Today's Folk Plus feature's Dee Dee Halleck, keynote speaker at Friday night of the Grassroots Radio Conference hosted this year by WJFF.
On Folk Plus today I'll be airing a tape of Dee Dee Halleck who spoke yesterday at the 7th Annual Grassroots Radio Conference. She talks about media public access television and radio. It's pretty exciting. I have edited parts of her speech. We will also have live music from Alicia Littletree and SONiA. Thanks for tuning it to WJFF your hydro-powered, volunteer-run, public radio station.
I thought I'd set the scene before hearing some of the musicians. You will hear Amy Goodman who introduced Dee Dee Halleck last night. Dee Dee is a media activist, founder of Paper Tiger Television and co-founder of Deep Dish Satelite Network. We will hear little snippets of what those are and why they are important to you. You may have never heard the name Dee Dee Halleck before, but she truly is affecting the information we are getting from different news media. So here is Amy Goodman to introduce Dee Dee.
It is a great priveledge to be here with all of you and introduce Dee Dee Halleck the media activitst. Dee Dee first picked up a moving camera in 1961. Four years later her film The Mural on Our Street was nominated for an academy award about young people and senior citizens making a mural at the Henry Street settlement in New York. But she didn't go to the academy awards in 1965 because she was too angry about Vietnam. Dee Dee has no trouble joinging activism and media making and journalism. She's done that her whole life. She is also a professor Ameritis at the University of California San Diego where she worked for more than 17 years.
She recently wrote the book Hand Held Visions: the Impossible Possibilities of Community Media. It's a little odd to see the word impossible anywhere near Dee Dee's name because Dee Dee makes us all believe that everything is possible. She had been talking to us about turning Democracy Now lose on Public Access TV as well bringing together the public spaces and she just always believed that that was possible. There is no NO to Dee Dee. Everything is just a creative challenge for her.
She has inspired so many
people. She is the founder of Paper Tiger and I think she'll talk about
the history of this for us as radio journalists and activists, to learn
the same struggle that we have engaged in over the years has been going
on in public media and you get to hear it first hand from the godmother
of these public spaces in TV. For a lot of radio people TV is a dirty word.
Right? That's the commercial stuff. Well, far from it Dee Dee has really
up that world to so many; founding Paper
Tiger TV which has made so many incredible programs and turned so many
people from different communities, who thought they could never be a part
of that world and that world never represented them, to representing their
own worlds, and then co-founding Deep
Dish satelite network. She's a doer and a shaker, she's a mover and
a movie maker - its Dee Dee Halleck - the media activisit.
I should be standing up but I have all my notes on my computer here. I just added the WORT sticker to it, so (clapping) - yeah alright. It's so great that while they are out there converging, we are out here converging. I think thats what we have to do. It's the independant video and film movement private radio movement, the hacker movement, the independant photography movement, indepth newspaper movement are all coming together. Actually, the work in Seattle and creation of the independant media centers was the really the first time that people had come together. I think that that coming together to do that specific thing of covering the W.T.O in Seattle, was just the introduction. There are many many more ways that we can collaborate and work together and I'm really excited about getting to know you all and basically having the radio people be part of the other movements. I think we have a lot to learn form you all, you can help us. Actually you were the first networkers, in terms of progressive media, ever since Lew Hill and even before we have a lot to learn form you. I don't know how much you all know about Public Access in the Mass Media, which we know you can't trust. The general public's knowledge about Public Access is like Wayne's World. Well you know who made Wayne's World, is Time Warner. Time Warner is now the world's biggest Cable Corporation and of course they don't want Public Access to have a good image. I wanted to show... we are so lucky to have this wonderful van here! It's from Faunavion (http://www.tribeofheart.org/) ..(A wonderful vido van showed us footage during the speech and throughout the weekend)
Angela on air:
At this point Dee Dee showed us footage of Paper Tiger TV, (http://www.papertiger.org/) something she started, very creative commical intelligent way to criticize the regaular media. She shows us that video clip on a really cool TV implanted in a van (link above) Here she is summarazing what we saw.
So Paper Tiger basically took different forms of media and critiqued it, which is one of the things which is almost completely absent, except for counterspin (Yeah counterspin!) on media these days and especially in those days.
What we also did was, give an example of how people could do a public access show that had humor and didn't try to mimic NBC, CBS and CNN. So we used the hand made tiltes the hand painted sets and said to people "why don't you do that. It's not going to cost much and you are not going to have a set that looks like Tom Brokaw set so do something different". A lot of people liked Paper Tiger and wanted copies. So we sent it to Public Access stations and many said they were influenced to make their own set eliminating the curtain and the plant which they were doing before (laughter) for their TV show. So I want to play tape number 2 which is a look at public access from around the country.
Here she talks about Deep Dish TV. (http://www.igc.org/deepdish/)
That montage was actually was done by Cathy Scott who is an Australian producer who worked with Paper Tiger for a number of years and did that for a very unique window that happened on public Television, imagine that called Signal to Noise which Karen Mortise did which was a nice series actually that looked at media in a critical way. It wasn't shown every station. It was funded by ITBS which is the Independant Television series which independent producers fought for and go funding which is actually decided upon by a peer panels. That's why sometimes a show like that can sneak through. So to get back to paper tiger, what happened was so many people were asking us for copies of the tapes to show on their public access shows that we started looking into satellite delivery. Then we thought why should we privilege paper tiger there is really interesting shows on a lot of the public access stations. So we set up Deep Dish TV in 1986 (Clapping) Here is a sample of how deep dish works.
(We see another video on the Faunavision van)
So Deep Dish has done a total of over 4 or 500 hours of that kind of series over the years. One of the most interesting tat some of you could begin thinking about what the possibilities are in this kind of networking is that when Tele-Marti started which was a multi million dollar initiative of the US government to send Una Vision down to Cuba and American propaganda. We decided at deep dish to do a counter. So Monica Melamid and I went to Cuba and got samples of Cuban TV and we put it out on the satellite and it was called Stones Throw, TV from Cuba, Island in Goliath's Sea. http://www.igc.org/deepdish/aboutus/cat/cat04.html(To video van) that's number four.
Angela on air:
What you are listening to is what I attended last night over in Callicoon Center at the 7th Annual Grassroots Radio Conference. I wanted to blend music today and talk, so I'm setting the scene for some singers that are coming up very shortly. Dee now talks about Kurdish producers motivated by Deep Dish. This is pretty fascinating.
We went to a conference in Edinburgh and showed Deep Dish TV in the early 90s. We ran into a Kurdish producer. He really like the idea of this satelite network and he started Med TV (http://www.ib.be/med/) which was for many years got Kurdish programming and sent it out around the Diaspora around Europe included the Mediterranean and the Middle East and actually Europe
I want to play a little of that...that's number 5...Met TV. He wrote us a great letter of how he was inspired by deep dish tv. (We watch some Med TV)
You get the idea. Unfortunately this network has been taken off the air. They were totally harassed by Turkish military and by British military. Their offices in London were blown up. They were persecuted. Last I heard they were off the air, I don't know what's happening with them now. We have had a lot of people who appreciated Deep Dish, but I also wanted to show you how public access has been a forum for people against Deep Dish. This clip number six (next video clip) comes form my own town of Woodstock. I was looking for the part that talks about Amy Goodman, but I think its on a different tape. This one talks about Deep Dish and how dangerous and subversive it is.
Angela on air:
What you were hearing there was Dee Dee Halleck talking about how free speech media can sometimes criticize itself. Dee Dee gave the example of how some people's voices get silenced: the example there of the Kurdish fellow's voice that was silenced. If we are not careful many voices can be shut down. It is important we hear these voices. On that note I want to welcome to the studio other people from different radio stations around the country, also singers. First, KZYX did I get that right ladies?
I don't think I could say that often.
KZYX and KZYZ, we've got a repearer.
Please talk about your station for a second.
My name is Alicia Littletree. I live in Mendocino county california. Its so much like jeffersonville. This station is exactly like our station..the house...there is beautiful surroundings in the middle of nowhere down a little dirt road. The station is in Philo and is called KZYX and is Mendocino County Community Broadcasting. I do a bi-weekly talk show called Truth to Power.
Can you give a few sentences about Truth to Power?
