Building Bridges Radio: Your Community & Labor Report

Produced and Hosted by Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash over WBAI,99.5FM in the NYC Metro Area

WHO WE ARE

WORKERS OF THE WORLD TUNE IN! Introducing "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report"

Our beat is the labor front, broadly defined, both geographically and conceptually. We examine the world of work and workers on the job as well as where they live. We examine the issues that affect their everyday lives, with a particular sensitivity towards human rights abuses, environmental concerns and the U.S. drive for global domination. We record their global struggles and provide analysis of their efforts to empower themselves and transform society to provide greater democratic, human, social, political and economic rights. Each program consists of feature stories, generally interviews, within a historical context, often accompanied by sound from demonstrations, rallies or conferences, and complemented and enhanced by poetry and instrumental or vocal -- people's culture.

Over the years Building Bridges has produced a weekly one hour program, Mondays from 7-8 PM EST, covering local, national and international labor and community issues over radio WBAI-Pacifica 99.5 FM in New York. We also produce half hour version, Building Bridges National, which is distribtued to over 40 broadcast and internet radio stations.


For more information you can contact us at knash@igc.org
In Struggle Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash

From Ferguson to Staten Island Building Resistance to Police Terror  

From Ferguson to Staten Island
Building Resistance to Police Terror
withMichael McPhearson, Ex. Dir. of Veterans for Peace,
Carl Dix, co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West of the Stop Mass
Incarceration Network,
Shahid Buttar, Exec. Dir., The Bill of Rights Defense Committee 


Arguably the most significant uprising in many years in this country, in response to the national phenomena of police terrorizing communities of color has been taking place in Ferguson Missouri.  Ferguson residents, despite a virtual military style occupation, by local, state and  federal law enforcement, in the aftermath of the police shooting death of Michael Brown simply won’t back down  even in the face of  military tactics and weapons which are being used to suppress dissent in violation of constitutional rights. 

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Standing Against Israel's Ongoing War Crimes  

Standing Against Israel’s Ongoing War Crimes 
Against the People of Gaza
Speakers Include
Laila El-Haddad, author of Gaza Mom blogger & journalist
Ilan Pappe, historian/activist/author The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
Fida Qishta, Film maker, Where Should the Birds Fly?
Ares Mansour, Gaza Journalist 
Josh Ruebner, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, author 
"Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace"

Highlight’s of the World Can’t Wait’s extraordinary event bringing together diverse voices of dissent, with varied perspectives, but all of who are determined  to seek justice for the people of Gaza.  Join us and listen to people across the globe to hear how unjust and intolerable the occupation of Gaza is, and how impossible all that would be were it not backed by the U.S. government.

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NY Rallies to Stand with Gaza! -27:08  

NYC Rallies with International Community to Stand with Gaza!

Millions of people have decried Israel’s crimes against humanity and marched in solidarity with the people of Gaza.  In Europe, activists have turned out in 12 countries, including in France, where thousands defied a government ban.  One hundred and fifty thousand were reported to have marched in great Britain.  Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Occupied West Bank in solidarity with their Gaza sisters and brothers.  Inside Israel 5,000 rallied in Tel Aviv, while 700 marched in Haifa and others in Jerusalem. Some 50 Israeli reservists refuse to serve in the military’s invasion of Gaza.  Elsewhere in Asia, demonstrators came out in many countries, and Australians and New Zealanders marched too.  Protests have also occurred throughout Northern Africa and several cities in South Africa, where government expelled the Israeli ambassador and 50,000 marched in Cape Town.  Several Latin American countries have broken diplomatic relations with Israel.  Now in New York we’ve come together with the international community to say we too Stand with Gaza! 

