Building Bridges Radio: Your Community & Labor Report

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


WORKERS OF THE WORLD TUNE IN! Introducing "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report"

Our beat is the labor front, broadly defined, both geographically and conceptually. We examine the world of work and workers on the job as well as where they live. We examine the issues that affect their everyday lives, with a particular sensitivity towards human rights abuses, environmental concerns and the U.S. drive for global domination. We record their global struggles and provide analysis of their efforts to empower themselves and transform society to provide greater democratic, human, social, political and economic rights. Each program consists of feature stories, generally interviews, within a historical context, often accompanied by sound from demonstrations, rallies or conferences, and complemented and enhanced by poetry and instrumental or vocal -- people's culture.

Over the years Building Bridges has produced a weekly one hour program, Mondays from 7-8 PM EST, covering local, national and international labor and community issues over radio WBAI-Pacifica 99.5 FM in New York. We also produce half hour version, Building Bridges National, which is distribtued to over 40 broadcast and internet radio stations.

For more information you can contact us at
In Struggle Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash

Dilma Rousseff on the Attack on Democracy and Human Rights in Brazil - 26:08  

Dilma Rousseff Discusses the Attack on Democracy
and Human Rights in Brazil

The parliamentary coup that forced President Dilma Rousseff out of power has resulted in mass opposition to the interim government of  Michael Temer, who has known throughout Brazil as a golpista.  The  international community will need to pay attention, and we will need solidarity with U.S. organizations like the Committee to Defend Democracy in Brazil formed in February 2016 by artists, scholars, representatives of human rights movements, women’s groups, political parties, activists of environmental movements, and sectors of health services, among many others, whose aim is to support initiatives that defend the rule of law and democracy in
Brazil. Listen to President Rousseff as she spoke before a standing
room only audience of labor activists in NY, as she decried the
impeachment proceedings as a betrayal and an injustice and how her government was the target of nonstop sabotage.  Rousseff said. "The objective was to stop her from governing and therefore allow an environment inviting the coup." Before the cheering audience President Rousseff talked about the opposing forces engulfing the media and sectors of the legislative, judiciary and executive powers, as well as a part of the Brazilian elite, who worked to destabilize the sovereignty of the people and of the Brazilian Constitution. She further insisted that only respect for the laws of the democratic State brought about by the popular vote would bring stability and prosperity to the people of Brazil, contributing to the real fight against widespread corruption and the obstruction of public policies as they are necessary to national and international growth.  

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Fighting the Debt Crisis in Puerto Rico - 26:08  

Fighting the Debt Crisis in Puerto Rico

Antonio Carmona Reis, social science professor at the University of Puerto Rico, and a militant with the Association of University Professors and a pro-independence activist.

Puerto Rico has a poverty rate approaching 50 percent, and a public debt that amounts to over $20,000 dollars per inhabitant.  With its poverty rate, more than double that of the United States’ poorest state Mississippi Puerto Rico had serious long-term economic problems that, like its current massive public debt, have been historically papered over.  Most of the media attention on Puerto Rico’s debt has focused on technical issues relating to the solvency of municipal bonds and austerity measures. Ignored is the history of how U.S. policies have resulted in more than three and a half million Puerto Ricans being affected by its colonial status.
The bottom line is that Puerto Rico is the United States’ colony, that it decided to take by force 117 years ago, and has since treated like a resented orphan it has consistently undernourished politically and economically.  Puerto Rico’s current fiscal crisis is, in this sense, really a crisis of American colonial policies.    

Meanwhile amidst the poverty and debt, the hedge fund vultures and 
Wall Street banks and lawyers are circling Puerto Rico.  They, are, sensing a fiscal death spiral they can feed off and care little about the consequences for millions of residents as they manipulate a financial system devoid of any social conscience.  The board appointed to oversee Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring is turning the island’s recession into a depression, of a magnitude seldom seen around the world.  Unemployment, already at 12.4 percent, is soaring. The plan, which puts the creditors’ interests above those of the island’s economy and people, has created a debt/death spiral and growing resistance to it by Puerto Ricans who are suffering under its yoke. 

to download or play stream go to

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Angela Davis on Trump - Trying to Make America White Again - 29'  

