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

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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NYCHA Housing New York’s Flint - 28:52  

NYCHA Housing New York’s Flint:  While Tests Showed Children Living in NYCHA Apartments Were Being Poisoned by Lead, the de Blasio Administration’s Response was to Challenge the Tests
with

special guest, NY Times, investigative journalist, David Goodman


Mikaila Bonaparte has spent her entire life under the roof of the New York City Housing Authority, the oldest and largest public housing system in the country, where as a toddler she nibbled on paint chips that flaked to the floor.  In the summer of 2016, when she was not quite 3 years old, a test by her doctor showed she         had lead in her blood at levels rarely seen in modern New York. 

Two Thousand children living in New York City's public housing have been poisoned by lead in recent years, a shocking new report issued by the city's Department of Health reported showing how many kids younger than 18 were found with elevated levels of the toxic substance in their blood. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Meanwhile, the city’s response to NYCHA children whose ingestion of lead is toxic to many tissues and organs including the bones, heart, kidneys, intestines, and reproductive and nervous systems and the brain, which is the organ that is the most sensitive to lead exposure was to deny the evidence.  

While the mayor claimed at a Bronx press conference had he been presented along the way that these reports from the Department of Health that were being contested, “that would have been the day that we started the process of turning all that around.” In fact, he had mountains of evidence “presented” to him.  The Daily News, for example, wrote in April 2015 about the Housing Authority’s habit of contesting every positive lead test: When a 2-year-old who’d spent his whole life in a Brooklyn project tested positive, NYCHA performed a test and declared the apartment lead-free.  NYCHA contested 95 percent of the “positive” tests it received from the city Department of Health from 2010 to 2018.  As early as May 2016, e-mails obtained by The Post showed, NYCHA officials briefed top levels of City Hall that 202 children had tests showing elevated lead levels in 2010-2015. In April 2016, it was revealed that then-NYCHA chief Shola Olatoye had lied about conducting apartment inspections, which the agency had stopped from late 2012 through May 2016; de Blasio still insisted on defending her. Still new emails released by City Hall show that de Blasio apparently tried to hide the extent of the problem from the public.

Amidst these revelations, tenants are outraged. Danny Barber president of NYCHA’s citywide “Council of Presidents said, “He lied. He outright lied and if it was anybody else that lied they would be locked up and put into jail. We’re tired of it. The mayor should be held accountable.

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Mexico’s New President's Stands on Trade & Immigration = 28:28  

Mexico "will never be the piñata of any foreign government," AMLO has said. What we know of Mexico’s New President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador "AMLO" positions on the Renegotiated NAFTA Trade Agreement & Immigration 

with 
Laura Carlsen, the director of the Americas Policy Programme, Centre for International Policy; she is based in Mexico City.


Andrés Manuel López Obrador , commonly known by the acronym AMLO, took his seat as Mexico's new President on Saturday. However, it’s been four months since AMLO, won Mexico’s presidential election promising during his run to usher in a "fourth transformation" of Mexico giving us some insight into his relationship to the US on trade and immigration.

Migrants (including women, children, and families) have trekked across Mexico headed towards the US-Mexico border to apply for asylum in the United States. Many have walked over 3,000 km across Mexican territory with only their backpacks, their children, and their chants, fleeing violence and poverty at home. Since the migrants set off, president Trump has tweeted his opposition and threatened both Honduras and Guatemala with sanctions if they were to allow the caravan to cross their borders and has sent the military to the US-Mexican border. And recently the Mexican government responded by sending riot police to the border to prevent the migrants from crossing. The images of black-clad security forces using their shields against mothers and babies were shocking and disturbing. The visibility of the migrant caravan – aided in part by Trump’s tweets and statements – has forced a discussion on how undocumented migrants are treated in Mexico and what role the country would play in future. In fact, Mexico’s southern border has seen a steady increase in checkpoints, detention centres, and guards. At times, Mexico has been responsible for deporting more Central American migrants than the United States. However, we don’t expect AMLO to pay for Trump’s wall either - he did publish a book called "Oye, Trump" ("Listen Up, Trump") and he has condemned Trump’s plans to build a border wall

