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.