BlackBox Radio

February 14, 2006

BlackBox Radio for Feb 14th, 2006

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 7:12 pm

Listen to the show: lower quality | high quality

On this week’s show, Mikey Barringer talks to a student producer of the Vagina Monologues at the University of Michigan, and Jenny Lee and Ilana Weaver of the Detroit Summer collective report from Detroit on the Superbowl. Plus, the following local, national, and international headlines:

Local Headlines:
Ann Arbor homeless man found dead
lawsuit filed against the University of Michigan and Michigauma

National and International Headlines:
threat of eviction in Brazil
thousands of evacuees become transients in New Orleans
Malaysia’s response to cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad
”last resort” bomb raids on Iran are in the planning phase
Elections in Haiti


Local Headlines

A homeless man was found dead inside his tent last week on the west side of Ann Arbor, reports the Ann Arbor News. The 51-year-old man, whose name has not been revealed as police attempt to contact his relatives, was discovered by two other homeless people in a lot behind the old Moose Lodge on South Maple road, next to the Kroger store.

His friends, who went in search of him after he did not appear Monday morning, had warned him not to camp in the swampy area as heavy rains were expected. The man was found in 6-8 inches of frozen water.

Two other Ann Arbor homeless men have been found dead in recent years. City Council member Chris Easthope syas the recent death higholights the need to implement a proposed countywide initiative to end homelessness in the county through offering more affordable housing and a support network that would include drug and alcohol abuse counseling and treament.


According to the Ann Arbor News, Christopher Bell, a local lawyer, and an unnamed UM alumnus have filed a lawsuit against the University of Michigan and the secret society Michigauma. The plaintiffs are claiming that the organization failed to abide by an agreement reached in 1989 which stated that Michigauma would no longer demean Native Americans.

Michigauma has a notorious history of racist practices within their organization as well as a lack of transparency about their activities and affiliations. In a recent report for BlackBox, Clara Hardy and Sigh Slobin reported on these issues after many local blogs reported that two University activists were members of Michigauma.

The plantiffs are seeking class-action status on the suit and are claiming an uspecified amount of damages for civil rights violations.

COOR1: Happy Valentines Day from Black Box Radio and WCBN – return the love by pledging during our on-air fundraiser. Call now! The number is 734-763-3500. Now, here is Mikey Barringer, looking at the Vagina Monologues performance coming up this Sunday at the University of Michigan.



National and International Headlines:

The “Prestes Maia” -located in Brazil- is the largest squatted highrise building on the South American continent and is under threat of eviction. With its 468 families, accounting for more than 1600 previously homeless people, including children, elderly and disabled, the building will shortly be returned to its supposed owner. The owner has failed to pay municipal taxes for 15 years and has accrued a debt worth more than the building. This enormous debt, together with long years of abandonment, legally and morally justifies a claim for the building to become public property, but it will be returned to its owner, putting hundreds of people back onto the streets.
The 468 families, united in the Downtown Roofless Movement of São Paulo, have lived in the 22-storey high-rise since 2002. The building had been abandoned for years and left in deplorable condition. The new residents cleaned out tons of trash and litter, organized it, expelled drugs and other criminal turning it into a home.
The eviction is planned somewhere between the 15th and 21st of February. An exact date was not given for ‘strategic reasons’ and the police mentioned that the ‘”troops will be prepared for the worst”. Residents have already engaged in road blocking actions, but it is unclear what further responses may take place.


A similar story is taking place in New Orleans. On Monday, FEMA’s short-term hotel-program expired for most of the thousands of displaced hurricane survivors. The Short Term Lodging program is required to provide shelter until transitional housing is provided. For those few lucky enough to have gained access to FEMA’s long-term resources, many have been told they must live far from their jobs, far from homes needing repair, and out of reach of their communities. However, the majority of the temporary hotel residents have not been provided with transitional housing or local long-term housing options.

Hundreds of FEMA trailers have arrived in New Orleans, yet they sit in train yards unoccupied. City officials continue to bicker over where the trailers should be placed. Many public housing developments also lie vacant, despite remaining virtually unscathed through the storm. The only solution the Governor has offered is a thirty day shelter program in either Baton Rouge or Lafayette. This is not an option for those who maintain jobs or are fixing up their homes within New Orleans.

