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

Will we allow Sudan's military and their allies, Saudi Arabia, and its partner the U.S. along with the United Arab Emirates to crush the people’s movement for democracy? - 28:33  

Will we allow Sudan's military and their allies, Saudi Arabia, and its partner the U.S. along with the United Arab Emirates to crush the people’s movement for democracy?
with
Milton Allimadi, Prof. of African History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and founder of The Black Star News


In scenes redolent of the Arab world's 2011 pro-democracy uprisings, an emboldened grass-roots protest movement had taken root in the heart of Sudan, its center, Khartoum, when the dreaded Janjaweed militia opened fire on the unarmed, pro-democracy forces who were  demanding a transition to civilian rule, after the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.  The death toll from the attack on the unarmed pro-democracy camp protestors now exceeds 100, with hundreds more injured. But, the peoples empowerment movement’s resolve is strong as they continue to press for a total work stoppage.  Prof. Allimadi traces the evolution of the democracy forces during the thirty year rule of the al-Bashir dictatorship, examines the conflicts amongst the military forces, the implications for the further destabilization of the region and the particular role of Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia and China, while the push for peoples power and civilian rule continues.

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Grand Theft Pentagon: How It Steals from Our Resources to Feed its Monster Wars!  

Grand Theft Pentagon: How It Steals from Our Nation’s Resources to Feed its Monster Wars!

Bill Hartung, Director of the Arms & Security Project at the Center for International Policy, Jan R. Weinberg, Show Up! America, & Divest From The War Machine Coalition/CodePink and Christine Lewis, Domestic Workers United discuss how the  war economy drains our resources , and ways we can get active to turn it around, such as developing your own campaigns to: "Move the Money" & "Divest from the War Machine."

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High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light - 29'  

High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light,
with

Ellie Belew novelist and community historian gave me been a wonderful read with High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light, telling the story of ten women Electrical Trades Trainees (ETTs) and their fight against intense, long-running discrimination at Seattle’s public utility. The book is a riveting account of what it’s like for women and people of color breaking into a segregated work force. Their strength, dignity and growing confidence radiate through – my sheros!  Because we were there!
and
Megan Cornish
recites her gripping story of a multi-racial group of women who put their bodies on the line to gain a foothold in the male and largely white electrical trades at Seattle's publicly owned utility in the 1970s, and how these women implemented affirmative action in the face of life-threatening sexism and racism.  Because We Were There!  


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Putting the Movement Back into the Labor Movement - 28:53  

Putting the Movement Back into the Labor Movement
with

Nelson Lichtenstein is a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy. He is a labor historian who has written also about 20th-century American political economy, including the automotive industry and Wal-Mart.
and 

Samantha Winslow, is a staff writer, organizer and co-director of Labor Notes,.a publication which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary with its mission to help to put the movement back into the labor movment through its magazine, books, pamphlets, conferences and troublemakers schools and workshops. 

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It's Time for the Next Economic System - Socialism - 28:58  

This is the right time to talk about why we need a new economic system and how to get there. This is the time to talk about and build socialism here and around the world .

To meld practice and theory on this issue are Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary, of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (“SAFTU”), founded in 2017, and which is the second largest of the country’s main trade union confederations, with at least 21 affiliated trade unions organizing 800,000 workers, working to create an independent, campaigning and democratic trade union federation who shall defend if need be with their lives the fighting independence of their revolutionary and socialist oriented federation

Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson and  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.

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. For fifteen years, he served as the Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland.   Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. 

He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.

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Israel's War Against the Palestinians and It's Exportation of Weapons of Global Pacification - 28:58  

Israel's War Against the Palestinians  and It's Exportation of Weapons of Global Pacification
with
Jeff Halper, is the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee.  He is the author of War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global
Pacification 


We the people must break the old taboo on US-Israeli         relations and Washington’s permanent acquiescence in
Israel’s illegal colonization of Arab land.  We must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements.

Americans should question the US government funds that have supported multiple hostilities and thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as the $38 billion the US government has pledged in military support to Israel”.  We must condemn Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his recognition
of Israel’s claim  to the Golan Heights.

