Successful Climate Justice Activism

Look what we have accomplished together! (see the media roundup below)
Paddle In Seattle
Together we were:

Paddle in Seattle Stranger CoverLed by the beauty and spirit of the moment,

Emboldened by the drums and wise words of the Duwamish and Native Canoe families and the voices of those on the front-lines of the climate crisis,

riven by a moral obligation to take principled and bold action in service of a habitable planet and younger generations.

300+ people (and countless others on land) took to the water, paddling straight to Shell’s Arctic destroyer to demand climate justice.

It is in these moments that we solidify the courage to act upon our convictions. The Paddle In Seattle has seized headlines across the world and has inspired others to join the movements for climate justice.

Thank you for sharing in our vision and for striving to manifest it. Collectively we have done something truly beautiful and powerful.

Kayaktivists confront artic destructionNow, we must use this momentum and spotlight to push onward.

Right now, we are resuming kayaktivist trainings and organizing a rapid response network for when Shell dares to leave for the Arctic. We’re also connecting the solar powered People’s Platform with upcoming night-time paddle actions.



Media Round-Up:

Chief Seattle is Watching banner at Jack Block with Native      Canoes by Alex GarlandThe news from the weekend made national and global headlines in addition to completely saturating Seattle media (best- KOMO 4 TV, KIRO 7 TV, Q13 Fox TV, Stranger, Seattle PI, West Seattle Herald) This has completely changed the conversation around Arctic drilling and rocketed it to being a top national and even international issue. Even Obama found himself extolling the virtues of protecting the Arctic at a USCG Academy commencement address.

Here are a few highlights: on Saturday, the protest was #3 on BBC World News (right beneath the ISIS raid and Morsi’s death sentence, to give you perspective). The Guardian went wild with coverage as well (here, here, here, and here) and it even reached Australia!

The Associated Press story was picked up in nearly every major paper across the country from Atlanta to Minneapolis to Dallas and on ABC and Yahoo news.

The coverage from the NBC affiliate, King 5 TV, was picked up nationally.

The photos were particularly well-traveled with even Leonardo Dicaprio posting the aerial kayak photos on his Instagram.
Paddle In Seattle
Here is a roundup of the photos from Grist.

The speeches all came from native and impacted people telling us powerful truths. In fact, after traveling to Seattle from the North Slope, Mae Hank and Faith Gemmill-Fredson – founder and executive director of the grassroots indigenous network REDOIL- confronted Shell at the AGM meeting in London. Faith spoke directly to Shell shareholders saying “The moral and financial burden of the irresponsible decision to drill in the Arctic is too risky to consider.”

Paddle In SeattleArctic drilling dominated the coverage of the meeting, casting serious investor doubt on the project.

Earlier in the week, Kayaktivists were live on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, followed by an amazing segment on Rachel Maddow during which she spent several minutes reading out-loud the riveting and terrifying piece “The Wreck of the Kulluk.”

The Monday following the actions, there was even more national coverage. Here are just a few of the highlights: USA Today, NPR, Slate.

Lastly, #ShellNo and “Arctic drilling” were trending on Twitter and Facebook, respectively!

Floating Banner Defend The Arctic Climate Justice Now

New Kayaktivism Training Dates:




Donate online HERE or send checks to PO BOX 278, Vashon, WA 98070

Brouhaha about Freedom Socialist Ad

On a right-wing email list I monitor I saw a message claiming that the Freedom Socialists in Seattle we’re offering $13/hour for a web developer position while, at the same time, demanding $20 for a minimum wage. I found the source of the email: this article: Minimum wage group offers pay that undercuts the wage they’re demanding. Here’s what the email and the article say:

In another case of reality trumping idealism, a progressive group advocating for a dramatic bump in the federal mandatory minimum wage has inadvertently revealed a bit on unintentional hypocrisy.

The Seattle-based Freedom Socialist Party needed a Web developer, so it put out an online job posting. It describes the necessary qualifications and job responsibilities, and it even clearly states the hourly wage.

Problem is the Freedom Socialist Party isn’t offering its future Web developer nearly as much as the minimum wage it’s demanding from the government. The party wants a $20 mandatory minimum wage, but it’s willing to pay a Web developer only $13 per hour.

A similar article has links to the ads, at and at Craigslist.

But when I visit the ads, all I see is “Compensation: DOE, plus benefits.” No mention of $13/hr. What’s the DOE rate?  Is this a brouhaha about nothing?

