Monday, December 31, 2007

Entrepreneurship Off the Hinges in New Orleans

Two Cent is a collective of artists, DJs, poets, musicians and activists who are responding to the situation in New Orleans. Their web front page has a video about the use of the devastation in New Orleans for tourism. As they say, there is more money in devastation than in regeneration. "We make sure we preserve this, just for your tourism.. if you pay $75 on one of the tour buses going around the city!" Their web site a critique of racist media and some examples of the sort of racism that is prevalant on Fox News and other channels. There is also a look at the controversary around the N word."So hold your change, cause we're putting in our 2 cents...Everyone has issues but they don't all have the outlet to get heard. So 2 cents to the rescue. That's what we here for!"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Carols for Palestine

New York Human Rights Carolers Debut Songs Protesting Lev Leviev’s Israeli SettlementsNew York, NY, Dec 22 – Fifty New York human rights carolers sang parodies of holiday tunes today in front of LEVIEV New York to protest Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev’s destruction of communities in Palestine, Angola and in New York City. This was the fourth protest at Leviev’s Madison Avenue jewelry store since its gala opening on November 13.

Leviev’s companies are currently involved in building homes in at least four Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. All Israeli settlements violate international law according to a broad international consensus. Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice specifically criticized Israel’s plans for construction in Har Homa, one settlement where a Leviev company is contracted to build. In Angola where he mines many of his diamonds, a security firm working for Leviev was accused of physically abusing workers. In New York City, his developments with his ex-partner Shaya Boymelgreen have come under attack from the community group ACORN and the Laborers' Union.

Riham Barghouti of Adalah-NY commented, “Because Leviev has made it impossible for many Palestinians to live normal lives and to celebrate the holidays of Eid Al Adha and Christmas this month, we will spoil his holidays and continue our campaign against his human rights abuses.”

Stealing Palestinian Land (to the tune of "Winter Wonderland")
Sales will ring, are ya list'nin'?
In the lanes jewels are glist'nin'.
A beautiful sight, Leviev's happy tonight,
Stealing lots of Palestinian land.

Gone away is the bluebird;
Here to stay is a boo-bird.
We'll sing you this song as he goes along,
Stealing lots of Palestinian land.

In the meadow he will build a snowman,
And pretend his lawyer is in town.
He'll ask, "Now are you legal?" Lev says, "No, man!
But I won't let the question get me down!"
Later on, he'll conspire
As he dreams by the fire,
And face unafraid the plans that he's made
Building lots of homes on stolen land.

[Softer] And face unafraid the plans that he's made
Building lots of homes on stolen land.
[Softer] And face unafraid the plans that he's made
Building lots of homes on stolen land.

The protest closed with a rousing song to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”:
Leviev the Red-Faced Magnate (to the tune of Rudolph)
Leviev the red-faced magnate
Likes to uproot olive trees
And the way he can fund this,
Is with every shopping spree.
But if you spend cash elsewhere,
Palestinians won't lose land,
And Leviev the crooked jeweler,
He'll just have an empty hand.

Two days be-fore Christmas eve,
We're here to announce.
Leviev won't sell gems tonight,
We know customers will do right!

Lev we all hope you're listening,
Stop building on stolen land,
We'll be here almost weekly,
Until you don't have more demand

This caroling is similar to actions taken in Manchester UK in 2004.See:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Let 1000 Transmitters Bloom!

BERLIN 01.-09.01.2008 Call for Participation
Berlin Radio activists will host „Liberation Radio Week“ transmissions Jan 1-9,2008 LIVE and ON AIR from Berlin. Berlin Free Radio will be listenable via multiple micro-fm transmitters and an internet stream, fully legal but without license.* We want to demonstrate both the necessity of a live and active community radio, and the ease by which it can be made in Berlin and everywhere. Each day of programming will feature reports from sister projects around the world, beginning with
Africa, Asia, and the Americas, and in the days following, reports from around Europe, and finally (in primarily German language) a focus on the current activity in the Federal Republic of Germany, with a full day to discuss the various radio initiatives in Berlin.Ways you can support the project:
1. Re-broadcast and/or relay the live stream by whatever means accessible
2. Contribute reports from your region and neighborhood
3. Spread the word by linking to Mikro-FM site and posting the news of Liberation Radio Week on net lists and community
bulletin boards

For more info: (english version soon) Contact and feedback:

* In Berlin, Brandenburg broadcasting on the airwaves requires a license, which is only purchasable through the MABB ( MedienAnstalt Berlin Brandenburg, which regulates all broadcast media in the Berlin region). Mikro FM is based on the community radio innovations of Tetsuo Kogawa, which in this local circumstance does not violate the media laws.
The founder of the Micro Radio Movement is Tetsuo Kogawa. He is on the right in this photo, taken on the occasion of DeeDee Halleck's visit to the site of his long running radio program, Radio Home Run, in Tokyo.
A paper giving the history of Radio Home Run and the Micro Radio Movement is on nettime.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Saint Clair Bourne Passes

