Update on the Revolution: The Current State of Syria – Interview with Iara Lee

Update on the Revolution: The Current State of Syria

November 28, 2012

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Update on the Revolution: The Current State of Syria

Hello and welcome back to  A Community of Voices.  

It all started with graffiti.  A group of young boys painted “The people want to overthrow the regime” on a wall.  With those few innocent words, which are also the slogan for the Arab Spring, violence and civil unrest erupted throughout Syria.

Beginning as a non-violent protest against the human rights abuses and hardships inflicted on the Syrian people by President Bashar Al-Assad, it has turned into an all out, bloody civil war.  Syrian military and security forces have been fighting with the opposition forces known as the Free Syrian Army.

But what type of resolution can come from fighting violence with violence? How can peace be achieved when force is the norm? And why don’t more people know about the conflict?

This week on  A Community of Voices, I speak with filmmaker Iara Lee about her film The Suffering Grasses.  In her film, Iara analyzes what is happening on the ground and why the revolution needs to go back to its non-violent roots.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Mark Twain Was Right – The Cincinnati Riots

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices.

Social change and social justice can come at a pain-stakingly sow pace.  Sometimes society progresses inch by inch, fighting the entire way.  Other times, change is thrust upon us.

In 2001, racial tensions in Cincinnati, Ohio were coming to a boiling point.  African-American men were being arrested at an alarming rate.  15 men over a period of 5 years were shot by police.  Some cases were justified, others let the community wondering.

But in the early hours of April 7, 2001, Cincinnati and its residents were forced to confront these inequalities.  A young, African-American man by the name of Timothy Thomas was shot and killed by police while they pursued him.  Timothy’s death rocked the city, and set of the largest social unrest in the United States since the Los Angeles Race Riots in 1991 following the police brutality against Rodney King.

For four days, the community took to the streets to protest what they saw as discrimination, racial profiling, and police injustices.  While we are 11 years on, these conversations of race are still being had in Cincinnati and throughout the entire United States.

There are lessons that can be learned from our history to ensure that it does not repeat itself.  We must all fight for peace, justice, and social equality to bring about a better world.

My guest this week is Dan P. Moore, an activist and author of the graphic novel Mark Twain Was Right.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Creative and Non-Violent Resistance with Iara Lee

Hello and welcome back to  A Community of Voices.

Since people have walked the earth, we have struggled against oppression and injustices.  Some pick up arms and fight with weapons.  But others take another route.  Other rely on non-violent resistance.

Non-violence has been key in many movements throughout history.  From Mahandas Ghandi to Martin Luther King, Jr., non-violence has been proved to be successful.  But there is one avenue that is often overlooked: creative resistance.

Creative resistance is the notion that anyone can use their talents, be it music, or dance, or art, to fight for justice and push a movement forward.

This week, I speak with filmmaker and activist Iara Lee. Iara is the founder of the Cultures of Resistance Network and director of the film by the same name. 

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Fighting for Homes: the Anna Louise Inn

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices.

This week on  A Community of Voices, I discuss the on-going battle between the Anna Louise Inn, an affordable housing organization for women living in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Western and Southern Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company that wants to kick these women out of their home. 

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny