Community Questions KPFA Censorship, Content, and Commitment to Free Speech Radio, and Anti-War Truth Journalism

No Lies Radio has embedded the “Truth Troubadour” YouTube Channel video titled “No Lies Radio Report Public Comments KPFA Local Station Board 9 15 18”, which was done by No Lies Radio & Berkeley Calling Blog reporter Vic Sadot. 

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The meeting was held in the North Berkeley Senior Center. It was advertised at Pacifica Network Meeting Board that it was the regular public community LSB monthly business meeting; that it would have a KPFA Manager’s Report, and that it would include closed Executive Session as part of the meeting, followed by a Public Comments session at the end. The Board deserves credit for reversing that order so that public comments could be heard by General Manager Quincy McCoy and the community-elected Local Station Board could hear public comments before they asked people to leave and that invite them back to have a say if anyone was still there at 2:45 PM. After the Public Comments the meeting moved into Executive Session, which generally results with a report to the KPFA members and SF Bay Area community at a later date. 
Berkeley Senior Center KPFA LSB 9-15-18 NoLiesRadioReport

The 27 minute; 13 second video is an excerpt made from the “Public Comments” section of the archived audio of the KPFA Local Station Board, which was a little over 2 hours and 34 minutes. Eighteen speakers took the opportunity to state their current concerns to the community elected local station board, management, and staff in attendance.

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The main topics of concern were the following: (1) Censorship of Guns And Butter Radio; (2) A call for KPFA to support a resolution supporting the Journalism Rights of Julian Assange; (3) Content Issues: Promotion of Mockingbird News Lies about RussiaGate, Democratic Party talking points, 9/11 Truth, foreign terrorists waging a war against the elected government of Syria, Military Intervention, and issues related to investigating historical accuracy by the use of weaponized terminology such as “Anti-Semitism” to prevent criticism of the violent military Apartheid occupation of Palestine, and the calculated use of “Hate Speech” as a cover for the Suppression and De-Platforming of those engaging in “Free Speech”.

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18 Listeners List Public Comments KPFA LSB 9-15-18 NoLiesRadioReport

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There is a disagreement over First Amendment Press Rights at KPFA Pacifica Meetings advertised as “public meetings” as distinguished from “executive session” meetings. At the last KPFA Local Station Board the LSB voted to not allow video recordings; thus censoring the press in attendance. Labor Video YouTube Channel was ordered to not film at the previous meeting and they put their camera away. In the No Lies Radio coverage of the last KPFA LSB meeting you can see that there were 2 men acting as “security” for the KPFA LSB who told the NoLiesRadio reporter, Vic Sadot, to stop filming.
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NO LIES RADIO Exclusive Report Published 8-19-18: “Guns & Butter banned by KPFA” features Bonnie Faulkner and others in the “Public Comments” session at the community elected KPFA Local Station Board Meeting on 8-18-18. Also documented on video were attempts to censor the First Amendment Press Rights of the press in attendance. Watch Bonnie and “Public Comments” now embedded at No Lies Radio at Truth Troubadour YouTube Channel by Vic Sadot reporting on Censorship at “Free Speech Radio” in Berkeley.  More on this challenge to reporter’s rights below.

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Ann Garrisson asked the KPFA Local Station Board, “Do you reall want to go on record as opposing a resolution in support of Julian Assange”? She told the Sept 15, 2018 gathering about her participation in the #Unity4J programs, and that Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, Joe Lauria, current editor of Consortium News founded by the late Robert Parry, were participants and signatories as well as Michael Parenti. She said that Daniel Ellsberg was surprised to hear that there was resistance to supporting Assange and wikileaks.

