Dec. 28, 2012: Dr Paul Thistle, The Howard Hospital & his work in Zimbabwe, Rockin Robbee in the studio and a report from the rail blockade at Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

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Listen to entire program here:

Friday, Dec. 28th  was the final program of 2012, and if anything, this year may well go down in history as the precursor to a tumultuous 2013. From the local to the global, an entrenched and barely accountable ruling class of technocrats, bankers, and corporate leaders, and their sycophants without whom they could not hold power are intent on denying a voice to the masses. Trying to define the masses is part of the problem in why we cannot assert our will in the political and economic dynamics shaping all our lives.

We have trouble defining ourselves as actors in history and so we get labeled and compartmentalized as workers, social justice advocates, feminists, labour leaders, and so on. As we struggle in disharmony, the global power elites are managing to hold together their global economic house of cards.

As the year closes out First Nations peoples continue to be in the forefront of struggle against the colonialist mentality so brutally on display by the Harper regime. Chief Theresa Spence, on a hunger strike for several weeks is intent on prodding Harper and the Governor General to meet with First Nations leaders to set up a framework for a comprehensive plan to settle outstanding First Nations treaty negotiations.

As well First Nations are at the forefront of the struggle to maintain environmental regulations in the face of the government’s stripping of such regulations as global mining and oil companies descend on these resources. Of course, regulations have only ever been a stop-gap measure and the real fight is over control of lands and resources. Idle No More has the potential to bring focus to the struggle for economic and political justice. I was able to speak with local activists who traveled to the blockade on Friday and to local Aamjiwnaang First Nation activist Mark Rogers.

Recently on the program, I spoke with local photojournalist Doug MacLellan about his work covering Dr. Paul Thistle at the Salvation Army Howard Hospital in Zimbabwe. As Dr Thistle was in Canada over the holidays, MacLellan helped arrange an interview with Dr Thistle who had been the Chief Medical Officer of the Howard Hospital since 1999. Dr. Thistle is from Scarborough and received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1989. I spoke to him about his work and his termination from the hospital; a very controversial move and he was unable to comment directly on that as he is appealing the termination.

Howard Hospital new normal

“This is the entrance of the Howard Hospital, Zimbabwe at 4 pm on a weekday. Normally this entrance is bustling with the activity of patients, families and staff leaving for the day.”
(Copyright 2012 Douglas MacLellan. All rights reserved. Used with permission)

 

Here, Dr Thistle describes the history of the Howard Hospital and the country, his service work and the challenge of rural medicine in Zimbabwe, including the effect of HIV/AIDS

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A favourite picture of mine: Robbee and Neil at Occupy Windsor (Photo: Paul Chislett)

A favourite picture of mine: Robbee and Neil at Occupy Windsor (Photo: Paul Chislett)

Rockin Robbee was in the studio and covered three songs: So This is Christmas, New years day, and In the Name of Love:

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Aamjiwnaang Blockade, Dec 28, 2012. Lorena Garvey-Shepley 2nd from left. (Photo Supplied: Rob McGuffin)

Aamjiwnaang Blockade, Dec 28, 2012. Lorena Garvey-Shepley 2nd from left. (Photo Supplied: Rob McGuffin)

In this segment I spoke with Windsor activists Catherine Owen, Lorena Garvey-Shepley, and Aamjiwnaang activist and spokesperson Mark Rogers about how the blockade of the CN rail line was holding up

On January 2, 2013, it was reported the blockade would come down:

“The group issued the following statement at 4pm EST today: “The Ontario Provincial Court has mandated that the ongoing blockade of CN Railway be dismantled at 6 pm tonight. We are calling on community members and allies to come celebrate our collective victory at 6 pm tonight at the blockade. Ceremony will be held, plan B is in effect and there will be lots of food to share. Please post and share. Miigwetch. #idlenomore”

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Featured CD:

Click image for more on this fantastic Detroit artist

Click image for more on this fantastic Detroit artist

Sample Track played on air: “This is Not a Song, It’s an Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues”: 

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