WBEZ | Rev. Jesse Jackson http://www.wbez.org/tags/rev-jesse-jackson Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Gentrification and Jackie Robinson West Little League: Was the playing field ever even? http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/gentrification-and-jackie-robinson-west-little-league-was-playing-field-ever-even-111564 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/jackierobinsonwest1_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It was the feel good story of last summer. Thousands of Chicagoans tuned in--and turned out--for the boys of Jackie Robinson West.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s the thing that we actually needed this summer with all of the different violence...to really bring people together to show what we can do,&quot; Chicago Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) said.</p><p>Many other politicians showed support--Mayor Rahm Emanuel organized watch parties, rallies and parades during the team&#39;s August run.</p><p>When the champions returned home and paraded the streets of Chicago, Maria Hamilton, 83, stood at the corner of 79th and Halsted Streets. She wasn&#39;t a baseball fan, but said it was exciting and she felt proud watching the local kids play on the national stage.</p><p>&quot;They smiled, they never pout or say nothing...they go right ahead and do the best they can in the game. And I really think they&rsquo;re going to go places,&quot; Hamilton gleamed.</p><p><br />The whole city was electrified; giddy even.<br /><br />But, amidst the excitement, there were signs that something was off, in some cases literal signs.</p><p>Like the one the mayor of south suburban Lynwood put outside village hall to celebrate the village&rsquo;s &quot;own&quot; Jackie Robinson West player. Or the congratulatory posts on social media from Illinois House Rep. Robin Kelly, calling out two players from South Holland and another from Dolton, all outside the city limits.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />When WBEZ asked Nedra Jones, the mother of the team&rsquo;s home-run hitter, Pierce, how much of her time was occupied by baseball, she said, &quot;A hour there, two-and-a-half-hour practice, an hour back, three or four times a week.&quot;<br /><br />The signs were eclipsed by the city&rsquo;s newest and brightest stars.<br /><br />The Little League World Series games shattered ESPN ratings records. The kids were all over TV, newspapers, social media, even the White House.<br /><br />Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nation magazine, said it felt all too familiar.<br /><br />&quot;It feels just so typical--the ways in which the media built up this group of young kids for the all the obstacles they confronted and then now is taking a seeming glee in tearing them down,&quot; Zirin said.<br /><br />He says gentrification is the real scandal in this story.<br /><br />&quot;The amount obstacles of obstacles and hoops that Jackie Robinson West had to go through just to field a team is something that Little League Inc. never took into account--it&rsquo;s the most unequal of possible playing fields,&quot; Zirin explained.<br /><br />He believes baseball has become a casualty of urban gentrification. And that there&rsquo;s a reason leagues look for players outside their boundaries.<br /><br />&quot;Little league is such a suburban operation,&quot; Zirin began. &quot;And the boundaries in the suburbs, by necessity, don&rsquo;t only mean a greater number of kids who play baseball--but a greater number of fields, a greater number of community centers, a greater amount of infrastructure than cities could possibly hope to compete with.&quot;<br /><br />There are twice as many baseball fields in Evergreen Park as there are in Roseland.<br /><br />There may as well be no parks in the far South Side neighborhood, according to longtime Roseland resident James Brown.</p><p>&quot;We&rsquo;re out there in Roseland--if I&rsquo;m not mistaken there&rsquo;s six parks. And you could ride past those parks on any given day and they&rsquo;re not being utilized,&quot; Brown said.<br /><br />The high school football coach spent last summer in the car with his son Semaj, 12, taking him and friends to and from baseball.<br /><br />&quot;I gotta take my son all the way to Englewood to play in a program that&rsquo;s nice...that&rsquo;s sad,&quot; a visibly upset Brown shared.<br /><br />There is a league in Roseland, but Brown said there&#39;s no coach.<br /><br />Little League International has more than 6,500 teams participating in 90 countries around the world. The U.S. is broken down into regions and districts. There are six leagues in District 4, which covers the Southeast Side of Chicago, all the way down to near Calumet.<br /><br />Before the start of the 2014 season, Little League International changed residency rules to allow little leaguers to play where their school was located. The goal, they said, was to &quot;ease the burden on parents and guardians.