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The Battle to Save the Post Office with APWU Pres Dimondstei​n and Danny Glover  

The Peril for Postal Workers and Post Offices, Why We’re Boycotting Staples and Opening a Window for "Postal Banking” 
with
Mark Dimondstein, Pres. American Postal Workers Union (APWU)

In the battle to save the Post Office and good union jobs,  protests have escalated into a national boycott of Staples for the proposed deal with the Post Office to privatize retail postal services. Internal USPS documents reveal that the Staples deal is an attempt to reduce the cost of “traditional” postal union labor and shift it to low-wage labor. While the Post Office tries to save money by degrading their workers' remuneration, it ignores  a proposal by its own Inspector General - postal banking.  President Dimondstein said "basic, non-profit banking would be a great and real benefit to the people of this country,and a good answer to what I call "the Wall Street Banksters,' who devastated the economy and with it the lives 
of millions of people." 

Plus
Danny Glover Joins the Battle to Save the Post Office

Danny Glover gave an impassioned speech on the final day of the APWU’s Convention, declaring that he would be part of the fight to keep the Postal Service in the hands of the people. As the son of postal workers, Glover described how his parents’ involvement in the union influenced his life, pointing out that they became postal employees shortly after the U.S. armed forces and federal employment were integrated in the midst of a great movement in the country. He said the fight against turning over postal duties to Staples and the campaign to use the USPS “for the many varied services it has the capacity to perform” are important. “We, the 
people, own our post office, And we’re  going to fight for that and we will win.”

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Building Bridges: The Israeli Goliath with Max Blumenthal - 27:08  

“Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”
with
Max Blumenthal, journalist, and blogger, formerly a writer for The Daily Beast and Al Akhbar, author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party and the New York Times best-selling Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel  

In Goliath, Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens.  He tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten and how that history has set the stage for the current crisis.

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Under Siege: A Report from Gaza - 27:51  

Under Siege: A Report from Gaza
with 

Mahmound Abu Rahma, the Communications and International Relations Director at the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights - Gaza

Mahound Abu Rahma recently  wrote "Understanding Israel’s Actions," in which he states: "It is essential that U.S. citizens understand that this conflict should not continue to be viewed as a symmetrical one anymore and while they largely do not hear about it there are vicious violations of international law against Palestinians every day; including closures/blockades, settlement activities (population  transfer on our land) displacement, killings, detention and torture."

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Detroit Cuts Water Service To Thousands Who Can’t Afford To Pay - 28:17  

Detroit Cuts Water Service To Thousands Who Can’t Afford To Pay
with
Demeeko Williams, Detroit Water Brigade
and
Tom Stephens, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management

“This is everybody's fight, water is a human right!” the protesters chanted. In recent weeks, activists in Detroit have mobilized against the city's efforts to cut off the water supply to 120,000 delinquent accounts, or over 300,000 city residents. From June until September, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department(DWSD) will be cutting off citizens' water supply at a rate of 3,000 per week. According to the DWSD, 4,500 households have already been turned off. Further, in the past ten years Detroit residents have seen water rates rise by 119 percent. The city council apporved an 8.7% rate increase just last month. Many believe the rate hikes and  the imminent shut-offs are an attempt by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevin Orr to make the DWSD more appealing to potential investors in a bid to privatize the city's utilities.  As news of the water shut offs spread the United Nations issued a statement last week that said that the city's plan "constitutes a violation of the human right to water."
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Scenes from an Endless Dinner in Detroit Part 1
by Kate Levy 

Levy provides background and analysis of Detroit's bankruptcy crisis by resenting misconceptions about Detroit as well as the logic some local activists bring to the table. 
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Building Bridges: Supreme Court Rules on Workers' Rights: Hobby Lobby - and Harris v Quinn - 26:37  

What’s At Stake: The Supreme Court Ruled on Two of the Most Important Worker-Rights Cases In it’s History 
with
Nicole Berner, SEIU Associate General Counsel 
and 
Richard Blum, Employment Law Project The Legal Aid Society

Join us and our experts to analyze two of the most significant decisions by the Supreme Court ever regarding workers rights.  The U.S. Supreme Court decided Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, that 
employers can impose their religious beliefs on their workers through their business policies. Hobby Lobby, a for-profit, private, nationwide chain of arts-and-crafts stores, objects to providing 
contraception to its employees as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.  The implications of this case for women’s reproductive rights and its potential for licensing discrimination in the workplace masquerading as freedom of religion are frightening.   And then there’s Harris v. Quinn, a “First Amendment” case involving home-care workers in which the Supreme Court decided that they do not have to pay “fair share” fees to the union who represents them.  This case pitted public employee unions against labors longstanding foe, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which helped bring the case.  This case has been characterized as an attempted kill shot aimed at public-sector unions with serious spill over implications for private sector workers as well.