Sure.I inherited this show from Judi Bari when she died of breast cancer and I was asked to take the time slot because they really loved the kind of programming she did which was bringing on the voices of grassroots activists. I also like to do music because I recognize there is a very vibrant socially relevant environmental folk scene. I try to play at least two songs a show. I had a show once called Why Folk Music is Revolutionary with Holly Near, Darrly Cherney and a new singer named E. Brooks. I try to talk about what peole are doing in their communities, and how they are organizing and how they are confronting the tyranny and the oppression in their their communities I try to bring in the unions, and voices of women and people of color and that kind of stuff, but also I try to bring in local voices becauseI want people to know what is happening right here and people need their support. We have been talking a lot this weekend of using the radio as an organinzing tool not just as a career move.
Well thatís what occurred to me yesterday. That I couldn't just, after listening to all this last night, I couldn't just come in and play two hours of...say...James Keelaghan.. though I love Keelaghan, but I needed to mix the talk with the music. I asked Alicia to come in today, because I heard her last night at some rediculous hour that we were all up singing some pretty powerful tunes. I'm hoping to relate all the information that we getting and wrap it in music. The first tune I'm hoping you're going to sing talks about not being silenced, and keeping stories and names out there. Sad stories. Maybe you can introduce the tune I'm alluding to?
Sure. This is a song by Alice De Muesli who is a songwriter from Ashland Oregon. Its about a close friend of mine named Judi Bari. I just spent the last 8 years working on Judi's case. She was anEarth First organizer in Northern California, very confrontational very working class. . She was car bombed and blamed by the fbi as being a bomber, a terrorist, when they knew that she was the victim of the car bomb. They did it in order to silence her political activism. She died of breast cancer in 1997 butshe had a civil rights case against the FBI and Oakland police for 1st and 4th amendment violations and we just in June won 4.4 million dollars in federal court from the FBI for civil rights violations. So if you want more information about that see: http://www.judibari.org/
There is tons of information there. This song tells her story.
Alicia Littletree Live in the Studio - Judi Bari/Darryl Cherney
Thatís really powerful, I can almost see her. You obviously knew her the way you are singing her name. That was 12 years ago.
12 years ago. And we just won this year. 12 years to get to court.
And her kids are way older at this point. Thats powerful You just heard Alicia Littletree who is from Mendocino county in California, just one of the people here for the Grassroots Radio Conference. Perhaps you never thought about how lucky you are to have WJFF here. I'm not told what to do between 11 and 1 every Saturday. Nobody is telling me that I have to play Britney Spears or anything. Its just fabulous and rare, perhaps you don't realize how rare it is. Alicia is here, and also...
My name Bear, I'm from KMUD in Humboldt county, next county up from Mendocino, 200 miles up from San Francisco for folks not too familiar with California. I come from a station also very similar to WJFF. The big difference is that we are between KZYX, which has NPR programs like WJFF and we also have a college station north of us that does so we are blessed in that we don't have to cover that. A lot of people who come get self righteous - oh we don't do NPR, well we are lucky we are not pressured to do it since its being covered by sister stations. We have probably 90% locally produced programming. We run Democracy Now, Free Speech Radio News and some of the nationally independant produced programs Making Contact, Wings and This Way Out.
Whats your program?
I do 2 different programs. Once a month I'm part of a woman's radio collective with a two hour show which is a mix of public affairs. I started out doing that show and then left it. We broguht in other woman. I just came back to it but one of the things we try to do always is bring in other woman from the community, teach them to engineer, do radio, so we can get out and listen to radio. Most of of would rather do our work at home and listen to good radio.
I often get up on a Saturday and I say "I just want to stay home and listen to my show"
Thats right! So thats our goal, to train people to do radio that we would like to listen to. Part of community radio is that it is community making the radio. Public radio to me is (quote) "professional" people making radio for the people. We make the radio that we want to listen to, accessible and real people not ones with training and getting paid to do it. All programmers are volunteers.
So what is a workshop that you guys want to go back to. I've kidnapped you to be on the show a bit. I know you want to go back, what are some of the workshops you wanna get to.
Strategic Media planning.. and some beautiful lakes around here also.
Well I want to get back to a 2 part workshop on how to engineer and put together news stories. I'd love to be able to do that. Free Speech radio news pays freelancers for their work. They really like grassroots news reporting. The more people who have those skills the better. You get 150 bucks for a 5 minute segmant.
