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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, host Margaret Flowers* features 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. This podcast is brought to you each week without advertising.

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*Clearing the FOG was founded by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese in 2012 on We Act Radio. Kevin died in 2020.

The US Is The Biggest Obstacle To Preventing Nuclear Annihilation

Many experts, such as former weapons inspector Scott Ritter and the Secretary General of the United Nations, are warning that the world is at the highest risk for a nuclear war in decades. Yet, the United States continues to prevent nuclear treaties from existing, refuses to join the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty and is escalating aggression against major nuclear states, including giving Israel carte blanche to defy international law. Clearing the FOG speaks with Alice Slater, who worked to bring the Nuclear Ban Treaty into existence and currently works with a number of groups to prevent nuclear war. Slater discusses the history of nuclear weapons and the growing risk of war as more countries consider arming themselves, as well as what we need to do to prevent nuclear annihilation.

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Guest:

Alice Slater

 

African Stream Is Changing Minds Within And Outside Africa

Africa is rising but the neo-colonial and imperialist forces in the corporate media are working to control the narrative in their favor. To counter this, journalist and international political scholar, Ahmed Kaballo, started a new media outlet, AfricanStream.media, that reports in English primarily on social media targeting youth. Clearing the FOG speaks with Kaballo about the shifts occurring on the African continent and how African Stream is already impacting the dialogue within and outside of Africa. Kaballo also discusses Libya, events in the Sahel Region, South Africa and Sudan and how their coverage of Palestine is changing minds.

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Guest:

Ahmed Kaballo is the CEO and Founder, African Stream. He is an experienced journalist and documentarian from Sudan who has covered events in fifteen countries. He is pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist and has a masters degree in International Politics and Relations from the University of Manchester.

Twenty Years Of Building An Economic Alternative To Capitalism In The US

The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives recently turned twenty years old. Clearing the FOG speaks with Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, a professor and author of “Collective Courage: A History of African-American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice,” and a charter member of the USFWC, about the work to create a national cooperative organization and the rise of the cooperative economy in the United States. She spoke about the role that cooperatives have played in advancing social and economic justice, the benefits of cooperatives not only to the individual but also more broadly to their communities, and the history of cooperatives that preceded the rise of capitalism and also how cooperative economies offer a better alternative to capitalism.

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Guest:

Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard is Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, of the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City, USA, where she is also Director of the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. She is an affiliate scholar at the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, where she is co-investigator for the “Measuring the Impact of Credit Unions,” Community and University Research Partnerships (CURA) project; and an affiliate scholar with the Economics Department’s Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University.

Dr. Gordon Nembhard is a political economist specializing in community economics, Black Political Economy and popular economic literacy. Her research and publications explore problematics and alternative solutions in cooperative economic development and worker ownership, community economic development, wealth inequality and community-based asset building, and community-based approaches to justice. She has recently completed a book on Black cooperatives: Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice (2014 The Pennsylvania State University Press). Collective Courage was a finalist for the University of Memphis Benjamin L. Hicks National Book Award for 2014.

Gordon Nembhard’s publications include: “Understanding and Measuring the Benefits and Impacts of Co-operatives” (2015 in Co-operatives for Sustainable Communities: Tools to Measure Co-operative Impact and Performance St. Mary’s University Halifax); “Community-Based Asset Building and Community Wealth” (2014 Review of Black Political Economy); “Community Development Credit Unions: Securing and Protecting Assets in Black Communities” (2013 Review of Black Political Economy); Wealth Accumulation and Communities of Color in the US (2006, co-edited with Ngina Chiteji); “Micro Enterprise and Cooperative Development in Economically Marginalized Communities in the U.S.” (In Enterprise, Social Exclusion and Sustainable Communities, 2011); “Theorizing and Practicing Democratic Community Economics: Engaged Scholarship, Economic Justice, and the Academy” (In Engaging Contradictions, 2008); “Cooperative Ownership in the Struggle for African American Economic Empowerment” (2004 Humanity & Society); and “Educating Black Youth for Economic Empowerment: Democratic Economic Participation and School Reform Practices and Policies” (in Handbook of African American Education, 2008).

Dr. Gordon Nembhard is the 2014 recipient of the “ONI Award” from the International Black Women’s Congress, and the 2011 recipient of the “Cooperative Advocacy and Research” Award from the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy. She is a member of the Shared Leadership Team of Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE) DC, and member of the board of directors of the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE), Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) Newsletter (and Ecological Democracy Institute of North America Vice President), the CEJJES Institute (past President and current Treasurer); and former board member of the National Economic Association (past President and past Treasurer) and founding board member of the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (currently on the advisory board). She is a co-founder of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network; the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy; and the Democracy Collaborative (at the University of Maryland). In addition, she is a charter member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives; a member of The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, and a member of the Southern Grassroots Economies Project.