And, while U.S. relations didn’t count as a deciding factor for Mexican voters, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement "NAFTA" has been a dominant issue during the transition period resulting and has now resulted in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement "USMCA" which an AMLO team participated in negotiating and which Trump called the teamwork "fantastic." And while AMLO said he would work to tackle the poverty in Mexico, where an estimated 44 percent of Mexicans live below the poverty line and 7.6 percent in extreme poverty will the USMCA mean raising wages and create jobs in Mexico? Laura Carlsen will probe the terms of the replacement of NAFTA by the USMCA and discusse whether it represents a confrontation looming on the horizon, as it continues the same economics AMLO professes to oppose.
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CNN Bows to Israeli Lobby Firing Palestinian Advocate Marc Lamont Hill -28:59  

CNN Shamefully Bows to Right-Wing Mob in Firing of Analyst Marc Lamont Hill, After His UN Speech Calling for Equal Rights for Palestinians  
with
Ali Abunimah, Founder of The Electronic Intifada, whose books include One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, and The Battle for Justice in Palestine. He has been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years.
 

   "I called for a single democratic state where everyone votes.
    Jews, Muslims, Christians and everyone else deserve to live
    in peace and safety. And with self-determination. No one’s
    freedom should come at the expense of others."
Dr. Marc
    Lamont Hill

"This is precisely the message Israel and its lobby are most terrified of -- because it resonates with ordinary people. This is why they smear and defame people who call for justice and equality.”  Ali Abunimah wrote this after CNN abruptly fired Temple University professor, political commentator, and Black Lives activist Dr. Marc Lamont Hill after he was falsely smeared as anti-Semitic for his testimony at the United Nations, where he eloquently discussed Israeli apartheid, intersectionality between the Black and Palestinian freedom struggles, and a one-state solution of justice and equality for all people throughout historic Palestine.  

Wrote Abunimah: "The accusations against Marc Lamont Hill are outright lies promoted by high-level operatives of the Israel lobby in their latest effort to silence and punish anyone who dares speak out in support of Palestinian equality and freedom from Israel’s brutal regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.
They perfectly match the kind of smear and sabotage tactics revealed in the censored Al Jazeera documentary on the U.S. Israel lobby that was recently published in full by The Electronic Intifada."

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California Should Take OverCommercial Utility PG&E for Climate Justice - 29'  

How California’s Fire Weary Public by Taking Over the Commercial Utility Behemoth PG&E Could Cast a Vote for Climate Justice
with
Johanna Bozuwa is a Research Associate at the Democracy Collaborative which works to carry out a vision of a new economic system where shared ownership and control creates more equitable and inclusive outcomes, fosters ecological sustainability, and promotes flourishing democratic and community life.  Her  research focuses on energy democracy and the just transition away from the fossil fuel economy.


A long-awaited report of the federal government, notwithstanding the climate destructionist policies and practices of Trump, has delivered an unmistakable message on climate-fueled disasters: The effects of climate change, including deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes and heat waves, are already battering the United States, and the danger of more such catastrophes is worsening and poses a severe threat to Americans' health and pocketbooks, as well as to the country’s infrastructure and natural resources. However the report avoids policy recommendations despite its sense of urgency and alarm. 

Now, amidst the potential bankruptcy of the California utility PG&E, whose negligence is believed to have played a role in California’s most recent devastating fire, along with three other wildfires across the state in 2017, there is an opportunity for the public to take control of the state’s energy destiny.  California’s takeover could serve as a model for other states fed up with the predatory practices of investor-owned utilities and jumpstart a wider shift across the country toward democratically controlled renewable energy.


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Amazon HQ2 Plan To Turn NY's Long Island City Into a Company Town - 28'  

Queens Residents Are Outraged Over Amazon HQ2 Plan To Turn LIC Into a Company Town
with
Maritza Silva-Farrell is Executive Director of ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York)
and
Greg LeRoy is executive director for Good Jobs First and is quoted in the New York Times recently as saying “as we documented in a study last April, the Crystal City and Long Island City subsidy offers are among the many HQ2 bids that remain completely hidden. Citizens have no idea what their elected officials have promised to a company headed by the richest person on earth.


Community organizations representing more than 200,000 members across New York City and State are concerned that NY is rolling out the red carpet for Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.  Why are the Mayor and Governor handing the keys to the city to Amazon, whose market value, which surpassed Microsoft's in February 2018, making Amazon the world's third most valuable company?  Bezos holds 78.9 million shares of Amazon stock. He is now the richest man of all time, with an estimated net worth of $105 billion dollars. 