&quot;<br /><br />But where a kid lives and where they go to school can be quite different in Chicago.<br /><br />It gets more complicated, Brown&rsquo;s sister, Victoria Harper Peeples explained, when neighborhood violence and resources are taken into account.<br /><br />&quot;We (are) stressed out just trying to make sure, &lsquo;did I put them in the right school, did I let &lsquo;em hang with the right friends, did I put him on the right baseball team?&rsquo; There&rsquo;s just so many things that we have to do as parents, and we always put on the spotlight.&quot;<br /><br />Harper Peeples put her two boys on the Englewood team too. She still felt angst, even right after the boys won their championship game last summer.<br /><br />&quot;I mean, it&rsquo;s no chance that mom or dad could make a mistake. It&rsquo;s like, we almost have to be perfect individuals, at least in the sight of our children,&quot; she explained.<br /><br />Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson held a pair of news conferences in as many days, calling the league&#39;s decision &ldquo;inappropriate.&rdquo; He invoked the legacy of Muhammad Ali, who had his heavyweight title stripped when he refused to enlist.</p><p>&quot;Champions don&#39;t belong on the ground,&quot; Jackson began, &quot;and so, they stand up.&quot;<br /><br />He encouraged the players and parents to stand up and fight. Ousted JRW president Bill Haley hired high-profile attorney Victor Henderson, who said there are no plans for a lawsuit at the moment. Henderson will also represent the players, and said no one should question their integrity.<br /><br />&quot;It may to pass that &#39;i&#39;s were not dotted and &#39;t&#39;s were not crossed and if that happens, then we&rsquo;ll cross that bridge when we get to it...but we&rsquo;re not there right now,&quot; Henderson told reporters on Thursday.<br /><br />Henderson said he intends to investigate the league&rsquo;s decision to strip the team of its title. He said that on the baseball field, and in life, it&#39;s important that the same rules apply to everyone.<br /><br />&quot;Whether it&rsquo;s Ferguson County, Missouri or whether it&rsquo;s Eric Garner in Staten Island or whether it&rsquo;s Jackie Robinson in Chicago...there should just be one set of rules,&quot; Henderson began. &quot;We don&rsquo;t want one set of rules for a team for Chicago and another set of rules for a team in Evergreen Park. We don&rsquo;t want one set of rules for the police and another set of rules for young black men&hellip;&quot;<br /><br />In light of the involvement of attorneys, Little League International said it is not commenting on the decision, except to say they&rsquo;re standing by it.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez"> @katieobez</a></em></p></p> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 12:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/gentrification-and-jackie-robinson-west-little-league-was-playing-field-ever-even-111564 'Afternoon Shift' #189: On the line http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-14/afternoon-shift-189-line-103842 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Jeff Garlin.jpg" alt="" /><p><script src="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-189.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-189" target="_blank">View the story "'Afternoon Shift' #189: On the line " on Storify</a>]<h1>'Afternoon Shift' #189: On the line </h1><h2>We talk with Salim Muwakkil and WBEZ's Richard Steele about the rise and potential fall of the Jackson family. Chicago sports photographer Bill Smith will tell us about his work with children in Cambodia. Finally, comedian Jeff Garlin stops by to chat with Rick and share some laughs. </h2><p>Storified by &middot; Tue, Nov 13 2012 14:19:38</p><div>Congressmen Jesse Jackson Jr. again<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-jr-leaves-mayo-clinic-103816" class=""> left the Mayo Clinic</a> in Rochester, Minnesota today where he was receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. The South Side Democrat has been on a leave of absence from Congress since June—but has remained in the headlines. The congressman has reportedly been working on a plea deal with the justice department for weeks for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal use. The investigation now includes the conduct of his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson. The congressman and his wife are inheritors of the great political legacy of the family’s patriarch, Rev. Jesse Jackson. We examine the rise and potentially pending fall of the Jackson family dynasty with Salim Muwakkil,&nbsp;host of the Salim Muwakkil Show on WVON, and WBEZ’s Richard Steele.</div><div>What will become of the Jackson political dynasty? by WBEZCongressmen Jesse Jackson Jr. again left the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota today where he was receiving treatment for bipolar disor...</div><div>met-jesse-jackson-jr 0229 mhMy Sapolitics ™</div><div>Cambodian immigrants by WBEZRick discusses the plight of native Cambodians as well as Cambodian immigrants in Chicago.