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Program Archives - 2001

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31 Dec 011003 P. Sainath - India and Market Fundamentalism

India, once colonised by the British, is now in danger of answering to a new foreign master. But this time it's not a country that seeks to dominate it, rather it's an economic system. The so-called free market has taken on an almost religious-like aura. Its evangelists sing its praises from the pulpits of the IMF, World Bank and WTO. Convert now, the high priests tell India, or become an economic untouchable. With its one billion-plus people, what happens in India will impact the world.

P. Sainath is one of India's leading journalists. He is the recipient of Amnesty International's Global Human Rights Journalism Award. He is the author of Everybody Loves a Good Drought, winner of the European Commission's Journalism Award.

24 Dec 010903 Alicia Littletree - Who Bombed Judi Bari?

On May 24, 1990, a motion triggered car bomb ripped through Earth Firster Judi Bari as she and co organiser Darryl Cherney were driving through Oakland, California. They were heading to Santa Cruz to promote a campaign of non violent actions to stop old growth forest logging in Northern California. The campaign was called Redwood Summer. It was proving incredibly successful in uniting environmentalists and timber workers against the unrestrained corporate controlled felling of ancient California redwood trees. Judi Bari received numerous death threats in the weeks before the bombing. The police ignored her. But when the threat became reality, the FBI and Oakland police showed up at the bomb scene within minutes. They, however, promptly arrested both Bari and Cherney and charged them with bombing themselves. Even though there was no evidence to warrant these charges against these dedicated nonviolent activists, no real investigation of the bombing was ever done. The true culprits of this assassination attempt still remain at large. In 1991, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney sued the FBI and Oakland Police for false arrest, illegal search and seizure, and conspiracy to violate their first amendment right to organise. Unfortunately, Judi died of breast cancer in 1997 before their case made it to trial. Yet the charges against the FBI and Oakland police continue to move forward. A federal trial is now scheduled to start October 1st, 2001 in Oakland, California.

Alicia Littletree is an organiser for Earth First! She is active with the Redwood Summer Justice Project. Littletree is also a programmer at community radio station KZYX in Philo, California.

17 Dec 011202 Ira Chernus - September 11th and the National Insecurity State

Noted religious studies scholar Ira Chernus delves into the different stories that people, media, and government are creating to help explain the events of September 11th. Presented on 18 October 2001, Chernus addresses the question of how such violent acts can be done in the name of religion. His talk warns the audience about a new Cold War arising through the fight against terrorism and how that will perpetuate and exacerbate the national state of insecurity.

Ira Chernus is professor of Religious Studies and co-director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

10 Dec 011203 Noam Chomsky - The War on Terrorism - Fact and Fiction

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky's long awaited talk on the September 11th events and their aftermath. Speaking before an overflowing crowd of 2000 people in Cambridge, MA on 18 October, Chomsky directs his sharp intellect on the war on terrorism, helping separate fact from fiction. His thorough historical analysis provides vital information for understanding the state of the world today following 9/11.

Noam Chomsky, long-time political activist, writer, and professor of linguistics at MIT, is the author of numerous books and articles on US foreign policy and human rights. Among his many books are The Common Good, The New Military Humanism and Propaganda and the Public Mind.

3 Dec 010902 Dana Frank - Workers and the Challenge of Globalisation

Globalisation poses acute challenges for workers. While corporations go transnational, workers remain national. In a race to find cheap labor, businesses move to Third World countries. Unions are largely defenceless in the new economic order. Along with a decline in membership has come an erosion in the standard of living for most workers, whose real wages peaked in 1973. The much-vaunted 'level playing field' has left corporations vertical and many workers horizontal.

Dana Frank is professor of American Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her special area of focus is US and international labor issues. Her articles appear in The Nation and other magazines. She is the author of Purchasing Power and Buy American.

26 Nov 011002 Christopher Hitchens - The Case of Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger beware! With the detention of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet and the arrest of Yugoslavia's Slobodan Milosovic, no longer can tyrants hide behind the defence of sovereign immunity for their crimes against humanity. While some still consider Henry Kissinger one of the US's most influential international political power brokers, as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, he played a roll in numerous heinous crimes. He helped incite and enable the 1973 genocide in East Timor. He deliberately colluded in mass murder and assassination in Bangladesh. He also oversaw the mass killing of civilian populations in Indochina during the Vietnam War. And those are just some of the crimes that could be listed on any indictment against Kissinger. Many of his partners in crime are now in jail, or are awaiting trial. There is now no reason why a warrant for Kissinger's arrest may not be issued in any one of numerous legal jurisdictions. It's more a question of who will take the stand. Whoever does take on this case should recruit Christopher Hitchens to help lead their investigation.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and The Nation. He's the author of many books including No One Left to Lie To, Unacknowledged Legislation. His book, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, presents the case for charging Kissinger with a long list of crimes against humanity.