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Rev. Barber - The Struggle for Voting Rights & the Poor People’s Campaign - 28:58  

Conversations in Black Freedom Studies: The Struggle for Voting Rights & the Poor People’s Campaign
with
Rev. William Barber, a passionate preacher, anti-poverty activist, and civil rights leader. Barber has emerged as perhaps the most important figure in progressive U.S. Christianity. Prof. Cornel West, in a blurb for Barber's book The Third Reconstruction, said he was "the closest person we have to Martin Luther King, Jr. in our midst."



In 1968 Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King championed the Poor People’s Campaign to unite people of all backgrounds against oppressive government policies. Today, Rev. William Barber is leading a modern resurgence of the effort, challenging racism, voter suppression, poverty, militarism, and environmental devastation issues that continue to be at stake in the 2018 midterm elections. 

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#MeToo: McDonald’s Workers Strike to End Sexual Harassment - 28:57  

"Fight for $15 " Embraces #MeToo Movement in Striking McDonald’s  
with
Annelise Orleck, Professor of History, Dartmouth College and author of  “WE ARE ALL FAST-FOOD WORKERS NOW: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages"                                    


Emboldened by the #MeToo movement, McDonald’s workers staged a one-day strike at restaurants in 10 cities to pressure management to take stronger steps against sexual harassment in the workplace. Organizers say it was the first multistate strike in the U.S. specifically targeting sexual harassment. Orleck will analyze the significance of this development in the context of the #MeToo movement, women’s labor history, and the growing activism and unionism of low wage women workers in the U.S. and around the world

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Kavanaugh's Anti-Labor Track Record -26:58  

Kavanaugh's Anti-Labor Track Record
with
Sharon Block,  Executive Director of Harvard's Labor and Worklife Program

The AFL-CIO’s President, Richard Trumka described Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh for his second pick to the Supreme Ct. as having a “dangerous track record protecting the privileges of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of working people.”  The Service Employees International Union, one of the country’s largest just tweeted that “confirming Kavanaugh would tip the scales of justice against working people.” To ready us for the battle at hand Sharon Block, Executive Director of Harvard's Labor and Worklife Program makes the case that Kavanaugh’s record reflects a sustained and, at times, aggressive hostility to the role of the law in protecting the vulnerable and less powerful.

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Supporting Immigrant Labor, Fighting For Their Rights - 27'  

Supporting Immigrant Labor, Fighting For Their Rights
with

Pablo Alvarado, executive director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
and

Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Center and founding president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance


Whether immigrants workers, documented or undocumented seek to hold crooked and exploitative bosses accountable for wage theft, and pay that is below the prevailing wage or  work just too many hours for too little pay and benefits and are subject to abusive treatment to their personage, such as sexual harassment or want the freedom to push for decent jobs and organize unions without risking arrest, they deserve legal protections.  Now with Trump threatening to bring a reign of lawlessness to American cities, the most precarious workers are subjected to more militarized and extensive workplace raids, mass arrests, family separation and expedited deportations.  

Then there is the all-too-familiar story of scape-goating immigrant workers and deliberately pitting them against American workers as big corporations cut wages as they seek to reap bigger profits. They replace one set of workers with another—from other regions or other countries—or by automating work. Meanwhile, CEO pay and bonuses continue to rise while workers’ wages fall. When you are scrambling to find work or getting beat out for a job by someone willing to work for less, there’s an allure to an anti-immigrant stance. But taking that bait doesn’t get us very far.

The issue may not come up in contract talks, but a safe, fair workplace regardless of immigration status is key to social inclusion, promoting economic fairness, and helping communities exercise the rights they do have—especially those without a say in who gets elected to office.

Migrants seeking asylum and immigrant workers aren’t pulling the strings of our rigged economy. Those making the decisions that cause economic hardship can more likely be found at Mar-a-Lago, not at the border. If we don’t focus on holding the ultra-rich and greedy corporations accountable, workers will continue losing. All the raids in the world will not help native-born and documented workers with job security.

This false notion that we are in competition with immigrants limits our ability to see each other, even when the collateral damage is children. At this moment, wealthy corporations and billionaires, not immigrant children and their parents, are sacrificing workers for profits. We should see this as a warning. When people are so dehumanized that forcing kids to sleep in kennels becomes acceptable, the value of life for everyone goes down.   Instead of scapegoating children, mothers and fathers, we should reconnect with our humanity and demand change from the true source of our hardship: an out-of-control corporate class. Let’s be clear: We have found the culprit, and it’s not our fellow workers and certainly not children.

