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The Laura Flanders Show

The Laura Flanders is a weekly interview show featuring new movement leaders, activists and commentary from Laura Flanders. Tune in every Tuesday or watch on teleSUR English, LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV or Manhattan News Network.
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The Laura Flanders Show
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Feb 22, 2017

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is 25 years old, and yet, the shadow of a Trump administration looms over its vision to advance a progressive agenda. In this seemingly discouraging time, what does the CPC offer, and how does it stay progressive? In the ramp-up to the DNC Chair nomination, for which Keith Ellison (D-MN), chair of the CPC, has hotly campaigned, Laura travels to the 2017 Progressive Congress to speak to progressive leaders.

Joining Laura this week are CPC First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI); CPC Vice Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA); CPC Vice Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY). Pocan and Lee bring to us an optimistic forecast for how progressive organizing will take on authoritarian and isolationist legislation. Jayapal and Clarke echo this sense of confidence in their caucus and constituents ability to organize. And all four celebrated Congresspeople reaffirm their belief in Keith Ellison’s ability to direct the Democratic party further left.

Rep. Mark Pocan was the first to introduce a bill to impeach Trump on the House floor; Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a bill to protest Steve Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council; Pramila Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives, known for her leadership in FightFor$15 Seattle; Rep. Yvette Clarke has sponsored a bill to prohibit the use of federal funds to support the Muslim Ban executive order.

Feb 16, 2017

Trump has been critiqued, among other things, as the troll-in-chief. His presidential win can be credited to the rise of alt-right internet 'trolls,' complex bots, and the online harassment of his opponents. Our guest this week, Thenmozhi Soundararajan​, a Dalit organizer, filmmaker, and activist, says the spread of online attacks comes with vast offline risks for communities in danger. When Steve Bannon, an avowed white nationalist, serves on the National Security Council, with access to the largest police and surveillance apparatus in world history, there's a problem we haven't even gauged yet, says Soundararajan. Laura speaks with Thenmozhi about the history of surveillance as a tool for state control and violence. And why, to build an effective resistance against the threat represented by Breitbart and the NSA, resources need to go to counter measures. Although the language of cybersecurity can seem overwhelming, simple tools and training can reduce an average person's risk by 80%, says our guest. For undocumented immigrants, women, and people of color, these practices can make the difference between life and prison. She and her colleagues know first-hand, from their own experience of a hack attack sourced to the extremist Modi government in India. Thenmozhi Soundararajan is the executive director of human rights and security startup Equality Labs​, director of the film Dalit Women Fight​!, and the first Dalit woman on Facebook. She is a transmedia storyteller, technologist, and journalist who has won countless awards for her versatile work. Find Equality Labs digital security one-sheets at https://www.equalitylabs.org/ #countersurveillance #digitalsecurity

Feb 8, 2017

​On the night that Donald Trump's Muslim Ban executive order was announced, thousands headed to airports to protest the detention of refugees who had arrived after the order went into effect. The same night, taxi workers across New York City famously went on strike in solidarity with those protesting at airports. In this latest podcast, Laura speaks with Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Worker's Alliance (NYTWA), the union that called for the solidarity strike in the name of the many Muslim, refugee, and immigrant workers who drive the city's taxis. Desai takes on -- amongst other things -- the issue of Uber and Lyft as Trumpian institutions, not just through affiliation, but through their very working model. NYTWA's strike was the first workforce strike against the Trump administration, and against what is, according to Desai, a deeply anti-labor government.

Feb 1, 2017

Guest host Bhaskar Sunkara (editor of Jacobin Magazine) engages political voices Kate Aronoff and Jonah Birch in a conversation about the future of the Left: were the election results a testament to the decline of the Left, or is this a moment for a new left movement? When 13 million people in America cast a vote for a self described Democratic Socialist, is there hope to be found in a political movement propelled by the swamp in the White House? Our guests this week discuss how we got to Trump, and where we -- as progressives -- are going. Kate Aronoff is a writing fellow at In These Times, and writes for Truthout, Dissent, and the Guardian, as well as hosting the Dissent podcast. Jonah Birch is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at New York University and a member of the International Socialist Organization, and also writes for Jacobin.

For itunes subscribers please please add a rating and write a review, and to watch this episode go to our website.