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A Good Jobs Executive Order -27:07  

U.S. Government's $1.3 Trillion Purchasing Power Could Lift
8 Million Workers Out of Poverty 
with 
Robert Hiltonsmith, Demos Policy Analyst & co-author of new 
Demos report Underwriting Good Jobs

Eight million workers rely on low-wage jobs supported by the federal government’s $1.3 trillion in annual spending according to a new report by the public policy organization Demos . Building on Pres. Obama’s executive order that raised the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of federally contracted workers, it calls for raising labor standards more broadly. The Good Jobs Executive Order advocated in the report would apply to the entire workforce of federally-supported employers significantly benefiting women and minorities – who make up a large percentage of low-wage workers in the federal purchasing footprint. It advocates for
spending agencies to incorporate higher workforce standards when 
evaluating and awarding federal contracts including collective bargaining rights, living wages and good benefits, compliance with workplace protection laws and other applicable business regulations, and limits on excessive executive compensation. 

Plus
Army of New Rosie the Riveters on Strike in Nation’s Capital
Low-Wage Women Call on President Obama to Allow Collective Bargaining for Federal Contract Workers

Hundreds of low-wage federal contract workers working for fifty companies doing business at federal sites – like the National Zoo, Pentagon and Union Station – walked off their jobs .  Led by an army of working women dressed like Rosie the Riveter, they marched through the Smithsonian National Zoo, where workers are joining the Good Jobs Nation campaign for the first time.  This is the 8th strike by low-wage federal contract workers in the past year.
And 
Progressive Caucus Supports Good Jobs Policy
with
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) 

Representative Ellison said the progressive caucus of the House supports these actions and plans to submit a proposal to the White House that would focus on low-wage workers employed by federal contractors. Ellison said he is unsure of how the President would respond to a proposal for executive action, but the representative pointed to President Obama’s past actions as evidence that he would likely be sympathetic.Ellison underscored that he supported “Good Jobs Policy” as means of significantly reducing gender 
inequality in the workforce.

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New York's Extreme School Segregatio​n -27:46  

New York’s Extreme School Segregation: 
Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future
featuring
Gary Orfield, Co-Dir., Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles 

In a report released by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project  its Co-Director said “in the 30 years I have been researching schools, New York State has consistently been one of the most segregated states in the nation -- no Southern state comes close to N.Y.  Decades of reforms ignoring this issue have not produced strategies that have succeeded in making segregated schools equal.  It is time to adopt creative school choice strategies to give more New York children an opportunity to prepare to live and work effectively in a highly multiracial state.”

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Rev. William Barber - a Moral Movement and Fast Food Wages? Bad Fruit - 28:26  

Reverend William Barber III, President of the North Carolina NAACP, and leader of Moral Mondays Movement 

Reverend Barber’s  effectiveness of organization has lifted him into the ranks of national civil rights leadership.  He is helping transform the political landscape of North Carolina and sparking progressive activism in other states as well. He provides the rationale and inspiration for calling this nation to justice, equality and compassion through his extraordinary coalition building skills.  

You’ll find that his is one of the voices we’ve been waiting to hear for a long time -  Rev. Dr. William Barber on Palm Sunday from the historic Riverside Church in NYC
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Fast Food Wages? Bad Fruit! 
with 
Rev. William J. Barber, III

As fast food workers rallied, marched and struck all over the country recently, NAACP President William Barbar III, joined workers in Raleigh NC to help communicate the message that their low wages, the fruit of their own labor, is bad fruit

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Immigration Reform Now: Reports from Arizona to NYC - 27:47  

New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform
Demand Fairness and Equality