</div><div>As the team photographer for the Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears, Bill Smith has captured iconic moments in Chicago sports history. But the images burned in his mind are those he snapped of helpless children in poverty-stricken Cambodia. Smith returns each year to work with the children--and many of his Bulls’ colleagues have joined him on his travels and mission. Tonight, Comcast SportsNet premiers its two-part documentary, <a href="http://www.csnchicago.com/journey_to_cambodia" class="">From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia</a>.</div><div>Chicago sports reaches out to Cambodians in need by WBEZAs the team photographer for the Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears, Bill Smith has captured iconic moments in Chicago sports history. But the i...</div><div>This gorgeous little girl is so well-spoken. &quot;A Journey to Cambodia&quot; airs Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm on CSN. http://pic.twitter.com/VWjtdAEmSarah Lauch</div><div>Heroes. Watch &quot; A Journey to Cambodia&quot; on Tuesday &amp; Wednesday at 7pm on @CSNChicago . Life-changing. http://pic.twitter.com/QhqOpl28Sarah Lauch</div><div>.@CSNChicago's &quot;Journey to Cambodia&quot; team @WBEZ #AfternoonShift (@ChuckGarfien, @SarahLauch) http://pic.twitter.com/lxPi3yTvJeff Nuich</div><div>.@WBEZ #AfternoonShift host, the great Rick Kogan http://pic.twitter.com/Zlc6B6G7Jeff Nuich</div><div>.@CSNChicago's @ChuckGarfien on @WBEZ #AfternoonShift http://pic.twitter.com/J5M3KsH9Jeff Nuich</div><div>WBEZ blogger Jim DeRogatis and Mike Fourcher hit up the latest Petraeus news; plus, they'll debate the notion that Chicago has too many street festivals and talk about photog-about-town, Steve Starr, who passed away suddenly yesterday at the age of 65.&nbsp;</div><div>Our 3@3 panel talks Petraeus, street fests, and a celebrity photographer by WBEZWBEZ blogger Jim DeRogatis and Mike Fourcher hit up the latest Petraeus news; plus, they'll debate the notion that Chicago has too many s...</div><div>Who's Who in the Petraeus Scandal: Broadwell, Kelley, AllenHere's a guide to the major figures in the widening scandal, which now includes both the former CIA head and a four-star general nominate...</div><div>As Street Fests Multiply, Organizers Ask: &quot;Are There Too Many?&quot;When Rock Around the Block struggled in its rebirth in West Lakeview last June, one of its organizers acknowledged a reality of the curre...</div><div>Celebrity photographer dies after collapsing on Gold CoastA prominent Chicago photographer known for covering fashion shows, charity and society events and capturing celebrities on the red carpet...</div><div>Today's Break Room track comes from Brendan Benson with the track "Light of Day," from his latest album What Kind of World. <br></div><div>Brendan Benson - The Light of Daybrendanbensonwhat</div><div>WBEZ arts reporter Alison Cuddy talks about how the intersection of commerce and art has created a bit of an uproar on one corner in Lakeview.</div><div>Missing in Lakeview: one goat, two giraffes by WBEZWBEZ arts reporter Alison Cuddy talks about how the intersection of commerce and art has created a bit of an uproar on one corner in Lake...</div><div>Missing in Lakeview: One goat, two giraffesLakeview residents awoke to find neighborhood three John Kearney statues were removed from their Elaine Place pedestals, after being part...</div><div>WBEZ interviews my grandparents about the removal of three of my grandpa's sculptures: http://bit.ly/VXIsnU (825 clicks for this so far!)skearney</div><div>Comedian, actor and producer Jeff Garlin stops by for some Afternoon Shift laughs.&nbsp;</div><div>Comedian Jeff Garlin stops by for some Afternoon Shift laughs by WBEZRick talks to Jeff Garlin about the Chicago comedy scene and how he healed from his father's death just a year ago.</div><div>Comedian Jeff Garlin on the #afternoonshift #wbezwbezchicago</div><div>Jeff Garlin - Young &amp; Handsome - The First Something I Stole Somethingcomedystation</div><div>Listen to an extended interview with Garlin from last year where he discusses his comedic influences. <br></div><div>Comedian and writer Jeff Garlin returns to ChicagoOne of the Chicago area's greatest exports is perhaps Jeff Garlin. He's a writer, producer, director, actor and stand-up comedian. He co-...</div></noscript></p> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 12:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-14/afternoon-shift-189-line-103842 Rev. Jesse Jackson addresses concern for his son — and community http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/rev-jesse-jackson-addresses-concern-his-son-%E2%80%94-and-community-100768 <p><div class="image-insert-image ">A month after taking a sudden medical leave of absence for exhaustion, the circumstances surrounding Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.