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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST





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