If you frequent 90.1 on the dial here in Houston, you maybe familiar with a program called Democracy Now!, hosted by a fiery, progressive journalist named Amy Goodman. For the past 15 years, Democracy Now! has provided an alternative to mainstream media for people who want to receive news about issues traditional media either skims or ignores entirely. Giving in-depth interviews with people directly involved with the controversies and topics, the listener-sponsored program has opened up first-hand information to the public unseen and unheard in corporate-sponsored networks.
Currently, Democracy Now! is on their “Silenced Majority Tour” stopping at 100 different cities to report local movements, the effect of voter ID laws, and what the Citizens United Supreme Court approval means to the success or failure of democracy, as we approach the November elections. And on November 2nd, Democracy Now! will be stopping in Houston and Amy Goodman will be speaking, meeting with Houstonians, and holding a book signing at Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church.
Aside from being a prime organizer, builder, and hostess of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman’s journalism has been distinguished by an honest and brave effort to uncover hidden corporate infractions and give a voice to individual activists, movements, and common citizens, who would otherwise remain mute to the public. Last month in Freeport, Illinois, Goodman visited “Bainport,” a tent city set up by former employees of Sensata.
Senstata is a manufacturing company that produces aircraft/military, automotive, and various industrial equipment. At the end of this year, Sensata’s Freeport, Illinois plant will be exported to China. The catch- Sensata is owned by Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s former private-equity firm, from which he is still receiving lavish royalties. Workers of the Freeport plant were forced to train their Chinese replacements, both in America and China. Sensata employees erected the tent city “Bainport” or “Romneyville,” with the intent of attracting Mitt Romney to Freeport, hoping he may help save their jobs from being outsourced.
While the mainstream has hardly paid any attention whatsoever to the Sensata struggle, Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! went to Bainport and interviewed protesting employees: asking why they were there, how they felt about Romney’s refusal to take any action, and what their next step would be after losing their jobs at the end of the year. Goodman also interviewed the mayor of Freeport, George W. Gaulrapp, who has supported Bainport from its inception. This sort of reporting done in Freeport by Amy Goodman may seem exceptional, but for Democracy Now! it is weekly.
Goodman is also a recipient of the George Polk Award for her documentary “Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship,” as well as author of four books; her latest being The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope.
Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 1900 Bering Drive, Houston,Tx 77057. There will be a meet and greet from 6 to 7 pm, followed by the main event at 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased through www.kpft.org.
If you are interested in listening to Democracy Now! you can tune into 90.1 KPFT at either 8am or 5pm. Or you can always visit www.democracynow.org to hear any past shows.