Monthly Archives: June 2016
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WRFG 89.3 FM Radio Free Georgia Broadcasting Foundation, Inc. provides a voice for those who have been traditionally denied open access to the broadcast media through the involvement of a broad base of community elements to guarantee that access.
In utilization of the Foundation’s facilities and in its programs the following communities will receive first priority:
1. Those who continue to be denied free and open access to the broadcast media,
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Issues of importance on the environment, human rights, poverty, health, animal rights, racial justice, war and peace are among many topics discussed on WRFG’s air waves.
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On the June 27 edition of The Labor Forum on WRFG 89.3FM, Attorney Mawuli Davis speaks to the recent failures of the legal system to hold police and others accountable for the deaths of Kevin Davis, Nick Thomas, Kendrick Johnson and Freddie Gray.This interview will be from 4:15-4:30pm
Gina Perez of Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights will explain the significance of the Supreme Court 4-4 decision on President Obama’s executive order concerning immigration.
Both of these issues represent life and death matters for workers and their families. The movements born of resistance to these crimes and nature of the system are educating and mobilizing millions of people, especially the youth. The Labor Forum asks how these struggles are creating class solidarity?
The Labor Forum airs every Monday from 4-5pm on WRFG 89.3FM.
For additional information, please go to http://www.wrfglaborforum.org
The multi-national working class in France is engaged in a mighty battle to protect their nationally guaranteed wages, working conditions and benefits The ruling elite of France is set on dismantling the laws that ensure workers’ rights and dignity.. Strikes and protests have taken place for months in cities and town across the country. On June 14, an estimated 1 million workers and youth rallied in Paris. Journalist Gregory Dunkel will provide details of this struggle and offer some comparisons to the labor movement in the US. This interview will be from 4:15-4:30pm.
On Saturday, July 16th, WRFG celebrates its 43rd birthday! Harlon Joye celebrates his 2000th show on WRFG!
On Saturday, July 16th, WRFG celebrates its 43rd birthday! Harlon Joye celebrates his 2000th show on WRFG! Why not have a party? We’ll do just that at the CWA Local 3204 Hall on Logan Street. We’ll have music with Hero The Band and DJ Tabone. We’ll party 7 pm till Midnight. Here’s to good times for WRFG!
Tickets are $10. There is also a Host Committee ticket for $100. As usual with WRFG, you can donate any amount you’d like over and above your $10 ticket!
- Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 11:59 PM (EDT)
- CWA Local 3204 – 279 Logan Street Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30312
Juneteenth celebrations will take place across the US this week-end, marking the emancipation of enslaved Africans in Texas on June 19, 1865.
Known as Freedom Day or Juneteeth Independence Day in Black communities across the US, The Labor Forum will examine its history and the legacy of slavery and white supremacy that underlies the current conditions and struggles of working people.
At 4:15pm, Anthony Ratcliff. Black Lives Matter activist and fellow organizer with Jasmine Richards will call in to update the WRFG audience about her case. She was convicted and sentenced to 90 days in jail for “felony lynching.” This California statute was enacted in response to racist white mobs seizing Black people from police custody by force. Ratcliff will describe what happened and how Jasmine’s arrest and sentencing represents a dangerous criminalization of anti-racists.
Tiffany Smith and Seyoum Bey will continue the discussion at 4:30pm, reflecting the views of young activists, organizing resistance in Atlanta, searching for solutions and solidarity.
The Labor Forum is aired every Monday,from 4-5pm on WRFG 89.3FM.
Audio and visual recordings of the program can be found on The Labor Forum YouTube channel and website.
For additional information, please visit our website http://www.wrfglaborforum.org
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2016
by Dianne Mathiowetz
I am deviating from the usual format today to offer some words in a tribute to the great Mohammad Ali whose death is being mourned across the globe.
Already there are hours of television specials and newspaper reports; the internet is filled with pictures and stories; all kinds of famous people have commented on him.
And most of those accounts have included his bold words when refusing the draft in 1967.
They bear repeating.
He starts by making it clear, he is defying the law by saying “I ain’t draft dodging… I am staying right here. You want to send me to jail? I’ve been in jail for 400 years.
I ain’t going 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, fighting you.
You’re my enemy, you’re my oppressor when I want freedom, you’re my opposer when I want justice.”
Ali had grown up under the vicious Jim Crow segregation that regulated and restricted Black people’s lives in Louisville, KY and throughout the South and the white supremacist ideology that permeated US society.
