Looking Back, Moving Forward: 2012 Year In Review

As 2013 approacheswe look at some of the important issues we’ve covered in 2012: from domestic workers struggling for respect, to the consequences of climate change, todrone warfareWe’ll listen back to some highlights from those programs, and get updates on where those stories stand now.

Direct download: MakingCon_121226_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am PST

Life or Death: Ending the Death Penalty

Reporter Nancy Mullane speaks to some of those on California’s death row and we hear from two opponents of the death penalty about where the movement to end executions goes next.

Direct download: MakingCon_121219_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:51pm PST

Michelle Alexander on the New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander has struck a chord in so-called ‘post racial’ America. The Ohio State University law professor makes the case that the United States’ current criminal justice system policies can be traced directly back to slavery. Those targeted now, as they were then, are African Americans. On this edition, Michelle Alexander talks about her book, ‘The New Jim Crow. Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness’.

Direct download: MakingCon_121212_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35am PST

 Saving or Selling the Planet? REDD, Climate Change and Indigenous Lands

Around the world communities are already facing the impacts of climate change.  Now international organizations, like the World Bank, are pushing a policy that asks polluters to offset their pollution by paying governments to protect forests. But is it working? 

On this edition, we take a closer look at this policy and ask, is it a plan to save the planet, or just sell it off? We'll hear extracts from the Global Justice Ecology Project and the Global Forest Coalition's “A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests” produced by Jeff Conant and narrated by Dania Cabello. 

Direct download: MakingCon_121205_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm PST

Room To Breathe: From Chaos to Peace in the Classroom

At overcrowded and underfunded public schools across the country high suspension rates are exacerbating existing achievement gaps. Often, chaos in the classroom is to blame, keeping students from concentrating on their classes. On this edition we’ll hear excerpts from Russell Long’s film “Room to Breathe” which takes us to a middle school in San Francisco, California, that began teaching mindfulness in the hopes of giving students the skills they need to focus on learning.

Direct download: MakingCon_121128_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm PST

Native Harvest for a Modern World ENCORE

For centuries, the Taos Pueblo people in New Mexico lived entirely off their land.  Sustainable agriculture was a way of life, but U.S. federal policies helped put an end to that. Food wasn’t grown at the pueblos; it was trucked in. Traditional farming gave way to government subsidies and obesity rates soared. But recently, a surprising agricultural renaissance has taken root across the pueblos. On this edition, Making Contact’s Rita Daniels takes us to the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico to share a story of rebirth and renewal.

Direct download: MakingCon_121121_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am PST

Women Rising #22: International Anti-Nuclear Activists

With nuclear power back on the agenda, three prominent female activists tell their stories: Kaori Izumi was part of the grassroots campaign to shutdown Japan’s nuclear power plants, after the Fukushima disaster. Winona LaDuke, has spent much of her life working to oppose uranium mining on indigenous land. And Alice Slater is part of a global initiative to ban nuclear weapons. On this edition, is the anti-nuclear movement on the rise? This is a special collaboration with Lynn Feinerman and Crown Sephira Productions.

Direct download: MakingCon_121114_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm PST

The Electoral College's Dirty History

Yale University Law & Political Science Professor Akhil Reed Amar says the Electoral College discourages voting, lessens the power of the states, and could work to the disadvantage of either major political party.  Professor Amar speaks with Angela McKenzie of Initiative Radio about how the US constitution can be changed to create a more fair and just society

Direct download: MakingCon_121107_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am PST

Education Not for Sale

Around the world, students have been taking to the streets. They’re opposed to rising tuition fees and cuts to education. On this edition, we’ll hear how students in Quebec helped bring down the government and why Chilean students are back out on the streets again. We’ll also speak to an activist in Puerto Rico who says she’s had enough of US-style higher education. 

Direct download: MakingCon_121031_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33pm PST

The Life, Death, and Rebirth of ACORN

It took 40 years to build ACORN, but just a few months to bring it down.  Local organizers are trying to rebuild, but how is ACORN’s absence affecting elections, poverty, and the continuing housing crisis?

