The ruling FOG (Forces of Greed) spin news stories in their favor and keep the masses distracted with celebrity gossip and reality shows. Each week on Clearing The Fog, we feature guests who are working to expose the truth and offer real solutions to the current crises faced by our nation and the world. Knowledge is power, and with this knowledge you will be empowered to act to shift power to the people and weaken the corporate stranglehold on our lives. Our podcast is brought to you each week without advertising.

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Breakthrough For Mumia Abu-Jamal And All Victims Of The Injustice System

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

The case of Mumia Abu Jamal, who was framed with the murder of a police officer, has had some important breakthroughs in the last month including allowing him appeal rights and the finding of six previously undisclosed boxes of evidence in his case. This could result in the dismissal of his case and release from prison after 37 years. We talk with Rachel Wolkenstein, who has served as an attorney and advocate for Mumia since 1990. Wolkenstein explains the significance of his case in the context of racist police enforcement, mass incarceration, the myths of US justice and legal lynching and describes evidence showing Mumia was framed because of his political activism. She argues that Mumia will only get justice if a mass movement demands it.

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And visit the new Popular Resistance Podcast Network at www.PopularResistance.org/prpn/

Guest:

Rachel Wolkenstein is a life-long political activist and an attorney for over 40 years defending civil liberties and civil rights, focused on the exercise of First Amendment rights, challenging the injustices of the American judicial system in criminal prosecutions and opposing the racist death penalty. From 1976-2010 she was staff counsel for the Partisan Defense Committee, a legal and social defense organization based on principles of non-sectarianism and class-struggle defense. 

Wolkenstein assisted in building a world-wide campaign for former death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and was co-counsel during his post-conviction appeal proceedings from 1995-1999, responsible for much of the new evidence of his innocence and the state misconduct used to convict him and sentence him to death. Since then Wolkenstein has remained a legal and public advocate for freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal. Wolkenstein was the legal consultant for the 2013 short film Manufacturing Guilt by producer Stephen Vittoria, Street Legal Cinema.  In defense of the First Amendment, Wolkenstein filed <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, including opposition to the government’s vast expansion of police powers in the “war against terror,” in Rumsfeld v. Padilla

For the past two years Wolkenstein has been an advocate with the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson and since September 2014 has been representing co-defendant Corey Walker in his post-conviction appeals. Both men are serving life sentences in Pennsylvania for a murder they did not commit. Johnson and Walker were targets of the “war on drugs” and are among the over 100,000 innocent men and women who were convicted and remain imprisoned in the U.S.

 

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Canada Violently Violates First Nation Sovereignty Over Pipeline

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

The Wet’suwet’en Nation, which has never ceded its territory, has been working to stop a number of pipelines that Canada wants to build through their territory for the past ten years. This struggle came to a head last week when Canadian police violated their agreement with the Gidumt’en Clan by using violence to remove their blockade and arrest fourteen members. We speak with Jennifer Wickham, who is a member of the Gidumt’en Clan, about what is happening in this pivotal fight to protect the land, water and earth and what can be done to support the Wet’suwet’en People.

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And visit the new Popular Resistance Podcast Network at www.PopularResistance.org/prpn/

Guest:

Jennifer Wickham is a member of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation who serves as a spokesperson for the Gidemt’en checkpoint.

 

Above photo: Red Power Media.

Audio from January 7 raid from Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidumt’en Territory Facebook Page.

Visit Unistoten.camp for more information and to donate.

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After 1,600 Days Of Protest, Okinawans Bring Fight To Washington

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

The United States military is building another base on Okinawa in an environmentally-sensitive area, on top of the second most diverse coral reef in the world, against the will of Okinawans who have been protesting every day for over 1,600 days. There are many reasons why this base should not be built. We discuss those with Robert Kajiwara, a Hawaiian-Okinawan human rights activist, as well as why he traveled to Washington, DC and new developments in the struggle to regain Hawaiian sovereignty. And we cover news and upcoming actions.

