Mainstream media in the US are complicit in drumming up support for US aggression against North Korea. They fail to place North Korea’s actions in the context of the long history of US hostility and interference in North and South Korea. As both the US and North Korea prepare for war, and a successful sociopolitical movement in South Korea has ousted President Park Geun-hye, there is a critical need for clarity about North and South Korea. We speak with Tim Shorrock, an independent journalist who grew up in and has written extensively about Korea, and Hyun Lee, managing editor of Zoom in Korea.
Relevant articles and websites:
North Korea and the United States: Will the Real Aggressor Please Stand Down? by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
America is not an Innocent Bystander in Korea by Tim Shorrock
Seongju Residents Prepare to block THAAD Deployment by Zoom in Korea
Tim Shorrock is a journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea. He’s been writing about the region and the US military and economic ties to Japan and Korea for over 30 years. In 2015 he was named an honorary citizen of the city of Gwangju, South Korea, in recognition of his ground-breaking articles that uncovered the previously hidden role of the US government in the 1980 military coup that precipitated the Gwangju Citizens Uprising of May 1980. He will be in Korea this April and May.
Hyun Lee is a New York City-based writer and activist. She is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea. She is also a Korea Policy Institute fellow and a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development.
Kevin Zeese interviews two alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Rashad Staton of Morgan State University and DeJuan Patterson of Bowie State University, about an ongoing situation. Since the early 1970’s, Maryland has been found to be in violation of its constitutional requirement to desegregate higher education by significantly under-funding its four HBCUs and duplicating their flagship programs (rather than investing in the HBCUs) at other schools, drawing students and faculty away. In what is the most significant federal court case since Brown v The Board of Education, Maryland was found again in violation in 2013 and the struggle over remediation of this continues. This is not being covered well in the commercial media. This interview was pre-recorded for the Baltimore Green Party Education Series.
Relevant articles and websites:
The Rich History and Current Relevance of America’s HBCUs by Andrew Hairston, JD
Baltimore Rally Draws Hundreds in Support of MD HBCU Equality Lawsuit by Deborah Bailey
Timeline of the Maryland Equality HBCU Lawsuit by Deborah Bailey
Maryland HBCUs Fight Almost 50 Years of Discrimination by Popular Resistance
Rashad Staton is a recent graduate of Morgan State University with a B.A in Political Science. Mr. Staton now serves in the capacity of an educator in Baltimore City Public School. Known for servicing to the community, Rashad held several student leadership roles as Vice President of Morgan State’s Student Government 2013-2014, past Basilues of Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Inc., and President of the National Pan- Hellenic Council. More recently, Mr. Staton has been engaged in social advocacy working as a grassroots organizer, art curator for local art exhibitions, and has been seen nationwide speaking public as an oratorical speaker and making appearances for BET Network, WHUTV, WOLB Radio One, speaking on social injustice and youth advocacy. Mr. Staton is an active member of many local organizations, including Peace By Peace, Male Enterprise Network, Justice Or Else Local Organizing Committee, and Baltimore City Youth Commissioner.
DeJuan Patterson is a businessman, public servant, and community organizer. He received both his Bachelors in Psychology and his MPA in Public Policy from Bowie State University. He is currently the Executive Director of The BeMore Group.
Patterson deems himself a “social impact consultant” for Baltimore, where he uses strategic planning and economic development as channels to highlight and solve the challenges in the community. Economic Empowerment is dear to his mission of education, he has led and contributed his expertise to programs within under-served communities. His professional interests include societal issues in education, public policy, equity, economic empowerment and ethnic/racial studies.
DeJuan has held voter registration drives, toy drives for youth, workforce development forums, job recruitment seminars, art exhibits, and more. As a result, he has been granted several opportunities from Baltimore City Hall to Capitol Hill to consult with various stakeholders on developing progressive solutions for socioeconomic equality and criminal justice reform. Motivated by his own life experience, DeJuan aims to bring about workable, tangible solutions for. “Because it’s not about me, it’s about all of us.” Dejuan is working diligently to be a voice for the unheard and unnoticed.
Last week we discussed the ongoing push towards privatization and commodification of everything. We are in a disastrous cycle: As wealth inequality grows and the rich successfully avoid taxes, the funds for necessary programs and projects is shrinking. This is driving privatization of basic needs like water systems, transportation, schools and more. Some cities are taking action to oppose this trend by developing the commons, putting control and benefit into the hands of the people. David Bollier joins us to discuss the municipal commons movement.