Governments today are waging a ‘war against the people’ – whether ‘securitization’ against asylum seekers in Fortress Europe, ‘counterinsurgency’ in Afghanistan, or the subliminal war of policing and surveillance arising everywhere.  And Israel’s contribution to this is key: exporting the high-tech weaponry, security systems and methods of pacification designed for and tested on the residents of Gaza, confined in the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’ and Occupied Territories.


Jeff Halper exposes these technologies of control, which blur the lines between the military, domestic security agencies and the police, and reveals Israel’s pivotal role in the worldwide suppression of human rights. 

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NYC NURSES PROTEST THREATENS STRIKE FOR SAFE STAFFING FOR PATIENTS - 27:58  

It’s a Matter of Life and Death: Thousands of New York Nurses Take to the Street In Threat of Major Strike Over Horrendous Working Conditions Which Seriously Impedes Patient Care
withJudy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN , NYSNA President, Montefiore Medical Center
and
Karine Raymond,  RN NYSNA .Second Vice President, Montefiore Medical Center



The 42,000 strong members of the New York State Nurses Association have been  fighting for  safe staffing, to keep hospitals open for care, to stop the Wall Street attack on their patients, and win healthcare for all.  Now, after years of complaints, understaffing has become the major point of conflict between the nurses’ union and private hospitals in New York City, as the nurses insist that it seriously impedes their providing the adequate care that their patients deserve. As such, 13,000 nurses could strike this month if their negotiations fail with a group of three major hospital systems, union leaders say.  Nurses from Montefiore, Mount Sinai, St. Luke's-Mount Sinai West, and New York-Presbyterian hospitals authorized a strike last week.

“We’re saying enough is enough,” said Carl Ginsburg, a spokesperson for the union.  On the bargaining table is an increase in nurse-to-patient ratios in emergency rooms and intensive care units. Staffing levels have reached dangerously low levels, putting the safety of both nurses and patients at risk, Ginsburg said. “Sometimes where a nurse should be caring for five patients, she’s caring for eight or 10,” said Ginsburg. “Make no mistake – it’s dangerous.”  Safe staffing is about saving lives. 


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U.S. HANDS OFF VENEZUELA! - 28:50  

 “U.S. HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!”
.  Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil
.  Kevin Zeese, a lawyer and political activist who  currently serves as co-director of Popular Resistance
.  Roger Wareham, Secretary General of the International Association Against Torture and member of the December 12th Movement
 



"There is a great provocation led by the U.S. empire now in Venezuela. There's no doubt the world that it's President Donald Trump who wants to impose a de facto, unconstitutional government.  It's a coup in Venezuela  Against the people and democracy.” President Nicholas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently referred to Brazilian President Bolsonaro as a “modern day Hitler,” days after Brasilia officially recognized Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s opposition-run Congress, as legitimate president of Venezuela.  Previously, Brazil and Venezuela had maintained cordial relations for over a decade thanks to friendly ties between Brazil’s Workers Party and Venezuela’s Socialist Party. Now, Bolsonaro, a fervent anti-communist who has praised his country’s 1964-85 military dictatorship, has promised to target Venezuela. To discuss democracy at risk in Latin America and the far right moving in is Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil, Kevin Zeese, a lawyer and political activist who  currently serves as co-director of Popular Resistance and Roger Wareham, Secretary General of the International Association Against Torture and member of the December 12th Movement

**************************

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Spectrum Cable Strikers Propose Forming A Workers' Cooperative To Take Over The Cable Franchise- 27:53  

Spectrum Cable Strikers At Two Year Mark Keep On Keeping On & Are Even Looking Into Forming A Workers' Cooperative To Take Over The Cable Franchise
with
Troy Walcott, Local 3 IBEW Shop Steward and striking  Spectrum Technician
and
Ray Reyes, striking Spectrum  technician


Some 1,800 workers represented by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, (“IBEW”),  Local 3 struck Charter Spectrum Communications (“Spectrum”) , the company which bought out Time Warner Cable in May 2016.  They struck in response to employer proposed cuts to healthcare and pension benefits in the wake of the buy-out. To add insult to injury, as the resolve of the workers not to capitulate hits its two-year mark, Spectrum seeks the decertification of the union – to remove the union as the sole bargaining agent for the unit. If successful, the bargaining unit would no longer be in a union.

