People's Music Network Summer Gathering
High Falls, New York - June 3 - 5 2000
Songs of Freedom and Struggle PMNSFS@hvi.net

On this page you will find:
1) An e-mail from Charlie King explaining People's Music Network (PMN) history.
2) Comments from Pete Seeger taped during breakfast, just before the opening of PMN 2000
3) Information from this years PMN 2000 brochure on IMF/WTO
4) Selections from an article in "Sassafras" (the PMN biannual newsletter) about Granny D, concerning campagin finance and finally some related issues that are upcoming

1) E-mail (of June 9th 2000) from Charlie King, his story about the early days of PMN:

"PMN started in 1977 to nurture and encourage activist's music and musicians.  There was a sence at the end of the 60's that that kind of music was in decline.  Those of us who were singing songs of freedom and struggle were isolated from each other.  The general plan was to get a bunch of singers together  and feed them.  We figured the rest would take care of itself.  That anarchic plan has held sway to the present.  The structure of workshops and the Saturday night round robin has been there from the start.  So has the idea that we are not a festival performing for a large audience, and not a convention bringing in experts to tell us what we need to know.  We are a self-help network, trying to learn from each other's songs, skills and experiences. We just had our 24th summer gathering.  It happens every spring.  I feel that the next couple of years, leading up to our 25th birthday, will be key to deciding wether we will grow and serve the growing movement of activists or dwindle and see that work pass to another group perhaps another musical genre. I'm planning to stick around to find out.
Thanks for asking. Charlie"


2) Interview withPete Seeger at the People's Music Network Summer 2000 gathering.

        Angela, Mary Kate, and Pete Seeger at breakfast
  At breakfast the first day, around 7 am, Pete Seeger is speaking to three people at a table with the same wisdom and attention that he would give if he were speaking to the National Press Club. It made me remember what he had said to that larger group roughly a year ago. So at a table of about 4 people I asked the following:

Angela: I heard you at the National Press Club talking about "What is going to save the world?"  Is it this organization? Is it this one?  And I loved your answer when you said what was going to save the world was tons of little organizations.Would you elaborate?

Pete:  I am absolutely convinced in this year of 2000 if there is a human race here in 100 years it will be saved not by thousands, not millions, but perhaps hundreds of millions of little organizations. This means a community organization perhaps. A fire department,  a park group, family groups, it means international groups whether it is an academic association or a scientific or sports organizations or a political organization or a religious organization or perhaps a small business.  I frankly don't think big organizations will save the world whether they have political, religious or corporate. Somewhow big organizations attrack power hundry people and they end up not doing what you hope they could do.  I am actually now, I have to laugh, I'm a big supporter of small business.  My daugter is a potter.  She goes out with pottery to sell. So some business are family businesses and they come and go.  Some are a little bit bigger and last for generations or even more.  The important thing is to realize that every little thing is contributing to the saving of the human race.

People say "Well if everybody obeyed the same rules wouldn't we all be here? "  Ha ha ha.  It may be that thousands of years from now we can agree on a lot of the same rules.  Lets agree on one or two first. Like its better to talk than shoot. But let's recognize that words mean different things to different people. When people get talking sometimes they get so angry that words just fly off into space.

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                   The Only Arms Pete Seeger uses.
There is where the arts come in. Try melodies, try harmonies, to rhythms, try pictures, scientists try numbers, try good food, that is what festivals are all about.  One woman said to me, "Try hot tubs" She wants to get the leaders of the world in a hot tub together.  But what you don't do is say "I'm leaving this room, I will not be in the same room with this person"  We have got to learn to be in the same room with somebody we think is insane, responsible for terrible things, and find some way to find some way to reach this persons heart and mind and hands.  We don't know how. But we got to try. As I say if words don't work, try other means.

But somebody who raises a child, to be an honest person a constructive person.  They are saving the world.

3)        Later in the program I read from this year's brochure on IMF/WTO

"Every year the PMN/SFS Summer Gathering chooses a theme that correlates to our orientation as a network of people using music and culture to pormote progressive ideas and values.  At this gathering, we have chosen to focus on the recent meetings of a nd protest against the WTO and the IMF.. Who are they anway and what do they do?  Here is some background information.

On April 16th, 2000 finance ministers and central bankers from 25 countries, as well as ministers from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO) - a veritable board of Directors of thre global econmony - came to Washington DC.  As in Seattle a few months before, then the WTO gathered, the meeting in our nation's capital was met with great protest and media attention.

Those protesting insist that the financial institutions in question "bail out" governments with debt and credit problems, but they only provide money to grovernments that agree to allow corporations free access to their countries' resources and labour.  They fire government employees and slash programs in health and education.  In the case of the biggest bail-outs (South Korea), most of the money goes to foreign investors to restore the "confidence".

