Amy Goodman Honors Lincoln Vets at 74th NY Reunion

May 31, 2010

An audience of almost five hundred saw Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! receive the ALBA Activist Award at the 74th reunion of the Volunteers for Liberty, held on May 2 at the Museo del Barrio in New York City. In an impassioned half-hour address (video), Goodman talked about the importance of an independent, critical news media: “We have a media in this country that wipes out history. In this high-tech digital age, with high-definition television and digital radio, still all we ever get is static—that veil of distortion and lies and misrepresentations and half-truths that obscure reality. But what we need the media to give us is the dictionary definition of static: criticism, opposition, unwanted interference. We need a media that covers power, not covers for power, we need a media that is the fourth estate, not for the State, and we need a media that covers the movements that create static and make history.” Goodman paid homage to the activism of Lincoln vets like Clarence Kailin, particularly in the area of civil rights. She also paid tribute to the late Howard Zinn, who “taught us about the movements that made this country great.” (See here for a video of Goodman’s address.)

The program further featured a collection of songs of the Spanish Civil War performed by Bruce Barthol’s ensemble, a presentation by Sebastiaan Faber on the search for the identity of the young black International Brigader whose portrait the Spanish government hoped to present to President Obama (video here), and a minidocumentary by James D. Fernández on Matti Mattson’s trip to the Spanish consulate this past fall to receive honorary Spanish citizenship (video here). Mattson, who had planned on addressing the audience, was unable to make it due to a recent fall. Instead, Matti sent a greeting that was read by Peter N. Carroll.