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

Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre - 28:59  

“Our Time Is Now! Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!”
with
members of El Frente Independentista Boricua, former political prisoners Oscar López Rivera, and Alicia & Lucy Rodriquez


In accordance with the Puerto Rico crisis, El Frente and affiliated organizations called for the dismantling of the corrupt government in Puerto Rico and the start of the decolonization process in the island.  Chanting, our time is NOW!  QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE! Hundreds marched to the United Nations to ask the United Nations to invoke United Nations Resolution 1514(XV) and initiate the self-determination decolonization process to achieve Puerto Rican Independence!

The group says they don’t believe in the “statehood” solution to Puerto Rico. Instead, they favor cancellation of the over $70 billion dollar national debt, reparations, and total sovereignty from the United States.  Puerto Rico is an archipelago in the Caribbean, has been an unincorporated territory of the United States since 1898. Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917.  For the activists in the march, the route to the island’s decolonization is through independence.  “We need to cut the ties of colonialism so that the people in Puerto Rico can make decisions about their land and make decisions to change the dynamic said one protestor.” For Puerto Rican nationalist and former political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who served almost 36 years in prison the rally posed an opportunity to demonstrate the support for Puerto Rico’s independence within the mainland. “Puerto Rico is the promised land for every Boricua born here, but who feels they belong there (in Puerto Rico),” “We have to be very clear that the purpose of being here today is that we begin to have solidarity between the Puerto Ricans who are here and the Puerto Ricans who are there. The support that is given to Puerto Rico here means a lot.”


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Striking Auto Workers Need and Deserve to Win Big! - 27:38  

Striking Auto Workers Need and Deserve to Win Big!
with
JR Baker, President of Power Train Engine UAW Local 774 in Tonawanda, NY
and
Mike Elk, Senior Labor Reporter and founder of Payday Report
and
Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California

Anyone who understands the need for the United States to reduce its stratospheric levels of economic inequality and to give its workers a boost into the middle class has to be rooting for the United Auto Workers (UAW) members on strike now at General Motors (GM).  The UAW union members organized a strike against GM in an effort to improve wages, reopen idled plants, add jobs and narrow the pay difference between new hires and veteran workers.  Meanwhile GM is pushing its employees to pay a greater portion of their health care costs, and to increase work force productivity and flexibility in factories.

“Striking autoworker President JR Baker said “striking is uplifting because we’re making a stand. We’re not accepting concessions from a company posting billions of dollars of profit. And because we’re all together, there’s safety in numbers. We’re standing up for ourselves in solidarity.”  The UAW union went on strike at G.M., sending nearly 50,000 members at factories across the Midwest and the South to picket lines. Strikers are hoping to make up ground lost since the UAW agreed to two-tier wages in 2007, followed by the Great Recession and the auto bailout, when GM got $50 billion from the taxpayers and even more concessions.  There are also 550 janitorial workers that do sanitation and 'non-strategic' facility work on site that are on strike as well, who haven’t seen a raise in years.  These workers top out at $15.18 an hour and are UAW members within the same local.  GM has hired third-party companies to come in and do sanitation and facility work, so there are now scabs at the work sites as well.The auto industry remains crucial to the economy, counting some 220,000 people who work to manufacture cars. According to the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers, the broader vehicle industry supports 9.9 million jobs and historically accounts for about 3 percent of gross domestic product, so you’d better bet that a win, indeed a big win for the UAW would be a shot of adrenelin for the union movement and it’s up to us to get on board that union train standing in Solidarity Forever! 


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Youth Strike for Climate Justice - 28:59  

Youth Strike for Climate Justice

Four million protesters around the globe, led by youth, declared the time has come for action on climate change. Two hundred and fifty thousand marched and rallied in New York and we’re Building Bridges to those exuberant youth activists who led the way, and we all—young and old and everywhere in between—followed. We’re building bridges and fighting alongside the student leaders of the US Youth Climate Strike, the organizers of the Sunrise Movement, and other climate-focused groups to push the climate crisis into the center of the 2020 debate and propel the bold vision of a Green New Deal in Congress and across the country.  Friday, Sept 20th  was incredible—a vision of people power around the world—and we’ll bring you the highlights from the rally stage and from the throngs who took to the streets – nay took over the streets to leave you as inspired as it left us, and we’re betting as a result you’ll be ready to do more.

