Remembering Hurricane Katrina

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We should never forget what took place 8 years ago in the city of New Orleans. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the levees broke and massive flooding engulfed the city. What took place in the aftermath was something that should never be erased from our collective memories.

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Part One of testimony given on behalf of Katrina victims by an eyewitness who worked to save lives in New Orleans, former Black Panther Malik Raheim. Includes a mix of music by Kanye West, Gil Scott-Heron, and reporting from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Hard Knock Radio_Katrina Tribunal pt1

Part Two of Malik Raheim‘s searing testimony about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, white vigilantes, and the lack of emergency response to the victims.

Hard Knock Radio_Katrina Tribunal pt2

We continue with testimony from the Hurricane Katrina Tribunals, and updates on local events.

Hard Knock Radio Katrina Tribunal pt3

 

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The Death of Hugo Chavez; Reactions from Immortal Technique, Cynthia Mckinney & More

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

There’s a lot to be said about Hugo Chavez,  the President of Venezuela who passed away yesterday from complications due to cancer.. For many he was considered a friend and a champion of the poor. He was seen as a hero who was willing to stand up to the United States and other western  powers who have an egregious record in South America of undermining democratically elected leaders..

Two movies.. Harvest of Empire and South of the Border bring US policies out in painful detail.. They show how private companies and media outlets including our own CNN worked overtime to try and overthrow governments throughout Latin America. You can see in the clip that starts off South of the Border  the round the clock demonization of South American leaders by our so-called esteemed media..

It’s important to understand our policies and what doesn’t get reported here in the states when viewing Hugo Chavez. A lot of what he did and didn’t do centers around the desire to see him removed from office by our own government..

It’s also important to understand that while Chavez was a charismatic singular face attached to Venezuela in terms of how he’s depicted here, in Latin America, he was part of a large movement. In short , he didn’t obtain his position in a vacuum. Nor can you explain Chavez or Venezuela in a 30 second sound bite..

Shortly after getting the news that he passed we broke into regular programming on KPFA and gathered up some folks to speak to Chavez and his legacy.. Our roundtable of guest are movers and shakers in a variety of circles and knew Chavez  or did lots of ground work in the country over the years..

CynthiaMckinneyred-225Our first guest was former Green Party Presidential candidate and congresswoman Cynthia McKinney..She set the tone by breaking down US foreign policy in Latin America and the great lengths our government has gone to try and undermine leaders they didn’t like. McKinney talked at length about Cointel-pro and what has happened to leaders domestically, hence we should not be shocked at the type of hostilities shown internationally..She also talked about Chavez and what he meant to his people as well as sharing her own stories about him…Here’s our interview..

Who Can Stop the DrumsWe spoke with author and Professor Sujatha Fernandes who wrote the ground breaking book ‘Who Can Stop the Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela‘ .. Here Professor Fernandes reveals a significant dimension of political life in Venezuela since President Hugo Chávez was elected. Fernandes traces the histories of the barrios, from the guerrilla insurgency, movements against displacement, and cultural resistance of the 1960s and 1970s, through the debt crisis of the early 1980s and the neoliberal reforms that followed, to the Chávez period.

During our interview with myself and fellow KPFA host Mitch Jeserich, Fernandes provides additional keen insights around what life on the ground was like for the average Venezuelan and the impact Chavez’s policies had on folks..She also speaks to why Chavez had been and will continue to be demonized here in the US..

Venezuela SpeaksAlso on the line with us and Fernandes was Carlos Martinez who lived in Venezuela and is the co-editor of the book Venezuela Speaks; Voices from the Grassroots. Here Martinez and his co-editors  gathered a collection of interviews with activists and participants from across Venezuela’s social movements. From community media to land reform; cooperatives to communal councils, from the labor movement to the Afro-Venezuelan network, Venezuela Speaks! sheds light on the complex realities within the Bolivarian Revolution. These interviews offer a compelling oral history of Venezuela’s democratic revolution, from the bottom up.

During our interview, Martinez put the work he’s done into context and further expounded upon why Hugo Chavez was important and his overall impact on the region..

You can peep their interview here…

Click HERE to listen to our Breakdown FM interview w/ Immortal Technique at Rock the Bells 2010

Immortal Technique

We spoke with activist and popular Hip Hop artist Immortal Technique who talked about his trips to Venezuela and what he learned from traveling extensively around the country. He said he learned a lot and it was clear that Chavez meant a lot to the poor folks and poor communities. He noted that Chavez was not very well liked within the circles of the elite and they were constantly working to get at him.. Immortal talked at lengths some of the key strengths of Chavez as well as some of his actions and policies that were problematic.. Tech also noted that one can not sum up Chavez in a quick sentence, his presidency was much more complex..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LzOth38jxtM

Drone Strikes Kill 3 as We Dance at Inauguration Balls & Celebrate Dr King’s Bday

Predator dronePeeping today’s NY Times as we just celebrated Dr King’s holiday and noted the following story..

