Episode 7: Tensions In and About Kashmir

Serena Blaiz interviews Nyla Ali Khan about Kashmir’s ongoing troubles. Excerpts from Nicole Sandler’s interview with Medea Benjamin about her new book, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US – Saudi Connection


Links coming soon!

Partial Transcript:

Welcome to the Peace Buzz for August 26, 2016. This is your host, Serena Blaiz, coming to you from Oklahoma City, where our sponsoring organization, the Center for Conscience in Action is located. For many, this may sound like a remote outpost in the peace community, but in fact we have a lot of activity and resources here to draw from, and one of those is Nyla Ali Khan, who teaches at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Khan comes from Kashmir, which is a region under the control of India, which has a very interesting recent history, and currently a good bit of turmoil, that needs to better understood and addressed by the rest of the world. Having Professor Khan nearby gives us an opportunity to try to remedy that, and we spoke with her at length back in April. Sadly, things have not improved for Kashmir, and today we check in again with Nyla to see what is happening, and what we might be able to do to help the pro-democracy movement there find peaceful solutions to decades of mistrust and resentment.

You’re listening to Peace Buzz. We’re speaking to Nyla Ali Khan about unrest in Kashmir and surrounding areas, where people are releasing years of pent up frustration about lack of democratic government and accountability. The region, controlled primarily by India, is being impacted negatively by the political situation in India itself, and at this point in the interview, I asked about how the regional Amnesty International network was dealing with things. It was a timely question, because just a day or two before, ultra right protests in Banglore, or Bengaluru, India had forced the local Amnesty to close for the safety of its staff. The protests were directly related to the relationship between India and Kashmir. We paused to look up breaking news on the incident and Nyla read from a news report, while providing some context about the various players.

Since our interview, Amnesty’s main office in London released a statement, which included this:

No staff of Amnesty International India were involved in the alleged ‘anti-national’ sloganeering at an event on human rights violations in Kashmir. We are an independent human rights organization that campaigns all over the world for states to comply with international human rights law and, accordingly, do not take a side on questions such as self-determination in a given context. But if others were involved in the alleged sloganeering, their human right to do so must be protected, as is made clear in India’s own constitution.

We hope other American progressive news organizations will take up this important developing story.

Medea Benjamin, of Code Pink, is one of the best known peace activists in the US – to the peace community as well as C-Span viewers. Peace Buzz shared some of her research on Saudi Arabia earlier this year just prior to a national conference on the Saudi Arabia and US relationship that was organized by Code Pink and other concerned groups. Now Medea has a book out on that same subject, entitled Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection. On August 19th, she was interviewed on the Nicole Sandler Show as she toured Florida promoting the book. Nicole was kind enough to permit us to excerpt part of that interview here on Peace Buzz. You can find their entire wide-ranging conversation on NicoleSandler.com or on Nicole’s Youtube channel.

That’s it for this episode of Peace Buzz. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed it, please share via social media or email. If you would like to comment about the show, listen to past episodes, or suggest future topics, please visit peacebuzz.org.

Thanks to Nyla Ali Khan for giving so generously of her time and insights. Find her books and other writings listed at nylaalikhan.org. She also is frequently published on Counterpunch.com. Thanks also to Nicole Sandler for the clips from her show, which can be found on Nicolesandler.com. Finally, thanks to Susan McCann for her hospitality.

Peace Buzz is a production of Upwave Media, which is a project of the Center for Conscience in Action. Learn more at centerforconscience.org.

Peace Buzz Episode 1 for March 2016

Episode 1 – March 2016
Host: Serena Blaiz

See update below (3/13/2016)

After an introduction of the podcast, Serena looks at the plan for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo, Cuba, as announced by President Obama on Feb. 22. Reactions to the plan come from representatives of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for American Progress, Close Guantanamo and Amnesty International. In Segment 2, we hear Michael Moore discussing his new documentary ‘Where to Invade Next’ which opened in the US on Feb. 12. Serena gives a report on the film’s release and distribution, with a call for listeners to find and support the film. Finally, Medea Benjamin talks about life inside Saudi Arabia, and why US activists need to be more concerned and active in seeking changes in policy towards that country. To this end, Codepink, The Nation, Peace Action and many other organizations have organized the Summit on Saudi Arabia 2016, which will be held on March 5 and 6.

Segment 1: Guantanamo 1:20
Segment 2: Where to Invade Next
Segment 3: Summit on Saudi Arabia 2016 21:51

For the Broad Spectrum Radio production of this podcast (music and PSAs added) see https://www.mixcloud.com/BroadSpectrumRadio/peacebuzz-episode-1-a-production-of-the-center-for-conscience-in-action-broadspectrumradioep30/


Peace Buzz is a monthly podcast produced by the Center for Conscience in Action and hosted by Serena Blaiz, with technical support from James M. Branum. Extended distribution is provided by Broad Spectrum Radio. It can be found at peacebuzz.org.

Peace Buzz exists as a way to help add additional, underrepresented voices for peace and justice to the media landscape. We cover stories and include points of view that get neglected or diminished by corporate-owned media outlets and the preponderance of rightwing worldviews in TV and radio coverage of current events. We seek to help US activists be more aware of emerging ideas for positive change and more engaged in the global movement to create a world where peace, education, economic opportunity, healthcare and justice are available to everyone and sustainability for future generations guides all decisionmaking.



From CodePink’s post-event report:

On behalf of the entire CODEPINK team, we are thrilled to report that we held an extremely successful Summit on Saudi Arabia last weekend. We had a wonderful turnout (over 250 participants) and excellent audience participation throughout the weekend!

CodePink has more news, videos of key Summit panels (from Real News Network), and action alerts on their website’s Saudi Arabia section.


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