Relevant articles and websites:
Building the Commons as an Antidote to the Predatory Market Economy by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Rome’s rebel lake is a parody of the contemporary commons by Jamie Mackay
The Greek Left takes stock of the Commons by David Bollier
Bollier.org (News and perspectives on the commons)
David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger and consultant who spends a lot of time exploring the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. I’ve been on this trail for about fifteen years, working with a variety of international and domestic partners. In 2010, I co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that works to promote the commons internationally.
My work on the commons takes many forms — as an author and blogger; frequent international speaker; conference and workshop organizer; contributor to book anthologies; designer of courses on the commons; and advisor and strategist. I have hosted an educational film, This Land Is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons; taught “The Rise of the Commons” course at Amherst College as the Croxton Lecturer in 2010; and served an expert witness for the “design commons” in a trademark lawsuit.
I was Founding Editor of Onthecommons.org and a Fellow of On the Commons from 2004 to 2010. I have written, co-authored or co-edited twelve books. My first book on the commons was Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Commons Wealth (2002), a far-ranging survey of market enclosures of shared resources, from public lands and the airwaves to creativity and knowledge. Then I extended this analysis in my 2005 book, Brand Name Bullies: The Quest to Own and Control Culture, which documents the vast expansion of copyright and trademark law over the past generation that has enclosed our cultural commons. In 2009, I published Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own, which describes the rise of free software, free culture, and the movements behind open business models, open science, open educational resources and new modes of Internet-enabled citizenship.
The book that most encapsulates my thinking on the commons is my 2014 book, Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Commons, which has the virtue of being relatively short as well. Two other fairly recent books on the commons include The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State (September 2012, Levellers Press), which I co-edited with Silke Helfrich; and Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights and the Commons (early 2013, Cambridge University Press), which I co-authored with Professor Burns H. Weston.
In 2014, I also co-edited, with John Henry Clippinger, From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in a Digital Society (ID3 and Off the Commons Books) The anthology of 15 essays describes new tech developments that are enabling new forms of self-organized governance, secure digital identity and user control over personal data.
From 1984 to 2010, I worked with American television writer/producer Norman Lear on a variety of non-television, public affairs projects. For many years, also, I was Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and co-founder and board member (2001-2011) of Public Knowledge, a Washington policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the information commons. In 2012, I won the Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy for my commons work from the American Academy in Berlin. This entailed a residential fellowship and travel in Europe.
I live in Amherst, Massachusetts, a place that knows a lot about commoning and so inspires a passionate hometown loyalty.
For decades, the neo-liberal agenda, first tested outside of the United States and then brought home, has driven waves of privatization. Today, it is proceeding in an unchecked way and without regard for the suffering that it leaves in its wake. We’ll discuss some of the vehicles for privatization and commodification of everything and how we fight back. We’ll cover the Trade in Services Agreement, public private partnerships and the attack on the commons, such as the Internet. This boils down to corporate power versus popular power.
Relevant articles and websites:
Decoding the Doublespeak of Chairman Pai by Timothy Karr
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships by Pete Dolack
Craig Aaron has led Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund since 2011. For more than a decade, he has been a leader in major campaigns to safeguard Net Neutrality, stop media mergers and consolidation, oppose unchecked surveillance, defend public media and sustain quality journalism. He works in Washington and speaks often to the press and the public on media and technology issues. He has written for The Daily Beast, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Hill, MSNBC, Politico, The Progressive, The Seattle Times, Slate and many other outlets. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch and the managing editor of In These Times magazine. He is the editor of two books, Appeal to Reason: 25 Years of In These Times and Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter @notaaroncraig.
Peter Dolack has extensive experience as an activist, having been a local chapter coordinator for Amnesty International in the early 1990s and subsequently working with a variety of groups, including Trade Justice New York Metro, the National People’s Campaign, New York Workers Against Fascism, the Brooklyn Greens/Green Party of New York and the No Spray Coalition (an anti-pesticide environmental group, of which he was a co-founder, that forced New York City to stop mass spraying of pesticides). He also served for two years as editor of the Green Party of New York’s newspaper.
