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

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco, Jesse Dyer-Stewart, Amy Browne

    More on murder and intimidation of activists in El Salvador. Today we follow up on the death threats being levied against community radio Radio Victoria in Cabanas, El Salvador, following the murder of local community leader and activist Marcleo Rivera. we speak with Radio Victoria new director and to their sister radio station, WORT Community radio in Madison , WI. Co-produced and translation by Jesse Dyer Stewart.
    Guests: Isabel Gamez and Norm Stockwell

    The following emails are for the Attorney Generals’ offices in Cabañas and San Salvador, for the responsible police officers in Cabañas and San Salvador, and for an official in the U.S. Embassy.
    Email addresses: alberto.uribe@fgr.gob.sv,violetapolanco@pnc.gob.sv, angel.manzano@pnc.gob.sv, radelgado@fgr.gob.sv, astor.escalante@fgr.gob.sv, fatima.guardado@fgr.gob.sv, Elopez@fgr.gob.sv, laidlawpg@state.gov, joseph_4567@hotmail.com

    Fax: 503-2523-7170 (Attorney General’s Office, San Salvador)

    FMI: www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org, www.radiovictoria.org/ingles.htm, www.upsidedownworld.com

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco, Jesse Dyer-Stewart, Amy Browne

    The people of El Salvador are no strangers to right-wing paramilitary death squads and intimidation of community activists, and although the left-wing FMLN party candidate was elected president in March, members of those right-wing death squads–who were given immunity following the war in the 1980s—are still holding positions of power.

    Last month a community activist who had been working on efforts to protect the area from international gold-mining operations, disappeared. His body was found earlier this month at the bottom of a well, with obvious signs of torture. Since that time, other community activists have also been receiving death threats, including a Priest and the staff of Radio Victoria, a community radio station.

    Just hours ago we spoke by phone to Antonio Pacheco, Director of ADES, the Association for Social and Economic Development in Santa Marta, El Salvador. Jesse Dyer-Stewart translates.

    FMI: Asociación de Desarrollo Económico y Social – ADES Santa Marta
    Tel. (+503) 2382-1082/5 adessm@gmail.com , Web: adessantamarta.codigosur.net, and www.radiovictoria.org/ingles.htm

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco and Amy Browne

    Topic: The urgent impacts climate change will continue to have on food security through out the world. The G8 Summit in Italy this week has said they will examine these issues. Whether any plan will emerge remains to be seen. The leaders of the so-called Group of 8 or G8 countries are meeting in Italy this week in an annual summit to discuss global issues…

    Guest: Gawain Kripke, Oxfam America’s policy director
    To view report “Suffering the Science: Climate Change , People and Poverty” -www.Oxfam America.org. FMI www.350.org

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  • Producers/Hosts: Amy Browne & Meredith DeFrancesco
    Contributor: Eric T. Olson

    Topics: An interview with Father Joe Mulligan of SOA Watch regarding the situation in Honduras. FMI: www.soaw.org, and audio from the recent rally for Healthcare Reform in Bangor.

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco and Amy Browne

    Today we look at a stand Maine health care providers are taking against climate change, we hear about shifting policy on the application of industrial pesticides in the state and we look at Congressman Michaud’s TRADE Act which would reorganize US trade priorities.

    1.On Monday, Governor Baldacci signed a bill which will create a statewide registry for notification of agricultural pesticide application by aerial spray or air carrier application equipment.
    Guest: executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Russel Libby discusses what the legislation does and where it has fallen short on the protection of people and organic crops from pesticide drift. FMI www.mofga.org

    2.On Tuesday, 100 healthcare professionals from across the state sent Maine’s Congressional delegation a letter urging them to take decisive action to address climate change specifically the United States production of green house gases. The focus of the letter was the public health implications of climate change. We speak with Dr Lani Grahm, the co-president of the Maine Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her organization ,as well as the Maine Medical Association have stressed their deep concern on the issue. FMI www.psr.org/chapters/maine www.cleanandhealthyme.org

    3. A bill which would establish stringent standards for future free trade agreements, and the review and potential renegotiation of current free trade agreements, was introduced yesterday in Congress.
    HR 3012, the “Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment” or “TRADE” Act was introduced, with 106 co-sponsors, by Maine Congressman Mike Michaud, the Chairman of the House Trade Working Group.
    The TRADE Act would require adherence by country signatories to labor, environmental and human rights standards, as well as addressing the privatization of public services, intellectual property rights and procurement policies.
    Even more significantly, the Act would require a review, and potential renegotiation, of a number of current trade agreements, including NAFTA, CAFTA and the World Trade Organization’s Uruguay Round agreements, based on the Act’s new trade standards.