Photo Credit: Chester Higgins, Jr.
"Most of mainstream and public television in the late ’60s, and even during the ’70s,” he said, “was from the point of view of an outsider looking at a subculture — white people looking at black people. We said we identify with and are a part of the subjects we are filming.” -- SCB

St. Clair Bourne, pioneer filmmaker and activist, died on Saturday due to complications following an operation to remove a brain tumor. His many great documentaries will continue to be a definitive collection of African American art and history. He did the key biographical films on Paul Robeson, Amiri Baraka, Walter Mosley, Gordon Parks, John Henrik Clarke and Langston Hughes among others. His film on Spike Lee and the making of "Do the Right Thing" was called as tense and ingrossing as the film itself. In addition to producing and directing many films that chronicle the experience of Black Americans, St. Clair founded Chamba Notes, an important list serve and website.
The New York Times Obituary has a video of him on their site.
Arrangements have been set for 7:00 pm on January 25th, 2008 at Riverside Church to memorialize the life and untimely loss of St Clair Bourne.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Way Beyond YouTube! Wiki on US PEG Streaming

The Alliance for Community Media has set up a Wiki with links to streaming PEG (Public, Educational and Government) channels in the U.S. You can get a sense of what sort of programming is being presented on these channels. Access centers can add their own url if it has not been included on the interactive site.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Street Art Workers

This is a stencil from 2004 when the theme was media.

SAW was founded in March 2001. Every year our members pick a theme, make art, and put up each other´s work. We aim for the largest possible impact by posting art simultaneously across North America. Most people in the network exchange posters, stencils or stickers designed for guerrilla wheat pasting or spray painting, but SAW submissions are limited only by your imagination. Submissions need to be mass produced, easy to ship and relatively easy to display. Production costs are covered by each artist, and distribution costs are covered by SAW. The group is run by volunteers with a shoestring budget, but our collective strength promotes all of our work.

The most recent project is about globalization.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

From Nicaragua: The Dilema of Information and Communication

Dilemas de la información y la comunicación para un "buen gobierno" Arturo Zamora, Nicaragua, 07-12-2007
“Escuchar es el principio del entendimiento”

La información y la comunicación no pueden, ni deben seguir siendo manipuladas como factores de poder desde una concepción autoritaria, sino que por el contrario, debe ser vistas como bien social, como recursos útiles para propiciar la participación ciudadana, racionalizar recursos, facilitar la solución de problemas y necesidades sociales y agilizar los procesos de desarrollo y de transparencia que el país y sus ciudadanos anhelan. No se debe, pues, discutir qué tipo de control hay que tener sobre la información, sino, qué tipo de sociedad deseamos: Autoritaria o democrática.

Apremia abrir las instituciones publicas y hacerlas más participativas, democráticas y eficientes. Compromete transformar los sistemas de información y comunicación entre el gobierno y la ciudadanía. Obligan nuevas relaciones con los medios de comunicación y los trabajadores de la información y la comunicación social. Hoy apura cambiar radicalmente este tipo de relación pervertida y conflictiva entre gobierno y ciudadanos. Precisa la creación de un Consejo Nacional de Información y Comunicación Social.

La exclusión, el control y la erección de barreras para evitar el acceso a la participación ciudadana en la administración pública, fue entre otras, una de las características predominantes de los dos últimos gobiernos en Nicaragua. Estos gobiernos trabajaron por la desmovilización de los ciudadanos, acostumbrados a afrontar con entereza problemas comunes. Fustigaron permanentemente a las organizaciones de la sociedad civil, generando temor, pasividad, apatía, alienación e impotencia; con la consiguiente pérdida de los valores de solidaridad social. Generaron desconsuelo, desconfianza e incertidumbre.

Se fomentó la confrontación entre los servidores públicos y la gente, en vez de propiciar la colaboración para solucionar problemas sociales que afectan a todos. Desarmó consejos y estructuras que permitían la participación de diversos sectores sociales en la formulación de políticas de salud, educación y otros ámbitos de bien común. Fomentó la impunidad, la evasión de la justicia y de la verdad. Subestimó la energía potencial de la gente para “empoderarse” y contribuir a solucionar problemas, que la administración pública debía resolver. Ensalzó la displicencia, la falta de ética. Premió el arribismo, la ceguera; el yo no fui.

Si en las administraciones anteriores la información y la comunicación estuvieron centralizadas, hoy debe ser descentralizada. Si estuvo restringida, para adormecer la inteligencia ciudadana e inmovilizarla, hoy deberá ser abierta para acrecentar el conocimiento y fomentar la movilización de la población. Si se manejaba como propiedad de la burocracia, hoy debe ser entendida como de utilidad pública. Si la información sobre la gestión gubernamental, el acceso y utilización de la misma obedecía al modelo autoritario, hoy debe corresponder a un modelo horizontal, inclusivo y democrático.

Si la comunicación fue vertical, jerárquica y vocinglera, hoy debe ser dialógica y de doble vía, y más aún, debe darse de múltiples formas. Debe propiciar equilibrio, estabilidad social, respeto, empatía, solidaridad, participación ciudadana. Debe ser inclusiva, responsable, educativa y movilizadora. Estos y otros, son los dilemas de la información y la comunicación del gobierno actual en Nicaragua.