They also claim that most of the world's most imporverished countries have suffered under IMF/WorldFank programs for two decades: they've seen debt levels rise, unemployment skyrocket, poverty increase, and environments devastated.  Urged to export, they focus on cash crops like coffee instead of food for their own people, and allow foreign governments to build sweatshops - which also puts pressure on jobs in the US.

But who are these guys?  And who makes them possible?

What's wrong with the IMF and the World Bank? - by Bob Naiman, Sassafrass, Summer 2000
The IMF and the World Bank are controlled by the bureaucrats from governments of rich countries with little oversight from Congress or other legislatures and no input from people in developing countries where these institutions wield tremendous power.

The IMF makes subsidized loans to countries which cannot pay their international debts or whose banks cannot pay their international debts.  The creditors get paid off and the country has to agree to an economic austerity plan and to restructure its economy to increase exports and the role of foreign corporations.  The need and the interests of the majority of the popluation are ignored.
The World Bank enforces IMF policies and also imposes its own destructive policies.  The World Bank destroyed Mozambique's cashew nut processing industry by forcing Mozambique to remove export traffifs on raw cashew nuts.  10,000 adults lost their jobs; the nuts are now shelled by hand by children in India.  The World Bank also finances environmentally destructive projects like the Chad-Cameroon pipleine, and forces governments to deny health care to the poor.

Paying debt service to the IMF and the World Bank forces poor countries to violate the human rights of their own citizens by denying them access to health care and education.  Many of these loans were pushed on corrupt regimes by the IMF and World Bank to keep these countries in a state of dependency.  The average person saw little benfit.  IMF and World Bank policies keep poor nations on a debt treadmill; they keep having to come back for new loans, so they can never free theselves from the IMF and World Bank's destructive dictates.

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4)  Now from Sassafrass the biannual journal of the People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle, are the following selections in an article about Doris Haddock (Granny D), the 90 year old woman who walked across the country in the name of campaign finance reform. www.grannyd.com

"Why do we have 41 million Americans without health coverage?
    Because they are not big enough campaign contributors" - Paul Simon, former US Senator, IL.
"The system stinks.  The system is money" - George Mitchell.
" 92% of Americans believe that special interest groups buy votes in Congress" - Gallup Poll 1995
"We are the defenders of an elaborate influence pedling scheme in which both parties
    conspire to stay in office by sellint the country to the highest bidder" -Senator John McCain.
"Politics is broken" - Senator Bill Bradley

Clean air?  Clean water?
    Not when members of Congress and their parites have taken $28 million
    from oil, gas and chemical corporations.
Universal Health Care?
    Not when they have taken $36 million from insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.
Nuclear disarmement?
    Not when they have taken $11.4 million from military/weapons corporations.
Food Safety?
    Not when they have taken $9.9 million from food processing corporations.
Gun Control?
    Not when they have taken $2.1 million from the NRA.
Living Wages?
    Not when they have taken 11 times as much in political contributions
    from big business as from labor.

"What we are talking about is people - not a product. In order to reach both the organized and unorganized workers we must remember that music, movement, the visual arts and spoken word are the foods that feed the souls of people" - Elise Bryan, George Meany Center for Labor Studies.
Write Peter Jones for more information at:  laborheritage@erols.com

Current related issues:
 

Ships to Save the Waters Conference
Liberty State Park, NJ    July 1 - July 2 2000
Pete Seeger, David Amram, Paul Winter
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the Schooner Ernestina Commission and the Delaware Bay Schooner Project have joined to co-host the monumental Ships to Save the Waters Conference.
"The waters of the world are precious." - Pete Seeger
http://www.shipstosavethewaters.org
dlugowsz@monmouth.com
 

     Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award winning journalist who has been on death row since 1982 for killing a white police officer. Many believe that witnesses have been bribed, threatened and documents destroyed that could aid in the release of Mumia  from death row. The arresting officer who first said Mumia did not speak, two months later, said that he had loudly confessed.  DNA testing has freed 87 people.   DNA testing cannot help or hurt all crimes, but there is no reason to believe that there would be the same sort of mistakes made in non-DNA cases. http://www.workingtv.com/mainp13.html
and  http://www.freemumia.org/

Witness for Peace is sponsoring a trip to Cuba
July 15 - 27 2000 - $1,100 plus airare.
WFP National Office   miller@witnessforpeace.org

Witness for Peace  is a politically independent, grassroots organization.  We are people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience.  Our mission is to support peace, justice and stainable economies on the Americas by changing US policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean. On a billboard "200 million children in the world sleep in the streets today. No one of them is Cuban"

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