Monthly Archives: April 2017

WRFG Labor Forum Program on Monday,April 23

May Day is one week away and the pressing issues affecting the working class become more numerous and resistance multiplies.

Over the last several programs, The Labor Forum has highlighted historical facts about May Day, its origins and past struggles as well as
what is being organized in Atlanta for May 1.

On the Ap. 24th program, we will share the views of other communities being impacted by displacement and gentrification and deportation and detention, issues that will be addressed in May Day actions in Atlanta and across the country.

At 4:15,we will hear from Brian Eagan and Chris Yonker, artist activists who helped inspire a creative community of galleries, performance spaces and artist studios close to the 5 Points MARTA station in buildings largely abandoned for years. With the sale of Underground Atlanta to a developer intent on building luxury housing, retail and office space, this grassroots, vibrant,arts community is threatened with the loss of affordable and accessible work and living spaces.Tune in to hear about the fight against gentrification rises in still another part of Atlanta.

In recent days, the Somali community in particular has been hit hard in Clarkston by ICE agents who have taken long-time residents into custody. Several hundred Somalis across the country are likely to be deported back to their country of birth which is devastated by a drought and famine and suffers violence and strife from internal forces and outside troops.
At 4:30, Glory Kilanko of Women Watch Africa and Lovette Kargbo-Thompson with Black Alliance for Just Immigration will discuss the impact of US policies that cause African and Caribbean peoples to leave their homes to live in this country. The harm the recent orders from the Trump administration is creating in communities like Clarkston is largely an untold story.

The Labor Forum with its message of class unity and solidarity in action airs every Monday from 4-5pm on WRFG 89.3FM. For additional information, please see

WRFG Presents Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Thursday, May 4

Award-winning investigative journalist, author and co-host of Democracy Now!!, Amy Goodman will speak on Thursday, May 4 at 1st Iconium Baptist Church 542 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta 30316 at 7pm.
Tickets are $10.00 at the door or through

#DemocracyNow! is an independent, daily global news hour hosted by Goodman & Juan González. The program is heard weekdays from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on WRFG 89.3 FM.
#AmyGoodman began her journalistic career in 1991 by covering the #EastTimor independence movement. After she and fellow journalist, Allan Nairn witnessed a massacre of Timorese demonstrators, they were badly beaten by Indonesian occupying soldiers.
In 1996, she co-founded “Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report” at radio station WBAI in NYC. Twenty-one years later, it is broadcast on 1408 stations around the world as well as on television and the internet.

In Sept. 2016, Goodman and her crew traveled to Morton County, North Dakota to cover the months-long struggle led by Native people to stop the construction of the #DakotaAccess Pipe Line.
The non-violent actions of thousands of indigenous men and women along with many supporters, calling themselves “Water Protectors,” had remained a “non-story” to corporate media.
Democracy Now!’s film footage of private security personnel pepper-spraying and siccing attack dogs on a group of Native elders as well as Goodman’s own arrest on criminal trespass charges and later riot charges brought worldwide attention to Standing Rock.

Goodman is on a 60 city tour entitled “Democracy Now! Covering the Movements Changing America.” She will be talking about the grassroots activism challenging the status quo.
All proceeds from the May 4 program will benefit #WRFG 89.3FM, Atlanta’s independent, #CommunityRadio station since 1973.
For more information, go to or our Facebook page, WRFG 89.3 FM.

Link to the Facebook page:

WRFG LABOR FORUM program on Monday, April 17

With just two weeks before May Day, The Labor Forum speaks with organizers in Atlanta, Roanoke, Va and the Triangle cities of Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, NC to hear about their plans and why May day is important.

Beginning at 4:15, Ga Latino Alliance for Human Rights leader, Adelina Nichols will detail the actions scheduled for Atlanta on Monday, May 1.
Then Shelea Haskins from Roanoke and Manzoor Cheema from the Triangle will call in and describe what will be happening in their cities.

The struggle for the 8 hour day in the US is the impetus for what is now an internationally recognized day dedicated to worker solidarity in the fight for social and economic justice. The current vicious attacks on workers’ rights are fueling greater participation in May Day in the US and strengthening class solidarity.

The Labor Forum airs every Monday from 4-5pm on WRFG 89.3FM. For additional information,

Concert for the Incarcerated on Friday, April 21st

On Friday, April 21st from noon to 2pm Georgia Detention Watch will be hosting the Concert for the Incarcerated in front of the Atlanta City Detention Center in downtown Atlanta. The event is a collaboration between Georgia Detention Watch and local musicians, poets, artists, and activists who want to see an end to mass incarceration, immigrant detention, and deportation in our city. The Concert for the Incarcerated is part of a city-wide campaign calling for the permanent closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center and the end to all detention agreements between the City of Atlanta and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This event will highlight the brutality of the US system of mass incarceration with statements from affected communities while affirming the humanity of all by sharing music and art with those who are currently locked up. The Concert for the Incarcerated will be on Friday, April 21st from 12pm to 2pm at 254 Peachtree Street SW. For more information you can call Georgia Detention Watch at 815-222-2886.

Link to the Facebook page:

WRFG Labor Forum program on Monday, April 10

This is the third week of WRFG’s Spring Pledge Drive and The Labor Forum encourages all those who have been interviewed on the program and who have listened and learned about the many struggles of working and poor people for economic and social justice to contribute as much as you can to keep progressive, independent radio on the air.

