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

Insurgent Trade Unionism in South Africa - 28:31  

Insurgent Trade Unionism in South Africa
featuring
Luke Sinwell, senior researcher at the University of Johannesburg
,
whose research includes radical theories and practices of participatory 
governance, social movements and housing struggles, ethnographic research methods and action research. In addition to his book on Marikana, he is co-editor of Contesting Transformation: Popular Resistance in Twenty-First Century South Africa  

The Marikana massacre, which witnessed 34 mineworkers being gunned down by the police August 16, 2012 arguably marked a key turning point in South African history. However, we know very little about the informal networks that were created by mineworkers in order to challenge management not only at Lonmin (Marikana), but also at Amplats and Impala South African.  Luke Sinwell works closely with militant workers, especially miners, and the Left,
particularly the Democratic Left Front, and will talk about mining, capitalism and the spirit of Marikana.  Recently the Democratic Left Front acting in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. held a march on the U.S. consulate in protest against the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, linking police brutality in the U.S. to what militants face in South Africa.
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Plus
350,000 Member Strong Union Leader at Forefront of Organizing United Front Against South Africa’s Class Inequalities
with Irvin Jim, Secretary General,
National Union of Metal Workers South Africa (“NUMSA”)
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Rev. Barber Calls for a New Reconstruction in America through Grassroots Activism For Racial and Economic Justice - 27:14  

Rev. Barber calls for a New Reconstruction in America through
Grassroots Activism For Racial and Economic Justice
with
Rev. Dr. William Barber
is the President of the North Carolina NAACP, 
and leader of Moral Mondays Movement whose 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 grassroots activism in other states as well calling this nation to justice, equality and compassion. 

“‘We’ is the most important word in the social justice  vocabulary.  The issue 
is not what we can’t do, but what we Can do when we stand together. With an upsurge in racism/hate crimes, criminalization of young Black and Brown males, and insensitivity to the poor, we must Stand together now like never before,” says the Rev. William Barber, leader of the nationally-recognized North Carolina Moral Mondays movement.  “The problems we are dealing with are not going to be solved until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power.”

The Rev. Barber called for Grassroots Activism For Racial and Economic 
Justice and a New Reconstruction in America in this speech delivered at Union Theological Seminary in NYC.

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Baltimore: Problems And Conditions Precipitating Police Brutality - 28:24  

Baltimore: Problems And Conditions Precipitating Police 
Brutality In The Community!
with
Stephan Janis, author of You Can't Stop Murder: Truths About 
Policing in Baltimore and Beyond and Why Do We Kill?: The 
Pathology of Murder in Baltimore. Janis' recent stories include 
The True Toll of Policing in Baltimore - The Arrest of a 7-Year-Old and A Walk Through The Neighborhood Where Freddie Gray 
Lived and Died

As protesters decry Freddie Gray's death and plan more rallies in Baltimore, we speak with Stephan Janis, an award-winning investigative reporter with The Real News, who has authored two books exposing corruption and incompetence in the Baltimore police department, and we’ll examine the confluence of poverty, poor governance, and racial animus that fuels police violence in the city.  
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Voices From the Epicenter of Protest
with 
Eddie Conway, The Real News Network Correspondent and a 
veteran of the Black Panther Party recently released who was held 
as a political prisoner for four decades in a government frame-up.

Eddie Conway speaks with residents of Gilmor Homes about the charges brought against 6 Baltimore police officers

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Building Bridges: Roll Back Low Wages: Stories of New Labor Organizing with Sarah Jaffe - 27:59  

Roll Back Low Wages: Nine Stories of New Labor Organizing in the United States 
with 
Sarah Jaffe, labor journalist, author of Roll Back Low Wages Albert Scharenberg, co-Director Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, NY Office  

The Fight for $15 Campaign comes against a backdrop of the mass incarceration and other forms of state violence against people of color and immigrants, stagnating wages, chronic unemployment, underemployment and starvation pay, and Building Bridges will drill down deeper to examine the economic conditions behind the Fight for $15 Campaign and the coalescence of workers groups stimulating these campaigns and new forms of organization for interest of the working class.  If we were to select one word to best describe the most important current trend in the economy of the United States, “precarity” would be a leading candidate.  America’s middle class is shrinking and recent polls suggest that possibilities for merit-based advancement are at their lowest point ever. A growing number of people work low-wage jobs under precarious circumstances, often without long-term job security, health care, or possibilities for advancement or retirement. Many quite literally find them- selves one sick day away from being fired and replaced by another person desperate to feed her or his family.Precarity in our working lives, or in those of our neighbors, our friends, or our loved ones, has increasingly become the new norm. With inequality on the rise, the U.S. government largely beholden to corporate interests, and austerity the economic recipe du jour, the implications are significant for the future of working people

