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WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill, Maine Local News and Public Affairs Archives

Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

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  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Institutional racism : the historical and present day context to the recent police killings of unarmed African-Americans Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Akai Gurley.

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) Today we look at institutional racism : the historical and present day context to the recent police killings of unarmed African-Americans Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Akai Gurley.

    b) Professor Samuel Roberts discusses “the war on drugs”, mass incarceration, the para-militarization of police forces, police harassment, the trend to arrest people of color for economic infractions, like unpaid parking tickets, and the social movement response.

    c) The director of the Maine ACLU looks at the racial breakdown of arrests made in Maine. According to a recent USA Today report, African-Americans in Auburn are 4 times more likely to be arrested then the white population. In South Portland, the rate is 3.5 times higher. Bangor is 3.2, Lewiston 2.8 and Portland is 2.6 times higher.

    Guests:
    Samuel K Roberts, Director of the the Columbia University Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS), Associate Professor of History(Columbia University School of Arts and Sciences), Associate Professor of Sociomedical Science (Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health) and Associate Professor of African-American Studies. samuelkroberts.com/

    Alison Beyea, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine www.aclumaine.org/

    Related story: www.pressherald.com/2014/12/10/students-try-to-raise-their-voices-but-protest-interrupted/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Solidarity Rallies for Fast Food Workers Day of Action and Black Friday Protests at Walmart; Second El Salvador Municipality Bans Mining

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) The Community Union of Ellsworth and Hancock County talk about local rallies in support of national movements to raise the standar of living for low wage workers. Black Friday demonstrations focused on Walmart workers,and December 4th was a day of action with fast food workers.
    b) The Community Union also speaks to the importance of supporting the striking Fairpoint workers, who have no financial safety net, and who continue their daily pickets.
    c) Salvadoran activist speaks at the Penobscot Nation’s River Justice event on the importance of organizing to protect the environment.

    Guests:
    A) John Curtis, Community Union of Ellsworth and Hancock County, ph: 667-
    B) Edith Portillo, CRIPDES, stopesmining,org
    C) Cori Ring-Martinez, translator, US El Salvador Sister Cities elsalvadorsolidarity.org/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Solidarity Harvest and comments on Faripoint Strike and Bucksport Mill Closure

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) This Thanksgiving marks the 12th annual Solidarity Harvest, a food distribution effort organized Food AND Medicine and the Eastern Maine Labor Council, in concert with union members, local farmers, laid off workers, the underemployed and other area organizations.
    b) Solidarity Harvest distributes food for Thanksgiving time for laid off workers and others struggling in Maine, but it is also specifically designed to be a model of solidarity, rather then charity, an example of an organized community response to an often unjust economic system.
    c) Jack Mckay also comments on the issues surrounding the Fairpoint workers strike and the closure of the Bucksport paper mill.

    Guest: Jack McKay, director of Food AND Medicine and president of Eastern Maine Labor Council. www.foodandmedicine.org

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Reactions to Elections by people working on social and environmental issues

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today we hear some reflections on the mid term elections, both state and national, by people who work on social and environmental issues within Maine.
    b) Guests reflect on at the continued probable impacts on labor, healthcare, social safety net, international free trade agreements, tribal sovereignty, environmental health and climate change.
    c) Guests also emphasize the need for people to work outside of the political-economic system to make impactful change at a community level, particularly to address climate change.

    Guests:
    A) Emery Deabay, president of the United Steelworkers of Maine, union local 1188. .Deabay has worked at the Verso paper milll for over 30 years. He has been active in the Maine Fair Trade Campaign and the Brewer based organization Food and Medicine.
    B) Sherri Mitchell, indigenous rights attorney, environmental activist, member of the Penobscot Nation
    C) Hedi Brugger, 350 Maine, Seeds for Justice

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic:
    Maria Girouard of the Penobscot Nation gives an overview of the historic conflict over Wabanaki territory and sovereignty between the state and tribes, up to present

