Will the future be better or worse for workers? Peter Frase says with more tech tools, there's more leisure in our future, as there should be. He also is convinced that capitalism will end. Peter Frase is an editor of the magazine Jacobin, and has a book coming out next year from Verso Press, Four Futures. Also on this episode: Part two of our interview with Boots Riley, a poet, lyricist, MC, screenwriter, activist, organizer, radical, and founder and frontman of Oakland-based hip hop group The Coup. Boots Riley was also one of the most influential voices and leaders of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is the only known musical artist whose surveillance by intelligence agents has been exposed due to Wikileaks documents. All this, and Laura discusses war, refugees and Dick Cheney's second home.
How do we break America's addiction to guns and gun violence? We talk with a young man who served ten years in prison on a gun-related crime and hear from cultural critic Jeff Chang about the cultural changes that have and haven't transformed America. Marlon Peterson spent his entire 20s in prison, charged with second degree murder, and convicted of attempted robbery and assault. Five years after his release, he's now a Soros Foundation Justice Fellow, working to end gun violence and increase community safety in New York City through the creation of zones where no one will need to carry a gun—not even police officers. Jeff Chang is an author, historian and cultural critic. He is the author of Can't Stop Won't Stop, A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, and Who We Be: The Colorization of America. Also in this episode, Laura discusses a prison-free state.
A look at the historical and present-day connections between democracy, land, housing and economic development. The history of the US is packed with people of color and poor people who’ve been stripped of their rights - to vote, to wages, to housing or even just the right to stay in the country - through incarceration, segregation, slavery and deportation. For just as long, black communities have created safety, and won a say in democracy, through buying and keeping land cooperatively. It’s not just history, either. Mark Scott is an organizer of #blacklandmatters, a group working today, and Tia Powell Harris is the director of the Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville - one of America’s first free black communities. This episode also features an exclusive report, Cooperation vs. Gentrification: Bed Stuy Strives to Stay Local, which explores ways people in the Bed Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn are using co-ops to find ways to benefit local communities and prevent the displacement caused by gentrification.
Will labor endorse Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or someone else? Larry Hanley began driving a bus in 1978, at age 21, in Brooklyn, NY, and attended his first union meeting soon after. He’s now international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union which represents some 200,000 bus drivers, rail operators, mechanic and station attendants across the US and Canada. Since his election in 2010, he has been outspoken on everything from greening the economy to outsourcing of public sector jobs and racism. He was also the first union president to speak up about the 2016 US presidential election, and he was supportive of Bernie Sanders. Also in the show, Morrigan Phillips tells us about how to bring science fiction and fantasy into social change and direct action.