19 Nov 010904 Noam Chomsky - US to UN- Do It Our Way

Imagine someone owed you a lot of money, but before paying it back, that person insisted that you not only reduce the amount but also change the way you conduct your affairs. OK. You are broke and desperate. You go along with the debtor's demands. Then, to top it off, you still don't get paid. This essentially encapsulates US behaviour toward the United Nations. Official Washington has traditionally seen the New York-based organisation as a weapon to promote its interests. But whenever the UN steps out of line, it incurs the disapproval and wrath of the world's superpower. April 17, 2001.

Noam Chomsky is one of the foremost intellectual figures of this era. A renowned professor at MIT for more than four decades, he has been honoured with numerous awards and degrees. He was one of the first to speak out against the Vietnam War and is known the world over for his trenchant critiques of US foreign policy and the media. For many he is a symbol of resistance to tyranny and the depredations of private and state power. Few people are more astute in decoding the realities of globalisation. He was named in by Utne Reader as one of the top 100 visionaries in the world. Utne says, "Chomsky knows who's powerful, who's abusing their power, and what they and we should do about it. Over the years he's managed to provoke left and right through his relentless critiques of US foreign policy and culture." The New Statesman calls him, "the conscience of the American people." Rolling Stone magazine says, "Chomsky has been unrelenting in his attacks on the American hierarchy ... he is up there with Thoreau and Emerson in the literature of rebellion." A recent survey ranked Prof. Chomsky as the most cited living author. He is the author of scores of books, including Class Warfare, Powers and Prospects, The Common Good and The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many. He is the subject of an award-winning documentary film entitled Manufacturing Consent. He is in such demand as a public speaker that he is booked years in advance, and everywhere he goes he draws overflow audiences.

12 Nov 011005 Nasim Zehra - Afghanistan, bin Laden and the Taliban

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The United States in its goal to oust them cut faustian bargains with individuals and groups that are now implicated in terrorist attacks. The CIA organised, equipped, and financed the Afghan resistance, the Mujahideen. They were lauded as 'Freedom Fighters' by President Reagan. Among them was a Saudi recruit, Osama bin Laden. The nearly decade-long operation was the biggest in CIA history. The agency poured in billions. And they got the payoff they wanted but with unforeseen consequences. After the Soviets were driven out, a civil war ensued. The Taliban emerged as the dominant force and seized power. Today, they face the wrath of the US for harbouring bin Laden and his organisation.

Nasim Zehra is one of Pakistan's leading journalists and political commentators. A syndicated columnist, based in Islamabad, she covers Middle East and South Asian issues. She has travelled to Afghanistan and has met with the Taliban leadership.

5 Nov 011001 Edward Said - Origins of Terrorism

The horrendous terrorist attacks on New York and Washington stunned the country and the world. The images from September 11 are etched in our memories forever. Now, slowly the collective psyche is healing and questions are being asked. What would prompt people to inflict such terrible carnage and in the process take their own lives? Do they, as the White House and the media repeat in tandem, simply 'hate' America? Or were there deeper reasons connected to US alliances and policies? It is clear that a more nuanced understanding, background and context are needed.

Edward Said, internationally renowned Columbia University professor, practically invented the field of post-colonial studies. His great work, Orientalism has been translated into many languages and is widely used in colleges and universities. The New York Times called him, "one of the most influential literary and cultural critics in the world." As one of the few advocates for Palestinian rights in the US, he was the target of vilification, death threats and vandalism. The Economist said he "repudiated terrorism in all its forms and was a passionate, eloquent and persistent advocate for justice for the dispossessed Palestinians." He was a trenchant critic not just of Israeli policies, but also of Arafat, the corrupt coterie around him and the despotic Arab regimes. He felt strongly that intellectuals had a special responsibility to speak out against injustice, challenge power, confront hegemonic thinking and provide alternatives. His memoir Out of Place won the New Yorker Book of the Year Award. Edward Said died in New York on September 25, 2003.

22/29 Oct 010804 / 010805** Naomi Klein, Tony Birch and Gavin Sullivan Media Circus: Breathing Space (Pts. 1 and 2)

"Media Circus is a gathering of people who create, consume, critique and distribute media content that challenges, questions, expresses and celebrates our culture, our society and the way we live". First held in Melbourne in 1999 the Media Circus events are focused around ways in which the top down approach to main stream media can be broken down and replaced by more representative cultural expressions.

In our everyday life we encounter various spaces. Most of these spaces we regard as the public sphere. Places that are uncontrolled and allow free access and a location for people to socialise. However, most of what we call public spaces are, in fact, private property and while we hear much about the free and democratic press it is far from that. So, are there alternative and activist media spaces? How is autonomous space created and reclaimed from urban centres? What about the need for Indigenous people to create symbolic and physical ownership of the land and culture of Australia?

Tony Birch teaches Aboriginal history at Melbourne University and has been an activist within the Aboriginal community for many years.

Naomi Klein is a Canadian activist and author. Her book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies is a best seller.

