What the mainstream media didn't show you.
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.
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.
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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.
Palak Shah discusses The Good Work Code, an attempt to bring comprehensive worker’s rights to Silicon Valley. And Yochai Benkler asks why the people who create all the content on Facebook - you and me - don’t own it. All that and a commentary from Laura on Apple's questionable borrowing practices.
Palak Shah is Social Innovations Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. In addition to helping create The Good Work Code, she has worked in state government, for Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, and in the grassroots, from Los Angeles’ Bus Riders’ Union to Generation Five and Oakland Rising, both in the San Francisco Bay Area. Yochai Benkler is author of The Wealth of Networks: How social production transforms markets and freedom. He is Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico are in dire crisis. The island territory is mired in debt and facing imminent default. Media coverage has blamed the last twenty years - when tax breaks were rolled back and loans extended. But this week’s guests say the root of Puerto Rico's problems go deeper than that - to US colonial rule. If colonialism's at least in part the culprit here, it's pretty ironic that the solutions on offer from Congress seem so colonial as well.
This week, journalist Ed Morales and activist Charles Khan talk about the roots of the problem, and how a colonial approach to a colonial problem just might not do it. Later in the show, we visit with the Urban Bush Women at their Summer Leadership Institute, a training program for artists and organizers held every year in New Orleans. Founded in 1984 by choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Urban Bush Women seeks to bring the untold and under-told histories and stories of disenfranchised people to light through dance. All that and a few words from Laura on Yale University’s outrageous aversion to paying taxes.
Charles Khan is the Organizing Director at the Strong Economy For All Coalition, a Coalition of Labor Unions and Community groups fighting for economic equality, equal funding of public schools, and corporate accountability in New York State. He is also a leader of the HedgeClippers - an activist group taking on the Hedge Funds.
Ed Morales is a journalist who has investigated New York City electoral politics, police brutality, street gangs, grassroots activists, and the Latino arts and music scene. He is also the author of "Living in Spanglish and The Latin Beat: From Rumba to Rock." He also co-directed a documentary called "Whose Barrio?" and is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.
One hundred years after the Easter Rising of 1916, the question of Irish sovereignty still looms large. New challenges face the Irish in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and slashes to public spending in the North have ignited fresh waves of resistance. In this special report, Laura Flanders returns to Ireland, 30 years after first reporting on the so-called "Troubles". With photographer Paula Allen she takes a fresh look at Irish nationalism through the stories of socialists, anti-imperialists, anti-austerity activists and several generations of republicans. With Fintan O'Toole of The Irish Times, Sinn Fein TD Eoin O'Broin, Clare Daly TD, and more. Made possible by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting #pulitzercenter.
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill talks about the secrets he’s learned about our government’s assassination programs, and how our military policies are leading to more oppression at home as well. Then, Laura visits Ireland for the anniversary of a one hundred year old rising against empire, and her commentary looks at the undeserved power of hedge fund managers. Jeremy Scahill is an award-winning investigative journalist and a founding editor of The Intercept. He is the author Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, and a producer of the film Dirty Wars, which was nominated for an academy award for best documentary. His newest book, co-written with the staff of The Intercept, is The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program.
A bank founded by a garment workers union, and a global ice cream company founded by a couple of hippies from Brooklyn. Keith Mestrich, President & CEO of Amalgamated Bank, talks about running a big bank with a social justice mission. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream talk about Bernie Sanders and progressive business principles - do they exist? Later in the show, Laura comments on the rise of automation - is it the end of human connection?
Can the wealthy save the rest of us from themselves? Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer tells us what’s wrong with rich people, and former Goldman Sachs Vice President Raphaele Chappe tells us about her work to even the playing field between the 1% and the 99% with the Robin Hood Hedge Fund.
On this special Mother’s day episode, guest host Alexis Pauline Gumbs explores revolutionary mothering with a panel of guests including China Martens, Mai’a Williams, Victoria Law, and Cynthia Dewi Oka. Self-described Queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist Alexis Pauline Gumbs is the author of Spill: Fugitive Scenes, coming later this year from Duke University press. China Martens is the author of, among many other works, The Future Generation: The Zine-book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends and Others, and co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities. Mai’a Williams is a former journalist for teleSUR English and author of two books of poetry. Victoria Law is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. Cynthia Dewi Oka works at Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and her book of poems, Nomad of Salt and Hard Water, was a 2015 Pushcart Prize Nominee.
Author and professor Peter Linebaugh discusses his new book, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day. Later in the show filmmaker Avi Lewis discusses worker-owned factories in Argentina, and Laura focuses on the intersectional feminism of 19th Century Anarchist Lucy Parsons. Peter Linebaugh is professor emeritus at the University of Toledo, and the author of many books, including the Magna Carta Manifesto; Stop Thief, The Commons, Enclosures and Resistance, and his newest, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day. Avi Lewis is a filmmaker known for The Take, co-directed by Naomi Klein, and This Changes Everything, a documentary on climate change and resistance, released in 2015.
This Week: Making sense of the election season with a historian. From Confederate monuments to election politics to utopian communities, Eric Foner discusses today’s politics through the legacy of the past, and Laura takes a new look at a hundred-year-old proclamation. Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is one of this country's most prominent historians, and the foremost expert and the civil war and reconstruction. He is the author of more than 20 books, including many classics, such as Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War; Nothing But Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy; and Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. His most recent book is Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.