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New York Says $15 and a Union - 28:54  

New York Says $15 and a Union on 4/15

On April 15th Low-wage workers in NYC and more than 200 cities across the country  and more world wide held the biggest-yet day of action in their Fight for $15 campaign . What started with fast food workers in NYC on Nov. 2012 
has spread to home care and child care workers, retail, adjunct professors, and more, with ever-growing numbers of participants. and scattered reports of stores closed by the strike, at least temporarily. This organizing comes against a backdrop of stagnating wages, chronic unemployment. and 
underemployment. As many as half of workers in some low-wage industries are receiving some form of public assistance. Workers tell stories of struggling to pay rent and arrange child care, and even face sleep inequality. And the organizing is having an effect. Walmart and McDonald's and other major chains  recently announced wage increases are due to pressure from workers and in an effort to shut down further organizing. But workers participation on the April 15th actions proves that they are continuing  to organize in increasing numbers and arenas of struggle.
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Nobel Prize Economist Joseph Stiglitz on the Dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership - 28:30  

Nobel Prize Economist Joseph Stiglitz on 
the Dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

"The TPP proposes to freeze into a binding trade agreement many of the worst features of the worst laws in the TPP countries, making needed reforms extremely difficult if not impossible." Stiglitz highlights how this trade agreement threatens our jobs, health, communities and environment. Meanwhile, Congress is moving to "fast track" approval of the controversial TPP agreement without public hearings, no floor debate, no amendments - no civic engagement whatsoever.The stakes are too high to allow back room negotiations. If passed, the TPP would be the largest trade deal in history, covering 792 million people and about 40% of the world's economy.
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Diane Ravitch Battles for Public Education - 27:57  

Teach the Children Well: The Battle for Public Education
featuring

Diane Ravitch,
one of the foremost authorities on education in the U.S., former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, “whistle-blower extraordinaire,” author of the best-selling The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools and other notable books on education history and policy — incisive, comprehensive looks at today’s American public school system that argue against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization
movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools.
 

Governor Cuomo manipulated the state budget, holding up its passage, until it included the hugely unpopular and anti-worker
practice of pegging teachers tenure and evaluations to standardized tests grade results.  While  dropped from inclusion in the budget the Governors desire to see the proliferation of charter schools remains a mainstay on his educational agenda.  These issues have been  been heating up ever since Pres. Bush’s No Child Left Behind plan, but especially since the roll out of Race to The Top and the Common Core State Standards so Building Bridges decided to
tackle these issues with with Diane Ravitch, who infuses research,
about the recent history of education policy reform, the strategies used for fighting back against these policies, and who proposes solutions that work to create sustainable, equitable, anti-racist, democratic and meaningful public education.  Our conversation with Diane Ravitch is for anyone interested in an “insider’s look” and leading a resistance or forming an organization towards reclaiming our public schools and reclaiming the public narrative around education policy.
 

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Liberato Restaurant Tries To Silence Workers; Remembering the Triangle Fire - 27:57  

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Liberato Restaurant Tries To Silence Workers
With Federal Racketeering, “RICO” Suit
with
.  Omar Taveras, former Liberato worker
.  Mahoma Lopez, Laundry Workers Center representative
.  Ria Julien, workers’ attorney


Liberato Restaurant workers joined by community supporters and
workers’ rights advocates, such as the grassroots workers’ rights
organization the Laundry Workers Center continue to exercise their
right to protest against wage and hour theft, sexual harassment and
verbal abuses, despite Liberato Restaurants’ attempts to silence them.  Liberato, in an unprecedented action has brought a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) lawsuit accusing the workers of extortion.  Liberato server Maggy Andres, said  “we are here today demanding what we are owed. The RICO case is an attempt to silence us, and it will not work. Liberato stole our money and we demand what we are owed by the law and better conditions in our workplace. Until that happens, we will be out here demanding justice for ourselves, our co-workers, and all exploited workers
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Remembering the Triangle Fire
with 

Sophia Henderson Holmes

Poet Sophia Henderson Holmes reads from her epic poem
commemorating the lives of those who died at the Triangle Fire.
The poem itself serves as well as a tribute to Sophia herself, who
has since passed on but has left us her stirring words and the
challenge to organize for workers' rights.

