by Anita Sands Hernandez

How do ya suppose we got SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS for geriatrics? T'weren't here in the thirties? PROGRESSIVES alternately picketed, beat upon, screamed at and then DIDDLED CONGRESS until the gov gave it to them!. How did we get WELFARE for single mothers? MEDICARE? We didn't have them back when your parents were young. How did we get MEDICAL & dental BENEFITS at our jobs?  How'd we nail those HIGHER SALARIES, LOWER WORKING HOURS? Safer CONDITIONS? Get employee contributions to retirement plants?

ACTIVISM BY ordinary citizens like yourself attained these  benefits! CITIZENS MADE WAVES! HEROES  appeared and led ordinary people like you and me to create change so that in the future your kids can get their teeth fixed, get scholarships at universities, not have to work a full time job when they're in school full time.......we need to GET ONTO THE AIRWAVES WITH COMPLAINTS, IDEAS, PATHETIC STORIES of KIDS with straight A's who can't afford College or SOLDIERS who came back to our city with no legs. Maybe these veterans have fascinating STORIES to tell about the war. Imagine a VET documentary. That's a creative project for an activist. Or locate Oldsters who got their homes taken away by some heartless LOAN company. Stories about immigrant children dying of disease with no medical care. TAKE THEM TO THE MEDIA! YOU BE THE TRUTH PUBLIC RELATIONS GROUP!

Such publicity can be engineered by YOUR CHURCH GROUP! or do it yourself with your family and friends.
GIVE PARTIES to raise money for your activism group. LEARN the art of giving COMMUNITY PARTIES, BAKE SALES, SWAP MEETS (On high school grounds/ parking lots on weekends.) Or a huge summer time, six week RENAISSANCE FAIRE where all depts of University make a booth.  Raise money in any of these ways for that liberal FM station that has the political shows, maybe one in your town, or maybe a nataional one like AIR AMERICA and AMY GOODMAN's DEMOCRACY NOW, which you can listen to on your PC while you type at othe things. All of these progressive RADIO STATIONS are now  INTERNET based so you can listen in any city.

The airwaves belong to the people. For a democracy to work, someone has to see what's going on and get the info onto the AIR. Audiences and citizens want to be well-informed but you have to realize that SO DO THE BROADCASTERS, THE MEDIA. They want the jolting, gripping, human interest stories.

They'd love for you TO POINT OUT THE TRUTH OF any new, happening story to the radio talk jocks and TV news producers behind the scenes. You want to get their EMAIL and use it, ESPECIALLY for when they make a big error. For instance, just today, MAY 1, 2007, BUSH went on the air saying that CIVILIAN DEATHS WERE WAY DOWN in IRAQ. Well, APRIL was the bloodiest month of the entire war. So we're getting LIES from the WHITE HOUSE & horribly unbalanced bland, pablum coverage by NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN deprive Americans of the information they need to make wise choices. Today they carried the president's stupid lie. BBC saw right through it and gave me the true facts. What's wrong with our MEDIA?

What can we do to get the truth out?

1. FOLLOW THE CIVILIANS: Seek out ordinary people who are in interesting places in life. For instance, your group can literally 'Embed' deputized "reporters" in key places. It might be  US military hospitals (Walter Reed, etc,) talkig to soldiers who've come back from IRAQ / Afghanistan. Maybe neighbors, living in your neighborhood have sons who are back. Query them about the daily lives of Afghanis since the war started.  Cover ALL casualites and the cumulative impact of sanctions, war and occupation. They have photos, get some of them.but be careful, this is dangerous. do not publish photos of the soldier If you work in a key industry, maybe television or publishing. befriend a boss and occasionally let drop that it's not their job to hide the dark side. They should investigate the huge impact of depleted uranium shells on Iraqi civilians, Gulf War veterans and, potentially, U.S. troops.

ON ISSUE REPORTAGE, find the sad stories, teens who because of high fees can't go to college, or collateral costs, the huge $ parking tickets/ parking costs at colleges. Huge BUS rates these days or those quarter million dollar student loans when jobs don't await the grad. Seniors with no co-pay on medicines. My pal pays 120$ the GOV pays 5$ so he can't buy his medicine, a liver cancer 'survivor' but barely! That kind of thing.

THE EXCITING THING about finding such people, 'witnesses' we'll call them is that the MEDIA is anxious to meet them, hear their experience, put it on the front page. It's got human interest!

2. FOLLOW THE MONEY: Call for in-depth coverage of war profiteering by
companies and individuals who promoted this war or contributed heavily to
Administration campaign coffers and for daily reporting on the devastating
impact of huge federal budget cuts in education, healthcare, veterans
benefits, childcare, poverty relief and transportation as money shifts to
these companies. You can't carry this story to the newspaper as THE PAPER
depends on advertising revenues, but your group can instigate EMBARGOS,
PICKETS and NOISE! That will generate some PUBLICITY, BAAAAAD
PUBLICITY for the corporation. CLICK ON URL underlined above to
see who these corps are! The BIG MONEY is the TOP FOUR BIG BUSINESSES,
all   DEATH INDUSTRIES, WAR TOYS, DRUGS,  OIL and the Wars they rode
in on and PHARM a real Death industry!