Angela Davis on Trump -
Trying to Make America White Again

Socialist, iconic scholar, and activist Angela Davis takes on Trump in this stirring call for protest linking his victory to America’s history of racism and capitalism. She builds bridges between  numerous issues and ongoing movements for social change starting with support for Native Americans, black lives matter, ending mass incarceration and the death penalty, feminism, labor, immigration and the environment. She calls for a robust reaction not organized by the elite but based on community and workplace activism to fight not only Trump but also a system built on racism and the
capitalism. And she notes that Clinton’s enthusiasm even among women was at best tepid because she adhered to a bourgeois or middle class feminism that played down the needs of working class and women of color

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

:Trumpcare Defeated - Obamacare or Medicare for All - 26:35  

Insurance coverage losses under the proposed American Health
Care Act replacement were a matter of life and death and how the defeat of Trumpcare can open the door to HEALTH CARE FOR ALL!
.  Deborah Burger, Co-President, National Nurses United and RN
.  Dr. Donald E. Moore, Physicians for a National Health Program, N.Y. Metro Chapter, and MD, MPH

As the Republicans pushed forward their abysmal replacement, the
American Heath Care  Act, much of the talk surrounding its impact
focused on insurance numbers and premium hikes. Those things are
certainly important.But this is more important: The Republican plan
would have caused unnecessary suffering and preventable death.
We’ll discuss how we know this, and how our great victory in
defeating Trumpcare opens the opportunity for the American public
to seize the time for HEALTHCARE FOR ALL, with a Single Payer System/Medicare for All!

to stream or download   l  

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Trump’s Continuing War on Immigrants - 28:33  

Trump’s Continuing War on Immigrants

Justin Flores , VP, Farm Labor Organizing Committee
Andrea Cristina Mercado, Campaign Director.
National Domestic Worker Alliance
Carlos Jimenez, Executive Director,
Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO

While a Federal Appeals Panel unanimously rejected President Trump’s bid to reinstate his ban on travel into the United States from seven largely Muslim nations, a related threat now to undocumented immigrants by one of Trump's prior Executive Orders on immigrants already in the U.S. is surfacing. Guadalupe García de Rayos , a 35-year-old mother of two, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Phoenix on February 9th and  deported to Mexico, a country she left 21 years ago, because she used a false social security card in Phoenix in 2008. Trump persists in the absurd claim that America will be safe and great again only after an assault on “bad dudes” and “criminal aliens,” like Guadalupe García de Rayos whom he has promised to arrest and remove by the millions. Building Bridges talks with three union organizers who believe that immigrant rights and labor rights are interrelated and that we must fight to defend the rights of undocumented and other immigrants.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Organizing Labor’s Left Pole - 26:50  

Organizing Labor’s Left Pole 
Chris Brooks, staff writer and organizer, 

"Labor Notes"

As their membership and resources have continued 
to dwindle the question is what are the positions of 
and what can organized labor do to advocate for 
its workers against the likely assaults by the 
Republican  juggernaut.  We’ll talk with Chris 
Brooks about whether organized labor shows 
signs of returning to class-struggle unionism — 
to a no-shortcuts approach to organizing that 
centers labor’s relevance and strength on the 
capacity of workers themselves to take collective 
action in day-to-day battles with management. 
An injury to one is an injury to all.  Chris Brooks 
argues that it’s only this approach, the tried-and-
true method of the “left pole” within the labor 
movement, that will allow for there to be 
renewed and a resurgent labor movement.

to download or stream 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Opal Tometi on the Black Lives Matter Movement Fighting Trump - 26:58  

Opal Tometi Speaks on the Black Lives Matter Movement

Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter is a dedicated activist working at the intersection of racial justice and immigrant rights for more than a decade, Opal Tometi was incensed by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin—and inspired to take action. Starting the Twitter hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, Tometi (with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors), prompted activism nationwide and introduced the banner under which this generation’s civil rights movement marches.  As the Executive Director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Tometi is also at the helm of the country’s leading Black organization for immigrant rights, steering initiatives which include the first Congressional briefing on Black immigrants.  Tometi reveals raw insights into the adversity inflicted by social injustice, anti-black bias and uninformed views on immigration, educating and inspiring audiences, like the thousands that she addressed recently in Brooklyn to organize and stand together to fight Trump and to transform society into a world where the lives and contributions of all individuals are recognized equally.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