Direct download: MakingCon_121024_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:52pm PST

The Penalty is Exile: How Immigration and Criminalization Collide

Under President Obama more than 1 million people have been deported from the United States. Immigration officials claim that many of those being deported are criminals. On this edition, producer Cory Fischer-Hoffman investigates the connection between immigration and the criminal justice system and the impact this burgeoning relationship is having on immigrants.

Direct download: MakingCon_121017_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:05pm PST

Microfinance: How it Lost Its Way and Betrayed the Poor

Hugh Sinclair, the author of Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic, in conversation with KALW radio host Rose Aguilar. Sinclair tells the story of how he learned the dirty truths behind the banking sector that’s creeping across the "developing" world.

Direct download: MakingCon_121010_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:47pm PST


COINTELPRO, the secret FBI project to infiltrate and disrupt domestic organizations thought to be “subversive,” targeted many 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.  This week, the second part of the documentary film “COINTELPRO 101,” produced by the Freedom Archives.

Direct download: MakingCon_121003_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm PST


COINTELPRO, the secret FBI project to infiltrate and disrupt domestic organizations thought to be “subversive,” targeted many 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.  This week, the first part of the documentary film “COINTELPRO 101,” produced by the Freedom Archives.

Direct download: MakingCon_120926_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm PST

The Burning Issue: America's War on Fire

Every summer, wildfires torch thousands of acres of land. The National Forest Service rushes to the rescue; to save lives, homes, and communities. But is the agency’s approach to fire doing more harm than good? Producer George Lavender takes a closer look at the “War on Fire.”

Direct download: MakingCon_120919_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20pm PST

Making it Our Business: Co-ops on the Rise

The global economic situation is causing more people to consider worker owned businesses. We go from Chicago, where workers are trying to take over the factory to save their jobs, to the Basque country in Spain, where an entire region has formed a massive co-operative society.

Direct download: MakingCon_120912_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am PST

Buying Power: Corporate Money in Politics

It began with an on-air rant by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli. It became a major political movement, with elected representatives on Capitol Hill. The Tea Party has come a long way, but who’s really behind it? On this edition: how some of America’s largest corporations are using grassroots movements to influence law makers. We hear excerpts from the documentary "The Billionaires’ Tea Party" and learn more about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Direct download: MakingCon_120905_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:19am PST

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.

Direct download: MakingCon_120829_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13pm PST

Being Black and Green: African-Americans & the Environment ENCORE

African-Americans are helping to lead the environmental movement. We take you to a resettlement community in North Carolina, sustainable farms in Wisconsin and a local bike ride in California, where local black leaders are changing the color of environmentalism.

Direct download: MakingCon_120822_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am PST

Returning Fire: Interventions in Video Game Culture

Interactive, realistic, pro-war video games have become part of American culture. But protestors and artists are finding ways to turn the virtual world into a place where the military hero narrative can be questioned. On this edition, we hear excerpts from the movie Returning Fire: Interventions in Video Game Culture, written and directed by Roger Stahl.

Direct download: MakingCon_120815_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:45pm PST

Undue Influence: the power of Police and Prison Guards' Unions

Police officers and prison guards hold tremendous political sway. Their unions support or opposition can make or break a campaign for office. And their advocacy for better pay, more power, and more jobs has been a major factor in the expansion of the prison industrial complex. For decades, they’ve helped build America’s build America’s criminal justice system. Now that system is changing. Can law enforcement unions change as well?

Direct download: MakingCon_120808_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46pm PST

Lessons of Nagasaki

The US dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Three days later, Nagasaki also fell victim. On this edition, we commemorate the anniversary of the bombings with excerpts from two documentaries, Hiroshima Countdown and Nagasaki Journey.

Direct download: MakingCon_120801_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:28am PST

The Struggle for Libya's Future

Reese Erlich brings us a special report from Libya on the chaos that remains in the wake of the overthrow of hated dictator Muammar Gaddafi. While the west proclaimed a great victory for so-called “humanitarian military intervention,” armed militias once allied with the US and NATO now attack government offices and engage in extortion rackets.

Direct download: MakingCon_120725_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:13pm PST

The Olympic Games: Who wins?

The Olympic Games have grown into a multibillion dollar industry. But with that growth comes concerns about the negative effects of the event on the people and places where the Games take place. We ask who wins, and who loses, when the Olympics come to town? We take you to Vancouver, London, and Denver -- the only city to ever turn down the Olympics.

