Oct 19, 2012: Amin Rehman and “A IS FOR…”; Chris Crossroads with some banjo stylings and Occupy Windsor/Occupy Detroit reminisences.

Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Listen to entire program here

On Friday we heard from artist Amin Rehman whose work opened that evening at the Artcite Gallery on University Ave at Pelissier next to the Capitol Theatre. According to his website, “… Rehman is a visual artist living in Toronto. He is an experimental painter whose work explores politicized cultural interactions, communal narratives, linguistic forces and aggressive globalization. Amin’s art practice comprises works on paper, canvas, and board, as well as wall-hung installations” His exhibit in Windsor is timely and on Artcite’s website his work is described as “text-based installations explor[ing] neo-colonialism and the way in which language is used to further political and militaristic goals, while questioning narratives of individual identity and culture. Alternating between oil/ encaustic (Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added) and digitally generated vinyl and neon signs, Rehman uses short, quixotic texts to evoke both current global realities and his own experience living in Pakistan and Canada.”

 So I say timely because since 9/11 the West has engaged in the so called war on terror but which others have described as a modern day crusade meant to impose political and economic terms on countries that are primarily Islamic. A backlash is developing that at its most horrific see the gunning down of a 14 year old girl in Pakistan – allegedly by the Taliban – who agitated for schools open to girls. Canada went to war in Afghanistan supposedly to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and instead got into a war that was declared necessary so we could bring democracy and freedom to that country – the problem of course is the Afghans never asked us to do that. This is colonialism and imperialism writ large. Nice going for a country that was at the forefront – however imperfect – of pluralism and as a broker between nations.

Amin Rehman and Paul Chislett at Artcite. Click on photo for more on the exhibit.

 Rehman’s work as an artist explores the intersection of culture and identity which I think means necessarily a dialogue on religion, nationality, globalism, economics and so on – a dialogue no one in power in the entire West wants to have. Here Rehman speaks on the exhibit: 

Also, this evening, there is a  panel discussion with Rehman in conjunction with Bookfest Windsor:

Thursday October 25, 2012 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Artcite
a panel discussion on the arts and poetics of the word as materiality featuring:

Dr. Karl E. Jirgens (Windsor ON)
Dennis Michael Jones (Plymouth MI USA)
Amin Rehman (Lahore, Pakistan & Toronto ON)

Panel Moderator: Susan Gold (Windsor ON)

The Panel from the left: Amin Rehman (Lahore, Pakistan & Toronto, On), Dennis Michael Jones (Plymouth, Michigan), Karl Jirgens (Windsor, On), and moderator Susan Gold-Smith (Windsor, On) (Photo: Paul Chislett)


Click image for more on this fantastic performer and great guy.

Chris was back and forth between Occupy Windsor and Occupy Detroit and looks back a bit on events last year:

Featured Music:

Chris Crossroads played a tune: Little Maggie:

Important Labour Council callout:

Oct. 12, 2012: Occupy one year on: a retrospective on Occupy Detroit & Occupy Windsor

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October 15 marked the one year anniversary of the global call to support Occupy Wall St. Activists in cities around the world responded including those in Windsor who set up a modest encampment of three tents at Senator Croll Park which grew to about thirty in weeks following. In this clip which aired on Oct. 28, 2011 Terrance Travis and I talk about the Occupy Windsor experience we were both part of. Travis also goes on to describe his work with Sit for Peace and his hope to make connections with other Occupiers across the country:

Kick off Rally for Occupy Windsor Oct 15, 2012 (Photo: Paul Chislett)

For more Occupy Windsor  photographs visit Doug Maclellan Photography “Informal Gathering of the Heart”

In this segment first aired on Nov. 18, 2011, we had been in the park for a month and in the news was Councilor Drew Dilkens and his concern for the state of the grass in the park. I had a short editorial piece on that and then Destiny Turnboe of Occupy Detroit reported on things there including the possibility of OD moving from the park they were in to an indoor location

November 2011 (Photo: Paul Chislett)

I interviewed Al Sandine, author of Taming the American Crowd, in April 201o about his book which argued that the “crowd” is a form of direct democracy and that that crowd has been tamed over the decades to operate in more “approved” ways such as in sports stadiums, malls, and so on. I was curious about his take on the Occupy movement and in this segment, which aired on Nov. 25 2011, Sandine described his hopes for the movement:


Featured CD:

Click image for more on this iconic CD

Sample: First We Take Manhattan:

Nov 25: Author Al Sandine and the Occupy movement; Zack from Occupy Detroit.

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Listen to entire program here:

On Friday we touched base with author Al Sandine who I spoke with last year about his book, The Taming of the American Crowd.

Al Sandine. Click image for author’s website


According to the review, the book explained “…how the crowd as an active subject of change—often positive, sometimes not—has been replaced by the passive crowd as object of control and regulation.” In his book, Sandine exposed the idea of approved crowds such as those in shopping malls and sports events, as opposed to, for example, peaceful protesters around the world who are subject to state violence.