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Delegation Supports Central American Migrants & TPS Holders - 27:44  

Delegation Builds Legal, Legislative Supports for Central American Migrants and TPS Holders 
with
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, who is driving the landmark Centro Presente vs. Trump lawsuit challenging the termination of TPS



A high-profile delegation of federal and local elected officials, immigrant advocates, and legal experts just completed their travel to Honduras and El Salvador to bolster ongoing fact-finding efforts to build legal defense and legislative supports for  Central American asylum seekers and migrants, including Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, in the US.  Delegation participants toured San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, and San Salvador, cities wracked by escalating violence, poverty, and impunity that has driven unprecedented levels of migration from Central America since the 1980s. Iván Espinoza-Madrigal will talk about the delegation’s findings and raise awareness of the conditions driving migration from the region—and the negative consequences that await an estimated 250,000 TPS holders.

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The Supreme Court Doesn't Have to Overturn Roe to Decimate Abortion Rights - 28:59  

The Supreme Court Doesn't Have to Overturn Roe to Decimate
Abortion Rights
with

Talcott Camp, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project


Now that President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, it will be up to the Senate to fully vet him so that the American people can determine whether he will uphold the basic civil rights and liberties relied on by everyone in this country. This is particularly true when it comes to abortion rights, where Kavanaugh’s prior opinions on the subject, coupled with the fact that Donald Trump vowed to only
nominate justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, give rise to serious concern about women’s continued ability to access abortion if Kavanaugh is confirmed. A new Supreme Court Justice could effectively decimate women’s access to abortion, even without overturning Roe outright. Overturning Roe would be catastrophic, but it is not the only scenario in which politicians would be able to
shut down abortion care. The court can give them back the power to do so by simply upholding whatever obstacles they throw in a woman’s path.


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Right Takes Over Supreme Court: Democracy in Chains - 28:03  

Right Wing Takeover of the Supreme Court: Democracy in Chains: the Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America
with
Nancy MacLean, Author and Professor, History & Public Policy at Duke University


The Janus Supreme Court decision in June and our current struggle over Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court vacancy, are only the most recent manifestations of the Right’s decades long game plan to not only unravel the New Deal of the 1930's and the civil rights revolution of the 1960' but beyond that to establish property rights over democratic rights as the basis for our government..

Prof. MacLean traces this counter revolution's 60 year plan to eliminate unions, suppress voting rights, privatize public education, and stop action on climate change.  Their agenda is not just to alter specific legislation or court decisions or who gets elected but to fundamentally  alter the rules of democratic governance by voter suppression and gerrymandering along with instituting Constitutional and judicial changes.

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. Billionaires launched this movement with the aid of an academic and intellectual elite. And leading this charge was multi-billionaire Charles Koch and Professor James McGill Buchanan who forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the Southern white elite’s power.

Prof. Buchanan and Charles Koch developed a diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. Now their strategy is bearing a poisonous fruit. which we must understand to effectively fight back. 


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"Killing Gaza” - 28:58  

"Killing Gaza”
with
Max Blumenthal, director and writer of the new film “Killing Gaza”, senior 
editor of the Grayzone Project at AlterNet, and award-winning author of "Goliath, Republican Gomorrah,

and the 51 Day War"
and
Dan Cohen, journalist, cinematographer and editor of “Killing Gaza”  

On May 14th the Israeli military slaughtered at least 60 unarmed Palestinians and wounded 2,700, of whom 200 were children, as some 60,000 massed at Gaza's enclosure fence demanding their Right to Return to their homelands. But this isn’t the first time Israel has murdered unarmed Gazan civilians.  Independent journalists Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen, in a film just released to coincide with the Nakba, the Arabic word for “catastrophe”, which commemorates the 1948 war that uprooted 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, creating a refugee crisis that is
still not resolved talk about documenting Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza beginning with the 2014 aerial bombings of what is oftentimes described as the largest open-air prison in the world.  

Blumenthal and Cohen talk about chronicling the “Killing of Gaza”, beginning in 
2014 and give us the context for and sadly recount their expectation of this latest murderous attack on Palestinians by Israel supported by US tax dollars. They give us a chilling accounts of war crimes committed by the Israeli military, and recount
the experiences of the survivors just days after escaping indiscriminate shelling, bombings and summary executions.  They talk about walking through the rubble of Gaza’s devastated landscape and their discussions with the survivors of the slaughter who offer them their testimony of the war crimes they experienced, which they long for the world to recognize and prosecute their torturers.  