The Importance of Supporting the Journalist Press Rights of Julian Assange: Ann Garrison Interviewed by Don DeBar, #Unity4J Vigil, 1 Sept 2018. (13 m 03) #Unity4J YouTube Channel. Join Joe Lauria, Editor in Chief of Consortium News, for a chain of interviews with Julian Assange’s supporters and friends. https://youtu.be/uyjVGryc69U

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19 Daniel Ellsberg Interviewed by Joe Lauria, #Unity4J Vigil, 1 Sept 2018 (38 m 16) #Unity4J YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/XOMkGIlns6o

At the 8-18-18 LSB Meeting, No Lies Radio reporter Vic Sadot was twice told to stop filming during the Public Comments session by two different men acting as volunteer “security”. One later apologized and stated that he thought it was not right after he had thought about it. Although the No Lies Radio reporter continued to film, as directed by the owner of NoLiesRadio, Allan Rees, the reporter was effectively prevented from covering some of the comments of Bonnie Faulkner, host of the censored 17 year old summarily terminated program called “Guns And Butter Radio”, and all of the comments by Allan Rees of NoLiesRadio, a Pacifica Affiliate.

See NO LIES RADIO REPORT Published 8-19-18 by No Lies Radio, a Pacifica Affiliate, reporter Vic Sadot: Guns & Butter banned by KPFA – Public Comments at the community elected KPFA Local Station Board Meeting.
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On 9-15-18 Allan Rees again claimed First Amendment Press Rights on behalf of No Lies Radio, an independent Pacifica affiate stattion, to Christina Huggins, current appointed LSB Chair, who presented papers claiming an LSB right to ban video coverage. Allan Rees decided to not film at this time to avoid confrontation, time wasted in courts, and delays in reporting the public comments for 9-15-18.

An audio is usually recorded except when “executive sessions” are invoked. This NoLiesRadio video report by Vic Sadot attempts to provide visuals to represent past and current historical context to the public comments audio provided by the Pacifica archive. Whereas, the current KPFA LSB seems to have a problem with transparency in blocking other Press from video reporting its public meeting portions in spite of having an option to shout out the press and community byy invoking an “executive session”, which may sometimes be needed to discuss personnel employment related issues or matters in litigation.
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All Pacifica Meeting Notices are listed at KPFTX dot org in advance and many of them have audio archives for the public to listen to on line or to download for free. https://kpftx.org
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Daniel Borgström of Veterans for Peace, who has a great blog called “Daniel’s Free Speech Zone” was keen to alert those in attendance to alert the community to the fact that KPFA LSB elections are coming soon. He stated that MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2018 is the DEADLINE for qualifying to be a voting member in the next election.  Daniel Borgström announced the formation of a slate to be called “Rescue Pacifica” for which he passed out an email sign-up sheet. He asked people to join to work together for their interests in KPFA and Pacifica, and you can sign up now by emailing to danielfortyone@gmail.com
Borgström encouraged people to find candidates with a real committment to Free Speech Radio and anti-war truth journalism, as well as transparency in governance without censorship. 
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Architect Scott Page, an active member of Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, came out to his second KPFA Board meeting in support of Bonnie Faulkner and to speak against the termination of her long-standing GunsAndButter Radio Show. He reminisced with respect and appreciation about Bonnie and her 11 year old suddenly censored show for all the reporting and interviewing that has been presented. At 18 minutes into the video you can hear Scott say,I first heard of KPFA in 1975 when the station had the courage to read Phillip Agee’s ‘Inside the Company’ for a complete week. And it really changed my whole political structure. I didn’t know anything about what was going on. And I say, can’t we give one show one hour a week to do the thing?”
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Vic Sadot quote from the 8-18-18 KPFA LSB meeting in the screenshot above. Several speakers were interrupted by sudden bursts of loud music that seemed to be coming from a lap top at the front table. That was preserved in the audio that’s in the  Pacifica Network Archives for Meeting Information.

