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.
Laura, discusses race, gender, feminism, and socialism with author Zillah Eisenstein. And an exclusive report from the Damayan Cleaning Cooperative, the first Filipina migrant worker-owned cooperative in the US. And a few words from Laura on the path forward for a new economy.
From sex workers in the US to prisoners in Guantanamo, artist and journalist Molly Crabapple has been there. Her bold and powerful work has also taken her to Abu Dhabi's migrant labor camps, and with rebels in Syria. Her new memoir, Drawing Blood, was just released in December. She is a contributing editor for VICE and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. This episode also features a commentary from Laura on the dark magic of the art market.
Six years ago this month, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake. Billions of dollars in aid were pledged but little made it to the people in need. Why did that happen? Today on The Laura Flanders Show, Antony Loewenstein talks about Disaster Capitalism and the great Caribbean feminist Jacqui Alexander gives us a rare interview. All that and a few words from Laura on laissez faire capitalism - that isn't.
Today on The Laura Flanders Show: Naomi Murakawa indicts liberals for growing the system of mass incarceration, and we take a look back at our coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement. All that and a few words from me on mandatory minimums in 1790 and since.
The Laura Flanders Show in in Los Angeles talking about women and work. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas shares about her work with the Black Workers Center, and we visit with domestic workers who marched to Washington to meet with the pope. All that and a few words from me on the surprisingly low-cost emergency that can throw almost half of all Americans into a crisis.
Eric Mann from The Los Angeles Bus Riders Union talks about why working people from LA are attending the climate talks in Paris. And Ecuador's former Finance Minister Pedro Páez on when they renegotiated loans, cut debt payments and reinvested in the local economy. Plus a commentary from Laura on lessons learned from a 19th century African statue.
Land and food has been used as a weapon to keep people of color in second class status, in this episode Laura looks at the ways it can be used as a tool for liberation. Laura speaks with Jalal Sabur & Raymond Figueroa, who are using fresh food to rebalance the scale and dig up the school to prison pipeline. Jalal Sabur is the co-founder of the Freedom Food Alliance, a collective of farmers, political prisoners, and organizers in upstate New York, and Raymond Figueroa, Jr. works with the Friends of Brook Farm, an alternatives-to-incarceration program that works with young people affected by the prison system. Also in this episode, fisherman Bren Smith is modeling a future for fishing after fish - with Kelp Farming. All that and a few words from Laura on giving thanks and food power.
The “surveillance-industrial complex” has profound, but poorly understood impacts on our political, structural, economic, and cultural lives, says Hamid Khan, director of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, board member of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Political Research Associates, and Youth Justice Coalition. Also in this episode, we meet the students that forced Columbia University to divest from private prisons. And Laura on US government spying on Black Lives Matter movement activists.
Can one of the founders of the craft website Etsy.com - valued in the billions of dollars - lead a change in the way we do business? Etsy.com is the world’s largest certified socially responsible business, and they have now launched Etsy.org, a business education program for businesspeople who want to make a better world. Laura speaks with Matthew Stinchcomb, the Vice President of Values and Impact for Etsy.com, and the founder of Etsy.org; and Donna Schaper, Senior Minister for Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village and author of several books, including the upcoming The Time Famine, as well as a collaborator on Etsy.org. Also in this episode: The WORX Printing Cooperative gives a short history of unjust trade, and Laura discusses New Economy Week.
Like all men held at Guantanamo Bay, Mohammed el Gharani, who was imprisoned at the age of 14, is barred from entering the USA. But American artist Laurie Anderson found a way to bring him to the states, via telepresence. Laura talks with Anderson about presence, absence and the questions raised in Anderson’s latest attention-getting performance, Habeas Corpus. We also hear from el Gharani, who was held at Guantanamo from 2002 until his release in 2009, about prison-camp solidarity, the prisoner who is his hero, and his thoughts on slavery and the Middle Passage - then and now. All that and an F Word from Laura on a long, 40 second delay.
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The climate crisis is our best chance to build a better world - and the people most affected by the destruction are in the forefront of coming up with alternatives. We'd better listen to them. That's the message of a new film from this week's guest, Avi Lewis, director of the new film This Changes Everything, inspired by the bestselling book by his wife Naomi Klein. Avi Lewis co-created and hosted the award-winning Al Jazeera documentary series Fault Lines, and The Big Picture on CBC Television. His first documentary, The Take, followed Argentina’s legendary movement of worker-run businesses. Also: Laura discusses women leading the charge for change around the world.
Mercy - more and more people are talking about it in the context of the masses of Americans incarcerated. but is mercy enough? Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, has done a lot to push this debate to the front. Also in the show - how you can be a part of EJI's history marking project. Plus a few words from Laura on the high cost of giving a cold shoulder to the poor in Hillary Clinton's neighborhood.
How does race and racism affect in your life? Anti-racist activist and writer Tim Wise is the author of six books, most notably his highly acclaimed memoir: White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. His latest book, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America is out this month. Also, New Orleans youth discuss how racism affects their lives. All that and a few words from Laura on security forces that stink.
Professor and author Greg Grandin talks about the enduring influence of Henry Kissinger's bloody and brutal foreign policy. Greg Grandin has been examining Empire in all its forms across seven books, including his latest, Kissinger’s Shadow, out this month. A professor of history at NYU and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Grandin writes on US foreign policy, Latin America, genocide, and human rights. He also served as a consultant to the United Nations truth commission on Guatemala. And Laura discusses war criminals in Guatemala and in the US.
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.