Immigrants and social justice supporters demonstrated in the streets of New York City, as they did in cities across the country in a nationwide mobilization which demonstrating the power of the immigrant’s rights movement and demanding lawmakers at the city, state and federal level enact policies that promote immigrant rights, provide a pathway to citizenship and end deportations.  
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Fighting for Immigrant Rights at the Frontlines
with

Isabel Garcia is co-chair of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a Tucson-based organization, and a legal defender of Pima County, Arizona    

Report on the thousands demonstrating and organizing for immigrant rights in this border state They protest not only the immigration laws, but the harsh local,  state and federal law enforcement, harassment and detention of Arizona’s immigrants, as they demand that stalled legislative reforms in Congress proceed and Obama act to halt deportations.
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African American Fishermen Still Fight BP Oil Spill - 27:40  

Vanishing Pearls: Generations-Old African American Fishermen Fight for Existence
featuring 
Nailah Jefferson, filmmaker Vanishing Pearls

Following the worst environmental disaster in American history, the 2010 Deepwater oil spill, Nailhah Jefferson’s Vanishing Pearls chronicles the untold story of personal devastation in Pointe a la Hache, a close-knit fishing village on the Gulf Coast and the fight of this community of African American fishermen for justice, accountability and their way of life.

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The Economy of Race and Class Inequality​: A Dream Deferred - 28'  

The Economy of Race and Class Inequality: A Dream Deferred
featuring
Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy.  Prior to joining EPI she was the vice president of research at the National Urban League’s Washington Bureau.  She’s written extensively on issues of wealth disparities and access to higher education and was selected to deliver the keynote address at an event on Minority Economic Empowerment at the Nobel Peace Center
and
Manuel Pastor is professor of Geography and American Studies & 
Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He’s the founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and professor Pastor currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and is co-director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. He’s co-authored Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future and authored This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America

For workers the recession exacerbated their economic hardship. But, for corporate America it created the opportunity to mold the economy into something approximating the Third World model: vast wealth, power and privilege for those at the top, and chronically high unemployment, falling wages, and limitations on benefits and inadequate or nonexistent public benefits entitlements for the rest of society.  The new normal for America is that it has become a sweatshop nation.While we have experienced generations long wealth inequality the gaps are widening and particularly so for people of color.  Our discussion will tackle the development of capital during this period and complementary government policies that have led to a decline in the fortunes of the working class and the super exploitation of people of color.  And then our  discussion will explore what is required to change course and bring about a greater  redistribution of wealth for the 99%.

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Pa'lante Cleaning Coop; African American Cooperativ​es - 27:40  

Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice
featuring 
Jessica Gordon Nembhard, economist, author, Prof. of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Dept. of Africana Studies at John Jay College

Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s research & policy analyses connect community- based economic development with community based approaches to justice.  Her multi-dimensional research now fills a particularly glaring gap in our understanding of the significance of the African American cooperative movement in the U.S., one of the largest in the world. She explores the practice of community economics; cooperative economics and worker ownership and liberates our imagination for better ways to organize 
our economic lives 
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Immigrant Cleaning Women Themselves Start Worker-Owned Green Cleaning Coop Pa’lante 
featuring
Members of Pa’lante Forward Green Cleaning

Make the Road a community organization that seeks to empower Latino and working class communities just celebrated the opening of Pa’lante Green Cleaning. Pa’lante’s  fifteen cleaning women, now worker-owners with the assistance of Make the Road joined together to solve the common issues they faced as workers in the cleaning industry, such as the starvation wages, job insecurity, and poor health and safety conditions. Now they have become the city’s 25th worker cooperative business and are part of a growing coop movement that is proving how workplace democracy can address issues of income disparity, create quality jobs and support local economic development.