Click image for more about the book

On Black Friday in the US, Facebook users posted great photos showing people camped out at shopping malls ready to spend money while Occupy camps are being dismantled by the state. I wanted to touch base with Al Sandine again to see what he thought of the occupy movement and if it represents an awakening of ordinary people ready to throw off the passiveness of the last few decades in order to challenge the existing global oligarchy.

Featured CD:

Click image for more on this local band


Detroit Troublemakers School:

Saturday, December 3, 2011
12pm to 5pm

UAW Local 22
4300 Michigan Ave, Detroit

Click image for more on the one day school

Nov. 18: Fiona Sampson and Maggi Swan-Tuomi on Equality Effect in Africa; Destiny Turnboe at Occupy Detroit

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Listen to entire program here: 


We had a couple of things to cover Friday and in the first half hour we had a discussion about Equality Effect, a Canadian human rights organization that “develops creative legal solutions to address the inequality of women and girls in Africa who are subject to some of the most appalling human rights abuses in the world today (Equality Effect currently works in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi)”.

One project, the “160 Girls” case is an effort to protect Kenyan women and girls from rape, an act that occurs every 30 minutes in that country. The other part of the problem is that laws exist to protect women and girls but are not enforced, so Equality Effect pushes to have existing laws in Kenya enforced.

Click Image to contribute to Equality Effect

To help us out in understanding the issue was University of Windsor student Maggi Swan-Tuomi, and on the telephone was Dr Fiona Sampson, Executive director of Equality Effect.

Welcome back and as you know I’ve been a participant of Occupy Windsor since we set up camp in Senator Croll Park Oct 15th. It’s been a huge challenge to learn how to be present in the park and manage our own affairs, providing assistance to each other, providing food and learning the realities of life here with homeless people coming by reminding us who’d park we’re really in. On Friday, city councilor Drew Dilkens dropped by the park and seemed ready to only focus on the grass in November, after a city recreation manager has already stated the grass is not a problem. I’d like to say to Councilor Dilkens the problems in this city extend far beyond park grass (I’ll chip in for seed by the way), libraries and aquatic centres.

The problems are the lack of adequate support for homeless people and the lack of services for the mentally ill who actually use the park when on a regular basis. Perhaps councilor Dilkens and his constituents are offended by the sight of tents in the park; however, they seem to lack concern for the people in need who are in the city parks all the time yet remain invisible. I’m sorry but have we exposed a problem for all to see thus making you uncomfortable? I hope so. In the meantime, the important work activists are doing continues in cities all around the world, exposing the hypocrisy and oppression of the state in all its forms. On that note, Destiny Turnboe gave us an optimistic review of Occupy Detroit.

Featured CD:

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Nov. 11: David Heap and Freedom Waves and an Israeli prison; Justin from Occupy Detroit and why he occupies

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Listen to entire program here: 

David Heap@ 2:49

Justin @ 37:35

Friday marked another Remembrance Day and I shared it with hundreds of others while at the Occupy Windsor camp near the cenotaph. The media has been interested in our presence there and a week or so ago there were rumours the mayor wanted us out of the park. In the course of a couple of general assemblies the camp decided to maintain a quiet and respectful presence during the ceremony and in the course of interviews, veterans and event organizers commented that we, in their opinion, had a right to be in the park and that the freedom to assemble and of speech was what they had fought for. And so the rumours were unfounded, the ceremony went off without a hitch and the only noise was that of an artillery piece that fired at intervals. Several people came to us to offer donations of food and to see what else we might need. The longer we are occupying the more time we have to talk to people and explain what we are all about and for me that is to create a space for dialogue and experimentation on how to work and learn together as a community. For those looking for answers a colleague put it best: the Occupy is the answer. Otherwise the short answer is we are looking to create  ways to eliminate injustice, war, and economic tyranny, by living in community.

 Meanwhile, other Canadians  bravely stood against the military machine of Israel by attempting to again run the blockade of Gaza after a failed attempt last summer when the Greek government caved to Israeli pressure and refused the boats permission to leave port.

Members of The Tahrir. David Heap is 3rd from left in rear. (Photo on Facebook)

Taking the world by surprise, news of the second flotilla, Freedom Waves consisting of the Canadian boat Tahrir and the Irish boat Saoirse (sear shuh), came out only after they were at sea. David Heap and Ehab Lotayef  were on the Tahrir  when the Israeli military boarded it. They were detained and put in an Israeli prison. Early reports said they could be held for two months, but on Thursday Heap and Loytayef were back home. David Heap has been a guest on this program and is based in London where he is a professor at Western.

In the second half hour we talked to Justin at Occupy Detroit and he explained how he came to be involved and why Occupy is a crucial moment at a crucial time in history. 

