Twelve Bloomington citizens protested the May 26 sale of timber in the Monroe-Morgan State Forest Backcountry Area, which Indiana Forest Alliance (IFA) member David Haberman called a “complete betrayal of what was set up by the state to protect this wilderness area.”
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) established the Backcountry Area in 1981 to provide a backcountry wilderness experience for Indiana citizens. The intent, according to IFA's Website, "was to show that the state could protect areas just as well as land that was put into federal Wilderness Area protection. … The particular area they intend to put on sale on Thursday contains stands of the largest and oldest trees in the Backcountry Area.”
As humans seek the middle of what Ralph Waldo Emerson described as the polar states of "insanity or fat dullness," citizens search for the most effective news. Just as no student could pass a test without access to the materials that will be covered on the test, citizens need to be exposed to adequate information to formulate ideas and opinions in their democracy.
On the al-Jazeera English show Empire, in an episode entitled "Information Wars," host and moderator Marwan Bishara stated, "Today, the free flow of information is overturning autocrats across the Arab World. Who knows where the next domino will fall?"
As we watch Egypt rising, questions such as "who has the right to hold power?" come to mind.
Four hundred years ago, Shakespeare addressed this issue in his "Historical Plays." I had the opportunity to interview IU Department of English Professor Linda Charnes on the WFHB Interchange show on Feb. 1, 2011, and we discussed Shakespeare.
In March 2002, Palestinian-American activist Edward Said wrote in CounterPunch, "That pseudo-pundit -- the insufferably conceited Thomas Friedman -- still has the gall to say that 'Arab TV' shows one-sided pictures, as if 'Arab TV' should be showing things from Israel's point-of-view the way CNN does, with 'Mid-East violence' the catch-all word for the ethnic cleansing that Israel is wreaking on the Palestinians in their ghettoes and camps."
Indeed, Friedman has made a career of blaming the victim, and he stayed true to form during a Nov. 4 speech at the IU Auditorium when he explained why the United States is in economic distress. Using a Power Point, the New York Times columnist and author explained his "I'll be gone/You'll be gone" theory, blaming "people who make $50,000 a year purchasing an $800,000 home."
CBS chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan's talk at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Oct. 12, 2010, was a fascinating exploration of war reporting, as well as an intriguing insight into the possibilities of her future CBS News foreign affairs reportage.
Logan spoke to a full house and kept the audience rapt throughout. Her appearance was sponsored by the IU School of Journalism.
I am a Muslim, and it is my great pleasure to provide Bloomington Alternative readers with some basic information on the subject of Islam. It is important to clarify that my beliefs are my own. I am from Chicago, and I converted to Islam after reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X and then the Q’uran, and after much discussion with my girlfriend at the time, a person who is now my wife. I do not speak for anyone else.
Almost one in four people in the world today say they practice Islam. If you know someone who identifies as a Muslim, you can ask their opinion and gain understanding. Certainly, you will find that not all Muslims think alike.
A dozen protesters bore witness to the Nov. 19 sale of logging rights to 3,082 trees on 306 acres of the Morgan-Monroe and the Yellowwood State Forests for an average of $51.14 a tree.
"We are here to protest the increased amount of commercial logging on Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests," said David Haberman, president of the Indiana Forest Alliance (IFA) board of directors. "We believe that the state forests belong to the public and that the public should have a major voice in what happens to these forests."
More than two dozen citizens gathered in front of the IU Auditorium on Oct. 27 to "Walk to Support Palestine." The walk was organized by the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights Foundation.
After mingling and discussing the events that led them to participate, citizens walked behind a banner that read "Freedom and Equality for Palestine" through campus to the Sample Gates and down Kirkwood to the Square. There was no shouting, no slogans.
Marcher Kadhim Shaaban said it is a moral imperative for every citizen to support civil rights for everyone, especially for the sufferings of the Palestinians. "It is also essential for the United States interests in the Middle East and Islamic World that we work hard to aid the Palestinians who are suffering and give them an independent state," he added. "This is an issue that has both moral and strategic importance."
An Oct. 7 e-mail alert from the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition's Timothy Baer began, "Today marks a full eight years of U.S. war and military occupation in Afghanistan." It ended with a call to action: "Activists and residents of South-central Indiana will gather at the Monroe County Courthouse Square at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to express solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, calling for Peace for Afghanistan! and an end to the U.S. military occupation there."
By 5:10, about 15 people stood with anti-war signs. There was pleasant conversation among the protesters, and each was happy to explain why they came.
"I'm here because the war in Afghanistan is doomed to fail," said Michael Gasser. "I'm here today because it is the eighth anniversary."
At 6:03 a.m. on Aug. 25, activists started gathering at the Caldwell Eco-Center parking lot to travel down to Petersburg for the initial court hearing for I-69 activists Hugh Farrell and Gina "Tiga" Wertz.
The pair were scheduled to appear in Pike County Circuit Court, where each faced charges of one felony charge of corrupt business influence (racketeering), two counts of misdemeanor conversion and two counts of misdemeanor intimidation for protests against new-terrain I-69.
"We're going down to show support for Hugh and Tiga, and also to show the Pike County Court that people are paying attention," Myke Luurtsma said.