You can go online any time at to donate, or call at 404.523.8989 or mail your check or drop it by in person at 1083 Austin Ave NE, Atlanta 30307.
Monday’s show highlights the varying kinds of workers who see a need to have a union and a collective bargaining agreement with management.
At 4:15-4:30, Emory University graduate students, Jonathan Basile and Anais Fern Stenson will tell us about the organizing drive on their campus to win recognition of their rights as university workers. Just as many corporations employ temp workers, colleges and universities are using adjunct professors and graduate students to teach more and more of the classes, paying them poverty wages with no benefits and no security. Union drives are happening across the country at public as well as private universities.
Then from 4:30-4:55, Randy Beall and Mitch Boyd, representing the Building Trades unions will talk about the apprenticeship programs in trades like heavy equipment operating, painting, bricklaying, electrical, sheetmetal work and other fields that offer good wages, safe working conditions and benefits as union workers.Their appearance on The Labor Forum and WRFG is part of an effort to reach out to communities, particularly young people,women and youth of color, to let them know of these opportunities.They will describe the various partnerships they have with civic organizations to bring economic and social benefits to the Atlanta community at large.
The Labor Forum airs every Monday from 4-5pm on WRFG 89.3FM.
For additional information, please see

Mark you calendars –Amy Goodman of Democracy Now in Atlanta on Thurs, May 4

WRFG is pleased to announce the return of Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman to Atlanta on Thursday, May 4.

Information about this special fundraiser for your community sponsored and supported radio station, WRFG will be available soon.
Organizations and individuals wishing to sponsor this event can call the WRFG office at 404.523.3471.
Mark you calendars and tell your friends, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on Thursday, May 4.

Rally for Medicare for All and Medicaid Expansion–Saturday, April 8

Rally for Medicare for All and Medicaid Expansion
2:30 – 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 8
Grady Hospital
80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE, Atlanta 30303

President Trump wants to go backwards and take health insurance away from 24 million Americans. We think it’s time to go forward and provide Single Payer, Improved Medicare for All, cradle to grave. Let’s Make America Great by making sure NOBODY falls thru the cracks. Everybody In, Nobody Out!

Until we have Medicare for All, let’s keep fighting to expand Medicaid for the ~600,000 Georgians who need it. Georgians are already paying for expanded Medicaid – in OTHER STATES which were smart enough to expand it. Why should Georgians’ federal tax dollars pay for healthcare coverage in other states while many Georgians have no health insurance and rural Georgia hospitals are closing in record numbers?

Join us! We will have signs, but feel free to bring your own. Everybody In, Nobody Out!

Sponsored by
HealthcareNow-GA (; the Campaign for Guaranteed Healthcare ( Health Students Taking Action Together (H-STAT) ( and Physicians for a National Health program (

With the closing of a major interstate in the heart of the city, Atlanta is facing a major transportation crisis. Traffic came to a standstill. Some parked their cars on side streets and chose to walk miles to get home. Schools have been closed. Workers must spend longer hours in their commute. Businesses and productivity will take a huge hit.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s response was to tell people to, “get your MARTA maps out.” The members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732, who have been moving people in this city for more than 100 years, are once again being called upon to provide the necessary service of public transportation that now an additional number of people will be depending on in the weeks and perhaps months ahead.

Is this crisis new for our community? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Three years ago, on Jan. 28, 2014, the entire region was paralyzed by a few inches of snow and ice. Interstates were turned into parking lots. Children were stranded at school or on school buses. Drivers reported commutes more than 15 or 20 hours long. Abandoned cars were everywhere. Thousands spent the night in stores and restaurants.

In response to that day, the Amalgamated Transit Union issued a statement, “A Snowy Day in Georgia – Wanted: Transportation Choices.” The paper outlined that the blame for the paralysis that day and for the gridlock we will now experience with today’s crisis “can be found in the decisions our region made more than four decades before.” It stated, “Atlanta has no transportation choices. Public transportation is simply not an option for the majority of the area’s 6 million residents.”

Why isn’t MARTA a truly “metropolitan” system? Why does it only serve three counties? Why is it the largest transit system in the country that receives no operating help from the state? Why are only Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties, and the city of Atlanta, expected to support and pay for a system that services the economic engine of the entire state? Why is there such a large gap between the riders who depend on MARTA and the jobs that are often located so far away in the suburbs? It is way overdue for these questions to be answered and solutions found to these problems.

The short answer to all these questions is the systemic racism to be found under the Gold Dome and in the communities that have refused to join MARTA and pay their fair share to the core regional system. While essentially receiving no state support, state lawmakers retained enormous control over MARTA’s fiscal policy by requiring that no more than 50 percent of revenues be spent on operations. This was amended only in 2015, after draconian service reductions were implemented because of sharp drops in sales tax collections due to the last recession.

MARTA has been starved on purpose. It has been denied the resources it needs to do its job. Suburban counties have created their own, privatized systems rather than join MARTA. In 2004, Dr. Robert Bullard, at Clark Atlanta’s Environmental Justice Resource Center, attributed this situation to oppressive race relations: “Until racism is reined in, the Atlanta region will continue to have a patchwork of unlinked, uncoordinated, and ‘separate but unequal’ transit systems feeding into and feeding off of MARTA.”

In its paper, the ATU called on the General Assembly to address our state’s mobility crisis in three ways: “Create a dedicated revenue source for public transportation to maintain critical service that keeps people connected to their community; Provide adequate funding for transit so that people have an alternative to driving to work; Abolish laws restricting the use of local transit dollars to avoid service cuts and fare increases.”

In the coming days, the members of ATU will step up, as they always have, to do their jobs. It’s time for politicians in this state to do the same.


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