Checkbooks?

I’m sorry about the missing days. I am not yet ready to stop making excuses and accept that I am an irregular blogger, even if you (readers) have done so.

Enough with the excuses. My friend Stefan Christoff, from Montreal, is planning a trip to Lebanon. The idea behind the trip is twofold. First, Stefan, who has been doing great work in alternative media, immigration and antipoverty activism, and anti-corporate globalization activism, intends to help facilitate ongoing exchanges between activists in Lebanon and in Montreal. Second, he wants to report on ongoing events in Lebanon for alternative media here. Both are worthy projects, and like many worthy projects, they take resources, some of which Stefan certainly has, others (mostly money) of which he does not.

Take a look at his ‘pitch’ below, and send him some money if you can!

LIVING WAR: Reporting on Struggles for Social Justice in LEBANON A Fundraising Appeal for an Independent MEDIA Initiative….!

This is a call for financial support and solidarity for an independent media initiative of CKUT Radio’s Community News Collective in Montreal, with the collaboration of the Electronic Intifada, Free Speech Radio News and members of the Independent Media Center in Beirut.

Between June & September 2005, Stefan Christoff, an independent journalist and community organizer in Montreal, will travel to Lebanon to produce written, audio, and visual reports on present-day struggles for social justice in Lebanon. He will be the Electronic Intifada’s “Special Correspondent” in Lebanon. Christoff will also be producing regular radio reports for Free Speech Radio News and recording material for a radio documentary series to be produced at CKUT Radio in Montreal and distributed to community radio stations throughout the world in the fall of 2005.

This independent media initiative coincides with a period of significant political change in Lebanon, following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime-Minister Rafik Hariri in downtown Beirut in February 2005. Hariri’s death sparked a political shift in Lebanon, which saw the longstanding presence of approximately 15 000 Syrian troops in Lebanon come to an end. Also in recent months a series of sectarian bombings have taken place throughout the country, igniting a growing fear that Lebanon will relapse into the religious and political sectarianism which defined the 15 year civil-war from 1975 to 1990.

In this political context, the media initiative aims to explore grassroots political organizing and campaigns in Lebanon that oppose sectarian violence as well as Western military intervention in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. Additionally, reporting for this project will focus on political movements that are struggling for broad principles of social and economic justice, in relation to other movements throughout the global south that are fighting for self-determination and against capitalist globalization.

Importantly, this project aims to focus on the politically diverse voices within Lebanese society that are not often broadcast or projected by major media outlets on a local and international level. In so doing, it will confront the international corporate media distortions of the current political situation in Lebanon. This project aims to give voice to the struggles of oppressed communities in Lebanon, from the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, to the working poor, to the foreign workers, and to progressive political movements in a social context in which upwards of 40% the population lives in poverty.

The existing budget for this independent media initative is approximately $3,000 Canadian, which takes into account travel expenses, equipment needs, including recording devices and basic living expenses.

It is only with YOUR financial assistance, solidarity, and support for this important initiative that the radio documentary project will take place. Please consider donating today. ALL financial donation information is included BELOW.

Thank you in advance for your support and solidarity, Stefan Christoff CKUT Radio Montreal — www.ckut.ca Tel: 514 398 6788 Email: christoff@resist.ca

“I have learned a great deal from Stefan Christoff’s breakthrough reporting on and from Beirut. In the midst of the Bush Administration’s propaganda campaign about spreading “democracy” through the Middle East, it is absolutely crucial that probing and engaged independent journalists like Christoff have the resources they need to bring us unfiltered and unembedded voices from the front lines of Lebanon’s genuine grassroots struggles for self-determination. I urge you to support this project.”

Naomi Klein, syndicated columnist and author, “No Logo.”

—-> If you are interested in supporting this project financially, you can make checks payable to “Stefan Christoff” and mail them to the following address:

Stefan Christoff C/O CKUT Radio Montreal 3647 University Street Montreal, Quebec H3A 2B3, Canada

NOTE – Those wishing to make a contribution to this project that is tax-deductible under U.S. law for U.S taxpayers can make their donation through the Electronic Intifada. To donate, please visit the Electronic Intifada’s donation page at:

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article2162.shtml

—-> Details on Accessing Christoff’s Reporting on Struggles for Social Justice in Lebanon:

Between June & September, Christoff will be filing regular bi-weekly reports for the ELECTRONIC INTIFADA, while also producing radio reports for CKUT RADIO & various community radio stations throughout the world.

You will find Christoff reports as the ELECTRONIC INTIFADA’s “Special Correspondent” in LEBANON online at: http://www.electronicintifada.net…. You will hear Christoff’s audio reports on CKUT Radio (http://www.ckut.ca) in MONTREAL at 90.3 FM. The radio reports will also be available for re-broadcast & download on-line at: http://www.radio4all.net….

ALSO, Christoff will be collaborating with Palestinian independent journalist Mohammed Shublaq of the Independent Media Center in Beirut for Free Speech Radio News (FSRN). These reports will broadcast on over 93 community radio stations throughout the world and will also be accessible online. All details concerning FSRN and the program’s broadcast schedule can be found at: http://www.fsrn.org

AND Christoff will be recording and producing audio material for a larger radio documentary series entitled LIVING WAR, which will be edited and ready for broadcast in October 2005 and will be aired on CKUT Radio in Montreal and throughout community radio stations in Canada, North America and the world.

The distribution of this documentary will take place by Internet. CD mail-outs will be made available upon request to community radio stations…. If you are interested in broadcasting or distributing the LIVING WAR radio documentary project please do not hesitate to get in touch!

—-> Information on Independent Media Activist & Community Organizer Stefan Christoff:

Stefan Christoff is a social justice organizer and media activist based in Montreal. Christoff has been active with various Palestinian solidarity organizing including the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and heavily involved with the struggle of Palestinian refugees in Canada through the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees. Christoff has also been active with various networks and organizations actively confronting capitalist globalization including the Peoples Global Action Network and locally with CLAC, the Anti-Capitalist Convergence in Montreal.

As a media activist Christoff is a long-time member of CKUT’s Community News Collective. He has focused on forging connections between social justice movements and community based media initiatives. Stefan is also a regular contributor to Free Speech Radio News (FRSN.org) based in the U.S. Christoff’s radio work has been broadcast on countless community radio stations throughout the world, including Canada, the United States, the UK, the Middle East & Africa. Christoff’s written work has also been published in various media sources throughout the world, from the Middle East, to Canada, to the U.S. and the UK, including the Montreal Mirror, Lebanon’s Daily Star, the Jordan Times, Z Magazine, Canadian Dimension, and the Electronic Intifada.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.