Future of Independent Media:

Independent journalist Mark Taylor-Canfield talks with Norman Goldman about efforts to bring back progressive and independent voices to the Northwest US media. KPTK(Seattle) & KPOJ(Portland) went off the air, sparking groups like Progressive Radio Northwest and KRXY to launch campaigns to establish new broadcast stations and networks in Washington and Oregon.

Progressive Radio Forum this Wednesday in Seattle

Next Progressive Radio Forum this Wed. Hope to see you there!

Tweets, Posts & Chat: Progressive Radio in the Social Media Age
Wednesday, March 26, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Impact Hub Seattle
220 Second Avenue South, Seattle
Accessible building served by major bus routes


  • independent journalist Mark Taylor-Canfield (, a regular contributor to national progressive radio shows headlined by Thom Hartmann, Mike Papantonio/Ring of Fire Radio, Sam Seder/Majority Report, Norman Goldman, Jeff Santos/Revolution Radio Network, Nicole Sandler/Radio or Not and others;
  • Jacob Dean, host and creator of the Portland-based Filter Free Radio ( and former producer for The Thom Hartmann Program; and
  • Seattle/Portland based Space Dog Radio (, “a fully independent radio station that provides entertaining sounds about a wide spectrum of topics while taking the art of radio to a new level.”
    Get your progressive tweet on!RSVP: on Facebook at:
    or by email at

Here are some of the topics we’ll explore:

1) An overview of the social networking platforms and technologies used to access and promote progressive media: Hardware (Desktops/Laptops/Mobile Devices) & Software Applications, Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups, Sound Cloud, YouTube, Chat Rooms, Mumble, etc.

2) How progressive radio producers/hosts use social networking platforms to find a progressive audience, organize progressive media networks, interact with other content providers, recruit guests, produce programming, etc.

3) How to use social networking tools to strengthen advocacy and catalyze action.

4) How to develop your own unique style and approach to using social media.

Thanks all you petition signers! Keep spreading the word. Please cut-n-paste this and send to all your progressive friends and contacts!

Progressive Radio Northwest

Video of Progressive Talk Radio speech of Norman Goldman

Here is a video of the Norman Goldman speech in Seattle.

Party On for Progressive Radio with Norman Goldman was the first major event sponsored by Progressive Radio Northwest (PRNW). The evening was a great success, highlighted by the inimitable Nor-man, terrific speakers, and the feisty enthusiasm of a standing-room-only crowd.

At Party On, more than 250 attendees heard about the many challenges ahead and learned that PRNW firmly believes in the “challenge brings opportunity” school of thought.

The people who have formed Progressive Radio Northwest are looking at several options to bring back progressive radio to the Puget Sound Area, including finding a buyer or buyers who could purchase a station and convert it to progressive talk or creating an Internet radio station (Norman Goldman believes this is the way of the future).

The bad news of is that city after city has lost its only progressive radio station. The good news is that more and more people are speaking out and showing up.

You can view the entire evening or just Norman Goldman’s presentation by going to PRNW’s YouTube channel:

Stay tuned for further developments, and keep checking the PRNW website:

Update on Progressive Talk Radio for Pacific NW

There was standing room only at the “Party ON for Progressive Radio!” event held at Impact Hub in Downtown Seattle on January 18th, as emcee David (Goldy) Goldstein introduced Andrew Villeneuve of Northwest Progressive Institute, and Geov Parrish, someone with a long history with radio, and then the star attraction of the evening, Norman Goldman! Over 250 people were there, and when Norman finished his talk, they spontaneously jumped up and gave him a standing ovation.

Mark Taylor-Canfield, an independent journalist who contributes to many liberal publications, did an excellent review of the evening and Norman’s talk, “Seattle Hosts Progressive Media Gathering – Is Radio Dead?” . Here is the link to read his story: Seattle Hosts Progressive Media Gathering – Is Radio Dead?.

Soon we will have the full event video available for your viewing!

If you go to the Facebook Page for MoveOn Whidbey, you can read Norman’s responses to 15 questions submitted that evening:

For continuing information about what’s happening with the efforts to bring progressive radio back to the Seattle area, please go to the website for Progressive Radio Northwest,

Check us out on Facebook too, Like Us! and comment too

You will be hearing more from us. For now, please sign up on our website, so you get the messages and can respond to us!

Thanks for your support for a great event!

Seattle Hosts Progressive Media Gathering – Is Radio Dead?

Progressive radio fans and broadcasters gathered in Seattle’s Pioneer Square on January 18th to discuss the future of the media. A standing room only crowd listened to guest speakers including Norman Goldman and local journalists Geov Parrish and David Goldstein. The event was organized by Progressive Radio Northwest.