Our documentarians, talk about their recordation of the daily struggles of the 
people of Gaza, as they endure, freezing winters, where babies freeze and sweltering summers without shelter.  While Blumenthal and Cohen give voice to the pain of a people under constant siege, they also give voice to the Gazans’ acts of creative resistance and their reaffirmation of life by artistic expression
with the brush, and through literary works to youth’s break-dancing and rapping their resilience, their potential and resolve to break the occupation.  Blumenthal and Cohen explain that the people of Gaza collectively will continue to channel their pain, their anger and energy to the maintenance of their history, the preservation of their culture and the reclamation of their land and for a free, free
Palestinian. 

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The South African Revolution Continues Parts 1 and 2  

The South African Revolution Continues: First dismantling the Racialist State and Now Dismantling the Capitalist State that Fostered Apartheid 
featuring in a two-part exclusive an expanded conversation with Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of SAFTU, the South African Federation of Trade
Unions.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (“SAFTU”) is the voice of the workers in the struggle for a socialist society. It was formed by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, the largest union in South Africa, with more than 350,000 workers and numerous other unions, as an alternative to the Coalition of
South African Trade Unions, which has capitulated to state capital, including defending the South African government's role in the Marikana massacre of 34 striking miners in August 2012.  Cyril Ramaphosa who is currently the President of South Africa was a member of the Board of Lonmin plc, formerly the mining division of Lonrho plc, a British producer of platinum group metals operating in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa, which owns the Marikana mine.

We asked SAFTU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi about the history of the 
South African freedom struggle which overthrew apartheid, but left in place the capitalist economic system, which has continued the exploitation of the working class and fostered mass economic inequality, and whose corruption has been rife under each of the successors to President Mandela.  Vavi talks about these issues and how the now Ramaphosa administration new developments are reaching a crisis: mass unemployment; heightened inequality; and new proposals restricting the rights of unions; and proposals that would gut minimum wages.  He also relates the upsurge amongst the masses, with youth in the

forefront of the protests was led to the general strike in April. 

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Building Bridges:Teachers Strike and Protest in Colorado and Arizona -  

Teachers Take the Lessons of the Classrooms to the Streets
from West Virginia to Arizona and now Colorado
with
.  Joselyn Palomino, Denver High School Teacher of Mexican-
   American Literature
.   Cat Berrett, English teacher at Phoenix Union High School District


The victorious wildcat strike in W. Virginia ushered in a new wave of teacher and state worker activism and strikes organized by the rank and file with their unions racing to catch up.  Teachers without bargaining rights in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona and where striking is illegal and their unions weak summoned their courage and walked off the job.  The most recent addition to this calvalcade of militancy is the Colorado teachers who with their union the Colorado Education Association shut down the statewide school
system for two days last week. At the same time Arizona teachers went on strike after weeks of militant demonstrations. . The strikes and mass protests often been led by the workers themselves forming new organizations often based on face book sites which host full-throttle conversations of what to do next such as Arizona’s face book group that organized the #RedForEd campaign and Kentucky’s KY120 United. They are fighting years of budget
cuts which translate into low wages and benefits and as importantly for these workers reduced school budgets meaning overcrowded classrooms, lacking basic supplies, updated books and educational materials. They are fighting for themselves and their students and have rejected deals to separate the issues.

Workers have been under brutal attack and unionization has been in decline for over 40 years. The employer offensive against unions has included all-out war against militant action and especially strikes. Yet it has only been in the periods of struggle and strikes for the private sector in the 1930’s and late 40’s and the public sector in the 1960’s that unions have grown and workers prospered. Now
the West Virginia workers have sparked workers across the land to embrace their rekindled militancy. 

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Huge Tragedy:Tennessee Workplace ICE Raid = 27:16  

Morristown, Tennessee subjected to the largest workplace raid by immigration authorities in over a decade.
with
Camila Fyler, Integration Director, The Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition who has been stationed in Morristown since the raid to help coordinate financial Assistance to the families and secure legal representation for immigrant detainees.
and
Beatrice who has experienced the loss of many of her family member in the raids.in which hundreds of families have been impacted


Federal agents, with the assistance of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, stormed into Southeastern Provision, a meat-processing plant in Bean Station, TN. As helicopters circled above the factory and agents blocked doors, around 100 workers were rounded up and filed into buses without any opportunity to explain who they were, how long they had been there, or whether they were subject to federal immigration law at all. 54 community members living in East Tennessee for decades, some of whom had devoted over ten years of labor to that factory, were shipped out of the state without even a chance to say goodbye to their spouses and children. Their families were told nothing, and were left to wonder what had happened to loved ones who never came home.

