A User’s Guide to Social Change

Welcome back to A Community of Voices: Radio for the People, Powered by the People.


In the summer of 2006, a movement was born to fight corporate greed, government corruption, and a lack of transparency and accountability.  I’m not talking about a pre-cursor to the Occupy Movement, but rather, Casino Free Philadelphia, a highly motivated and determined group of individuals fighting to keep casinos out of their Philadelphia neighborhoods. 


It was said to be a David and Goliath style fight: the people fighting big business and well connected elected officials.  And the people refused to back down.  Instead of seeing their situation as a losing battle, the community organized in an attempt to show, once and for all, that strength and power of the people can overcome any obstacle.
My guest today is Daniel Hunter.  Daniel is a Training Elder with Training for Change, a non-profit that provides activist training for non-violent strategy around the world.  He was also one of the leading voices and organizers in Casino Free Philadelphia’s fight for justice.  His book, Strategy and Soul: a campaigner’s tale of fighting billionaires, corrupt officials, and Philadelphia casinos, serves as a first hand account of their campaign in Philadelphia, as well as a user’s guide of how to achieve social change.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Isolation of the President

Welcome back to A Community of Voices: Radio for the People, Powered by the People.

In all of our lives we can develop a sense of isolation.  Some people develop this feeling because they work too much and don’t have enough time to themselves, or because they are unable to engage with friends and family due to their busy schedule.  One individual that clearly demonstrates this idea of isolation is the President of the United States. 


Many see the role President as the best job in the world.  But as we will be discussing this week, the role of America’s President can be lonesome, and overwhelming and quite frankly, can lack the human interaction that we all need.
My guest this week is Ken Walsh.  He is the one of the longest serving White House Correspondents, serving as the Chief White House Correspondent for US News and World Report since 1986. Ken is also the author of 6 books, including his latest, Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s President and the Crisis of Leadership.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

GTMO: An Update on the Infamous Detention Center

Welcome back to A Community of Voices, Radio for the People, Powered by the People.

In 2002, former President George W. Bush opened a detention and interrogation center to house enemies of the War on Terror.  When first established, the facility located on a Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was thought to be above US law and legal practices, as well as above international human rights law.  Allegations of prisoner abuse and torture arose, causing the US Supreme Court to rule that inmates held at Guantanamo Bay had the right to minimal human rights and prisoner rights under Geneva Convention Standards.


It is difficult to understand exactly what is occurring inside the walls of Guantanamo Bay.  But through current and former inmate stories, stories relayed by the lawyers of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and through reports and studies done by outside organizations, the public is able to get a picture that includes allegations of torture, sleep deprivation, and religious persecution.  Most recently, a large portion of inmates has gone on a hunger strike, protesting their conditions inside. 

My guest today is Professor Mark Denbeaux.  Professor Denbeaux is a law professor Seton Hall University in in New Jersey and the Director of its Center for Policy and Research.  He is also currently the lawyer of a number of inmates at Guantanamo Bay.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Update on the Anna Louise Inn

Welcome back to A Community of Voices, Radio for the People, Powered by the People

A few months back, I had Mr. Stephen MacConnell on the show to discuss what was the on-going debate and battle between corporate abuses on the people.  For months and years, the Cincinnati Union Bethel, the non-profit which owns the Anna Louise Inn, had been fighting Western and Southern Insurance Company over the right for women to stay in their homes.  
It is with great sorrow that the Cincinnati Union Bethel agreed yesterday to sell the Anna Louise Inn to Western and Southern and move the women else where.  While the exact terms of the agreement are not public, it is a necessity to remember that when the people raise their voices, YOU can heard.  While this may be a loss for equality, we cannot let this set the precedent for future corporate actions.  
For a timeline of the events concerning the Anna Louise Inn and how the campaign has come to a final close, click here to visit the Cincinnati Union Bethel’s website.  
Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Wrongfully Convicted

Welcome back to A Community of Voices: Radio for the People, Powered by the People.

Last June, I had the opportunity to speak with Ray Krone.  Ray is a former death row inmate from Arizona.  Now the key word there is former.  He was put on trial and convicted and spent time on death row for a murder that he did not commit.  Simply put, Ray was a victim of a wrongful conviction.
So the question remains, how many other people like Ray are out there? How many people are sitting in prison, not just for murder, but for a multitude of crimes, that they did not commit?
Without a doubt that there are flaws in our criminal justice system and flaws in how punishment is given.  Mistakes inevitably occur, but how often they occur and the effects mistakes bring is a worthy topic to delve into.
In the search for justice, are we actually being destructive? Is there a solution to protect the innocent?
My guest today is Jim Petro.  Jim served as the Republican Attorney General in the State of Ohio from 2003 until 2007 and is the co-author, along with his wife Nancy, of the book, False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny