Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

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Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

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who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

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"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

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JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

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Occupy Sandy Relief Effort Connects Dots Between Wall Street Greed and Nation's Climate Change Paralysis

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Posted Nov. 21, 2012

Interview with Pablo Benson-Silva, site manager of one of two Occupy Wall Street relief hub sites in Brooklyn, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Occupy Wall Street and related groups through InterOccupy have taken on a major relief effort called Occupy Sandy in the wake of the superstorm that hit the East Coast in late October. Volunteers in the New York City area coordinated their efforts from two central hub sites in Brooklyn and fanned out all over the city. They assisted people in neighborhoods that were without power and heat, some more than two weeks after the storm hit, as the November days grew colder and darker.

Another dimension of Occupy’s Hurricane Sandy relief work was the building of bridges between the movement and diverse communities, where discussions turned to politics and economics. Many people in the communities impacted by the storm and Occupy organizers reached common ground in thinking about the urgent need to address climate change that produces dangerous storms like Sandy, as well as concern that developers will soon move to convert storm-damaged affordable housing on the shoreline into expensive luxury homes and expensive condominiums.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Pablo Benson-Silva, the coordinator of one of two Occupy hub sites in Brooklyn. He talks about how the relief effort was organized, the role of social media, the massive scale of the all-volunteer organization and the connection between standing up to the one percent and standing up to storms made more devastating by climate change.

PABLO BENSON-SILVA: Our job here is to make sure we match drivers with volunteers and supplies and take it out to different sites that we've opened in the most affected areas. Right now, we're talking about Far Rockaway, Coney Island, Staten Island, Sheepshead Bay. These areas...I just went out yesterday to Far Rockaway and they're just devastated, the scale is pretty overwhelming. So as the week has progressed, we've been opening up sites closer to underserved communities. Right now, the big story coming out is that FEMA, Office for Emergency Management, Red Cross – all these institutional relief players – they've dropped the ball, and we as a kind of makeshift network of non-paid volunteers, have actually outrolled the network that has rivaled their response. We've been able to get aid, volunteers, clean up crews, out into these most devastated areas very quickly. I think it has a lot to do with social media savvy the Occupy movement brings to the equation; and just kind of the enthusiasm, the capacity to do multi-tasking and being at the same time compassionate, right? The kind of community-building experience that Occupy brings to the equation. So far it's been amazing – the response in terms of volunteers, who aren't necessarily affiliated with Occupy; people have just been very anxious to help in any way possible. The good thing about Occupy is that we've been able to figure out how volunteers, through quick orientations and self-motivation and initiative, can do very meaningful work in this relief effort.

Occupy manages two distribution sites. Needs assessments we do with our branches on the ground. We send out volunteers, supplies and drivers on a daily basis. I'd say during the weekends is when we get most of our volunteers. This weekend we probably processed through this site alone close to 5,000 volunteers, and I can't even count the cars. We're finally taking track of all this so we have a better idea of how we're scaling gradually because this has just been kind of an ad hoc operation so far.

BETWEEN THE LINES: I know Occupy is a famously non-hierarchical organization, but is there anybody in charge, or is it a pyramid, or is it just totally horizontal?

PABLO BENSON-SILVA: So, I think the way it's worked actually has been a kind of organic structure that's emerged, based on need. I think one of the amazing things about this group and this operation is it's a real meritocracy. Anyone who can bring a broad skill base and who has time to commit to this operation – extended period of time – immediately gets plucked for organizing and coordination. So yes, obviously, we have organizers and coordinators, but it's a kind of step-up, step-down approach, where people don't get too comfortable in organizing positions, and they're moved around frequently, and plus there's a lot of turnover. I mean, people have other responsibilities besides this hurricane relief, right? So we're constantly switching out coordinators. That's one of the amazing things; you can say Occupy is leaderless, but you can also say it's a "leader-full movement," and we kind of encourage people to take initiative and people with leadership skills immediately find a space for themselves here.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Let me just say, I'm staying with some friends, and my friend has a friend who has a brother who's a trader on Wall Street. He's setting up his own thing, with his own money, and getting volunteers, coordinating it all, somewhere in the Rockaways, and he specifically wants to show – he's a libertarian – that we don't need government. So what do you think this incredible effort by Occupy...what will that show?

PABLO BENSON-SILVA: Occupation's a symbolic act. We're not going to end the financial hegemony of Wall Street by occupying a park, right? It's a space of convergence, of bringing new people in, etc. So I think ... people ask me how is it that Occupy is now doing Sandy relief. And I think Occupy from the beginning has been doing disaster relief. It was doing disaster relief of the financial crisis and getting people involved again in politics beyond electoral politics, in terms of direct action on the streets, and organizing in their communities. I think there is room for people to do autonomous action, right? And this aid relief effort is an autonomous action. Not to say that government has no role in aid relief, in regulating Wall Street, in all these big issues we have to contend with, but at times its structure is extremely inefficient, right? What Occupy represents, perhaps, is a new paradigm shift that shows you don't necessarily always need this top-down approach to relief and just community organizing more generally, right? I think, if anything, governments should learn and institutional charity organizations and NGOs should learn from this approach, right? If they want to be more effective: What can we learn from this new paradigm in mutual aid and solidarity?

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