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

Rev Barber on Creating a Fusion Movement to Defeat Trump and Move Forward Together - 54:14  

Rev Barber on Creating a Fusion Movement
to Defeat Trump and Move Forward Together
The Rev. Dr. William Barber
is Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, in 
Goldsboro, North Carolina and architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests which drew tens of thousands of North Carolinians and other moral witnesses to the state legislature.  He has served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest state conference in the South.  His two most recent books include Forward Together (Chalice Press) and The Third
Reconstruction (Beacon Press).

And, Dr. William Barber is the founder and president of Repairers of the 
Breach, an organization that seeks to build a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square. Rev. Barber one of the most influential, progressive religious figures in the country.

Tens of thousands of men and women rose up in Chicago and cities from 
coast to coast to demanding that everyone in America have the right to organize and join a union and the Rev. William Barber said “I’m proud to stand with them, because their fight is central to the battle against poverty, racism, and inequality”. 

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 twenty-five states to alleviate the triad forces of poverty, militarism, and racism that Dr. King knew were poisoning our country then and still threaten us today.

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Spectrum Cable Strikers Demonstrate for a Fair Contract & Against Union Busting - 27:50  

On Strike, Six Months & Counting: Spectrum Cable workers headed from the picket line crossing the Brooklyn Bridges to a massive Rally in Foley Square drawing thousands of supporters from the labor and community movements for social change. They built support  amongst the public for their fight for a fair contract and to save their union, amidst a media whiteout of their historic labor struggle!  
IBEW Local 3 strikers and supporters

Some 1,800 members of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 have been on strike at Spectrum/Time Warner Cable in New York and New Jersey since March 28, more than six months ago. Since then, only a fraction of the workforce has crossed picket lines, but the company is trying hard to keep up normal operations by using scabs and subcontractors to break the strike and the workers' union..

Spectrum is part of Charter Communications, the second largest cable provider in the U.S. and a telecommunications giant, providing services to roughly 25 million customers in 41 states, two and a half million of which reside in New York. The CEO, Tom Rutledge, who made $98.5 million last year met with Donald Trump in the White House earlier this year, and the company is touted by Trump as a job creator investing in its U.S. workforce. Meanwhile Rutledge’s Charter Communications has hung its workers out to dry:
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Knocking on Labor’s Door- Union Organizing in the 1970s - 28:55  

Knocking on Labor’s Door
Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide

Lane Windham, author, Knocking on Labor’s Door; Associate
Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for
Labor and the Working Poor and co-director of WILL Empower (Women Innovating Labor Leadership)

The power of unions in workers’ lives and in the American political system has declined dramatically since the 1970s. In recent years, many have argued that the crisis took root when unions stopped reaching out to workers and workers turned away from unions. But Lane Windham tells a different story. Highlighting the integral, often-overlooked contributions of women, people of color, young workers, and southerners, Windham reveals how in the 1970s workers combined old working-class tools--like unions and labor
law--with legislative gains from the civil and women’s rights movements to help shore up their prospects.

Through close-up studies of workers' campaigns in shipbuilding, textiles, retail, and service, Windham overturns widely held myths about labor’s decline, showing instead how employers united to manipulate weak labor law and quash a new wave of worker organizing.  Recounting how employees attempted to unionize against overwhelming odds, Knocking on Labor's Door dramatically refashions the narrative of working-class struggle during a crucial decade and shakes up current debates about labor's future.

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Puerto Rico: Trapped Amidst the Perilous Winds of Colonialism and Hurricanes - 27:40  

Puerto Rico: Trapped Amidst the Perilous Winds of Colonialism and Hurricanes
Nelson Denis, a former New York State assemblyman, is the author of “War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony” and joins us now as we examine Puerto Rico between a rock and a hard place: between
colonialism and hurricanes.
David Galarza, Puerto Rican Independence and labor activist

Puerto Rico is no stranger to crisis. Before Maria’s rampage through the archipelago, Puerto Rico was already in the midst of one of the most devastating financial and socio-political crises in its recent history, with an unaudited $74 billion debt under its belt, $49 billion in pension obligations, and several decades’ worth of illegal bond issuances and trading related to its status as an overly-advertised tax haven. Neoliberal policies such as draconian budget cuts and extreme austerity measures had already been rendered life in Puerto Rico quite precarious. And the whole thing was being overseen and managed simultaneously by Governor Rosselló, an
unelected and antidemocratic Fiscal Control Board, and judge Laura Taylor Swain, all of whom were going back and forth on the country’s fiscal management and debt restructuring processes.  Now, first Irma’s and then Maria’s passing and aftermath have once again brought to light Puerto Rico’s primordial conundrum: colonialism.  Nelson Denis and David Galarza discuss the humanitarian crisis that is exploding in Puerto Rico, the consequences of the Jones Act and “the junta” and how nullification of the Jones Act, cancellation of the multi-billion dollar debt and the implementation of environmentally conscious sustainability planning are imperative for Puerto Rico to rebuild for its native inhabitants. 