Gavin Sullivan is a lawyer and activist with a particular interest in alternative housing. He is currently working with the Sydney Housing Collective (SHAC) and the South Sydney Council to develop Australia's first caretaker housing policy. (**CD only)

15 Oct 010803** Bob Burton and Elizabeth Lukin - Media Circus: Spinning the Doctors

"Media Circus is a gathering of people who create, consume, critique and distribute media content that challenges, questions, expresses and celebrates our culture, our society and the way we live". First held in Melbourne in 1999 the Media Circus events are focused around ways in which the top down approach to main stream media can be broken down and replaced by more representative cultural expressions. This presentation begins by asking the question, "who makes our media and how do they do it?" Two people who are eminently qualified to answer that question are Bob Burton and Elizabeth Lukin.

Bob Burton is a Canberra based freelance journalist who writes for PR Watch and he is the editor of Mining Monitor. In 1999 he co-authored Secrets and Lies: The Anatomy of and Anti-environmental Campaign with Kiwi activist Nicky Hagar.

Elizabeth Lukin is the owner and director of Essential Communications, a media management and public affairs company. She has worked on many high profile political campaigns including the MUA dispute and the AMWU's Fair Trade campaign. (**CD only)

8 Oct 011004** Paul Thomas - Islam and Indonesia Danger, what Danger?

As Australia continues to be caught up in the aftermath of the September 11th plane bombings of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, we find the world media is focused almost exclusively on the events unfolding in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, just a few hours flying time to our north, lies the largest Muslim population on earth, in Indonesia. The history of Islam in Indonesia stretches back over 800 years to when spice traders made their way from India to the southern Asian region. By the time the Portuguese and Dutch traders arrived, Islam had been assimilated into Indonesian culture. The diplomatic peace Australia has enjoyed with Indonesia is currently on shaky ground. With the Howard government's clumsy handling of the refugee crisis and their unqualified embrace of the so-called 'war on terrorism' some among the Muslim community in Indonesia feel as if they are under attack. The question is, is there potential for armed conflict on our soil?

Paul Thomas is the Head of the Indonesian Section of the Gippsland Campus of Monash University. Paul has taught in Italy, Singapore and Indonesia. He is also a researcher in Applied Linguistics. (**CD only)

1 Oct 010901** Kamal Siddiqi and Simon Cooper - A Discussion of Afghanistan and Terrorism

The plane bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York and the simultaneous attack on the Pentagon in Washington on September 11th 2001 have changed, some would argue forever, the way people in the so-called Western world view terrorism. Terrorism has always been seen as something 'others' do to 'them'. The stance taken by the US, Britain, Russia and Australia in the aftermath of these events seems devoid of any reflexivity on the atrocities these nation states have inflicted, or allowed to be inflicted, elsewhere in the world.

Kamal Siddiqi is a Pakistani born journalist. In his home town of Karachi he worked for the Dawn newspaper and he also freelanced for the ABC. He lectures in journalism at the Gippsland Campus of Monash University.

Simon Cooper is the editor of Arena Journal and lectures in mass communications, at the Gippsland Campus of Monash University. (**CD only)

24 Sep 010802** Geert Lovink and Gabriel Lafitte Media Circus: Strategic Activism

"Media Circus is a gathering of people who create, consume, critique and distribute media content that challenges, questions, expresses and celebrates our culture, our society and the way we live". First held in Melbourne in 1999 the Media Circus events are focused around ways in which the top down approach to main stream media can be broken down and replaced by more representative cultural expressions. "Strategic Activism" explores some of the dilemmas facing activists as they engage with issues on behalf of peoples who may have a different culture and experience from their own.

Geert Lovink is a Dutch born media theorist who has travelled and worked extensively both here and overseas. He has written widely about media and net culture and strategies.

Gabrielle Lafitte has been working with the Tibetan community for over 20 years to assist them in their struggles. His experiences offer him a unique perspective on modernity and its compulsions. As well as being an activist he in demand as a commentator on the new corporate economy and the manufacture of new human needs in many forums.

Joining Geert and Gabrielle on the platform was Naomi Klien the Canadian activist and award winning author of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. (**CD only)

17 Sep 981203 Eqbal Ahmad - Terrorism: Theirs and Ours

Terrorism is the scourge of the era. It is a fearsome symbol conjuring images of nasty looking, bearded men brandishing AK-47s. The media focus only on the terrorism of official enemies like Saddam Hussain and Osama bin Laden. The notion that the US and its allies engage in terrorism is simply not a topic for discussion. In the current discourse the terrorism of the designated bad guys is magnified. A lot of important information is omitted or distorted.

Eqbal Ahmad (Eck-baal Ah-mad) of Pakistan is one of the Third World's leading intellectuals. He is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst. His articles and essays appear in major journals and magazines all over the world. He writes a weekly column for Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English newspaper.

10 Sep 010801** David Nguyen, Lisa Bellear and Natasha Cho Media Circus: Misrepresenting the Movement

"Media Circus is a gathering of people who create, consume, critique and distribute media content that challenges, questions, expresses and celebrates our culture, our society and the way we live". First held in Melbourne in 1999 the Media Circus events are focused around ways in which the top down approach to main stream media can be broken down and replaced by more representative cultural expressions. "Misrepresenting the Movement" explores the misrepresentations so often apparent in the media. The three speakers explore the modes and effects of the stereotyping of minority groups.