Important Related Links Below:

Pacifica Remembers Its Pacifist Roots by Matt Swanson-Hurley, May 25, 2015 Pacifica Network

No Lies Radio posts SF Rally To Defend Julian Assange 8 01 18 NoLiesRadio Report by Vic Sadot, and the full Labor Video Report on the Aug 1, 2018 Speak-Out for at the San Francisco Ecuador and UK Consulates: “Free Julian Assange NOW! SF Rally & Speak-out To Defend Julian Assange” http://noliesradio.org/archives/151681

Free Julian Assange NOW! SF Rally & Speak-out To Defend Julian Assange (36 m 42) laborvideo YouTube Channel Published on Aug 1, 2018. https://youtu.be/d4yHvfVMiVE

On August 1, 2018 a rally and march was held to demand the freedom of Julian Assange and against the expulsion of him from the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Speaking from New York was journalist, WBAI host and activist Randy Credico as well as OSHA whistleblower Darrell Whitman who was able to use WikiLeaks to find the connection between Obama operative John Podesta and Karen Lerner who ran the Office of Special Counsel OSC which was supposed to investigate and stop corruption in the government. Trade unionists, journalists and civil rights activists talked about the need to defend whistleblower Julian Assange and prevent his arrest and incarceration by the UK and US government. They also marched to the San Francisco UK consulate and also challenged the UK government for it’s attack on Assange. Production of Labor Video Project

 

 

Censorship of Guns And Butter Radio Show and NoLiesRadio Press Rights at KPFA PACIFICA Free Speech Radio

No Lies Radio Reporter Vic Sadot was told not to film the “Public Comments” section of the elected KPFA Local Station Board “Town Hall Meeting”. Two different men tried to stop the reporter from filming, first of Bonnie Faulkner. A second man serving as “security” blocked the camera view of Allan Rees, the owner of NoLiesRadio, an on-line  Pacifica Network affiliate station, who had assigned the reporter to report on the meeting because it was advertised to the community members as a public meeting.

NEXT KPFA LOCAL STATION BOARD MEETING NOTICE Announces there will be an “Executive Session” and “Public Comments” will come after that. Why not hear from the public first, and then have the “private” meeting of community elected representatives? See: KPFA LSB Regular Meeting and Executive Session SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2018, 11 am – 3: 30 pm North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709. Public Comments are scheduled to begin about 2:45 PM. 

Watch Allan Rees of No Lies Radio, a Pacifica affiliate, speaking against the censorship of Bonnie Faulkner and the wipe-out of 17 years of Guns & Butter Radio shows from the KPFA Pacifica archives by order of current management.

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“Truth Troubadour” YouTube Channel posted a 6 video playlist titled “KPFA Censors Guns and Butter Radio” Report on the “Public Comments” Session of the regular Public Meeting of the KPFA Local Station Board on Aug 18, 2018 in Berkeley, California. The playlist and report were posted to NO LIES RADIO on Aug 19, 2018. Here’s a link to the video of Bonnie Faulkner speaking during the “Public Comments” part of the KPFA “Town Hall Meeting”.

Please share this NO LIES RADIO REPORT Published 8-19-18: “Guns & Butter banned by KPFA – Comments at Public Board Meeting on 8-18-18”. Special Report Assignment for No Lies Radio by Vic Sadot of Five Speakers for Free Speech Radio; Against Censorship; Against the Termination of the Long Standing Guns & Butter Radio Show by current KPFA management without any semblance of due process; Against the Memory Hole Removal of Archived Programs: Against the Memory Hole Removal of Archived Programs: Mac MacDonald, Chuck Millar, Bernie Rauch, and Allan Rees in Berkeley, CA. Courtesy of Truth Troubadour YouTube Channel. (Note: Two of the six videos were removed in courtesy to the speakers’ requests.) 

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Click on the photo to see how the KPFA Local Station Board tried to stop NoLiesRadio from exercising First Amendment Press Rights during the “Public Comments” portion of the “Town Hall Meeting” of the regular community elected Local Station Board. 

