Critical American Voices is the title of the Munich American Peace Committee program at radio LORA München that is broadcast every second Monday in the month at 8 p.m. as a part of the “LORA international” program category.
The Munich American Peace Committee was founded almost 30 years ago by a group of US-American peace activists living in Munich.
Whatever activities we pursued, from participating in demonstrations, writing to our US senators, connecting with resisters in the military, among others, we were always on the lookout to explore new venues, themes, actions and actors for propagating our work and ideas.
The initial and foremost goal of our members was to make the peace movement in the United States more familiar to the German public and at the same time familiarize Americans in the United States with the German peace movement. The possibility to broadcast at LORA turned out to be a perfect possibility for our purposes.
We began to air Critical American Voices programs at Radio Lora in 1994 and have since been on the air almost 100 times. Our team is made up of 4 loyal souls.
Marion v. Hofacker had the initial idea for the program. She searches for the best topics, organizes and then edits the material for each successive radio program.
Vera Rossner writes a 3 page German summary of the 8 page, 55 minute long English text which is then read intermittently between the 3 part presentation of the English text.
Heidi Mergener , an experienced and fluent speaker, reads the German texts.
Nik Gollwitzer is responsible for the technical part and invaluable as our adviser and critic. This German / English presentation is not only politically informative, it also has a learning advantage for language students.
The texts in English that are the source for our programs at Lora are purchased most often from the radio station Alternative Radio in Boulder, Colorado.
Alternative Radio is an independent radio station that features interviews and speeches by experts representing a wide range of fields.
We have presented personalities such as the politician Ralph Nader , consumer advocate and independent presidential candidate in 2008, Naomi Klein author of The Schock Doctrine and a critic of globalisation, Vandana Shiva, world renowned environmentalist from India, Arun Ghandi, grandson of Mahatma Ghandi from the Ghandi Institute for Non Violence in Washington, Robert Fisk Independent’s award winning Middle East correspondent, Tariq Ali, historian and member of the New Left and last but certainly not least, – in tribute – Howard Zinn who died in January, author of the People’s History of the United States, and the most important personality of the American left.
The subjects are the universal themes of concern today – ecological, political, social, cultural, and racial expressed by notable dissidents most often representing the minority and the political left wing. The are a multitude of choices. For a complete list of authors at Alternative Radio, see www.alternativeradio.org
Occasionally, during a moment of inspiration, MAPC members take to pen and write texts for the Lora program themselves.
One such program consisted of international protest songs sung and played by various famous activist singers, with explanations as to the songs’ and singers’ origins (researched by Marie and) read by Caroline.
Another self-made program was a sketch at Christmas time about Santa Claus coming to Washington to honour and chastise.
More recently we aired several programs on the subject of Gaza (this should read “Afghanistan”). Michael, a MAPC member who is a lawyer, analyzed the illegality of the war in Afghanistan, Marie examined the repercussions of US presence there, and the urgent need for withdrawal of Western military forces, and Richard traced the history of the American involvement.
Another program planned for the future is American Country Music, put together and sung live by Mack.
We are grateful for the opportunity to be at Lora. The monthly program gives MAPC the opportunity to document that there is an “Other America” and a different way of thinking in the United States that is often overlooked by the manipulation of the media …