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by Independent World Television News
Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005 at 2:20 PM
Have you heard of the birth of Independent World Television News (IWT)?
A Report from New Hampshire 8/14/05
I sit on the dock in front of my family's generations-old lakefront cottage in New Hampshire. Lake JoSylvia, named after my great great great Uncle Joe and Aunt Sylvia, is pleated with small, grey-glazed waves on this quiet, overcast August morning. A soft breeze slaps the water up against our red canoe, tied next to me. Last night, my mother and I paddled out a ways so she could shoot photos to take back to Florida. All through the winter, she devotes her art club time to delicate watercolor renditions of our summer retreat. For years, she has produced postcards and note cards and small paintings of this view. Last year, same view, but on tea trays. It made a nice gift.
I, too, spend the rest of my year fondly recalling the lake. No matter how adrift I may feel, I know my rare fortune to be able to anchor myself right here with my ancestors. No matter how thick the congestion of auto and smog and frustration, I can picture this great liquid silver platter reflecting heaven, ringed by firs and sweet calling birds, and I am reprieved. Revived. Hopeful.
When I left these shores last year at this time, I was on my way to the Republican National Convention in NYC. We'd spent several days painting "pink slip Bush" signs on pink torsos for Code Pink - my mother, my Auntie Ruth (born-and-bred Republicans), and my cousin Jennie.
I remember (don't you?) how determined we were then, that summer of `04, to put our bodies where our hearts were, to come out and protest against this unnecessary war and the heartless, criminal actions of the Bush administration. How wonderful to see over 100 of our New Hampshire-made fuschia torsos wagging above the crowded Peace march, trailing their pink nets in the wind.
But things happened in NYC, and that is why I write today. Because you may not know that last August, over a thousand American citizens were illegally arrested and detained, disappeared for days. I remember the pure disbelief turning to horror as busloads of shackled demonstrators rolled past us into 100 Center Street, NYC. A woman shrieked in agony that her cuffs were too tight, her hands were turning blue. I forgot the waves lapping the shore of Lake JoSylvia as the screams of hundreds of imprisoned women froze my blood. From the third floor cells they yelled, "This is illegal, let us out now!" I couldn't believe this was still America.
I wonder how much you knew about this incredible injustice. I stood with parents whose teenagers had been literally caught up in the broad orange nets of the sweep. One father had left messages pinned to a chain link fence in a desperate, pathetic attempt to communicate with his son. I saw these decent, loving, terrified parents address the network cameras in tears. Every major media outlet was there, and chose not to report it.
There are things that are wrong, simply wrong from any angle. Back in New Hampshire, I learned something deeply disturbing: you can't eat the fish from our lake. I'd wondered why there were so few fishermen floating in the early mist. The "Clean Air" from the Ohio factories has dumped so much acid rain on the rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds of New England that fresh water fish is bad for your health. An adult can tolerate one mercury-loaded serving a week, perhaps. Pregnant women, and children, forget it. I had no idea the pollution was so bad. Did you? No matter how you spin it, you get it in the gut. Denied catfish and perch and bass and the simple pleasure of fish and fishing, denied the right to peacefully express dissent, denied the use of our public airwaves to communicate these crises, it was imperative to remove George W. Bush and his uncaring cabal from our White House. Remember?
Remember the hours, the days and weeks and money and miles and phone calls and emails and walking door-to-door and the electrified feeling as the millions of small fervent actions built hope? A tremendous force was rising from our grassroots. A tsunami of discontent was about to sweep Bush from office. I remember, I stood with the volunteers on election night in Ocala, Florida, tearing into fried chicken and wearing t-shirts provided by California voters. "Kerry/Edwards We Care", said the t-shirts. Boy, did we. We were taking our country back. I was immensely proud to be an American as I stood with the Floridians that night, watching our democracy work, cheering the results of a Kerry victory on TV.
At this point, I pause to listen for the waves, and reach for the smell of the iron-tinged water, the damp sweetness of the wet dock. This helps me cling to the notion that life has beauty and goodness and meaning. Otherwise, despair wins. Depression and victimhood win. Evil wins. The stolen election meant a nation plunged into darkness. The light was snapped off, and the party went home. Those with the means to nest with a vengeance got into remodeling. I couldn't afford the search for the perfect doorknob. Ohio was my home state. Most of the country never knew, and still don't - how bitter cold it was, how perversely corrupt our election system. Ohioans grew hoarse from protesting, struggling to be heard as the massive curtain of media indifference descended over them.
This dislocation of cause and effect on 11/02/04, this fracture of our democracy drove many who knew the truth outside the matrix. “Wake up! Wake up!” we screamed, "It's not REAL!" But the lights were out and people had fallen asleep. The media – our watchdogs – mocked our efforts or ignored them. You know what that means. If it’s not on TV, it never happened. Over fifty million people were robbed of the most precious right they possess. Didn't happen.
In January `05, I rode with a busload of disenfranchised Ohio voters to DC to urge our Senators to stand up. Ann Sims, who had marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery was now a grandmother on a cane. The night of the election in Columbus, after having been denied her right to vote by Republican Jim Crow tactics, she felt violated. Ann told her story to the media right there at the National Press Club in Washington. “It was a gang rape!” she told them. A roomful of cameras and scribbling reporters and not one word, not one image made it to the mainstream. Keep the light off, keep the lid on.
This week at the lake, as the water washes the bitterness away, I remember that life is long enough to survive these trials. The screams of the prisoners, the rage and pain in Ann's eyes, our poisoned New England lakes are truths. We need to know what happened and we must make it our mission to find out what's happening - really happening - from here on out. It is important not to be fooled. It is important not to be passive. Please, help us build a news network that tells the truth.
Have you heard of the birth of Independent World Television (IWT)?
IWT is an independent view of global news funded by its viewers. No corporate funding, no government funding, no commercial advertising - the ongoing financial support comes from foundations and citizens. The focus of IWT is uncompromised journalism (both professional and citizen), without the bias borne of commercial market-driven forces nor political or ideological influences.
Paul Jay, founder and Chair of IWT, created and executive produced the top-rated news program for the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) for ten years and spent decades as a documentary filmmaker. As you'll see from the following interview with Paul, this is a network whose time has most definitely arrived, and he's the man to lead it: http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/05/07/int05027.html.
I'd be very grateful if you'd "sign up" after you review the site: www.IWTnews.com. Right now, as the network struggles to be born, the fundraisers must show that MILLIONS of Americans as well as world citizens will back this effort. IWT promises you won't be bombarded by emails, just periodic updates when there's something important to report.
If it's worth a tax-deductible , , 0, or more to see a network committed to the truth, by all means help them with seed money! (And just so you know, I am not a paid employee of the network, just a supporter with a big mouth and a lot of enthusiasm.)
Please, please pass this along so we can get IWT going as soon as possible!
Sheri Leigh Myers
To see journal entries from the last year: www.wakeupandsaveyourcountry.com
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