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Reviving the Strike: How Workers Can Regain Power and Transform America - 27:59  

Strike Back ! Using the Militant Tactics of Labor's Past to Reignite Unionism Today
featuring
Joe Burns

In his books Reviving the Strike and Strike Back labor Lawyer Joe Burns argues that if the American labor movement is to rise again, it will not be as a result of electing different politicians, the passage of legislation, or improved methods of union organizing. Rather, workers will need to rediscover the power of the strike. Not the ineffectual strike of today, where employees meekly sit on picket lines waiting for scabs to take their jobs, but the type of strike capable of grinding private and public sector employers to a halt often with the solidarity of community and labor alliances. This is what happened in the strike waves when private sector unionism grew exponentially in the 1930’s – 1940’s and during the 1960s and 1970s, when  teachers, sanitation workers and more than a million public employees rose up to demand collective bargaining rights in one of the greatest upsurges in labor history.

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Wisconsin's " Right to Work" - 28'  

When Words Don't Mean What They Say: 
"Right to Work" Laws are Anything but That!
featuring
. Kevin Gundlach, Pres., South Central Labor Federation, Madison, WI
. Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Asst. Prof. of History, Loyola University, Co-author with Nelson Lichtenstein, The Right and Labor in America

Wisconsin is the latest State to fall victim  to the right wing anti-union juggernaut. "Right to work" laws destroy unions - that's their real purpose. "Right to work" legislation isn't driven by a groundswell of disgruntled union members chafing under union oppression, but by employers, industry associations and lobbyists.
"Right to work" laws drive down wages for everyone. We'll explore the history of right to work laws, who and what's driving this juggernaut in states across the nation and what is to be done to challenge this race to the bottom.

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Solitary Confinement of Youth in NY - 28:33  

The Solitary Confinement of Youth in New York - 
A Civil Rights Violation
Featuring 
Professor Alex VitaleMember, NY Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Alexandra KorryChairperson, NY Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

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For A Free Palestine with Jeff Halper - 27:53  

A Free, Free Palestine Remains The Question
featuring 
Jeff Halper, an anthropologist, author of several books on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, lecturer about Israeli politics, and political activist who has lived in Israel since 1973. He is best known as the co-founder and Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.  He is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and the academic boycott of Israel, considering Israel to be engaged in a deliberate campaign of “Judaization” of the Palestinian territories.  He has created a new mode of Israeli peace activity based on nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience in the Occupied Territories, along with international advocacy

Jeff Halper, assess recent developments in Israel/Palestine and prospects for the future of a free, free Palestine, in what is one of the most intractable conflicts on the planet and the fulcrum for all politics in the Middle East. 

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Red Seas: Ferdinand Smith & Radical Black Sailors in the United States & Jamaica  

Red Seas: Ferdinand Smith and Radical Black Sailors in the United States and Jamaica 
with
Prof. Gerald Horne

During the heyday of the U.S. and international labor movements in the 1930s & 1940s,  Ferdinand Smith, the Jamaican-born co-founder and second-in-command of the National Maritime Union, stands out as one of the most "if not the most" powerful black labor leaders in the United States.  Smith's active membership in the Communist Party, however, coupled with his bold labor radicalism & shaky immigration status, brought him under continual surveillance by U.S. authorities, especially during the red Scare in the '50s.  Smith was eventually deported to his homeland of Jamaica, where he continued his radical labor & political organizing until his death in 1961.  Horne draws on Smith's life to make insightful connections between labor radicalism & the Civil Rights Movement "demonstrating that the gains of the latter were propelled by the former & undermined by anticommunism".  Moreover, Red Seas uncovers the little-known experiences of black sailors & the contribution to the struggle for labor and civil rights, the history of the Communist Party & its black members, & the significant dimension of Jamaican labor &  political radicalism.

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Teresa Ghilarducci: The Plot to Kill Pensions and a Plan to Save Them - 27:02  

The Plot to Kill Pensions and a Plan to Save Them 
Featuring
TERESA GHILARDUCCI, Prof. of Economic Policy Analysis, New School for Social Research and author of When I’m Sixty Four

A crisis is brewing for American workers' retirement, due to attack on pensions and the inadequacy of 401k accounts which were designed to replace guaranteed pensions. In response Prof. Ghilarducci is proposing a comprehensive system of reform called the Guaranteed Retirement Account 
and improvements to Social Security.

