Our Word is Our Weapon is broadcasting on Brock University’s community radio- CFBU 103.7 F.M at 5:30-6p.m every Wednesday. We are located in downtown St. Catharines.
Last year OWIOW broadcasted every Wednesday from 5-6pm by OPIRG Brock with Amnesty International. The show focused on current events, including hot political issues, human rights abuses, international law questions and many more subjects. The show was about engaging listeners on international topics that might be ignored by domestic media.
Basically, Ontario Public Interest Research Groups’ new and old members have an interest to produce a community radio program that reflects OPIRG’s mandate. OPIRG is a non-profit, student-funded and student-directed organization, which encourages and supports action, research, and education on social and environmental justice.
Originally Our Word is Our Weapon was started by Milica Njegovan and Andrew Barclay after being inspired by the deeply empowering Zapatista movement in Mexico. Our Word is Our Weapon is a collection of writings by Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Marcos is a poetic representative of the long political struggle.
The two hosts were very familiar with international dialogue on laws and social justice, with strong ties to latin American history. The shows focused around seemingly distant (geographically speaking) discussions of labor, democracy, health, migration, oppression, censorship, war and tied it into why these issues affect us as global citizens while relating it our own community.
We are the product of 500 years of struggle,” the Zapatistas’ declaration of war stated. The struggle today is “for work, land, housing, food, healthcare, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace[…]
There are many factors driving global society towards a low-wage, low- growth, high-profit future, with increasing polarization and social disintegration. Another consequence is the fading of meaningful democratic processes as decision making is vested in private institutions and the quasi- governmental structures that are coalescing around them, what the Financial Times calls a “de facto world government” that operates in secret and without accountability.
The Zapatistas really struck a chord with a large segment of the Mexican populace,” Mexican political scientist Eduardo Gallardo commented shortly after the rebellion, predicting that the effects would be wide-ranging, including steps toward breaking down the long-standing electoral dictatorship. Polls in Mexico backed that conclusion, reporting majority support for the reasons given by the Zapatistas for their rebellion. A similar chord was struck worldwide, including the rich industrial societies, where many people recognized the concerns of the Zapatistas to be not unlike their own, despite their very different circumstances. Support was further stimulated by imaginative Zapatista initiatives to reach out to wider sectors and to engage them in common or parallel efforts to take control of their lives and fate. The domestic and international solidarity was doubtless a major factor in deterring the anticipated brutal military repression, and hashad a dramatic energizing effect on organizing and activism worldwide.
-Noam Chomskys’ People Over Profit-1999-The Zapatista Uprising
This ongoing project-Our Word is Our Weapon- is our way of reflecting and preserving local and global history, which is essential when navigating our modern world.
It is extremely necessary to recognize our duty as radio hosts as a valuable and meaningful resource through coalition building, student and community engagement, public discussion, and media advocacy.
We have the right to a voice.
The Niagara Region in Ontario is a thriving community with a growing art, literature, music, activism and education scene. We will be interviewing individuals/groups who can talk more about the importance of grassroot organizing and getting their positive message out.
“The media is absolutely essential to the functioning of a democracy. It’s not our job to cozy up to power. We’re supposed to be the check and balance on government […] Independent media can go to where the silence is and break the sound barrier, doing what the corporate networks refuse to do.”
-Amy Goodman, Democracy Now