Tune in to 91.3 - tune in to the real thing
Illustration by Josh Hagler
Tuesday October 9, 2001
Gray clouds darken the Tucson sky. U.S. Air Force jets sound like thunder in between flashes of lightning in the mountains. Screams of war tumble overhead, muting out the radio I have to blast.
"Democracy Now!" broadcasted by KXCI Community Radio 91.3FM, has been cranked up since 9 a.m. today, when it began Amy Goodman's two-hour special, "Democracy in Exile: War and Peace Report."
The radio program pledges to bring grassroots efforts into the public light and to incite a greater democracy within the United States. "Democracy Now!" is dedicated to reporting issues that demand the utmost attention. So during the last few weeks, it covered how the world reacted to the terrorist attacks against the United States.
In its own words, it features, "the ideas and voices of some of the best minds of this generation (and previous ones), including activists, muckrakers, visionaries, artists, risk-takers, academics and 'just folks' who share a commitment to truth, democracy, justice, diversity, equality and peace."
The entire show consists of interviews and sound clips from various speeches and rallies. A great majority of the people Amy Goodman speaks with is not American.
And rightfully so. We need to hear the world's response.
On Sunday night, I caught the end of all three major networks' news coverage. All I learned was that the United States and Great Britain had attacked specific terrorist targets, with missiles and food. It was reported that
90 percent of Americans supported military invention.
What didn't make the Sunday or Monday newspapers was that New York City, the city most devastated by the terrorist attacks, hosted a massive peace rally from Union Square to Times Square - right under the noses of the New York Times.
10,000 anti-war demonstrators - from Nobel Peace Prize recipients to citizens who lost someone during the attacks - met peacefully in hopes the administration would hear their message.
It doesn't matter whether or not you agree with the ongoing attacks in
Afghanistan. What does matter is that this country upholds values such as freedom of speech, press, and assembly - the freedom to give the public the entire story. So, why aren't the major news sources reporting it?
For the last week, a local radio station has been on a membership drive to raise sufficient funds to keep it operating for another year. Station workers are proud to report that they accumulated over $35,000.
They are also part of the radio force that has been blaring songs such as "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," the infamous "Imagine" by John Lennon, Dave Matthews Band's, "Crash into Me," Don McLean's "American Pie," Cat Steven's "Peace Train" and "Morning Has Broken," and last but not least, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan. Many other stations will not air these songs.
These are only a few of the songs on the rumored "banned list." The list was reportedly sent out by Clear Channel Communications Inc., a radio corporation that owns 1,213 U.S. radio, 19 TV and 240 international radio stations. It encouraged its radio stations to not play specific songs in the midst of the attacks.
This is a direct violation of our constitutional freedoms. It is censorship.
Corporate America obviously has too much power. Has anyone else received anonymous e-mails urging patriotism?
It is up to us to use our resources to find the truth, or as much of the truth as possible. The broadcasting of "Democracy Now!" is an essential tool for spreading ideas outside the mainstream media sources. And remember, the people of Tucson own KXCI.
The people need KXCI.
Independent and alternative news sources deserve more attention. For a moment, toss away the Arizona Daily Star, the Tucson Citizen and even the Arizona Daily Wildcat. That's right, look into other sources of non-profit or international journalism. I have done some of the work for you. Here is a list of alternative news sources to check out:
The Independent Media Center (http://www.indymedia.org)
National Public Radio (http://www.npr.org)
Common Dreams News Center (http://www.commondreams.org)
The London Times (http://www.thetimes.co.uk)
Democracy Now! (http://www.democracynow.org)
The Guardian Unlimited (http://www.guardian.co.uk)
Pacifica Radio (http://www.pacifica.org)
If you have not tuned into KXCI at 9 a.m. yet, try it today or tomorrow - maybe even call and donate money so they remain on the air.
Most importantly, exercise the rights we have. Read. Listen. Think. Provoke others to think.
We the people need the facts, because we the people have the power.