BlackBox Radio

April 16, 2006

BlackBox Radio for April 17th, 2006

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 11:56 pm

Listen to the show: lower quality | high quality

On this week’s show: Aidan Delgado, an Iraq War veteran who was stationed in Abu Ghraib prison, describes US soldiers’ treatment of Iraqis that led him to become a conscientious objector, and a report from New York city’s recent immigrant rights march, where over 125,000 people took the streets to protest HR 4437. Plus, the following local, national, and international headlines:

Local Headlines:
Edward C. Weber, curator of UM Labadie Collection
Delphi to invest $10m in India
Coke back on campus
Michigauma to reform, change name

National and International Headlines:
Texas plans to execute organizer Hasan Shakur
Police assault UC Santa Cruz protestors
SOA protestors begin sentences
NYC bill would allow legal residents to vote
Israeli military assassinates leader with car bomb


Local Headlines

Edward C. Weber, who served for forty years as Curator of the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan, died April 11, 2006, at the age of 83. The Labadie Collection, started in 1911, was originally concerned with anarchist materials and its scope was later widened considerably to include a great variety of social protest literature together with political views from both the extreme left and the extreme right. It is the second largest collection of its kind in the world.

Ed Weber was remarkable for the breadth of his knowledge and comprehension of Western civilization, as well as for his avid interest in radical social issues. During his tenure at the library, which lasted from 1960 until 2000, the size of the Labadie Collection increased six-fold, and he inaugurated important holdings in civil rights, campus unrest, and anti-war movements. He also saw the commencement of courses devoted to the social movements of the 1960s, which encouraged undergraduates to examine the material he collected firsthand during that time.


US auto component giant Delphi Corp, which has filed for bankruptcy protection back home, said on Wednesday that it planned to invest $10 million during the next two years to increase production capacity at its plant in Bangalore.

Delphi was spun off from General motors in 1999, and is the second largest automotive parts manufacturer in the world. In October, 2005 it declared bankruptcy and declared it would sell or close 21 out of 29 plants in the United States. In Michigan workers have had to battle against Delphi for wages, retirement, benefits, and jobs since the Bankruptcy declaration in the fall.


Last week, the University of Michigan reinstated its contract with Coca-cola after they agreed to instating so-called independent investigators in Columbia and India to review the human rights allegations there.

According to the UM Coalition to cut contracts with Coca-Cola, “he University of Michigan’s decision to immediately reinstate the Coca-Cola contracts is nothing short of an affront to democracy, justice, and accountability. Not only was the decision made without the mandatory consent of students as required by the Dispute Review Board recommendation; but by making this decision with a complete lack of transparency the administration violated its own established due process.”

Members of the coalition point out that the investigating board has financial ties to the Coca-Cola Corporation, including one board member who is also a Coke employee. The University’s actions caused many students to protest last week for both student rights and the rights of workers in Columbia and India.


Last week in the Michigan Daily, Michigauma announced the names of its 2005 and 2006 graduating class members and promised to rename the organization. Michigauma is a secret society at the University of Michigan that has a legacy of racism against Native Americans. In 1989 the organization agreed to end all references to Native American Culture in its meetings and ceremonies. 11 years later, however, the Students of Color Coalition discovered that Michigauma had failed to implement the promised reforms and occuppied the Tower of the Michigan Union until a second agreement was reached.

The list of names released last week included MSA President Nicole Stallings and LSA Student Government President Andrew Yahkind. To see the complete list visit .



National and International Headlines:

Portland Indymedia reports that the state of Texas plans to proceed with the execution of death row inmate Hasan Shakur, also know as Derrick Frazier, on April 27th. Shakur was found guilty of the murder of mother and son Betsy and Cody Nutt in 1998. Supporters are pushing the state for a stay of execution and a new trial, citing a lack of physical evidence tying Shakur to the case, a forced confession, and an incompetent trial attorney among other reasons.

