Doug Allen on Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj

This audio podcast features Professor Doug Allen of the Department of Philosophy, University of Maine, speaking about THE CENTENARY OF GANDHI’S MOST IMPORTANT BOOK, HIND SWARAJ: ITS RELEVANCE TO VIOLENCE AND TERRORISM TODAY.

Doug Allen has served on the faculty in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Maine since 1974. He is a scholar of the phenomenology of religion, and has written and spoken extensively on the application of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy to today’s struggles of violence, war, and peace. Doug is a founding member of the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Doug spoke October 1, 2009 at the Memorial Union on the University of Maine campus in Orono during the Fall 2009 Socialist and Marxist Studies Thursday series. The program runs about 75 minutes.

Jerry Call on Medicare for all

This audio podcast is a talk by health activist Jerry Call given at the University of Maine on Thursday September 17, 2009. The full title is CAN MEDICARE FOR ALL SOLVE THE HEALTHCARE CRISIS? Jerry Call is a cancer survivor and co-founder of the grassroots organization Maine Health Care Reform. Jerry is one of the key statewide single-payer advocates in Maine. He was one of the “Baucus 13”, arrested for disrupting Congress during an industry-heavy Senate Committee hearing last May (see the incident by playing the video HERE, and also the May news conference at the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine.) He is a tireless campaigner for the Medicare for All bill, HR 676.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration (audio)

This audio-only podcast is the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine event commemorating the 64th anniversary of the two nuclear bombings of civilian populations. This program including readings and prayer took place outside the Bangor Public Library in Peirce Park at noon Thursday August 6th, 2009. A full description of the event may be found HERE.

Dr. Diane Balser: Two-state solution

Dr. Diane Balser, co-chair of  the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, discusses and promotes a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict July 28, 2009 at Congregation Beth El in Bangor, Maine. This program  broadcast on WERU Community Radio Weekend Voices, August 8, 2009. From the website:

Brit Tzedek v’Shalom is America’s largest grassroots Jewish organization dedicated to promoting a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This means promoting a U.S. foreign policy which supports Israel, the Palestinians, and the Arab states in making the difficult compromises that are needed for a negotiated solution.

Diane Balser is,

the former Executive Director of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom …. She is currently a professor of Women’s Studies at Boston University. From 1983-1994, Balser founded, built and directed the Women’s Legislative Network of Massachusetts and served as the lobbyist in the State House for the network’s sister organization, the Women’s Lobby.

Brit Tzedek v’Shalom is conducting a campaign to support the Obama Administration called “We’ve Got Your Back as You Stand with Israel, Mr. President.” Diane Balser discusses this effort in it’s full context in the talk.

A companion program broadcast earlier this summer and is archived at WERU, HERE:

Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian now living in the U.S., speaking in Bangor, Maine on 6/24/09 on the topic of Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace.

For more information about the local chapter of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, contact Barbara Kates at or 207-947-6858.

Health care rally in Bangor 6-27-2009

Link to Bangor health care rally June 27, 2009 VIDEOOn Saturday a vocal group of nearly 100 gathered at Pickering Square in Bangor to demand health insurance reform in America. The target of the demonstration was the harm done to the American people because insurance companies cruelly are organized with insistence for high financial return and callous disregard for health outcomes. Anthem was singled out for quite strident criticism. The quality of the speakers and the compelling stories told along those lines make this event very worthwhile. A link to my 24-minute video of the full program along with additional commentary is above right. This post has the audio-only podcast.

WLBZ/WCSH television provided statewide coverage, story HERE. The Bangor Daily News also has a story up on the web, HERE.

Locally the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) and labor-oriented Food AND Medicine supported this event. The related national organizing effort is under the flag of Health Care for America Now, a broad coalition of labor, economic justice, and other social change groups that promotes “10 principles for reform that have been endorsed by President Obama and more than 190 members of Congress.”