Subscribe to the Guns & Butter Radio home site to get updated emails on what’s happening direct from Bonnie Faulkner. Read the first report on the censorship:

Guns & Butter Banned and Removed from KPFA Radio Posted on August 16th, 2018
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Above: Screenshot of Bonnie’s Guns & Butter Blog of Aug 16, 2018 letting people know that her 17 year old KPFA show was cancelled by email with “no discussion of these claims, nor any provision for due process or community involvement before these actions were taken” followed by an appeal for support at the Aug 18, 2018 KPFA LSB meeting. Below: Photo of Michel Chossudovsky, founder of the Montreal, Quebec, Canada based Center for Research on Globalization, which hosts many writers at “Global Research” and many videos at “GlobalResearchTV”. The frequent guest on Guns and Butter released a report and statement on the the situation on Aug 21, 2018. Click on the photo to check it out!
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When “Fake Progressives” Crack Down on Progressive Voices: Bonnie Faulkner’s Guns and Butter on KPFA by Bonnie Faulkner and Prof Michel Chossodovsky, August 21, 2018 Global Research statement: 

The consensus among “Progressives” and Left Democrats is that Alex Jones is a “conspiracy theorist” (allegedly involved in hate speech) and censorship against him has nothing to do with First Amendment rights which guarantee Freedom of Speech. While the media has provided extensive coverage of the Alex Jones saga, the crackdown on progressive voices by self-proclaimed “Progressives” has not hit the headlines. Bonnie Faulkner’s Guns and Butter weekly program on KPFA has been closed down by Pacifica. It was among the station’s most popular programs over a period of 17 years. Not a word from the mainstream media. This decision against Bonnie Faulkner is also intended to suppress the voices of prominent authors, activists, lawyers, scientists, politicians and scholars who have contributed to Bonnie’s weekly program over the past 17 years. Let us ensure that Bonnie Faulkner’s program goes back on the air. Our thanks to No Lies Radio dot org and TruthTroubadour (YouTube Channel).

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Photo by Vic Sadot published at “Truth Movement Integrity Activists”, a Facebook discussion and info sharing group. The last part of the KPFA Local Station Board meeting featured a pro-active small group participation format for discussing and brainstorming on particular topics. These sessions were held after the “Public Comments” part of the Aug 18, 2018 LSB meeting. This photo has a list of “Solutions” to the Censorship of Guns & Butter Radio show that the group of about 40 people participated in creating. Other groups dealt with KPFA Outreach; Journalistic Rights & Persecution of Julian Assange; and Using Livestream Bay Area Broadcasts run by community activists from locations throughout the SF Bay Area. 

Truth Movement Integrity Activists Photo Album Report by Vic Sadot, No Lies Radio reporter on the Public Town Hall Meeting by the KPFA Local Station Governing Board “Public Comments” portion of the meeting. What are the rights of the press at a KPFA Free Speech Radio Public Town Hall Meeting? 

KPFA Shuts Down Guns and Butter August 22, 2018 Nomadic Everyman Blog by Scott Creighton  Scott is having his own problems with the current wave of censorship. But he rallied to the cause of Bonnie Faulkner and cited her as having a great influence on his first questions about the crimes of 9/11/01. 

KPFA Shuts Down Guns and Butter (24 m 59) Published on Aug 22, 2018 ChurchDog24 YouTube Channel. This just breaks my heart. Guns and Butter is a great program and has been since 2001. Thank you Vic for the heads up. 
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Scott Creighton denounced the censorship of Bonnie Faulkner and the flushing down the Memory Hole of her 17 years of archives of Guns and Butter Radio shows at KPFA Pacifica Radio. (WBAI & NoLiesRadio will continue to broadcast new Guns & Butter Radio shows)
Scott Creighton aka Willy Loman, recently had his “American Everyman” YouTube channel and his 11 year old “American Everyman” WordPress blog wiped out of existence.

It is worthy to note that Scott had an entire section of his American Everyman Blog devoted to 9/11 Truth! Scott continues with ChurchDog42 YouTube Channel and “Nomadic Everyman” Blog at Blogspot. While all the mainstream CorpGov media talk about the suppression of the “free speech” rights of fake “truther” Alex Jones, a lot of sites that are much better, more consistent, and delivering deeper documentation than “DisInfo Wars”, that attack over several platforms at once is being used as a smokescreen cover to obscure the repression of sites asking the most important questions about false flag agendas, psy-ops, and mass media manipulation. We say NO to Censorship!

