Sounds of Independent News - Headline 6 - September 2011

Sounds of Independent News - Headline 6 - September 2011

Clayton Conn

Hello world! Summer is winding down and we’re super excited for all that Fall has in store. Welcome back to our Baltimore-centric (although not exclusive) headline-news-round-up called Sounds of Independent News. We are committed to posting snippets of independent news, to help equip and inform local social justice activists and organizations. We are committed to posting regular segments and updates. We solicit your important news and announcements, as well as any suggestions and ideas. Email us at:



Earthquake in Baltimore!
This is news you already know. No one was reported injured.

Labor Day: Remember the Reason for the Season
Always observed on the first Monday of each September, Labor Day has nationally come to symbolize the end of summer, parties, and parades. But, let’s not forget the reason for the season, shall we?
In December 1872, a Canadian parade was staged in support of the fight for a 58-hour work week. Ten years later, on September 5th, 1882, Peter McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, and the Knights of Labor, organized a similar parade in NYC, based on the Canadian event. Many unions began celebrating that day as a worker holiday. Then, over ten years later, in 1894, a number of workers died at the hands of the US military and the US Marshals, during the Pullman Strike. Legislative bodies panicked, in fear of the labor movement’s upheaval to the deaths. In hopes to quel the fury, they quickly and unanimously made Labor Day a national holiday. And signed the holiday- aiming to recognize worker rights, into observance a mere six days after the strike ended.
While over 80 other countries observe May 1st as International Workers Day, otherwise known as: May Day. In memory of Chicago’s 1886 Haymarket Massacre, where police fired on and killed many peaceful protesters that were convening during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, well over a century later, the United States continues to ignore the politically charged worldwide recognized holiday. Instead, we celebrate, though rarely remember the history behind Labor Day -- the holiday that Congress passed, in order to subdue worker fervor, instead of empower it.

In related news:
The Wobblies are Coming! : IWW Delegate Convention comes to Baltimore
Today, as capitalism continues in its explosive crisis, workers of the world call for a new labor movement, where our rights won’t simply be recognized one day per year but inherently upheld through revolution each day, every year.
The Industrial Workers of the World, i.e. the Wobs are convening on Baltimore this weekend for their annual Delegate convention. In their own words, the IWW is: a member-run union for all workers...IWW members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow.
The IWW has historically been one of the few unions to recognize unequivocal human rights, fight for a world without bosses, stand in solidarity with historically disempowered communities, and place at the heart of its movements revolutionary action

This Labor Day weekend, as our city becomes overrun with tourists yearning to watch the Grand Prix-- here in Baltimore, workers across the world will also be gathering to democratically engage in discussions and decisions -- planning and fighting for a better world. Listen for chants of: Solidarity forever! - and - Workers of the World Unite!

Baltimore Journalist Free in Libya
After five months of being disappeared in Libya, Matthew Van Dyke, a 32-year old Baltimore journalist and native, has turned-up free and alive. The journalist was covering the on-going revolution and rebellion in Libya, when he was captured by Gadhafi forces, in March of this year.

Van Dyke was held in solitary confinement, at the Abu Salim prison, up until his liberation by rebel forces, when they stormed Tripoli this past week.

Van Dyke has been in contact with family members and is now seeking a way to return to the U.S. On Van Dyke’s condition, his mother Sharon Van Dyke was quoted saying, "He sounded fine other than, he said he thought maybe he lost his voice because he didn't have anybody to talk to for six months."

Civil Disobedience for the Environment: The Tar Sands Action
Since August 20th, thousands of protesters have staked out in front of the White House, in an act of civil disobedience. They are calling upon President Obama to reject Big Oil’s requested permit to place a Keystone XL Pipeline from the tar sands in Canada to the refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. If this were to happen, over 900,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil would be sent to US refineries. Which, many climate change experts, decry as “game over” for the planet. Though the sit-ins have been inherently peaceful. Close to 900 protesters have been arrested.