Jan 26, 2017

Under the Trump regime, we’ll certainly have to be on the defense to protect the communities most likely to be attacked -- but we’ll also have to build powerful, alternative models where POC, Muslim, undocumented, disabled, and queer folks have leadership. In this week’s episode, Laura speaks with Aaron Tanaka, founder and director of the Center for Economic Democracy about his longtime advocacy and visionary work for the next system of solidarity economics.

Tanaka wants to know if Trump will make us think think or act differently about extractive capitalism. To change the circumstances of injustice, whether it’s mass incarceration or mass displacement, we have to build our communities’ governance power to take control of their economic resources -- so says Tanaka.

Tanaka and the Center for Economic Democracy are one of the many organizations behind Boston’s Ujima program, which is funneling the discourse of democratic economics into the practice we need. The Ujima project is helping communities of color direct their resources into the ideas they believe in, through a cooperative model of community budgeting.

All this, and an F-Word from Laura on why we’ve got to look beyond personality politics to understand the actual culture that’s driving the nation’s voters.

Jan 12, 2017

Capitalism looks different to those who were once commodities, and that has implications for how we build a future not based in domination.

Dec 29, 2016

Supposedly, the far right have won. So what now? We ask our guests this week the same question, taking from a mixed pot of loss and success. Whether it's about the fight for reproductive justice in the South, or a movement for rural agency in progressive work, our guests offer some wisdom on what's happening now, and what's next as we head into the new administration.

The Facing Race conference, coordinated by Race Forward this November in Atlanta, brought together some of the most noteworthy names in progressive organizing right now. This week on the show, we have a special compilation of interviews from the conference with these very activists.

On this Holiday Special for the Laura Flanders Show Podcast, Laura speaks with Tarso Luís Ramos, executive director of Political Research Associates, about the far right's global dawn; Kim Diehl of the National Employment Law Project, on strategy for progressive movements.

For more on these organizations, check out our website at www.lauraflanders.com.

Dec 22, 2016

Supposedly, the far right have won. So what now? We ask our guests this week the same question, taking from a mixed pot of loss and success. Whether it's about the fight for reproductive justice in the South, or a movement for rural agency in progressive work, our guests offer some wisdom on what's happening now, and what's next as we head into the new administration. 

The Facing Race conference, coordinated by Race Forward this November in Atlanta, brought together some of the most noteworthy names in progressive organizing right now. This week on the show, we have a special compilation of interviews from the conference with these very activists. 

On this Holiday Special for the Laura Flanders Show Podcast, Laura speaks with Cara Shufelt and Jessica Campbell, of the Rural Organizing Project, on supporting rural mobilization; and Esha Pandit, from the Center for Advancing Innovative Policy, on reproductive justice victories in Texas.

Dec 16, 2016

At the Laura Flanders Show, we want to find the common ground that unites Americans, stories of progress, equity, and resilience -- to discover that there is more evidence of congress, than of division. Our guest this weeks speaks to some ways he has built a career on these very philosophies of equity and unity. 

Joining us for last new show of the 2016 year, is Anthony Flaccavento, founder of SCALE (Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies) and author of "Building A Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up." Much of the Trump campaign and its cohorts campaigned for "trickle-down" economics -- the idea that, when those at the top (the 1%), do well, that prosperity "trickles down" to the bottom 10%. This concept has been disproven repeatedly. Flaccavento's experience and success in reinvigorating rural communities, which are often left out of macro policies, suggests one major way we can bridge the divides between these disparate parts of America. A resotorative, perhaps, for the shared economic struggles that led to Trump's ascent. 

Flaccavento hails from rural Virginia in Appalachian country, and has spent the last 25 years in community development advocating for directing government policy and resources towards building sustainable, thriving, rural communities. By building an economy from the bottom up -- that is, from the farm -- we make its foundations sturdy, says Flaccavento.

Dec 8, 2016

The Facing Race conference, coordinated by Race Forward this November in Atlanta, brought together some of the most noteworthy names in progressive organizing right now. This week on the show, we have a special compilation of interviews from the conference with a couple of these very activists. 

On today's show we have Stephanie Guilloud from Project South and Suzanne Pharr, who founded the Woman's Project in 1981 in Arkansas.

For more on these organizations, check out our website at www.lauraflanders.com.