An American drone strike on Monday on a car east of Sana, the capital, killed three people suspected of being members of Al Qaeda, said Yemeni security officials. On Saturday, two American drone strikes killed eight people in Marib Province. Yemen, aided by the United States, has been battling the local branch of Al Qaeda. The United States rarely comments on its military role in Yemen but has acknowledged targeting Qaeda militants in the past.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/world/middleeast/yemen-drone-strike-kills-3.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

I know I know, many reading this will say something cute like; This is chess not checkers and we don’t know all that’s going on.. and others wlll say we need to protect America.. blah blah blah.. save it..We all know when things are wrong..

Drone Operator

Drone Operator

The key word in this article is SUSPECTED…The 3 killed last night brings the total killed by drone strikes to 11… Last I checked drones don’t fly down and order you to stop your car, put your hands up, toss out the keys and keep your hands on the steering wheel, while someone checks out your ID and registration, then brings you into custody, where you have a chance to raise bail, talk to a lawyer, have a trial and prove your innocence.. In short you don’t get a chance to surrender.. drones shoot and kill.. And while many try to avoid this ugly fact just remember, those operating drones, may one day be on your city street wearing a badge and carrying gun..

Also one should note that more and more police departments are getting drones. In two years corporations will be able to get and use drones privately, that means everyone from Wal-Mart to private security companies…

Maybe all that’s going on is a way to get us conditioned for all out oppression. Maybe this is designed to desensitize us so we will easily toss such atrocities away.. You can see this happening as folks will now only flinch if they are informed the victims of drone strikes are children.. If adults many kind of shrug their shoulders and say oh well.. Far too many of us are becoming what we once said we despised and fought against..

Well since we were celebrating Dr King’s birthday yesterday  remember what he said; The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I can not be Silent.

If you wanna go indepth about what we are doing w/ Drone strikes peep Dirty Wars which just premiered at Sundance and peep this interview with investigative reporter Jeremy Schahill…. http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/22/dirty_wars_jeremy_scahill_and_rick

What’s even more disturbing about these drone strikes is the fact that yesterday there was a drone ‘die in at the inauguration.. I know it wasn’t reported on many outlets.. Why spoil the happy feelings? Here’s  what was sent to President Obama before the inauguration

Friends,

The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance sent this letter to President Obama to seek a meeting to discuss the illegality and immorality of the killer drone strikes. Consider mailing this letter with your signature to the president.

Also consider joining NCNR on January 21 in a die-in replicating the effects of a U.S. drone strike. We have a responsibility to force our government to end its policy of using killer drones.

Kagiso, Max

National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

Email mobuszewski at Verizon.net; Phone 410-366-1637
—————————————————————————————-

Dear Mr. President:

Congratulations on being elected president for a second term. We expect you to now embrace your Nobel Peace Prize and end all of the U.S. wars.

As members of peace and justice organizations opposed to your continuation of the Bush administration’s failed wars, we are writing to condemn your use of unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) to kill citizens in at least seven countries. Besides opposing your war policies, we have great concern for people caught up in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen. The use of drones is wrong on many levels: the illegality and immorality of assassinations, the violation of international law and the Constitutional protection of due process, the targeting of civilian populations, and the disregard of sovereignty. We are especially troubled by your refusal to release the flawed document which purportedly gives you legal cover to determine who is on the kill list.

Your use of killer drones is and will continue to create more enmity toward the United States. Because of the lack of transparency, it remains unclear how many civilians are known to have suffered losses of life, limb or property as a result of strikes. The Bush administration did not seem to have any concern for the communities under attack. Sadly you have increased the use of drone strikes, and as a result there is rampant anti-U.S. sentiment throughout these areas in conflict.

Furthermore, we are also concerned that U.S. drones are used to eliminate political opponents of corrupt leaders. This happened in 2010 in Yemen, when a state governor who opposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh was labeled as a leader of Al Qaeda and killed.

We believe that you should issue a directive terminating the killer drone program. This would have a profound effect around the world, and could initiate a process of healing. As citizens, we do not see the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen as enemies. These are our brothers and sisters. Instead of wasting billions of dollars on immoral drone strikes, take the money from the program and give it to non-governmental organizations working on providing jobs and incomes to people so that they do not join terrorist groups. There would be much support for such a program in these war-torn countries.

We believe U.S. wars and drone attacks have been demonstrable failures. Now is the time to take the risks of peace. Imagine leading a country which has denounced the madness of war, and instead wants to assist and make friendship with the people of the Middle East and Central Asia.

We look forward to your response. Should you agree to endorse a foreign policy with the goal of peace and justice, we will stand with you. Rejecting our proposal will mean more death and destruction. We will then continue to protest, risk arrest and denounce a foreign policy of endless wars.

We would be prepared to meet with members of your administration to discuss our proposal to immediately end killer drone strikes and to start a process of healing with the victims of U.S. wars. Please give serious consideration to our proposal of reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes.