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Putting the Movement Back into the Union Movement - 28:42  

Putting the Movement Back into the Union Movement
with
Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants who denounced Trump’s government shutdown for endangering airline security and forcing workers to labor without pay and told her fellow labor leaders, “to end this shutdown with a general strike!” she became America’s Most Powerful Flight Attendant and a rising star of the labor movement.
and
Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, President of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), New York's largest nurses' union which has become known for their support of Medicare for All. They’ve taken their service-oriented union work and further extended it for community needs.
and

Bianca Cunningham a staff writer and organizer at Labor Notes Magazine who got her start in the labor movement as a Verizon retail worker—she was a leader in the 2014 drive that won a union at seven stores, breaking into wireless retail for the first time in company history. Those workers went on to win their first union contract when they joined landline workers in the 2016 Verizon strike.

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All about 'Medicare for All' and Can it Provide Universal Access to Health Care! - 28:45  

All about ‘Medicare for All’ and Can it Provide Universal Access to Health Care!
with
Donald E. Moore, MD, is a primary care physician and is on the Board of Directors of the NY Metro Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Care Plan
and
Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, President of the NYS Nurses Association
and
Steffie Woolhandler, MD, is a primary care physician, professor of public health and health policy at Hunter College, and clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Secretary of the Physicians for a National Health Care Plan
 

Today, more than 30 million Americans still don’t have health insurance and even more are underinsured. Even for those with insurance, costs are so high that medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Incredibly, we spend significantly far more of our national GDP on this inadequate health care system per person than any other major country. And despite doing so, Americans have worse health outcomes and a higher infant mortality rate than countries that spend much less on health care.

Because “Medicare for All” or what has also been referred to as single-payer system is so much in the news, we’re bringing you a live explainer with our experts.

They’ll discuss the current Medicare program.  And what about coverage for long-term care expenses and  coverage of hearing, dental, vision or foot care?  And what’s wrong with expanding ObamaCare – wouldn’t that be easier than passing Medicare-for-All? 
.
We’ll clear up the often-confusing Medicare for All debate, including its history, prospects and terminology.  Medicare for All is a rallying cry for progressives, but even when the Democratic presidential candidates claim to support it there are shades of difference such as the role of Medicare Advantage programs, and the nuances matter – our experts will help unravel the differences.

Some use the term Medicare for All to mean a much less drastic change to the U.S. health care system, such as a “public option” that would offer specific groups of people — perhaps those over age 50 or consumers purchasing coverage on the insurance marketplaces — the opportunity to buy into Medicare coverage

What about the plan offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in which the government would be in charge of paying for all health care — although doctors, hospitals and other health care providers would remain private. And what would happen to union negotiated health care plans?


So, is eliminating private insurance with a move to Medicare for All the answer?  How can be build a Medicare for All Plan? Is a Medicare for All Plan the solution for universal health care?  

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Labor is Raising the Roof in Nashville; Wayfair Workers Strike for Immigrants - 28:34  

Labor is Raising the Roof in Nashville
with
Chris Brooks, Staff Writer and Organizer with Labor Notes magazine
and
Odessa Kelly, Nashville Organized for Action and Hope and Co-Chair of Stand Up Nashville
and
Anne Barnett, Central Labor Council of Memphis and Co-Chair of Stand Up Nashville


As construction booms in Nashville, workers are finding the power to unionize in the otherwise non-union South. The city is growing, and developers are putting up new corporate headquarters, entertainment venues, and luxury hotels as fast as they possibly can. The Nashville skyline boasts more cranes than New York City.