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Dr. King and the Memphis City Sanitation Workers Strike - 27:57  

The current struggles of public sector workers rights in Wisconsin and around the country has renewed interest in the battle to organize the Memphis City sanitation workers in 1968. This was part of the upsurge of the civil rights movement of the 1960's and also of the mass unionization
of public workers in that decade.

"Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign"
with
Michael K. Honey, Prof. of Ethnic, Gender, and Labor studies, University of Washington, Tacoma


Martin Luther King was in Memphis to add his voice to protests in support of striking sanitation workers - the civil rights movement paralleled with the struggles of organized labor. Professor Honey details the daily evolution of the 

strike and what it meant to Memphis and the larger civil-rights movement. He chronicles the events that led up to that fateful day at the Lorraine Motel, and to larger social change. Honey's analysis of King's role is particularly telling. "King," he writes, "had qualities that allowed him to lead a mass movement that joined working-class people to the middle class through the black church" until his Crucifixion."

Plus Taylor Rogers, a past Pres. of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Union talks about the 1968 Strike which was Dr. King's last struggle and a selection from King's speech at a strike rally.


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A Green State of the NYS State Message vs. A Culture of Corruption -27:41  

The Real Deal: A Green State of the NYS State Message 
  
Howie Hawkins, the recent Green Party candidate for NY Governor, responds to Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget and State of the State address.  Hawkins will also discuss the recent arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the culture of corruption that dominates the state Capitol.  In addition to the need for ethics reform, Hawkins will discuss Cuomo’s education agenda and attacks on teachers; energy; taxes and fiscal relief for local governments, minimum wage and poverty.

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So African Union Leads United Front Against Class Inequalities - 27:46  

350,000 Member Strong Union Leader at Forefront of Organizing United Front Against South Africa’s Class Inequalities and “Colonialism of a Special Type”
with 
Irvin Jim, Secretary General, National Union of Metal Workers South Africa (“NUMSA”) 


           “NUMSA, in line with the Freedom Charter demands, has demanded that nationalization of the Reserve Bank, mines, land, strategic and monopoly industries without compensation must take place with speed, if we are to avoid sliding into anarchy and violence as a result of the cruel impact of the continuing Colonialism of a Special Type which breeds poverty, unemployment and extreme inequalities in South Africa today…,” NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim  

Jim talks about NUMSA’s advocacy for its members interests against the corporateocracy and the exciting developments with the  Preparatory Assembly of the United Front in South Africa, a possible forerunner of the formation of a workers party, socialist in its orientation, with an eye on 2016 local government elections. NUMSA leadership has criticized the ruling majority party, the African National Congress for failing to take responsibility for South Africa’s growing inequality and the fact that infrastructure, education, water resources and health systems remain unfairly distributed across the societies of South Africa.  

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Greece's Syriza Party: The Antidote to Europe's Austerity Disease - 26:56  

Greece’s Syriza Party: The Antidote to Europe’s Austerity Disease
with
Kostis Karpozilos, Dept. of History, Columbia University
and
Eric Poulos, Greek-American activist

Greece's parliament has failed to elect a president, which means it must hold a new election a little over two years since the last, which will take  place Jan. 25, with the prospect of a victory for the Syriza party, a political party formed of a coalition of hundreds of left groups, which has emerged as the country's second largest political party.   An upsurge of support for Syriza flows from the economic       turmoil in bankrupt Greece, which received emergency loans from the Troika: The European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – and under the terms of the bailout loans the Greek government has cut back on its public spending, which had propped up much of its economy.  Greece now has an unemployment rate that has surpassed 27 percent, with youth unemployment hovering at around 60 percent, and hundreds of thousands of Greeks have been forced to migrate abroad to survive.  The social state is in shambles, and the government is in the process of selling off key state industries, public lands and utilities.  Kostis Karpozilos , the leading light of a nonsectarian left-wing Greek web site, was interestingly a featured commentator in a recent movie on the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow massacre and the writer and commentator in a movie about the history of Greek American radicals and Eric Poulos, Greek-American activist joins us to talk about the destruction of the Greek economy, the Eurozone and alternative examples of economic development, with an eye towards the Greek anti-austerity Syriza party winning the upcoming general election

Plus
An update with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza party in an interview with ch 4 reporter Paul Mason. Tspiras says he wants to renegotiate the Greek bailout and might even be prepared to pull the country out of the eurozone if push comes to shove - so usual terms of politics may not apply.