STOP Betsy DeVos - Protect Public Education - 28:58  

Betsy DeVos Trump’s Nominee for Education 
Secretary is an Enemy of Public Schools
Carol Corbett Burris became Executive 

Director of the Network for Public Education 
Foundation in August 2015, after serving as 
principal of South Side High School in the 
Rockville Centre School District in NY since 
2000.  In 2010, she was named Educator of 
the Year by the School Administrators 
Association of NYS and in 2013, she was 
named SAANYS NYS High School Principal 
of the Year. Dr. Burris co-authored 
Detracking for Excellence and Equity and 
authored On the Same Track: How Schools 
Can Join the 21st Century Struggle against 
Re-segregation. .

DeVos has not taught or worked in public 

schools, or been a parent of public-school 
children, or  earned experience or expertise as 
leader, scholar, or teacher educator in public 
school districts. Yet to advance Trump’s call 
to deregulate and privatize, she would be ideal.

Through her family foundation (funded by the 
Amway fortune), and through her personal role 
on boards for such advocacy organizations as 
Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in 
Education, she has effectively leveraged her 
wealth to shape policy, including the expansion 
of school-choice and voucher programs, 
alongside the deregulation of charter schools. 
The research is clear: none of these 'reforms' 
will strengthen public education overall, and 
instead, have already proven to indirectly or 
even directly exacerbate inequities.

Public education should be treated as a 

centerpiece for strengthening any democratic 
nation, and what the U.S. needs now is not 
the heralding of silver bullets but instead the 
investment in systemic reforms that draw on
both a sound body of research and a 
compelling vision of the promises of public 
schools. The narrow and ill-informed vision 
and rhetoric put forth by Trump and DeVos 
take us in the wrong direction.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Rev. William Barber II Fighting for Justice and Against Poverty & Discrimination - 28:59  

In the Prophetic Tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Rev. William Barber II Talks About  the Fight for Justice and Against Poverty and Discrimination
Rev. William Barber II, a preacher who described himself as the son of a preacher, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., president of the North Carolina NAACP, a member of the organization's national board, chair of the NAACP's Legislative Political Action Committee and one of the primary organizers of Moral Mondays.

“We have witnessed the power of “moral fusion,” or organizing across racial lines …to build a coalition for progress in 21st-century America …The months and years ahead will not be easy, but right here in North Carolina we have seen a Moral Movement that can overcome Trump’s extremism. Join the Moral Movement…. Together, following the Second Reconstruction of the civil rights movement, we can look forward to a Third Reconstruction of racial justice and healing in America."

The Rev. William Barber, is one of the most important social justice leaders in the country today, who speaks in the moral tradition of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cornel West and who’ll talk to us about “The Moral Foundation of Worker Rights”. 

Rev. Barber has been prominent on the national stage calling for racial and economic justice: for immigration reform; against police brutality; and for $15 and a union.  He has been at the forefront of mighty rallies, marches and engaged in civil disobedience in his home state of North Carolina in the battle against homophobia, the suppression and
weakening of the African-American vote, attacks on Medicaid and reproductive rights and recently against the Republican’s efforts to legislate a coup that would strip the incoming Democratic Governor of political power.. 

play stream

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Clemency for Indigenous Activist Leonard Peltier - 28:40  

Forty Years of Imprisonment, Forty Years of Injustice
Attorneys Seek Clemency for Indigenous Activist Leonard Peltier

Attorneys for indigenous activist Leonard Peltier have submitted a formal application for executive clemency to the Office of the Pardon Attorney, at the U.S. Department of Justice.  An innocent man, Native American activist Leonard Peltier was wrongfully convicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1977 and has been imprisoned for over 40 years.