This is a humanitarian crisis.  At least 160 children are missing a parent, nearly 600 students in a single school district have stayed home out of fear, and participation in the economy and community has been chilled.  Hundreds of
families whose lives have been torn apart.

It's hard to imagine another kind of crisis that would cause 5% of the district's children to stay home that wouldn't trigger some kind of intervention or at least public response.  We’ll talk with the people in Morristown and its surrounding
communities about the human costs of this unconscionable abuse of power on the children devastated by this assault on their families, and on the  thousands who are rightly afraid to go to work, take their kids to school, or even leave their
homes. The disaster stemming from the recent immigration raid continues to unfold. But, we know from similar raids in previous decades that the impact on children's health, on the school system, and on the local economy can last for
years to come.  This is no time for silence! 


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International Labor Offensive to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal - 28:56  

A coalition for an “International Labor Offensive to Free
Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Political Prisoners” is gaining momentum.

with
Jacky Hortaut, union organizer, member of the CGT in France; an
American studies Professor in Tours and Clermont-Ferrand
Universities and author of a book about women in prison dedicated to
the “Move” sisters and chair of Collectif Libérons Mumia, and organizer
of a local chapter of Just Justice Tours Le Collectif, which represents
roughly 10 cities, unions, human rights associations, and political
parties in France.

and
Dr. Claude Gillaumaud Pujot, a professor in France who wrote the
2007 Abu-Jamal biography, “A Free Man on Death Row”, who says
“Mumia is an example to all of us because he remains an activist even
after spending 30-plus years in hell.”  
 

A call for freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners is picking
up steam, with solidarity actions on his status hearing on in Philadelphia,
plus a court hearing on April 30, which could eventually lead to his freedom.
After years of global community meetings, protests, petitions and legal
challenges, the people’s movement succeeded in taking Mumia off death
row in 2011 and elevating Mumia to internationally recognized stature. 

Mumia now has name recognition rivaling top-tier athletes and entertainers and
is considered a hero to all people seeking liberation - having inspired millions
around the world, from Berlin to Brazil, Georgia to Ghana, who rally regularly on
his behalf demanding he receive release or a new trial.  In France Mumia is
considered a freedom fighter because of his advocacy for the oppressed
everywhere.  Mumia is the “voice of the voiceless,” who chronicles the legacies
of people’s struggles worldwide and one of the greatest threats to U.S.
imperialism is the uprising of “young Mumias” from the streets of Philadelphia
to the streets of Paris. We’ll talk with French activists about their understanding
and concerns that our courts in rejecting all challenges to evidence of Mumia’s
guilt have fueled questions worldwide about the fundamental fairness about the
U.S. court system and demand that the freedom fighter Mumia, advocate for the
oppressed everywhere be released or receive a new trial.

Twenty-five French cities have made Mumia Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen
including Paris and two streets have been named after him in Saint Denis and
Bobigny. And, one-hundred and twenty European representatives have
mobilized for medical care for the now ailing Mumia, as he approaches his
64th  birthday.  Mumia has wrongly spent more than half his life in prison, most
of which time was on death row and in solitary confinement, before the Supreme
Court held that application of the death penalty to Mumia was unconstitutional
and instead shackled him with a life-sentence for a crime, the killing of a police
officer that he did not commit.  


Download or listen to this  28:55 minute program

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Women Farm Workers Protest Wendy's Sexual Violence in the Fields - 58:59  

Farm Workers fast and march in their "Boot the Braids" campaign against fast-food giant Wendy's to stop sexual violence in the fields
with
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers and allies
 


For years, farmworkers with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and their allies have called on Wendy’s to join all of its major competitors in the Fair Food Program, a uniquely successful approach to eliminating human rights abuses in the agricultural industry. Instead of joining the Program, Wendy’s has taken its
tomato purchases to Mexico, where workers continue to confront wage theft, gender-based violence, child labor, and even slavery without access to protections.  Now tens of thousands strong, and endorsed by over a hundred organizations the CIW is asking you to join a boycott against Wendy's, until it does the right thing.

