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Philadelphia's Independent Media Center is having problems of its own. The good news is the philly IMC site is back up. The bad news is that we're still rebuilding from catastrophic server failure. The good news is that we're now running on our new server, designed to keep us stable. The bad news is that we didn't get it up sooner -- we may have lost a good bit of data since last August. Keep tuned for more updates, and click here to make a donation to help us ensure a stable technical platform for community media in Philadelphia. The newswire is working.
Feb 16 2003 - 1:00am
July 2002: The Green Party of the United States held its first convention since becoming officially recognized by the Federal Elections Commission in 2001. The gathering took place in Philadelphia on July 18-21, just blocks from Independence Hall, bringing over 200 delegates and activists from 40 states to discuss the partys official platform, work on party business, and strategize the issues and methods to be used in the 362 races in which Green candidates are running this November.
The weekend began with a public rally that gathered, despite a sudden downpour, at UPenns Irvine Auditorium. Longtime Democratic City Councilman David Cohen welcomed the dripping wet crowd to town, saying, Thank you for cleansing Philadelphia from the stench that was left for the Republican National Convention! Youre the people we really want to welcomethe young, new party. Your program is supposed to be the program of the Democratic Partyat least thats what I thought in my younger days.
Founded in 1996 as the Association of State Green Parties, the Green Party of the United States has been the building a movement of citizen participation in electoral politics. Candidates say this is the only way to free the political system from the influence of corporate money, which pervades both the Democrat and Republican parties. All Green candidates endorse the green partys Ten Key Values, including ecological wisdom and decentralization.
Many candidates were out in full force that weekend, telling tales of hope and citizen empowerment. Local candidates included Michael Morrill, running for governor of Pennsylvania; Vicki Smedley, his running mate for lieutenant governor; Vivian Houghton, running for Attorney General in Delaware; Ernst Ford, running for PA General Assembly in Philadelphias District 180, and Ted Glick, running for US Senate in New Jersey. Nineteen candidates are running in Pennsylvania alone.
Growing pains cropped up along side of successes at the gathering, especially around issues of procedure for deliberating on official party positions.
Aug 10 2002 - 12:00am
On Friday, July 12, Philadelphia's Licenses and Inspections Department posted a "Cease Operations/Stop Work Order" on the door of the Unitarian Church at 2125 Chestnut Street. The Church has long been host to all ages concerts, many produced by R5 Productions in conjunction with the Cabbage Collective, featuring a diversity of independent artists. The all ages shows allow those under 21, who are not able to see concerts in venues that serve alcohol, to attend shows that feature national touring bands and local musicians.
R5 and other "do-it-yourself" venues and promoters around Philadelphia face constant pressure from L&I, for-profit venues and even huge entertainment corporations like Clear Channel, which owns or has a stake in a substantial number of licensed music venues in Philadelphia (as well as controlling over 1,200 radio stations, 37 television stations and 776,000 advertising displays throughout the United States). Several independent venues around Philadelphia have come and gone over the last ten years, often closing due to pressure from L&I because they do not have the proper permits to hold concerts.
What are your thoughts about all ages venues? Read more, and discuss the issue by clicking Reply at the bottom of the post.
Jul 19 2002 - 12:00am
Almost 7,000 people are incarcerated on any given day in the city of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Prison System is responsible for maintaining the health of those within it. To provide this health care, the City has a $25 million contract with Prison Health Services, a company that claims to "lead the correctional healthcare field in the application of proven managed care principles to ensure high quality, cost-effective healthcare at each of its client facilities." In doing so, PHS purports to have been able to "manage quality and cost" by " [achieving] more than $26 million in savings in actual projected inmate medical services over a 3-year period for a state DOC system" and "[reducing] per-inmate medical expenses by 27% in a 3-year period."
ACT-UP Philadelphia has consistently questioned the human cost of PHS' "successes," especially in regard to prisoners with HIV/AIDS. Most recently, citing documents that the City has acquired that detail everything from understaffing to overmedication, lost paperwork and an inability to comply with contractual obligations for certain kinds of care, ACT-UP paraded to City Hall before a City Council hearing on the matter. ACT-UP demanded Philadelphia Managing Director Estelle Richman overhaul the contract and assure better health care for the 40,000 being detained or held in the city's prisons.