PRNW was founded by former listeners of KPTK(AM 1090). The station was broadcasting progressive talk shows until CBS decided to convert its format to sports radio last year. KPTK’s programming included Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann, Norman Goldman, Mike Malloy, and other former Air America network broadcasters. PRNW was formed to bring progressive media back to the Seattle area.

Progressive radio has been suffering all across the country. Brad Friedman of Bradblog recently posted a map on his website showing the number of red stations versus blue. To put it mildly, the conservative stations have been expanding rapidly while progressive and liberal programs are disappearing at an alarming rate. A few hundred miles to the south in Portland, Oregon, KPOJ also discontinued their progressive talk show programming. That station is owned by Clear Channel.

Most of these talk shows are now heard exclusively online. The major complaint from many progressives has been that corporate networks have dropped all support for progressive media, leaving only sports, religious and right-wing broadcasting. The irony here is that two of the most progressive cities in the country (Seattle/Portland) have no commercial progressive media.

Blogger/broadcaster David Goldstein talked about his experience as a local talk show host after he created his popular blog reporting on local politics. Goldstein hosted a talk show at KIRO and he is currently a blogger for The Stranger newspaper. He described how his program was dropped when the radio station was purchased by a conservative group of investors.

Geov Parrish has been a political writer for the Seattle Weekly. Currently he is a broadcaster on KEXP’s public affairs program “Mind Over Matter”. He gave a presentation on the history of progressive media in Seattle, including a discussion about Seattle’s legendary independent radio station KRAB. Parrish also talked about the influence of local public stations KUOW, KBCS and KSER. He explained how subscriber based media began in Berkeley California with the Pacifica Radio Network. The network grew as a result of the Berkeley free speech movement and Pacifica flagship stations were established New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Houston. Today the network has grown to include affiliate stations across the nation. Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” and Free Speech Radio News are two recent examples of the Pacifica Network’s cutting-edge programming.


Norman Goldman was the keynote speaker at the PRNW event in Seattle. As an attorney, he was a frequent contributor to the Ed Shultz Show until he launched his own national radio program. Now Goldman finds himself in the middle of the progressive media transition from radio to the web. Along with Mike Malloy and other progressive talk show hosts, Goldman’s program has been dropped by by radio stations in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. His message is very simple – “Everything is moving online.” He pointed to his smartphone, referring to it as the “new transistor radio”.

According to Goldman, the traditional radio industry no longer exists. He described how most US radio stations are owned by large corporate interests such as Clear Channel and Culumus and their subsidiaries (Premier, etc.). Corporate investors have purchased hundreds of stations around the nation through what he described as “leveraged buy-outs”. Clear Channel now controls over 800 radio stations.

To fund this monopoly, Clear Channel borrowed huge sums from hedge funds managed by Bain Capital. Goldman claims Clear Channel currently owes $20.4 billion and is guilty of practicing the same kind of financial scam that caused the national economic crash of 2008. Cumulus has borrowed $2.25 billion to fund it’s own media buying buying spree.

Since their true loyalty is to the investors, not to their audience, radio station owners have raided these businesses by firing employees and automating the broadcasts. They have created national networks which do not serve local communities. FCC allowance for corporate media ownership consolidation has resulted in a situation where the majority of all US media is owned by just a few corporations.

The unfortunate casualties of this corporate raiding party have been: 1) journalistic credibility; 2) the idea of publicly owned airwaves; 3) all practices of the “Fairness Doctrine”.

These traditional ideals have been thrown out the window, replaced by corporate greed. Media bosses have been blinded by their need to make huge profits in order to pay back these enormous debts. In this type of Mitt Romney style corporate takeover, CEO’s pocket large fees by skimming off the top, and most of the rest of the income goes to pay the investors. Clear Channel is reportedly paying 11.25% interest on the debt, which Goldman described as comparable to mafia loan shark rates.

In a desperate attempt to pay back investors, large media corporations continue to dump the burden of their loans onto local radio stations. This is being accomplished by the enforcement of economic austerity measures which have resulted in the loss of  thousands of jobs. Goldman told his Seattle audience that 80% of all radio jobs have been eliminated in the US.

In the United States, alternative, independent and progressive media has been left struggling to survive with little or no funding. Lacking the multi-million dollar advertising budgets that corporate networks possess, these programs continue to experience financial crises on a regular basis, and many of them languish in obscurity. Pacifica’s Free Speech Radio news recently went off the air due to lack of funds. Broadcasters Nicole Sandler and Jeff Santos are now broadcasting on the web from their own living rooms. The challenge for these independent broadcasters is how to invent new economically sustainable networks.