Aunque la mayoría de los problemas que afronta el país no pueden ser resueltos a través de la información y comunicación únicamente, son una herramienta que usadas adecuadamente pueden contribuir a modificar hábitos y costumbres que nos atrapan en el atraso y oscurantismo autoritario. La información y la comunicación por sí solas no van a reducir la pobreza ni los problemas del desarrollo del país, mas sin embargo, campañas eficaces de información y comunicación educativa, contribuirán a la convivencia ciudadana, educarían a la población sobre alternativas para sus vidas, motivarían a la acción, acrecentará sus conocimientos y reforzara las conductas que se deseen modificar. Arturo Zamora es Sociólogo y Comunicador Social


Niger journalists free, but two still in prison
Niamey - Police in Niger have released two journalists held for allegedly defaming the country's finance minister but they still face prosecution, a press association said on Friday. "They have been freed but the prosecutor has notified them that legal procedures will follow their normal course," Boubacar Diallo of the Association of Independent Press Editors told AFP.

Soumana Maiga, founder of the biweekly L'Enqueteur, was detained Wednesday, while Ibrahim Souley, the publication's director, was briefly detained last Thursday before being held again for questioning five days later. L'Enqueteur published a series of articles last month that included allegations that Finance Minister Ali Lamine Zeine had been involved in embezzlement and favouritism in ministry appointments.

Two other journalists are also being held in Niger. Moussa Kaka, Radio France Internationale's correspondent in the country, has been detained since September 26, while Ibrahim Manzo Diallo, director of the biweekly Air-Info, has been held since October 9. They face charges over alleged links to a Tuareg rebel group active in the country's north. Prosecutors at Agadez, in the north of the country, questioned Manzo Diallo for the first time on Friday, grilling him for three hours in the presence of his lawyer Moussa Coulibaly, who also represents Kaka.

Niger Radio Station Head Taken to Prison

Monday, December 3, 2007

Music in the Korean Workers' Movements

A new Korean documentary shows how Yeon Yeongseok, a popular Korean singer, uses his work in support of Korean workers.It is called To the Bitter End and shows the determination of the Korean workers and how Yeon's music is part of their struggle.His music is played at rallies and recordings are brought to sit-ins.
Labor activists in Korea have used video for decades. There have even been contracts negotiated which require that companies pay a video-activist (chosen by the union) to record working conditions and labor issues in a particular work site. The tapes are then played back in the lunch room of the factory. Korean documentaries are often very emotional, this one showing the pain and courage of the striking workers as they band together when the police try to disperse them.
A recent dispute within the union community concerned the rights of migrant laborers. Migrants are given three year visas. They are not allowed to bring their families into Korea. Their pay is low and their working conditions are harsh. Many work as much as twelve hours a day. Some of the traditional union members did not want to support these "irregular workers" but others felt that this would be siding with the "bosses".A tactic often used is sit-ins. This one at Koscom ended with an agreement to bargain in good faith, but further negotiations were stymied.The documentary is directed by Tae, Jun-seek, Produced by Lee, Sangyeop. Contact:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

World AIDS Day Intervention- Dia Mundial de Sida

Bacanalnica is a web site which is visited each day by 10 million young people from throughout Central America. In an effort to intervene in that space, the following tape was posted.
My friend Arturo sends this message:
Después de hacer las gestiones personales con Bacanalnica, he puesto en la Web el anuncio de Perrozompopo. Dialogo intrafamiliar para la prevención del VIH.
Haga circular la direccion del Blog

La epidemia está afectando principalmente a personas entre 20 y 34 años (58%). Ahora se desplaza rápidamente hacia los adolescentes y jóvenes de 15 a 19 años.

En el año 2006 los adolescentes en este grupo de edad representaron el 6.8% de las nuevas infecciones por VIH en Nicaragua, mientras los niños y niñas de 0-14 años representaron el 5.6% de nuevas infecciones.

Las mujeres jóvenes y adolescentes en Nicaragua son más vulnerables.

El 71.4% de los nuevos casos de VIH en adolescentes de 15 a 19 años, ocurrieron en mujeres en el año 2006.

En Nicaragua la principal causas es por la falta de información objetiva, específica, científica y actualizada, derecho que se encuentra establecido en el artículo 44 del Código de la Niñez y Adolescencia, que indica: “Que las niñas, niños y adolescentes tienen derecho a recibir una educación sexual integral, objetiva, orientadora, científica, gradual y formativa, que desarrolle su autoestima y el respeto a su propio cuerpo y a la sexualidad responsable, el Estado garantizará programas de educación sexual a través de la escuela y la comunidad educativa”.

Los cambios sólo se pueden lograr con la participación de la juventud. 1. 5 millones de habitantes de Nicaragua (25% de la población) somos adolescentes y jóvenes, que con información y habilidades podemos lograr un cambio en el comportamiento de la epidemia del VIH en el país.