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Dreams Deferred - 28:59  

Dreams Deferred

Oscar A. Chacón 
co-founder and executive director of Alianza Americas
an umbrella of immigrant led and immigrant serving 
organizations based in the United States of America,
dedicated to improving the quality of life of Latino  
immigrant communities in the US, as well as of peoples throughout the Americas. Oscar served in leadership positions at the Chicago based Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Boston based Centro Presente, and several other community based and international development organizations. Oscar is a frequent national and international spokesperson on transnationalism,
economic justice, the link between migration and development, migrant’s integration processes, human mobility, migration policies, racism and xenophobia; and U.S. Latino community issues
Chia Chia Wang, the organizing and advocacy director for the American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program, whose goal is to achieve policies that respect the rights and dignity of all immigrants,
including a fair and humane national immigration policy.

Our ‘Dreamer’ Issac, born in Ghana and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) beneficiary he tells his story and puts a human face on those who seek equal rights and justice as immigrants as refugees as
migrants, as Dreamers! 

President Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling it an “amnesty-first approach” and urging Congress to pass a replacement before he begins phasing out its protections in six months.  As early as March, officials said, some of the 800,000 young adults brought to the United States illegally as children who qualify for the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will become eligible for deportation. The five-year-old policy allows them to remain without fear of immediate removal from the country and gives them the right to work legally.

Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced the change at 
the Justice Department, both used the aggrieved language of nativists of virulently anti-immigrant activists, arguing wrongly, but aggressively that those in the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages.  Mr. Trump said in a statement that he was driven by a concern for “the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.” Mr. Sessions said the program had “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”  But Oscar Chacón , Chia Chia Wang and Issac came out
swinging and explode these falsehoods, calculated to whip up hysteria in in support of the demagogic Trump regime. 

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Will NAFTA Renegotiation Continue to Shaft Workers? - 28:48  

NAFTA Renegotiation:
Will Working People Continue to Get Shafted?
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
Gisela Perez, lawyer and journalist who works at NGO Derechos
Digitales and is a spokesperson of the coalition "Mexico Against
NAFTA", composed of more than 30 civil society organizations
and trade unions.

The trade policies that replace NAFTA cannot be allowed to put the
interests of multinational corporations first, as the renegotiation of
NAFTA under a Trump administration teeming with corporate interests is positioned to do. We need an internationalist approach to trade that lifts up labor rights, environmental standards, and human rights for people in all of the nations involved in the agreement, and provides good jobs for workers in the U.S. Trump wants to allow corporations to pit U.S. workers against other working communities in a global race to the bottom.

To coincide with the first day of NAFTA renegotiations, Mexican civil society organizations, including the largest independent trade unions, small farmer and other civic and human rights organizations, mobilized nearly 9,000 people to march through the streets of Mexico City to their Foreign Ministry with hundreds of banners and signs that read “NAFTA Injures You – Mexico is better without FTAs (Free Trade Agreements)”. Contrary to President Trump’s claims that Mexico has been the big winner under NAFTA, the dozens of Mexican civil society organizations
that organized the march assert that the current NAFTA model has been a failure for the majority of Mexicans and that they reject any deepening of that model through NAFTA renegotiations.  They blasted the secrecy of the negotiating process and delivered a list of demands to the Mexican government.

Lori Wallach says:  “A new NAFTA deal that we can support is a deal that not only stops NAFTA’s ongoing damage, but that creates American jobs and raises wages.  Unless NAFTA’s investor privileges that promote job offshoring are eliminated and strong, enforceable labor and environmental standards and tighter rules of origin are added, a new deal will not be better for working people, much less deliver on Trump’s promises to bring down the NAFTA trade deficit or create more American manufacturing jobs. NAFTA must be renegotiated to stop its ongoing damage. But depending on how the administration conducts these talks, NAFTA could get worse for working people in all three NAFTA countries. “

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Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse with John Nichols - 28:01  

Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse:
A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America