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Rejuvenating Workers' Movements with Stanley Aronowitz & Demand N.Y.S. Labor Dept. Enforce Law - 28:46  

Rejuvenating the Workers’ Movement – The Road Forward
featuring 
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz,  In the 1950s, Aronowitz was a factory metalworker. In the 50s and 60s, he directed organizing with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers.   He is currently a professor of sociology, cultural studies, and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center and has written dozens of books on the U.S. working class. His recent book is The Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Workers’ Movement

Prof. Aronowitz reminds us that the use of strikes and other militant strategies was what built the labor movement, and how they are essential to revitalizing the faltering, organized labor organizations.  The strategies and tactics to rekindle 
the growth of the workers’ movements are based in workers banding together across workplaces, across occupations and building bridges from the workplace to linking with community-based  struggles for housing, education, health-care and for human rights and against all forms of discrimination.   
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Workers Demand N.Y.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Enforce Law
featuring 
National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS)

Yes, the minimum wage went up in N.Y.S. to $8.75/h, but that’s not enough to live on says NMASS and furthermore, too many of N.Y.S’s workers will see no change in Governor Cuomo’s DOL failure to enforce the labor laws. NMASS took their complaints to the DOL and is  threatening to sue  Cuomo and the DOL to enforce minimum wage laws and to process wage theft claims timely.

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The State, Racism and Matters of Black Life with Glen Ford and Tim Wise  

The State, Racism & Matters of Black Life
Featuring 
GLEN FORD, executive editor, Black Agenda Report. Ford has been a journalist and political activist – a provider of "information for liberation," as he puts it for over 40 years. Ford created the first syndicated Black radio news magazine, Black World Report, the first syndicated Black news interview program on commercial TV, America’s Black Forum. Ford has served as a White House, Capitol Hill and State Department correspondent and Washington 
Bureau Chief, for Mutual Black Network, was national political columnist for Encore American and Worldwide News. Ford was a founding member of the Washington Association of Black Journalists and a member of the executive committee of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists.
and
TIM WISE, is one of the country’s leading anti-racist writers and activists who lecturers on issues of comparative racism, race and education and racism in the labor market. Wise is the author of six books, including Dear White America: 
Letter to a New Minority. His new book is The Culture of Cruelty: How America’s Elite Demonize the Poor, Valorize the Rich and Jeopardize the Future.

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Congress Lets Big Banks Resume Risky Trading plus Senator Bernie Sanders - 27:43  

Congress Lets Big Banks Resume Risky Trades  Rolling Back Financial Reforms Enacted To Prevent Another Financial Crisis
Featuring

Timothy A. Canova Professor of Law and Public Finance, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University


The big banks attached a measure to must-pass Congressional spending legislation which halts a restriction on the kinds of risky derivatives trading that blew up the US economy in 2007. It allows the banksters to gamble not only with other people’s money but with taxpayer guarantees for their losses. This is only the  beginning of  their planned roll back of financial reforms passed to prevent another financial crisis. Liberal democrats responded by calling for the breaking up the “too big to fail” banks, but is this really enough? Do we need to nationalize banks?           
Plus
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders' Senate speech railed against the big banks' Congressional maneuver easing restrictions on risky derivatives trading and called for breaking up the "too big to fail" big banks. 

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New Yorkers Historic March Against Police Murders plus Rev. William Barber  

New Yorkers Carry The Torch Lit By The Flames of Ferguson Protests: Rising Up Against Racist Policing!  
featuring 
The families of victims of police murder who tell their stories, expressing our feelings at New Yorkers historic march
plus 
commentary from Dr. William Barber, founder Moral Mondays & North Carolina Chair, NAACP 

Hundreds of thousands, “we the people” across the country, led by families of victims of police murder, Black and Brown youth most vulnerable to racist policing, and a really diverse group of supporters marched against the governmental 
policies, their implementation and the internalized racist attitudes at the heart of the license to kill people of color!  Amidst the anguish felt by the participants over the most recent deaths of people of color, at the hands of  the police the crowds gave promise to pulling together, nationally in a sustained effort to confront racist police policies that give police “the license to kill” Black and Brown!  
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Nationwide, Low-Wage Workers STRIKE , also Calling for Justice for Victims of Police Murder! - 27:28  

Nationwide, Across Industries, Low-Wage Workers STRIKE, also Calling for Justice for Victims of Police Murder!