Natasha Cho is an Australian born Chinese writer, editor and zine maker. She is also the founder of the Yellow Kitties a social and support group for Asian lesbians.

David Nguyen is the writer and producer of the Dragon's Lair, the first play to explore young Vietnamese people and the heroin culture. He is also a radio producer and is the harm minimisation coordinator with VIVAIDS.

Lisa Bellear is an indigenous poet, writer and activist. She presents the weekly Not Another Koori Show on Melbourne's dissident community radio station 3CR 855AM. (**CD only)

20 Aug 010702 Michael Parenti - The Bush Wars and the New World Order

In 1991 George Bush proudly declared a "New World Order". For many it had the same Old World odour of imperialism. The US was triumphant, having first invaded Panama and then crushed Iraq. With the demise of the USSR, a bipolar world suddenly became unipolar. Bush's approval rating was over 90%, but a funny thing happened on the way to the celebration. The next year he was voted out of office. April 2, 1991.

Michael Parenti is a distinguished political scientist, author and lecturer and one of this country's foremost independent political analysts. He received his Ph.D. from Yale. He has taught at major colleges and universities in the US and abroad. He is the author of Democracy for the Few, Against Empire, Blackshirts and Reds and History As Mystery.

13 Aug 010701 Vandana Shiva - Recovery of the Commons

It is almost a given that the industrialised countries, the North, are the epitome of progress and wisdom. The South, the Third World, is a place of backwardness and ignorance, but it does have lots of resources. The North wants to use those resources to continue to enrich itself. Today parts of the South are redefining and challenging conventional notions of growth and development. There is resistance to the destructive effects of transnational corporations and global capitalism and a new awareness of the value of indigenous knowledge and centuries-old diverse agriculture.

Vandana Shiva of India is a leading voice for sustainable development and social justice. A Renaissance type woman, she's an internationally renowned physicist, philosopher, social and environmental activist and feminist and a featured speaker at major environmental conferences in the US and around the world. She is the author of Staying Alive, The Violence of the Green Revolution, Monocultures of the Mind, Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge and Stolen Harvest.

6 Aug 010605 Edward Herman - The Propaganda Model

In liberal democratic societies, it has long been understood that the use of force to control the population is generally not a viable option. Therefore, controlling what people think is critical. Thus, an elaborate system of propaganda is needed. For that system to be effective it must appear invisible. In totalitarian states there is no ambiguity. Citizens know they are getting the party line. But in countries like the US, where ownership is private and formal censorship is absent, there is an appearance of a free flow of information. However, that flow passes through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print.

Edward Herman is an economist and media analyst. He is professor emeritus at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including The Myth of the Liberal Media. He is co-author, with Noam Chomsky, of Manufacturing Consent, one of the most important books on the media ever written.

30 Jul 010604 Danny Kennedy - Gold Mining: Environmental Destruction

Gold is history's most coveted and celebrated element. For the Pharaohs of Egypt it had mystical status, functioning as the ultimate secular sacred object. The quest for gold propelled Columbus, Pizarro and others into a genocidal frenzy. Today gold mining, a major industry, continues unabated. And more often than not, indigenous people are affected. In the US, 70% of mining is on native lands. From Guyana to Kyrgyzstan, widespread use of cyanide is having major negative environmental consequences. And it's not just an overseas problem. In Colorado, one cyanide spill killed a seventeen-mile stretch of the Alamosa River, leaving taxpayers with a $170 million clean up bill.

Danny Kennedy became an environmental activist in his native Australia at the age of twelve when he participated in a movement that stopped the construction of a large dam. He is a founder of Project Underground, the Berkeley-based organisation that works with indigenous communities threatened by the mining and oil industries. He has produced radio programs for Australian Community Radio stations and is a member of the Action for Solidarity and Equality in Environment and Development.

23 Jul 010603 Frances Fox Piven - Why Americans Still Don't Vote

Election 2000 was the most contentious and controversial in over a century. The infamous butterfly ballots and dangling chads are now part of folklore. Yet beyond those things deeper and troubling questions about the nature of American democracy arise. Voter turnout is appallingly low. Less than half the population votes for president, and under 40% for congressional races. Primaries? Don't even ask. Is low turnout all due to apathy? That's unlikely. Few countries have as many obstacles for citizens to go through to get to the ballot box as the US It seems rather obvious but why, for example, is election day on Tuesday, a workday?

Frances Fox Piven, founder of the welfare rights movement, is co-author of a number of award-winning books, including Regulating the Poor, The Breaking of the American Social Compact and Why Americans Still Don't Vote. She is Distinguished Professor of political science and sociology at the graduate school of the City University of New York.

16 Jul 010602 Jeff Cohen - The Myth of the Liberal Media

One of the central tenets of contemporary political discourse is that the media are liberal. Well-paid pundits from wealthy conservative foundations and think tanks produce a steady drumbeat alleging liberal bias. What's curious about this view is there's virtually no evidence to support it. The media are owned by a few large corporations. They sell audiences to other large corporations who advertise. That's the institutional structure. Thus, the real question is, Are the media free, within their corporate framework, to allow expression of opinion outside of received wisdom?