 

 

Dec 1, 2016

In the aftermath of the election, much has been said about what liberal government, media, businesses failed to do: contextualize his rise to office and connect with his voters to change their minds. In this episode, Laura interviews Adam and Arlie Hochschild, who have each spent their careers documenting the complexities of political behavior.

 

Arlie Hochschild, with pragmatic energy, undertook the work we’d all like to do: she left the liberal haven of Berkeley, CA to go to the Louisiana Bayou -- a stronghold of the conservative right. Hochschild interviews Trump voters about their “deep story,” what drives them and how they feel left behind by the same liberal policies they need the most. Her new book, National Book Award finalist, Strangers in their Own Land, hopes to find common ground with Tea Partiers and Alt-Righters beyond politics.

 

Adam Hochschild is a celebrated writer, cofounder of Mother Jones magazine, whose new book Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War. Hochschild, author of eight books, writes with what the New York Times calls prose “constantly vivid yet emotionally restrained” about the struggle of young Americans who joined Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. In our current politically fraught time, Hochschild speaks to the hallmarks of fascism and how to mark its ascent.

 

Nov 28, 2016

On this week's episode, a special call to action against post-election complacency. Although many of us affected by this election will be embittered and jaded by the "nightmarish" election season, our guests this week, activists ranging from many backgrounds, communities, and ages have a thoughts on how we can continue to mobilize #AfterTheElection.

Featuring words from a radical duo: Mab Segrest (Southerners on New Ground) and Agunda Okeyo (#GOPHandsOffMe).

Read more at www.lauraflanders.com.

Nov 9, 2016

2016 is an exciting -- and precarious -- time to be an entrepreneur, particularly when you’re queer women. Serafina Palandech and her wife Jennifer Johnson, the founders of organic food startup, Hip Chick Farms, had to deal with a lot when they wanted to start their business. Now they’ve been able to secure an investment from Whole Foods (and Johnson’s cooked at the White House). But it hasn’t been easy, more like a misogynist gauntlet, in fact.

Also in this episode: a visit with Mansfield Frazier, manager and founder of Chateau Hough, an award-winning vineyard in inner-city Cleveland. Chateau Hough employs local residents, formerly incarcerated workers, and youth as part of its project to invigorate the local community.

Nov 4, 2016

At the Laura Flanders Show, we say we talk with “tomorrow’s heroes today.”  One of those could well be forward-thinker Pramila Jayapal, Washington State Senator, now running for Congress. If elected, Jayapal be the first south Asian woman in the House of Representatives.  Jayapal describes herself as a “proud immigrant from India.” She founded Hate Free Zone (now OneAmerica) in response to hate and discrimination after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and played a big role in the push for a $15 minimum wage. Hear how Islamophobic racism, has shaped her campaign and why she believes politicians must address institutional racism head-on. Pramila Jayapal is running for Washington, U.S. House of Representatives, District 7.

Also running for Congress is Chase Iron Eyes, a populist candidate for indigenous voters and a leading organizer for the #NoDAPL fight. We talk with Iron Eyes about lifting up in the face of oppression. Chase Iron Eyes is a Native activist and attorney, and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.


All this, and Laura’s F Word on opening highways not gates.

Nov 2, 2016

Are we stuck in a two-party gridlock, or is there still room for democracy? Ralph Nader, former presidential candidate and famed political maverick, joins us to discuss what really constitutes “people power” when it comes to this election. Known for his lifetime advocacy for electoral reform and corporate accountability, Nader talks about what the 2016 election’s taught us about the need for a government overhaul. For Nader, the choice between what he calls a “warmonger” and an  “empty suit,” is no choice at all. But that doesn’t mean voters can’t make a difference, especially on Congress.


Nader is the author a new book, Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think.”  Also in this episode, a look at those most integral to this election: the voters, with a retrospective from the Democratic National Convention, and an F Word from Laura on winner-take-all media coverage.

Oct 20, 2016

It may seem at times like theres a thousand movements to be a part of, a thousand and one tragedies in the news. How do we keep ourselves accountable to the communities we truly care about? Is "diversity" enough? And how do we stop ourselves from panicking? Our guest this week, celebrated journalist and author Jeff Chang takes on some of these questions. According to Chang, hope isnt yet lost and really, were going to be alright -- if we work together.