Since being sent to prison, Shakur has spent his time organizing events to end violence in communities, fundraising, and publishing newsletters about prison issues, and the liberation of black people. Supporters are asking people to write and call the governor to ask for a stay of execution. For more information, please visit


On April 11th, Students Against War organized over 150 students to march from the center of UC Santa Cruz to the campus job fair, where they peacefully prevented access to military recruiters through sit-ins and other measures. After about an hour and a half of negotiations and students’ refusing to back down, military recruiters left the job fair.

The students’ first victory appeared early in the day, as administrators separated military recruiters from other employers, allowing the protesters to block access to the military, while the remainder of the job fair continued.

University administrators hired, at great cost to the school, a number of police from other UC campuses. These police, local officers, and a top local official, physically assaulted multiple students without provocation. Police also repeatedly refused to provide identification when requested. Students were pushed, punched, choked, and a student’s hand was slammed in a door. One student, acting as a legal observer, was pushed and arrested for documenting police surveillance, but was released soon after when other students protested the arrest.


According to the School of the Americas Watch, on April 11th, twenty nine SOA Watch human rights advocates from around the United States reported to federal prisons to begin serving sentences of one to six months for their acts of nonviolent civil disobedience opposing the controversial U.S. Army’s School of the Americas, or SOA. The 29 advocates, ranging in age from 19 to 81, are among the 37 people who were arrested at Fort Benning last November and later sentenced in a federal court. They join four others already serving prison time for the same action.

The protesters were part of a demonstration of 19,000 people who gathered in Georgia last November to call for the closure of the school. The 29 – including Delmar Schwaller, an 81-year-old World War II veteran –- peacefully crossed onto the Fort Benning military base and were subsequently arrested.

The SOA, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Despite this admission and hundreds of documented human rights abuses connected to soldiers trained at the school, no independent investigation into the facility has ever taken place. New research confirms that the school continues to support known human rights abusers. Despite having been investigated by the United Nations for ordering the shooting of 16 indigenous peasants in El Salvador, Col. Francisco del Cid Diaz returned to SOA in 2003.

Last month, Argentina and Uruguay sent a strong message of support for human rights and military accountability by ceasing all military training of their troops at the controversial school. The two South American countries became the second and third to announce a cessation of training at the SOA. In January of 2004, Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela would no longer send troops.


The New Standard reports that a coalition of human rights groups in New York City has won the re-introduction of a bill that would give more than a million legal residents the right to vote in city elections. The measure is the result of a long campaign to gain citywide support for noncitizen voting by the New York Coalition to Expand Voting Rights. The coalition represents around 70 immigrant-rights, labor, religious and other advocacy groups. Coalition members worked with Brooklyn Councilor Charles Barron to re-introduce the Voting Rights Restoration Act in City Council. If passed the bill would enfranchise approximately 1.3 million immigrant residents age eighteen or older who are not yet citizens. Advocates are currently working on gaining co-sponsors and pushing a council hearing on the bill.

Under the measure, immigrants who have resided legally in New York City for at least six months would be eligible to vote in all city elections. While the coalition originally sought to extend voting rights to undocumented immigrants as well, members said they ultimately restricted the bill to legal residents in order to make the measure more politically viable, and out of concern that undocumented immigrants whose names showed up in voter-registration rolls could be discovered and deported by authorities. Under the measure, immigrants who have resided legally in New York City for at least six months would be eligible to vote in all city elections.


On Friday, the Israeli military assassinated Abu Yousef Al-Quqa, 44, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees. The International Middle East Media Center reports that Israeli military personnel remotely detonated a car fifty meters from Al-Quqa’s home in Gaza City, killing him instantly.

Later that night, three Palestinians were killed and twenty injured, in an exchange of fire between fighters of the Popular Resistance Committees and an unknown armed group. This exchange of fire came shortly after a spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committees accused Palestinian security figures of planning the assassination.

Also in response to the assassination, Palestinian factions in Gaza
fired homemade shells at Israeli targets with no damage reported. The Israeli military shelled Gaza, killing two and injuring 8 others, including a mother and her six-month-old child.


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