Featured CD:

Click image for more on this local artist


Nov. 4: Pledge Drive 2011: a retrospective of stories and music this year on the program

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Listen to entire program here: 

Friday kicked off this year’s pledge drive program with a goal of $30,000.00. I can’t say enough how important CJAM in particular and campus community radio in general are to the fabric of this community. Reaching this monetary goal will go a long way to allowing the station to increase power output so we can reach more people with a better signal. So on Friday we did our part to bring in some pledges and get more people excited about what we do at CJAM. Besides money there is a need for volunteers to do all kinds of things around the studio – from re-shelving cds to recording PSAs to making a pitch for your own program.

What I’ve done is put together a few clips of interviews and music guests we’ve had on during the year. We’ve maintained a blog for the program going back to Sept. 3 2009 and looking back you can see the evolution of the program from humble scratchings on a cave wall to the slick multi-media production it is today – just kidding – but we have come a long way and certainly it has been a privilege  to bring as many interesting voices to your attention as possible.

For example, on Jan 7, I spoke to Jae Muzzin about his plans for a Radical History Conference planned for February:

Click Image for more info

On Feb 11 Nusrat Rahman and I had a really moving conversation with Rev Colin Smith, pastor of Sandwich First Baptist Church. The conversation was during Black History Month and Rev Smith spoke on the church’s connection to the Underground Railroad:

Click image for more info.

On May 6 I spoke to local lawyer and activist Victoria Cross about the recent Supreme Court ruling that denied farm workers the right to organize unions:

June 24th seems so long ago as November settles in and that day Windsor native Anna Atkinson came into the studio to play and sing “Mooniture” from her new cd of the same name. That evening she performed at MacKenzie Hall, and was also appearing in the Stratford production of The Grapes of Wrath:

Click image for more on Anna

On July 1 Michael Skinner, a researcher with the York Centre for International Security Studies, spoke to us about the Afghan detainee report that had been recently released:

On July 29th local artist Rayven Howard came in to the studio to play a couple of her own compositions and that was thanks to Victoria Townsend who heard Rayven play at Taloola’s and asked her if she’d like to come on the program:

Prof. Robert Jensen, who teaches journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of several books including Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream, and All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice. He spoke to us on Aug 26 about his ideas expressed in an article he wrote entitled: “Nature Bats Last: Notes on revolution and resistance, revelation and redemption”:

Since October 15th we’ve been talking about the Occupy movement that is still growing around the world and also in Windsor and Detroit. On Oct 21st I spoke to Destiny Turnboe and Joe McGuire in Detroit to get an idea of things there, and popular CJAM host Chris Crossroads, who also has been involved in the Occupy Windsor and Detroit actions, came in to the studio to sing an anthem he wrote using an old marching tune set to his words:

Click image for more on Chris Crossroads

Featured CD:

Click image for more on this Sarnia band

October 28: Terrance Travis and Sit 4 Peace and Occupy Windsor; Joe McGuire and Occupy Detroit

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Click here for entire program: 

Terrance Travis @ 8:21

Joe McGuire @ 40:41

Terrance Travis

When we sit for peace we are sitting for self empowerment, freedom, coexistence and justice for all. When we sit for peace we are sitting for self liberation, compassion and mindfulness.”

It’s Day 14 of occupy Windsor and the camp at City Hall park is growing with about 20 tents and anywhere from 10 to 25 people at the daily general assemblies held at noon and 7PM. Spirits are high and even thought the weather is turning colder, I can say from experience there that we are determined to stick it out and continue to create a new community within a community. Why? Because, even though we have different backgrounds, there is agreement that we want to see a changed agenda, where the needs of real people are the basis of an economy rather than the further entrenchment of corporate rights with more free trade deals. Towering over the park is the gleaming Caesar’s Casino, and it stands in stark contrast to the old Grace Hospital site that looks like a bombed out building. It’s supposed to be the site of much needed long term care beds. How is it that casinos, aquatic centres, and arenas can pop up with ease but public services vital to the well-being of citizens seem to be a big mystery? It’s becoming clear that the agenda setters have their priorities and the people – the 99% – have another. It’s this chasm in equality that has prompted thousands of people to vacate our comfortable homes to camp out in city parks engaging with anyone who wants to about issues of equality, peace, co-operativeness, and political and economic democracy. The best way to find out more is to come down and bring a friend or two and see what you can take part in.  

Terrance Travis is a member of Occupy Windsor and he came in to the studio to talk about his planned Sit 4 Peace tour and how it has been woven into the Occupy movement. Terrance will travel through Occupy sites in various cities in  Ontario, Quebec and finally the east coast and Africville in Nova Scotia.

Click image for more about Africville


In the second half hour we spoke to Joe McGuire with Occupy Detroit as he participated in a march protesting cuts to public services in that city.  

Featured CD: The Rusty Halos

From left: Erin Gignac, Allison Brown, Anna Atkinson. Click on image for more about The Rusty Halos!