Jeff Cohen is the founder of FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the New York-based media watch group. His articles appear in major newspapers. He's author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error and Wizards of Media Oz.

9 Jul 010601 Arundhati Roy - A Writer's Place in Politics

India, with its burgeoning population of 1 billion, is an epicentre of opposition to US-led globalisation. When it comes to international commerce the US plays hardball. One of its trade officials threatened to break open India's markets with a crowbar if it did not accede to American demands. Indians have been through this before with the East India Company and British colonisation. The sahibs, with their laptops, cell phones and power plays, are back. In India and elsewhere, the question arises about what role writers should play in society. Are they merely disengaged artists? Some like Thoreau, Orwell, Camus and Neruda felt the need to be politically active. Arundhati Roy is in that tradition.

Arundhati Roy is the celebrated author of The God of Small Things, winner of the prestigious Booker Prize. The book has sold 6 million copies and has been translated into 40 languages. Her other books include The Cost of Living. The New York Times calls her, "India's most impassioned critic of globalisation and American influence."

2 Jul 010504 Ronnie Cummins Organic Food

The US federal government claims that the food supply in this country is the safest in the world. Though antibiotic resistant bacteria in food animals and chemical residues on produce might lead some to conclude otherwise. Now, let's consider genetically altered food. This technology has gone on the consumer market largely untested. Independent studies have shown an array of potentially devastating outcomes, yet the FDA has not required further testing. Every industrialised nation in the world has banned or restricted the use of genetically altered foods, but not the US where there aren't even labelling requirements. Why?

Ronnie Cummins is director of the Organic Consumers Association, a national organisation of consumers opposed to factory farming and genetic engineering. He is editor of BioDemocracy News an online newsletter and co-author of Genetically Engineered Food.

25 Jun 010503 Robert McChesney - Public Broadcasting: Past, Present and Future

The Carnegie Commission Report, the founding document for public broadcasting, unambiguously declared that the US should have a non-commercial TV and radio system that offered programming that "should be a forum for debate and controversy" and "provide a voice for groups in the community that may otherwise be unheard." The same year as the Carnegie Report was issued, 1967, Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act. It was the last major piece of Great Society legislation to be enacted. TV and radio in subsequent decades have evolved in directions away from their founding principles.

Robert McChesney is one of the foremost experts on issues of media and democracy. He is professor of communications at the University of Illinois. He writes extensively on broadcasting history and media policy. He's the author of the award-winning book Rich Media, Poor Democracy.

18 Jun 010502 Peter Balakian - Remembering the Armenian Genocide

For Armenians around the world, "April," to quote Eliot, is indeed "the cruelest month." On April 24, 1915 the Turkish government launched a genocidal campaign of deportation and extermination effectively ending the millennia old Armenian presence in eastern Turkey. Amazingly, to this day, Turkey denies the genocide. And the US goes along with this charade. A recent Congressional resolution recognising the genocide was withdrawn under White House pressure. The administration cited national security concerns.

Peter Balakian, professor of English at Colgate University, is the author of the award-winning Black Dog of Fate: An American Son Discovers his Armenian Past, now in its 20th printing. He's also written five books of poetry, the most recent one is June-Tree.

11 Jun 010501 Kevin Danaher - Democratising the Global Economy

In the wake of massive protests from Seattle to Prague to Bangalor, an international movement democratise the global economy has emerged. What does it mean to democratise the global economy? It means moving capital investment decision making from the secret realm of the wealthy few out into the light of public scrutiny and control. The word democracy implies that sovereignty, ultimate political authority, resides in the people, not in corporations.

Kevin Danaher is Co-founder and Public Education Director of Global exchange the San Fransico based non-profit organisation that led the campaign to expose Nike's use of sweat shop labour. He's the author of Globalise This! and Democratising the Global Economy.

4 Jun 010404 Steffie Woolhandler - The Health Care Crisis

Nearly every developed country in the world provides its citizens with access to medical care. In the United States, 1/3 of the population has no medical insurance or is underinsured. Many of these people are effectively kept from receiving needed medical care as profit driven hospitals, clinics and HMOs routinely turn them away. During the recent economic boom in the US, the number of Americans without medical insurance increased significantly. Insurance executives pocket billions while over 90 million people, 25% of them children, go without what the rest of the world considers a basic human right.

Steffie Woolhandler practices medicine at the Cambridge Hospital. She is a nationally-known advocate for universal health care and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. She is co-author of The National Health Program Book.

28 May 010403 Jerry Starr - Air Wars: Reclaiming PBS

PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, came out of the 1967 Public Broadcasting Act. Almost as soon as it began airing TV programs it came under political attack. Nixon, in a fury over so-called liberal bias in programming, vetoed its budget. Since then the assaults on PBS and its funding have continued, ebbing and flowing with the political season. What's been the result? Turn on the tube and see for yourself. Antiques Roadshow, British comedies, cooking shows, African animals without Africans and a whole host of conservative talk shows all sponsored by what is called 'enhanced underwriting'. Critics like Jerry Starr say PBS plays it safe and doesn't take risks for fear of offending Congress and corporate sponsors.