&rsquo;s condition remain a mystery. In a statement from the congressman&rsquo;s office last week, staffers explained that the Chicago Democrat&rsquo;s condition was more serious than initially perceived and that Jackson would require inpatient medical treatment &mdash; but for what? And for how long?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6000_P1010723-scr.JPG" style="float: left; height: 187px; width: 280px;" title="Jesse Jackson in WBEZ studios (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div>The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. broadly addressed some of those questions on WBEZ&rsquo;s The Afternoon Shift on Tuesday.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Jackson Sr. said that he spoke with his son a few days ago and Jackson Jr.&rsquo;s voice was strong.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;When we met some weeks ago, he felt the need to get medical supervision,&rdquo; Jackson Sr. said. &ldquo;He was very weakened and we got that.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">He&#39;s now under medical supervision. He is regaining his strength and that part will be left to him and the doctors to describe at the appropriate time.&rdquo;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><br />Jackson Sr. said he hopes people will hear from his son soon. He said he relates to his son&#39;s medical issue as a father and he&#39;s pained and concerned about it.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><br />Meantime, many of Jackson Jr.&rsquo;s congressional colleagues are speaking out whether he should be more public about his medical issue.<br />Illinois&rsquo; senior senator, Dick Durbin, remarked Monday that his Republican colleague, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, has had regular and thorough updates on his health and answered &ldquo;hundreds of questions&rdquo; for voters after Kirk suffered a stroke earlier this year.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><br />&ldquo;As a public official, there comes a point when you have a responsibility to tell the public what&rsquo;s going on,&rdquo; Durbin said. &ldquo;If there is some medical necessity for him not to say more at this moment than I will defer to that. But he will have to soon make a report on what he&rsquo;s struggling with.&rdquo;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><br />Durbin repeated, Rep. Jackson&rsquo;s health is the primary concern. But his constituents, understandably, have concerns of their own.<br />While Jackson&rsquo;s father, longtime civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, has, for the most part, sidestepped specifics on his son&rsquo;s condition, he has been happy to discuss the challenges facing the middle class and potential solutions for economic recovery.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">This weekend the Reverend&rsquo;s Rainbow PUSH Coalition will host the 41st annual conference of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund, titled &ldquo;A More Perfect Union: Closing the Gap and Expanding the Tent,&rdquo; bringing together innovators, thought leaders and activists to exchange ideas and strategies to protect the gains of the civil rights movement.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><br />Rev. Jackson joined the Afternoon Shift to discuss the ways in which poverty, transportation, segregation, unemployment and violence are interconnected.</div></p> Tue, 10 Jul 2012 14:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/rev-jesse-jackson-addresses-concern-his-son-%E2%80%94-and-community-100768 Jackson backs anti-NATO march: ‘Our agenda will be heard’ http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-backs-anti-nato-march-%E2%80%98our-agenda-will-be-heard%E2%80%99-98116 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/JesseJacksonCROPPEDSCALED_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Organizers of a protest march during next month’s NATO summit in Chicago are adding a powerful voice to their ranks. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., is backing the walk to McCormick Place, a convention center where some 50 heads of state will hold their two-day meeting.</p><p>“Our world has become jilted by war, too much concentrated wealth and too much poverty,” said Jackson, an internationally known civil-rights activist and a two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I’m hoping on May 20 there will be a large demonstration. And, if it’s nonviolent and disciplined and focused, our agenda will be heard.”</p><p>In this five-minute interview, I ask Jackson how he could march against NATO after supporting its 1999 bombing campaign against Serbian forces. I also ask whether the protest could damage President Barack Obama’s international standing or his reelection bid. The interview begins with Jackson’s take on the march’s significance.