Attorneys Martin Garbus, who has written numerous briefs that have been submitted to the United States Supreme Court; a number of which have resulted in changes in the law on a nationwide basis; participated in  drafting several constitutions and foreign laws and been involved in prisoner exchange negotiations between governments and Cynthia Dunn, director of a nonprofit corporation that works with youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota subsequent to having worked for 28 years as an Assistant United States Attorney, where she prosecuted a broad variety of cases including public corruption and civil rights offenses make the case for clemency for Leonard Peltier 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Vegas Hotel Union Says Boycott Trump; Baja Farmworkers Fight Back - 26:53  

Unions to Trump: “Pay your hotel workers fair wages and recognize our union!”
Bethany Khan, Director of Communications,
Culinary Workers Union Local 226

As far as Nevada’s unions are concerned, hotel mogul-turned-Republican president elect Donald Trump should put his money where his mouth is, and pay his hotel’s workers in Las Vegas fair and living wages and recognize their union too.  The 500-plus workers, who seek to join Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 226, are battling Trump management over union recognition, wages and working conditions.  They say that hotel management is not only breaking labor law – including by verbal threats and physical assaults, but that they’re sure not following Trump’s campaign slogan
“Make America Great Again!”  So the hotel workers’ Geoconda Arguello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the 55,000 member union local, Nevada’s largest, said “Trump should start right here in Las Vegas with workers at his hotel. Many of them are immigrants who work hard to provide for their families. They deserve equal treatment and should be respected for their contributions to this city,” she added, “I came from Mexico many years ago and became an American citizen to have a better opportunity for me and my family.” Maria Jaramillo, a housekeeper at the Trump Las Vegas, told the union “This country is a nation of immigrants, and we all work hard and deserve to be treated fairly.”
Driscoll’s Harvest of Shame: the stories of the Farmworkers in San
Quintin (Mexico) and Skagit County (Washington State) and Why
They Say Boycott Driscoll Foods
. Al Rojas, a Founding Member of the United Farm Workers; current Pres. , Sacramento Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO)
. Eduardo Rosario, President, NYC Chapter, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement 

70,000 farmworkers in the Valley of San Quintin, Baja California (Mexico) have been waging intermittent strikes, organizing road blockades and mass mobilizations since March 2015 to demand an increase in their daily wage from $7.50 per day, an eight-hour workday, health care, overtime pay and vacation days, an end to the widespread sexual abuse, and, the legal recognition of their independent union— as the bargaining agent for these 70,000 workers.  These farmworkers pick strawberries, tomatoes, and other
fruit primarily for export to the United States under the label of Driscoll’s, through its Mexican subsidiary, BerryMex.

The workers describe conditions in San Quintin as rat-infested camps, some without functioning toilets, where they routinely having their wages illegally withheld, and face debt after being gouged by the overpricing of necessities sold at company stores, and with pay so low that it amounts to less than one-tenth of what U.S. based farmworkers earn.  And, how has the Baja California government responded to the farmworkers, they sent in police to quash the farmworkers’ protest, severely wounding 70 workers, many with rubber bullets shot at close range, leaving some of the workers
in critical condition.  There’s blood on Driscoll’s fruit and vegetables and the question is how we can support the farmworkers, who through their blood, sweat and tears put food on our tables.
To Download or listen to this 26:53 minute program,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Standing Rock Sioux Victory over DAPL - 28:54  

Standing Rock Sioux Victory over Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)
Jeffrey Haas, who has an extensive background in mass defense
from his days as a lawyer for Black Panthers and co-founder of the
People’s Law Office, a Chicago lawyers’ collective that rose up to
meet its historical moment—the defense of hundreds of Vietnam War
protesters in the aftermath of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Party
convention. The People’s Law Office would go on to challenge police
brutality and prisoner torture, achieving significant victories and key
vindications. Haas as well authored The Assassination of Fred
Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black

We’ll celebrate the victory of the denial of the easement for
installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers. 

Jeffrey Haas, civil rights attorney who joined the legal team at the
Standing Rock Camp in North Dakota, where Native Americans and
others have been protesting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline joins us
to talk about the momentous occurrence, and why the struggle isn’t over
and the ligation that remains over the violence perpetrated against the

The  pipeline demonstrators injured by rubber bullets, water cannons
and tear gas canisters during the wintry nighttime standoff with police two
weeks ago have filed a class-action lawsuit against the sheriff of the North
Dakota county involved. The suit describes in new detail the evening of
November.20, when more than 200 people protesting the Dakota Access
oil pipeline were injured by “less-than-lethal” weapons.  The lawsuit alleges
that sheriff’s deputies and police officers used excessive force when they
deployed impact munitions,like rubber bullets, as well as explosive tear
gas grenades and water cannons against protesters. It argues that the
tactics were retaliatory, punishing those involved for exercising free
speech rights.

