Sept. 23: Armine Yalnizyan on corporations; Dr Cecil Houston and UWindsor’s Digital Journalism program

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Listen to entire program here: 

Armine Yalnizyan @ 5:30 mark

Dr. Cecil Houston @ 48:29 mark

Windsor as a company town. Photo: Frank Gunn, April 20, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press )

It is often said that Windsor and many cities and towns like it in manufacturing or resource extraction are union towns because of the high number of blue collar workers. But they can be described as company towns – in my mind a more accurate description. Large corporations locate where profit can be derived and workers hired, and in the 20th century workers struggled to form unions so they could collectively gain and maintain good wages, working conditions, benefits and pensions. So first came the company, then came the towns. Windsor and Detroit, as we’ve mentioned many times before, are ground zero in the de-industrialization department and it continues to be a struggle to defend good wages, benefits and so on. Much work is done to bring new industry here and the assumption is that if that worked before then it will work again. However, do corporations create jobs; do politicians? What is the role of corporations? Armine Yalnizyan, an economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives spoke to me on Friday.

If you are into statistics and your ear perked up at the mention of Income Dynamics check out this link.


Two weeks ago Professor Jim Winter was in the studio to talk about the new digital journalism program at the university and his concerns for the Communication, Media and Film Studies course here.  Dr Cecil Houston is the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UWindsor.

We had only a short time to speak and you’ll hear that Dr Houston said he did not want to privilege one program over another. However, there is no getting around the fact that the Communication, Media, and Film Studies program is losing full professors as the Digital Journalism program is phased in with sessional instructors. More investigation is needed into the Digital Journalism program, especially in light of what Station Manager Adam Fox told me after the program that it depends on what we mean by the term digital journalism, especially in relation to what we mean by investigative journalism – the power to critique those in power.

Here’s an account of life as a digital journalist from the comment section for the article linked below: 

  “… the vast majority of us work at community newspapers where investigative reporting is practically unheard of and most are just trying to rise above in an atmosphere that provides precious little in the way of recompense or positive recognition. Layout, photography, posting web content, copy editing — in addition to filing 20 plus stories to multiple deadlines each week — doesn’t exactly foster award winning exposes. Hell, I can’t even get paid for the hours I work much less get tied up in knots about intricate ethical issues and the like. Show me a place where I can turn for support and advocacy in the basic battle to have minimum employment standards met and how to maintain a semblance of independence from the advertiser’s sway without jeopardizing my job and then we’ll talk. $14 an hour, a crushing workload and a recession that reduced what little professional development there was to virtually nil. Is this all I get for my degree? Love the CAJ and glad you’re still fighting the good fight on all those macro issues, important as they are, but, with my own plans to leave the biz, possibly for good, it seems to me if a way can’t be found to improve things for the front line workers at community papers much else is moot”  (Source).


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From Gaza to Tahrir Square, the People’s Resistance Lives
Public Meeting and Book Signing with Joyce Chediac,
Author of new book, Gaza, Symbol of Resistance
Saturday, October 1, 2011, 5:00 pm
5920 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202 (at Antoinette, just north of Wayne State University)
Dinner Served — Donation $5 — $1 unemployed
Joyce Chediac is the editor of the new groundbreaking book, “Gaza: Symbol of Resistance.” She has been an activist and writer on Palestinian and Middle Eastern issues for many years. She recently travelled to Egypt to report on developments in the revolutionary movement that has swept the country and the region since the beginning of this year. Her talk will analyze the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, the growing tension between the Egyptian revolution and the state of Israel and the impact of the Arab Spring on U.S. and Middle Eastern relations. Chediac is a healthcare worker and a frequent contributor to Workers World newspaper based in New York. A book signing will follow the meeting.

“Gaza, Symbol of Resistance is a great resource for people of conscience”
– Dr. Sami Al-Arian, Palestinian political prisoner in the U.S.
Click image for more information
 GAZA: Symbol of Resistance

Edited by Joyce Chediac

Foreword by Ramsey Clark

This book documents Israel’s war crimes in the Gaza Strip and narrates how Gazans withstood siege and war, refusing to give up the right to choose their own government.

Gaza’s courage inspired a worldwide solidarity movement determined to break the blockade and deliver needed aid.

This book describes how the major world powers, especially the U.S., supported Israeli’s criminal blockade and bombing. And it explains why these governments acted in the face of popular opposition.

What makes this book special?

  • It gives a comprehensive and lively narrative of the recent history of the Gaza Strip which does not assume previous knowledge.
  • It provides hard facts from the U.N.’s Goldstone Report on Israel’s 2008-9 war on Gaza.
  • It contains eyewitness testimony from participants in three Viva Palestina humanitarian convoys, which broke the blockade of Gaza and delivered aid.
  • It reviews a history of African-American solidarity with Palestine.
  • It explains why the Egyptian government enforces the Israeli blockade of Gaza while the Egyptian people oppose it.
  • It gives voice to Palestinian forces censored out of the establishment media, including Hamas, and Palestinian activist groups who explain how best to support their cause.
  • It incorporates statements from Jewish people who oppose the torture of Gaza, including Israeli soldiers who fought in Gaza, Israeli military resisters and Jews from the U.S.
  • It gives the facts on why the giant U.S. media conglomerates won’t give the Palestinian people fair coverage and are actually tied in with arms makers who make huge profits off Israel’s aggression.