Direct download: MakingCon_120718_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm PST

Ban the Box! The Campaign for Post-Prison Employment ENCORE

It’s not even the crime that counts sometimes. It’s that little box on an application that asks you to reveal if you have a criminal history.  Checking that box can mean the difference between failure and success.  We look at the nationwide movement to ‘ban-the-box’, and make criminal histories less of a stigma. 

Direct download: MakingCon_120711_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51pm PST

Angela Davis and Tim Wise: Capitalism, Privatization and Hope

Renowned anti-racist author Tim Wise examines how society is being divided and conquered on the basis of race and class. But legendary activist Angela Davis says we must not give up hope. On this edition, we hear Davis and Wise discuss privatization, the economy, and other critical issues of our times – moderated by journalist Rose Aguilar.

Direct download: MakingCon_120704_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm PST

Prison Crisis: Local Solution?

The United States imprisons more people than any other country. In California a new policy called ‘realignment’ aims to reduce the number of people in state prison. Could the incarceration nation finally be slowing down?

Direct download: MakingCon_120627_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm PST

Population Control or Population Justice?

Shrinking the world’s population is one way to curb global warming, according to some environmentalists. To make that happen, women need more control of their own fertility. But those perspectives are controversial. Can a movement for ‘population justice’ save our planet while respecting women’s rights?

Direct download: MakingCon_120620_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm PST

Arundhati Roy: Jungles of Resistance

Renowned Indian author Arundhati Roy takes us deep into the revolutionary-filled jungles of India, as she reads excerpts from her new book Walking with the Comrades.

Direct download: MakingCon_120613_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm PST

Obama 2012: The Lesser Evil?

Barack Obama’s first term has been a disappointment for many, and leaves open the question for those with a progressive agenda—is voting for Obama in 2012 the best route to take? We hear excerpts of a panel discussion titled “The 2012 Elections: Lesser Evil or Left Alternative?”

Direct download: MakingCon_120606_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm PST

Seeking Justice and Police Accountability in Jamaica ENCORE

On the second anniversary of the 2010 uprisings, this special documentary looks at police violence in Jamaica. In May 2010 a government crackdown left 73 people dead and a city in chaos.  Their families continue to fight for justice and accountability, despite Jamaica’s long record of police violence and government corruption.

Direct download: MakingCon_120530_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

Poisoned Water, Fossil Fuels

The endless search for fossil fuels is polluting our waterways, and our water supplies. The fight to protect clean drinking water is motivating Americans to take action. But with regulatory agencies in the pocket of industrial polluters, will it be enough and will it be too late?

Direct download: MakingCon_120523_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:04pm PST

Farming Underwater: Steve Mello's Story

Farmer Steve Mello has put down roots in “The Delta” in central California. But climate change is threatening the levees which protect Delta farms. Can we defend our farms from the impacts coming with climate change?

Direct download: MakingCon_120516_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37pm PST

Mexico's Drug War: The Politics of Violence

On this edition, political science professor David Shirk sheds light on the history and politics of the war on drugs in Mexico. And, an emerging movement in Mexico points to how both Mexicans and Americans can play a role in creating change.

Direct download: MakingCon_120509_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am PST

Mending the Past: International Truth and Reconciliation

After Apartheid, after genocide and after civil wars—how do nations, or people who’ve been pitted against each other, resolve their differences and live together in peace? We host a round table discussion on reconciliation with community organizers from Serbia, South Africa, Azerbaijan, and Sudan.

Direct download: MakingCon_120502_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:36pm PST

Police Tape: From Rodney King to Aiyana Jones

It’s been 20 years since four white police officers were cleared of unlawfully beating Rodney King in Los Angeles. But we might never have heard of Rodney King had it not been for an amateur cameraman who caught the whole thing on tape. On this edition, we hear how video cameras have changed the way we see the police.

Direct download: MakingCon_120425_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm PST

Bigger Than Hip-Hop: Youth Speakin' for Themselves

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

Direct download: MakingCon_120418_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm PST

Justice in the Home: Domestic Workers Re-define the Labor Movement

With the passage of New York’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010, workers are now organizing in California and other states to win basic rights and protections long denied to this labor force. On this edition, we look at past and present struggles of domestic workers.