Dr. Gordon Nembhard was a visiting scholar in the Economics Department at Howard University (2008-09), and was Master Teacher (July 2007 and 2009) at its Center on Race and Wealth’s Summer Institute for Research on Race and Wealth. She was previously Assistant Professor of African American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park; Research Director of the Preamble Center (Washington, DC); Senior Economist at the Institute for Urban Research, Morgan State University; and Acting Deputy Director and Economic Development Analyst for the Black Community Crusade for Children at the Children’s Defense Fund. She is the recipient of a Henry C. Welcome Fellowship Grant from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (2001-2004). She received a 2008 USDA grant on the economic impact of cooperatives (distributed through the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperatives) to study wealth accumulation through cooperative ownership. She began her appointment to the Black Enterprise Board of Economists in October 1999.

Jessica Gordon Nembhard earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1992 and 1989, respectively). She earned her B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in Literature and African American Studies from Yale University (1978); and an M.A.T. in Elementary Curriculum and Teaching from Howard University (1982).  She is the proud mother of two children (Stephen and Susan) and two grandsons (Stephon and Hugo Nembhard).

As Brown Vs Board Of Education Turns 70, Fight Against Segregation Not Over

In 1954, the landmark decision by the Supreme Court, Brown versus the Board of Education, established that the segregation of students based on race was no longer legal. Seventy years later, schools remain highly segregated and the education system is becoming more unequal. Clearing the FOG speaks with Jennifer Berkshire, a licensed school teacher, journalist and author of the new book, “The Education Wars: A Citizen’s Guide and Defense Manual,” about the forces behind the defunding and privatization of education in the United States. Berkshire describes nontraditional coalitions that are forming at the state level to stop voucher programs. Some are having success. She also explains how rightwing ideology has infected Democrats and liberals in this struggle.

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Guest:

Jennifer C. Berkshire is a freelance journalist and a host of the education podcast Have You Heard. The co-author (with Jack Schneider) of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door and The Education Wars (both published by The New Press), she teaches in the Boston College Prison Education Program and lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Decolonization Movement Is Expanding In Africa’s Sahel Region

The United States announced that it will remove its troops from Niger in September after the government ordered them to leave. Mali and Burkina Faso have done the same. Chad is the most recent country in the Sahel Region of Africa to order the US out. This follows a wave of resistance against French colonization in the region. Clearing the FOG speaks with Abayomi Azikiwe of Pan African News Wire about the growing resistance in the Sahel and the United States. He discusses the unfulfilled promises of the Biden administration and the uncommitted movement in this presidential election.

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Guest:

Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of the Pan-African News Wire. Azikiwe is often solicited by various newspaper, radio and television stations for comment and analysis on local, national and world affairs. He has served as a political analyst for Press TV and RT worldwide satellite television news networks as well as other international media in the areas of African and world affairs. He has appeared on numerous television and radio networks including Press TV, RT, Al Jazeera, China Global Television Network, BBC, NPR, Radio Netherlands, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, South Africa Radio 786, Belgian Pirate Radio, TVC Nigeria and others.

Ann Wright On The Gaza Freedom Flotilla And Upcoming NATO Protests

This week, Clearing the FOG speaks with Ann Wright, a retired Colonel, former State Department official and prominent peace activist. Wright, who resigned in protest of the Iraq War from the State Department in 2003, speaks about recent resignations over the genocide in Gaza and the Biden administration’s new report on Palestine. She also discusses the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which is ready to sail but is being prevented from doing so, and the protests and activities being planned for this July when the NATO leaders meet in Washington, DC around the 75th anniversary of its founding.

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Guest:

Ann Wright grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas, where she earned a Master’s and a Law Degree. She also has a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs from the US Naval War College. In her junior year at the University of Arkansas, she attended a three-week Army training program after meeting with a visiting Army recruiter. That experience helped inform her decision to join the service.

For 13 years Wright was an active duty soldier. She spent another 16 years in the Army reserves, retiring as a Colonel. Part of her Army work was special operations in civil affairs. In the event of invasions into other countries, Wright helped to develop “plans about how you interact with the civilian population, how you protect the facilities – sewage, water, electrical grids, libraries…It’s our obligation under the law of land warfare.” After Wright was released from active duty, she joined the State Department. For the next 16 years, she served as a foreign diplomat in countries such as Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone. She was on the team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001, after the fall of the Taliban to US forces.

