From the Trenches for Octcober: The future of Energy in Chicago and Illinois, with Dave Kraft and John Farrell
From The Trenches is the monthly radio program of the Chicago Independent Media Center.
ON THE SHOW IN OCTOBER 2014:
* COAL/NUCLEAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES VIE FOR ILLINOIS LEGISLATION
Coal and nuclear forces are pushing for legislation in Illinois that would cement their position at the expense of energy alternatives. We’ll hear more from Chicago activist Dave Kraft.
* ENERGY ALTERNATIVES IN CHICAGO AND ILLINOIS
We’ll also hear a presentation from alternative energy advocate John Farrell who spoke about energy alternatives in Chicago and in Illinois.
* Plus, headlines from the worldwide Indymedia network.
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RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE WORLDWIDE INDYMEDIA NETWORK:
Mexicans protest the disappearance and massacre of 43 students calling for educational reform
Argentina Indymedia reported on protests in Mexico decrying the disappearance and massacre of 43 students who were apparently killed for their work on educational reform. Many Mexican organizations said that, on September 26th, 2014, in the city of Iguala in the Mexican state of Guerrero, state and federal police carried out violent attacks against rural students, including a shooting attack against a school bus. Six students were killed and 43 students disappeared; on October 4th, 2014, the remains of 28 people were found in clandestine graves thanks to a tip from a confession by a police officer. The context of the killings, according to one Mexican sociologist, was “a systematic campaign of criminalization of social protest, particularly on the issue of education”, under the cover of police efforts to combat drug trafficking. The targeting of rural and peasant youth has been a main objective by local authorities. On October 8th, 2014, demonstrations across Mexico decried the disappearance and massacre and called for justice.
Harvard Square Baker Fired for Union Organizing
Boston Indymedia featured an appeal to community members to support a local baker who was attempting to unionize [his] company. The baker named Colin, was employed by Insomnia Cookies in Harvard Square and a trained union organizer. The company was “dogged by charges of racism, wage theft, failure to provide breaks and retaliation against union activists.” Quoting from the feature dated October 8, 2014: “Colin is the sixth. . . union member unfairly fired by the company in less than two years. Colin protested the store’s failure to provide any break time when he worked a 9-hr shift. He complained in writing about his manager’s homophobic and sexist remarks, including his directive that female employees should flirt with customers. Colin’s reward for pushing back against these abuses was to be terminated, although he has been a model worker.” The feature ended with an empathic plea to readers to call the CEO and regional manager of the company to end the “union-busting practices.”
Columbus Day Protest, Downtown L.A.
L.A. Indymedia features a protest against Columbus Day. On October 14, 2014 over 30 protesters lined the sidewalk across the street from Cathedral of Los Angeles. This is the second time that protestors gathered in L.A. Protests like this have been a frequent occurrence lately around the country taking place in Minneapolis, Berekley, CA, and even Seattle. Even globally in Mexico, Central America and South America; Columbus Day has been either dropped or celebrated alongside holidays that remember the indigenous people. The L.A. protestors spoke about the atrocities that their ancestors suffered at the hands of the colonists. One such protestor even said, “….we are here to confront the Cathedral of Los Angeles. This was built on Tongva sacred land. Our brothers and sisters came out and told them this was going to be built on Tongva sacred land. They didn’t care, they do not care.” As the protesters made their way next to the statue of Columbus at the Los Angeles Civic Center Mall, they continued to decry the treatment of their ancestors. The protest will continue to be an annual event and one of the participants said that it was “a small start” and hoped for thousands to join next year.
Massive Dumping of wastewater into aquifers shows Big Oil’s power in California
Central Valley Indymedia featured the dumping of “nearly 3 billion gallons of waste water” into central California aquifers. The aquifers are suppliers of drinking water and irrigation water for regional farms. High levels of arsenic, thalium, and nitrates were found in water-supply wells near these waste-disposal operations. Quoting from the feature dated, October 15, 2014: “The illegal dumping took place in a state where Big Oil is the most powerful corporate lobby and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is the most powerful corporate lobbying organization, alarming facts that the majority of the public and even many environmental activists are not aware of.” Because of this “enormous influence” groundwater has been contaminated for years without regulation. California is seen as a leader in promoting “green” policies but the oil industry’s influence over state environmental policies is a competing force that threatens to permanently tarnish that image.