Meanwhile, corporations like Clear Channel have decided to buy their conservative “talent” by signing Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to exclusive contracts. Limbaugh is being paid $28 million per year and Beck receives $20 million. Yet Goldman points out that most of the top neo-con talkshows are still losing much of their audience. He estimates that Sean Hannity has lost up to 60% of his listeners around the nation. In Los Angeles, Limbaugh and Beck’s shows are being moved by Clear Channel to a smaller station with less broadcast coverage. Although the corporate executives are obligated to honor their expensive contracts, they see the writing on the wall. In many US markets, radio is dying.
It’s being replaced by online content.

As I have often tried to explain to alternative media network representatives, the radio station antenna tower is no longer essential to broadcasting. In fact, going online can gain the station access to listeners worldwide. Seattle’s music station KEXP is a prime example. Bankrolled by billionaire Paul Allen, KEXP even sponsors music concerts in New York City. Their fans live all around the earth. No radio transmitter or antenna can compete with this unlimited coverage. Granted, much of the planet is still not wired for the internet. Surprisingly, it is still impossible to go online in remote regions of Alaska, but the world is changing fast and the technology is spreading rapidly.

Norman Goldman maintains that the only sustainable model for broadcasters today is subscription based programming. The goal is to recruit subscribers who will pay a nominal fee for media content which can be accessed through any computer or mobile device. He emphasized that this also applies to listening to programming while commuting in your car.
The “drive time” audience has always been a major reason that radio talk shows have flourished in the past.

Another model is to fund the program through underwriting/sponsorship. Jeff Santos’ talk show in Boston is sponsored by a labor union. In Portland, progressive radio fans launched a Kickstarter campaign which raised $250,000 to help fund a new radio station.

Currently there are many ongoing discussions and forums among US alternative media folks regarding these political. economic and technological issues. Media democracy is an important part of these discussions for the simple reason that new progressive media networks have been instrumental in helping to elect progressives and Democrats during national elections.

President Barack Obama’s election campaign benefited directly from progressive and liberal radio networks and their daily political talk shows. Presidential candidates Rocky Anderson(Justice Party) and Jill Stein(Green Party) relied almost exclusively on progressive media to get their message out to the voters. If the recent trend towards conservative corporate owned media continues without a serious challenge, we can expect direct political results from this development as well.

When democratic voices are stifled or censored, the entire nation suffers. An effective, participatory democracy requires opposing viewpoints and alternative analysis. The constant echo chamber of neo-liberal and neoconservative viewpoints in US media represents a regressive tendency towards uniformity and authoritarianism. Although no commercial media will report on this fact, the US is currently ranked as 37th on the World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders ( In other words, due to the corporate dominance of US media, there are now 36 other countries where you will find more freedom of the press. Finland is currently ranked as number one.

As a US journalist I must admit that I am not proud of our ranking on the World Press Freedom Index. We can do much better than this! One conclusion I’ve drawn from this low ranking is that public broadcasting has not provided the necessary balance to heavily funded conservative media programming. I am also sadly aware that freedom of the press is taken for granted by the majority of the public and by most of my colleagues. After reading the Reporters Without Borders report, any responsible journalist, editor or producer should immediately address the issue with adequate news coverage and analysis. We may not have state controlled media in the US, but corporate control leads to less diversity in reporting and less interest in investigative journalism or political criticism of national policies.

With any luck, this negative trend in US media can be checked by a growing number of new innovative and progressive networks. Though many of the details have yet to be worked out, organizations like Progressive Radio Northwest and the Northwest Progressive Institute are dedicated to making this new media possible. PRNW plans to sponsor future forums and eventually, they hope to help create a new progressive media network that will broadcast, podcast and live stream new cutting edge programs from Seattle.

Originally published at OpEdNews

Free Public Screening of the Film "Inequality for All", Jan 25 in Federal Way

ifaSaturday, January 25, 2014, 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Federal Way Regional Library, 34200 1st Way S., Federal Way, WA (map)

A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, this film features Robert Reich–professor, best-selling author, and former Clinton cabinet member–as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has had a devastating impact on the American economy. The film is an intimate portrait of a man who’s overcome a great deal of personal adversity and whose lifelong goal remains protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself. In this INCONVENIENT TRUTH for the economy, Reich uses humor and a wide array of facts to explain how the issue of economic inequality affects each and every one of us.

From the “Inequality for All” website