Make some bucks- you run Free Speech Radio News?
No, but I'll learn.
Thats a half an hour news program 5 days a week, if you're station...
Oh we have it, I just don't personally contribute...yet...
One of the things we just left was a panel on reshaping the media. It was Amy Goodman (Democracy Now), Laura Flanders (Working Assets Radio), Jeff Cohen (MSNBC) and Jeremy Scahill (FSRN).
They are very incredible media activists but they are all white. Erroyl Maitland, the keynote speaker thursday night, took over the panel and invited all the people of color from the conference and had each of them speak. Basically he pulled a coup. It's just not ok to have panels with all white people. It sparked this amazing discussion, really vibrant and challenging. That is what we left. I'm sure that will change the face of the conference.
Well, would you sing something else for us and you can go back..and we are going to have SONiA here too singing.
Shes dynamite. So this is a song I learned off an old Buffy St Marie album. To me it reminds me of the problems we have in our county with the trouble with the police and the Indian reservation. I don't know if it's the Pomo people, I don't know the history of this song, maybe somebody listening does, but to me this is about Round Valley and Bear Lincoln and the Mendocino County Sherrif
Alicia Littletree Live
- a tune learned from a Buffy St. Marie album
"Well the high sherrif...he told the deputylll"
I was just thinking that no matter what the motivation was for her writing that song the sign of a good song is your ability to mold it to your unique sotry.
Im sure she didn't write it, I think its a traditional song.
Very cool. Thanks for sharing musically.
Thanks for bringing us in.
Im going back a bit to Dee Dee Hollack from last night. If you don't know who she is, it doesn't really matter. What she is doing is truly affecting you whether you know her name or not. She has led media workshops with elementary school children written Hand Held Visions. What she said was so powerful last night, I want to run little bits and introduce little segmanets.
(reacting to being called subversive..etc.) Ok you can turn it off now. That's what great about Public access I think. You know? (laughing) whatever. I want to show a little of the independant news media in Seattle. It was the beginning of the kind of convergence that I feel is happening on a very deep level in many layers these days. This was an area set up in Seattle mostly to provide a working space for radio, video, print and photography people to do journalism during the WTO demonstrations. One of the side things was this website which has taken off. http://www.seattle.indymedia.org/ It became by word of mouth was very popular and within five days got a million and a half visitors. Lets look at that.
Thats on a tape called Showdown
in Seattle, which is available on the IMC site. It is five half hour
programs that were upliked everyday during the demonstrations in Seattle
and played on the Deep Dish Network. It was an incredible kind of collaboration.
The whole idea of people working together for independant media has just
caught on like wildfire. Now there are over 100 throughout the world. I
wanted to play a short piece from an Argentian independant media centre.
It has been very crucial in the situation that is going on down there.
A lot of people have said that Indie media is so high tech and it wont
reach the main street poeple. The brilliant wasy that Argentina has used
the Independant media center has been difusing the information beyond what
is available on the Internet. They have had exhibits far in communities
from Buenas Aires. Argentina is a huge country and many didn't know what
was going on in Buenas Aires and they were very concerned. So people near
a University or ciber cafe where they could access to an Indie Media site,
would down load text , sort of like the chineese wall posters, and string
them up in town squares on clotheslines with clothespins. So the indie
site became a source for people not only with computers but for people
walking through a park. They would play tapes at night. I just want to
play what the group Ojo Obrero would show at night. This was distributed
thro indie media throughout Argentina. It's five days in December when
basically the government left. Lets see tape number 8.
|Angela: Again what you're
hearing is what happened last night. Dee Dee Halleck is a media activist
talking about the working space in Seattle that began a real bonding of
Independent Media. Working tkogether Independant media has birthed the
idea in many places across the world. There is a lot of fascinating and
juicy stuff, but I want to welcome Sonia to the station and thank her for
coming to play live for us.
I couldn't believe when listening last night, I was learning so much so fast, my brain was very sore. I thought I should catch some of this. I'm hoping it is flowing nicely. Its hard to grab little nuggets to let people know how big an issue this is. I'm here every Saturday and I just didn't know half of what I heard last night.