"We beg for your forgiveness": 
Veterans join Native elders in celebration ceremony

Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme
commander at NATO Wesley Clark Sr., was part of a group of veterans at
Standing Rock one day after the Army Corps announcement. The veterans
joined Native American tribal elders in a ceremony celebrating the Dakota
Access Pipeline easement denial. Lakota spiritual leader and medicine
man Chief Leonard Crow Dog and Standing Rock Sioux spokeswoman
Phyllis Young were among several Native elders who spoke, thanking the
veterans for standing in solidarity during the protests.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Building Bridges: Nationwide Strike - $15 & Union - 28:26  

‘We Won’t Back Down’ says The Fight for $15,
Strike Nationwide!

. Isaias Sapon, McDonald's worker, Texas 
. Rob Hill,  VP and Organizing Director of 32BJ

As newly-elected politicians and newly-empowered corporate special interests threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right, working Americans announced that their four-year-old Fight for $15 will not back down and that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants, or support racism or racist policies, will be met with unrelenting opposition.  To show their determination in the face of the seismic shifts in the political climate, workers in the Fight for $15 waged their most disruptive protests yet, expanding their movement
to nearly 20 airports serving 2 million passengers a day, and risking arrest via mass civil disobedience in front of McDonald’s restaurants from Detroit to Denver. Workers spanning the economy—including baggage handlers, fast-food cooks, home care workers, child care teachers and graduate assistants— demand $15 and union rights, no deportations, an end to the police killings of black people, and politicians keep their hands off Americans’ health care coverage.

play stream

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Close Rikers Island NYC Jail Now Rally - 28:56  

Attend the rally to close the notorious jail marked by violence and
corruption and impervious to substantive reform: Close Rikers Island!

We’ll bring you highlights of the rally to Shut Rikers Down!  Johnny Perez, a member of the Jails Action Coalition who experienced solitary confinement himself, Akeem Browder the brother of Kalief Brower, who tragically became the face of everything wrong with Rikers when he committed suicide after spending three years there--two of them in solitary--because his family couldn't afford the bail when he was charged with  allegedly stealing a backpack say SHUT IT DOWN!

play stream

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy - 28:48  

Attica, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy! 
Heather Ann Thompson, author of Blood In The Water

Although much has been written about the take over and ensuing assault on the Attica prison by state police and national guard troops some four days later which resulted in the murder of forty three individuals, including ten hostages, one statement by a 21 year old spokesperson for the inmates, himself later executed by police after they retook the prison, rings no less true or powerful today, some 45 years later:

Forty-five years after the rebellion at Attica, one of the greatest civil rights uprisings of that century stunned the nation, millions of Americans mostly men and women of color are locked away in prisons often for decades. But, Attica continues to serve as the inspiration, most recently for the largest prison strike in the history of this country and as Eddie Ellis, our 
recently deceased WBAI radio journalist, prisoner reform advocate and former Attica prisoner who was locked in one of the secured areas of the prison during the uprising said: “the bloodshed at Attica did something important it exposed what was being done to people and it also showed what men were able to do in a few short days when we work together. That history will serve us, one way or another. The choice, as it has always been, is up to us to dismantle the system of mass incarceration”. 

Heather Ann Thompson, author of Blood In The Water, draws from more 
than a decade of extensive research and sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this forty-five-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. Blood in the Water is the searing and indelible account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

People Get Ready for a New Economy - 27:16  

People Get Ready for a New Economy

Robert W. McChesney, Professor at the University of Illinois  

Join Robert W. McChesney as he posits that the U.S. needs a new economy whose revolutionary technologies are applied to effectively address environmental and social problems and used to rejuvenate and extend democratic institutions. Based on intense reporting, rich historical analysis, and deep understanding of the technological and social changes that are unfolding, McChesney proposes a bold strategy for democratizing our digital destiny—before it’s too late—and unleashing the real power of the Internet, and of humanity. 

