BlackBox Radio

December 23, 2005

BlackBox Radio for Dec 20th 2005

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 12:17 am

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On this week’s show: Max Sussman brings us information from both inside and outside the World Trade Organization meetings in Hong Kong. And Megan Williamson talks to Sheri Wander of Nonviolent Peaceforce about the organization’s international peacekeeping work in conflict zones. Plus, the following local, national, and international headlines:

Local Headlines:
Twelve Year-Old Student Arrested for Bomb Threat
Pittsfield Group Calls for Recall of Township Officials
Two Cent Gas Increase in Michigan to Fund Fuel Spill Cleanup
Videotape Shows State Trooper’s Murder of Homeless Man

National and International Headlines:
March for Human Rights / Right to Return for Katrina Survivors
Pentagon Listing of Suspicious Incidents
Former Sinn Fein Leader Exposed as British Agent
Colombian President Uribe Condemns Plot Against Chavez


Local Headlines

A 12-year-old girl was arrested Thursday in connection with a threat at a Clinton Township middle school. The bomb threat for Wyandot Middle School was made over the Internet last weekend, Local 4 reported.

Several students received information about the threat, which was allegedly sent via instant message. A parent learned of the messages and contacted police. Police sent bomb-detecting dogs to the school, but nothing was found. Classes were held Monday, but the approximately 600 students who attend the school were searched at the entrance.

The student who was arrested will face felony charges of using a computer to commit a false report for threat of terrorism. She could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors have not decided whether to charge the girl as a juvenile or as an adult.


A group of concerned citizens called “A New Pittsfield” have initiated the process of recalling the Pittsfield Township Treasurer, Supervisor, and Clerk. The recall is due in part to the citizen’s concern over the way Township officials have failed to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens in their handling of a proposed Wal-Mart development.

FOIA documents revealed that the Washtenaw County Road commission staff “urged” the officials to consider changing the main entrance to the proposed Wal-Mart away from Campus Parkway. Hundreds of citizens and the Saline Schools Superintendent have also requested this change, but the township officials refused.

Local citizens are demanding that their voice be heard in regard to the new store location and its distance from local schools, to ensure the safety of young students. The proposed parking lot for the Walmart is currently zoned to lie within 1,000 feet of school property.

If you are a registered voter of Pittsfield Township, you can support the recall by signing the petition. Email anewpittsfield (at) yahoo (dot) com if you want to sign the petition or distribute it around your neighborhood.


Drivers could be asked to pay more per gallon at the gas pump to fund cleanup of little known fuel spills occurring underground all over the state Michigan. More than 7,000 leaking underground storage tank sites in Michigan are contaminating the ground and water sources almost 20 years after federal laws were passed to clean them up.

The state’s goal is 600 cleanups a year, but only 265 were completed during the past year due to lack of money. An advisory council is proposing a 2-cent-a-gallon fee on the wholesale price of gasoline to the state Legislature.

Petroleum can enter storm sewers and foul streams and rivers, contaminating drinking water. Spills also enter homes and businesses, creating dangerous vapors.

Even without the threat of fires and explosions, DEQ officials say LUST sites should be cleaned up to protect Michigan’s drinking water, half of which comes from groundwater. Measures must be put in place to ensure money set aside for cleanups is used for what it’s intended, said Kenneth Vermeulen, chairman of the advisory council. The Michigan state legislature habitually dips into the fund to pay the state’s bills, he says.


Following up on the trial of State Trooper Jay Morningstar, who is charged with the murder of a homeless man named Eric Williams, the Michigan Citizen reports that new evidence has been introduced.

A Detroit police car videotape of the killing of Williams shows the homeless man, with his pants down at his ankles, being shot at point-blank range by Morningstar only five seconds after the trooper exited his patrol car.

A witness testified that just prior to the incident, Williams had been physically thrown out of the Detroiter Bar after aggressively begging customers for money, and had then pulled his pants down to moon the bar workers.

A Detroit police officer was summoned to the scene. That officer stated he did not draw his gun because he felt that Williams was not a threat. It was at this point that State Trooper Morningstar and his partner accidentally happened upon the scene.

Morningstar is white, while Williams was Black. The jury has only three African- American members. Eleven white jurists comprise the remainder.



National and International Headlines:

New Orleans Indymedia reports that last Saturday, Fifteen hundred people gathered in New Orleans for the March for Human Rights and Right to Return for Katrina survivors. The March followed the Gulf Coast Survivors Assembly in Jackson, Mississippi, where Katrina victims drafted a People’s Declaration entitled Survivor’s Assembly Demands.

The list of demands included: a demand for temporary housing and access to healthcare and education, an end to price gouging and evictions, the demand that local residents must take the lead in the rebuilding of their communities and must be hired to do the work, and a demand for representation on all boards that are making decisions about relief and reconstruction. Marchers delivered the list of demands to City Hall at the end of the march.

Both events were co-ordinated by the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund. One of the major aims of this coalition is to “initiate an action plan to rescue the Black population and all oppressed populations from their dependency on racist and incompetent governments.” A full copy of the Survivors Assembly demands can be found at their website.


According to a document obtained by NBC News, the Pentagon has been spying on 1,500 “suspicious incidents,” including anti-war and counter-recruitment meetings and actions throughout the nation over the past 10-months. This averages to a cataloguing of 150 incidents per month.

William Arkin, the former Army intelligence officer, who obtained these secret Pentagon documents, commented that: “This is just one tiny picture of the actual amount of information which is collected by the F.B.I. and the intelligence community. We know that there are dozens of these [domestic] databases.”


A surprising development in the North of Ireland occurred this week after the disclosure that top republican Denis Donaldson, former head of Sinn Fein’s administration offices at Stormont, had been working as a paid British agent since the 1980s. The disclosure comes just a week after charges were dropped against Donaldson and two co-defendants for their alleged participation in an “IRA spy ring” at the Parliament buildings. The allegations against them, which have been referred to as the “Stormontgate” affair, led to the ending of the power-sharing executive in the North of Ireland three years ago.

In a public statement on Friday, Donaldson said, “I was not involved in any republican spy ring in Stormont. The so-called Stormontgate affair was a scam and a fiction, it never existed, it was created by Special Branch.” Donaldson’s exposure as a spy working for British intelligence has sent shock waves through the nationalist community, and leaves many suspicious over the role of British intelligence in the spy-ring allegations and its impact on the current state of the peace process.


Colombian President Alvaro Uribe announced at a public press meeting on Sunday that former Venezuelan soldiers had plotted against the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at a Colombian military building in Bogota. Uribe said that intelligence efforts against the Venezuelan government were conducted in the building, and took full responsibility for the affair. Seven Venezuelans involved in the April 2002 coup against Chavez have been linked to the new plot.

Uribe’s disclosure lends support to long-standing allegations by Chavez that the United States was involved in the coup attempt against his government. The Colombian military has close ties to the Bush Administration, which has given not only 1.2 billion dollars in military aid to the Colombian government but also funds private forces to guard American energy investments in the country. Colombian paramilitary forces have been implicated in numerous human rights abuses, including the killing of 22 farmers last week who were suspected of being leftist sympathizers.

In making the announcement, President Uribe stated: “I took responsibility before President Chavez and I took it in public, because the government of Colombia, which suffers from terrorism, cannot permit anyone to plot conspiracies, especially against a brother country,” he said.




1 Comment »

  1. i love that wall!

    Comment by rachael — January 22, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

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