Yeah, I was there and I'm so glad you are making this available today. What was amazing to me was that how huge it is. Especially what was happening in Argentina. How big it is. How many people we saw there. And we saw none of it (on our media) Its so important, the conference is so important, and this radio station is so important. It's amazing.
We saw thousands and thousands of people chanting and singing outside their version of the white house. Dee Dee sort of jokingly threw out .."So who caught this on CNN?" You think when you turn in CNN you are really hip, I had no idea.
Some really major gaps missing.
I feel dummer and dummer the more I learn. I do want to get this out there.
It shows how vital this is. What your premonitions are about like "something is wrong here" shows your gut feeling is right. It's nice to be in the company of people from other community radio stations across the States and some from Canada too. I don't know if you have anyone from the AMARC thing? I may be calling it the wrong thing- the global community - the program that Norm Stockwell is invovled with as well about community radio throughout the world at the same time.
I was glad to see Montreal represented here. Other than Montreal I don't think we have a non US station. CKUT from Magill is here. Pretty exciting. I'd love you to play anything you want to share.
I have to appologize I brought two G harmonicas and no C harmonicas, so I can't play the harmonica on this song. I was in Washington CD about to do a CD signing and I noticed a puddle on the sidewalk. When I went to repark the van I noticed it was actually a puddle of blood. There was a woman there hosing it off. To the right of me a few blocks off was the capital. It seemed that even tho it was only a couple of blocks it seemed like it was a million miles away. I wrote it actually when there was another Bush nearby.
SONiA Live - Washington
"I cover it up to get you to fight in my wars"
"The truth is I am my own enemy"
"Got to make it look good..."
SONiA here live on WJFF's Folk Plus. A song about washing off the blood if you can't wash it off, just step around it because who wants that on their soul. Good one. Thanks for sharing that. Is there anything you've seen yesterday that got you thinking big time...or something that you are looking forward to today in the workshops?
I want to know more about what is going on in Argentina. You hear glimpses of things everywhere MSNBC and CNN and stuff. Why is it on page five in the papers, why is so much burried. My hope is the inspiration...this is like an inspiration fest...like yes...you are on the right track go and keep doing what you are doing cuz you are not alone.
Well thats it. You are not alone. You see someone else who will say "I wanna know about that too" and get involved. Ignorance is part of it. If you don't know anything about that issue, you will just read about local sex offenders on the cover of the paper. We are not sure about Argentina. We have a part to paly we small radio stations to get information out. Interesting news that you should be knowing about, not just interesting....bigger than that, that was a poor adjective choice. It's just so huge. Every time I say Dee Dee's name I think people don't know her name, but the work she does totally affects us! Most have no idea.
Totally. The whole Deep Dish network! Its not small. We shouldn't count by numbers. Its not small. We need to count by our conviction. Thats deep and infinate I think.
One with huge energy can equal 100 on a couch watching Howdie Doodie.
It is 12 minutes before noon. I'm Angela Page and this is Folk Plus. SONiA you have many topical songs, I will stop talking and we can hear another. Thanks for giving time today to leave what you came for to come and sing.
I appreciate it. This is a song called I am the Enemy. We are going through a process together. Bruce Springstien was very inspired I guess and has four or five songs on his new CD. This is something I wrote and reworte and rewrote. Hopefully it will be on a Disappear Fear CD pretty soon.
SONiA Live - I am the
"I never wanted a castrophe, but my mom said turn on your TV...blue skys were raining with four burning planes" "Yeah, I'm the enemy" "thank god for freedom and red, white and blue.."
I'm think about all your references there. Everytime the chorus comes round about the color tv, the red white and blue - of course the color TV, the fact that, that color tv is so limited that all of us gathering this weekend don't want it to be got us in this position. Not armed with the truth and not really seeing worldwide views, (so blinded as Americans), that the color tv is actually not freedom unless we can do what we are trying to do at this conference. I'm rambling I don't know if it's coming out right.
And you ended the song before I had all my thoughts perfectly formulated...but the idea of the color tv doing us a disservice for a lot of the time it is on.
Well the idea too is, and really where I get to in the epiphany is that there are a whole lot of colors beyond red white and blue. Yeah, we are horrified, but this is much bigger. There was a whole lot more before and a whole lot more now.