3. PHONE or EMAIL EVERY FAMOUS NEWS REPORTER exciting them by doing their legwork,
by saying that you're working with a soldier who just came back from Afghanistan or whatever
to tempt them with a 'hot story' make them want to give you their EMAIL. Then, every time your group gets a hot story, send it off to him with a powerful, personal note. "Dear Joe, I sent you the story on the soldier with the true scoop on Kabul or the Senior with no medical coverage, now I've got a story on a homeless family....."

Here's how to reach them:

ABC NEWS CHIEF David Westin. 212.456.6200. fax: 212.456.4292....
NEWS DIRECTOR Mimi Gurbst. 212 456 4050 fax.212 456 2795...... ABC
SWITCHBOARD (ASK FOR NEWSROOM) 212.456-7777. NEWSROOM fax 212.456.2795

 MSNBC NEWS CHIEF Mark Effron. 201.583.5101. fax: 201.583.5199 ..... MSNBC NEWS DIRECTOR Alison Hawley. 201 583
5155. fax. 201 583 5512......MSNBC SWITCHBOARD (ASK FOR NEWSROOM)
201.583.5000 fax: 201.583.5590

NBC NEWS CHIEF Neil Shapiro. 212.664.4773. fax: 212.664.2264[ ....NEWS DIRECTOR Thomas Ferraro 201 583 5231 fax.
201 583 5222....NBC SWITCHBOARD (ASK FOR NEWSROOM) 212.664.4444. fax:

 CBS NEWS CHIEF Andrew Hayward. 212.975.7825. fax: 212.975.7429. ....NEWS DIRECTOR Marty Gill 212 975 6121 fax. 212 975
4114....CBS SWITCHBOARD (ASK FOR NEWSROOM) 212.975.4321 fax: 212.975.1893

 CNN NEWS CHIEF Walter Isaacson. 404.827.5111. fax: 404.827.4215. NEWS DIRECTOR Kim Bondy. 404
827 1500. fax. 404 827 1099...CNN SWITCHBOARD (ASK FOR NEWSROOM).

NEWSROOM) 703.998.2600.

: FOX NEWS CHIEF: John Moody. 212.301.8560. fax: 212.398.8726. .... NEWS DIRECTOR
Kathleen Ardleigh 212 3013186 fax. 212-301-5067....FOX SWITCHBOARD (ASK
FOR NEWSROOM) 212.575.4670. fax: 212.301.8274

NEWS CHIEFS AND/OR NEWSROOMS AND INSIST ON RESPONSIBLE, IN-DEPTH JOURNALISM. Have all members of your group target that newsman and complain.
There is plenty every day to call about. Calls are best because they must halt misinforming the public while they deal with you. If you can't reach policy makers, fax or e-mail.

To contact via phone (highly encouraged along with emails): Chairman Powell
(202) 418-1000

To have send an email message to the FCC calling for a halt to
media conglomeration and breakup of the media giants that are abetting this
war, go to

To Contact the Commissioners directly via E-mail

Chairman Michael K. Powell:
Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy:
Commissioner Michael J. Copps:
Commissioner Kevin J. Martin:
Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein:

To Write letters to any or all commissioners:

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

4. READ THE YOUNG, NEW, GREAT WEBSITE PHILOSOPHERS/ WRITERS/ RESEARCHERS. The amateur OPINERS. Google your fave phrases daily. 'america, a colonial power.' etc. Write the guy who used that phrase. Maybe you offer to put a reprint of their article on your website. That's a start toward a social connection. Post their stuff and also send it out to your list. MY "PTA PARENTS" list has 200 recipients, that's not a lot for 15 yrs of activism. Facebook 500. Twitter a couple of hundred. I find good stuff as I also have a lot of pals who are amateur hot story sleuths, 'listers' posters. I try to serve them. I volunteer to become their editor. Within reason, I can't do hours of work a day...90% of the time they like to have tiny errors or typos pointed out. Once or twice a writer disagreed. I shoot them this 'pome'  Ode to a writer whose work I hacked'

       I Feel that good editors need credit
       We get writers into the groove!

       PROSE has to be stripped down and readable
       like a speedy train flipping by.
       The brain must compute the car's content
       at the speed of the fast running EYE.

       No faltering glitchy words blotted.
       No 'what's this crap that I read?
       I want people's brains sayin' "I GOT IT!"
       Your pages to the AGES should LEAD!

       The proof of the puddings the ACTION
       How your readers later SHOW UP.
       You're grooming the genius of tomorrow
       from today's grimy young PUP!

You're free to use that pome And if that doesn't make you two pals, then you didn't want 'em anyway!