David Barsamian to Speak at Benefit on Wednesday, June 23 in Española

June 18, 2010

David Barsamian, the Founder of Alternative Radio, will speak about the "Language of Empire" on Wednesday, June 23 at 7 pm in Española. The event will take place at the United Methodist Church, which is located across from the McCurdy School, at 405 McCurdy Road. It is a benefit for Las Mujeres Hablan and Cultural Energy.

Barsamian is an award winning founder and director of Alternative Radio, the independent weekly series, which is offered free to 125 public radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and on short wave through Radio for Peace International. Barsamian is a winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Award and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. www.alternativeradio.org

He will speak about how language is used to manipulate the public into support for wars of empire and corporate power and provide many concrete examples, such as how "freedom fighters" became "terrorist" in Afghanistan in order to suit U.S. political needs.

The proceeds will benefit Las Mujeres Hablan and Cultural Energy. Formed in 2003, Cultural Energy is a nonprofit organization that creates radio and other media productions for Northern New Mexico. They document community events and government meetings, including those involving Los Alamos National Laboratory. www.culturalenergy.org

Las Mujeres Hablan is a network of women leaders in Northern New Mexico working to protect the people and lands from the nuclear weapons industry. Las Mujeres Hablan is supporting the proposed amendments to expand the coverage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), as championed by Senator Tom Udall. tomudall.senate.gov/?p=issues The amendments include recognizing radiation exposure from the Trinity Test Site in New Mexico, as well as above ground nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean. It will expand the downwind areas to include all of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah. RECA currently covers 20 different cancers primarily caused by exposure to radiation.

The women are working with the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium to organize a community educational workshop for Saturday, July 17th in Tularosa, with a focus on the RECA amendments. The Consortium is organizing a candlelight vigil for Friday July 16th, the 65th anniversary of the Trinity Site Atomic Bomb Test. The vigil will honor family members who have cancer, are cancer survivors, or who have family members who are deceased due to cancer. Many people in the Basin have and are suffering from the effects of being exposed to the test. The proceeds from the Barsamian talk will support these events.

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