16 April 2013

RAG RADIO / Thorne Dreyer : Anti-Gun Violence Activists John Woods & Claire Wilson James

Claire Wilson James and John Woods at the KOOP studios in Austin, Texas, April 5, 2013. Photo by Thorne Dreyer / The Rag Blog.
Rag Radio podcast:
Anti-gun violence activists
John Woods and Claire Wilson James
John's girlfriend was killed at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Claire was shot by UT tower sniper Charles Whitman in Austin in 1966, losing her unborn child.
By Rag Radio / The Rag Blog / April 16, 2013
Amsterdam-based poet and legendary countercultural figure John Sinclair will be Thorne Dreyer's guest on Rag Radio, Friday, April 19, 2013, from 2-3 p.m. (CDT) on KOOP 91.7-FM in Austin, Texas, and streamed live. Sinclair founded the White Panther Party in Detroit in 1968, was involved with the underground newspaper, The Fifth Estate, and was the manager of the historic proto-punk band, the MC5. John Lennon celebrated him in song after Sinclair was sentenced to 10 years for giving two joints to an undercover cop in 1969. Since the mid-'90s he has performed spoken-word poetry with his band, The Blues Scholars.
John Woods was a student at Virginia Tech on April 6, 2007, when gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on campus, including his girlfriend, Maxine Turner.

Claire Wilson James was shot and seriously wounded by tower sniper Charles Whitman on August 1, 1966, on the University of Texas campus. James, then an 18-year-old anthropology student, spent three months in the hospital and lost her eight-month-old unborn child. Her boyfriend, Tom Eckman, was among Whitman's victims.

Woods and James, who are now both active in the movement against gun violence, were Thorne Dreyer's guests on Rag Radio, April 5, 2013. Rag Radio is a syndicated radio program produced at the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM in Austin, Texas.

Listen to or download our interview with John Woods and Claire Wilson James here:

Born in Alexandria, Virginia, John Woods was a National Merit Scholar who graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Tech in 2007 -- after his girlfriend was shot and killed during the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history.

Woods moved to Texas to begin his doctoral work in molecular biology at UT-Austin, where he is a National Science Foundation Fellow. John was a founder of Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas and is now a board member of Texas Gun Sense, an organization that opposes allowing guns on campus while stressing its belief in an individual’s right to bear arms. The Austin Chronicle named Woods Austin’s “best activist” in its 2011 “Best of Austin” awards.

Claire Wilson James, who teaches elementary school in Texarkana, was a student activist at the University of Texas in 1966, involved with SDS and the civil rights and anti-war movement, when the Whitman shootings occurred. She was Whitman's first target in a spree that left 17 dead and 72 wounded.

James, who has recently joined in the fight for sensible gun control, testified before the Texas Legislature in March 2013, in opposition to a bill that would allow the carrying of weapons into college buildings.

Rag Radio has aired since September 2009 on KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas. Hosted and produced by Rag Blog editor and long-time alternative journalist Thorne Dreyer, a pioneer of the Sixties underground press movement, Rag Radio is broadcast every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CDT) on KOOP, and is rebroadcast on Sundays at 10 a.m. (EDT) on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA.

The show is streamed live on the web by both stations and, after broadcast, all Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Internet Archive.

Rag Radio is produced in association with The Rag Blog, a progressive Internet newsmagazine, and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Tracey Schulz is the show's engineer and co-producer.

Rag Radio can be contacted at ragradio@koop.org.

Coming up on Rag Radio:
THIS FRIDAY, April 19:
Amsterdam-based poet John Sinclair, legendary founder of the White Panther Party and former manager of the MC5.
Friday, May 3, 2013: Free-form radio pioneer Bob Fass of Pacifica Radio's WBAI-FM in New York, with filmmaker Paul Lovelace (Radio Unnameable).

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