Jerry Starr is an award-winning sociologist. He is founder and executive director of Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting, an organisation that promotes noncommercial broadcasting in the service of the public interest. He is the author of Air Wars.

21 May 010402 Barbara Ehrenreich - Nickel and Dimed: Women, Welfare and Work

The 'reform' of welfare is an historic shift in public policy. One of the central linchpins of the New Deal has been undone. Millions, mostly women and many of them with children, have been thrown off the welfare rolls. Many have landed in dead end low wage jobs. Their quiet lives of desperation are not the grist for prime time specials. The media are largely silent. At the same time politicians trumpet welfare reform as a successful example of compassionate conservatism. Critics are not so sanguine. They call it welfare deform.

Barbara Ehrenreich is one of America's most celebrated social critics. An award-winning writer, her articles and essays appear in major newspapers and magazines. Author of twelve books, her latest is Nickel and Dimed.

14 May 010401 Naomi Klein - No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies

The growth in the power and reach of multinational corporations can be traced to the idea developed by management theorists in the mid-1980s that corporations must primarily produce brands, as opposed to products. The Nikes and Hilfigers took the cue. Riding the wave of so-called trade liberalisation they moved manufacturing overseas to low wage countries. They no longer owned the means of production. It was literally unimportant. The new economic model poured money into marketing and sponsorship. Uberbranding from caps and shirts to schoolbooks and sporting arenas became the operative mode. Activists from Prague to Melbourne are resisting, saying "No Logo!"

Naomi Klein, an award-winning journalist, is a columnist for The Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper. She was editor of This magazine. She travels extensively tracking anti-corporate activism. Her No Logo Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies is a best seller.

7 May 010305 June Jordan - Poetry and Politics

June Jordan knows well the burdens placed upon the children of immigrants. It's part of what gave her the courage and conviction to observe the world with the unblinking eye of a reporter and relay what she experiences with the heart of a poet. Her highly political work is a deeply personal call for tolerance and justice. From her beginnings as the only daughter of West Indian immigrants to her current position as an educator and prominent writer, Jordan's journey is rich and varied and is reflected in her powerful and playful poetry and prose.

June Jordan teaches African American studies at the University of California at Berkeley where she directs the Poetry for the People program. She is an award-winning poet and essayist. Her memoir of her childhood is titled Soldier.

30 Apr 010304 Ron Daniels - The Colour Line in the 21st Century

W. E. B. DuBois, the great African American scholar and activist in his classic 1903 work The Souls of Black Folk wrote, "The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the colour line." Now with a new century where has the line moved. Racism today is far more complex than it was in DuBois' time. Then segregation, Jim Crow laws and lynchings made things graphically clear. Today, racism with a modern lexicon takes different shapes and forms.

Ron Daniels has long been involved in civil rights and social justice issues. In 1992, he ran for President of the US as an independent. He is Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

23 Apr 010303 Amiri Baraka - Riffin' on Music and Language

The origins of key elements of African American culture, such as the blues and jazz can be traced to traditional West African griot and djali musicians and performers. They were not just entertainers and storytellers but custodians of memory. They are the link in the trans-Atlantic chain leading to Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith. Miles Davis, Gil Scott-Heron and modern-day rappers. A riff is a jazz term. It means to improvise on a theme.

Amiri Baraka, a major figure in African American culture, rose to fame in the 1960s as LeRoi Jones. His 1964 off-Broadway play, Dutchman created a sensation. Later he became Amiri Baraka and was a central figure in the Black Arts movement. He is an award-winning playwright and poet and recipient of the "American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement".

16 Apr 010302 Susan Douglas - Talking Heads: Radio and TV

Talk shows on radio and TV have become a kind of electronic surrogate for the town common. But what of the content? Susan Douglas says in this interview with David Barsamian, that it's more than just guys and right-wing blondes shouting at one another. Underneath the rhetoric are layers of misogyny, homophobia, race and class bias. The backlash against feminism has never stopped. The trumpeting of family values is code for restoration of patriarchy.

Susan Douglas, professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan, is the author of Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female in the Mass Media and Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination.

9 Apr 010301** Colin McAllan and Dagmar Norberg - Basslink

The Tasmanian and Victorian governments have handed over the development of a high voltage power inter-connector to the British power company, National Grid International. NGI's proposal has, for the last 18 months or so been the catalyst in the formation of concerned citizens groups. Farmers, property owners and residents are concerned about the 50 metre high towers the cable will be transported across land on. Fisherfolk, environmentalists and tourism operators are concerned about the impact of the undersea cable.

Colin McAllen is a member of the Basslink Concerned Citizens Coalition and has, in his own words "been a fast learner" on the issues surrounding the current proposal.

Dagmar Norberg was a leading figure in the fight to have changes to the SwePol undersea cable linking Sweden and Poland. She is Sweden's 2000 Environmentalist of the Year. They spoke at a public rally in Yarram in Victoria. (**CD only)

2 Apr 010205 Angela Davis - What Will You Say in 2030?

Imagine it is 2030. A youngster asks you, What was it like back then at the turn of the century? What will you say about capital punishment, the drug war, guns or why more money was spent on prisons than education? What will you say about racism, the criminal justice system and the vast discrepancies in sentencing? What will you say about gender and class bias and the huge income and wealth gap between the rich and the poor? What will you say...?

