Monday, February 18, 2013

  • Tens of Thousands Rally to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline & Urge Obama to Move "Forward on Climate"

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    We play highlights from the "Forward on Climate" rally that drew tens of thousands to Washington D.C.'s National Mall Sunday. Protesters from across the United States and Canada urged President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would deliver tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Organizers described Sunday's protest as "the largest climate rally in history," and Reverend Lennox Yearwood compared it to Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington for civil rights. We hear from speakers including Van Jones, Obama’s former green jobs adviser; Canadian indigenous leader Chief Jacqueline Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation; and Bill McKibben of 350.org. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Lift Every Voice": Potential Senate Hopeful Cory Booker Praises Harry Belafonte’s Life of Activism

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    Just hours after New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg announced he would not seek re-election, Newark Mayor Cory Booker introduced Harry Belafonte at an NAACP function in New York. While he hasn’t officially launched a campaign, Booker has filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission, a legal requirement to begin fundraising for the 2014 race. In his remarks, Booker praised Belafonte’s lifelong commitment to civil rights and justice. "We’re losing black boys at a rate that is alarming. How could we go from being a people in chains to now large percentages of our men are in shackles in prison in the land of the free?" Booker said. "You have a state like New Jersey where 65 percent of our prison population is black, when only 13 percent of our state is black. There is a problem, and Harry Belafonte wants to talk about it." [includes rush transcript]

  • "We Must Unleash Radical Thought": Harry Belafonte’s Stirring Speech Accepting NAACP Spingarn Medal

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    Along with his rise to worldwide stardom, the musician and actor Harry Belafonte has been deeply involved in social activism for decades. One of Dr. Martin Luther King’s closest confidants, Belafonte helped organize the March on Washington in 1963. On Friday, the NAACP awarded Belafonte their highest honor, the Spingarn Medal. "Numerous strategies in the quest of our freedom has been played out at all levels of the social spectrum," Belafonte says in his acceptance speech. "What is missing, I think, from the equation in our struggle today is that we must unleash radical thought. ... America has never been moved to perfect our desire for greater democracy without radical thinking and radical voices being at the helm of any such quest." [includes rush transcript]