</p></p> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 18:13:15 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-backs-anti-nato-march-%E2%80%98our-agenda-will-be-heard%E2%80%99-98116 Rev. Jesse Jackson reflects on 9/11 and its impact on his lifelong mission http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-09/rev-jesse-jackson-reflects-911-and-its-impact-his-lifelong-mission-91745 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/5900888900_44e3781f67_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Ten years ago, terror shook American shores and left fear in its wake. The events of September 11, 2001 transformed the way people saw the world and each other. A decade later <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> explored the impact of 9/11 on communities, politics and culture. And ten years later, terrorist threats remained unburied. Thursday, news that federal officials were investigating a, “credible but unconfirmed” threat surfaced.</p><p>The Rev. Jesse Jackson established his political footing and civic principles during the civil rights movement. In his long career, Jackson has tried to make this world one of equal footing. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> wanted to know whether Rev. Jackson felt the events of 9/11 changed that world – and his own mission. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> visited him at his office at the <a href="http://www.rainbowpush.org/" target="_blank">Rainbow PUSH Coalition</a> headquarters in Bronzeville, on Chicago’s South Side. He began by sharing his own memory of that day.</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 14:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-09/rev-jesse-jackson-reflects-911-and-its-impact-his-lifelong-mission-91745 Rev. Jesse Jackson: Civil rights movement under attack http://www.wbez.org/story/rev-jesse-jackson-civil-rights-movement-under-attack-88089 <p><p>The Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke out about employment inequality on Monday, saying the civil rights movement is under attack.</p><p>Jackson spoke in Chicago at the 40th annual Rainbow PUSH conference. He started the Rainbow PUSH Coalition in 1971 to improve the economic conditions of black communities across the United States.</p><p>Jackson said state laws requiring voter identification or laws restricting collective bargaining create unequal opportunities.<br> <br> "This is an ugly season in so many ways, and it's not happening in Illinois because we are the oasis in this desert," he said. "Somewhere between Ohio and Wisconsin and Michigan is Illinois, where the governor's sensitivity has brought some measure of relief."<br> <br> Illinois Governor Pat Quinn attended a luncheon at the conference Monday. He also spoke about the importance of equal employment opportunities.</p><p>The conference kicked off on Saturday and will continue until Wednesday.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 20:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rev-jesse-jackson-civil-rights-movement-under-attack-88089 Activists from earlier movements weigh in on Occupy http://www.wbez.org/story/activists-earlier-movements-weigh-occupy-95116 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-22/Flickr--abjam77.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Occupy movement started in New York City nearly four months ago, but since then has spread nationally, and beyond. This grassroots campaign has shifted global attention to the subjects of inequality and economic injustice.</p><p>I was sent out by WBEZ to report on Chicago’s occupiers. And I’ve gotten to know a little bit about their backgrounds, and what they want. However, I wanted to know more.</p><p>So, I decided to track down some of Chicago’s well-known veteran activists. I wanted to see if they could help me understand where Occupy fits in&nbsp; the history of movements for change. And also I wondered what advice they might have for these younger protesters.</p><p><img alt="(Flickr/Everett Taasevigen)" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-09/Jesse%20Jackson%E2%80%94Flickr--everett%20taasevigen.jpg" style="width: 340px; height: 226px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="(Flickr/Everett Taasevigen)">The Rev. Jesse Jackson is 70 now and president of the Rainbow Push Coalition. He came up in the civil rights movement decades ago and was often at the side of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.&nbsp; Jackson says this new movement comes out of social and economic frustrations.</p><p>“The conditions are the wealth is going upward by a few, jobs are leaving, drugs and guns are coming, education [is] too expensive, health care less accessible, poverty expanding, in those gaps you see something called Occupy,” says Jackson.</p><p>“Occupy is a new name for an old struggle for justice. Occupy means take space. It does not have a head you can assassinate. It’s a spirit. That’s why you can’t tear gas it away. It’s a spirit that refuses to be denied."</p><p>"I was talking with some business leaders, a few days ago in Washington," Jackson continued. "They were working on a merger, which involved merging two big companies...they had bonuses for the leaders and more job loss for workers, but then they said ‘if we do this, I wonder what Occupy would think about it? What would they do?”