"Pine Box Parole: Life and Death in Women's Prisons" by the San Francisco IMC.
Prison Activist Resource Center
HCV Prison Project, "a consortium of organizations working to provide support and education to prisoners with hepatitis C and co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C. "
Jul 17 2002 - 12:00am
In Colombia, joining a trade union means putting your life on the line.
Last year, more 70% of the unionists murdered worldwide were assassinated
in Colombia. More than 1,500 Colombian trade unionists have been killed
over the past 10 years. And U.S. corporations share the blame, according to
lawsuits in U.S. courts filed by Colombian unionists. Dan Kovalik, who will
speak in Philadelphia on Monday, is an attorney with the United
Steelworkers of America. He is working with International Labor Rights Fund
to file lawsuits against US-based Coca-Cola and Drummond Coal, for hiring
paramilitary assassins to kill unionists in Colombia. This editorial
U.S. labor, anti-globalization and human rights activists should
support these suits.
Jul 15 2002 - 12:00am
Jul 10 2002 - 12:00am
Wednesday, June 26, 7pm, at the Friends Center (15th & Cherry), media policy expert Jeff Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy will be talking about the proposed mega-merger between AT&T Broadband and Comcast. The merger, upon which Comcast shareholders will vote on July 10 in Philadelphia, would result in the world's largest cable company.
Chester and the Center for Digital Democracy raise several pressing questions about the merger, such as whether the proposed merger would help or hurt consumers, and whether the companies are providing communities enough information to make informed decisions about their support of the merger. Media democracy activists point to the proposed merger as yet another example of consolidation of media ownership that has resulted in a very few multinational corporations owning a vast majority of the popular media.
Media Tank, sponsor of the talk, is a Philadelphia-based non-profit "working to bring together media arts, education and activism to build a movement for media democracy."
The Center for Digital Democracy's statement about the merger
How does the merger relate to Microsoft?
Jun 25 2002 - 12:00am
(part of a series of features presenting Philadelphian African immigrants' analyses of important events in Africa)
Recent Presidential elections in the West African nation of Mali yielded surprising results, as former head of state General Amani Toumani Toure (ATT) won despite running as an independent. Mali, one of the world's poorest nations, has more than ninety political parties. ATT gained the support of nearly thirty of them, enabling him to regain power through the democratic process. Previously, ATT came to rule Mali by staging a coup against 26-year dictator Moussa Traore, then stepped down from power to allow for democratic elections.
Read Temple University scholar and Radio Tam Tam co-host Eric Edi's analysis of the elections. Feel free to add your view of the election by clicking on the button marked "reply" and following the instructions.
Jun 24 2002 - 12:00am
Jun 21 2002 - 12:00am
On Friday, the Philadelphia-based Self-Education Foundation held a screening and discussion of their new video, "60%: The Sentencing Policies of the War on Drugs and their Effects on America," produced by Sara Zia Ebrahimi. Local poets Taina Del Valle and K.O.T. gave performances, and William Upski Wimsatt addressed the crowd about building a cohesive movement for social change.
"60%" looks at the "war on drugs" that began in the 1980s -- how it was marketed in the mass media, and how it led to public policy that has made the United States the largest incarcerator in the world. After the video, the group discussed local examples of the war on drugs, such as the recent Operation Safe Streets. Ebrahimi says she hopes the 28-minute video will serve as a resource that other community groups can use to educate themselves about this important political issue.
The Self-Education Foundation is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting community-based education efforts in all shapes and sizes. They work especially with high school dropouts and home schoolers, incarcerated self-educators, independent media makers, student-led school reform efforts, and popular education projects. "SEF tries to sit at the spot where all of these projects overlap," said organizer Adrienne Lowe, "and to put energy and funding into those that connect the dots between them." Currently, they are working toward a community-based guidance counseling center for dropouts and home-schoolers in west Philadelphia. The program, scheduled to launch this summer, is called BUILD -- Building Uncompromising Inspirational Lives Directly. For more information about BUILD, 60%, or any of the Self-Education Foundation's programs, call 215-235-4379.
May 29 2002 - 12:00am