Building Bridges Radio: Your Community & Labor Report

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


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.

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In Struggle Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash

The Fire Next Time: The Taking of Black Life at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church -27:10  

The Fire Next Time: Response to The Taking of Black Life at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Church
Ed Whitfield long-term social justice organizer,  co-managing Director of the Fund for Democratic Communities, who speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development, on issues of education and social responses to racism and is active in the call by the Southern Grassroots Economies Project to develop a Southern Reparations Loan Fund

As Professor Charles Lawrence precisely puts it:

"Racism in America is much more complex than either the  conscious conspiracy of a power elite or the simple delusion
of a few ignorant bigots.  It is a part of our common historical
experience and, therefore, a part of our culture.  It arises from the assumptions we have learned to make about the world, ourselves, and others as well as from the patterns of our fundamental social activities. "

Ed Whitfield, long-term social justice organizer,  co-managing Director of 
the Fund for Democratic Communities, who speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development, on issues of education and social 
responses to racism and is active in the call by the Southern Grassroots Economies Project to develop a Southern Reparations Loan Fund  plows deep into the bowels of America, to ferret out and grapple with its policies and practices of white supremacy, rooted deep within its public and private structures.  He'll examine how then institutional racism filters down to the individual citizenry and becomes a material force to subjugate Black Life. Ed Whitfield asks whether we will wait for The Fire Next Time or will we and how we can endeavor to tear out the roots of the poisons weeds of white supremacy that can subsume the very nurturance of life.   

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Taxi Drivers Caravan to Albany to Protect Full-Time Jobs - 28:27  

NYC Taxi Drivers Caravan to Albany to Protect Full-Time Jobs
Bhairavi Desai, Ex. Dir. NY Taxi Workers Alliance 

A traffic jam of taxicabs circled the Capitol in Albany to put the brakes on legislation sponsored by ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, which allow people to pick up passengers in their own cars.  NYC would be required to accept drop-offs by Uber and Lyft drivers with lower standards than licensed NYC taxi and for-hire-vehicle drivers and there would be no way to enforce regulations against these drivers from cruising through NYC picking up illegal fares. The Taxi Workers Alliance says the legislation would lead to unsafe unregulated cars acting as taxis and that would lead to a decrease in collectable tax revenue. Desai says that if the legislation passes "riders will lose all kinds of protection - safety, insurance, accessibility, and a fair price. For drivers, this is the biggest threat to fulltime work in this industry because the companies depend on part-time labor and a saturation of vehicles. Already in NYC, we’re seeing incomes drop for drivers from all the segments – yellow, green, livery and black car, including Uber drivers.” 

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The Next Economic System with Gar Alperovitz and Ed Whitfield - 27:44  

Getting Serious About the Next Economic System
Gar Alperovitz, author, What Then Must We Do?  and The Next American Revolution: Beyond Corporate Capitalism and State Socialism

In an era when systemic critique of the economic and political institutions of the United States is poised on the edge of mainstream consciousness: the realities of a changing climate, an irrationally destructive financialized economic system, a long and steady historical trajectory concentrating political power along with wealth, are becoming impossible to ignore. How can we consciously come together around this opportunity to offer a coherent vision of what a "next system" might look like? Gar Alperovitz is a leading proponent and practician of local socialized Alternatives to the current economic system. He here summarized some of the  concrete experiments in social change happening and being proposed across the country including Worker cooperatives, municipal and state economic enterprises, state and municipal banks, land trusts, and single payer health insurance and lays out a new initiative to expand visibility and support for an alternative economic system: The Next System Project : New Political-Economic Possibilities for the 21st Century.
The Building Blocks for a Just Economic System
Ed WhitfieldCo-Managing Director of the Fund for Democratic 
Communities  speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development while continuing to be interested in issues of war and peace, as well as education and social responses to racism and is active in the call by the Southern Grassroots Economies Project (SGEP) to develop a Southern Reparations Loan Fund

More and more people are disenfranchised from and disenchanted by our economic system with its long and steady historical trajectory concentrating political  power along with wealth amongst the few, and a monstrous apparatus of prisons and policing that are increasingly prevalent.  And, Ed Whitfield is one of the theoreticians/activists who offers us a coherent vision of what building a "next system" might look like.  Whitfield talks about his work in the South and beginning to build for a far for equal and justice society.

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What 75,000 Mondragon Cooperative Workers Can Teach Us - 27:05  

What 75,000 Mondragon Cooperative Workers Can Teach Us About Controlling the Means of Production
Prof. Frederick Freundlichis, internationally recognized leader
on building worker cooperative ecosystems

Mondragon, is a cooperative owned and operated by 75,000 workers in the Basque region of Spain.  It has become the largest employer in the region and has played a major role in restoring decent livelihoods after the Spanish civil war. Frederick Freundlichis, is a professor of cooperative enterprise and coordinator of a masters program at Mondragon, and is considered one of the world’s leading researchers, trainers and who offers technical assistance on broadening enterprise ownership with
businesses, government agencies, unions and community organizations in the Basque Country and a variety of other countries.  In a rare interview, Prof, Freundlichis provides us with a glimpse into the Mondragon cooperative model of enterprise and discusses organizing, mobilizing, and building a worker cooperative ecosystem from the ground up. 

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