Its so huge. Everyone is sorting out what they think. Up in the next hour I have on Democracy Now TV the woman who lost her brother in the towers meeting with the woman who lost 19 family members in Afhganistan and how it was from one ground zero to another. Who is the enemy? Thats great. I have to keep thinking bout that. Oh, I can't hear that again. You don't have it on anything.
Hopefully, well my sister really loves it, my sister and I are Disappear Fear...
Yea. Sonia is part of a duo, Disappear Fear, we have played their stuff before.
We have only her here now, not her sister.
We are working on a new CD we recorded a few tracks last weekend in Nashville. I am the enemy is definately on the list.
So Nashville last weekend and 10 hours north of the border next weekend at the sumerfolk festival. Ill be there too, cool, maybe Ill hear it again then. Thanks in advance to John Gordon for covering my show next week when Im up at the Summerfolk Festival with Christine Lavin and David Francey who we had play our folk benefit this year. Are you doing a workshop?
Im doing one with Chrisitne Lavin. Maybe a blues one. And Im on the mainstage on Saturday.
I can't wait, Iv'e heard it is a beautiful festival.
It is visually beautiful and they always have top notch acts. I have a running huge huge argument with the management there. It is my least favorite festival in the world and everytime I go I swear I won't go again and tell them that I say so on the air. They deserve critism they do a lot of things poorly, but that is another issue. I'd love to hear you do something else.
Ive got another new song im working on but I'd be too scared..its too fast...
Can we hear a segment?
A little bit, sure
Hugh Blumenfeld said once, this is what I have. Stop where you want.
OK. I may stop pretty soon.
SONiA Live - (a little
bit of) Fifth Fret
"this land was my land"
Its the State of the State...the State of the Mess...the song just takes off, I love it. Its gonna be fun, but I don't know it yet.
Well thanks for sharing that. Kind of unfair to ask for...a work in progress! Great to have that sort of confidence that you can just through something out that is in progress.
I'm thinking I'll sing Me Too. Singing these songs in other countries,just like public radio in other countries, fromt he states and not yet dominating the conventions. Its really important now more than ever for people outside the United States to know we are here. This is aong of a man I never met, who served three years in the Vietnam war, yet he encouraged his daughter to follow her own heart and protest the war. Its called Me Too.
SONiA Live - Me Too
Everybody has a war" yeah. Its five minutes after noon. You are listening to WJFF 90.5 and 94.5 W233AH in Monticello New York. We are volunteer run, and hydro-powered, a unique little radio astaiton in Jeffersonville New York. Sonia is here as part of the Grassroots radio conference. We have ahd a couple of calls from people thanking us for the coverage today, a blending of music and political thought. Its too exciting not to comment on what is going on. In fact you can tune in. You can go to our site and catch the conference streaming. You will also see pictures of the conference at http://wjffradio.org. You can see photographs that the webmaster has already put up from last night. You can see Sonia singing last night so you know what she looks like. Thanks for sharing your time today. Go back and learn about what else is going on!
Thanks I will. Thanks for doing such good stuff. Its what it is about.
Im going now to Are You Out There, a Dar Williams tune about being captivated listening to late night radio. THe whole idea is a DJ saying, look I hope someone is out there in the middle of the night. THis conference makes me think of the flip side...we may not be able to be here to be out there, unless more people become educated. Here's Dar dedicated to WBAI and other grassroots radio stations.
Dar Williams - Are You
Honesty Room - Razor and Tie
"I was out here listening all the time"
So much to say about how WJFF lets me air what I like between 11 and 1. Thanks to people calling and thanking us for doing something a bit different. Hope some of you can catch the streaming of the workshop on the Internet. I'm going back to tape. Democracy Now is now on TV. You will hear the history of that in the next few cuts. You will hear again Dee Dee Halleck, activist who founded paper tiger television which critied regular media whicn made a huge difference to what we are able to hear in getting truths out and balancing oppinions. Im a librarian and I spend a lot of time trying to balance oppinions. It is a lot of work sometimes when you can't get he other side of an issue - something we should rtreasure about America that we can balance issues. Here is Dee Dee talking about getting Democracy now on TV.