John Nichols, is the national affairs writer for The Nation magazine and a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times. He is also the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, and a co-founder of the media-reform group Free Press. A frequent commentator on American politics and media, he has appeared often on MSNBC, NPR, BBC and regularly lectures at major universities on presidential administrations and executive
power. The author of ten books and has earned numerous awards for his investigative reports, including groundbreaking examinations (in collaboration with the Center for Media and Democracy) of the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

A line-up of the dirty dealers and defenders of the indefensible who are definitely not "making America great again"

Donald Trump has assembled a rogue's gallery of alt-right hatemongers, crony capitalists, immigrant bashers, and climate-change deniers to run the American government. To survive the next four years, we the people need to know whose hands are on the levers of power. And we need to know how to challenge their abuses. John Nichols, veteran political correspondent at the Nation, has been covering many of these deplorables for decades. Sticking to the hard facts and unafraid to dig deep into the histories and ideologies of the people who make up Trump's inner circle,
Nichols delivers a clear-eyed and complete guide to this wrecking crew.

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Herb Boyd's Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination - 27:55  

Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination

Herb Boyd, journalist, educator, author, and activist. His articles appear regularly in the New York Amsterdam News. He teaches Black studies at the City College of New York and the College of New Rochelle.

Herb Boyd excites and stimulates us with his inspiring, illuminating book that will interest students of urban history and the Black experience. 

Detroit was surely the capital of 20th-century African-America, as native son Herb Boyd recounts, this centrality dates back to the American Revolution but became pronounced at the time of the Civil War, when Detroit went from being an important station along the Underground Railroad to become an important source of abolitionism, industrialism, and sheer manpower for the war effort—including Black soldiers bound for the Union ranks.

As the author notes, however, the ascendancy of Black Detroit did not mean an end to racial tension; though he grew up on a block with Italian, Irish, and Jewish families, “our blackness was for our neighbors an object of derision and insult.” Boyd celebrates the rising-above that accompanied this ethnic contest, the grit and determination that put Berry Gordy’s Motown on the map, lifted the members of the Supremes and the Miracles from the projects, and ushered in a second black literary renaissance through the pens of Gwendolyn Brooks and Nikki Giovanni. As he reminds his readers, immigrants and exiles rom other regions and countries did their parts to shape Black Detroit: Malcolm X lived there before moving to New York and taking a leading part in the radical wing of the civil rights movement, while Rosa Parks moved there from the South in 1957. “Parks’s commitment to fight Jim Crow—North or
South —was unrelenting,” writes the author. Though the city has fallen victim since to outmigration, its population having fallen from 1.8 million in 1950 to about 670,000 today, Boyd writes confidently that the city’s African-American population will be central to its revival, concluding, “I’m proud to be a Detroiter.”

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US and Israeli Collaboration Policing Resistance Movements; Boycott Israel and Go to Jail? - 28:56  

Deadly Exchanges:
Policing Resistance Movements, and US and Israeli Collaboration

Eran Efrati, executive director of RAIA (Researching the American-Israeli Alliance), an investigative researcher into the Israeli military.  He formerly served as the chief researcher of Breaking the Silence, where he collected testimonies from hundreds of IDF soldiers about their activities. He has worked with the ICC and participated in both independent and UN investigations into Israeli military operations. Currently, his research is focused on international military and police partnerships between the United States and Israel.

Eran Efrati discusses the international relationships between the Israeli Military and the policing/security agencies throughout the United States. We will outline  shared tactics, weapons and policies that are enacted in a war against indigenous and oppressed people in Palestine, several countries in Africa and across the United States. 
Boycott Israel, Go to Jail? 
Aaron Matte, The Real News

A bipartisan Senate bill would make boycotting Israel punishable by up to 20 years in prison. But a new pushback from groups including the ACLU could help stop the ‘draconian’ measure, says Josh Ruebner of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

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Uber’s Race to the Bottom - 25:51  

Uber’s Race to the Bottom
Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA Executive Director 

A NYS Administrative Law Judge upheld that Uber was the employer of former drivers, all members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, who won unemployment insurance claims in NYS. This ruling sets the stage for other lawsuits in cases involving Uber’s assertion that its drivers are independent contractors. This comes close after Uber’s loss in a massive wage theft lawsuit filed by NYTWA and massive driver resistance to Uber imposed fare cuts. Uber’s race to the bottom extends to all taxi workers by
its flooding the streets with drivers so that making a living entails countless hours on the road. But Uber’s race to the bottom also extends to its business model which many observers contend is not sustainable in light of its continuing financial losses. And now Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to resign by its  investors in a scandal exposing a workplace culture of sexual harassment at Uber.
*********** ********
How Seattle Uber Drivers Won the Right to Unionize
Jessica Descarieux, the Real News Network
Teamsters' Leonard Smith explains how drivers pushed for a bill that 
grants them collective bargaining power for higher wages since some full-time drivers only earn $3 an hour

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Rally Against Republican Health Plans and Fight Like Hell for Medicare for All! - 28:53  

Rally Against Republican Health Care Plans that go Straight for the Jugular and Would Leave Us Hemorrhaging and Fight Like Hell for Medicare for All!