Direct download: MakingCon_120411_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm PST

Bees: The Threatened Link in Food Security ENCORE

Honey bees help pollinate 1 in every 3 bites we eat. But they’re fighting to survive, in a world filled with pesticides and parasites. We’ll learn about colony collapse disorder and hear from beekeepers, researchers, and gardeners who are trying to protect the honey bee.

Direct download: MakingCon_120404_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm PST

Cities Underwater: Venice and New Orleans Seek Solutions

We’ve all seen how high water devastated New Orleans. But another historic Jewel, Venice, Italy, is struggling to plan for sea level rise. On this edition, Producer Zoe Sullivan takes us to both Venice and New Orleans, to look at some creative solutions they’re trying, and what other coastal cities might do as the effects of climate change set in.

Direct download: MakingCon_120328_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm PST

Justice For Sale: Glenn Greenwald on the Rule of Law

Author Glenn Greenwald talks about his book, ‘With Liberty and Justice for Some.’ Americans claim to live under the rule of law; that no one is above our system of justice. But as we witness more exceptions to that rule, there are growing doubts that fairness is a value we as a nation, still hold dear.

Direct download: MakingCon_120321_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm PST

Ban the Box! The Campaign for Post-Prison Employment

It’s not even the crime that counts sometimes. It’s that little box on an application that asks you to reveal if you have a criminal history. Checking that box can mean the difference between failure and success. We look at the nationwide movement to ‘ban-the-box’, and make criminal histories less of a stigma.

Direct download: MakingCon_120314_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

The Light Inside: Giving Birth Behind Bars

A look at pregnancy, and motherhood, inside US jails and prisons. What does the huge number of incarcerated women in prison foretell for the next generation of America’s kids?

Direct download: MakingCon_120307_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46am PST

Drips of Change: Preserving Our Freshwater

40 years after the Clean Water Act became law, the landscape of our water supply has been transformed, and regulation is being framed by some as an enemy of progress. On this edition, we look at how we manage our water in the twenty-first century. Are we doing too little, or are we trying to control too much?

Direct download: MakingCon_120229_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am PST

Capitalism Makes us Crazy: Dr Gabor Maté on Illness & Addiction

What’s the connection between the increase in chronic diseases, mental illness and drug addiction in our society today? On this edition, Dr. Gabor Mate talks about the relationship between mind and body health – and what the rise of capitalism has done to destroy both.

Direct download: MakingCon_120222_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22pm PST

How to Occupy the Economy, According to Richard Wolff

Occupy Wall Street has changed the conversation about the distribution of wealth.  So what now?  What policy changes and initiatives should the movement be pushing for?  Economics Professor Richard Wolff has some answers. 

Direct download: MakingCon_120208_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:50pm PST

Who Controls Black Women's Bodies? (Encore)

Reproductive health services for women are under attack, leaving poor women and women of color lacking access. But a broad coalition of women is striking back, changing the conversation on abortion and race.

Direct download: MakingCon_120201_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am PST

Tariq Ali on the Rise of the "Extreme Center"

As the U.S. prepares for another presidential election, journalist Tariq Ali says the ‘choices’ don’t present much in the way of options. On this edition, Ali speaks about the growth of the ‘extreme center’ and how Occupy and other emerging social movements are challenging the status quo.

Direct download: MakingCon_120125_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37pm PST

How to Change a System: Occupy and the Question of Non-Violence

There’s a raging debate within the Occupy movement over what tactics should be used.  On this edition, a debate from Oakland, California between practitioners of non-violence, versus those who believe a diversity of tactics is what Occupy needs to move forward.

Direct download: MakingCon_120118_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:55pm PST

Inside the Syrian Uprising

As the popular uprising against the Syrian government continues, reporter Reese Erlich is one of the few foreign reporters who got into Syria to interview opposition demonstrators, government officials and impassioned supporters of President Bashar al Assad. On this edition, Erlich takes us inside the Syrian uprising.

Direct download: MakingCon_120111_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:52pm PST

Cornel West & Carl Dix: Pursuing Justice in the Age of Obama

A dialogue between Princeton University professor Cornel West, and Revolutionary Communist Party USA spokesman Carl Dix about the future of America’s youth in the age of Obama.

Direct download: MakingCon_120104_Ax.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm PST





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