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Building Bridges: NYC Carwasheros Washing Out Wage Theft - 27:44  

Carwasheros are Washing Out Industry Wage Theft,
Demanding Dignity on the Job and Union Representation
Featuring
The Carwasheros
Mayor Bill de Blasio
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito


Carwasheros are the thousands of workers who shampoo, wax, dry, and detail cars and who are among some of the most exploited workers in New York.  They frequently work in appalling conditions for low or, in many instances no wages.  Too often car wash owners flout labor laws, health and safety regulations and environmental protections in their single minded drive for profits. But carwash workers throughout New York have come
together in the Wash New York campaign and have succeeded in voting to unionize eight workplaces and have won contracts at six of them. They’re a part of the trend of low-wage workers organizing throughout the country and breathing life into the cause for workers justice and we'll hear all about their organizing for workers’ rights.    
 

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Building Bridges: South Africa Metal Workers Union: Fighting the Class Struggle - 28:04  

National Union of Metal Workers
Fighting the Class Struggle in South Africa
with
Mphumzi Maqungo, Treasurer, National Union of Metal Workers

On May Day 2014 Building Bridges Building Bridges spoke with one of South Africa’s foremost leaders of the workers movement as their national election approaches. The National Union of Metal Workers, South Africa is South Africa’s largest trade union with more than 339,000 (339,567) members.  It is an active affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the biggest trade union federation in South Africa.  The union considers itself to be Marxist-Leninist and has had a fraught relationship with COSATU and the African National Congress  for its silence on controversial ANC policies, especially its promotion of privatization and its failure to end the wealth

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Building Bridges Radio: United Automobile Workers Sets Its Sight on Mississipp​i Nissan  

United Automobile Workers Sets Its Sight on Mississippi Nissan Plant to Break the Back of Nonunion South
featuring
Sheila Wilson, autoworker, Canton Mississippi Nissan Plant
Raphael Martinez, autoworker, Canton Mississippi Nissan Plant

It is just more than a month since the UAW suffered a bruising defeat at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, with workers voting not to join a union in an election widely seen as a test of whether labor unions will gain a foothold in the rapidly growing auto factories of the South.  But, now the attention has now shifted to the more than 5,000-worker Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., where another union effort is gaining steam. This time, union organizers have help from clergy and students across this part of central Mississippi who have joined the campaign, championing cause of the workers and condemning management's intimidation campaign From pulpits, at leafleting campaigns outside Nissan dealerships and at auto industry events in Brazil, Geneva, Detroit and New York, these new organizers have a message we support the workers.  The success or failure of this new tactic could be crucial for the labor movement as it seeks to organize new workers in a region that has become one of the most important battlegrounds for new manufacturing in the U.S. . The UAW also hopes to organize a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, and has requested another vote in Chattanooga. Other unions have their sights on a 7,000-worker Boeing plant in South Carolina.

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The Scottsboro Boys Case Then & The Central Park Five Case Now - 28:21  

Waiting for Justice, The Scottsboro Boys Case Then & The Central Park Five  Case Now
featuring 
Prof. Kwando Kinshasa, author The Scottsboro Boys in Their 
Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950, and Omowale Clay, activist with the December 12th Movement

The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words - the prison letters of nine African American youth facing the death penalty, and what they teach us and today's manifestation of Scottsboro the case of the Central Park Five.  Nine African American’s were indicted in Scottsboro, Alabama in 1931 falsely accused of  rape.  Though most of the defendants were barely literate and all of them were teen-agers when incarcerated, over the course of almost two decades they  learned the basic rudiments of effective letter writing and in doing so forcefully expressed a wide range of perspectives on their circumstances, the nature of the case, and falsity of the charges against them. Now Prof. Kwando Kinshasa author of  The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950, his latest work in his trilogy on the case talks about their survival, 
courage, resistance and political growth, in their own words through their extraordinary letters, and those of their families and attorneys. Prof. Kinshasa is also joined by community activist Omowale Clay to discuss the contemporary parallel to Scottsboro, the case of the Central Park Five, both ensnared by a racist system, both still waiting for justice!  

