In the midst of police shooting community members and gunmen shooting police, and as the republican and democratic conventions wrap up, we look back at the history of secret surveillance and disruption of organizations dissenting and struggling against all odds.

COINTELPRO, the secret FBI project to infiltrate and disrupt domestic organizations thought to be “subversive,” targeted many African-American, Native-American, and other movements for self-determination by people of color in the U.S.. Between 1956 and 1971, the FBI conducted more than 2,000 COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) operations.  Over the next two weeks, we’ll be broadcasting the documentary film “COINTELPRO 101.” Today we hear the first half of the film, produced by the Freedom Archives.

Special thanks to The Freedom Archives.


  • Liz Derias, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
  • Bob Boyle, attorney
  • Jose Lopez, Puerto Rican Cultural Center executive director
  • Lucy Rodriguez, Puerto Rico Independence movement leader and former political prisoner
  • Ward Churchill, Native American activist and author
  • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Native American activist and author
  • Leonard Peltier, political prisoner
  • Ricardo Romero, Al Frente de Lucha co-founder
  • Priscilla Falcon, University of Northern Colorado Hispanic Studies professor
  • Francisco Martinez, Chicano/Mejicano activist and attorney.
CORRECTION: Making Contact staff inadvertently misstated attorney Bob Boyle’s name as Bob Doyle in the audioversion of the COINTELPRO 101 documentary (Part 1). We apologize for the mistake.
Direct download: MakingCon_160727_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am PDT

Ross McKenzie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but after 15 years on Lithium, he wasn’t getting any better. He decided to take matters into his own hands, get off the drug, and find out why so many people are being told they have mental illnesses.

This week on Making Contact, we bring you an abridged version of the film Bipolarized; Rethinking Mental Illness, chronicling McKenzie’s journey.


  • Ross McKenzie, diagnosed with Bipolar disorder
  • Ross McKenzie’s mother and sister
  • Gwen Olsen, former pharmaceutical rep
  • Laura Delano, psychiatry survivor
  • Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
  • Dr. Charles Whitfield, trauma recovery specialist
  • Dr. Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing
Direct download: MakingCon_160720_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:53pm PDT

Fredy Villanueva was playing dice in a park in Montreal North when police officers arrived. In less than a minute, the 18-year-old was fatally shot by police. Eight years later, what happened in those sixty seconds remains unclear. The documentary play Fredy tries to untangle what happened before and after the shooting, as it asks questions about racial profiling, systemic discrimination, and the promise of art for social change.

Direct download: MakingCon_160713_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am PDT

In cities across the country, black women – many of whom have been on the front lines of the Movement for Black Lives – are lifting up the names of their sisters killed by police.

This March, Manolia Charlotin, a multimedia journalist with the The Media Consortium, and Cat Brooks, artist and organizer with Oakland’s Anti Police-Terror Project sat down at a community event in San Francisco to talk about Say Her Name and what it looks like to build a movement that centers black women.

Jamison Robinson, Yuvette Henderson’s brother, talks about the difference it makes when a community comes together to demand justice after the police kill someone. 

  • Jamison Robinson, brother of Yuvette Henderson
  • Manolia Charlotin, journalist with The Media Consortium
  • Cat Brooks, artist and organizer with the Anti Police-Terror Project
Direct download: MakingCon_160706_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:38pm PDT

Existing in two worlds can complicate your identity and complete it–whether it’s understanding your medicine man grandfather, to deepening the concept of love through a different tongue, these storytellers takes us around the world from Colombia to Papua New Guinea, seeking definition and connections with presumably different cultures.

  • Francis Rojas
  • Jeremiah Barber
  • William Guillermo Ortiz, Curandero / Medicine Man
  • Florentina Mocanu-Schendel, Doctoral Candidate at Stanford University
  • Warama Kurupel, Limol Village Leader
  • Grace Maher
  • Robai Reend
  • Donai Kurupel
  • Pingam Uziag
  • Jenny Dobola
  • Loni Garaiyi
  • Sandra Dikai
  • Merol Kwe
  • Manaleato Kolea
Direct download: MakingCon_160629_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47pm PDT

Who is Charles Koch–really? Who are the members of “the Network”?—a semi-secret group assembled by the Koch brothers? How are the superrich’s priorities transforming American society? Journalist Jane Mayer spent several years searching for some of those answers, and her new book is titled Dark Money, the Hidden History of the Billionaires.

Mayer is interviewed by Atlantic magazine editor-in-chief James Bennet.

  • Jane Meyer, author of Dark Money, the Hidden History of the Billionaires
  • James Bennet, Atlantic Magazine editor-in-chief
Direct download: MakingCon_160622_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54am PDT

Parenting has never been easy.  Merging your politics with your parenting decisions can be even more challenging. 

On this edition, fathers…and mothers…on fatherhood and how it’s changing. Traditional ideas about what a dad is supposed to be are slowly disappearing, but what will take their place?


  • Tomas Moniz, Rad Dad creator
  • Airial Clark, Sex Positive Parent blogger
  • Janine Macbeth, Oh Oh Baby Boy author 
  • Brent Ramos, Danny Gutierrez, Craig Elliot, Jeremy Smith, Jeremy John, Jason Oppy, fathers
Direct download: MakingCon_160615_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Penny Rosenwasser is an activist and author of “Hope Into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite our Fears.” 

On this edition of Making Contact she reflects on her personal journey to embrace her identity as a Jewish woman while fighting for human rights for all. Listen to stories, history and poetry that explore internalized anti-Semitism and racism, victimization and privilege, and Jewish politics around Israel and Palestine.

Direct download: MakingCon_160608_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:32am PDT

In 1948, Zionist militias expelled over 700,000 Palestinians from their villages and towns.  The event, and the ongoing destruction and occupation of Palestine are referred to as the Nakba – the catastrophe.  How did the events of 1948 shape Palestine and its diaspora?   And generations later, how are Palestinians fighting to return home?

On this edition of Making Contact we reflect on the Nakba, the Naksa, and the future of Palestine.

  • Rami Almeghari, FSRN reporter
  • Ghazi Misleh, author of I Am from There and I Have Memories
  • Rabab Abdulhadi, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative at San Francisco State University
  • Dina from Rammun
  • Mohannad from Ramle
  • Remi Kanazi, poet and author of Before the Next Bomb Drops.
Direct download: MakingCon_160601_Pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

The root causes of migration vary widely. Some people migrate and return to their homes depending on the season. While others migrate and never return. Often, people are forced to leave or flee their homes indefinitely because of poverty, extreme environmental events, armed conflict, social strife, political turmoil, and economic hardships.

On this edition of Making Contact, we hear stories from Central American migrants that take on oppressive debts or face challenges in schools in the U.S. We also hear from Cuban migrants stuck in limbo on the route to the U.S.

Direct download: MakingCon_160525_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52am PDT





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