Fast-food workers are on the move and they've sparked other low-wage workers to strike for their just deserts.  Fast-food employees in 190 cities, went on strike and they were joined by convenience, dollar store, airport service workers, and home care workers. Low-wage workers across the country are forging bonds and rising up in a mass movement for economic justice.  The workers, on strike for higher wages, better working conditions and to unionize also raised their hands high, chanting "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," "I Can't Breath, I Can't Breath," to show their support for victims of racist police murders.

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New Yorkers Protest Racist Police Killings - 27:58  

Sparked by Police Impunity for Racist Killings, New Yorkers Chanting "Hand Up Don't Shoot" and "I Can't Breathe" with Mock Coffins Held Aloft Take It To The Streets!

Thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets, expressing their anguish over racist police killings of people of color and their anger over police officers Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown and Daniel Pantaleo for the choke-hold strangulation of Eric Garner and their impunity from prosecution. Building Bridges brings you the sounds of protest - from the "die ins" to the blockades of travel arteries all over this city - listen to the stories of family members, thirsting for "justice" for loved ones killed, as a result of racist 
police policies and practices and hear from the broad array of New Yorkers, we the people who are prepared to challenge them.

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Walmart and Ferguson Protests Spread Across the Country - 27'  

Walmart and Ferguson Protests Spread Across the Country
This Holiday season. 
With special guest Dr. Jamal Bryant with the Empowerment Movement’s Hand’s Up, Don’t Spend Campaign a new dimension in the Ferguson protests, speaks to us from a Walmart protest in Chicago building bridges between the two mass movements

Mass protests also fanned out across the nation in the aftershock of the grand jury decision to not indict patrolman Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown who was 18 years old and unarmed in Ferguson, MO. Protesters are making the connection to the long standing epidemic of police killings of unarmed people of color throughout the U.S. , the most recent of which also include the 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Eric Garner in Staten Island and Akai Gurley in Brooklyn. 

There were also demonstrations, marches and sit-in strikes at 1,600 
Walmart stores across the country, calling on the company to pay workers a minimum of $15/hour, provide full-time work with health care and union rights.  The country’s largest employer and the Waltons —Walmart’s majority owners—are abusing their power and hurting American families by allowing Walmart to violate workers’ rights. While the majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year, Walmart brings in more the $16 billion in 
annual profits; and the Walton family has built up nearly $150 billion in wealth.

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Ferguson & Beyond; Walmart Arrests Dozens Who Sit-Down 28:29  

Walmart Arrests Dozens Who Sit-Down 
For $15/h Wage and Full-Time Hours

Martha Sellers and Maria Camarena, Walmart employees talk about the workers and their supporters arrested outside a Walmart store calling on the company and its owners—the Waltons—to end the illegal threats to and retaliation against workers calling for $15 an hour and consistent, full-time work at the country’s largest private employer. Hundreds of 
supporters rallied outside the store in Pico Rivera, California the site of the first Walmart strikes in 2012 to buoy the strikers – meanwhile the Walmart behemoth brings in $16 billion in annual profits and its  owners build on their $150 billion in wealth, the majority of Walmart workers are
paid less than $25,000 a year.  
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The Fire Next Time: Ferguson & Beyond Communities Organize  

Even were there to be an indictment of police officer Wilson in Ferguson, or of officer Pantelo for the strangulation of Eric Garner justice would remain elusive.  As long as police have license to kill Black and Brown men and women, and as long as people of color are economically marginalized, 
and state policies that intimidate, harass, criminalize and result in the imprisonment of targeted Black and Brown people persist there is no justice, no peace!   Thenjiwe McHarris discusses the significance of the protest movement in Ferguson and of UN Hearing she recently attended 
in Geneva where Ferguson was being discussed by The United Nations Committee Against Torture which heard testimony by Michael Brown’s parents.

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Electorate​'s Push to Raise the Minimum Wage - 27'  

Four for Four...Even in "Red States" 
the Electorate’s Push to Raise the Minimum Wage“

Peter Davis, campaign activist for Time for a Raise campaign, 
a project of Ralph Nader's Center for the Study of Responsive Law 
and 
Paco Fabián , with the Good Jobs Nation an organization of low-wage workers employed by government contractors who are joining together to urge President Obama to use Executive Orders to give them a living wage and a voice on the job.  The Good Jobs Nation campaign is supported by a coalition of national faith and advocacy organizations, including the NAACP, Demos, Interfaith Worker Justice, Change to Win.