    Key Discussion Points:
    1. Penobscot Nation member Maria Girouard spoke to a class at the Maine Maritime Academy, in Castine, titled “Communities and Conflict.”
    2. Girourad spoke on the impacts of historical, or intergenerational, trauma, explicitly how past and unfolding policies of colonization have impacted the Wabanaki tribes present within Maine’s borders.
    3. Maria Girouard gives an historical overview of the conflict between the state and the tribes concerning Wabanaki territory, and the state’s continuing position on tribal land, water, fishing rights and sovereignty, including the current case in US District Court, Penobscot Nation vs. State Attorney General Janet Mills, et al

    Guest:
    Maria Girouard, member of the Penobscot Nation, environmental activist, community organizer. She is currently the Welness Coordinator for Maien Wbanaki REACH ( mainewabanakireach.org ), the organization facilitating the work of the Maine Wabanaki State Chile Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Girouard served as the Penobscot Nation’s director of Cultural and Historic Preservation 2006-2011, and was a member of the Penobscot Tribal Council 2012-to 2014

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: Reactions to Bucksport Paper Mill Closure Announcement

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Last week, Verso announced it will close it’s paper mill in Bucksport in December, laying off 570 workers.
    b) Today we get the perspective of two longtime workers and union members at the mill.
    c) They reflect on the reasons, the potential impacts on the community, and on the lack of financial or community accountability by large corporations, such as Verso.

    Guests:

    A) Emery Deabay : has worked at the Bucksport Mill for over 30 years, is president of the United Steelworkers of Maine, union local 1188, and is running for state legislature in as a Democrat District 40 (Bucksport and Orrington) bangordailynews.com/2014/10/15/opinion/contributors/taxpayers-have-subsidized-companies-success-wheres-the-return/
    B) Linda Murch has worked at the Bucksport Mill for over 15 years. She is currently on leave, working at the Alliance for American Manufacturing www.americanmanufacturing.org/blog/entry/a-paper-mills-closing-hits-home-for-this-aam-staffer

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: An Interview with Chief Kirk Francis on the Penobscot Nation’s Proposed Water Quality Standards Hearing and Current Legal Challenges.

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) We speak with Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis on the tribe’s proposed water quality standards and current legal challenges.
    b) Last week the Penobscot Nation held a public hearing on it’s proposed Surface Water Quality Standards.The tribe wishes to strengthen current standards for the waters within Penobscot tribal territories, most specifically to address the health of fish consumed by tribal members. Following public input, the Penobscot Nation will present their standards to the US Environmental Protection Agency for approval, as allowed under the federal Clean Water Act for federally recognized tribes.
    c) Earlier this month, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and Maine Dept of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Patrica Aho, filed suit against the US EPA in attempts to establish jurisdiction. The Penobsacot Nation also currently has a case against the Maine Attorney General’s Office to likewise establish he definition of tribal waters and the tribe’s sovereign right to control water quality.

    Guests:
    A) Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: The Penobscot Nation’s Proposed Water Quality Standards Hearing and Interview with Chief Kirk Francis

    Key Discussion Points:

    a) We hear some of the testimony at the Penobscot Nation’s public hearing on it’s proposed Surface Water Quality Standards.The tribe wishes to strengthen current standards for the waters within Penobscot tribal territories, most specifically to address the health of fish consumed by tribal members. Following public input, the Penobscot Nation will present their standards to the US Environmental Protection Agency for approval, as allowed under the federal Clean Water Act for federally recognized tribes.
    b) We also speak with Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis on the water quality standards and on the current legal challenges. (We continue our interview with Chief Francis in next week’s program on 8-14-14)
    c) Earlier this month, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and Maine Dept of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Patrica Aho, filed suit against the US EPA in attempts to establish jurisdiction. The Penobsacot Nation also currently has a case against the Maine Attorney General’s Office to likewise establish he definition of tribal waters and the tribe’s sovereign right to control water quality.

    Guests:
    A) Jean Lewey, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Tribal member
    B) Reena Loure (sp?), Penobscot Tribal member
    C) Reuben “Butch” Phillips, Penobscot Tribal member
    D) James Sappier, former Chief of Penobscot Nation
    E)Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot Tribal member
    F) Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation

    No Comments