Looking Back, Moving Forward: 2013 Year in Review

We bring you up to date on our most compelling and resonating stories of 2013. From pregnant women in prison who ve been mistreated; to the tomato fields of Florida, where the power of community radio helps workers take action; then out west, to a national forest in California, where wildfires are raising questions about fire management techniques. We ll also get updates on where those stories stand now.

Direct download: MakingCon_131225_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Fleeing Syria, Seeking Refuge

Over 2 million Syrians have been displaced by that country’s ongoing civil war. Neighboring countries are overwhelmed with refugees. So where else to turn? Heading to more affluent nations isn’t so easy. On this edition, we meet refugees who’ve fled Syria to Turkey, Sweden, and Thailand. They’re trying to navigate a fragmented global refugee policy, in a time of extreme need.

Special thanks to our freelance reporters Dalia Mortada, Christopher Holmback, Julia Lundberg, Simba Russeau.


  • Ahmad Dabbagh, Ayham Al Fares, Sania, Kais Badro, Syria refugees,
  • Abu Sarah, Hassan Mohammad, Palestinian refugees from Syria.
  • Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International Turkey researcher.
  • Sanna Vestin, Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups chairman.
  • Gregor Noll, Lund University professor of international law.
  • Anoop Sukumaran, Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network coordinator.
  • Patra Jirawisan, Thai Committee for Refugees Foundation Policy & Research Officer.
  • Mother Agnes Mariam, Mother Superior of St. James the Mangled Monastery in Qara, Syria.
  • Host/Producer: Andrew Stelzer
  • Producers: Nancy Lopez, Andrew Stelzer, George Lavender
  • Contributing Producers: Dalia Mortada, Christopher Holmback, Julia Lundberg, Simba Russeau
Direct download: MakingCon_131218_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Partners in the Struggle-allies in political movements

What does it mean to be an ally in a political movement? From white Americans in the civil rights era, to Israelis in Palestine, to Latino-Americans working with the undocumented…how does one work to support another’s struggle?  On this edition, from Mississippi to Zimbabwe, a roundtable discussion on the do’s and don’ts of how to be an effective ally.


Darria Hudson, racial justice activist and divinity student; Rumbidzai Dube, Zimbabwean human rights lawyer; Leehee Rothschild, Israeli activist and blogger; Ingrid Cruz, immigrants rights activist; Mary King, former member of SNCC and Peace University Professor

This conversation was recorded at the 2013 Narco News School of Authentic Journalism.

Direct download: MakingCon_131211_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

2013: The Year the Criminal Justice System Changed?

Years of campaigning for basic human rights for people caught up in America's criminal justice system may finally be paying off. 2013 saw significant changes from sentencing reform, to drug policy, to how people are treated behind bars. On this edition, we look at year victories in the struggle to bring humanity to the world’s largest prison industrial complex. Are these changes really a sign of progress? Or will the ‘tough on crime’ crowd rise once again for another crackdown?

Direct download: MakingCon_131204_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Conquest: Sexual Violence and Native American Genocide

Native American women experience the highest rates of violence of any other group in the United States. One in three native women have been victims of sexual assault and the murder rate of indigenous women is consistently higher than the national average. On this edition, Andrea Smith, author of “Conquest: Sexual Violence and Native American Genocide” explains the connection between violence against women, and the colonization of native lands and bodies.

Andrea Smith's presentation includes descriptions of racial and sexual violence, so please be forewarned.

Direct download: MakingCon_131127_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Atomic States of America: The Rise and Fall of Nuclear Energy

While countries like Japan, Italy and Germany begin to phase out their use of nuclear energy, the US aims to build the first new nuclear power plant in nearly thirty years. We hear excerpts from the film The Atomic States of America , which chronicles the rise of nuclear energy, the high price some communities have paid for it, and how the U.S. is pushing to redefine nuclear as green to meet our energy demand.

Special thanks to Specialty Studios.


Kelly McMasters , author of Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town; David Lochbaum , nuclear engineer and senior member of Union of Concerned Scientists; Arnie Gunderson , nuclear engineer and former senior vice president of Nuclear Energy Services; Christine Todd Whitman , co-chair of CASEnergy Coalition, former New Jersey governor and administrator for the U.S Environmental Protection Agency; Eric Epstein , chair of Three Mile Island Alert; Neil Sheehan , spokesperson for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Paul Cataldo , NRC resident inspector for Indian Point Unit 3; Michelle Catts , NRC resident inspector for Indian Point Unit 2; Dr. Helen Caldicott , co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility; Randy and Lauren Snell ; Alec Baldwin, actor.

Direct download: MakingCon_131120_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm PDT

Bigger Than Hip-Hop: Youth Speakin for Themselves

Spoken word. Its poetry…its hip-hop…and it’s increasingly, the chosen means of expression for today’s youth. On this edition we bring you the poets and students of Youth Speaks, from their annual event in honor of another master orator, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..

Special thanks to Youth Speaks.

James Kass, Youth Speaks founder & executive director; Talia YoungDante ClarkGretchen CarvaholPrentice Powell, Justin Jodiatis, spoken word artists.

Direct download: MakingCon_131112_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

Behind the Kitchen Door: Restaurant Workers' Fight for Justice

Americans eat out more than any other people. But the workers who put food on our restaurant tables are struggling to feed themselves and their families. On this edition, Saru Jayaraman, co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and author of "Behind the Kitchen Door" makes the case for bringing justice to restaurants and how ordinary diners can help.

Direct download: MakingCon_131106_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm PDT

Into Eternity

Our world is generating more and more nuclear waste, but have no permanent place to dispose of it.  But the nation of Finland has a plan. They're building an underground cave, to hold thousands of tones of nuclear waste, for at least 100 thousand years.  On this edition, we hear excerpts of the film, “Into Eternity”, which explores the logistical and philosophical quandries around the construction of something that if it works, might very well outlast the entire human race.

Special thanks to Specialty Studios

Direct download: MakingCon_131030_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm PDT

Drones: A New Death From Above

We bring you voices from Pakistan of families destroyed by drone strikes.  And, we hear from Medea Benjamin and other activists working to build a global movement against this controversial military technology, which accelerated after 9/11.

Direct download: MakingCon_131023_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:32pm PDT





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