Connecting the dots between modern American resegregation, the 2016 elections, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the hip-hop generation, Chang paints a picture of distress. Yet, theres power in this, says Chang. Collaboration, the likes of which we see in successful movements everywhere (Movement for Black Lives, #NoDAPL), can ebb the flow of oppression. Jeff Chang is the co-founder of CultureStr/ke and Colorlines. He currently serves as the executive director for Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts. latest release, We Gon Be Alright, from Picador, is in stores now.

Also in this episode, we see a movement in practice at Standing Rock in Ohthi akwi territory. Indigenous activists and nations across the country are joining together in a historic effort to protect the water and defend the land against corporate energy. These indigenous leaders can teach us a lesson about doing radical work, even when facing improbable odds.

Find out more at www.lauraflanders.com. For Jeff Chang's other works, http://jeffchang.net/ 

 

Credits––

Executive Producer: Laura Flanders
Senior Producers: Anna Barsan, Jonathan Klett
Editing: Tina Miller
Social Media and Outreach Associates: Danica D'souza, Monica Mohaptra
Guest: Jeff Chang, Lyla June, Cody Hall
Music: Diego Chavez, "MoyenAge"
Morgana Warner Evans, "Which Side Are You On"
Lyla June, "Rise Up"
 

Oct 14, 2016

This week, we are joined by economist and professor Pavlina R. Tcherneva, who says the current practice of gender-blind and race-blind fiscal policy lacks visions and helps no one. Congress, according to Tcherneva is focusing on the wrong things. A self ascribed feminist economist, Tcherneva says feminist fiscal policy is real, not simply ideological, and should be a central part of the American economy. We'll encourage growth, she says, by creating employment -- not the opposite. And employment begins with targeting women and racial minorities as the benefactors of policy.

Pavlina R. Tcherneva is assistant professor of economics at Bard College and author of “Full Employment and Price Stability: The Macroeconomic Vision of William S. Vickrey.” Tcherneva is famously known as the author of the chart produced by Bernie Sanders on the Senate floor. The chart reiterates one of our modern truths: how post-Reagan economic growth in America multiplied growth for the 1%, but reduced wealth for 99% of Americans.

Oct 3, 2016
Part 1 of our field reports from the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, or Seven Council Fires Community, at #StandingRock in Cannonball, North Dakota. Representatives from hundreds of nations have travelled to #StandingRock to defend their right to clean water, and more, to preserve their sovereignty against a state that has illegally decided to take this land. They are protectors, not protesters. Their historic effort is bringing attention to a long struggle against environmental racism, indiscriminate raids, and genocidal erasure. 

We follow the story and the story of how these communities, Standing Rock Camp and Red Warrior Camp, have come to be egalitarian and holistic actions.

Featured in this documentary are two of the indigenous leaders working with the community: ] Michelle Cook - Legal Counsel for Očhéthi Šakówiŋ camp (Diné - The One Who Walks Around You Clan), and Terrell Iron Shell of Thunder Valley Organizing and the International Indigenous Youth Council (Oglala Lakotah, Eastern Band Cherokee). 

“We’ve been here. We know how to take care of the land. Just listen to us.”

For more information, go to www.nativeorganizing.org, or ienearth.org. Support this coverage at www.lauraflanders.com/join.
 
Sep 26, 2016

Few words have had as little presence in the 2016 election as “socialism,” which was raised briefly in one of the earliest primary debates. Yet socialism could have a future in America, our guests this week argue, if we just think about it differently. Joining us this week are Bhaskar Sunkara and Sarah Leonard, co-editors of of a new essay collection titled “The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century.” Sunkara and Leonard say that people aren’t scared of socialism taking their money, they’re scared of Wall Street taking their money. In fact, in a socialist future, money might actually go where it’s supposed to: back to the people. Taking on intersections of class and race, class and gender, our guests explain the logistics of moving towards a socialist future.

Sarah Leonard is a senior editor at the Nation, contributor to famous left-wing publication Dissent, and lecturer at NYU Gallatin. Bhaskar Sunkara is the editor and publisher of Jacobin magazine, a left-wing quarterly magazine recognized for offering socialist perspectives on contemporary issues.

Also in this episode: a montage from our DNC coverage as we head into election heat. Who is the 99.99% and what do they want?