Sept 16: David MacDonald and DEBT!; Brad Cundiff and how Ontario’s political parties stack up on the environment

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Listen to entire program here: 

In the first half hour: David MacDonald: @ 1:22

What are debt and deficits and why does the media continuously echo leaders who say reining in debt is why we need to endure social spending cuts. When a subject like the need to rein in debt is heard over and over again it begins to take on the veneer of an unassailable truth – I think that’s called propaganda. The thing is debt and deficits are real things and matter to real people, and not just bankers. At this level of saturation it’s probably a good time to get back to the basics and ask basic questions such as what are government debt and deficits.  This is especially important now, because when Parliament resumes on Monday the 19th, we’re going to be hearing about the need to cut social programs to pay down the debt – and hearing this on a scale not seen since the 1990s. We’ll hear about cutting taxes at the same time as reducing the debt, and this will mean cutting spending.

Yet taxes are the means we use to provide public services we need, like income protection, public transit, and the list goes on. Taxing is how we redistribute wealth and it’s no accident that an attack on unions is proceeding in tandem with calls for tax cuts. Unions also work to redistribute wealth for the good of overall society.  I spoke to David MacDonald, research associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – a research organization perhaps best known for its alternative federal and provincial budgets that governments don’t listen to – but they should, about debt – public and private.

In the second half hour: Brad Cundiff: @ 20:49

Ontario is in election mode and we wondered where the parties stand on environmental issues. In Windsor, the area is placing high hopes on green energy jobs and the Hudak conservatives have said they will undo the current government’s efforts.

Click on image for more info on the Micro Feed in Tariff program

Nothing is perfect but it seems what the McGuinty liberals started should be built upon, not destroyed. Brad Cundiff spoke with me about where the four main parties diverge after they answered a questionnaire put out by the Green Prosperity Initiative.  Be sure to also check out Windsor’s Citizens Environment Alliance, a member organization of the Green Prosperity Initiative.

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Sept. 9: Prof Jim Winter and the digital journalism program at UWindsor; Abayomi Azikiwe and the 9/11 Wars

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Listen to entire program here: 

Prof. Jim Winter: 3:01

Abayomi Azikiwe: 36:13

In the first half hour I spoke with Professor Jim Winter in the studio about the plans for a digital journalism program at UWindsor and what that might mean for the Communication, Media and Film program. The discussion ranged from the move to a downtown location for parts of the CMF program, to how the university seems to be silencing critical voices in the faculty. Critical journalism is crucial today, perhaps more than ever, as we move into the post-democratic age in which managed messages – propaganda – pass as fact and questions are suppressed. 

Lambton Tower: current home of the CMF program at UWindsor

In the second half hour we heard Detroit activist Abayomi Azikiwe in the 911 aftermath.

Click on image for more on Abayomi Azikiwe

The deaths and destruction 10 years ago unleashed a devastating US response, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That response has had a huge cost in terms of lives and wealth – lives of people lost who had no connection to the alleged 911 attackers.  We went on to discuss the mobilization of  the peace/anti-war  movement aiming to confront the NATO/G8 meeting in Chicago next May.

We seem to have a stark choice: permanent war and economic “austerity” at home, or mobilize for peace and an economy that includes all.

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OPIRG Calendar:

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Sept. 2: Julia Putnam and The Boggs Educational Center; Melina Laboucan-Massimo and Tar Sands protests

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Listen to entire program here: 

Julia Putnam: 7:19

Melina Laboucan-Massimo: 37:30

Next week begins a new school year including classes here on campus. All of us are products of many societal influences, and next to home and parents, school is where we are socialized to carry on whatever traditions society has determined make a model citizen. Academics refer to this as reproducing the social order. Without realizing it we learn from a young age how to work according to the clock, obey authority and how to earn a living. It’s not until we make our way to university that we start to confront critical thinking and examine the society that has produced us. Even then, that will occur in the humanities – a university sector under funding pressure and questions to its relevancy. Increasingly universities are being structured to turn out professionals who are trained to be able to make their way up a career ladder; and to do that, it is necessary to simply accept the status quo. The old saying, ‘go along to get along’ is an accurate credo. None of my comments are meant to impinge on the integrity of teachers, most of whom strive to care for their students as they work under often difficult conditions. As well, schools on this side of the border are not yet facing the harsh realities of Detroit.

Julia Pointer Putnam, an educator in Detroit,  talked to us about her experience in 1992 at the Detroit Summer School and how that influenced her today as she and others work to bring into being a new school in Detroit: the Boggs Educational Center.