Angela Davis, a brilliant orator, is internationally renowned as a writer, scholar and activist. She lectures widely on the prison industrial complex. The author of Women, Race and Class and Women, Culture and Politics. She teaches at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

26 Mar 010204 Richard Levins - The Ecology of Capitalism

The logic of global capitalism is destroying the planet. It puts profits over the welfare of people and excessive production over ecological sustainability. Massive protests against power institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organisation draw in more and more people who believe that it is time for a different model that is sensitive to humans needs and the environment.

In this program, Richard Levins explores how we might move beyond capitalism to an ecological rationalism through understanding how commodification and commercialism affect relationships both between people and nature

19 Mar 010203 John Stockwell - Inside the CIA

The CIA, formed in 1947, is the covert arm of US foreign policy. Its $30 billion budget is secret. The CIA's very first operations were to break up strikes and disrupt democratic elections in France and Italy. At about the same time, the Agency protected and hired a number of notorious high-ranking ex-Nazis. Construction of the historical record has been sketchy at best. Over the years, many Agency documents have simply disappeared. Allegations of CIA involvement with drug trafficking have persisted but have been difficult to prove.

John Stockwell is the highest-ranking CIA officer to go public. During his 13-year tenure at the Agency, he was involved in covert operations in the Congo and Vietnam. As Director of the Angola Task Force, he ran the secret war in that country. He is the author of In Search of Enemies and The Praetorian Guard.

12 Mar 010202 David Brower - Visions of the Environmental Movement

The myriad of environmental crises from global warming to ozone depletion are fairly well known, particularly in the United States. Unless a comprehensive healing process is undertaken immediately to restore much of the damage done to the earth, future generations may not have much of a livable planet left. There is still time to arrest the dangerous trends but it will require radical new thinking, innovative approaches and a concerted global effort.

David Brower, the legendary environmentalist, died on November 5th, 2000. His numerous achievements, over many decades, in defence of the environment are virtually unmatched. He was founder and chair of Earth Island Institute. He served as the Sierra Club's first executive director and later went on to establish Friends of the Earth and the League for Conservation Voters. He received the UN's "Lifetime Achievement Award" and was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

5 Mar 010201 Erwin Knoll - The Gulf War: Enough Lies to Last a Lifetime

January marks the 10th anniversary of the Gulf War. By ordinary military standards it was hardly a war. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed while the American total was 150, and most of those were from friendly fire. The US carefully managed and controlled the news in the Gulf War. The so-called free press was literally led by the nose from one Pentagon briefing to another. Few voices challenged the most restrictive rules ever imposed on the media.

Erwin Knoll, a vigorous opponent of censorship and champion of the First Amendment, was one of this country's most distinguished journalists. He was a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. For 21 years he was the editor of The Progressive. He died in 1994.

26 Feb 010104 Peter Dale Scott - Drug Trafficking, Drug Wars and the CIA

The decades-old drug war never seems to end. The promised light at the end of the tunnel may be the train heading towards us. Billions are spent and millions are incarcerated. Colombia is the latest venue of the war on drugs. If Vietnam, Afghanistan and Central America are any indications then a massive increase in trafficking is in the offing. The persistence of charges that the CIA, at least tacitly, is connected to drug trafficking lingers over the Agency.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and UC/Berkeley professor, has carefully studied and documented the politics of the global drug trade. He's the author of The Iran-Contra Connection and Cocaine Politics.

19 Feb 010103 Vandana Shiva - Globalisation, Women and Agriculture

Much of the Third World is being recolonised under the rubric of free trade. You can't miss the KFCs, Pizza Huts and McDonald's. But there is more to it than that. Multinationals like Monsanto and Cargill have penetrated the agricultural sector. They promise green revolutions and greater yields. As chemical inputs increase, monocultures replace biodiverse crops. In India, farmers are fighting back corporate attempts to patent seeds and herbs. Women are central in the struggle to protect traditional agriculture. They are the seed keepers.

Vandana Shiva of India is a leading voice for sustainable development and social justice. A Renaissance-type woman, she's a physicist, scholar, social activist and feminist. Dr. Shiva is Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi. She's the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Prize.

12 Feb 010102 Juan Gonzalez - Harvest of Empire

The history of Latino immigration to the US is at once a political can of worms and a rich cultural tapestry. The links between immigration and US policies in Latin America are documented and as Latino numbers grow, their effect on American culture and domestic policy is no longer confined to border towns. Salsa now outsells ketchup and bilingual education and citizenship issues are currently hot political topics.

Gonzalez is an award-winning journalist and author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. In this interview by David Barsamian, he gives us a lesson on US-Puerto Rican relations and details some of his experience as a young immigrant from Puerto Rico.

