Democracy Now is an organic, in the moment alternative to modern media, Amy Goodman reports. In fact, that’s what the mission is you can see when you are presented with Amy Goodman living the truth of her convictions in various encounters around the world. Most recently, she has come from Occupy Wall Street Oakland, but she describes Louisville where she landed and asked the cab driver to take her to where the Occupy center was there. The cab driver knew nothing about it, but then she mentioned the tents, and he understood immediately-oh the tents around the downtown central area, now he knew what she was talking about-now he knew where the OWS in Louisville was. It’s in many cities, it’s in many countries and it’s not going away. Is this a movement, like the Viet Nam movements around the country in the 70’s. That is a debate currently: Goodman said that Mayor Bloomberg of New York City says that the Viet Nam protests, marches and occupations had a single focus and they were a movement. But Bloomberg says, if you ask 20 or 30 different people in OWS camps what their focus, reason for being there is, you might get 20 or 30 different answers. Amy Goodman thinks is great because it is all the issues that have the people in the camps, on the streets demonstrating and occupying.
And they’re not going away, there may be an ebb and flow but the issues they are addressing as Amy Goodman puts it are around inequality. An example of that, she went on to say, is capital punishment in this country. She was with Troy Davis and his family in his last hours before his execution. Though there were recants from witnesses, the Supreme Court, specifically Clarence Thomas did not stop the execution. The numbers speak for themselves and race and class have everything to do with the number of minority prisoners who face execution. There’s nothing vague about the numbers and what they describe and we are Goodman points out, the only country that uses capital punishment in the legal system.
What is there to do about the inequality, what is there to do about Occupy Wall Street and police brutality on the Iraq soldier who was badly hurt and may not fully recover from peacefully demonstrating. Goodman describes how the video shows the injury happen, and the cloud of smoke, and the police stand by but the people run back towards the smoke to help the injured man only to have more smoke and fire directed at them that pushes them back. Yet they come back again to try to help the fallen man still on the street bleeding. Police brutality in Oakland has been going on some say since before the Black Panther days which came about as a result of that brutality and the many minority men injured or killed by the police. What is different is this is an Iraq veteran who came home to serve his country on the streets having served his country in Iraq-that was his response as to what he was doing on the streets of Oakland.
Amy Goodman’s latest book: Breaking the Sound Barrier is all about the power of independent journalism in the “struggle to make a better world.” She describes the fact that it was not people but a movemet that elected President Obama into office; from various streams and valleys, the common ground of these different groups and organizations that brought about Obama’s election need to rise again, There is work to be done. Obama was elected into office, but no one should believe one man is going to make for all the shifts that need to happen to move this country forward. All those different groups, Goodman says, got tired after getting Obama into office, and now is the time to recognize Obama was a reflection of everything the country held as possible and positive, but it’s all of us, every organization that supported that happening that must bring together all that is needed to manage the issues and concerns of our times. War, strained economic factors that were a given to happen as the major corporations set them up-for profit and without inclusion of the needs and values of all the people. Just a means to profit.
All you know for sure watching Amy Goodman at the podium is this woman will not quit and neither should you. She has faced machine guns and taken herself to places where revolution is in process in hot spots of the world. And she didn’t and she won’t fold, but will continue to get as much truth from the people involved by asking them what their situation is and why they are there. Her slender soldier and slight frame belie the stature of a complete hero operating not from fear or vengence, but with the certainty of the rightness of trying to take care of as many people as possible in this country and so many other countries. Courageous, communicative, creative and certain that the work in front of her is hers to do, and bringing the public along with the information she makes available on KPFA radio and TV. The standing ovation she received was an indication of the Green Festival population being engaged and when we rose, we were looking to stand not just for her, but for the world she has taken on for real.