Detroit Emergency Manager: Click HERE

Information on Michigan Charter Schools


For years the Alberta Tar Sands have been in the news and for those who check in to alternative news sites such as The Dominion, it is clear the Tar Sands should rank as an environmental crime against humanity. Tar Sands exploitation means more water depletion in Alberta, the extensive use of natural gas to create steam needed to get the bitumen to the surface, the shipping of the corrosive sludge to refineries and the end use of it as a fossil fuel contributes to further global climate change. Many believe the Tar Sands must be stopped. Yet production is planned to be ramped up with the building of a cross continent pipeline – the Keystone XL project to build a second pipeline – to ship the bitumen to the Texas coast for refining. Protests have been occurring in Washington DC with hundreds of arrests planned to help make the world take notice of the pipeline project and the further damage to the environment that will occur. And the unfolding disaster it’s not just global warming. The route of the pipeline cuts straight through one of the largest aquifers in the United States, so any leak would destroy the drinking water of millions.

Several organizations are organizing a protest at Parliament Hill demanding that the XL Keystone pipeline be cancelled. On Monday, Sept. 26, Canadians are being asked to make a stand against the pipeline project in Ottawa at Parliament Hill. I was able to speak to activist Melina Laboucan-Massimo in Washington DC about the protest there and the planned Canadian action on Sept. 26.

On Sept. 24, Windsor on Watch is calling on people in Windsor/Detroit to make a stand against the latest assault on our environment and join in for the Moving Planet Toxic Tour 1PM at the Caron Ave pump station on the Windsor riverfront, and a gathering afterwards at the Phog Lounge.

Recent James Laxer Tar Sands related article

Featured CD

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OPIRG Windsor Calendar of Events


Saturday, Sept. 3 at 1pm @ OPIRG Exchange Coffee House and Reading Room (372 California Between Eco House & Campus Community Garden)

The Palestinian Solidarity Group meeting is open to everyone. Anyone who cares about Palestinian issues and wants to take action to support them should come.

For further information visit


Every Saturday 11 am. to noon Ottawa Street across from Market Square

Canadians Say, Get out of Afghanistan Now!

Occupation is not Liberation

Invest in our Communities, not in War

For more information email: Windsor Peace Coalition <>


Monday, September 5 • 9:30am – 4:00pm CAW 200/444 Hall, 1855 Turner Road to Fogular Furlan Club, North Service Road East Windsor for more information visit:


Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 3pm @ OPIRG Exchange Coffee House and Reading Room (372 California Between Eco House & Campus Community Garden)

Join us for a peer led recovery group – RAINBOW RECOVERY!

Every Wednesday @ 7pm

This group is for anyone affected by alcoholism or addiction of any kind.

We will be meeting every Wednesday from 7pm – 8:30pm at the Windsor Pride Centre (422 Pelissier). You don’t need to be there every week to come along!

We welcome the LGBT community and our allies ♥ (Alanon, Narnanon, NA, AA, Gamblers Anon – all welcome, and more!)

For details email us at

Saturday September 10th, from 10am – 3pm.

PECHE ISLAND DAY EVENT hosted by Peche Island (A. Laframboise) The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup

The day will include transportation to and from the island in the Detroit River, along with guided tours focusing on the island’s unique natural and historical features. The island’s marked trails are perfect for self-guided touring. Enjoyable and educational, this is a great event for the whole family!

Limited parking is available for this event, so people are encouraged to bike or bus to the marina. Litterless picnic lunches are welcome on the island, but no garbage is to be left behind. Boat transportation to the island begins at 10am, the last boat bringing people to the island will depart the mainland at 1pm. Boat boarding at Lakeview Park Marina, 9200 Riverside Drive East, Windsor. Light snacks and beverages are available for purchase.

Life jackets will be provided. However, please bring your own infant life jackets. Please note, this event may be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Peche Island Day is a free event and everyone is welcome to attend! For more information contact the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup at: 519-982-3722 or email:

September 10th 2:00pm

Windsor Workers Action Center – 328 Pelissier

FIBRE CRAFTING part of the Ecology and Freedom Workshop Series

Lindsay will teach us how to sheer, wash, prepare, spin and and knit our own wool.This workshop is essential for anyone interested in learning how to produce their own fabrique or clothes.

Organized by grassroots environmentalists, activists and volunteers.


September 17th 10am

WECSA Community Farm, 13th Concession Near McGregor

GREEN BUILDING WITH LOAD-BEARING STRAW BALE part of the Ecology and Freedom Workshop Series

Come out to WECSA to help build a small storage shed/greenhouse with a commitment to using natural (or reclaimed) materials and self-reliant building techniques. We are inviting the community to share in this project and come helpout. A shuttle will be available from Windsor.

Please email to reserve your seat.

Organized by grassroots environmentalists, activists and volunteers.