Meanwhile on the political front the strikers have suffered another blow.  While Spectrums’ license to operate the cable franchise with the state and the city is up for renewal in 2020, despite Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio having proclaimed their support of the strike and having argued against its renewal, a recent ruling by the N.Y.S. Public Service Commission may still pave the way for the renewal.  This latest affront seriously weakens the strikers political pressure point to force the cable behemoth to negotiate a fair contract. 
 
Nevertheless despite the toll the strike has taken on these intrepid workers keep on keeping on, and have even, with the support of their union been exploring the creation of a worker’s cooperative to actually take over the cable franchise.  The workers say a co-op would  improve broadband service across the city, offer reduced cost, expand access, create good jobs, and ensure net neutrality in New York and the Mayor seems to be listening.


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Africa in Focus - 27:02  

Africa in Focus
with
Professor Milton Allimadi, publisher Black Star News, New York’s leading Afro-centric perspective investigative newspaper and who also teaches community based journalism seeks to empower community journalists and break the monopoly of corporate media




Building Bridges speaks with Milton Allimadi, author of The Hearts of Darkness about how white writers created the racist image of Africa.  He critiques Western media's "tribalization" of African news coverage, beginning with the accounts of the European so-called explorers who went to "discover" Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries and including the coverage of Africa by Western newspapers such as The New York Times.  He goes on to  telescope the election in Congo, discusses China’s interventions on the continent and critiques AFRICOM’s ongoing military incursions and US foreign policy to various of the African countries 

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Rev. Barber & Al Gore Say Ecological Devastation is Immoral -28:58  

Ecological Devastation is Immoral
with

The Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina
NAACP, architect of the Moral Monday protest movement, and
Repairers of the Breach, his most recent  books include
“Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation” and
“The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics
and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.”
and

Former Vice President Al Gore, currently Chairman of the Climate
Reality Project. Author of "An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary
Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It"



We’re heading to Belews Lake, North Carolina, right beside the Duke Energy plant, its smoke stakes spewing coal ash amidst this otherwise bucolic landscape, where we listened to former Vice President Al Gore brought there by the Rev. Dr. William Barber and his Poor Peoples Campaign to highlight one of the four pillars of the Poor Peoples Campaign - ecological devastation that is inextricably linked to the perpetuation of poverty. 

Earlier this year Rev. Barber announced an effort by faith and moral leaders to carry forward Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a Poor People’s Campaign, working across the country to alleviate the triad forces of poverty, militarism, and racism that Dr. King knew were poisoning the country then and still threaten us today.

Rev. William Barber noted, the battle for civil rights and the battle for economic rights are two wings of the same word.   


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Bisbee Arizona’s Ethnic Cleansing of 1,300 Immigrant Mineworkers! - 28:20  

Which Side Are You On: The Story of Bisbee Arizona’s Ethnic Cleansing of 1,300 Immigrant Mineworkers!
with
Katherine  Benton-Cohen, Professor of History, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University 




The border town of Bisbee, Arizona is known for a few things. First, there’s that massive copper mine that was turned into a tourist attraction back in the seventies. Then, there’s that can-do spirit that won’t let said town — or mine — die, no matter how much times change. Oh, and there’s also the hundred-year-old ethnic cleansing that everyone is eager to forget, including those concerned that the atrocity might reflect badly on that damn mine, which kickstarted the event a century ago.  We  tell the story of Bisbee’s ignoble, anti-immigrant past to juxtapose it as an admonition against the advent of our anti-immigrant, anti-worker behavior today. which is recounted in Robert Greene's new film "Bisbee '17"

We talk with Katherine Benton-Cohen about the 1917 labor strike against Phelps Dodge, a copper mining company based in Bisbee, Arizona, a town seven miles from the Mexican border. The labor action was cut short when 2,000 strikebreakers and hastily deputized citizens rounded up 1,300 protesters, many of them members of the radical, Industrial Workers of the World, aka The Wobblies. In this process two strikers were killed. The strikers were taken across state lines by train and dumped in the New Mexico desert with a warning to never return. The event tore apart families and created divisions in Bisbee and the surrounding county that linger to this day. One of the most harrowing anecdotes recounted here finds a sheriff's deputy arresting his own brother, a striking union member, at gunpoint in his own home.

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