This is the list of speakers in order of first appearance:

  • Don Todd, activist from Etna, Maine
  • Dr. Elizabeth Weiss, Bangor physician
  • Leslie Mansfield, Bangor business owner
  • Dr. Benjamin Schaefer, Bangor cardiologist
  • Alice Knapp, Esq., Attorney in Richmond

Doug Allen: Gandhi in Times of Terror

The podcast features Professor Doug Allen on “Recent Reflections from India: the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Gandhi in times of terror.” Doug spoke on February 19, 2009 at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine just after returning from a trip to India. He describes this recent time in India as one where there is great interest in the nonviolent message of the Mahatma—considering that the 26-11 terror attacks on Mumbai have shaken India to the core.

His talk covers material that also appears in his article for the new Spring 2009 issue of the Maine Peace Action Committee Newsletter, “Is Nonviolence Relevant when Dealing with Terrorism?” Welcome to visitors coming here to find the podcast mentioned in the Newsletter.

Maine Fair Trade Campaign’s Sarah Bigney

What does "fair trade" in coffee really mean

This podcast features a talk University of Maine graduate Sarah Bigney gave on Thursday September 25, 2008:

“The Two Fair Trade Movements: Bridging the Divide Between Buying Coffee and Repealing NAFTA”

Sarah Bigney is organizer at the Maine Fair Trade Campaign, a statewide coalition of 50 organizations for building a just, sustainable, and democratic economy. (Check out their site for information on current campaigns, including the one to oppose the Panama Free Trade Agreement.)

This talk was part of the Fall 2008 Thursday controversy series sponsored by the Marxist-Socialist Studies Interdisciplinary Minor, and co-sponsored by the Maine Peace Action Committee (MPAC) and Campus Activities and Events, with support of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University.

Additional photos (described in the talk) are posted below the fold.

Continue reading

David Roediger: Writing Socialist History

This podcast features a talk by Professor David Roediger, Kendrick Babcock Chair of History and Afro-American Studes at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A long-time scholar-activist, his books include The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class and How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon.

Roediger is introduced by Professor Nathan Godfried of the Department of History at the University of Maine.

Today’s talk focuses on Professor Roediger’s study of the life and work of his late friend and colleague, the labor activist and historian for the Industrial Workers of the World, Fred Thompson. Thompson died in 1987.

I found the discussion of Thompson’s years as a professor at Work People’s College in Duluth, Minnesota personally quite interesting. This was a labor school founded by radical Finns and operated for about fifty years from the 1920s to 1970.

March 21 Teach-In on WERU

This is the podcast for the WERU Weekend Voices/ Special featuring our Active Community Teach-in on New Strategies for Organizing in the Obama Era that broadcast on Saturday April 4, 2009 at 3 pm. The event was held Saturday March 21, 2009 in Bangor at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

The previous post included the full-length keynote talk by Joseph Gerson. There is more information HERE.

Download, rss, and iTunes links are found at this site. The download links are directly below each post. Rss and iTunes links are below near the end of the righthand column.

The first half of this WERU-broadcast version is part of the keynote given by Joseph Gerson of AFSC in New England. He is introduced first by Ilze Pertersons of the , then by Bruce Gagnon of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Four additional speakers from the event then address a wide range of local activism on war & peace, environmental, labor, and foreign policy issues. They include:

  • Mary Beth Sullivan of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space who discusses economic conversion of Bath Iron Works
  • John Banks, Natural Resources Dir. of the Penobscot Nation on local environmental issues
  • Steve Husson of Food AND Medicine in Brewer discussing Labor and the Employee Free Choice Act
  • Professor Doug Allen of the University of Maine, who ties everything together.

Please also visit the marvelous audio archive site at WERU where you can listen to any WERU public affairs program in case you miss it over the air (or live outside the WERU signal range).

Two additional links that may be of interest are Bruce Gagnon’s excellent blog, Organizing Notes, and the Peace and Economic Security Program for the American Friends Service Committee in New England.

Cheri Honkala: Economic Human Rights

Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign spoke in Orono, Maine on the University of Maine campus on Thursday April 2. This is the podcast of her 61-minute program and extensive question and answer session.

Cheri Honkala just left Maine after an extensive tour. Information about the tour is posted at the Maine Association of Independent Neighborhoods, HERE. Below is additional (pre-tour) information from local organizer, Larry Dansinger.
Continue reading