Click here to sign the petition.

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Subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through, plus Clearing the FOG totes, water bottles and T shirts. Visit Patreon.com/ClearingtheFOG.

And visit the new Popular Resistance Podcast Network at www.PopularResistance.org/prpn/

Guest:

Robert Kajiwara is a composer, writer, film maker, visual artist, professional baseball player, and human rights activist from Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii. He is a Hawaiian national, and of Luuchuu (Ryukyuan) / Nahua / Ainu descent. He has been an outspoken advocate of indigenous / First Nations rights, and in 2018 he was appointed by the Hawaiian Kingdom as a Special Envoy to the Ryukyu Islands and China. He is also a cultural ambassador for his ancestral village of Nakagusuku, Okinawa.

During college, Rob studied Hawaiian and Okinawan history, where he learned about the similar histories of oppression that both Hawaii and Okinawa have faced. He began volunteering with the Hawaiian Kingdom, and would later be promoted to Hawaiian Kingdom Special Envoy to the Ryukyu Islands and China.

Rob’s personal blog – Musings of an Earth Alien
Rob Kajiwara’s Music Blog – robkajiwaramusic.blogspot.com
Robʻs baseball blog: ​https://kajiwarabaseball.blogspot.com
Old Blog – https://robkajiwara.blogspot.com

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Winning The Green New Deal

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

The Green New Deal, a plan to transform the economy to one based on clean, renewable energy sources and other measures to adapt to the climate crisis and protect human rights, gained widespread attention in 2018. We speak with Howie Hawkins from New York, who brought the concept of the Green New Deal to the United States, about what the plan involves, where it is now and what it will take to win it. Hawkins, a long time activist, unionist and political candidate, also puts this struggle in the context of political history and the role of third parties.

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Subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through, plus Clearing the FOG totes, water bottles and T shirts. Visit Patreon.com/ClearingtheFOG.

And visit the new Popular Resistance Podcast Network at www.PopularResistance.org/prpn/

Guest:

Howie Hawkins has been an organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent working-class politics since 1967 when he got active in “The Movement” as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Howie is a socialist who believes self-organization, independent political action, and international solidarity by the working class and oppressed people for full political and economic democracy is the way to build a society of freedom, equality, solidarity, peace, and ecological sustainability. 

When his draft number was called in 1972, Howie enlisted in the Marine Corps while continuing to organize against the Vietnam War. He remains a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War as well as a member of the American Legion Dunbar Post 1642 in Syracuse.

After attending Dartmouth College, Howie worked in construction in New England in the 1970s and 1980s. He helped organize a worker cooperative that specialized in energy efficiency and solar and wind installations. 

When the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, A. Philip Randolph, Helen Keller, and Norman Thomas re-established itself in 1973, Howie joined and remains a member. He is also a member of Solidarity, which promotes “socialism from below” and international solidarity because the fight for freedom against all dictators and imperialisms is worldwide and indivisible.

He was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976 and the Green Partyin the US in 1984. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was a leader in the anti-apartheid divestment movement to end US corporate investment in the racist system of oppression and labor exploitation in South Africa. 

Howie moved to Syracuse in 1991 to develop cooperatives for CommonWorks, a federation of cooperatives that promoted cooperative ownership, democratic control, and ecological sustainability in the local economy.

Living on Syracuse’s South Side, he has been active in the community on many issues. He is currently Secretary for the Eat To Live Food Cooperative and Treasurer for theSouthside Community Coalition .

From 2001 through 2017, he worked as a Teamster unloading trucks at UPS. Now retired, he remains a supporter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, US Labor Against the War , the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare , and the Labor Notesnetwork. 

Howie has been a Green Party candidate for city council, mayor, and auditor in Syracuse. His vote has grown from 3% for at-large councilor in 1993 to 48% for a district council seat in 2011. In 2015, he received 35% of the citywide vote for city auditor. 

As the Green Party’s candidate for Governor of New York in 2010 and 2014, he campaigned for a ban on fracking, 100% clean energy by 2030, single-payer healthcare, an end to Governor Cuomo’s test-punish-privatize-and-segregate education agenda, and for progressive taxes and revenue sharing as the alternative to Cuomo’s austerity budgets for schools, cities, and public services. In 2014, he received 5 percent of the vote, the most for an independent progressive party candidate for Governor in New York history except the 5.7% in 1918 and 5.6% in 1920 received by the Socialist Party candidates. 

Howie’s articles on politics, economics, and environmental issues have appeared inAgainst the Current, Black Agenda Report, CounterPunch, Green Politics, International Socialist Review, Labor Notes, New Politics, Peace and Democracy News, Roll Call, Society and Nature, Z Magazine , and other publications. He is the editor of and a contributor to Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate (Haymarket Books, 2006).

 

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This Is How We Build And Fight

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

As 2018 comes to a close, we bring back this interview with Kali Akuno from January, 2017, just prior to President Trump’s inauguration. Akuno has been an organizer in the South for decades and is currently active with Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi. He started a movement called “Ungovernable” to encourage resistance to oppressive policies and the building of alternatives. Akuno brings a wealth of experience and wisdom when it comes to organizing, political analysis and the state of the movement in the US. This is a must listen as we prepare for 2019 and beyond.

Listen:

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Guest:

Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson.

Kali served as the Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS. His focus in this role was supporting cooperative development, the introduction of eco-friendly and carbon reduction methods of operation, and the promotion of human rights and international relations for the city.

Kali also served as the Co-Director of the US Human Rights Network, the Executive Director of the Peoples’ Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) based in New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. And was a co-founder of the School of Social Justice and Community Development (SSJCD), a public school serving the academic needs of low-income African American and Latino communities in Oakland, California.

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You Can Handle The Truth

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

Sometimes the truth is painful to hear, but if we don’t know what is going on or what we are up against, it’s impossible to change it. We speak with political comedian Lee Camp about how he began using humor to tell people the truth and his current one-hour special, “Super Patriotic Very Uncle Sam Comedy Special Not Allowed on American TV.” We also delve into his take on current issues and the state of resistance movements.

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Subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through, plus Clearing the FOG totes, water bottles and T shirts. Visit Patreon.com/ClearingtheFOG.

Guest:

Lee Camp is the head writer and host of the national TV show Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp on RT America. He’s a former contributor to The Onion, former staff humor writer for the Huffington Post, and his web series “Moment of Clarity” has been viewed by millions. He’s toured the country and the world with his fierce brand of standup comedy, and George Carlin’s daughter Kelly said he’s one of the few comics keeping her father’s torch lit. Bill Hicks’s brother Steve said Lee is one of only a handful with Bill’s “message and passion.” Visit LeeCamp.com.

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Do You Know You Are A Wage Slave?

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

The majority of people in the United States are in a position of wage slavery, in which they depend on their boss for the ability to survive, but it has been so normalized that many do not question this arrangement. We bring back an interview with John Curl, author of “For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements and Communalism in America.” He writes about the long history, that isn’t often taught, of people who created cooperative structures to counter the power of industry and finance. Cooperative movements often parallel social movements. We discuss why this matters today.

 

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Guest:
John Curl has been a member of Heartwood Cooperative Woodshop in Berkeley for over thirty years, and has belonged to numerous other cooperatives and collectives. His historical writings includes History of Work Cooperation in America (1980). Memories of Drop City (2007) is his memoir of the 1960s commune movement. He is a translator and biographer of Inca, Maya and Aztec poets in Ancient American Poets (2006). His seven books of poetry include Scorched BirthColumbus in the Bay of Pigs, and Decade: the 1990s. He is a longtime boardmember of PEN, chair of West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies, a social activist, and has served as a city planning commissioner. He is a professional woodworker, and resides in Berkeley, CA.

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We Can Stop Rigged Corporate Trade, If We Act Now

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

On November 30, leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada signed the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the G20 in Argentina. The new NAFTA is an updated version of rigged corporate trade that sells out workers and endangers the environment for profits. We speak with Arthur Stamoulis of Citizens Trade about what is in the new NAFTA and the politics around it. We have an opportunity to stop this model of rigged corporate trade, which began in the 1990s with NAFTA, and replace it with a trade model that protects people and the planet. Learn what you can do.

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Guest:

Arthur Stamoulis is Executive Director of Citizens Trade Campaign.

Song:

Global Economy” by Ryan Harvey.

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The Decline Of Empire And Rise Of Trumps

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

In his new book, “America: The Farewell Tour,” based on his travels around the United States, Chris Hedges describes the decline of society and how that brought President Trump into power. Trump is a symptom of failing systems, and there will be more Trumps until things change. We speak with Hedges in depth about the basis for what is happening, what he has learned while covering other countries that went through similar transitions and what we must do if we are to weather the current crises.

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Subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through, plus Clearing the FOG totes, water bottles and T shirts. Visit Patreon.com/ClearingtheFOG.

Guest:

Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” (2015) “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His latest book is “America: The Farewell Tour” (2018). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold over 400,000 copies. He writes a weekly column for the website Truthdig and hosts a show, “On Contact,” on RT America.

Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries during his work for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of a New York Times team of reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. 

Hedges speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and studied classics, including ancient Greek and Latin, at Harvard University. 

Hedges has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto. He currently teaches a class through Princeton University at a state prison in New Jersey in which half of the students are Princeton undergraduates and half are prisoners.

Hedges began his career reporting on the Falklands War from Argentina for National Public Radio. He went on to cover the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua for five years, first for The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio and later The Dallas Morning News. After six years in Latin America, he took time off to study Arabic. He spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the bureau chief for The New York Times. He left the Middle East in 1995 for Sarajevo to cover the war in Bosnia and later reported the war in Kosovo. Afterward, he was based in Paris as part of the team covering al-Qaida and global terrorism. He left the Times after receiving a formal reprimand from the newspaper for publicly denouncing the George W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.

In 2012, Hedges successfully sued President Barack Obama over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which overturned the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act along with its prohibitions against the military acting as a domestic police force. (Section 1021 gives the military the authority to indefinitely detain and deny due process to U.S. citizens who are branded as terrorists by the state.) The decision was overturned on appeal by the Obama administration. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the ruling, known as Hedges v. Obama, in 2014.

Hedges holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He spent a year studying classics at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif. In 2014 he was ordained as a minister for social witness in a ceremony at the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, N.J. The theologian James Cone, the father of Black Liberation Theology, preached the sermon along with Cornel West. The ordination was approved for his work in New Jersey prisons, where Hedges has taught college credit courses for nearly a decade. 

Hedges, who was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt., and grew up in a small farm town in upstate New York where his father served as a Presbyterian minister, lives in Princeton, N.J. He is married to the Canadian actress Eunice Wong, with whom he has two children. He has two children from a previous marriage.

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Understanding U.S. Fascism: Past And Present

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

People often think that fascism began with Hitler and Mussolini, but fascism actually has its roots in the United States and was exported to other countries. In this extended interview, we speak with Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report about various types of fascism, its history and how it is manifested in the United States today. In fact, the very people who claim to be “the resistance” to fascism right now are actually supporting it.

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Guest:

Glen Ford is executive editor of Black Agenda Report.Historic “firsts,” “mosts,” and “onlys” are the hallmarks of Glen Ford’s long career.

The son of famed disc jockey Rudy “The Deuce” Rutherford, the first Black man to host a non-gospel television show in the Deep South – Columbus, Georgia, 1958 – Glen was reading newswire copy on-the-air at age eleven. Glen’s first full-time broadcast news job was at James Brown’s Augusta, Georgia radio station WRDW, in 1970 – where ‘The Godfather of Soul” shortened Glen’s surname to “Ford.”

Glen Ford  worked as a newsperson at four more local stations: in Columbus, Georgia, Atlanta, Baltimore – where he created his first radio syndication, a half-hour weekly news magazine called “Black World Report” – and Washington, DC. In 1974, Ford joined the Mutual Black Network (88 stations), where he served as Capitol Hill, State Department and White House correspondent, and Washington Bureau Chief, while also producing a daily radio commentary. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted “America’s Black Forum” (ABF), the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television.

ABF made Black broadcast history. For the next four years, the program generated national and international headlines nearly every week. Never before – and never since – had a Black news entity commanded the weekly attention of the news services (AP, UPI, Reuters, Agence France-Presse – even Tass, the Soviet news agency) and the broadcast networks.

While still host and co-owner of ABF, Ford in 1979 created “Black Agenda Reports,” which provided five programs each day on Black Women, History, Business, Sports and Entertainment to 66 radio stations. The syndication produced more short-form programming than the two existing Black radio networks, combined.

Ford also produced the McDonald’s-sponsored radio series “Black History Through Music,” aired on 50 stations, nationwide.

In 1987, Ford launched “Rap It Up,” the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. During its six years of operations, “Rap It Up” allowed Ford to play an important role in the maturation of a new African American musical genre. He organized three national rap music conventions, and wrote the Hip Hop column for Jack The Rapper’s Black radio trade magazine.

Ford co-founded BlackCommentator.com (BC) in 2002. The weekly journal quickly became the most influential Black political site on the Net. In October, 2006, Ford and the entire writing team left BC to launch BlackAgendaReport.com (BAR).

In addition to his broadcast and Internet experience, Glen Ford was national political columnist for Encore American & Worldwide News magazine; founded The Black Commentator and Africana Policies magazines; authored The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion (IOJ, 1985); voiced over 1000 radio commercials (half of which he also produced) and scores of television commercials; and served as reporter and editor for three newspapers (two daily, one weekly).

Ford was a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); executive board member of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists (NATWJ); media specialist for the National Minority Purchasing Council; and has spoken at scores of colleges and universities.

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New Movement Arises To Force Action On Climate Change

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a conservative body, estimates that humans have twelve years to take effective action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Given the lack of response by most governments to do what is necessary, a new movement has arisen in the United Kingdom targeting the House of Parliament to force significant policy changes. Called the Extinction Rebellion, this movement needs to go global. We spoke with Marijn Van de Geer about what the Extinction Rebellion is doing, their model of change and how to get involved.

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Subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through, plus Clearing the FOG totes, water bottles and T shirts. Visit Patreon.com/ClearingtheFOG.

Guest:
Marijn Van de Geer is a member of the Extinction Rebellion. See www.ExtinctionRebellion.org.

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To Change The World, Treat Your Rebels Well

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

Throughout history, there has been tension between those who desire obedience to authority and those who question authority. It is those who question authority that contribute to positive social change, but our culture does not treat them well. We speak with psychologist Bruce E. Levine about his latest book, “Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to being an Anti-Authoritarian – Strategies, Tools and Models” and the lessons it teaches for the political moment in which we find ourselves, how anti-authoritarianism is being suppressed and what we must do.

 

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Subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through, plus Clearing the FOG totes, water bottles and T shirts. Visit Patreon.com/ClearingtheFOG.

Guest:

Bruce E. Levine writes and speaks widely on how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His latest book is Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti-Authoritarian―Strategies, Tools, and Models (2018). Earlier books include: Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (2011); Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (2007); and Commonsense Rebellion: Taking Back Your Life from Drugs, Shrinks, Corporations, and a World Gone Crazy (2003).

A practicing clinical psychologist often at odds with the mainstream of his profession, he is a regular contributor to Salon, CounterPunch, AlterNet, Truthout, TakePart, Z Magazine, OpEdNews, and the Huffington Post. His articles and interviews have been published in the New York Times, Skeptic, Adbusters, The Ecologist, High Times, and numerous other magazines, and he has contributed chapters to The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2011), Writing without Formula (2009), Perspectives on Diseases and Disorders: Depression (2009), and Alternatives beyond Psychiatry (2007).

Dr. Levine is on the editorial advisory board of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, and he is on the medical and scientific advisory board of the National Center for Youth Law. He is also an editorial advisor for the Icarus Project/Freedom Center Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs. A longtime activist in the mental health treatment reform movement, he is a member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry, and MindFreedom. Dr. Levine has presented talks and workshops to diverse organizations throughout North America.

Bruce E. Levine was born in 1956, grew up in Rockaway in New York City, graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York, and received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Cincinnati. He currently lives in Cincinnati.

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At The Border; When Survival Becomes A Crime

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

For decades, US policies have created economic crises and violence that drive people from their homes in search of a place where they can work and live. Rather than recognizing that US imperialism causes migration and changing US foreign policy, the US has increasingly militarized its borders to keep people out. We speak with Dévora González, an organizer with School of Americas Watch, who is the daughter of migrants and lives in the border lands, about what it is like to live in a low intensity war zone and the criminalization of migrants who are trying to survive.

 

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Guest:

Dévora González is a mother to a wonderful little human named Tlecuiani. She is a Salvadoran-Guatemalan, descendent of Pipil and Mayan peoples, woman and mother that was born and raised in Los Angeles to migrant parents that found refuge in the city. Being raised in a Central American community, the political and historical knowledge she gathered stemmed from oral history and narratives of migration from her family, friends, and community. The gaps in her understanding led her to California State University, Northridge where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Central American Studies and Psychology and felt empowered to create positive change in her community.

Aware of the anti-migrant sentiment, structural border conditions that fueled deaths at the desert, and feeling a strong connection to the communities forced to migrate to the United States, she relocated to Tucson, Arizona in 2012. Since, she has been part of the Missing Migrant Crisis Hotline that was a project of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos and No More Deaths, has helped with abuse documentation for the report Deprivation, Not Deterrence by the Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project (GUAMAP), and has been active in migrant rights work, resistance, and resilience of Border Communities in the face of militarization.

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Why We Need To Understand U.S. Imperialism

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

The United States has been at war or involved in military aggression for all but a few years since its founding. This is not surprising when we understand that the US is the largest empire in the history of the world. We speak with Ajamu Baraka, national organizer for Black Alliance for Peace, about imperialism and its connections to colonialism, racism and white supremacy. Without an understanding of imperialism, people in the US who believe they are for peace wind up supporting war and intervention. This is why it is critical that peace advocates are also against imperialism in all of its forms.

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Guest:
Ajamu Baraka is a human rights defender whose experience spans four decades of domestic and international education and activism, Ajamu Baraka is a veteran grassroots organizer whose roots are in the Black Liberation Movement and anti-apartheid and Central American solidarity struggles. He is currently the national organizer for Black Alliance for Peace.

Baraka is an internationally recognized leader of the emerging human rights movement in the U.S. and has been at the forefront of efforts to apply the international human rights framework to social justice advocacy in the U.S. for more than 25 years. As such, he has provided human rights trainings for grassroots activists across the country, briefings on human rights to the U.S. Congress, and appeared before and provided statements to various United Nations agencies, including the UN Human Rights Commission (precursor to the current UN Human Rights Council).

As a co-convener with Jaribu Hill of the Mississippi Worker Center for Human Rights, Baraka played an instrumental role in developing the series of bi-annual Southern Human Rights Organizers’ conferences (SHROC) that began in 1996. These gatherings represented some of the first post-Cold War human rights training opportunities for grassroots activists in the country.