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Dirt from Under the Golden Arches: Workers Take McDonald's to Court - 26:31  

Dirt from Under the Golden Arches: 
Workers Take McDonald's to Court 
with
Joseph Sellers, plaintiff’s attorney

Fast-food workers hit McDonald's with multiple class-action lawsuits claiming McDonald's is deliberately and systematically stealing employees' wages by forcing them to work off the clock, shaving hours off their time cards and not paying them overtime, among other illegal practices. For workers already struggling to afford the basics, it's nearly impossible to make ends meet. But, McDonald’s— which raked in nearly $5.6 billion in profits last year — doesn't pay workers for all of their hours. Attorney Joseph
Sellers said: “McDonald's has tried to shield itself from liability for these unlawful employment practices committed at its franchise 
restaurants. But we found evidence that McDonald's Corp. had indeed exerted the control over the daily operations at these franchise restaurant that makes it legally, jointly responsible for these unlawful pay practices. We believe it's time that McDonald's accept responsibility for the pay practices in its franchise restaurants as it serves jointly as an employer there.” 

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Immigration Reform for 2014? -27:32  

Taking the Pulse on Immigration Reform for 2014?
featuring
Oscar Chacon, Ex. Dir., National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities Coalition 



Will there be immigration policy reform in 2014?  The answer, sadly, seems unlikely - at least not the kind of reform that would result in solid, forward-looking public policy.  But, having coming to that reality, advocates remain determined and are  going beyond all the current proposals in Washington and digging even deeper into the structural problems with our outdated, isolationist and fundamentally inhumane policy regime around immigrants and immigration. Along with this process, in the short term activists are increasing their efforts to put a stop to the rampant detentions and deportations that are causing so much pain in immigrant communities and we’ll talk about how both fronts are progressing.

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250 UPS Workers Received Pink Slips; The Newark Schools Crisis  

Two Hundred Fifty UPS Workers Received Pink Slips
featuring 
. Jairo Reyes, fired UPS worker
. Letitia James, NYC Public Advocate
. Tim Sylvester, President Local 802, IBT

United Parcel Services (“UPS”) workers, numerous elected officials and Teamsters Local 804 members in Queens delivered 100,000 petition signatures in support of the 250 drivers whose jobs are on the line. UPS has issued termination notices to the Teamster drivers for participating in a walkout and protest after the company fired a union activist in violation of a signed agreement.  What began as a routine disciplinary matter has become a flashpoint for workers’ rights in New York City. 
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The Current Crisis In Newark Schools
featuring 
Larry Hamm, Chairman, People's Organization for Progress, Newark, NJ

Newark is in the throes of a broadening community based 
resistance of parents, teachers and longtime city residents to draconian efforts to privatize Newark schools without the communities consent by the state imposed superintendent Cami Anderson.  Anderson has proposed public school closings and job cuts, while advancing Charter  schools.  She wants charter chains in five troubled district schools that serve K-8 students. She has proposed charters take over management of the schools entirely.  She is also establishing nine more “renew” schools, in which she will give principals the right to select their own teaching staffs. Larry Hamm analyzes the Anderson plan and what is needed to help preserve and fix Newark’s troubled public school system.

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Cornel West: The Struggle to Free Oscar López Rivera - 27:59  

The Colonization of Puerto Rico & The History of African-Americans: 
Same Struggle, Same Fight 
and the Imperative to Free Oscar López Rivera
with
. Jose López, Ex. Dir. Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Chicago IL., 
brother of political prisoner, 70-year-old Oscar  López Rivera
. Dr. Cornel West, America’s most renowned public intellectual, 
author of over 20 books and activist 
. Dr. Samuel Cruz, sociologist of religion, race, Latino studies, 
sexuality and gender, Senior Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church.   

Cornel West and Samuel Cruz are joined by Jose López to continue the groundbreaking ‘Common Ground and Common Hope: Black & Latino Dialogue’ of 2012 and in the aftermath of their historic trip to Puerto Rico discuss the impact of their recent talks and  connect many of the most pressing moral, spiritual and political issues raised to the ongoing struggle to liberate Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican political prisoner who has been incarcerated for over 32 years.  They draw on Dr. King’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ written in April 1963, where he defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws.  Oscar  López Rivera has been imprisoned since 1981 for seditious conspiracy, directly related to his commitment to the independence of Puerto Rico.  He was not accused of causing harm or taking a life.  He is the longest-held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico and Latin America, and among the longest-held political prisoners in the US. He is a caring community organizer; a creative, self-taught artist; a voracious reader; and a  brilliant thinker whose imprisonment constitutes an ongoing human rights violation.