 



Project Censored interviews William Pepper, King Family Attorney, on the evidence at the 50th Anniversary of the Murder of Martin Luther King

The Plot to Kill King” – Project Censored Radio Show on KPFA PACIFICA in Berkeley, CA 4-06-18. Mickey Huff and Ken Burroughs of San Francisco University interview William Pepper, author of three books about the Murder of Martin Luther King. https://kpfa.org/player/?audio=282877

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Book Cover: The Plot to Kill King published 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing
William Pepper explains that he met Dr King because King wanted to speak with him about his reporting from Vietnam, particularly due to his photos published in Ramparts Magazine in 1967 showing the effect of the war on the children of Vietnam. Pepper got to know the family as a result of his first book in 1995, Orders To Kill. The King family and William Pepper visited James Earl Ray in prison. They were convinced that he was not the killer. They came to believe that he had not acted out of racist hatred toward MLK, but rather as a patsy in a large conspiracy involving criminals in and out of government. Efforts to get a new trial and medical help for James Earl Ray failed, and he died in prison.

The King family decided to file a civil trial in Memphis in 1999. William Pepper was the lawyer for the King family in their civil trial victory at which a unanimous jury of 6 whites and 6 blacks convicted former Memphis cop Loyd Jowers and “unnamed government co-conspirators” for the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper’s second book was released in 2003 on Verso Books. It tells about what came out in the trial and was put into the public historical record. The transcripts from the trial can be read at the King Center website.

The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia USA King Family Statement & Transcripts from the Assassination Conspiracy Trial Victory in Memphis in 1999
http://www.thekingcenter.org/assassination-conspiracy-trial

My song highlights some of the most disturbing items that came out in the trial, and my video used the photos from that book with permission of William Pepper. The song bears the same title as the book, “An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King”. The recording with Eric Golub on violin from the 2016 “Truth Troubadour” CD was aired on this program from 17:34 to 22:20 on Project Censored – The Plot To Kill King 4-06-18.

An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (2013) (5:31) Truth Troubadour YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/fcoZ3jMXrww

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William Pepper is the author of three books about the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. The interview moves on to discuss what he discovered in his third and last book, which was published in 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing. The third book is titled The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

William Pepper claims that an enormous amount of additional information has been gathered since the second book published 15 years earlier. Project Censored Guest Host, Ken Burroughs asks Dr. Pepper about the new revelations about how Dr King died that are in his last book. Dr. Pepper names the shooter as Memphis cop Frank Strausser. He names the doctor in the hospital who smothered Dr. King under a pillow as Dr. Breen Bland. He tells the sources for this information. He names other “co-conspirators” who were already named in his last MLK book.

William Pepper was the keynote speaker at the annual 9/11 Truth Film Festival on 9-11-17 in Oakland, CA, which is sponsored by the Northern CA 9/11 Truth Alliance. All the films and speakers were live-streamed and archived by No Lies Radio at their Vimeo channel. Click on the photo to go to the part 6 section archive where William Pepper is the keynote speaker afterbeing introduced by Bonnie Faulkner, host of the Guns & Butter Radio show, which is also broadcast from KPFA PACIFICA in Berkeley, CA. 
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William Pepper and Vic Sadot chat in the lobby of the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, CA on 9-17-17. He’s receiving the “Truth Troubadour” CD that has the song “An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King” as song #6 of 18 on the Dec 2016 CD Baby release.

Dr. William F. Pepper – Keynote Speaker “9/11 Truth Film Festival” 9-11-2017 Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, California (52 min/27 sec) No Lies Radio Vimeo Archive  https://vimeo.com/233568273 

Note from William Pepper to Vic Sadot for writing this song about his second of three books about the murder of Dr Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. The re-make video with Eric Golub in the studio soundtrack was done in 2013. The master-mix of the song was finally released on Dec 19, 2017 on the “Truth Troubadour” CD at CD Baby:
Thanks so much for the effort you and others are making in the common struggle to air the truth about how this Republic, and each one of us, lost Martin. Thank you for taking the time to put some important history into a ballad. This, of course, is the role of the Balladeer without whom much of history would be lost, especially in our time with the consolidation of control of the mainstream media. I am grateful.” Bill Pepper