The Moral Mondays Movement in North Carolina is building a powerful, grassroots, struggle against the right wing. Laura talks with Reverend Dr. William J Barber II, the architect of that movement about Moral Mondays, Reconstruction, #BlackLivesMatter and morality and LGBT rights. Later in the show, we visit protesting workers from a Trump Casino in Las Vegas and Laura discusses bullies on TV, politics, and power.
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is the progressive Chicago politician who forced conservative Democrat Rahm Emanuel into the first run-off in that city’s history. Dan Cantor is the cofounder and national director of the Working Families Party. Before co-launching the WFP, he was a union organizer in New Orleans and Detroit; a community organizer in Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri; and Labor Coordinator for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1998 presidential campaign. The two talk with Laura about how they see a path for progressives to change the Democratic Party, and national politics. Later in the show, Steve Phillips discusses the importance of cultural competence in electoral politics. Phillips is a civil rights lawyer, co-founder of PowerPAC.org and the author of th new book Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority
Single Payer Health Care, Free College for all and an end to subsidies for fossil fuel - if Bernie Sanders’ agenda sounds more progressive than his opponents', why have so few Progressive Congress people endorsed him? Laura asks Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, why so few members of his caucus have supported Bernie Sanders. Also in the show, middle east expert Phyllis Bennis tells Laura why we need more discussion of war and peace in the race for the White House. Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC. Her latest book is Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror: A Primer. Also, a few words from Laura on cooperation among rival nations.
Author, activist Sarah Schulman, cofounder of the Act-Up Oral History Project, is out with a new novel, The Cosmopolitans, in which a group of mid-century East Villagers pull together to survive gentrification and modern life. Meanwhile, musician Lupe Fiasco is starting a tech entrepreneur program in one of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods - we have an exclusive report. And with so much to spend public money on, asks Flanders in her weekly commentary, why are tax payers subsidising church?
Author Craig WIllse and organizer Imani Henry discuss housing, homelessness and the role of nonprofits in change-making (or not). Plus, an exclusive report from an upstate New York farm that's feeding people while fighting the school-to-prison pipeline. All that and Laura, inspired by Chicago’s teachers, wonders when we’ll be ready for a grand national sick out.
Can residents determine how their cities change? They can certainly have an impact, say Aaron Bartley and John Washington of People United for Sustainable Housing (P.U.S.H.) in Buffalo, New York. PUSH Buffalo brings people together to create sustainable neighborhoods with quality affordable housing, green jobs and next generation infrastructure. Could their model apply where you live? Also in this show, Laura discusses the “great corporate buy-up” of our cities. Is that public plaza public, private or who knows?
From poisoning Flint to bankrupting Main Street, can residents regain a say in what happens in their communities? In this episode, Laura discusses race, gender, and banking with Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the author of Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense, and she asks Michigan Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence who - and what - failed the people of Flint, MI. Plus an F Word from Laura on shedding light on dark money. What might media cover if they weren’t so obsessed with Donald Trump?
Laura Flanders and guest host Pamela Brown learn from pirates, hustlers and hackers about how to build economic alternatives right here, right now. Alexa Clay is a co-author of The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters, And Other Informal Entrepreneurs. Micky Metts is a hacker, activist and organizer, as well as a member of Agaric, a worker-owned cooperative of web developers. Janelle Orsi, co-founder and executive director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, is a lawyer, advocate, writer, and cartoonist focused on cooperatives, the sharing economy, and community-supported enterprises. All that and a few words from Laura on free speech and democracy for workers.
Trans South Asian art duo Darkmatter is comprised of Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian. They are deeply engaged in the connection of art and social justice, and have been performing to sold-out crowds in New York and internationally.
Caledonia Curry, also known as Swoon, is one of the most recognized street artists in the world. She has brought her art from the streets to galleries and museums. Among her recent projects include creating musical houses in New Orleans, a ceramic tile factory in Pennsylvania, a floating city on rafts in the Mississippi River, and rebuilding a community in Haiti post-earthquake.
Can a socialist choose Hillary over Bernie? Playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner discusses Socialism, Zionism, Hollywood, and the 2016 elections. Tony Kushner has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, two Academy Award nominations, and President Obama presented him with the National Medal of Arts in 2013. Last fall he was entered into the National Theater Hall of Fame - and no wonder; among his plays are Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes; and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. His many screenplays include Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Munich. He has also written or edited several books, including Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict. Later in the program, Laura visits with a Roma Gallery in Hungary that embraces Hip Hop and bell hooks. All that and a few words from Laura on recent political upheavals in Hungary.
This week Laura and Viggo Mortensen discuss heroes, outlaws, empires and justice in the Middle East. Academy Award-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen has appeared in scores of movies, including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, one of the highest grossing film series of all time. What you may not know is he's also a poet, photographer, musician and painter. He speaks four languages, and he is the founder and publisher of an independent publishing house, Perceval Press. The twelfth anniversary edition of Perceval's collection of essays in response to the Iraq occupation: Twilight of Empire -- was released this winter with essays by Mike Davis, Amy Goodman, Jodie Evans and Dennis Kucinich among others - and a forward by Howard Zinn. This episode also features a few words from Laura on Hillary Clinton - her warmth and her wars.