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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: Amy Browne
    Studio Engineer: John Greenman

    Today we welcome visitors from El Salvador and local residents who are working together through US-El Salvador Sister Cities. The right wing death squads in El Salvador’s civil war (1980-1992) were funded and trained by the US government, so alliances between citizens of these two countries may seem unlikely – but our guests explain how they are strong and mutually beneficial. We also look at some of the issues facing El Salvador today, and hear what Salvadorans are saying about the US presidential elections.

    Guests:
    Zulma Tobar, US-El Salvador Sister Cities staff, based in El Salvador
    Carly Roach, Volunteer with US-El Salvador Sister Cities, based in El Salvador
    Dennis Chinoy, PICA and City of Bangor Sister City Committee (with Carasque, El Salvador)
    Karen Volckhausen, Maine farmer and member of the MOFGA committee that has a sistering relationship with CCR, a rural communities organization in El Salvador
    Willie Marquart, WERU Finance Manager and former Sister Cities staff member- has worked with MOFGA committee and the sister stations WERU and Radio Sumpul in El Salvador

    Maine Currents is a weekly show featuring independent local news, views and culture. Catch us on WERU-FM every Wednesday at 4pm. Send story ideas, suggestions and comments to news@weru.org

    FMI:
    www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org/
    www.pica.ws/
    www.mofga.org/Programs/MOFGAElSalvadorSisteringProject/tabid/371/Default.aspx
    weru.org/radio-sumpul

    Past WERU reporting on El Salvador may be found here: archives.weru.org/?s=el+salvador

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  • 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/

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Segment 1: A rally in Skowhegan Monday kicked off efforts here in Maine to follow the lead of cities like Seattle and Minneapolis, and replace “Columbus Day” with a holiday called “Indigenous People’s Day”. Former Penobscot Chief Barry Dana organized the event:

    Segment 2: Students in Bangor are raising money to help provide access to clean drinking water in the West African country of Burkina Faso. We spoke with 2 of the organizers of this year’s annual
    benefit race, which will be taking place on the Bangor waterfront this weekend:

    Segment 3: A few other events happening this weekend: Saturday evening at 7 at the UU Church in Bangor, Sister Cities coordinator Cori Ring-Martinez, and Edith Portillo of the Association for the Development of El Salvador will be speaking on the topic of “Crossing Borders: Organizing in El Salvador and the U.S.: How US policy created the immigration humanitarian crisis, how the Salvadoran government and social movements are responding, and what international solidarity can do to help”. Also on Saturday, from 2-8pm, there will be a concert and fundraiser to benefit the Penobscot Nation’s defense of their ancestral River. There will be an opportunity to learn more about the Penobscot’s battle with the State of Maine in Penobscot Nation v. Mills, and hear about threats to the watershed. That will be held at the Sockalexis Arena on Indian Island. More information is available at the Justice for the River! facebook page.

    Segment 4: While all these events are happening, there is also a group of people walking across the state to draw attention to what they say is Maine’s “growing dependence on military production”. One of the organizers is Bruce Gagnon, of Maine Veterans for Peace and the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space:

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador last week and today, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country. This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated.

    Segment 1: As we wrap up our coverage today, we’re making connections with the efforts to regulate mining here in Maine. Background on Maine’s mining regs re-write, some words of advice for Mainers from representatives of First Nations communities that have dealt with mining (John Cutfeet and Aurora Conley), and Maine-based anti-mining activist Sidney Mitchell, a member of the delegation, reflects on lessons learned for her work here in Maine.

    Segment 2: News from Bangor’s Sister City Carasque and from WERU’s Sister Station Radio Sumpul – with translation by Cori Ring of Sister Cities.

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses for WERU staff member Amy Browne and volunteer Meredith DeFrancesco were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

    FMI: www.stopesmining.org/j25/

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador this week and next, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country. This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated.

    Today on the News Report we’ll hear from 2 First Nations representatives traveling with the delegation. John Cutfeet is from the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (“KI”) First Nation in Northern Ontario, and Aurora Conley is from the Bad River Band, Lake Superior Chippewa tribe in Wisconsin. They talk about how mining has threatened their communities, and how they’ve fought back:

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses for WERU staff member Amy Browne and volunteer Meredith DeFrancesco were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

    FMI: www.stopesmining.org/j25/

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador this week and next, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country. This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated.

    Segment 1: In a historic vote yesterday, the town of San Jose Las Flores voted to take action to ban mining in that municipality. The traveling delegation received training and became part of a team of international elections observers. Today we bring you Mayor Felippe Tobar speaking about the vote, announcing the results, and receiving a symbolic gift of solidarity from Aurora Conley of the Bad River Tribe, Chippewa Nation.

    Segment 2: The price of resistance to mining in El Salvador goes well beyond the hundreds of millions of dollars for which a now Australia*-based gold mining company is suing. Several anti-mining activists have been murdered. Marcelo Rivera, a young activist described by community organizations here as a charismatic leader, was found murdered in 2009 after receiving death threats. His murder was referenced, along with other acts of intimidation, when the delegation visited Radio Victoria last week. Radio Victoria is a community radio station, created after the El Salvador peace accords in 1993. Representatives from the station described the backlash against community members as well as the radio station:

    Catie Johnson of Sister Cities & Pedro Cavezas of International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador provide translation.

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses for WERU staff member Amy Browne and volunteer Meredith DeFrancesco were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

    *This is a correction – the News Report incorrectly stated that the corporation is based in New Zealand

    FMI: www.stopesmining.org/j25/

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Reporting from El Salvador this week and next, as we accompany an international delegation observing anti-mining activities in the country.

    This week a World Bank tribunal is holding final hearings in a lawsuit a mining company filed against this impoverished country, because they prevented further mining in an attempt to protect the estimate 5% of their water that is not already contaminated. We’ll have more on that on future programs.

    Yesterday we toured the now-closed San Sebastian gold mine in La Union. A village official told us about the impact mining has had there, on the water, land, and health of the community. Catie Johnson of Sister Cities translates:

    We also met with some “artisanal” miners at their camp outside one of the dangerous mining shafts:

    (For full disclosure: Travel expenses were paid through a grant from the Haney Foundation received by the Bangor based group PICA, which coordinates the city sister relationship with Carasque, El Salvador.)

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

    Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

    Program Topic: FMLN Candidate Declared Winner in El Salvador; Creating Local Economies in Maine; Action in Solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

    Key Discussion Points:
    a) Today, FMLN candidate Salvador Sanchez-Cerran was declared the winner in El Salvador’s presidential elections. We speak with a social movement leader about the elections unprecedented transparency and the issues the Salvadoran social movement hopes will be the focus of the Sanchez Cerran.
    b) We preview a conference titled “Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies”. This includes looking at definitions of economy and alternative models, including cooperatives.
    c) The Community Union of Ellsworth speaks on their upcoming demonstration in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Demonstrators will call on Wendy’s to join the other top five fast food chains in signing onto the Fair Food Program, committing them to pay farmworkers a penny per pound more for Florida’s winter tomatoes and to buy from growers adhering to a fair labor code of conduct.

    Guests:
    A) Marcos Galvez, director of CRIPDES ( Association for the Development of El Salvador ) www.cripdes.com/
    B) Cori Ring-Martinez, US El Salvador Sister Cities, election observer www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org
    C)Larry Dansinger, Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC) mainelocaleconomies.org/
    D)Jane Livingston, Cooperative Maine, cooperativemaine.wordpress.com/
    E) John Curtis, Community Union of Ellsworth, www.facebook.com/communityunionofellsworth?ref=stream

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