Construction is intense. But the glitz and glamor of rapid development has produced more than huge profits for real-estate investors. It has also resulted in pain and poverty for construction workers and, correspondingly, an affordable-housing crisis for working-class families. Like many cities across the country, Nashville’s economic growth comes complete with full-throttle inequality.  But something else is happening on the ground as well: Craft labor unions, embracing innovative strategies, are starting to grow, and they’re hoping to turn the tables on corporate power. They’re using their power in a tight labor market and an increasingly progressive city to boost both membership and labor standards—the kinds of leverage not available to manufacturing unions that have tried and failed to unionize Southern factories.  The South, boasts the highest number of construction firms and the lowest density of workers in labor unions. 

And, heavily represented on the lowest rung of the labor ladder are Latino workers, many undocumented, who make up a significant and growing share of the workforce on Nashville construction sites. Their immigration status leaves them particularly vulnerable to employer abuses, since they are less likely to make waves by reporting issues to government officials.

However, while faced with these challenges, there is a new approach to organizing Latino workers in Nashville through worker centers like Alianza Laboral.  Like many worker centers, Alianza Laboral has focused on being a community resource, hosting cultural events and safety trainings and providing a space for workers to meet and discuss issues. Workers are recruited as “affiliate members” to the union, paying about half the normal rate for dues.   And, then there is Stand Up Nashville, a citywide community-labor coalition that is leading the charge for a more equitable city – working with union and non-union workers from numerous industries, along with community members and churches, they are  deploying creative organizing to rein in rising corporate profits that are exacerbating economic inequality and displacement.  They’ve petitioned, lobbied, spoken at council, talked with and mobilized their neighborhoods, and are hitting a point where people are starting to run for office.  There is power shifting in the city and we’ll find out more about how that’s happening and how Nashville’s construction trades workers are raising the roof against corporate greed

**************************************
Wayfair Workers Protest Furniture Sale to Detention Centers Caging Immigrant Children
with
April Glaser, reporter for Slate and co-host the podcast If Then

Employees at online home furnishings retailer Wayfair walked off the job to protest the company's decision to sell $200,000 worth of furniture to a government contractor that runs a detention center for migrant children in Texas.  The protest triggered a broader backlash against the company, with some customers calling for a boycott. Several hundred people joined the protest at a plaza near the company's Boston headquarters, a mix of employees and people from outside the company.
More than 500 employees at the company's Boston headquarters signed a protest letter to executives when they found out about the contract. Wayfair refused to back out of the contract.  "Last week, we found out about the sale and that we are profiting from this. And we are not comfortable with that," said Tom Brown, 33, a Wayfair engineer at the protest. "For me personally, there is more to life than profit."
The protest comes amid a new uproar over revelations of terrible conditions at a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, including inadequate food, lack of medical care, no soap, and older children trying to care for toddlers. Emotions were also running high one day after photos published by the Mexican newspaper La Jornada and distributed worldwide by the AP showed the bodies of a migrant father and his young daughter who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico to enter the United State.

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Finally N.Y. State's Farmworkers Prevail Over State's Harvest of Shame - 26:19  

Finally N.Y. State’s Farmworkers Prevail Over State’s Harvest of Shame 
with

Jessica Ramos, N.Y.S Senator,  Chair of Labor Committee
and

Jose Chapa,  Justice for Farmworkers Legislative Campaign Coordinator, Rural & Migrant Ministry 


We'll celebrate and the N.Y.S. Legislature’s passage of progressive bills, with gains in such diverse areas as tenants’ rights, drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants and yes finally labor rights for N.Y. farmworkers.  Advocates for farmworkers have been engaged in a decades-long fight for basic labor and human rights for farm workers since they were exempted from a 1938 federal labor reform law – relegating them to a habitual harvest of shame, and deprivation.  

"Today we are correcting a historic injustice, a remnant of Jim Crow era laws, to affirm that those farmworkers must be granted rights just as any other worker in New York,” said Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens).  Under the new Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act farmworkers  will now have the right to unionize and overtime pay as well as the guarantee of at least one day off per week.  Under the new legislation,  farmworkers are also eligible for unemployment insurance, paid family leave and workers’ compensation benefits. 


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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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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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