As 18 year-old Cassius Clay, he burst onto the world stage like a comet in 1960 when he won an Olympic gold medal in boxing. But despite his fame, he was denied a table at a Louisville restaurant when he returned home.
His conversion to Islam in1964 and taking the name Mohammad Ali made world news and reflected the massive change in consciousness taking place among oppressed people in the US but in anti-colonial movements worldwide
In a sign of the animus of the establishment, The New York Times official policy continued to refer to him in print as Cassius Clay, what he called his “slave name,” until 1970.
Ali’s refusal to join the US military in its criminal war in Vietnam cost him his boxing title and his livelihood. He also faced five years in prison.
During those years, he traveled the country, speaking out against the war. His phone was tapped like MLK’s and Malcolm X and so many others.
His conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1971, and Ali achieved the unthinkable by regaining his title. His bout with Jerry Quarry here in Atlanta was celebrated by many who felt it in their bones that he had “beat the Man, the system.”
While many of his famous quotes have been repeated and repeated, the ones extolling his prowess, humor, beauty and his ability to rhyme, little attention has been paid to his statements in solidarity with rebelling prisoners in Attica, his denunciations of poverty, police brutality, his continued opposition to war.
What has made Mohammad Ali so revered and respected around the world is that his solidarity with those fighting imperialism, racism and injustice never faltered, not when he was being acclaimed and toasted by the powers that be, not when he was being scorned, under surveillance by the state, and not when he was battling a devastating disease.
Ali broke the mold – he visited Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and stated his solidarity with their struggle against Zionism and occupation. He traveled to Cuba, South Africa, Iraq, so, so may places, targeted by aggressive and hostile US policy, not only meeting with leaders but always spending time with the people, with children.
I personally clearly remember the impact of the young Mohammad Ali, proudly declaring his refusal to fight in Vietnam and kill people who were fighting for their freedom as a turning point in my own life.
Mohammad Ali, Presente!
The Monday, June 6 edition of The Labor Forum brings news of today’s arraignment of Robert Olsen, the police officer who shot and killed Anthony Hill. Rise Up member, Caitlyn O’Reilly Green will discuss the significance of the charges and the involvement of Rise Up in raising issues of police accountability and needed treatment for mental illnesses.
Later in the program, Myles Calvey of IBEW #2222 will call from Boston to offer an analysis of the victory of the strike against Verizon. The large rallies, demonstrations and picketlines of thousands of CWA and IBEW members, striking for over 45 days were bolstered by broad community and union support. The resulting contract pushed back on many of the concessions and won union coverage for Verizon wireless store employees.
The Labor Forum airs every Monday from 4-5pm on WRFG 89.3FM. For additional information, please see http://www.wrfglaborforum.org
In a perverse misapplication of a 1933 California law intended to stop lynch mobs from forcibly removing detainees from police custody and engaging in public murders of Black people, Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine “Abdullah” Richards was convicted of attempted felony “lynching” on June 1, 2016.
The 29 year-old lead organizer for the Pasadena Black Lives Matter chapter was found guilty of charges related to an attempt to shield a Black woman from what she believed to be unlawful detainment by Pasadena police, following a “Peace March” that she and the chapter organized. While there are no allegations of violence and no injuries suffered, the peaceful gathering of 15-20 children, mothers, and community members was dubbed a “riot” by the prosecutor – a necessary element to the “lynching” charge.
Jasmine’s story is incredibly inspiring. Growing up in Pasadena, she has said she felt ‘lost’ until having a political awakening inspired by the Ferguson protests in 2014. Jasmine traveled to Ferguson as part of the ‘Black Lives Matter Rides’ and returned home feeling the call to fight back against police violence.
Unfortunately, her newfound purpose was met with aggressive harassment by law enforcement. Jasmine was repeatedly targeted for arrest and faced exorbitant bail amounts and excessive charges. Now local police and prosecutors have taken the extreme step of convicting Jasmine of felony attempted lynching – labeling her ‘Peace March’ a riot and comparing Black Lives Matter to the Klu Klux Klan in the process.
Judge Elaine Lu presided over the case and is set to sentence Jasmine “Abdullah” Richards on Tuesday, June 7th. Jasmine is currently being held in Los Angeles County jail. The charge could bring as much as 4 years in state prison. Jasmine has been fighting for her community. Please join us in standing with her and demand “No Jail Time for Jasmine.”