I want to end with a project ongoing right now which is Democracy Now TV (clapping). It began with taping in Seattle and people saying it was really great seeing a TV version of Democracy Now. We got together in Philadelphia and Los Angeles for conventions and did an uplink on free speech tv which is a 24 hour alternative network which is avialable not only to you as individuals, but they have a special retransmission permit so that you can transmit any audio for radio and certainly any of the Democracy Now shows. You can also get if from the satelite rather than Internet or ISBN. It is an incredibly exciting project. It really began iwth all the problems with Pacifica. WE did the conventions. I siad I would try to save money, figuring to take til AUgust 2002 to raise a half a million dollars. Sometime in late last August we got a check for 30,000.oo Then after 9-11 Amy asked how much money we had. We had the 30,000 so we started. It was RIck Youngers who was working with Amy already set up in a downtown studio. THey had a live hook up to Manhatton Neighbourhood Network. So it went first live to that and then with our money we were able to start doing it nationwide on the satelite and were able to get a crew together with various cameras. Its been a tremendously successful thing and to me what was especially wonderful was to have Amy come to the Alliance for Community Media MTG (which is like a Grassroots meeting for Public Access people0 to make a presentation and hear what people said about what happens in their communities when they get Democracy Now. One of the interesting things is that producers want to now have their show before or after Democracy Now because they know its a good lead in. Also people have been inspired to do their own local news. Many cities follow Democracy now with a local news show. ITs really inspired people to up their production, inspired more people to get involved and inspried the community of activists who really need tobe there because public access is really being threatened right now. I don't know how many of you know about the rule that came down this March 14th. Michael Powell, COlin Powells son, head of the fcc basically with the stroke of a pen took out the internet from any kind of public regulation which for many public access stations across the country meant a deminution of a third of their budget becasue they get their budget on a percentage of the cable bill. Up to that point that included road runner and high sppeed internet connections. By that rule making all of a sudden, immediate, it went into effect the next day, they stopped getting that funding. Moreover the really threatening thing is that saying that the intenet is not a cable service, but an information service, exempting it from any kind of public regulation, when you look down the road, a lot of these telecommunication services will be coming down the internet. That means that public access cable could be written off just as easily. Same justifications can be used. This could happen overnight. The other thing that is happening is that this is a huge threat for cities. Cities need to have control over their rights of way. What this means is any dsl company, any high speed internet company can come in and the city has absolutely no way to get a quid pro quo in terms of exchange for that rights of way. So people could dig up the sidewalk , put up a barrier, as long as they are porviding information. Its a threat to that whole notion of some kind of public interest payback for telecommunication services. Its something that the public access stations need, to conect to the communities who listen to Democracy Now to get involved because this is definately coming down sooner or later. So lets watch Democracy Now.
Now you will hear Amy introducing Democracy Now on TV. She speaks about a New York woman who was killed in Israel.
Amy on Tape
The first victim of Israel's latest siege of the west bank city of Ramela was a 21 year old woman holding her 9 mont old son shot while in her car. What most media outlets did not report however was that she is a US citizen.
Also on that program Amy had a woman who had lost her brother in the Towers say that she had watched a speech Bush gave citing her brother as a hero. She said that it occured to her that they were going to use her brother's deatj to justify killing other innocent people. Also on the program was a woman from Afganistan who had lost 19 people of her family. IT was moving to hear, but then to see it was exceptional. Here is just a bit more from Amy.
ANy questions. ..(there was a question from the audience about how Amy got the Information about East Timor out.) Amy you should come up here to a microphone. THey didn't have a high speed line anywhere so they had to go to people leaving on airplanes.
This was a very clever system. It made me think of the underground railroad. Amy came up to the mike to explain this rather facinating process.
