about a vigil for Keaton Otis, a Portland victim of police violence. Otis was a young African-American man who was shot 23 times by Portland police in 2010 after being stopped for alleged suspicious behavior. This was, quoting from another source, “because he failed to signal a turn -- and because they thought the 25-year-old African American man looked and drove ‘like a gangster.’” Otis was Tasered and shot after being pulled over. Before the incident, Otis had been diagnosed with severe depression. Quoting from Portland indymedia, “the monthly vigil is on the 12th in NE Portland and [it's] held at 6:00 PM on NE 6th and Halsey. In May  there is a yearly memorial for Keaton called ‘We Remember’... more info on where and when will be posted [on Portland Indymedia].”
Hundreds March for Freedom at Cages Kill Rally in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Indymedia featured protests to raise awareness around the death, overcrowding, and lack of healthcare inside California jails and prisons, and create to a space for community empowerment. Quoting from the feature, dated February 4, 2015: "At least six people have died in the Santa Cruz County Jail since August of 2012 while in the hands of the Sheriff’s Department and California Forensics Medical Group. In light of the most recent death in November 2014, community-based organization Sin Barras, which fights to abolish prisons and the prison industrial-complex, held a demonstration on January 24 in downtown Santa Cruz." Activists circulated flyers demanding, among other things, canceling the contract with California Forensic Medical Group, and abolishing solitary confinement/administrative segregation and use of a so-called “torture chair,” formally called a “restraint chair” for treating prisoners.
Boston - Rally to save Cape Wind and Renewable Energy
Boston Indymedia featured a rally to preserve efforts to wind-powered renewable energy. Quoting from the feature dated February 28, 2015, “There was a large rally today on Boston Common at Park St. to save the Cape Wind project, to build a wind farm with windmill powered turbines off the Massachusetts coast. It was organized by www.betterfutureproject.org, as well as many other environmental and renewable energy organizations.” Their goal was to emphasize the benefits of wind power as a safe and clean energy source. The event included live music street theater, and numerous speakers.
Voldemort wins second term as Chicago mayor
Chicago Indymedia featured an update on the Chicago mayoral race on April 8, 2015 entitled, “Voldemort wins second term as Chicago mayor”, referring to the main villain in the Harry Potter series of books and films. Quoting from the article, “Rahm Emanuel held an overwhelming spending advantage (as much as $45 million spent in the 2015 primary and runoff by some estimates), [along with a] media saturation and smear campaign, and reports of ballots pre-marked for Rahm. Some 1.1 million out of 1.4 million registered Chicago voters (nearly four-fifths of all registered Chicago voters) didn’t vote for Rahm, and one progressive voting organizer has declared "The Rahm Emanuel we know is broken". Even so, Chicagoans can expect four more years of continued budget cuts, suspicious fiscal policies, various administration scandals, and protests against all of the above."