WHO KILLED MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND WHY? By William Pepper, Published at Popular Resistance 4-02-18 by Kevin Zeese 

Open Letter to Pacifica Board on Censorship of Bonnie Faulkner’s Guns & Butter Radio Show

BERKELEY CALLING POST MAY 9, 2015 – OPEN LETTER TO PACIFICA BOARD ON CENSORSHIP

The following email was sent to the Pacifica National Board, KPFA Program Director, and KPFA General Manager after learning that Bonnie Faulkner’s “Guns and Butter Radio Show” was censored on May 6 during the Spring KPFA Fund Drive. For a report on what happened, see this Pacifica in Exile Report.

Bonnie Faulkner, Host of Guns & Butter Radio Show on KPFA every Wednesday from 1 - 2 pm Pacific Time. Photo by Vic Sadot, Grand Lake Theater  http://www.gunsandbutter.org

Bonnie Faulkner, Host of Guns & Butter Radio Show on KPFA every Wednesday from 1 – 2 pm Pacific Time. Photo by Vic Sadot, Grand Lake Theater http://www.gunsandbutter.org

From: Vic Sadot <vic.bfuu.sjc@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, May 9, 2015 at 4:58 AM
Subject: Shameful Day for KPFA! Censorship Free Speech Radio style!
To: pd@kpfa.org, pnb@pacifica.org, gm@kpfa.org

The censorship of Bonnie Faulkner’s independent and internationally respected “Guns and Butter Radio Show” is absolutely inconsistent with the concept of free speech radio and the great Pacifica radio tradition of fighting censorship. All the more shameful when it is in the middle of a California citizens struggle against Big Pharma’s press to get legislation to make expanded regimens of vaccines mandatory! Which side are you on?

A public apology and explanation to the KPFA community is in order. The show and the premium she has selected should be presented at the next earliest opportunity, ie Let it go on next Wednesday’s show!

In solidarity with Bonnie Faulkner and her internationally esteemed radio show, we have just added the KPFA censored movie to our documentary playlist “Health Care Truth and Justice for All” in the “SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE HEART OF BERKELEY” YouTube  Channel. Get on side of the people’s right to control their own bodies!

Stop Gatekeeping! Restore Free Speech Radio!

Vic Sadot, BFUU Social Justice Committee Activist & Berkeley Broadside Balladeer

Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccines – Full Movie – Directed by Gary Null (1:48:05) Published on Nov 11, 2013 at Gary Null YouTube Channel. Now video #13 in the “Health Care Truth and Justice for All” playlist in the “Social Justice in the Heart of Berkeley” YouTube  Channel. “Silent Epidemic, by award winning film director Gary Null, is the first documentary to investigate thoroughly the true medical record and the historical evidence about vaccine marvels. Conventional medicine has herald the invention of vaccines as a miracle of modern science. It claims that vaccines have been proven to prevent and eradicate infectious diseases. We are told that vaccines are safe and effective, and that “herd immunity” can be achieved if a high percentage of a population is vaccinated. However, does the science support these claims? Kru

“Simple Song of Freedom” – Truth Troubadour Vic Sadot update of the Bobby Darin 1969 classic anthem to struggle released under license on “9/11 Truth & Justice Songs” available on CD Baby. The song was actually a hit for Tim Hardin in 1966, and Tim Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter” was a hit for Bobby Darin. Great American songwriters!

