In a year when so much of the corporate media was hyper-focused on President Trump, Abby Martin and the Empire Files crew sought to cover underrepresented domestic and international issues that affects real people.
Inside the Empire, that meant the ongoing opioid epidemic in a discussion with leading attorney Mike Papantonio, examining why 91 Americans die each day due to opioids, and how Big Pharma’s desperate pursuit of profit is attempted murder upon all injured Americans.
It meant examining the new Administration’s assault on the freedom of assembly in the form of controversial J20 arrests, where more than 200 demonstrators faced decades in prison for conspiracy and other charges.
And it meant examining overarching issues in America, like racism, inequality, the dysfunction of capitalism and the US Empire’s need to prop up the system.
Always connecting struggles in here to the victims of US Empire, Empire Files revealed the censored history of how the US Empire destroyed and subjugated the Philippines, Colombia, Palestine, Venezuela and more.
While the mass media’s most-reported story in 2017 was fear-mongering and aggression towards Russia, Empire Files sought to explore what could happen if this trend continues how the US Empire looted Russia after it led the overthrow of the Soviet Union, and Russia’s own history of defeating the oligarchs a century ago.
In 2017, Abby Martin and the Empire Files crew traveled both domestically and abroad to cover the year’s most important stories: From Houston, Texas a month after Hurricane Harvey to cover the government’s inaction in communities that were affected the most, to Washington, D.C. to dive deep into the protests surrounding the inauguration of President Trump.
Alongside Trump’s major announcement to declare Jerusalem the official capital of Israel, Abby Martin’s interviews with Israelis in Jerusalem, who wished exile and worse upon Palestinians, gave an eye-opening counter-narrative to the corporate media’s depiction of the situation. Martin’s report was so controversial that she became the target of a smear campaign by Israeli organizations.
Amidst a relentless regime-change operation in Venezuela by the Pentagon and Venezuelan oligarchs, Empire Files went into the heat of the battle, producing the only widely-seen coverage countering US propaganda–everything from being tear gassed with opposition protesters, to using hidden cameras to investigate food shortages, to explaining the reality of the country’s economic crisis, to pro-government protests ignored by Western media.
Most recently Empire Files travelled to Colombia, covering the historic peace deal that ended a 53-year civil war–and went deep into the jungles to investigate a breech of trust that left 8 farmers massacred by police.
In each location, Abby Martin spoke with victims of violence and colonization funded and perpetrated by the US Empire – points of view never found in the mainstream.
Those voices, those marginalized individuals deemed too inconvenient to the Empire’s agenda, were amplified through Empire Files in 2017.
Early in the year, Abby Martin spoke with Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa shortly before he left office after 10 years, as well as top officials in the Venezuelan government, and the rare voice of former Israeli infantryman Eran Efrati.
Profiling academics rarely seen on television, interviews with Dr. Gerald Horne, Rosa Clemente and Chris Hedges gave essential perspective on the resurgence of neo-Nazis and white supremacists under Trump.
Brining grassroots voices to the forefront, Empire Files was especially honored to interview Filipina domestic workers fighting human trafficking, young radical organizers in the People’s Congress of Resistance, Sikh Americans responding to racism and Islamophobia, poor and working-class Venezuelans fighting US regime change, peasant farmers in Colombia in the wake of a state massacre, and unsung heroes who saved lives in the Hurricane Harvey.
Without these voices, these stories simply could not have been told.