Pete has been published on a variety of political and literary topics, mostly pertaining to contemporary issues. He has been published multiple times in the peer-reviewed academic journal Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society, and currently is published regularly by the online popular magazines CounterPunch and ZNet. He has written a well-received pamphlet on fascism (www.eastwaterfront.com) and currently writes a weekly blog on the economic crisis and the political and environmental issues connected to it, Systemic Disorder (https://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com), that has attracted a sizable international following.
Among the publications to have run articles written by Pete are The Ecologist, Z Magazine, Climate & Capitalism, The New Jurist, Portside, World War 4 Report, Green Social Thought and Green Left Weekly. Online literary magazines in which he has had multiple articles published in recent years include BigCityLit, Mad Hatters’ Review and Pemmican Press.
Pete has spent many years debating, thinking and writing about the failures of capitalism and the need to bring into being a better world, one based on human need. Toward these ends, he is particularly interested in the unity of theory and practice.
The Trump administration has taken the attack on immigrants in the United States to a higher level, and people are responding in some areas with escalated fight back. From Sanctuary Cities to Rapid Response Teams to days of mass actions, communities are organizing to disobey stricter enforcement of deportations and to pressure the Trump administration to back down. Our guests will describe the history of immigrant struggles in the US in recent decades and what we can all do to protect our families, neighbors and communities.
Relevant articles and websites:
Alejandra Gonzalez is 28 years old. She is studying health education at Alverno College in Milwaukee. She has Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
Dawn Phillips is Co-Director of Programs at Causa Justa :: Just Cause and Executive Director at Right to the City Alliance
Last week, the US Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the new head of the Department of Education. DeVos, who has no experience in public education, is a wealthy Republican donor and proponent of vouchers and charter schools. There was widespread opposition to her appointment by teachers and the public. Public schools and the rights of teachers have been under attack under the past two presidents, and DeVos is surely to continue that trend. We will discuss the struggle for education in the US, its connections to other struggles and what people can do to strengthen and protect education with two academics and activists, Denisha Jones and Robert Helfenbein.
Relevant articles and websites:
Teachers don all black to protest DeVos confirmation by Allison Nielsen
Robert Helfenbein earned his Ph.D. and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Helfenbein has offered courses in Teaching Secondary Social Studies, Middle School Methods, and graduate level courses in curriculum theory, qualitative research methods, social foundations, and urban education.
Dr. Helfenbein has published and edited numerous research articles and book chapters about contemporary education analysis in urban contexts in journals such as Curriculum Inquiry, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Educational Studies, The Urban Review, the Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, and co-edited the books Unsettling Beliefs: Teaching Theory to Teachers (2008) and Ethics and International Curriculum Work: The Challenges of Culture and Context (2012).
In 2008, Dr. Helfenbein served as the Section Chair for Critical Perspectives and Practices of AERA Division B-Curriculum Studies followed by serving as overall Program Chair for Division B in 2009 and was nominated into the Professors of Curriculum at AERA 2011. He is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and organizer of the annual Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice in Dayton, Ohio.
His current research interests include curriculum theorizing in urban contexts, ethics and international education work, cultural studies of education, and the impact of globalization on the lived experience of schools.
Denisha Jones is an Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Trinity Washington University. She is a former early childhood teacher and preschool director. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2013. She has been active in the fight to stop the corporate takeover of public education since 2011. She is a board member for the Badass Teachers Association, Inc., United Opt Out National, and Defending the Early Years. Her research interests include teachers and public policy, the effects of school reform mandates on low-income children, preparing culturally competent teachers, and youth civic engagement. In 2015 she was the recipient of the Bammy Award for College Professor of the Year from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.
In his first few weeks in office, the Trump administration has escalated US aggression towards both Syria and Iran. He is asking for more US military presence on the ground in Syria, which may increase tension with Russia, and signed an Executive Order for more sanctions against Iran, which received bipartisan support in Congress. Trump’s National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, stated last week that Iran has been “put on notice” and that the US would consider military action in response to Iran’s legal test of a non-nuclear missile. We speak with foreign correspondent Reese Erlich and retired Colonel Ann Wright about the current situation between the United States and countries in the Middle East and Asia.