Aug 17, 2016
The struggle for Black economic independence: Not a lot of people, particularly people of color, have had a chance to design a new community, to be different and equal, co-owned by its residents. In 1969, Shirley Sherrod co-founded a collective farm in Lee County, Georgia. At 6,000 acres, it was the largest tract of black-owned land in the United States. What happened to the New Communities land trust they planned? Let's just say they were way, way ahead of their time but their time just might be coming back.

Shirley Sherrod is a long time civil rights organizer, and trainer. You may remember the scandal when right wing propagandist Andrew Breitbart doctored a tape of her and got her fired from her appointed post as Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture . Today, Sherrod sits on the executive committee of the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative for Economic and Social Justice, a collective of women leaders in the South. All that and a commentary from Laura on America’s scapegoating of our poorest residents.

Aug 11, 2016

What the mainstream media didn't show you.

Aug 3, 2016

A social justice group that invites white people to fight racism is spreading like wildfire in the US. From 12 to 150 chapters in two years. Clearly a whole lot of white people are interested in fighting systemic injustice. But how? This week's guests have dedicated their lives to grappling with that question, for the sake of making real change. They are both organizers, educators, and feminist anti-racist activists.

Dara Silverman is the former Executive Director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and is currently the National Coordinator for SURJ: Showing Up for Racial Justice, a network with over 100 chapters and affiliates across the United States moving white people into action for racial justice. Chris Crass is the former co-coordinator of Catalyst Project, an antiracist training organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. And the author of two books, Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy and Towards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Action for Black Lives Matter.

Jul 25, 2016

In this special episode, the Laura Flanders is at the scene of the Republican National Convention -- but while the party is on inside Quicken Loans Arena, much of Cleveland is still grieving. The 2014 death of Tamir Rice still rests in the minds of many city residents, but it is not the only one.

And death is a topic; at the RNC, the rhetoric is targeting those who fear the death of middle class chances and white-working class jobs. There's a reality to that too, in a city where the normal family incomes are half the national average. In a city that's hurting, in a country that's hurting, who is speaking to all this hurt?

The LF Show are on the ground speaking to Joel Anderson and Cassandra Johnson, the family of Tanisha Anderson, killed by Cleveland Police in 2014. They continue to await justice. Other guests include Jim Mason, Goodyear Unit President and member of United Steelworkers of America; Harriet Applegate, Executive Secretary at North Shore AFL-CIO; Imam Paul Hassan, Cleveland Interfaith Activist; Deb Kline, Director of Cleveland Jobs for Justice; and performances by Prophets of Rage.

For behind the scenes, highlights, and more - follow us on Facebook!

With special thanks to our supporters, Link TV, and Free Speech TV.

Jul 12, 2016

The old media was driven by and for profits. What will new media stand on? More importantly, what will our media stand for? Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide. She has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers, including Breaking the Sound Barrier and The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance and Hope. Her latest book is Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America. http://democracynow.org/

Also in this episode: The Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade is an unapologetic, feminist, and women of color bicycle crew based in East Los Angeles. They are the subject of a new documentary of the same name. OVAs Xela De La X and Andi Xoch, with filmmaker Joanna Sokolowski, discuss white supremacy, violence, and the need for safe sisterhood. www.ovarianpsycos.com

Jun 21, 2016

Bernie's success as a mainstream, socialist presidential candidate has taken most commentators by surprise; even after he'd been mathematically counted out of the Democratic nomination race, support for Bernie Sanders kept coming in.

One person who wasn't surprised though, is this week’s guest, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant. Kshama is a teacher, activist, organizer, and a member of Socialist Alternative. She was a visible presence in the Occupy Movement, and an activist in her union, the American Federation of Teachers Local 178.

In 2013, Sawant ran for Seattle City Council on a platform of fighting for a $15/hr minimum wage, rent control and taxing the super-rich to fund mass transit and education. She defeated a 16-year incumbent Democrat to become the first socialist elected in a major US city in decades, and the first socialist on the Seattle city council since 1877.

On the show, Sawant discusses the radical potential of Bernie's politics, the possibilities for Socialism in America; and argues that the Democratic Party's anti-Trump strategy, with Hillary at the helm, is critically flawed in the long run.

Also on the show, Greek alternative energy expert Ioannis Margaris discusses going from theory to practice in the Left government in Greece.  All that and a few words from Laura on Liberal Democrats and Rosa Luxemburg.

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