Info

Delete Your Account Podcast

Delete Your Account is a new podcast hosted by journalist Roqayah Chamseddine and her plucky sidekick Kumars Salehi. Every week they will talk about important stories from the worlds of politics and pop culture, both on and off-line, in a way that will never bore you.
RSS Feed
Delete Your Account Podcast
2018
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: Page 1
Aug 8, 2018

On this episode, Kumars interviews Fatema Ahmad, deputy director of Muslim Justice League, a Boston-based community organization committed to providing support to Muslims and others targeted by state surveillance. She has also worked with the American Friends Service Committee’s Communities against Islamophobia project and Muslims for Social Justice.

We learn about Countering Violent Extremism or CVE, a federal anti-terrorism program that provides training, funding and otherwise enables people to report on and stamp out the "seeds of radicalization" in mosques, universities, restaurants and other cultural spaces. Though it is deeply racist and has been proven ineffective, CVE's infiltration and surveillance has fed a climate of fear and distrust among US Muslims. CVE programs encourage people to view common Muslim religious and cultural practices, as well as political activity as innocuous as going to an anti-war protest, with suspicion. Fatema highlights the dangers of addressing the racist implementation of CVE with calls for "equal opportunity surveillance" of both white and non-white extremists. Fatema argues that as long as a surveillance apparatus exists, it will always be enforced in a racist manner, so the focus should be on ending these programs rather than expanding them to others. We also talk about the tensions inherent in trying to prevent political extremist violence without acknowledging and addressing the root causes, western imperialism and capitalist exploitation chief among them. Fatema discusses ways that people can get involved in fighting against CVE programs and against the surveillance and criminalization of Muslim communities, and how to avoid accidentally feeding into narratives that stigmatize.

Follow Muslim Justice League on Twitter at @MuslimJustice.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Aug 1, 2018

Today Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Ellie Virrueta, a student at Cal State LA and youth organizer with the Inglewood-based Youth Justice Coalition and the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the Immigrant Youth Coalition. We discuss California Assembly Bill 931, the proposed legislation that would limit circumstances under which use of deadly force by police is allowed. Currently, police can get away with murder if their actions are deemed "reasonable", an impossibly vague standard. This new law instead requires lethal police violence to be "necessary", meaning all non-lethal alternatives have been exhausted. Ellie talks about the story of her 14  year-old cousin, Junior Rodriguez, who was killed by police during a mental health episode, and how this event motivated Ellie to get involved in the fight to pass this bill and against police brutality in general. We hash out the details of the legislation and go over the flimsy and laughable arguments against it from police unions and other pro-cop organizations. Finally, Ellie explains the timeline for AB 931’s passage and how you can support this and other efforts to end police violence in California.  

You can follow Youth Justice Coalition on Twitter @YouthJusticeLA, plus find out more information on how to get involved on their website.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jul 25, 2018

On this episode, Kumars interviews Medea Benjamin, cofounder of the anti-war org Code Pink, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, author of 10 books including “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control” and her new primer “Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Kumars talks to Medea about her life in the anti-war movement, beginning with protesting the Vietnam War as a high school student. We learn about the founding of Code Pink during the Bush years, and discuss the failings and successes of the mobilizations against the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. Despite failing to stop the wars, the Bush-era anti-war movement definitely changed the way the wars were fought, saving civilian lives by placing heightened scrutiny on those authorizing and carrying out atrocities. Bush-era anti-war organizing also certainly impacted US military plans for Syria and Iran. Medea talks about her continued anti-war activism during the Obama administration, sharing stories of separate confrontations of Obama and then-CIA Director John Brennan over their role in the criminal US drone program. We discuss the difficulties in replicating, let alone surpassing, the work of Bush-era organizers in the face of a renewed threat of war with Iran, given the huge amount of organizational capacity focused on Trump's many domestic assaults. We also talk about Medea's new book outlining major events in Iranian history, and why increasing tensions between the US and Iran led her to write it.

Follow Medea on Twitter at @medeabenjamin. Also follow @codepink.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jul 17, 2018

On this episode, Kumars and Roqayah are joined by some of their favorite guests to celebrate 100 episodes of Delete Your Account! We hear from @prisonculture, @modernistwitch, @KrangTNelson, @AliAbunimah, and @BrettPain and @MurderBryan of @StreetFightWCRS. Since we would be nothing without the love and support of our listeners, we also invite our biggest fan and most constructive critic on the show for a discussion you won't want to miss! (It's Kumars' mom, y'all, we talk to Kumars' mom.)

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jul 9, 2018

On this episode, Kumars and Roqayah are joined by Ryan Shapiro, a PhD student and transparency researcher at MIT. Ryan talks about his past work as an activist in the animal rights movement and as a scholar of government repression of animal rights activists, research described by the FBI as having the potential to cause “irreparable damage to national security”. He shares his extensive history of animal rescue operations, including rescuing animals from factory farms and thwarting whale poachers. We hear about the impact of the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which designates investigative journalists and animal rescuers seeking to uncover and remedy animal abuse in the meat and dairy industry as terrorists. "Ecoterrorism" is considered the #1 domestic terror threat while ever increasing white supremacist violence continues to be ignored. 