Relevant articles and websites:
The Six Most Common Middle East Conspiracy Theories by Reese Erlich
Democrats back Trump Administration’s New Sanctions Against Iran by Joseph Kishore
Field of Fright: The Terror Inside Trump’s White House by Ira Chernus
What, Exactly, is Going on in Syria by Vijay Prashad
Trump has Already Blown It by Stephen Walt
Reese Erlich is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books on foreign policy. A full-time freelance journalist and special correspondent, he recently reported for both CBS Radio and GlobalPost from the Kurdish Region of Iraq, interviewing Yazidis and Kurdish peshmerga and analyzing the US bombing campaign. Erlich also reports regularly for National Public Radio and Radio Deutsche Welle. His articles on the Middle East have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Atlantic Online, Foreign Policy, VICE News, and Vanity Fair Online. In 2012, the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California, gave Erlich an Explanatory Journalism Award for his radio documentary titled “Inside the Syrian Uprising.” In 2006 he shared a prestigious Peabody Award. He is on tour now for his new book, “Inside Syria.” For more information visit www.ReeseErlich.com.
Col. Ann Wright grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas, where she received a master’s and a law degree. She also has a master’s degree in national security affairs from the U.S. Naval War College. After college, she spent thirteen years in the U.S. Army and sixteen additional years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel. She is airborne-qualified.
In 1987, Col.Wright joined the Foreign Service and served as U.S. Deputy Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2,500 people from the civil war in Sierra Leone, the largest evacuation since Saigon. She was on the first State Department team to go to Afghanistan and helped reopen the Embassy there in December 2001. Her other overseas assignments include Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, Micronesia, and Nicaragua. On March 19, 2003, the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Ann Wright cabled a letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stating that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the invasion and occupation of a Muslim, Arab, oil-rich country would be a violation of international law.
Since then, she has been writing and speaking out for peace. In 2007, she co-authored “Dissent, Voices of Conscience.” She fasted for a month, picketed at Guantánamo, served as a juror in impeachment hearings, traveled to Iran as a citizen diplomat, and has been arrested numerous times for peaceful, nonviolent protest of Bush’s policies, particularly the war on Iraq. She has been on delegations to Iran and was in Gaza three times in 2009, following the Israeli attack on Gaza that killed 1,440 and wounded 5,000. She was an organizer for the Gaza Freedom March that brought 1,350 persons from 44 countries to Cairo, Egypt, in solidarity with the people of Gaza. She was on the May, 2010 Gaza flotilla that was attacked by the Israeli military and was an organizer for the US Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, in the July, 2011 Gaza flotilla. She lives in Honolulu.
As President Trump and Congress repeal the failing “Affordable Care Act” it becomes even more critical that people organize to make National Improved Medicare for All the only politically viable replacement. To that end, a new coalition called Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE) has formed to use all of the tools necessary to finally solve the healthcare crisis in the United States. Our guests are Dr. Carol Paris, the current president of Physicians for a National Health Program, and Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. The four of us were part of the National Mobilization for Healthcare Reform, which organized national days of protest for Medicare for All in 2009-10.
Relevant articles and websites:
How We Win National Improved Medicare for All by Margaret Flowers
Repeal and Replace with Single Payer by Russell Mokhiber
Dr. Carol Paris is a recently retired psychiatrist who worked for more than 25 years in private practice, community mental health, prison psychiatry, and academia. In the course of her experience, much of which was in Maryland, she became an outspoken critic of the private-insurance-based U.S. health care system.
In May 2009, she and seven others stood up, one by one, at a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on health care reform chaired by Sen. Max Baucus to ask why there wasn’t a single advocate for single-payer health care on the 41-member panel. In an action that received national media attention, Baucus had all eight peaceful protesters, including Dr. Paris, arrested. (Charges were eventually reduced, requiring only community service.)
Dr. Paris subsequently toured the country as part of the “Mad as Hell Doctors” campaign for single payer, and spent a year as a consultant psychiatrist in New Zealand, where she experienced a single-payer system firsthand. She currently resides in Nashville, Tenn., where her primary interests include strategic activism, recruiting and mentoring medical students and early career physicians for leadership positions within PNHP, and building coalitions to strengthen the single-payer movement’s impact on the national health care debate. Dr. Paris obtained her medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine.
Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, DC-based Corporate Crime Reporter and a founder of Single Payer Action. He is one of the Baucus 8 who were arrested in the Senate Finance Committee in May, 2009 for questioning the exclusion of single payer from the national healthcare debate.