Humanity is on the verge of its darkest hour—or its greatest moment. The consequences of the technological revolution are about to hit hard: unemployment will spike as new technologies replace labor in the manufacturing, service, and professional sectors of an economy that is already struggling. The end of work as we know it will hit at the worst moment imaginable: as capitalism fosters permanent stagnation, when the labor market is in decrepit shape, with declining or stagnant wages , expanding poverty, and scorching inequality. Only the dramatic democratization of the economy can address the existential challenges we now face. Yet, the US political process is so dominated by billionaires and corporate special interests, by corruption and monopoly, that it stymies not just democracy but progress. The great challenge of these times is to ensure that the tremendous benefits of technological progress are 
employed to serve the whole of humanity, rather than to enrich the wealthy few. 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Indigenous Mindanao People in Philippines Fight for Food, Land & Justice - 28:59  

Indigenous Lumad Leaders from Mindanao, in Their Fight for Food, Land, and Justice Take Aim at US Funding Philippino Militarization 

On April 1, 2016, the Philippine National Police opened fire on an estimated 6,000 peasant and indigenous farmers who had barricaded a national highway in the southern Philippines.  Three were killed, more than 100 wounded, and at least 70 detained. The farmers were demanding the distribution of food relief after more than 7-months of drought had caused widespread famine.  Since 2010, at least 70 indigenous people from the southern island of Mindanao (collectively known as Lumad) have been killed for their outspoken stand to defend their ancestral domains from economic and ecological plunder. The Philippines has the world’s second largest gold deposits, more than half are
in Mindanao. Even indigenous community schools have

come under attack through military occupation and vilification. Currently, there are nearly 3,000 indigenous individuals who have been displaced from their communities
due to military occupation in an effort to clear the land for mining operations.  Indigenous people of the Philippines are increasingly being vilified, harassed, and murdered for defending their ancestral land from foreign corporate interests. 

play stream and download

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Prisoners Strike, Say No To Slave Labor - 27:32  

Prisoners, Say No To Being Used As Slave Labor and
Withhold Their Labor Power In Nationwide Strike

Cole Dorsey and Michael Forest, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, Industrial Workers of the World

Prisons can’t run without inmates, in more ways than one. Prisoners wash floors, work in the laundries and kitchens, and provide a large amount of the labor that keeps their facilities running. In return, they earn pennies per hour
or even no pay at all.  That’s sparking what may have been the largest prison strike yet as inmates across the country stopped working on Sept. 9. The strikers are calling for an end to forced labor and what they call “prison slavery”. And, it’s no coincidence that they picked Sept. 9 as the strike date: It was the 45th anniversary of the Attica rebellion, when prisoners at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York demanded their rights in one of the most significant civil rights occurrences of the century. 

"I'M BEGINNING TO BELIEVE THAT `U.S.A.' STANDS FOR THE UNDERPRIVILEGED SLAVES OF AMERICA" wrote a 20th-century prisoner from Mississippi in a letter detailing 

the daily violence he witnessed behind prison walls. His statement resounds with a long tradition of prisoners, and particularly African-American prisoners, who have used the
language and narrative of slavery to describe the conditions of their imprisonment. In the year 2000, as the punishment industry becomes a leading employer and producer for the U.S. "state," and as private prison and "security" corporations bargain to control the profits of this traffic in
human degradation, the analogies between slavery and prison abound. 

download or listen 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Racial Wealth Divide - 27:55  

The Country’s Racial Wealth Divide
Dedrick Asante-Muhammed, Director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at the Corporation for Enterprise Development

Racial and economic inequality are the most pressing social issues of our time. In the last decade, we have seen the catastrophic economic impact of the Great Recession and an ensuing recovery that has bypassed millions of Americans,
especially households of color.  A new report looks at the country’s racial wealth gap, finding that if current public policies stay the same, it will take more than two centuries for black families to accumulate the same amount of wealth that white families have today.  For the average Latino family, it’ll take 84 years. Building Bridges will focus on the essential role that wealth plays in achieving financial
security and opportunity.

