Steppin’ Out of Babylon: Podcast-Radio Interviews by Sue Supriano

“Babylon” is the “isms” and “schisms” not only within the system but within ourselves. Let's organize, unify and step out of Babylon.

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Sue Supriano’s Steppin’ Out of Babylon is a radio interview series covering a broad range of important issues in today’s world: peace and war, human and civil rights, communication, the media, the environment, food security, racism, globalization, immigration and matters of the spirit. Over 250 shows are available at this site!

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Jesus & Kate Sherman/translator

Indigenous Struggle in Oaxaca & the Role of Independent Media

Play Audio.
TRT: 28:23
Date: 2008-11-04

Jesus, an indigenous artist/painter from Oaxaca, Mexico, describes the ongoing repression and indigenous uprising in response to the oppression that has taken place over the past few years in his home state of Oaxaca. Oaxaca is the 5th largest state in Mexico and very resource rich. At the same time it is one of the poorest states in the country and has the largest indigenous population in Mexico counting 16 languages amongst its citizens. The picture Jesus paints is one of long-term resource exploitation, which the indigenous peoples realize is keeping them impoverished and destroying their local physical and social environments. He illuminates the electoral and physical repression of the P.R.I. government and the effects of corporate imperialism, in which the government is also a partner. Indigenous land is being confiscated and cultural repression is being actively practiced with the destruction of rural communities and their inhabitants reduced to servitude. This is now true in the cities now as well, where many are forced to work for and help expand the tourist trades as well as becoming cheap labor for corporate sweatshops where they work for less than subsistence wages. One of the ways that we in the United States feel the effects of these repressive policies is in increasing illegal immigration to the US.

In the past few years the Oaxaca situation boiled over into a full-fledged uprising Jesus discusses the role that independent media played in that process and the ongoing consequences. Many local communities had found in low power FM radio a way to preserve and disseminate their languages and cultures in the face of official neglect and the cultural onslaught of the mass media. In 2006 the local teacherís union helped catalyzed this popular uprising using Radio Planton, a community radio station they had established in Oaxaca city during a strike. After six months the local government stepped in and brutally shut down the station along with many other radio and news outlets in the capital which the local people had taken over to give voice to their struggle. The federal government of Mexico in response has now created a military police state in Oaxaca under the guise of drug interdiction efforts. These and many other challenges facing indigenous people not just in Oaxaca, but globally, are discussed. -JT

Recorded October 28, 2008 in Eugene, Oregon

Link to related movie: A Little Bit of So Much Truth, documentary mentioned in the interview about the ongoing struggles in Oaxaca.

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December 26, 2015

In memory:

Sue, who lived an amazing life from 1938 - 2015.