</p><p>Jackson says that Occupy has changed the conversation, but now the challenge is for more people who support the group to join the movement.</p><p>“The idea of Occupy at this stage does not require a leader, it requires participation. Leadership is emerging but this a three-month-old stage of a struggle…It takes time… It took us--from the back of the bus to the right to vote, it was a ten-year struggle. So we do not know how long it is going to last but it will until these gaps close and until these walls come down, until there’s more equity and fairness in the land, in terms of jobs and health care, education, and living conditions.”</p><p><strong>Bill Ayers</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-09/Bill%20Ayers-Flickr%E2%80%94Lloyd%20Lee.jpg" style="width: 385px; height: 255px; float: right; margin: 7px;" title="(Flickr/Lloyd Lee)">A push for fairness is also what drives Bill Ayers, who’s 67 and well known in Chicago for his work on behalf of youth and education. However, Ayers is nationally known for the alliances and acts of his youth. He was part of the Weather Underground, an anti-Vietnam War movement, which planned direct actions like bombings to protest the war.</p><p>I’d thought he would have lots of advice for young protesters of today, but Ayers reacted like &nbsp;many of the veteran activists I spoke with: He said it wasn’t his place to give advice. Overall, Ayers is pleased with the progress of today's young Occupy protesters.</p><p>He offers a bit of his own story:</p><p>&nbsp;“I came out of the very privileged, anesthetized experienced of the suburbs and opened my eyes to a world that was pretty much in flames. There was war everywhere, conflict everywhere, a mighty struggle against white supremacy and racism and I wanted to be a part of it. So I threw myself into it and I dived into it head first and that was the experience of the early days of the anti-war movement.”</p><p>“The Occupy movement has been successful beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. It is a very exciting development that opens the public space in a way that nobody could have predicted six months ago, and it has been remarkably successful at changing the public conversation about what’s wrong with this country,” says Ayers.</p><p>"You hear scholars, and journalists, and activists, and writers from <em>The Nation</em>, and writers for <em>In These Times</em>, and people commenting on NPR, who will say things like, “Well they’re pretty good but I wished they’d get organized and have a demand.” Or people who say ‘I like them but I don’t like the drum circle.’ And those kind of criticisms, to me are so inane, so kind of…they’re older people nostalgic for their own youth unable to give up their positioning and say, ‘Look, I’m learning from you, I didn’t do so great in the last four decades trying to make social change. Let me learn from these kids’—which I think is the proper stance for anybody over fifty.</p><p>"You know, the new left, the left that I was a part of as a youth had a slogan, ‘don’t trust anybody over thirty.’ I’ve always ascribed to that. I still think it’s a good idea. Trust the youth and see where they are taking us."</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-09/Carlos%20Arango--Flickr--V%C3%ADctor%20M.%20Espinosa.jpg" style="width: 211px; height: 294px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="(Flickr/Víctor M. Espinosa)"><strong>Carlos Arango</strong></p><p>Well, one of the activists I interviewed did offer some advice for the Occupy movement—or at least a couple things to consider. Carlos Arango is the director of Casa Aztlan in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Arango is now 65. But when he was about 23, he participated in Mexico’s Student Movement. He was in the crowd when Mexican military fired shots and beat protesters on October 10th of 1968.</p><p>Arango says that Occupy needs to understand that politics is the way to make change.</p><p>"The bottom line is Occupy should be at the table with the elected officals...because it’s with political power that you can make changes.... If you don’t have political power, the movement can change, can create the debate but at the end of the day, the decisions are made in Washington.&nbsp;</p><p>And the whole issue in political terms is we have to stop [being]...the victims."<br> <br> Instead, Arango suggests Occupy protesters become protagonists in order to create change.</p><p>"We have to give a different face. A face that we are the change...we are the future. We are the ones who [are] going to take control."</p><p><strong>Kathy Kelly</strong><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-09/AP99072801770.jpg" style="width: 360px; height: 255px; float: right; margin: 7px;" title="Kathy Kelly, left (AP/File)"></p><p>Kathy Kelly describes herself as a peace activist. She’s been in the middle of war zones and has been jailed for her nonviolent protests against war. We spoke on her 59th birthday as she prepared for another trip out of the U.S. She began by sharing one of her mottos. It comes from Voices for Creative Non-violence, an organization she helps lead.