After last week’s election disaster, there’s some good news, in the 
minimum wage wins through ballot initiatives are sending a clear message: Americans across the political spectrum want to raise the minimum wage.  Now the electorate along with congressional progressives and allies are demanding more Presidential action to help low-wage workers and boost the economy.  Buoying this message in support of a rise in the minimum wage Peter Davis and Ralph Nader just co-wrote a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi which states: "Buried underneath the coverage of the Democrats’ second midterm 'shalackin' in a row is a stark public sentiment 
that provides a path forward for your caucuses during the upcoming lame duck session... a minimum wage raise passed in every state in which it was on the ballot.

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Chris Hedges: Poverty, Racism & Policing, Mass Incarcerat​ion, Resistance & Social Transforma​tion - 28:30  


Poverty, Racism & Policing, Mass Incarceration, Resistance 
and Social Transformation
featuring
Christopher Hedges, author of twelve books, including the best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt,” New York Times 
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, the recipient of Amnesty International's Global Award for Human Rights Journalism, Truthdig columnist, educator behind the walls of the US prison system, and activist. This important public intellectual, and activist Chris Hedges gives a rousing analysis of increasing poverty and how our racist system has used policing and mass incarceration, but as well the resistance of those targeted and the struggle for social
transformation.

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BP May Be Fined Up to $18 Billion for Gulf Spill - 26:56  

BP May Be Fined Up to $18 Billion 
for “Willful Misconduct” for Spill in Gulf
featuring
Antonia Juhasz, an oil and energy analyst, author, journalist and activist. She has authored several books, including Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill, Juhasz is currently writing a feature article for Harper's Magazine on the impacts of the disaster on the deep ocean following her participation in a submarine dive to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico at the site of the spill

Federal Judge Barbier held that BP routinely put profit over prudence, people, safety, and the environment and the result was and remains catastrophic in the four years since the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig which killed 11 workers and sent millions of barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Celebrating Sonia Sanchez on her Eightieth Birthday  

Celebrating Sonia Sanchez on her Eightieth Birthday
featuring 
Sonia Sanchez
and
Jessica Care Moore, internationally renowned poet, publisher, 
playwright, performance artist,

Now, a tribute to the beloved world renowned poet, humanitarian, scholar, and activist Sonia Sanchez on her eightieth birthday with Jessica Care Moore, and a special message to all of us from Sonia Sanchez  

Poet, playwright, mother, scholar, lecturer and peace activist, Sonia Sanchez is a renowned force of nature respected in literary and activist communities all over the world and by people of all races, identities, ages & backgrounds. In 2011, Sanchez was selected as the first poet laureate of Philadelphia. She is the author of more than 20 books, and has been awarded countless awards and honors, including the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades.  She is also the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 
Robert Frost Medalist. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at the university. She came of age in NYC during the Black Arts and Black Power Movements of the 1960s and ’70s. Currently based in Philadelphia, the former Harlemite is regarded as the Godmother of the Black Arts Movement. The late Maya Angelou heralded her as “a lion in literature’s forest.” Today’s poets, writers, hip-hop artists, grassroots activists, and public servants alike point to her work as their guiding light. “She opened the door for everything we do,” says hip-hop artist Talib Kweli.

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Beyond the Climate March - Flood Wall Street with Anne Petermann - 27:26  

Beyond the Climate March - Flood Wall Street 
with
Anne Petermann,  Exec.  Dir., The Global Justice Ecology Project, just released the report "Green Shock Doctrine" and runs the climate-connections.org blog

Petermann said : The Global Climate  "march brought together a diverse mix of constituencies from anti-capitalists to Indigenous Peoples to representatives from communities impacted by climate change both in the U.S. and around the world. Each had their own set of demands, but the overarching theme was the need to build power from the grassroots and stop relying on governments and the UN to do this for us. Hundreds to possibly a few thousand of these folks will be taking part in the Flood Wall Street direct action to bring attention to the real culprits of climate change, and to expose the corporate capture of the UN." Petermann recently wrote the piece: "Confronting Climate Catastrophe: Direct Action is the Antidote for Despair: Or, Why the UN is Worse than Useless and we need to Flood Wall Street!" 

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