5 Feb 010101 Amy Goodman - Democracy Now!

Democracy requires an effective system of communication that informs and engages the citizenry. Without a broad-based diverse media, the key issues of power and resource allocation are deflected and ignored. James Madison had a keen sense of this. He said, "A popular movement without proper information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." Today, with each new media merger, spaces for independent voices contract.

Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, the daily syndicated radio program. Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria has earned her top awards. She has gained a reputation for asking hard questions of people in power. President Clinton called her "hostile, combative and disrespectful."

29 Jan 001202 Jane Holtz Kay - Asphalt Nation: The Paving of America

The 'Open Road' is part of the mystique of American culture: hit the highway in your car and travel the great, big country. There are plenty of highways and streets to drive on - about two and a half million miles worth. We have more cars in the US than anywhere else in the world and some of the lowest gasoline prices. But the open road is not so open any more. Subdivisions and shopping malls follow the road-building, devouring thousands of acres of land every week. Car culture, poor planning and a system that favours auto-dependent development all contribute to the paving of America.

Jane Holtz Kay looks at how this happened and highlights several ways that communities can reverse this trend and design for people, not cars. She is the architecture and planning critic for The Nation magazine and the author of Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take it Back.

22 Jan 001201 Dianne Dumanoski - Hormonal Havoc: Your Body and the Chemical Experiment

The chemical revolution to improve life has been in full swing since World War II. The unforeseen result has been global contamination, which has altered the chemical make-up of life itself. Compounds, which mimic hormones, are disrupting reproductive and developmental processes. Male sperm counts have dropped as much as 50% in recent decades while women have experienced dramatic increases in hormone-related cancers. Ironically, the future of humans may actually be threatened.

Dianne Dumanoski is an award-winning journalist reporting on national and global environmental issues. She is co-author of the book Our Stolen Future.

15 Jan 001104 Rudy Dee and Noelle Hanrahan - Revolutionary Ecology: The Legacy of Judi Bari

Labour and Earth First! activist Judi Bari organised non-violent mass actions to stop Louisiana Pacific, Georgia Pacific, and Pacific Lumber from liquidating Northern California's redwood forest. Her experience as a labor organiser helped workers and environmentalists find common cause. A car-bombing attempt on her life in 1990 left her severely disabled, but she continued the struggle against clear-cutting and sued the F.B.I. for illegally arresting her and fellow victim Darryl Cherney, and for improperly investigating the bombing. The Redwood Summer Justice Project in Santa Rosa, California coordinates the ongoing legal struggle about the bombing and the fight against continued forest depletion in the region.

Bari died of breast cancer on March 2, 1997. In her own words and the comments of Carl Anthony, Karen Pickett, Michael Parenti, Ed Herman, Jose Lopez, Geronimo ji jaga, and Ramona Africa, this radio documentary tells her story. It is narrated by Rudy Dee and produced by Noelle Hanrahan.

8 Jan 001103 Edward Said - Intifada 2000: The Palestinian Uprising

In September 2000 Palestinians launched an Intifada, Arabic for uprising. Clashes erupt. The death toll rises. Overwhelmingly, the victims are Palestinians. Israeli occupation continues in large areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Settlements expand. In violation of international law, Israel imposes collective punishment in the form of closures and curfews. What are the origins of the Palestinian revolt? Why has the highly praised peace process collapsed? Can the mainstream media in this country provide explanations? Not according to Edward Said. He says, the media are not a place where you can get accurate information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Edward Said, internationally renowned Columbia University professor, practically invented the field of post-colonial studies. His great work, Orientalism has been translated into many languages and is widely used in colleges and universities. The New York Times called him, "one of the most influential literary and cultural critics in the world." As one of the few advocates for Palestinian rights in the US, he was the target of vilification, death threats and vandalism. The Economist said he "repudiated terrorism in all its forms and was a passionate, eloquent and persistent advocate for justice for the dispossessed Palestinians." He was a trenchant critic not just of Israeli policies, but also of Arafat, the corrupt coterie around him and the despotic Arab regimes. He felt strongly that intellectuals had a special responsibility to speak out against injustice, challenge power, confront hegemonic thinking and provide alternatives. His memoir Out of Place won the New Yorker Book of the Year Award. Edward Said died in New York on September 25, 2003.

1 Jan 001102** Peter Read - Belonging

Land rights issues are a common cause among indigenous peoples worldwide. The attachment to a sense of place is a defining moment in the lives of indigenous communities as they struggle to regain or maintain sacred sites and places of ritual. Australian indigenous peoples have long fought to maintain their links to the land. But what about those non-indigenous peoples who have settled here? Is it possible for them to create deep and abiding ties to the same earth? If so, what does this mean for land rights issues? Dr. Peter Read has written widely on the subjects of Aboriginal history, place studies and belonging.

Dr. Read's book Belonging: Australians, Place and Aboriginal Ownership examines the sense of loss non-indigenous peoples feel when their special places are destroyed. He explores the question of dispossession by investigating the attempts non-indigenous people have made to 'connect' with the land. Dr. Read delivered the inaugural A. W. Howitt Lecture at Monash University's Gippsland Campus on 13th November 2000. (**CD only)


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