Rebuilding the Garifuna people's radio station

January 20, 2010

HONDURAS – RE-BUILDING THE GARIFUNA PEOPLE’S RADIO STATION

BELOW: Information about and an invitation to re-build the Garifuna people’s radio station, destroyed by “unknown assailants”

FOR INTERVIEWS & MORE INFORMATION

In Honduras: Karen Spring, [011] 504 9507-3835, spring.kj@gmail.com
In USA/ Canada: Annie Bird, annie@rightsaction.org, 202-680-3002; Grahame Russell, info@rightsaction.org, 860-352-2448
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WORK BRIGADE TO REBUILD & RELAUNCH RADIO FALUMA BIMETU, “THE FIRST GARÍFUNA VOICE”

WHERE: Triunfo de la Cruz, near La Ceiba, on the north coast of Honduras
WHEN: February 1-7, 2010

The “Faluma Bimetu” radio station, OFRANEH (Fraternal Organization of Black and Garifuna people of Honduras), and COMPPA (Popular Communicators for Autonomy) call for funding and participation in the reconstruction of the “Faluma Bimetu” radio station in the Garífuna community Triunfo de la Cruz, in the Tela Bay.

WHAT HAPPENED

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 6th, the Garífuna community radio Faluma Bimetu (Sweet Coconut) - based in Triunfo de la Cruz - was burnt down by unknown armed individuals who proceeded to loot the station’s radio equipment. This is not the first time the radio has been attacked and its equipment stolen. In 2002, unknown persons stole the Faluma Bimetu transmitter and other key radio equipment.

The Garífuna people are in resistance to a slow process of forced (and often times violent) assimilation into the dominant culture by proponents of the tourist industry and mass media; and subject to evictions by corrupt corporate monopolies.

Triunfo de la Cruz, like other Garífuna communities in the Tela Bay area, has become a conflict zone since the invasion of venture capitalists, politicians, and foreign investors attempting to seize community land for the construction of mega–tourism projects.

Transmission of Radio “Faluma Bimetu” began in 1997, promoted by the Land Defense Committee of Triunfo de la Cruz (CODETT) in order to strengthen Garífuna culture and defend ancestral lands.

Garífuna community radios provide a social service to the community and do not generate private profit. Transmitting from Triunfo de la Cruz, Faluma Bimetu is necessary in the fight against Honduran elite, and its attempts to displace Garífuna communities for more corporate development and tourism.

INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE

From February 1-7, 2010, there will be a national and international brigade for the reconstruction and re-launching of Radio Faluma Bimetu. During the week, the community, the organizations, the Network of Indigenous and Garífuna radios in Honduras and Central America and citizens of the world will gather to collectively reconstruct and reinstall the house, production and transmission cabins.

PARTIAL LIST OF EQUIPMENT STOLEN OR DAMAGED

1 500-watt transmitter; 1 10-channel mixer; 2 desktop computers; 1 cellphone; 1 air conditioner; 1 dvd and cd player; 4 microphones (2 condensed mics and y 2 handheld mics); 2 digital voice recorders; 2 headphones; 2 speakers; 2 portable microphones; 1 building material ($500.00 corrugated metal roofing, paint, and lumber); 1 electrical wiring.

THE WORK

We will reinstall electricity, paint the walls, remove and replace the roof, rebuild the tables, put a fence around the radio, and reinstall radio equipment (including mixers microphones, headphones, transmitters, computers, CD players, and internet, etc.)

During the same week, OFRANEH (the leading Garifuna organization in Honduras) will organize accompaniment (day visits and overnight trips) with other radios of the Network of Garífuna Community Radios: Radio Durugubuti Beibei in San Juan Tela and Radio Sugua in Sambo Creek.

Come with us and meet the people of OFRANEH, who use community radios and popular communications to fight against the censorship of Garífuna voices and culture.

INAUGURATION OF “FALUMA BIMETU”

Saturday, February 6th, Faluma Bimetu will be re–inaugurated. The inauguration will include cultural ceremonies, music, art, and declarations against the politics of marginalization and erasure.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT

We need $7,500 dollars to rebuild Faluma Bimetu and get it back on the air. Join our work party or support us with what you are able ($5 and up). Raise your voice and help defend the communication rights in this effort to rebuild Radio Faluma Bimetu.

  1. Send donations with PAYPAL or a CREDIT CARD. Send your paypal donation to encuentro@radioscomunitarias.info or make a donation via http://www.comppa.org/wordpress
  2. Send donations to OFRANEH´s account in Honduras: Account No. 310-002-3062, Banco Atlántida, SWIFT: ATTDHNTE, La Ceiba, Atlántida, Honduras C.A.
  3. Make a tax deductible donation in the USA or Canada by sending a check made out to “Rights Action”:
    UNITED STATES: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
    CANADA: 552 - 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
    Please write "Ofraneh-Radio" in the memo line.
    Credit card donations (tax deductible): www.rightsaction.org

For more information on how to participate and support Faluma Bimetu, contact us: encuentro@radioscomunitarias.info, http://www.radioscomunitarias.info, http://www.comppa.org/wordpress

For more information please consult the following links:
VIDEO: Antes y Después del Atentado Contra Faluma Bimetu, Before and After the Attack of Radio Faluma Bimetu

OFRANEH: Honduran Black Fraternal Organization
T: (504) 4420618, (504) 4500058, ofraneh@yahoo.com, http://www.ofraneh.org

COMPPA: Popular Communicators for Autonomy
comppa@comppa.org, http://www.comppa.org


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