Meanwhile, thousands of evacuees became transients again on Monday, wheeling their entire lives onto the street on luggage carts or dragging bulging garbage bags through hotel lobbies.


Delegates at an international conference Malaysia entitled ‘Who Speaks for Islam? Who speaks for the West’, blamed the ferocity of reactions against the cartoon controversy, which gripped the world this past week, on the ‘war on terror’ in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The cartoons, depicting Prophet Mohammad as a terrorist and first published in a Danish newspaper, dominated the two-day conference which ended Saturday.

While Malaysian newspapers were full of the rage that swept the Muslim world over the week, none of the anger was reflected in this country’s many mosques.

Leading Malaysian Islamic thinker Chandra Muzaffar, credits the quietness in his country to a lack of fear and insecurity among Malay Muslims.

”Unlike the other Muslim countries caught in the eye of the storm, Malaysia is free of the hegemonic consequences of big powers that are experienced by Afghanistan and Iraq for example”

Muzaffar said social justice, religious harmony and reasonably good governance in Malaysia are the key reasons why the sense of loss and deep grievances, seen in other Muslim societies, is absent here.

”Muslims here don’t feel dispossessed or have the same fear that Islam is under threat as Muslims in other countries like Palestine or Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said.

Muzaffar agreed with the Malaysian Prime minister’s view that the war on terror has aggravated Muslim insecurity. ”Western media images and commentaries have reinforced the erroneous equation of Islam with terror. This explains why some of the offensive cartoons of the Prophet published in the Jyllands-Posten made that link,”

”What Muslims have been witnessing in recent years is the stark consequences of global hegemony reflected in the slaughter of innocent Muslims in Palestine and Iraq, the humiliation of occupation and subjugation, the treachery of double standards and the machinations of exclusion and marginalisation,” he said.

”It explains to a great extent the explosion of violent fury in different parts of the Muslim world over the abusive cartoons. It is anger that is driven by more than their boundless love for Mohammad,”

The Malaysian deputy prime minister dismissed talk of a ‘clash of civilizations’, saying this need not happen if fundamental fault lines between the Muslim and the Western worlds were adequately addressed.


In related news, the Sunday Telegraph/UK has reported that strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran’s nuclear sites as a “last resort” to block Teheran’s efforts to develop an atomic bomb.
Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation.
“This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment,” said a senior Pentagon adviser. “This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months.”
The prospect of military action could put Washington at odds with Britain which fears that an attack would spark violence across the Middle East, reprisals in the West and may not cripple Teheran’s nuclear program.

Sen John McCain, the Republican front-runner to succeed Mr Bush in 2008, has advocated military strikes as a last resort. He said recently: “There is only only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option and that is a nuclear-armed Iran.”
Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, has made the same case and Bush is expected to be faced by the decision within two years.


On Wednesday, Haiti had it’s first elections since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a February 2004 in a U.S. supported coup. Critics have argued that the conditions in Haiti make a mockery of democratic process. Only a few hundred registration and polling sites were created to serve eight million people (compared with 10,000 provided by the deposed Aristide government) and some large, poor neighborhoods—with few government supporters—had no registration sites at all.
Additionally, many Haitians were denied the right to campaign: the government’s potential challengers were jailed on questionable charges or no charges. And Haitians were also denied the right to organize when the government outlawed political demonstrations. Anti-government protesters have been repeatedly attacked by the Haitian National Police. The Bush Administration fueled this repression by sending $1.9 million worth of guns and police equipment just in time for the election season.
Far from supporting constitutional democracy in Haiti, the US has twice helped to overthrow Aristide, who resisted Washington’s prescriptions for Haiti’s economy by insisting on social spending for the poor.
Secretary of State Rice has hailed Haiti’s election as “a precious step on the road to democracy.”


1 Comment »

  1. Hey Sigh. How goes it?

    Comment by Jen — November 20, 2015 @ 12:56 am

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