Ryan explains why Department of Justice calls him the “most prolific” Freedom of Information Act or FOIA requester, including uncovering evidence of CIA involvement in Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment and the FBI cover-up of a plot to assassinate Occupy Houston leaders. We also discuss Property of the People, the transparency nonprofit Ryan co-founded to file FOIA claims and challenge the government in court. Ryan, Roqayah and Kumars end by discussing their personal attitudes as leftists towards veganism and animal rights, including reflecting on the tensions between animal rights organizers and other corners of the left.

Follow Ryan on Twitter at @_rshapiro and Property of the People at @PropOTP.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jun 27, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

 

On this episode, Kumars interviews Oakland mayoral candidate and longtime community organizer Cat Brooks, cofounder of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) and executive director of the statewide Justice Teams Network. After years of prolific and effective work combating police violence in Oakland, Cat is challenging incumbent Mayor Libby Schaaf this fall.

Cat discusses the work of APTP, which takes a proactive approach to addressing police killings and corruption by holding public officials accountable, providing political education to the community, and supporting the victims of police terror. We hear how the organization is broadening its scope to address a myriad of needs of marginalized Oakland residents. Cat also describes how their approach has expanded statewide through the Justice Teams Network and is inspiring groups across the country and beyond. We hear how Oakland Mayor Schaaf's prioritization of white gentrifiers over people of color, poor people, and houseless people has emboldened individuals like #bbqbecky, #joggerjoe, and #permitpatty, in the same way Trump has emboldened his followers in the national context. We also discuss behind-the-scenes collaboration of Oakland Police with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, even while Libby Schaaf publicly claims support for Sanctuary policies. Kumars asks Cat whether her campaign's policy proposals go far enough, and how she will respond when she's mayor and an energized APTP is protesting outside her door.

Follow Cat on Twitter @CatsCommentary, and find out more about getting involved in the campaign here.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Jun 20, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars talk to returning guest Andalusia Knoll, a freelance multimedia journalist based in Mexico City, who has covered mass kidnappings in the country, including the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students, and state sanctioned massacres in places such as Oaxaca. Andalusia has also reported on transgender and immigrant justice, as well as the impact of global capital on Latin America.

Andalusia gives us a glimpse of the record levels of violence plaguing Mexico, including how the violence has manifested in Mexico's political arena. With general elections expected to take place on July 1, Andalusia describes the impact that this bloodshed has had on local electoral campaigns, with over 112 candidates murdered at the time of recording. We discuss how rampant corporate and political corruption, unchecked by news media or other institutions, has led to this unsustainable level of violence.

Andalusia also draws our attention to the killing of journalists in Mexico, where in 2017 there were 12 deaths alone, making it second only Syria as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. We discuss the role of the US in fostering violence in Mexico and Latin America more broadly in the service of its own economic and geopolitical interests. Andalusia explains how communities, in the face of horrific abuse and torture, are finding ways to autonomously mobilize, fight back, and win.

Check out Andalusia's work in VICE News, AJ+, Democracy Now!, and Truthout. In Mexico, she collaborates with various independent media and art collectives. You can also follow Andalusia on Twitter @Andalalucha.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Jun 13, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars discuss gentrification and organizing for tenants’ rights with Shanti Singh and Jen Snyder, both housing rights activists in San Francisco and leaders in DSA SF’s Housing Committee. Shanti, a returning guest and past guest host, is also with the statewide tenants rights organization Tenants Together. First-time guest Jen was the campaign manager for Proposition F, a San Francisco ballot measure that passed on June 5th that guarantees tenants a lawyer if they’re being evicted or otherwise forced out by their landlords.

Shanti and Jen give a lay of the land when it comes to housing rights in SF, including defining the terms YIMBY, NIMBY and PHIMBY, before getting into the specifics of the “Yes on F” campaign. They discuss how DSA SF, in spearheading the effort, strategically linked up with coalition partners and picked their battles to reach sympathetic residents and bolster turnout on election day. They also respond to recent tenants’ rights victories in Oakland, like the activities of the Defend Auntie Frances campaign and the Tenant and Neighborhood Councils project of the East Bay DSA Communist Caucus. Shanti and Jen conclude by pointing to both ground-up tenants’ rights organizing and more radical policy measures as potential next steps for the struggle for housing justice in the Bay Area and beyond.

Follow Shanti on Twitter @uhshanti, and Jen @ohjennyboy.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

May 30, 2018

 If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by first-time guest Matt Lubchansky. Matt is the Associate Editor of The Nib and a cartoonist and illustrator living in Queens, NY. Their work has appeared in VICE, The Intercept, Mad Magazine, Gothamist, The Toast, and of course, The Nib. We learn more about what led Matt to illustration, and get some background on his popular comic Please Listen To Me, as well as Matt's role in the ongoing political animated series from The Nib. Matt also shares their thoughts on Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams and Alex Jones favorite Ben Garrison, who have now become members of the alt-right, pro-Trump media landscape, and how they got to where they are. We examine the liberal side of political cartooning, discussing Garry Trudeau and Matt Groening, before turning our attention to artists like those featured at The Nib whose politics are further left. We discuss what makes some political art subversive and iconic, and what makes some (most) political art fall flat on its face. There's lots of extra fun material for Patreon subscribers only, so you'll have to listen for yourself!