play stream

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Standing Rock Sioux Fight Dakota Oil Pipeline - 28:18  

“Like A Tree That Standing By The Water We Will Not Be Moved”: Fighting on All Fronts Lawyers Declare Victory In Defense of the Camp Sacred Stone Water Protectors as Federal Judge Dissolves Injunction
Jeff Haas, National Lawyers Guild attorney

Even before the Dakota Access’s pipeline security turned violent activists faced harsh responses as Governor Dalrymple, who declared a state of emergency, removing water and sanitation resources from the reservation, and the police have set up roadblocks around the reservation. Dozens of protesters have already been arrested, and police have spread false rumors of violence from the peaceful protectors.  But, as the struggle continues there’s been an important victory on the legal front as U.S. District Court Judge Daniel L. Hovland dissolved a temporary restraining order against Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II and other participants in the protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  “Although the judge went out of his way to show his disdain for many of the water protectors, he also became aware that this was a political controversy that he likely could not control and the mechanism of an injunction was unwieldy and likely ineffective in light of the determination of those resisting the pipeline construction over sacred sites and threatening the water supply,” said attorney Jeff Haas.  Attorney Hass discusses the lifting of federal court prohibition on protests against the pipeline and  the legal challenges as local authorities and the criminal courts are now charging as felonies, nonviolent actions of protesters including peacefully locking themselves to stationary earth movers

Who's Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline?
Hugh MacMillan, senior researcher on water, energy and climate issues at Food & Water Watch. 

Hugh recently wrote the report which states: "Powerful oil and gas companies are taking appalling steps to override the Sioux’s Indians objections, using their immense financial resources to push for building the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will further line their pockets.  Behind the companies building the pipeline is a set of even more powerful Wall Street corporations that might give you flashbacks to the 2007 financial crisis." Among the companies funding the project are Citibank, Wells Fargo, UBS, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, SunTrust, Credit Suisse and TD Securities. We’ll discuss the financial institutions that are fostering widespread drilling and fracking to increase our disastrous dependence on fossil fuels.

play stream

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

African American Unemployment Still Double White Rate; FCP Home Attendants Fight Back - 28:14  

Institutional Racism in the U.S. labor market - What is to be done?
William Spriggs, Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO and professor in, and former chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University. Bill is also former assistant secretary for the Office of Policy at the
United States Department of Labor

The so-called recovery of the US economy has not been equally kind to everyone. Even as the unemployment rate has decreased, the unemployment rate for African Americans, is currently more than twice as high as that for white Americans. Indeed, nationwide in 2015, 9.6% of African-Americans were unemployed compared with 4.6% of whites. This 2 to 1 ratio of African American to white unemployment has persisted for at least the last 50 years.
This unemployment gap is not one of skill or education , it is because of the very real and persistent discrimination prevalent in the U.S. labor market. And, did you know that it would take 228 years for African-American families to
amass the wealth of white families ?

FCP workers invite all home attendants to join them in demanding stolen wages, and ending mandatory 24-hour shifts 
National Mobilization Against Sweatshops(NMASS)
Aint't I A Woman Campaign

Home attendants who have worked as many as two decades for First Chinese Presbyterian Community Affairs Home Attendant Corp. (FCP) caring for elderly and ill patients in their homes, were forced to work 24-hour shifts for as many as seven days a week, but paid for only 12 or 13 of these hours. The workers were also denied overtime pay.  But, they’re not taking this lying down.  Joined by workers from Chinese American Planning Council and workers from other
agencies, the FCP home attendants are demanding  that FCP resolve their case immediately by paying the workers their owed wages, and they’re headed 

play stream

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Building Bridges: Rev. Dr. Barber's #FightFor15 Convention Speech - 28:08  

Rev. Dr. Barber's #FightFor15 Convention Speech Reverend Dr. William Barber II is the architect and leader of the Moral Modays movement which has rallied a broad coaltion of North Carolinians to protest outside the state capital building demanding that the legislature restore full voting rights