The struggle against poverty and for freedom must be led from the ground up, and the farmworkers of the CIW have been some of our bravest leaders these many years.Building Bridges brings you voices of the shero farm workers who have been Fasting for Freedom because they believe we need a fundamental shift in our nation’s moral narrative which places the lives of workers and the
dispossessed at the center.  The CIW’s Fair Food Program has given workers a real voice in the decisions that affect their lives.  And, with that voice they are transforming the agricultural industry where they work – eliminating slavery, violence, and sexual harassment in fields — where these abuses have persisted for generations. But, the fast food giant Wendy’s has refused to
support the Fair Food Program — and worse yet, it abandons growers who are doing the right thing to instead buy from an industry in Mexico — where they know sexual assault to slavery continue to thrive with impunity — is the very definition of amoral and unacceptable.”
**************************
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Oscar López Rivera on U.S. Colonialism After Hurricane Maria - 28:03  

Oscar López Rivera on U.S. Colonialism After Hurricane Maria

Oscar López Rivera has been called the Nelson Mandela of Puerto Rico. Indeed, like the South African legend, Rivera was imprisoned for his anti-colonial activism and spent decades in prison. But in January 2017, after serving 35 years of his 70-year sentence, President Barack Obama, as one of his last acts in office,
commuted Rivera’s sentence. In May 2017 Oscar López Rivera was a free man.

Oscar López Rivera has become a symbol of resistance to people the world over and became one of the longest serving political prisoners in the world. Among those who spoke out for his release were Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Francis, Senator Bernie Sanders, playwright Lin Manuel Miranda and others. Organizers of the 2017 National Puerto Rican Day Parade designated him as
the National Freedom Hero.  Recently Lopez Rivera sat down with Building Bridges’ Mimi Rosenberg, to discuss his frustration and anger with the American government, detailing how Puerto Ricans have been treated since the Caribbean island became an unincorporated territory of the United States in 1898. He
lamented that Puerto Ricans “are still a colonized people 120 years later,” Lopez Rivera said, “Puerto Ricans didn’t ask for citizenship; we didn’t want it. Since being colonized, Puerto Ricans haven’t been treated as humans; we have been marginalized, exploited and used by the United States who wanted our sugar cane and to create military bases.”  Lopez Rivera said there are two things he knows how to do best- struggle and work. He stated multiple times that he has never advocated any form of violence and this “fight for independence” must be an act of love. “People who love freedom and justice should care about Puerto Rico,” Lopez Rivera emphasized. “We have the potential to be a free nation, but it’s up to us. We will struggle and do what needs to be done.”  Lopez Rivera also spoke at length about Hurricane Maria and the humanitarian crisis taking place. Although it struck September 20, 2017, there are still more than 400,000 people without power. More than 550 residents were killed, and others are still missing. Maria is considered the worst natural disaster to ever strike the area.

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Did the "Two Sate Solution" Ever Mean More Than Israel Ruling Over a Palestinian Bantustan? -28:02  

The ‘two-state solution - did it ever mean more than an expanding colonial state, Israel ruling over a Palestinian Bantustan?
with

Jeff Halper Coordinator of the Israeli Committee against House
Demolitions and author of War Against the People: Israel, the
Palestinians and Global Pacification 



Jeff Halper provides a powerful indictment of the Israeli state’s “securocratic” war in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, drawing on firsthand research to show the pernicious effects of the sub-liminal form of unending warfare that was conducted by Israel, an approach that relies on sustaining fear among the populace, fear that is stoked by suggestions that the enemy is inside the city limits, leaving no place truly safe & justifying intensification of military action and militarization in everyday life. Halper shows, the integration of militarized systems—including databases tracking civilian activity, automated targeting systems, unmanned drones, and more—becomes seamless with everyday life. The Occupied Territories, Halper argues, is a veritable laboratory for that approach.  Halper goes on to show how this method of war is rapidly globalizing, as the major capitalist powers and corporations transform militaries, security agencies, and police forces into an effective instrument of global pacification.  


Halper is a supporter of the Boycott Divestment and Sanction Movement and the academic boycott of Israel, and considers Israel to be guilty of “apartheid” and of a deliberate campaign to “judaize” the occupied Palestinian territories.  He critiques the political and territorial viability of a ‘two-state solution’ and raises the mainly nonviolent strategies to solve the Israeli-Palestinian within one state.


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