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New “Truth Troubadour” Blog Salutes the Work of Tod Fletcher

Titled “A Hearty Salute to the Political Awareness Work of 9/11 Truth Activist Tod Fletcher”, the new article was posted at Truth Troubadour Blog by Vic Sadot. It features many links to the work of Tod Fletcher on radio and in writing. There is no doubt that Tod Fletcher would want to be remembered as the major researcher, writer, editor, and speaker that he was in the global 9/11 Truth & Justice movement. Tod was an editor for David Ray Griffin books. He occasionally was a stand-in for Griffin when the acclaimed theologian and 9/11 scholar could not make a radio interview due to illness.
http://truthtroubadour.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-hearty-salute-to-political-awareness.html

There will be a Memorial Gathering for Tod Fletcher and his wife Susan Peabody who chose suicide over continued suffering. See Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee Facebook Event Listings for the Memorial Gathering for Tod Fletcher and Susan Peabody scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22 from 1-4 pm. Some people will skype into the event, such as David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth who worked on scholarly projects with Tod Fletcher. http://www.facebook.com/events/508202625950001

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Tod’s last interview on Bonnie Faulkner’s “Guns & Butter” Radio Show on KPFA was on Sept 3, 2014. It is archived at KPFA and at NoLiesRadio (link below). The lives and the passing of Tod and his wife Susan do indeed make a sad and difficult story. But it is also a story of true and dedicated love.

See the link to the moving tribute by David Ray Griffin: “In Memory of Tod Fletcher: A Life of Service (1952-2014)” David Ray Griffin in Global Research (Centre for Research on Globalization) 10-08-14. In that article David Ray Griffin quotes the late-great 9/11 Truth scholar Tod Fletcher in GlobalResearch.ca: “Having sensed earlier than most of us the falsity of the government’s explanation of what had happened on 9/11, he said: ‘I never fell for the official explanation. I’ve been researching and writing about 9/11 since 9/12’.”

Québec – California Solidarity Shines in Richmond

Group photo outside the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center in Richmond after the gathering organized by the Sunflower Alliance. "Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster! - Starting Fossil Free Solutions!" From Lac-Mégantic, Québec to Richmond, California! SATURDAY, March 1, 2o14 at Bobby Bowens  Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave, Richmond CA

Group photo outside the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center in Richmond after the gathering organized by the Sunflower Alliance. “Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster! – Starting Fossil Free Solutions!” From Lac-Mégantic, Québec to Richmond, California! SATURDAY, March 1, 2o14 at Bobby Bowens Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave, Richmond CA. Photo by Brooke Anderson. Hit the photo to see her Facebook page: “Stills of Our Stories & Struggles”

A devastating and tragic oil train derailment, explosions, and intense raging fires came crashing into the little town of Lac-Mégantic, Québec, Canada on the night of July 6, 2013. In the aftermath, citizens from the town began to find their collective voice and to organize themselves. One of them spoke in Richmond to a large crowd at the Barry Bowers Center in Richmond, CA on March 1, 2014.

A train rolling throught lovely downtown Lac-Megantic sometime before the oil train derailment, explosions and fires of July 6, 2013. Photo Montreal CTV News

A train rolling throught lovely downtown Lac-Megantic sometime before the oil train derailment, explosions and fires of July 6, 2013. Photo Montreal CTV News

Marilaine Savard told the story and showed photos from her home town tragedy. An unattended 74-car freight train transporting the most volatile of crude oil was parked at night on a steep incline a few miles from town. Somehow the train’s brakes failed and it ran away and picked up speed until it derailed as it took a curve in the center of the quaint little town located in the Eastern Townships of the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s very close to the border of Maine and next to a beautiful lake also named Lac-Mégantic. The train derailed, resulting in such intense fires and explosions of multiple tank cars that it killed 47 people who were “vaporized”. More than 30 buildings in the town’s center were destroyed turning the quaint Québec town into an inferno and into a wasteland. See the photo from before above and the photo after below.

The Sainte-Agnès Catholic Church stands unscathed next to the derailment and blast site in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Pope Francis on Tuesday extended an apostolic blessing to victims, families and everyone affected by the tragedy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

The Sainte-Agnès Catholic Church stands unscathed next to the derailment and blast site in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Pope Francis on Tuesday extended an apostolic blessing to victims, families and everyone affected by the tragedy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

Such was the story told by a young mother named Marilaine Savard from Lac-Mégantic, who fate cast as the spokesperson for the people of the town’s effort to respond to Big Oil and it’s conduct of criminal neglect and irresponsibility. Marilaine Savard was emotionally distraught at times. Yet she was stalwart and inspired by the outpouring of good will and “Solidarity” that she received from her new-found friends in the Chevron Oil Refinery town of Richmond, California. If any California town can feel for Lac-Mégantic it would be Richmond, which has suffered the effects of the huge oil refinery in its midst. 