Recently, thousands of low-wage workers from across the country marched on Richmond, VA, the former capitol of the Confederacy to fight for racial and economic justice at the #FightFor15 National Convention. Barber , founding member of Repairers of the Breach and architect of the Moral Monday movement, delivered the address at the culmination of the march in sweltering temperatures, He proclaimed "We won't stop fighting until we win"to 8,000 people marching to oppose the racial, social and
economic inequalities that plague our nation, which are all linked and so too must be the fights to address them.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

20 Years Since Pres. Clinton Shredded Welfare - 27:07  

Ain’t I A Woman:  how twenty-years after Bill Clinton pulled the safety net from under predominantly poor women and children they’re left to sink to deeper destitution

Felicia Kornbluh is associate professor of history and gender, sexuality and women’s studies at the University of Vermont and president of the faculty union, United Academics. She’s author of "The Battle for Welfare Rights" and, with Gwendolyn Mink, of the forthcoming "Ensuring Poverty: The History and Politics of Welfare Reform".

April McCray thought she had finally caught a break in late 2005. That’s when the state of Louisiana granted cash assistance to the single mother through the Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF) program. It was her first experience with America's welfare program.  McCray, who had been in and out of work, struggled to make ends meet. This, she hoped, would at least help soften the
burden.  But a month later, the state stripped her of the benefits without a clear explanation, she said. Since then, she says Louisiana, which controls state and federally allocated TANF dollars, has denied her requests for assistance several times. "It gets depressing," said McCray, who in 2016, is still struggling. With three kids and rarely more than a part-time job, she says she needs help she can’t seem to get from a welfare system that was overhauled 20 years ago.  “As far as whether people are better off, I do think they are, in some cases, worse off.”

Twenty years ago on August 22, then President Bill Clinton signed the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, that imposed work requirements and term limits on public assistance into effect and people like April McCray across the country have been left destitute.

Now, while there are advocates who in the wake of the shredding of the social safety net, such as in New York are demanding an end to the Work Experience Program (WEP), increased allowances to reflect the cost of living, and more humane treatment at public assistance centers, for the millions of poor, predominantly woman and 
children across the nation like April McCray they’re left to wonder why across the spectrum those seeking electoral office and with a national platform have failed to meaningfully address poverty and put together a platform to reverse twenty-years of
the harmful legacies of the 1990s “Welfare Reform and Destruction Act”.  

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck - 28:17  

“Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics,
and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck” 
Adam Cohen, former member of the NY Times Editorial Board 

One of America’s great miscarriages of justice, the Supreme Court’s infamous 1927 Buck v. Bell ruling made government sterilization of “undesirable” citizens the law of the land.  Bestselling author Adam Cohen tells the story in Imbeciles of
one of the darkest moments in the American legal tradition: the Supreme Court’s decision to champion eugenic sterilization for the greater good of the country. In 1927, when the nation was caught up in eugenic fervor, the justices allowed Virginia to sterilize Carrie Buck, a perfectly normal young woman, for being an “imbecile.”  Adam Cohen sets the context for the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck and thousands of others: a panic, fed by the pseudoscience of eugenics, that so-called feebleminded people constituted a threat to public safety and the nation’s gene pool.  The book serves as a cautionary tale about what may happen when those who have, or obtain, power use the institutions of government and the law
to advance their own interests at the expense of those who are poor, disadvantaged, or of different ‘hereditary’ stock.

Donald Trump's Fascist Week - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Donald Trump comes under fire for unknowingly tweeting a Benito Mussolini quote, 
and he may have more in common with the fascism founder than he realizes.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Building Bridges: A Democratic Convention Special part 1  

Building Bridges, Not Walls!  
A Building Bridges Democratic Convention Special
Deborah Burger Co-President, National Nurses United
Larry Hamm, veteran activist, Chairman the Peopleâs Organization 
for Progress 

With her selection of Gov. Tim Kaine as her running mate Hillary Clinton reinforced her determination to run a traditional political campaign in a year noted for mass upsurges from the left and right. 

Join Building Bridges as we highlight issues in the host city's working class communities, and from behind the barricades the protests as activists from around the country converge on the DNC. Then we'll analyze the nature of the Democratic Party and what it says about the state of U.S. politics and the impact and future of the movement initiated by Bernie Sanders.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button