Whether the Republicans pass a version of TrumpCare, or work to sabotage Obamacare one thing is perfectly clear that health care should be a universal right, whether called single-payer or Medicare for all, and that until we implement such a system our lives are in jeopardy.

So, Building Bridges is broadcasting an Emergency Health Care Rally” THIS IS NOT A DRILL which was held in NYC recently sponsored by Metro NY Health Care for All and Local 1199. Tune into the rally and listen to health care professionals and we the people  as we mobilize for all of us to call on our Senators and Representatives to oppose bills in Congress that would gut the Affordable Care Act, decimate Medicaid, place Medicare’s finances in jeopardy, end family planning funding, and weaken or eliminate important consumer protections in health insurance.  Taken as a whole, these bills will blow-up our insurance markets, threaten the viability of many of our hospitals and community health centers, and leave many millions uninsured.


Listen as we mobilize for “Medicare for All,” a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands. Under a single-payer system, all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, dental, reproductive health care, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. 
The program would be funded by the savings obtained from replacing today’s inefficient, profit-oriented, multiple insurance payers with a single streamlined, nonprofit, public payer, and by modest new taxes based on ability to pay. Premiums would disappear; 95 % of all households would save money. Patients would no longer face financial barriers to care such as co-pays and
deductibles, and would regain free choice of doctor and hospital. Doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

Attend our virtual rally and together we’ll fight for the Medicare for All Act, H.R. 676, which would establish an American single-payer health insurance system.

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Republican Health Bill - A Toxic Brew: A Comprehensive Analysis - 26:40  

Republican Health Bill Stirs Up Toxic Brew: A Comprehensive Analysis  

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY13 Congressional District)

Dr. David Himmelstein, MD, FACP, distinguished professor of public health and health policy in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and adjunct clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine,  He is a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program a leading single payer advocacy organization,

from Macbeth
A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.
1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.— Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one; Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot! ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,— For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches' mummy; maw and gulf Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips; Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,— Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron, For the ingrediants of our caldron.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon's blood, Then the charm is firm and good. 

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Welcome to New York, Oscar López Rivera - 28:53  

Welcome to New York, Oscar! / ¡Bienvenido a Nueva York, Oscar!

Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, recently released from prison after 35 years, much of which was spent in solitary confinement was cheered as the “Mandela of Puerto Rico” before a packed house at Hostos College, and we’ll bring you highlights of the tribute.  Rivera, didn’t miss a beat after his decades behind the walls as a political prisoner, but rather seemed buoyed by his experience and certainly the ebullience of the crowd and immediately sounded the drum beat of resistance to the Puerto
Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, PROMESA and the Act’s imposed junta.

He spoke in pained tones of the austerity budget that burdens the populace and denounced the wealthy elite turning Puerto Rico into their playground. He proclaimed loudly and proudly his ongoing resistance against the colonization of Puerto Rico.  Before his numerous supporters he stood, an undaunted freedom fighter intent to support the Puerto Rican people in struggle against the most pronounced manifestations of colonial exploitation and for independence. 

The night was filled with poems such as by acclaimed poet Martin Espada, folkloric music and dance performances which filled the auditorium with love for Oscar López Rivera and imbued all in attendance with the spirit of liberation and self-determination. 

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Beyond Resistance Summit with Bernie Sanders and National Nurses United - 27:48  

Beyond Resistance: A People’s Movement for a Just World

Deborah Burger, Co-President of America's RN Union: National Nurses United, co-convener of the Beyond Resistance Summit

Sen. Bernie Sanders

At a time of tremendous turmoil and progressive opportunity, thousands gathered to participate in a historic convening committed to social, racial and economic justice. Activists came together committed to a different kind of agenda: a People’s Agenda that can enhance and expand issue campaigns and hold all elected officials accountable to popular demands for justice, equality and freedom.  You’ll hear a report back from the Summit, which was envisioned as deepening the relationship between participating organizations rooted in principled anti-corporate politics,
development of community leaders, direct action, and strategic organizing to build power and we’ll hear the Summit’s keynoter Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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Trash Talking Trump Dumps it on Planet - 28:25  

