Many people know of Mumia Abu-Jamal as a journalist and political prisoner. But did you know he’s also a Star Trek fan? That’s one of the many revelations in the new book Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, a collection of visionary fiction from Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown. Adrienne Maree Brown is a writer, organizational healer, facilitator, pleasure activist, and Science Fiction scholar, among many other roles. Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, organizer, filmmaker, spoken word artist, prison abolitionist and activist. In addition to editing Octavia’s Brood, she has written two books of poetry, Scars/Stars and the upcoming Angels with Dirty Faces: Dreaming Beyond Bars. They explain that for them, social change and science fiction are the same thing. Also in this episode: journalist and US political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal calls in via Prison Radio to read his essay for Octavia's Brood about what the film Star Wars has to say about US empire. Also, Laura discusses the Age of Acquiescence.
This week is US tax week, a good time to ask what will it take before we have a mass movement in the US offering economic alternatives. We explore this question with two guests who are in the trenches of the new economy movement. Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative. She is the author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses. Esteban Kelly is the Co-Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and a member of AORTA: The Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance, a worker-owned cooperative devoted to strengthening movements for social justice and a solidarity economy. Also in this episode: it's five years since BP caused the largest environmental disaster in US history, and we show scenes from the devastation on the US Gulf Coast, and from private gatherings of oil company executives. Also in this episode, Laura talks about corporate crime, taxes, and the cost of doing business, big business's way.
Where do art and social justice meet? From early roles in films like Bob Roberts and Five Corners to her award winning roles in plays including Wit and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, to her current starring role in the award-winning Showtime series The Affair, Kathleen Chalfant is one of the most acclaimed actresses in the US. She has also been an outspoken advocate on issues like Middle East peace and incarceration. This episode also looks at Stanley Cohen, a radical lawyer who has represented Hamas and other official US enemies. Cohen is going to jail in a case seen as payback from the US government for his unpopular cases.