I love this story
Right. Every morning in East Timor since morning is night and night is morning it would would be the night before in the United States and the show was on at 9 in the morning. So at 6 in the morning after Rick would film all day we would do the interviews and he would burn it onto a cd like people do computer sound editing - he was doing the same wthing with final cut pro with the film. Basically this tv is a televised radio program. We are not focused so much on what the tv is, but the look of the studio and everything, it is in the paper tiger tradition, but the important thing is the content, it is completely radio cnetered. THe idea of the content ids the heart of the program. He would burn it onto a cd, and because there isn't even a T1 line in all of East TImor it would be hard to send it that way. We burned the cd and then Brad Simpson and I , who was the producer who went with me, would go to the airport and do what we were told not to do all over the world and that is go up to a stranger and say "Would you take this in your bag to Australia" (laughing and clapping) Unfortuneately the Timor airport had set up a little cafe, so unsuspecting Timorese coffee drinkers wether they were australian soldiers or young activists heading out, or doctors or nurses or UN officials. We would say "excuse me" and open the cd and say "this is really what it is, would you just slip this in your pocket and when you get to Darwin Australia give it to the Air North ticket taker. The air north airlines would set it asied and the owener of an Internet cafe in Darwin Australia would come to the airport and pick up the cd that was a film and bring it to his cafe and on two computers he would track it as it would go across the world. He was so incredibly proud of this, and then everyfsy Chase Pearson who was one of the people involved with Independant Media Center, Noel Rabinowitx, would be up late at night with chris abrams who is here, the producer of Democracy Now, Miranda Kennedy going off to South East Asia next week, would go there and Dee Dee and so many people who got involved with this project, would down load it- they were just ftp ing it to the server. Occasianally we would get hacked, but thats the way life is in the independant media world. They would bring down the images and at 9 oclock in the morning the founding of this new nation would be broadcast on radio stations around the country and also on public access tv stations and satellite tv here in this country and then on the internet and freespeech.org - you could watch or listen all over the world. (Clapping)
Pretty amazing what went on to capture that launching of a new nation. You have no idea what goes on in the background. There is someone speaking tonight (at the conference) named Reverend Billy, from the church of Stop Shopping. He is starting a revival tour in WalMart parking lots, sort of an interesting idea. With that in mind I thought I'd play a cut by James Gordon who is particularly not fond of WalMarts. He has lead a campaign in Canada. Guelph is one of the biggest cities in Canada to not have a WalMart. He fought it big time, not wanting to ruin his town of Guelph. Here is a tune he wrote called Back Before WalMart form his release Mining For Gold.
James Gordon - Back Before
Mining For Gold - Borealis
"What ever happened to our little town?"
New Middle Class - Buy One, Get One Free
New Middle Class - self
"It was a shopping spree, when I realized that the merchandize was consuming me"
With teenagers it seems that going to the mall is not needs based, but more entertainment. Reverend BIlly from the church of stop shopping is at the bus station in Monticello now waiting to get to the conference where he will be talking about his revival tour Please Stop Shopping for unwanted uneeded items.
Berrymans - Stuff Song
Some Kinda Funny - Cornbelt Records
paint, tape, tools, ties, books, spray.."why in a world full of hungry and sick do I need ...soap on a rope"
Pat Humphries - Bound For Freedom
Hands - Appleseed
" here I go bound for freedom, may my truth take the lead
not the preacher, not the congress, not the millionare but me"
Anne Feeney - Have You Been To Jail For Justice?
Have You Been To Jail For Justice? - email@example.com
"you're in good company...I want to shake your hand"
David Rovics - Who Will Tell the People
"I think that the struggle for the airwaves for the Pacifica network is one of the most important things going on in the country today becasue it really represents the struggle for the hearts and minds of the people. If we can't communicate to people we are not going to be able to reach them. This is about that and what they are not telling us, and why we need shows like Democracy Now...."
Again I want to say how honored I feel to spend two hours at this mic and not be controlled by any management here. Hundreds are on their last legs because of copyright rulings requiring royalties for webcasting. I can't even keep up with it. The gathering of public radio and tv and independant media at Seattle is a possitive step.
Eileen McGann - NO Country's Law
Beyond the Storm - DragonWing Music
"if you try to stop them they'll sue"
Heading to Canada next weekend for a festival.
Tamarack - We Owe It To the Pioneers
13 - Folk Era
"...To take this country back"
Saturday night's key speakers were Granny
D and Pete
Also a phenomenal night of thinkers and thinking.
Saturdays from 11:00
am to 1:00 pm on WJFF following
90.5 Jeffersonville, NY. and 94.5 in Monticello. We Hydro-powered Public Radio serving the Mid-Hudson Region, North East Pennsylvania, and the Upper Delaware Valley.
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