</p><p>"One of the things that Voices has felt quite strongly is that where you stand determines what you see... And I’ve admired the Occupy movement because they have connected so clearly, so vigorously with people who are facing foreclosures or who've already been evicted, and so I think that solidarity takes on very concrete forms.</p><p>"I hope there’s a sense all throughout Chicago that this is an unusual opportunity and that especially as Chicago is shaping up as a place that will be the center for so much of the G8 and NATO activity that will have lots of questions being asked, what is G8? What is NATO? Why are they coming together? Why are they holding joint summits?.... It’s not just happening with a certain group of people in a certain place at a certain time. So I hope that all of the days and weeks ahead will be energized and exciting times for people to get together and learn from the Occupy movement."</p><p><strong>Rev. Walter L. Coleman</strong></p><p>Rev. Walter L Coleman also offered an interesting point of view on the Occupy movement. Coleman is 68 and pastor of Chicago's Lincoln United Methodist church and Adalberto United Methodist church. He’s known for pushing for better housing and advocating for immigrants' rights, including those of Elvira Arellano, a Mexican immigrant who sought refuge at one of his ministries. In the 1980s, Coleman was a supporter of the late Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor.&nbsp;</p><p>As a man who has observed many protests and civic movements, he observes a unique characteristic of Occupy.&nbsp;</p><p>"One of the interesting characteristics of this occupy movement is that...it's tactics are not it's objectives. In other words if the media didn’t notice it...it wouldn’t mean anything.</p><p>We used to say…we never should have a press conference that depends on the press. In other words, you have an action that’s going to take place that has it's own importance to it...When Ghandi’s movement refuses to buy salt and a million people refuse to but salt, that has a material effect."</p><p>Because Coleman worries that without some greater impact the Occupy movement will not be successful, I asked him what will success look like for the Occupy movement?</p><p>"For some of the people, [success] will be the election of Barack Obama that is for some of the people involved. For a lot of the young people...that are involved, success is for them to learn what they want to do in this country and what kind of change they really want to make in this country and in the long run that’s probably the most important because when you’re out there especially if you stay out there in the winter, we’ve done that, you really have to think a lot about what you’re doing," replies Coleman.</p><p><strong>Virginia Martinez</strong><br> Virginia Martinez is one of the first two Latina lawyers to practice in Chicago. She was successful in challenging the division of the city's aldermanic wards. She won her case and helped to create more Latino representation. Martinez says the criticism that Occupy has received for not having a leader is not valid. She believes that Occupy can absolutely make a difference without having a leader. "This is not about creating a person or personality. This is about creating change,” she says.</p><p>At the end of our interview Martinez confessed that she hadn't visited Occupy yet, but she says she will.</p><p>"I am one of these people struggling to find a job and everybody says well ‘you know so many people, you know why are you having such a hard time finding a job?’—because no one has any money--nobody that I know. The nonprofit organizations are struggling, and government is struggling but there’s some people, there’s a few people that run these major corporations that aren’t struggling at all. " says Martinez.</p><p>"I need to be out there…because…if I feel this strongly, and I do, about those issues than I need to be physically there too."&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 16:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/activists-earlier-movements-weigh-occupy-95116 Best Game in Town #12: Clamoring for consensus candidates http://www.wbez.org/story/best-game-town-12-race-chicago-mayor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//welcometochicago.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This week on our Illinois political podcast Best Game in Town: <br /><br />We talk with the Reverend Jesse Jackson about finding a consensus candidate for Chicago mayor in the African-American community, and political scientist Maria de los Angeles Torres gives us the breakdown on Latino candidates and concerns.</p></p> Fri, 12 Nov 2010 22:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/best-game-town-12-race-chicago-mayor