The outgoing President Obama, who used the Espionage Law more times than all other presidents combined to go after whistleblowers and the media, hurled a final blow at political dissent when he signed the newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act into law (on the Friday before Christmas when people weren’t paying attention). Within the new NDAA is a provision to create and fund a “Global Engagement Center” to counter so-called propaganda. Chris Hedges, who sued President Obama over a previous version of the NDAA and has reported in countries that experienced similar silencing of dissent, and Rick Sterling, an independent journalist, who has been investigating the new NDAA, will explain what is going on, what we can expect and what we can do about it.
Relevant articles and websites:
The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State by Chris Hedges
Revolt is the Only Barrier to a Fascist Amerca by Chris Hedges
Strategies of Resistance with Michael Gecan
The War Against Alternative Information by Rick Sterling
Chris Hedges, whose column is published weekly on Truthdig, has written 11 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 “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 book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
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. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming him the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011. The press club also granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists.” In 2012 Hedges won the Southern California Journalism Award for the Online Journalist of the Year.
Hedges speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and studied classics, including ancient Greek and Latin, at Harvard.
He is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto. He currently teaches prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey.
Hedges has a show, “On Contact,” on the RT America network, and interviews from the program frequently appear on Truthdig. Earlier, he had a similar program, “Days of Revolt,” on the TeleSUR network.
Hedges began his career reporting on the Falkland 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 in challenging the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the federal government the authority to indefinitely detain people without habeas corpus. The decision was overturned on appeal, and in 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the ruling, known as Hedges v. Obama.
Hedges holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif. In 2014 he was ordained as a minister in a ceremony at the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, N.J.
Chris Hedges lives in Princeton, N.J., and is married to the Canadian actress Eunice Wong, with whom he has two children. He has two children from a previous marriage.
Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who previously worked 25 years in the high tech and aerospace industry. Over the past five years he has researched and written about local issues such as the political attacks on City College San Francisco and international issues including Russia, the Olympics and especially the war on Syria. He traveled in Syria in Spring 2014 and Fall 2015. Rick grew up in Vancouver Canada but has lived in the East Bay Area for many years. He can be contacted at Rsterling1@gmail.com
Communities around the country are meeting and preparing for the continued onslaught of neo-liberalism that has exploded the wealth divide and has undermined education, health care, wages and more and the additional threats of an administration and Congress that are openly hostile towards immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ, women and blacks. We speak with Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Organizing Movement about the new project Ungovernable 2017 and the ongoing work to build economic alternatives to capitalism.
Listen live at 11 am Eastern here:
Relevant articles and websites:
The Consent of the Governed by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
Kali Akuno is the Director of Human Rights Education at the U.S. Human Rights Network.
Akuno served as the co-ordinator of special projects and external funding for Jackson Mississippi’s late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. He is co-founder and director of Cooperation Jackson as well as an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
He is is associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
He is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson.
Kali Akuno 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.
Throughout 2016, there have been protests of presidential candidates, both Republican and Democrat. They took place during the primaries, at the conventions and through and after the election. No matter who was elected, it was clear that the next president would be a plutocrat who does not have the interests of the people or planet at heart. We will talk with three activists who are organizing protests around the inauguration about those actions and how they will build a presidency of protest so that the people set the political agenda.
Relevant articles and websites:
Trump Gets to Decide Where in DC Groups can Protest His Inauguration – If at All by Alice Miranda Ollstein
Inaugural Parade Regulations: Constitutional Challenge by James C. Kozlowski, J.D., Ph.D.
The Movement Matters Most by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
Robby Diesu is an organizer with DC Action Lab and the Disrupt J20 actions.
Yasmina Mrabet is an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition and one of the central organizers for the January 20 protest at the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Daniel Curcio is a founder of The Equality Coalition and a member of the steering committee of Occupy the Inauguration.
The fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built on tribal land and under Lake Oahe of the Missouri River has brought together hundreds of tribes in an historic show of unity. Non-indigenous people and organizations have also joined to support this Indigenous-led effort. There is a long legacy of extraction of fuels on Indigenous land without respect for the sovereignty of Indigenous nations or treaties and without regard for the impacts these projects have on people, animals and the Earth. Currently, another project is about to start – a Uranium mine on Havasupai land near the Grand Canyon. The Uranium ore will be carried by trucks through Diné (Navajo) and close to Hopi land to White Mesa Mill, which is close to a Ute community. President-elect Trump has declared a plan to privatize Indigenous land for coal, oil and gas extraction. Our guests will discuss the history of Indigenous rights in the United States and the current effort to stop the Canyon Mine.