Sounds of Independent News, denounces the slaying and femicides of two Mexico City based journalists. Ana María Marcela Yarce Viveros, of the Investigative Media outlet, Contralinea, and Rocío González Trápaga, a freelance journalist and contributor to Televisa, who were both found this past thursday strangled in the neighborhood of Iztapalapa, in Mexico City.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which monitors journalists’ deaths, imprisonments, and other forms of intimidation, Mexico is increasingly becoming one of the most dangerous places for Journalists to work, due primarily to the escalation of violence, related to the drug war, since Felipe Calderon took Mexico’s presidency, in 2006.

A Call to Action: Occupy Wall Street!

Originally started by the anti-consumerist publication Adbusters, a now gone viral call-to-action has spread to Occupy Wall Street!, starting on September 17th, and theoretically lasting ‘til the end of the year. Inspired by the Arab Spring movement, anti-corporate activists in the States aim to see, “...20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.”

Numerous groups, including the now infamous hacker group: Anonymous, have publicly signed-on to make the action epic. Thousands claim intent to attend the protest via social media sites. The goal is to:  1. Demand an end to the “abuse and corruptions of corporations, banks, and governments.” - and- 2) With a longterm goal of having numerous protestors set-up tent to occupy the various financial districts - the coordinating group: Occupy Wall Street- aims to create a mass building of community- to build something up- rather than tear something down. Organizers state that they will refuse to move until their demands are met, regardless of what the government has in store.
Occupy Wall Street proclaims: “When our leaders can no longer be trusted, it becomes the duty of the people to fight for social justice.”


In the Belly, a Prison Abolition Play
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
The Whole Gallery
Insurgent Theatre is bringing their play IN THE BELLY to Baltimore this Saturday.  IN THE BELLY depicts long term solitary confinement in order to begin a critique of the entire US prison system. This collaboratively developed workshop piece draws from many prisoner accounts, audience feedback and close study of history, including ideas from Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish. One third of the money raised will go to supporting Ohio Prisoners via RedBird Prison Abolition.

The Lesbian Avengers with Dulcey Lewis
Friday, September 9th, 2011 @ 7pm
Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse
Dulcey Lewis a local activist and study of The Lesbian Avengers will discuss this direct action activist group. originating in the 1990s, that with a mix of solid organizing skills, creative actions and media, and guts to spread their message of fierce lesbian love, lust, protest and power. Come learn about their fight for lesbian survival and visibility - and why we should not only remember them today but also inherit and continue their struggle.

Advocacy and Empowerment Boot Camp

Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th, 2011 from 10am-6pm both days
Gay and Lesbian Communiy Center Baltimore
Thanks to the local coalition of advocacy groups in Maryland, the Advocacy and Empowerment Boot Camp seeks to educate/empower trans people and their allies to advocate and become leaders in the battle for gender identity and expression protections by teaching people to tell their stories and advocate for the changes they need in their communities.
There is a $5 suggested donation.

SlutWalk Bmore
Saturday, September 17th, 2011
Start point: 500 block of Light Street
A now worldwide movement, SlutWalk comes to Baltimore for people of all genders, ages, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and economic statuses to take the streets back and  create a dialogue in order to bring an end to attitudes that normalize victim blaming in sexual assault cases. Please feel encouraged to come in your “sluttiest” attire.

Chile Under Pinochet: Survivors Tell Their Story

Monday, September 12th, 2011
Howard County Library -- Elkridge Branch

Let us not forget the other historical September 11th when in 1973 a US backed coup put Agusto Pinochet into dictatorship in Chile, replacing the socialist government of Salvador Allende. The Pinochet regime was notorious for it’s secret prisons and torture.

Come listen to two torture survivors from Chile’s Pinochet regime:
Pedro Alejandro Matta and Maria Stella Dabancens, as they discuss their stories, the US & Chile Solidarity Movement, and realities of Chile today.