Marilaine Savard, Baraka, and Pennie Opal Plant relax after the inspiring gathering in Richmond. Photo by Vic Sadot

Marilaine Savard, Baraka, and Pennie Opal Plant relax after the inspiring gathering in Richmond. Photo by Vic Sadot

Marilaine Savard, spokesperson for the Citizens Committee of Lac-Mégantic, Québec, was in the San Francisco Bay area for about a week of local speaking and organizing for alternatives to the fossil-fuel industry as well as to tell the story of her community. Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin gave a fiery speech and read a formal Solidarity Proclamation from the City of Oakland to the city of Lac-Mégantic. 

Richmond, CA Mayor Gail  McLaughlin and City Council member Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles read and present the Proclamation of Solidarity to Marilaine Savard on behalf of their respective communities. Photo by Vic Sadot

Richmond, CA Mayor Gail McLaughlin and City Council member Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles read and present the Proclamation of Solidarity to Marilaine Savard on behalf of their respective communities. Photo by Vic Sadot

Mayor McLaughlin is part of the Richmond Progressive Alliance which has transformed Richmond from an oil “company town” to a leading city standing up to Wall St bank foreclosures and Chevron corruption and pollution. Her second term as mayor is currently dealing with the aftermath of the damages for the August 6, 2013 Chevron refinery explosion and fire that resulted in 15,000 going to the hospital.

Photo by David Charron in Maclean's Canadian National Weekly

Photo by David Charron in Maclean’s Canadian National Weekly

Also speaking: Antonia Juhasz, leading oil industry expert, policy-analyst, award winning journalist, and author of three books: including ‘The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry and What We Must do to Stop It.’  George Monterrey, a grassroots community leader of the Pittsburg Ethics Council, which is fighting the Wespac crude mega-transfer-storage facility in Pittsburg, CA to supply expanding Bay Area refineries with fracked and tar sands crude oil by rail, pipeline and tanker. Pennie Opal Plant, Idle No More SF Bay Solidarity, from Richmond, CA “Idle No More calls on all people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honor Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water”. The MC was Andres Soto, KPFA’s Morning Mix host, writer at Richmond Confidetial, and Communities for a Better Environment Richmond organizer. David Solnit of Arts for Change talked about how some discussions months ago led to these connections with newly activated people in Québec.

The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson & Montreal CTV News Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson & Montreal CTV News Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Publicity for the event stated that “Fossil Fuels are a disaster, from fracking and tar sands extraction to transport in rail cars, pipelines and tankers; to refining; to burning; to climate change-caused drought, heatwaves, fires, floods, and super-storms that are wrecking our communities and planet”. The panel addressed questions related to this theme: “How can we move from “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) to “Not On Planet Earth” (NOPE)? How can we STOP fossil fuel disasters and START fossil-fuel free solutions?”

LacMegantic wide angle photo Montreal CTV News Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Lac-Mégantic wide angle photo Montreal CTV News Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Sponsored by Sunflower Alliance. Cosponsored by Richmond Progressive Alliance, Bay Area 350.org, and Communities for a Better Environment.

The Facebook event page was titled “Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster–Starting Fossil Free Solutions” From Lac-Mégantic to Pittsburg to Richmond, CA. How do we create connectedness and solidartity and an end to the attitude of “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) to a wiser and more engaging attitude of “Not On Planet Earth” (NOPE). A lively teach-in it was! 

A gathering earlier in the week when the Solidarity Banner was unfurled. People signed their names and short statements on the banner to be taken back to Québec. I wrote "Bon Courage!"

A gathering earlier in the week when the Solidarity Banner was unfurled. People signed their names and short statements on the banner to be taken back to Québec. I wrote “Bon Courage!