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Governor Cuomo's Budget's Wrong! It's Tax the Rich and Feed the Poor, Not the Other Way Around! - 26:36  

Hey Gov. Cuomo Your Budget’s Wrong!
with 
Frederick Floss, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute 

When it comes to the state budget  Cuomo's approach is out of focus and falls far short in making the essential public investments to expand opportunities for the millions of New Yorkers in poverty or still struggling to pull away from the great recession of 2008-9. New York State has gone through six years of austerity and that has stretched the financial capacity of its municipalities, schools and agencies to the limit. This isn’t the time for large, multi-year tax cuts paid for with projected surpluses and substantial, unspecified out-year budget cuts.  We’ll shovel through the "budget" and uncover how the steep tax and spending cuts will seriously erode the state’s ability to invest in its people, communities and the infrastructure.

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NYC Financial Services Reform to Combat Inequality - 26:21  

New York Has the Financial Muscle to Leverage to Combat Inequality 
with 
Connie Razza, Research Dir., Center for Popular Democracy 
and
Arthur Cheliotes, Pres. Local 1180, Communication Workers of America

New York is among the most unequal cities in the US.  This inequality has become the most pressing issue in New York City and New York State.  The good news is New Yorkers are demanding action - and now a broad coalition of organizations has a plan to help create a new economy that serves the needs of working families and their communities.  New York City is uniquely positioned to lead the way in holding Wall Street to a new standard.  The city and its related authorities and has the financial leverage and economic power to demand that Wall Street fundamentally change how it relates to our communities.  New York City should not be a passive participant in a market that is rigged by the financial sector.  With hundreds of billions of dollars to shop on financial services, the City can shape the market.
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State Owned Banks Can Help Revive the Economy
with
Ellen Hodgson Brown 
Chairman and President Of the public banking institute 

Hodgson Brown explains the rationale behind state owned banks. For Michigan, California, Florida, and other states looking to solve their economic problems, the state owned bank model, and the Bank of North Dakota in particular, should be studied in depth, as such a bank could provide the credit needed within that state 
economy during depressions and other tough economic times.

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Part 2 of Amiri Baraka's Homecoming Tribute: The Euology of his Son Ras Baraka , the Next Mayor of Newark, NJ - 28:40  

Part 2 of The Homecoming Tribute for Amiri Baraka Featuring the Euology of his Son Ras Baraka , the Next Mayor of Newark, NJ

The Homecoming tribute of writer and revolutionary icon Amiri Baraka shut down a section of one of downtown Newark’s main streets, dignitary style. African drummers flanked the entry to Newark Symphony Hall, greeting each attendee with ancestral rhythms and setting the tone for what would be a service filled with music, poetry, remembrance and fire; the fire you light when a world-changing, shape-shifting native son has left us.   

Inside, every seat was taken by those who came from around the corner and around  the world for Amiri Baraka, beat poet, Black Nationalist, Marxist, Griot, Shaman, Lighter of Fires; a man whose intellectual and spiritual breadth was reflected in his perpetual search for his truest place in the world and to free others to realize theirs. 

Poet Saul Williams intoned “This is a stick up. Amiri get out of the coffin”– and with that  he conjured up Amiri Baraka’s spirit and lifted ours as did Woody King Jr. and Danny Glover, Asha Bandele, Michael Eric Dyson, Jessica Care Moore and Tony Medina.  And Sonia Sanchez was there with an offering from Maya Angelou. And Sister Souljah was there. And Haki  Madhubuti was there. And Cornel West was there. And Larry Hamm was there.  Oliver Lake, Kevin Maynard and Avery Brooks were there. And Glynn Turman was there. And Ras Baraka was there; the son. The chosen son, the next Mayor of Newark, rhapsodizing, channeling the spirit of his father in an epoch offering - Amiri announcing from the grave the power of a father to shape his son into a reflection of himself and into his own man.

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