    Guest: Sarah Bigney, Maine Fair Trade Campaign www.mainefairtrade.org

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  • Producers/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco and Amy Browne

    (NOTE: This is a “fixed” version of the program, with the technical glitches edited out, and the complete first interview included)

    Segment 1: We talk with a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point about their council’s recent vote to terminate their relationship with the company who has been trying to build a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal there. It has been close to five years since plans for a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal were first visited upon the Passamquoddy Tribe at Sipayik, also known as Pleasant Point. It immediately sparked a controversy in which many tribal members felt Passamaquoddy history culture, environment and safety were being ignored by tribal, state and federal officials. The company Quoddy Bay , LLC, later named Quoddy Bay LNG, created by a large Oklahoma based company CEO, Donald Smith, who spear headed the LNG terminal plans with his son Brian Smith as project manager.
    We covered this proposed project and the resistance against it over the years, from the beginning of the project, through public hearings, demonstrations, council votes, a lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs and many discussions on the significance such a project would have on the small piece of residential land where the Passamaquoddy tribe has lived on the Maine coast from time immemorial.
    Though the last tribal governor and tribal council supported the Quoddy Bay LNG proposal and their payments, and though the company lobbied Pleasant Point and neighboring towns very hard, in October, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dismissed Quoddy Bay LNG application to contruct an LNG terminal on grounds that incomplete information had been provided on their proposed operation and technology. Earlier this year, the company Quoddy Bay LNG had hired to perform engineering work on its pipeline sued the company for failure to pay. Last July the company stopped its quarterly payments to the tribe.
    On June 9th, the Sipayik tribal council voted to end the project with Quoddy Bay LNG. This included vocal proponents of the project , including former tribal representative Fred Moore who helped to bring the project to the tribe originally.
    We spoke with Madonna Soctomah. She is a Passamaquoddy tribal member at Sipayik, a former tribal representative to the Maine legislature, and a member of the Passamaquoddy organization Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon (“We Take Care of Our Land”), as well as the 3 Nation Alliance www.savepassamaquoddybay.org

    Segment 2: On October 2007, a Peruvian Indigenous federation, representing 350,000 people in the Amazon region wrote a letter to the United States Congress urging them not to pass the US Peru Free Trade Agreement. In part, the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon wrote : “We are convinced that the Free Trade Agreement would give incentives for further irreversible destruction of virgin rainforest, which will in turn increase global warming and displace our communities from their home territories” . The letter also underlined the increased power the Free Trade Agreement would give to oil, gas and mining companies, including so called “investor rights”, which allow foreign companies to sue the Peruvian government if they perceive the governments laws hinder company business and future profits. This could include policies pertaining to sustainable development, which indigenous groups have been working on for years. Following the negotiation for the FTA, Peru opened massive tracts of land in the Amazon for oil, gas and mining exploration, including previously “protected areas” belonging to indigenous peoples. Over the past decades indigenous communities have suffered from massive pollution and health problems as a result of oil operations, most recently emphasized in a lawsuit against Los Angeles based Occidental Petroleum. Now 70% of Peru’s Amazon is zoned for oil, gas and mining.
    Regardless of massive campaigning and demonstration, the Free Trade Agreement was passed by Peru and by the United States Congress. Peruvian President Alan Garcia in turn passed a number of governmental decrees specifically aimed at adhering to the Free Trade Agreement ‘s stipulations and opening up the country to foreign investment.
    This is the backdrop and instigation for the past more then 2 months of peaceful protests by over 30,000 indigenous people on the roads and waterways in the Amazon; And now, two weeks ago, the government’s attack, killing at least 60, and by some reports 250 demonstrators. Indigenous protestors have been demanding the repeal of president Garcia’s decrees, which also according to national and international organizations violates the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the ILO Convention.
    We have with us today by phone Andrew Miller, the environmental and human rights coordinator for Amazon Watch. Thank you for coming on the program.

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco, Meg DeFrancesco, Amy Browne

    Today we revisit a proposed project in Milbridge, which would offer 6 units of affordable year round housing for farm workers in that community. On Tuesday, community members will vote on a moratorium which could stop the project.
    For over two years, the community organization Mano en Mano has been working on the proposed project. Mano en Mano works with the Latino immigrant community in Milbridge, where there are now reportedly 100 to 150 Latino year round residents, 22 of whom are children. The proposed housing, however, is open to any farm worker in the area.
    In the past years, two other housing complexes have been built in the town, and none have received the kind of opposition this one has, which appears to be focused more on the fact that many of those who would be served are immigrant workers.
    Mano en Mano and supporters of the project say the central issue is adequate and affordable housing for people who are living, working and going to school in the town, a town which has a 77 applicant waiting list for affordable housing opportunities.
    Interviews with:
    Anais Tomesko, director of Mano en Mano www.manoenmanocenter.org
    Jose Ocampo, Marina (last name not used) and Sylvia (last name not used)
    All three are immigrants from Mexico who have been working for a variety of farm and fishing industries in the greater Milbridge area, have children and are looking for affordable housing.

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  • Producers/Hosts: Meredith DeFrancesco & Amy Browne

    1) We talk about Maine efforts to organize against the escalating war in Afghanistan, including increasing pressure on Congress.
    2) Bisphenol-A, is an endocrine disrupting chemical used in the polycarbonate plastic found in multiple consumer products, including baby bottles and baby toys. The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine talks about the need to get it out off retail shelves now. We also discuss Maine’s new “Act to Protect Children’s Health and the Environment from Toxic Chemicals in Toys and Children’s Products”, which requires the state to identify chemicals of high concern, requires manufacturers of products sold within the state to disclose the use of chemicals on the list, and authorizes the state to require that alternative chemicals be used if they exist. Today the Alliance emphasized the need for decisive action and federal policy.
    Guests: Lisa Savage, local Maine coordinator for Code Pink
    Mike Belliveau, executive director Environmental Health Strategy Center. www.preventharm.org , www.cleanandhealthyme.org

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