According to the review, the book explained “…how the crowd as an active subject of change—often positive, sometimes not—has been replaced by the passive crowd as object of control and regulation.” In his book, Sandine exposed the idea of approved crowds such as those in shopping malls and sports events, as opposed to, for example, peaceful protesters around the world who are subject to state violence.
On Black Friday in the US, Facebook users posted great photos showing people camped out at shopping malls ready to spend money while Occupy camps are being dismantled by the state. I wanted to touch base with Al Sandine again to see what he thought of the occupy movement and if it represents an awakening of ordinary people ready to throw off the passiveness of the last few decades in order to challenge the existing global oligarchy.
We had a couple of things to cover Friday and in the first half hour we had a discussion about Equality Effect, a Canadian human rights organization that “develops creative legal solutions to address the inequality of women and girls in Africa who are subject to some of the most appalling human rights abuses in the world today (Equality Effect currently works in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi)”.
One project, the “160 Girls” case is an effort to protect Kenyan women and girls from rape, an act that occurs every 30 minutes in that country. The other part of the problem is that laws exist to protect women and girls but are not enforced, so Equality Effect pushes to have existing laws in Kenya enforced.
To help us out in understanding the issue was University of Windsor student Maggi Swan-Tuomi, and on the telephone was Dr Fiona Sampson, Executive director of Equality Effect.
Welcome back and as you know I’ve been a participant of Occupy Windsor since we set up camp in Senator Croll Park Oct 15th. It’s been a huge challenge to learn how to be present in the park and manage our own affairs, providing assistance to each other, providing food and learning the realities of life here with homeless people coming by reminding us who’d park we’re really in. On Friday, city councilor Drew Dilkens dropped by the park and seemed ready to only focus on the grass in November, after a city recreation manager has already stated the grass is not a problem. I’d like to say to Councilor Dilkens the problems in this city extend far beyond park grass (I’ll chip in for seed by the way), libraries and aquatic centres.
The problems are the lack of adequate support for homeless people and the lack of services for the mentally ill who actually use the park when on a regular basis. Perhaps councilor Dilkens and his constituents are offended by the sight of tents in the park; however, they seem to lack concern for the people in need who are in the city parks all the time yet remain invisible. I’m sorry but have we exposed a problem for all to see thus making you uncomfortable? I hope so. In the meantime, the important work activists are doing continues in cities all around the world, exposing the hypocrisy and oppression of the state in all its forms. On that note, Destiny Turnboe gave us an optimistic review of Occupy Detroit.
Friday marked another Remembrance Day and I shared it with hundreds of others while at the Occupy Windsor camp near the cenotaph. The media has been interested in our presence there and a week or so ago there were rumours the mayor wanted us out of the park. In the course of a couple of general assemblies the camp decided to maintain a quiet and respectful presence during the ceremony and in the course of interviews, veterans and event organizers commented that we, in their opinion, had a right to be in the park and that the freedom to assemble and of speech was what they had fought for. And so the rumours were unfounded, the ceremony went off without a hitch and the only noise was that of an artillery piece that fired at intervals. Several people came to us to offer donations of food and to see what else we might need. The longer we are occupying the more time we have to talk to people and explain what we are all about and for me that is to create a space for dialogue and experimentation on how to work and learn together as a community. For those looking for answers a colleague put it best: the Occupy is the answer. Otherwise the short answer is we are looking to create ways to eliminate injustice, war, and economic tyranny, by living in community.
Meanwhile, other Canadians bravely stood against the military machine of Israel by attempting to again run the blockade of Gaza after a failed attempt last summer when the Greek government caved to Israeli pressure and refused the boats permission to leave port.
Taking the world by surprise, news of the second flotilla, Freedom Waves consisting of the Canadian boat Tahrir and the Irish boat Saoirse (sear shuh), came out only after they were at sea. David Heap and Ehab Lotayef were on the Tahrir when the Israeli military boarded it. They were detained and put in an Israeli prison. Early reports said they could be held for two months, but on Thursday Heap and Loytayef were back home. David Heap has been a guest on this program and is based in London where he is a professor at Western.
In the second half hour we talked to Justin at Occupy Detroit and he explained how he came to be involved and why Occupy is a crucial moment at a crucial time in history.
Friday kicked off this year’s pledge drive program with a goal of $30,000.00. I can’t say enough how important CJAM in particular and campus community radio in general are to the fabric of this community. Reaching this monetary goal will go a long way to allowing the station to increase power output so we can reach more people with a better signal. So on Friday we did our part to bring in some pledges and get more people excited about what we do at CJAM. Besides money there is a need for volunteers to do all kinds of things around the studio – from re-shelving cds to recording PSAs to making a pitch for your own program.
What I’ve done is put together a few clips of interviews and music guests we’ve had on during the year. We’ve maintained a blog for the program going back to Sept. 3 2009 and looking back you can see the evolution of the program from humble scratchings on a cave wall to the slick multi-media production it is today – just kidding – but we have come a long way and certainly it has been a privilege to bring as many interesting voices to your attention as possible.
For example, on Jan 7, I spoke to Jae Muzzin about his plans for a Radical History Conference planned for February:
On Feb 11 Nusrat Rahman and I had a really moving conversation with Rev Colin Smith, pastor of Sandwich First Baptist Church. The conversation was during Black History Month and Rev Smith spoke on the church’s connection to the Underground Railroad:
On May 6 I spoke to local lawyer and activist Victoria Cross about the recent Supreme Court ruling that denied farm workers the right to organize unions:
June 24th seems so long ago as November settles in and that day Windsor native Anna Atkinson came into the studio to play and sing “Mooniture” from her new cd of the same name. That evening she performed at MacKenzie Hall, and was also appearing in the Stratford production of The Grapes of Wrath:
On July 1 Michael Skinner, a researcher with the York Centre for International Security Studies, spoke to us about the Afghan detainee report that had been recently released:
On July 29th local artist Rayven Howard came in to the studio to play a couple of her own compositions and that was thanks to Victoria Townsend who heard Rayven play at Taloola’s and asked her if she’d like to come on the program:
Prof. Robert Jensen, who teaches journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of several books including Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream, and All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice. He spoke to us on Aug 26 about his ideas expressed in an article he wrote entitled: “Nature Bats Last: Notes on revolution and resistance, revelation and redemption”:
Since October 15th we’ve been talking about the Occupy movement that is still growing around the world and also in Windsor and Detroit. On Oct 21st I spoke to Destiny Turnboe and Joe McGuire in Detroit to get an idea of things there, and popular CJAM host Chris Crossroads, who also has been involved in the Occupy Windsor and Detroit actions, came in to the studio to sing an anthem he wrote using an old marching tune set to his words: