BlackBox Radio

November 28, 2005

BlackBox Radio for November 29, 2005

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 10:55 pm

Listen to the show: lower quality | high quality

On this week’s show: Michigan’s Northern Food Service and Falung Gong. Plus, the following local, national, and international headlines:

Local Headlines:
Making Mott Children’s Hospital Green
Ann Arbor School Redistricting
Confused Detroit Police
Starving For Access

National and International Headlines:
Resisting Thanksgiving
Starbucks Charged With Anti-Union Activity
US Government Charges “enemy combatant” Jose Padilla
Border Reopened Between Gaza Strip and Egypt


Local Headlines

Since April of this year, plans have been underway to build a new Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan. The building plans have drawn criticism, however, due to environmental and health concerns. On fliers that have been circulating throughout Ann Arbor, opponents of the building plans explained that “the hospital system is the largest consumer of power in Ann Arbor. Emissions from the U of M power plant blow east over low-income Ypsilanti and Detroit Neighborhoods, where asthma rates are through the roof. Our children’s hospital has a special responsibility to provide healthcare without harm.”

The flier went on to explain the benefits of a greener facility, such as cleaner indoor air and natural light to help kids heal while they are hospitalized.

Mott’s peer institution in Pittsburgh, which is currently planning on a green built facility for about $200 per square foot less than U of M’s proposed structure, was also cited as evidence of green building’s economic feasibility. Residents are urged to contact Mott leaders and show their support for an environmentally friendly Mott Children’s Hospital.


The Ann Arbor School District will hold a series of community meetings to discuss the redistricting process. All are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The meeting dates and locations are:
Dec. 1, Clague Middle School, 2616 Nixon Road.
Dec. 6, Tappan Middle School, 2251 E. Stadium Blvd.
Dec. 8, Slauson Middle School, 1019 W. Washington Road.
Dec. 13, Scarlett Middle School, 3300 Lorraine St.


Randy Kales, a twenty-one year old man, is suing the city of Detroit on charges of false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Kales was pulled over last month for a traffic violation. The Detroit Police immediately arrested him and imprisoned him for eleven days, saying that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

They were wrong. The Detroit Police Department was actually looking for his cousin, who had used Kales’ name when arrested on a fleeing and eluding charge. The man never appeared in court for the charges and a warrant was issued for his arrest. According the Detroit Free Press, Randy Kales is seeking more than $25,000 in damages.


In Flint, students are entering a 2nd week of protest outside the Michigan School for the Deaf. Ryan Commerson, a former teacher at the school, began his hunger strike named “starving for access” last week to call for better education for students, the hiring of a deaf principal, and employing staff members who are fluent in American Sign Language. The local protest has gained national attention and has been joined by a deaf and blind man from Minnesota and a deaf school counselor from Washington, D.C.

On Monday, 43 out of the 160 students at the school were suspended for participating in the protest. Senior-class President Tar Burt says the school needs to change but is resistant to calls for better conditions. Earlier in the week school officials said they had offered to talk with Mr. Commerson but that he canceled a meeting. Commerson has been on a diet of juice and water since last Monday. Updates of the ongoing protest can be found at



National and International Headlines:

While many Americans celebrated Thanksgiving weekend with feasting, family, and
shopping, others used the holiday as a time for resistance.

In Denver, Colorado, reports the Rocky Mountain News, the American Indian Movement
held a Thanksgiving fast, in which over 60 people vigiled outside the Colorado capitol building. Many of them fasted from sunrise to sundown to honor their ancestors and to show solidarity with other American Indians who are struggling against commercial development of sacred tribal lands

Cindy Sheehan and 200 others celebrated Thanksgiving by returning to President Bush’s ranch outside Crawford, Texas, where they protested the war in Iraq as well as recent laws enacted against camping or parking alongside public roads.

The day after Thanksgiving, many communities also celebrated Buy Nothing Day, an anti-capitalist holiday that attempts to counter hyper-consumerism by encouraging people to opt out and buy nothing on the biggest shopping day of the year.


The National Labor Relations Board has charged 15 Starbucks officials with an extensive array of anti-union acts including the discharge of two union members for organizing activity, according to New York City Indymedia (

The NLRB complaint alleges that Starbucks fired NYC union member Sarah Bender to discourage employees from engaging in protected union activity. Other alleged unlawful actions include the surveillance and interrogation of employee Anthony Polanco, and the issuing of a negative performance evaluation to employee Laura De Anda due to her union membership.

Stuart Lichten, the Union’s attorney from the labor law firm Schwartz Lichten and Bright, said quote “The sheer breadth of Starbucks’ anti-union activities is remarkable. The company has simply been breaking the law with impunity.”

In New Zealand, the world’s first strike at a Starbucks has spread to 10 other stores as employees spontaneously walked out to join over 150 fellow workers from KFC, Pizza Hut, and McDonalds.

Daniel Gross, co-founder of the Starbucks workers union in New York, said the strike was an important step towards changing working conditions for those in the fast-food sector all over the world.


The US government has charged “enemy combatant” Jose Padilla with a crime, three and a half years after apprehending him, reports the New Standard. The charge came days before the Justice Department was required to file legal arguments in the Padilla’s Supreme Court appeal of his detention.

Padilla was charged with providing and conspiring to provide aid to terrorists, and for conspiring to murder people overseas. These charges are far different from the allegations Padilla was originally picked up on: planning to detonate a radioactive device in a major US city.

According to Amnesty International, he was barred from seeing his family or an attorney until February of last year and the military continued to restrict his access to outside information and people – including his attorney – throughout his imprisonment.

“It is long past time for Mr. Padilla to have his day in court,” Human Rights Watch added. “It remains to be seen whether it is possible now to repair the damage done to the rule of law and the cause of justice by the past years’ worth of indefinite detention, incommunicado interrogation, and denial of the most basic due-process rights.”


Thousands have passed through a recently reopened border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, reports the Associated Press. Opened for the first time this last weekend, the Rafah Terminal is now under Palestinian control.

Before the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, Israeli security checks at Rafah, meant to stop militants and weapons smuggling, often caused delays of hours or days. During the past five years of fighting, Israel also imposed travel restrictions on Gazans between ages 18 and 45, and most couldn’t leave.

In mid-December, Palestinians also will be able to travel between the West Bank and Gaza for the first time in five years, at first in Israeli-escorted bus convoys.




  1. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by Mark — November 30, 2005 @ 4:55 am

  2. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by Mark — November 30, 2005 @ 4:56 am

  3. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by Mark — November 30, 2005 @ 4:56 am

  4. pleae respond to the question at:

    Best, Mark

    (sorry for the mess…)

    Comment by Anonymous — November 30, 2005 @ 4:57 am

  5. Is anyone besides me concerned about companies fleeing Detroit and discouraging people of color to remain or apply? The Teachers Credit Union comes to mind, over there on Puritan.

    Comment by Elmira Burnett — December 6, 2005 @ 11:47 pm

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    Comment by Burnell — February 24, 2010 @ 3:47 am

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