Baraka played an important role in bringing a human rights perspective to the preparatory meetings for the World Conference on Racism (WCAR) that took place in Geneva and in Santiago, Chile as part of the Latin American Preparatory process, as well as the actual conference that he attended as a delegate in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

Ajamu Baraka was the Founding Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) from July 2004 until June 2011. The USHRN was the first domestic human rights formation in the United States explicitly committed to the application of international human rights standards to the U.S. Under Baraka, the Network grew from a core membership of 60 organizations to more than 300 U.S.-based member organizations and 1,500 individual members who worked on the full spectrum of human rights concerns in the U.S. During Baraka’s tenure, the Network initiated the Katrina Campaign on Internal Displacement, after Baraka was the first to formally identify the victims of Hurricane Katrina as internally displaced people (IDPs).

Also while at the Network, Baraka ensured that the Network spearheaded efforts to raise human rights abuses taking place in the U.S. with United Nations human rights processes and structures, including the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Human Rights Council, through its Universal Periodic Review process. By coordinating the production of non-governmental reports on human rights and organizing activist delegations to UN sites in Geneva and New York, the Network gave voice to victims of human rights abuses and provided opportunities for activists to engage in direct advocacy. These efforts resulted in specific criticisms of the U.S. human rights record and recommendations for corrective actions.

Prior to leading the USHRN, Baraka served in various leadership capacities with Amnesty International USA (AIUSA).  As AIUSA’s Southern Regional Director, he played a key role in developing the organization’s 1998 campaign to expose human rights violations in the U.S. Baraka also directed Amnesty’s National Program to Abolish the Death Penalty, during which time he was involved in most of the major death penalty cases in the U.S.

In 1998, Baraka was one of 300 human rights defenders from around the world who were brought together at the first International Summit of Human Rights Defenders commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  In 2001, Baraka received the “Abolitionist of the Year” award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. The following year, Baraka received the “Human Rights Guardian” award from the National Center for Human Rights Education.

Baraka has also served on the boards of various national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA), the Center for Constitutional Rights, Africa Action, and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.

Baraka has taught political science at various universities and has been a guest lecturer at academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad. A commentator on a number of criminal justice and international human rights issues, Baraka has appeared on and been covered in a wide-range of print, broadcast, and digital media outlets such as CNN, BBC, the Tavis Smiley Show, Telemundo,  ABC’s World News Tonight, Black Commentator, Russia Today, the Washington Post and the New York Times.  He is also a contributing writer for various publications including Black Commentator, Commondreams, Pambazaka, and Dissident Voice.

He is currently an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and a writer for Counterpunch.

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The United States Is More Socialist Than You Know

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Clearing the FOG. -

Compared to other wealthy countries, large sectors of the US economy are more socialized than is realized. From energy to water to transportation, land and more, and from cities and states to the nation, there is public ownership and control. The neo-liberal era of privatization is winding down. This has particularly accelerated following the 2008 financial crash. We speak with Thomas Hanna, author of “Our Common Wealth: The Return of Public Ownership in the United States,” about reclaiming public goods and how to prepare for the next financial crash. Plus, we put the current news in the context of the bigger picture.

 

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Subscribe to Clearing the FOG on Patreon and receive our bonus show, Thinking it Through, plus Clearing the FOG totes, water bottles and T shirts. Visit Patreon.com/ClearingtheFOG.

Guest:
Thomas M. Hanna joined The Democracy Collaborative in 2010 as a research assistant to Gar Alperovitz and became Research Director in 2015. He received his M.A. and B.A. degrees in History from Virginia Commonwealth University. Thomas’ areas of expertise include public ownership, privatization, local government, democratic ownership, and banking, among others. He is the author of Our Common Wealth: The Return of Public Ownership in the United States (Manchester University Press, 2018), co-editor the e-book Scaling Up the Cooperative Movement, and has published articles in popular and academic journals including The New York TimesThe NationTruthoutYes! MagazineAlternetOpenDemocracyRenewalIPPR Progressive ReviewThe Independent, and The Good Society. He has provided research support for various Democracy Collaborative and Next System Project reports as well as the 2011 second edition of America Beyond Capitalism and 2013’s What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution

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