In all those years, Ann Wright was proud to represent America. However, on March 13, 2003, the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Col. Ann Wright sent a letter of resignation to then Secretary of State Colin Powell. She felt that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the US invasion and occupation of an oil-rich, Arab Moslem country would be a disaster. Only two other State Department officials resigned at that time in protest of the imminent invasion. In an interview, Ann explained that, in the Foreign Service, “Your job is to implement the policies of an administration…if you strongly disagree with any administration’s policies, and wish to speak out, your only option is to resign. I understood that and that’s one of the reasons I resigned – to give myself the freedom to talk out.”

Talk out she has. Since resigning, patriotism for Ann Wright meant becoming an anti-war activist. She worked with Cindy Sheehan organizing Camp Casey, and appeared in the documentary “Uncovered: The Truth About the Iraq War”. She travels and lectures on foreign policy issues. She has been arrested five times in the past year for protesting Bush’s policies, and has referred to herself cheerfully as a “felon for peace”. This retired Army Colonel has also recently been temporarily banned not only from two military bases for placing postcards there announcing a showing of the documentary “Sir, No Sir”, but from the US Capitol area (her case is still pending), and the National Press Club (this a lifetime ban), for voicing opinions and questions concerning Bush Administration policies and the Iraq War.

Enough Is Enough: Farmers Demand A Voice In Our Food System

As Congress begins the process of putting the next farm bill together, a coalition of farmers with Farm Action Fund has organized a tour to demand a food system that centers the needs of smaller farmers and reins in Big Ag. Clearing the FOG speaks with Christian Lovell, a cattle farmer from Illinois and the Senior Director of Programs for Farm Action Fund, about the challenges for small and medium farms in our monopolized food system, the connections between agriculture and the environment, climate crisis and local economies, and what people can do to build a better system.

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Guest:

Christian Lovell draws on his deep experience in production agriculture and food policy as Farm Action’s Senior Director of Programs. In this role, he provides leadership and direction for the organization’s growing program portfolio to advance a more just food system.

Previously, Christian spent nearly a decade working on federal agricultural policy in Washington, DC, and served as Legislative Director to U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro during her time as Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations. He also held other roles at the National Governors Association, The World Bank, and Informa Economics Group.
Christian is a native of West Central Illinois where he now resides and manages his family’s Registered Hereford cattle herd. He passionately advocates for regenerative grazing and is actively involved in the Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition.

Venezuela Hosts World Gathering To Unite The Left For A Social Alternative 

From April 18 to 20, more than 500 activists from around the world gathered in Caracas, Venezuela for the “World Gathering for a Social Alternative.” The meeting was convened by the Simon Bolivar Institute and the ALBA Movement, and it was followed by an ALBA-TCP leaders summit, which included the ten ALBA countries and Honduras. Clearing the FOG speaks with Carlos Ron, president of the Simon Bolivar Institute, about the urgency of the gathering, what will come out of it and the next steps. Ron shared the progress Venezuela has made under the Bolivarian Revolution, the retaliation against Venezuela primarily by the United States and the importance of connecting social movements to confront the many global crises of this era.

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Guest:

Carlos Ron

Nicaragua Vs Germany: Palestine Solidarity In Action

Nicaragua is a human-rights oriented nation that takes international laws and its obligations under the Genocide Convention seriously. It was the first nation to file a Declaration of Intervention with the International Court of Justice in support of South Africa’s case against Israel and recently filed a case against Germany accusing it of being complicit in Israel’s genocide. Clearing the FOG speaks with Dr. Carlos Arguello Gomez, Nicaragua’s ambassador to The Netherlands and a lawyer with decades of experience in the World Court, about the actions Nicaragua has taken, what they hope will be the result and Nicaragua’s 1984 case against the United States.

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Guest: 

Dr. Carlos Arguello Gomez is a lawyer who currently serves as the Nicaraguan Ambassador to The Netherlands.

 

After 40 Years, Indigenous Genocide Survivors In Guatemala Seek Justice

In Guatemala, during the government of Fernando Romeo Lucas García from 1978 to 1982, genocidal acts, sexual violence and other crimes against humanity were committed against Indigenous people in Ixil. After 40 years, victims of these crimes are finally having their day in court in a case against the president’s brother, Manuel Benedicto Lucas García, who served as the Chief of General Staff of the Army. Clearing the FOG speaks with Michelle Liang and Sarasuadi Ochoa of the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) about the case, the work done to demand accountability and the powerful indigenous activism that prevented a recent coup attempt.

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Guests:

Michelle Liang is an International Accompanier for NISGUA.

Sarasuadi Ochoa is the Guatemala Accompaniment Project Coordinator for NISGUA.

