Flying Focus March 1997 Newsletter

Here's our latest (3/97) newsletter. If you'd like to be on our 'snail' mailing list, or would like a copy of the 1996 catalog, feel free to contact us

March 1997

Flying Focus Video Collective

Fifth Busiversary

On November 18, 1996, the Flying Focus Video Bus celebrated five years on the air. This year's retrospective, the "Fifth Busiversary" (VB #21.8&9) features short clips from our first four years, as well as the ubiquitous introductions to our work in 1996 from Flying Focus producers. Meet Elizabeth Atly, Moss Drake, Dan Handelman, Frank Mahoney, Hyung Nam, PC Peri and Marjorie, sitting in for Barb Greene. You can see clips about Cuba, the death penalty, the substance of news, an alternative media conference, vegan cooking and animal rights issues... among others.

Women's Tribunal Program

Belated recognition of International Women's Day will occur in late March when we show "The Oregon Tribunal on Violations of Women's Human Rights", sponsored by Women Empowered Beyond Beijing for Equality, Development and Peace. The Tribunal, culminating "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence," condenses 8 hours of testimony and recommendations into a powerful one-hour program which will be shown in two parts on the Flying Focus Video Bus.

Lending Library News

By the time you read this, we will have spent the last of our grant money from The Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, having distributed copies of 23 tapes to four locations. While Laughing Horse Books, Underground Video and 223 Freedom and Mutual Aid Center all remain at their old locations, the Oregon Peace Institute has become part of "Building Bridges", a new umbrella organization housed at 1950 SW 6th Avenue, Rm 121 (near PSU). Their new phone number is 725-8192. For more information on the Lending Library check out our web page at

Ramsey Clark

Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark spoke at Portland State University in November 1996 regarding "Sanctions and Other Weapons of War." Look for a video of his speech (SE #89), which tells of the conditions in Iraq after six years of US and UN imposed sanctions and the aftermath of the so- called "Gulf War." The tape includes speakers Richard Becker from Clark's organization the International Action Center and Mohamad Zuhairy of Portland Peaceworks Iraq Affinity Group, and photos by Bill Hackwell, who traveled to Iraq in 1995.

Scholarly Focus

New York University. Drexel University in Philadelphia. Harvard University. University of Minnesota in Duluth. Greensboro College North Carolina. What do these schools have in common? People have shown our tapes there, either to classes, or on their cable access facilities. This is very exciting for Flying Focus, since one of our main goals is to educate the public using video.

If you go to a school or teach at one and are thinking of using our tapes for class use or public viewing, please let us know so we can keep track of where our work is being effective!

Special thanks to Yvonne Simmons who passed our tapes on to a teacher from Harvard at an International Women's conference in January. Part of the show Yvonne co-produced many years ago on the Clothesline Project (VB #5.6) is being shown as part of a women's film festival here in Portland in March.

Take This Job & Shove It

Are you sick and tired of working your tail off to make big bucks for someone you either don't know or can't stand? Are you tired of being laid off so some rich white guy can get higher dividends? Are you tired of doing boring, stressful work day in and day out while management attends "conventions" in the Bahamas? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes!", check out "Worker Owned Cooperatives" (VB#22.3&4). Tim Calvert, co-owner of City Bikes and Laughing Horse Books, explains how to start and run a worker owned cooperative and how they fit in the current world order.

Atomic Secrets and Nuclear Lies

So, you think Ozzie and Harriet and the boys are the epitome of the 1950's nuclear family? BOOM! Enter Robert Meeropol with horror stories of the ultimate 50's nuclear family -- blown apart by incredible government machinations that took his parents from him at age 3 and used the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to convince the American public that our World War II ally was now our enemy, that anyone who supported it in any way was a traitor, that we had to protect ourselves from its economic system by secret construction of unthinkable killing devices, and that we protect ourselves from 'traitors' in our midst by killing them. Watch "Inciteful Views" - Interview with Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (SE #90 -60 minutes).

At the same time--those innocent 50's--the same government is conducting experiments in what it deems 'country suitable for dumping used razor-blades,'--a region of the country where a theocratic and protective authorit- arianism protracts the secrecy of these experiments, while the inhabitants begin to display a grisly panorama of mysterious medical complaints. Enter a pushy New Yorker, Carole Gallagher, who photographs and prods these reticent desert dwellers to describe their lives and the deaths of too many loved ones under the nuclear cloud, and puts out a book that's a nuclear explosion in itself. Check out Carole Gallagher: American Ground Zero (VB #21.13 & VB#22.1).

You could augment this set of tapes with the Hanford Downwinders panel (VB #18.5 & 18.5), or get a number of good reasons to abolish the death penalty in �Succinct Arguments Against the Death Penalty� (VB #21.5) and then look in our catalog for tapes on police abuses. Then, you'll see more connections, and you'll have to get more of our tapes. Get good and depressed, then good and angry, then get off your duff and into action!

Protests and Press Coverage

Flying Focus came into through protest marches in response to commercial media�s marginalization of dissenters. Through the years we have taped many protest marches, demonstrations and rallies, but obviously we can't be everywhere all at once to capture the mood and substance of each. The problem is, however, that without mainstream media recognition the protests can fail to reach a wider audience.

Elizabeth Atly taped five different demonstrations in the course of one winter month and is putting them together in a program, concluding with a demonstration that may have a lesson for us all, regarding how we contact the media. Watch for this program at one of our regular times this spring. Jim Wrathall from The TV Set (live on Portland Cable Access every other Saturday at 8pm) interviewed Elizabeth and showed some preliminary clips from this forthcoming program on their show.


Watch the Flying Focus Video Bus weekly:
Mondays, 8 PM, Ch. 27 Paragon
Wednesdays, 11PM, Ch. 33 Paragon
Fridays, 9:30 PM, Ch. 11 Citywide

Also check out Free Speech TV -- From Boulder, CO. Four hours of progressive programming for your viewing pleasure. Two two-hour blocks will be shown on TVCA channels
Block 1: Mondays, 4 PM; Tuesdays, 10 AM; Fridays, 10 PM;
Saturdays, 6 PM
Block 2: Wednesdays, 2 AM and 8 PM; Thursdays 2 PM

Watch for Ramsey Clark: Sanctions and Other Weapons of War
TVCA (Columbia/TCI) Channel 9/33
Monday, Mar 24, 11 AM; Thurs, Mar 27, 11 PM
Tues, Apr 1, 8 PM; Wed, Apr 2, 2 PM
Tues, Apr 8, 2 AM
Channel 11 (Cable Acces Network) Citywide

Wed, Mar 26, 10 PM; Fri, Apr 4, 3:30 PM
Power never gives up anything without a struggle. It never has and it never will. -Frederick Douglas

Playback times for Interview w/ Robert Meeropol:
Wed 2/26 8 p.m. ch 27
Sat 3/1 8 p.m. ch 33
Tue 3/4 4 p.m. ch 11
Sat 3/8 10 p.m. ch 27
Tue 3/11 7 p.m. ch 33
Mon 3/17 5 p.m. ch 11

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