Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman Speaks in Atlanta on Her Twenty Year Coverage Memoir
(APN) ATLANTA — Independent media supporters, community progressives, and listeners of WRFG 89.3FM gathered at the First Iconium Baptist Church, on Moreland Avenue in East Atlanta, to hear Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! speak on the importance of social movements and the failures of the corporate media on May 3, 2016.
The proceeds of the talk went to support WRFG.
Goodman partnered with independent Atlanta bookstore, A Capella Books, to sell copies of her latest book, co-authored with David Goodman (her brother and journalist) and Denis Moynihan (Democracy Now! and activist), titled Democracy Now! Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America.
Atlanta Progressive News attended the VIP book signing reception and main event. APN has previously covered numerous visits by Goodman to Atlanta.
About forty people attended the book signing. Inside the sanctuary, for Amy Goodman’s talk, over two hundred people attended and the building was filled close to capacity.
Rev. Timothy McDonald III welcomed Goodman, Moynihan, and all in attendance to his faith community’s place of worship.
“Thank you WRFG, Amy Goodman is the voice of the people,” McDonald said, as the room erupted in applause.
Joan Baptist, station manager at WRFG, spoke next and promoted the importance of independent radio.
“We don’t have anyone telling us what we can or cannot play, or can or cannot say,” Baptist said.
Moynihan–who was one of many who helped organize the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle, Washington–then came on to introduce Goodman.
“Failure is all around us, but we have the power to build something great,” Moynihan said, rallying the crowd to support independent media.
Finally, Amy Goodman arrived at the podium to give her lecture, and the crowd erupted with applause. One enthusiast even yelled out, “I love you Amy!”
Goodman wasted no time jabbing the corporate media.
“The corporate mass media seems to have nothing to tell but everything to sell, and the networks are making a killing,” Goodman said.
“We don’t have a silent majority, what we have is a silenced majority, and we need to take the media back,” Goodman said.
Goodman then went on to say that independent media is dangerous.
“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves, to speak from their own experiences. This allows for a challenge to stereotypes, and it provides a path to understanding and peace,” Goodman said.
During the last part of her lecture, Goodman spoke about how social movements matter and how the corporate media ignores and often times insults activists.
“The media denigrates activists, but what could be more important than dedicating your life to making the world a better place?” Goodman asked.
Goodman then began to read some excerpts from her book, the most powerful being the story of Bree Newsome, a young Black woman who, on June 27, 2015, brought down the Confederate Flag on the South Carolina statehouse grounds by scaling the flagpole with climbing equipment.
“You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today!” Newsome had said.
Newsome was arrested, but bail was quickly raised, as was a replacement Confederate Flag. On July 10, 2015, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill by the South Carolina Legislature removing the flag from state grounds.
“Movements matter, and never think for a moment that a small group of dedicated people can’t change the world,” Goodman remarked.
After about two hours, Goodman closed her lecture by restating the mission of Democracy Now!
“Our mission is to go where the silence is, we will not be silent – Democracy Now!”