Relevant articles and websites:
Land Claims: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, daughter of a landless farmer and half-Indian mother. Her paternal grandfather, a white settler, farmer, and veterinarian, had been a labor activist and Socialist in Oklahoma with the Industrial Workers of the World in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The stories of her grandfather inspired her to lifelong social justice activism.
Married at eighteen, she left with her husband for San Francisco, California, where she has lived most of the years since, although the marriage ended. Her account of life up to leaving Oklahoma is recorded in Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie. She has a daughter, Michelle.
Roxanne graduated, majoring in History, from San Francisco State College, a working class public institution, but was selected for History graduate school at University of California at Berkeley, transferring to University of California, Los Angeles to complete her doctorate in History.
From 1967 to 1972, she was a full time activist living in various parts of the United States, traveling to Europe, Mexico, and Cuba. This time of her life and the aftermath, 1960-1975, is the story told in Outlaw Woman: Memoir of the War Years.
Roxanne took a position teaching in a newly established Native American Studies program at California State University at Hayward, near San Francisco, and helped develop the Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as Women’s Studies. In 1974, she became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to international human rights.
Her first published book, The Great Sioux Nation: An Oral History of the Sioux Nation and its Struggle for Sovereignty, was published in 1977 and was presented as the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indians of the Americas, held at United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. That book was followed by two others in the following years: Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico, 1680-1980 and Indians of the Americas: Human Rights and Self-Determination.
In 1981, she was asked to visit Sandinista Nicaragua to appraise the land tenure situation of the Miskitu Indians in the northeastern region of the country. Her two trips there that year coincided with the beginning of United States government’s sponsorship of a proxy war to overthrow the Sandinistas, with the northeastern region on the border with Honduras becoming a war zone and the basis for extensive propaganda carried out by the Reagan administration against the Sandinistas. In over a hundred trips to Nicaragua and Honduras from 1981 to 1989, she monitored what was called the Contra War. Her book, Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War was published in 2005. She is also the author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.
Klee Benally (Diné/Russian-Polish) was born in Tuba City on the Diné (Navajo) Nation and currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. He is originally from Black Mesa and has worked most of his life at the front lines in struggles to protect Indigenous sacred lands. From occupying Border Patrol headquarters in Arizona to call an end to militarization on Indigenous lands to multiple arrests in direct action to protect the San Francisco Peaks and other threatened sacred places, in every aspect of his work Klee fights for a livable and healthy world.
Klee doesn’t believe the current dominant social order (read “colonial system”) can be fixed but should (and will be) smashed to pieces. When asked about his politics he says, “I maintain Diné traditionalism as my way of being in this world. I have affinity with Anarchism and identify myself as an Indigenous Anarchist.”“
He currently is project coordinator of Indigenous Action Media and volunteers with Protect the Peaks efforts and Taala Hooghan Infoshop. In 2004, Klee helped start Outta Your Backpack Media (www.oybm.org), an Indigenous youth empowerment project that focuses on media literacy and media justice for Indigenous communities.
Klee directed and edited “The Snowbowl Effect”, a feature documentary which has been screened both nationally andinternationally and is currently used in teaching curriculum at Northern Arizona University.
Klee also does presentations, workshops and strategic planning. Read more about the workshops here.
For 20 years Klee performed with Native American Music Award winning rock group Blackfire (www.blackfire.net). Blackfire toured nationally and internationally and played on stages from the Warped Tour, the Ryman Auditorium, Festival in the Desert Mali, Africa, to L’Olympia in Paris, France.
Klee grew up participating in traditional ceremonies and inter-Indigenous pow-wows. He learned the Hoop Dance from his father Jones Benally. He also performed with the internationally acclaimed traditional dance group, The Jones Benally Family , with which he has performed Diné traditional dances all of his life.
Arts & Crafts
Klee carries on traditional crafts such as leather working & silversmithing. He is also a graphic & web-designer, likes to sew & is an aspiring bladesmith. Klee’s work has earned awards such as the “Best of Show” at the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Navajo Show. View some of his art here: www.etsy.com/shop/Benally
Now that the election is over, we will discuss what it will take to build political power for the changes that we require. We’ll look specifically at the Green Party, its history, its context within the current political environment and what must be done next.