How To Stop To Israel’s Genocidal Starvation Of Palestinians

Gaza has been under a blockade for over 15 years that created bare subsistence conditions for Palestinians, but since October 7, 2023, the noose has been tightened. Palestinians are dying of starvation and dehydration in addition to the massacres committed by Israeli soldiers. In Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC-Pal) has been struggling to provide water and materials to Palestinians to grow food and has been purchasing produce to provide to families in need. Clearing the FOG speaks with Fuad Abu Saif, director of UAWC-Pal, about their work and the global days of fasting in solidarity with Palestine. The next one is April 13. Click here to donate to the UAWC-Pal. Clearing the FOG also speaks with USAF Airman Larry Hebert, an active duty member of the military who began an open-ended hunger strike on March 31 to press the Biden administration for a ceasefire and an end to the starvation of Palestinians.

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Guests:

Fuad Abu Saif is the director general of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

Larry Hebert is an active duty airman with the United States Air Force.

International Coalition To Stop Genocide In Palestine Global Action

On March 17, the International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine (ICSGP) held its first Global Call to Action as a webinar moderated by Ajamu Baraka of The Black Alliance for Peace and featuring Azhar Sakoor, a lawyer and executive with the Palestine Solidarity Alliance Youth League in South Africa, Marcy Winograd with CODEPINK, Pavel Wargan, the Coordinator of the Secretariat at the Progressive International, Lamis Deek, a Palestinian born and internationally practicing attorney based in New York, and Fuad Abu Saif, Director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees – Palestine. Listen to some of their presentations edited here for the program. You can watch the full webinar here: https://popularresistance.org/international-coalition-to-stop-genocide-in-palestine-global-call-for-action/.

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Guests:

Ajamu Baraka of Black Alliance for Peace moderated the meeting.

Azhar Sakoor is an attorney and serves as Executive with the Palestine Solidarity Alliance Youth League in South Africa.

Marcy Winograd co-hosts with Medea BenjamIn CODEPINK Congress, a bimonthly program on  US foreign policy. In addition, she co-produces CODEPINK Radio, a podcast aired on most Pacifica stations, and oversees CODEPINK’s campaign to support South Africa’s case at the World Court.

Pawel Wargan is a researcher and organizer. He serves as the Coordinator of the Secretariat at the Progressive International. (preferred)

Lamis Deek is a Palestinian born and internationally practicing attorney based in New York whose work includes, civil, commercial, sanctions, compliance, national security, political, private and human rights law on the trials, appeals and transactional levels. In her advocacy she co-convened the Global Legal Alliance for Palestine, and founded the the Palestinian Assembly for Liberation Law Commission: On War crimes, justice, reparations and return.

The Haitian People Have Created A Revolutionary Moment

On March 11, de facto Haitian President Ariel Henry resigned after being unable to return from a trip to Kenya where he attempted to sign an agreement for military intervention in his country. Social movements shut down the airport in Port-au-Prince and neither the Dominican Republic nor the United States were willing to assist his return. Clearing the FOG speaks with journalist and filmmaker Kim Ives of Haiti Liberte, who has covered events in Haiti for decades. Ives says the current revolutionary moment is unprecedented and describes how the popular movement is organizing to wrest control from Western imperialists that have been occupying Haiti since the coup against President Aristide in 2004.

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Guest:

Kim Ives

Ukraine Conflict At Two Years: Weapons Expert Warns Of Nuclear War

“Nobody thought the conflict in Ukraine would last this long,” states Scott Ritter, a former Marine intelligence officer and weapons inspector, as the second anniversary of Russia’s special military operation is reached. Ritter predicts that the conflict will end within the year, but there are no positive outcomes. He warns that Ukraine will cease to exist, NATO will disband or alter fundamentally and the risk of nuclear war is high. Ritter also discusses the resignation of Victoria Nuland, revelations from the leaked conversation by German military officers and how the façade of US military dominance has been shattered by events in Ukraine and Western Asia.

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Guest:

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book isDisarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

Julian Assange’s Final Appeal: US Withdraws Promises To Protect Him

On February 20 and 21, the High Court in the United Kingdom heard Julian Assange’s case for the right to appeal his extradition to the United States. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chip Gibbons, a lawyer and journalist with Defending Rights and Dissent, who attended the hearing. Gibbons describes the intentional efforts by the UK court to prevent media from covering the hearing, which is ironic as the hearing was fundamentally about the attack on press freedom, and what Julian Assange’s options are depending on what the court decides. Gibbons makes the point that the United States has given up all pretense of protecting Assange’s health and life if he is extradited, even though that admission would be enough to block his extradition, revealing the lack of regard for the law and Assange’s human rights that has been evident throughout this prosecution.

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Guest:

Chip Gibbons is policy director of Defending Rights & DIssent, where he has advised multiple congressional offices on reforming the Espionage Act. He traveled to London to cover the Julian Assange extradition as an accredited reporter for Jacobin. He is currently working on a book on the history of the FBI for Verso.

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