In peace,

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

Beth Adams, Leverett, MA; Maria Allwine, Baltimore; Susanne Bader, 211 Eureka St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; Ellen E Barfield, Phil Berrigan Memorial Veterans For Peace [VFP], National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, War Resisters League, Baltimore; Ruth Benn, NYC War Resisters League; Fred Bialy, concerned citizen of the U.S., El Cerrito, CA; Hoa Binh; Bonnie Block, Madison Pledge of Resistance, Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Madison, WI; Toby Blome, Bay Area CODEPINK, El Cerrito, CA; Diana Bohn, Berkeley, CA; Barbara Briggs-Letson, California; Linda K. Brown, Baltimore; Michael G. Bucci, CEO, Development Resource Group, Chair, MicroLeadership, Inc., San Diego, CA; Dianne Budd, M.D., CodePink, San Francisco, CA 94122; Bill Carpenter, San Francisco, CA; Tim Carpenter, national director of Progressive Democrats of America, Washington, D.C.; Tim Chadwick, member of the human race, Bethlehem, PA; Francis Collins, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, San Francisco; Robert Cooke, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore, Gaithersburg, MD; Charlie Cooper, Generations for Peace and Democracy, Baltimore; Susan Crane, Redwood City Catholic Worker, Redwood City, CA; Fran Donelan, Baltimore; David Eberhardt, Baltimore; June Eisley, Pacem in Terris, Wilmington, DE; Arla S. Ertz, San Francisco, CA; Gil Field, San Diego VFP, San Diego, CA; Joy First, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Madison Pledge of Resistance, and Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Mt. Horeb, Wi; Eileen Fleming, author, reporter, founder WeAreWideAwake.org, Florida; Edward G. Fox, Dr. P.H.; Andrea Freeman, San Anselmo, CA; Carol E. Gay, president, NJ State Industrial Union Council and chair, NJ Labor Against War, Brick, NJ; Edward L. Gilmore, San Diego Chapter of Veterans For Peace; Shirley Golub, co-founder & secretary; San Francisco Chapter–Progressive Democrats of America; Emily Greene, Mentone, AL; Edith M. Hallberg, Bay Area CODEPINK, Berkeley, CA; Carole Hamlin, Baltimore; Susan Harman, CodePink, Oakland, CA; Norma J F Harrison, 1312 Cornell Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702; John Heuer, VFP, Chapel Hill, NC; George Homanich & Judy Homanich, Broome County Peace Action, 316 Prospect St., Binghamton, NY 13905; Joanna Katz, Berkeley, CA 94702; Tarak Kauff, VFP; Chuck Kaufman, national co-coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice, Washington, D.C.; Ingrid Kepler-May, 600 Grizzly Peak Blvd., Berkeley, CA, 94708; Janie Kesselman, Peace Center of Nevada County, Nevada City, CA; Malachy Kilbride, Arlington, VA; Kathy Labriola, Ninth Street Co-op, 1714 Ninth Street, Berkeley, CA. 94710; Barbara Larcom, Baltimore; Martin Lefstein, Jewish Voice for Peace, affiliation purposes only, Parkville, MD; Linda LeTendre, Saratoga Peace Alliance, Saratoga Springs, NY; Stan Levin, VFP, chapter 91, San Diego, CA; Eleanor Levine, co-coordinator, East Bay CodePink and Golden Gate CodePink, San Francisco Bay Area, CA; JoAnne Lingle, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center; Mary Liston Liepold, Ph.D., Peace X Peace; Bro. John Mahoney, 738 S. Beechfield Ave., Baltimore 21229-4423; Kevin Martin, executive director, Peace Action, Silver Spring, MD; Maurice Martin, San Diego VFP; Bobby McCormick; Chris Moore-Backman, director, Chico Peace and Justice Center, Chico, CA; Don Muller, Sitkans for Peace and Justice, Alaska; Richard J. Ochs, Baltimore; MJ and Jerry Park, co-founders and co-directors of Little Friends For Peace, Mount Rainier, MD 20712; David Patterson, San Diego VFP, http://www.sdvfp.org; Rafe Pilgrim, veteran, Florida; Carol Pinson, Martinez, California 94553; Lars Prip, VFP, Janesville, WI; Andy Lee Roth, Media Freedom Foundation/ Project Censored, San Rafael, CA; N. Riggleman, 25136 Tollhouse Rd., Tollhouse, CA 93667; Jan A. Ruhman, San Diego VFP & Vietnam Veterans Against the War/OSS; Phil Runkel, Waukesha, WI; Manijeh Saba, New Jersey; Judith Sandoval, VFP, San Francisco; Helen Schietinger, Washington, D.C.; Holly Severson, San Francisco, CA; Robert M. Smith, Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia, PA; David Soumis, VFP/No Drones Wisconsin, McFarland Wisconsin; Alice Sturm Suter, retired nurse practioner, NYC Metro Raging Grannies and North Manhattan Neighbors for Peace and Justice; Trish Swain, Sparks, NV; Daniel Venzon, San Diego, VFP; Tom Watson, Rio Vista, CA; Zohreh M Whitaker, 2041 Campton Circle, Gold River, CA 95670-8301; Paki Wieland, Northampton Committee to Stop War(s); Michael Wong, vice president, VFP chapter 69, identification purposes only, San Francisco.

Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/