Poverty Outlaw: FILM on KWRU & building a poor peoples's movement

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 18:32:13 -0400


=46WD  9 Nov 1998 CC Relplies To: <Kwru-announce@libertynet.org>

[Kensington Welfare Rights Union]

"Just Solutions: Campaigning for Human Rights" is a new television series of
independently produced documentaries about domestic and international human
rights abuses and the communites fighting to address them. Just Solutions wi=
ll
air in December to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Presented by Free Speech TV and the Human Right=
s
Watch International Film Festival, this series features the film "Poverty
Outlaw".

Poverty Outlaw is a film by Pamela Yates and Peter Kinoy which tells the sto=
ry
of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. Poverty Outlaw was a Finalist in the
Documentary Competition at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.

Many of us have used Poverty Outlaw to spread the word about building a poor
people's movement led by poor people. It has been a great organizing tool.

Now, for the first time, it can be seen be hundreds of thousands of TV viewe=
rs
on Public Television...

BUT ONLY IF YOU CALL YOUR LOCAL PBS STATION!

We need your help to get Poverty Outlaw on the air!

Please read this letter from Jon Stout, Program Director Free Speech TV, and
take a few minutes to encourage your local PBS station to air Poverty Outlaw=
=2E

Thank you.

**************************************

Dear Friend of Free Speech TV,

I'm writing to ask you-- as someone who cares about human rights and who
understands the power of the media- to lend a hand in an important grassroot=
s
advocacy campaign. Won't you please make ONE PHONE CALL this week and ask yo=
ur
colleagues to do the same?

What do you get out of it? Hopefully the opportunity for you, your friends,
and your community to see four compelling human rights documentaries on your
local public television station. And a chance for all of us to work together
to resolve on-going rights abuses at home and abroad.

Although your public television station has been offered these programs for
free, it's likely that the programmers won't schedule them unless they hear
from "viewers like you." They need to be reminded that there is an audience
out there who want to see this type of work. Honestly, your five minute call
could make the difference between whether the public gets to see these works
or not.

BACKGROUND: Just Solutions: Campaigning for Human Rights

December 10, 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. To commemorate this occasion, FSTV, the Human Rights Watch
International Film Festival, and KBDI-TV are presenting Just Solutions:
Campaigning for Human Rights. This 18 * hour series of compelling independen=
t
documentaries will air on FSTV's cable affiliates in December and January. F=
or
more information about the series, check out http://www.freespeech.org/fstv.

In addition, as part of Just Solutions: Campaigning for Human Rights, we are
offering four one-hour programs to all public television stations- for
free--for broadcasts beginning in December:

=B7 Dirty Secrets: Jennifer, Everardo, and the CIA in Guatemala: Jennifer
Harbury,  a U.S. citizen, courageously searches for her missing husband-a
Mayan rebel in Guatemala-only to uncover decades of CIA cover-ups and
complicity in brutal human rights abuses.

=B7 Poverty Outlaw: the women of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, their
decent into poverty, and their efforts to claw their way out, doing whatever
it takes for their families to survive.

=B7 The Last Graduation: The Rise and Fall of College Programs in Prison:
prisons are a growth industry in the U.S., but recent "get tough" legislatio=
n
has cut off one of the few effective tools for rehabilitation and education.

=B7 A Pig's Tale: short-sighted U.S. economic intervention in Haiti eradicat=
es
the Creole pig, a staple in the island's economy and cultural life, paving t=
he
way for poverty, hunger, and ultimately, revolution.

=46or more information about these programs, and to watch or listen to previ=
ew
clips in RealMedia, visit http://www.freespeech.org/fstv/Publictvlineup.htm.

HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1. Call the programming department of your local public television station(s=
).
See http://www.pbs.org/stations for the phone number. Ask the programmer whe=
n
these four works have been scheduled for broadcast. If they haven't been
scheduled yet, encourage the station to do so, preferably in December or
January, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UDHR. Explain that
you, your friends, and your family want to see this type of work, and that y=
ou
personally want to help spread the word about these special human rights
broadcasts.

2. The station should have already recorded the programs from our satellite
feed. However, if it hasn't, we will gladly provide it with tapes of the
program.  The programmer should contact Joy Silverman at 323-665-7040 or
jsprod@aol.com for information about the programs, tapes, and available
rights.

3. We find that this strategy is most effective when the tone of the
conversation is amiable, rather than confrontational. Stations are more like=
ly
to air a program if they feel they have allies out there who will help them
promote their broadcasts.

4. Ask your friends to do the same. As you know, our grassroots strength is =
in
our numbers

5. Let us know what the programmer said. You can reach us at
programming@fstv.org or 303-442-8445. In appreciation of your effort, we wil=
l
send you a free copy of the Just Solutions Human Rights Advocacy Kit, which
contains more information about the series, as well as useful tips for getti=
ng
involved in numerous human rights campaigns being coordinated by organizatio=
ns
such as Prison Activist Resource Center, Food First, Lambi Fund For Haiti, a=
nd
Witness For Peace. Be sure to give us your snailmail address.

Thank you very much for your help in keeping the "public" in "public
broadcasting" and for making this Human Rights campaign a success. I hope
you'll tune into Just Solutions: Campaigning for Human Rights this winter.

Best, Jon Stout Program Director

----------

CONTACT INFO:

Kensington Welfare Rights Union
NUHHCE, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
PO Box 50678
Philadelphia, PA 19132-9720
215/203-1945
215/203-1950 FAX
email: kwru@libertynet.org
web: http://www.libertynet.org/kwru

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