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

Aronowitz, Baker & Lynd - What Is To Be Done? 28:09  

What Is To Be Done?

In this period of intensified class warfare against the working class and the
poor, what will it take to mobilize the people for the mass movement it will
surely take to win? Many have been heartened by the fightback in Wisconsin
and many of the frontline states. But is the predominately electoral strategy
that is currently being followed sufficient to win? What is the role direct action,
strikes, including general strikes, and cross union and community solidarity?
We talk with:

General Baker has been called the most important 21st century American
revolutionary. He was a leader of the Detroit wildcat strikes in the 1960s, a

founder of the legendary League of Revolutionary Black Workers, the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM), & the first American to refuse
induction to fight in Vietnam. The book, "Detroit: I Do Mind Dying" (about the
worker revolts of that era) calls Baker the "soul of the Dodge Revolutionary
Union Movement (DRUM)." An autoworker for 30 years, he remains a
champion of the unemployed and unorganized workers.

Stanley Aronowitz is a Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the
City University of New York, where he studies labor, social movements,
science and technology, education, social theory and cultural studies. He is
author or editor of 25 books including: Left Turn: Forging a New Political
Future; How Class Works; The Jobless Future (with William DiFazio); and
False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness.

Staughton Lynd has dedicated his life to activism & social change as a
historian, lawyer, and labor activist. He helped direct the Mississippi
Freedom Schools. In April 1965 he spoke at the first march on Washington
against the Vietnam War and became an early leader of the anti-war
movement. Subsequent to becoming an attorney he spent years focusing
on labor and prison issues. He wrote the definitive history of the 1993 Ohio
prison uprising at Lucasville as well as the ever popular “Labor Law for the
Rank and Filer” and “Rank and File” oral histories of the 1930’s .

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The Freedom Riders and Lessons for Today - 28'  

The Freedom Riders and Lessons for Today
The Rev. Dr. James Lawson , helped coordinate the Sitdown
strike in 1960, Freedom Rides in 1961, the Meredith March in
1966. While working as a pastor at the Centenary Methodist
Church in Memphis, he invited Dr. King to Memphis & played
a major role in the sanitation workers strike of 1968. Dr. King
called Lawson "the leading theorist and strategist of
nonviolence in the world.”

Diane Nash, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC) who participated in the sitdown strikes in
Nashville & rode the freedom buses into Alabama and Miss.
where she endured mob violence & imprisonment. Later, she
was hired by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
(SCLC) & was a major organizer for the 1963 Birmingham

The movement by African-Americans, in the 60’s to desegregate interstate
travel facilities throughout the South was pivotal in challenging & ultimately eradicating the most onerous Jim Crow laws and breaking the back of what
were the police states of the South. The Freedom Rides, along with efforts
to integrate public accommodations, & educational institutions and the voter registration campaigns coalesced as a mass movement that triggered the
conscience of a nation and spurred it to action. Risking life and limb to
confront white supremacy, the civil rights activists forced major changes
in the power relationships of the nation.

Fifty years after the freedom rides, on this anniversary Building Bridges
looks back at & learns anew how the freedom riders organized and
mobilized to dramatically alter the very functioning of the state and what
e can emulate today in the face of increasing repression, by undemocratic
forces who seek to unravel fifty years of gains, ushered in by the freedom

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Coup in Benton Harbor, Michigan - 27:59  

The People versus the Corporations in America’s Rust Belt
The Coup in Benton Harbor, Michigan
Rev. Edward Pinkney, Community Activist & Leader in the Fight
Against The Takeover of Benton Harbor

For the residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan the question is will America
have prosperity and democracy, or live in poverty under the heel of open
corporate power. There’s been a coup in Benton Harbor, First, Whirlpool
controlled Benton Harbor and now the City of Benton Harbor has become
the battleground for Michigan’s new emergency financial management law.
The law gives an accountant, Joseph Harris, dubbed an emergency manager
the right to tear up labor contracts. And, in Detroit district wide layoff
notices hit every one of its Public Schools. The 5,466 unionized employees
called the move the largest “one fell swoop” firing of teachers in union
memory. Additionally, the Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb’s
concurrent announcement that he plans to unilaterally modify the Detroit
Federation of Teachers’ collective bargaining agreement is the first test
of a sweeping new state law.

Fighting Back
Frances Fox Piven, Professor of Political Science and Sociology,
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Frances Fox Piven, a distinguished professor, legendary activist, and writer
for more than a year has been accused by Fox news host Glenn Beck, who
employees a graphic of a tree to do so of being an advocate of violence
and plotting since 1966 to overthrow the system. Well Piven now closes
our programming, with our support, respect and affection as she addresses
a national youth audience Teach-In. You’ll hear Piven reference the tree
and rather use the metaphor to advocate organizing movements for peace
and justice.

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Protecting Reproductive Freedom- 13:04  

In Brief- Produced by Mimi Rosenberg
Protecting Reproductive Freedom

Jennifer Dalven, Director of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project

Since the start of this year, 916 measures seeking to regulate reproductive
health had been introduced in 49 states. And by the end of March, 15 laws
had been enacted in seven states. Is this death by a thousand cuts, has state
law and new federal legislation affectively aborted, literally the right of choice ensconced in Roe v. Wade.

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Egyptian Workers Breaking Free - 27:59  

Inspiration From Egypt: A May Day Message
Hossam el-Hamalawy,
Historian, Activist Reporter,Blogger, from Cairo

The events in Egypt, were a catalyst throughout the Middle East
for the yearnings for democracy and working class empowerment.
And, as well the aspirations & activism of the Egyptians has given
inspiration to us here, in the face of a full court press against the
working class. The current renaissance of unionism in Egypt should
likewise give us inspiration. Hossam el-Hamalawy provides an
insightful report on the May Day celebrations in Cairo detailing

the continuing conflict between the newly formed independent
unions and the state unions which were still being supported by
the military on May Day celebrations. He provides a fascinating
history of unions in Egypt culminating in their present emergence
of a free trade union movement independent of the state with
demands for dissolution of the state unions, higher wages and renationization of substantial parts of previously privatized

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Bay Area Dock Workers Under Attack-27:03  

Port Workers In Bay Area Turn Out To Say An Injury To One Is An Injury To All
Clarence Thomas, Former Secretary Treasurer of Local 10, and rank
& file activist Local 10

The Bay Area’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10is under attack by the Pacific Maritime Association, after the rank and file dock workers’ voluntary action in solidarity with the national “We Are One” action, for the Wisconsin public workers. The PMA is suing the ILWU Local 10 because the members shutdown the ports in support of other workers. This is a serious attack on the right of workers to withhold their labor to support other workers, and alongwith support from the 87,000 member San Francisco Labor Council Local 10 workers continue to demonstrate their solidarity with workers fighting the attacks on collective bargaining rights.

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