Trash Talking Trump Dumps it on Planet

Sean Sweeney, director and founder of the Murphy Institute’s
International Program on Labor, Climate, and the Environment

Energy is a core issue for the world and Trump’s response is more fracking, more gas and coal export terminals, and more projects like Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as he dumps the Paris accord on climate change.  Trump is unprepared to accept the science of climate change, and unwilling to join with the effort being made across the globe through the Paris climate accord.  Trump is digging a ditch, and the only difference between a ditch and a grave is that one is normally a little deeper than the other.  As Trump seeks to bury climate justice policies we’ll talk about what are the policies we need to push for and actions to turn up the
pressure to Save The Planet, and create green jobs.  Don’t Dump on the Environment,

Dump the Trump!

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Rev. Barber Rekindling a Social Justice Movement - 28:57  

"When Silence is Not an Option" - A Message to the Nation from Rev. William J. Barber, II on Rekindling a Moral Vision for Justice, Movement Buildig and Social Change
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.”

"Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in."  — Isaiah 58:12

William Barber, one of the nations’ leading theologians advocates
tirelessly for the rights of the poor, the imprisoned, the disenfranchised and the working class, obliterating the social, cultural, religious and political barriers in society.  Barber’s Forward Together Moral Movement gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013. These weekly actions drew tens of thousands of North Carolinians and other moral witnesses to the state legislature. More than 1,050 peaceful protesters were arrested, handcuffed and jailed, bringing attention to the actions of the legislature.

Barber’s work is about building a progressive agenda rooted in a
moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square. He helps frame public policies which are not constrained or confined by the narrow tenets of neo-conservatism.  He brings together people from different faith traditions, with people  without a spiritual practice but who share the moral principles at the heart to repair the breaches caused by centuries old systems of racial and gender inequality

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Whose Streets: The History and Future of Labor Activism - 27:52  

Whose Streets: The History and Future of Labor Activism

Sarah Jaffe, an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as an editorial board member at Dissent and a columnist at New Labor Forum. Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt is her first book.  She was one of the first reporters to cover Occupy Wall Street and the Fight for $15

Mark Brenner, Director of Labor Notes, a media and organizing project that has been the voice of union activists who want to put the movement back in the labor movement since 1979.  Labor Notes also works with local unions and community
groups to organize Troublemakers Schools, bringing labor
activists together for a day of workshops on grassroots unionism and skills that officers and rank and filers need.

Sarah Jaffe  covers the class war one battle at a time.  She has criss-
crossed the country, asking people what they were angry about, and
what they were doing to take power back.  She penetrates the heart
of these movements, explaining what has made ordinary Americans
become activists. She attended a people's assembly in a church
gymnasium in Ferguson, Missouri; walked a picket line at an Atlanta Burger King; rode a bus from New York to Ohio with student organizers; and went door-to-door in Queens days after Hurricane Sandy.  From the successful fight for a 15 minimum wage in Seattle and New York to the halting of Shell's Arctic drilling program, Americans are discovering the effectiveness of making good, necessary trouble. Sarah Jaffe captures the essence of the class struggle, tells the stories of the movers and shakers in labor and community activities to empower the people towards building a just, egalitarian,  peaceful society. 

Mark Brenner knows that we don’t need a crystal ball to figure out
what a Trump presidency has in store for labor:  national “right-to-work” legislation, outsourcing and privatizing more public services, large-scale deportations, a ban on prevailing-wage laws and this is just the tip of the iceberg.   But that’s precisely when Labor Notes kicks into gear insisting, “after we mourn, we need to organize”. Mark will talk about how under Trump, labor must abandon its insider approach and concentrate on the power of the rank and file and where that’s happening.  

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South African Metalworkers Union Building a Socialist Movement - 28:45  

South African Metalworkers Union Fighting Political Corruption and Building a Socialist Movement
Irvin Jim, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the biggest single trade union in South Africa. He is a strong critic of the ruling African National Congress, which he accuses of failing to implement the 1955 Freedom Charter. 

The Metalworkers union sees much of the leadership of the ANC as supporting a "post-Apartheid neoliberal capitalist South Africa with South African and multinational corporations and the South African white political community". Jim suggests that NUMSA is a union whose goal is the creation of a "Socialist Republic of South Africa" . The mission is to  convince society that capitalism has failed and a new worker-centered economic dispensation is required. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is planning to form a political party to fight for the abolishment of capitalism The newly launched trade union grouping in South Africa – the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) – promises to be a voice for the growing numbers of unorganized and marginalized workers in the country. 

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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.  

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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. 

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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

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: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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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