Relevant articles and websites:
Recounting a Presidential Election: The Backstory by Mark A. Lause
A Conversation on the American Two-Party System by Mark A. Lause: converrsation2
Andrea Merida-Cuellar is a co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and the only Latina in national political party leadership today. As a co-founder of the Green Party’s Latinx Caucus, she also serves as the co-chair of the Green Party of Colorado. Andrea was Denver’s first Green-registered elected official, serving on the Denver Board of Education. She lives in Denver where she keeps a presence as a member of the local activist community, and she performs in a band called Gumbo le Funque. Andrea proclaims without hesitation that #blacklivesmatter.
Mark A. Lause is a Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati. he is the author of 10 books, including most recently Free Labor The Civil War and the Making of an American Working Class, published in 2015 by the University of Illinois Press and Free Spirits: Spiritualism, Republicanism, Radicalism published in 2016 by University of Illinois Press. He is on the editorial board of North Star and is a member of the Ohio Green Party.
On Dec. 1 and 2, the People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War will take place in Washington, DC. Organized by CODEPINK, people from around the world will testify or send testimony on the lies that were used to start the war and on the costs of war. We speak with two people who will participate, Sam Koplinka-Loehr of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and Elizabeth Murray, a former intelligence officer who is now a peace activist.
Relevant articles and websites:
No Room for Smugness on Iran by Elizabeth Murray
Sam Koplinka-Loehr is a Field Organizer with the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. They also work with prisoners organizing at Angola Prison as well as coalitions fighting police terror. They live in Philadelphia.
Elizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring in 2010 after a 27-year career in the US government, where she focused on Middle Eastern issues as political and media analyst. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) and currently serves as member-in-residence at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (www.gzcenter.org) in Poulsbo, WA.
Since retiring from government service Elizabeth has published numerous articles on the Consortiumnews.com news site and has gone on speaking tours — most recently with a peace delegation to Russia in June 2016 (along with fellow VIPS members Ray McGovern and Ann Wright), and also to Germany with Ray McGovern to speak out against the drone communications center at Ramstein Air Base. She is fluent in German, Spanish, and Arabic.
The unexpected election of Donald Trump has created confusion among the elites and political space for a new people’s agenda. Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report joins us to analyze the elections results. Then Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign will discuss ways to build popular power to counter the potential harm of Trump’s policies and demand changes that protect our communities and the planet.
Relevant articles and websites:
Democracy is Coming to the USA by Margaret Flowers
Bruce Dixon is the Managing Editor of Black Agenda Report. He is a habitual troublemaker and incorrigible activist. Bruce Dixon has been comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable since 1968.
As a rank and file member of the Black Panther Party in 1969-1970, a 1970s rank-and-file union activist in a string of factories, plants and workplaces, a 1980s community organizer in what were then some of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, to organizing and consulting through the 1990s Dixon has built an impressive record of service in and to the cause of human liberation.
In 2002 he began writing articles for Black Commentator, the predecessor of this publication, and broke the first accurate analyses of the phenomena around the election of Denise Majette over Cynthia McKinney in Georgia that year.
In 2006, with Glen Ford and Margaret Kimberley, Dixon co-founded Black Agenda Report. As managing editor at BAR Dixon is chiefly responsible for maintaning this web site. He currently resides in Marietta GA, and is a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party.
Bill Moyer co-founded the Backbone Campaign in 2003 with friends from an artist affinity group. He has dual and intersecting paths as both an activist and artist. His involvement with social change work stretches back to the 80’s, when as a student he was deeply involved in the anti-nuclear movement and the anti-interventionist movement. After a few years of studying political science and American philosophy at Seattle University, Bill went to Big Mountain to assist Dineh elders refusing to relocate off their traditional land, attended the Institute for Social Ecology, and briefly lived on an organic vegetable farm in Vermont.
On returning to the Pacific NW to live on Vashon Island, activism was replaced with performance and study of music as a percussionist and sound designer. The G.W. Bush administration inspired him to apply lessons of the arts to social change. Backbone Campaign has been a vehicle for much growth and Bill has emerged as a leader in the theory and practice of “artful activism.” He designs and produces creative political actions and provides trainings in grand strategy and creative tactics around the country.
Daily movement news and resources.
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