You can follow Matt on Twitter at @Lubchansky.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

May 23, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Kumars and Roqayah speak with Martha Mundy, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics. She specializes in the anthropology of Arab societies, focusing in particular on matters of law and state, agrarian systems, kinship and family. Martha, who conducted her first ethnographic fieldwork in North Yemen in the mid-1970's, discusses the historical background of Yemen, including the political composition of the North and South. We learn about what drew Martha towards the region, specifically working in Yemen in the area of agricultural study. We dive into the role of local tribal and agrarian culture, how they form the very base of Yemeni society, and how this has been impacted by war and famine. Martha draws attention to the Saudi-led coalition bombing of Yemen, and how this military onslaught, whose targets have included water facilities, and sanitation systems, has brought Yemen to the brink of collapse. Martha discusses the extent of the economic war on Yemen and the U.S. role in prolonging it—from the Bush administration’s designation of Yemen as a combat zone, and subsequent drone assassination campaigns, to Barack Obama’s covert “signature strikes”.

Check out Martha's writing over at Counterpunch and buy her book. Also, make sure to listen to our interview from 2016 with journalist Afrah Nasser about Yemen.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

May 15, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Kumars and guest-host Shanti Singh welcome Jessica Raven. Jessica is a mother, community organizer, and Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), a DC-based grassroots organization working to build safer public spaces using community-based, non-criminal solutions. In this role, she has spearheaded the growth of the Safe Bar Collective, which works to end harassment and discrimination in nightlife. She is also a former youth survival sex worker working with the Sex Workers' Advocates Coalition (SWAC) to decriminalize sex work in DC.

Jessica joins us to talk about the recently passed FOSTA-SESTA legislation, which holds internet companies liable if users post ads for illegal sex work. Jessica describes the negative consequences of this legislation for sex workers, particularly those who are most marginalized. We discuss the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and homelessness as relates to sex work, and explore the incongruity between narratives about sex work and sex trafficking and reality. Jessica explains how the goal of the well-funded, white-male-dominated anti sex-trafficking movement is to end the sex trade, not to protect trafficking victims and definitely not to protect the vast majority of sex workers who aren’t trafficked. We talk about the risks of criminalizing any aspect of consensual sex work, particularly given that sex workers are often victimized by police themselves. Jessica also discusses the importance of language choices in either breaking or reinforcing the social stigma around sex work, leading to real consequences for sex workers, particularly those most marginalized. Finally, we hear about the work Jessica is doing in Washington DC to educate the community about the reality of sex work, and to organize to meet the needs of sex workers.

Check out the sex worker lobby day in DC planned for June 1st (part of a broader National Day of Action), and keep an eye out for direct actions happening in a city near you for International Whores Day on June 2nd. Follow Jessica on twitter @thejessicaraven.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

May 3, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars welcome Mariame Kaba back on the show. Mariame is a brilliant organizer whose work focuses primarily on dismantling the prison industrial complex. She's the founder of Project NIA, an advocacy group focused on ending youth incarceration. She's also co-founded a number of other organizations including the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women. You'll know her from Twitter as @prisonculture.

Mariame joins us to discuss her efforts on behalf of survivors of domestic and gender-based violence who have been criminalized and incarcerated for defending themselves against their abuser. Mariame shares her experiences and lessons learned from the successful campaigns to free Bresha Meadows and Marissa Alexander, two high-profile criminalized survivors of domestic violence. Mariame contrasts the treatment of Bresha and Marissa with other prominent examples to demonstrate that self-defense is only available to certain people, and certainly not black women. We talk about the impossible situation that domestic violence survivors are put in when the system fails them and then punishes them for doing what was necessary to survive. Mariame also discusses the work of Survived and Punished, an organizing collective she co-founded that emerged from several campaigns to free individual criminalized survivors. We learn about the efforts of the Survived and Punished NYC branch to push New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to commute the sentences of all criminalized domestic violence survivors in the state, a unilateral power he has and chooses not to exercise. We discuss the value, even in isolation, of clemency campaigns for individual survivors, while also highlighting the important role of these individual campaigns in building a mass movement to win systemic changes.

Check out the Survived and Punished toolkit to learn more about how to organize a defense campaign for criminalized survivors of violence where you live. 

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Apr 26, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars welcome first-time guest Anoa Changa and returning guest Eugene Puryear to the show. Anoa is an attorney and host of the podcast The Way with Anoa. She’s the co-managing editor of Progressive Army, and she also edits and writes for Peach Perspective which brings a left focus to politics in Georgia. Eugene is an organizer and founding member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), and is on the editorial board of Liberation News. He ran for Vice President alongside Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva under the PSL banner in 2008 and 2016. He is the author of Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America, and host of By Any Means Necessary on Radio Sputnik.

Anoa and Eugene were recently contacted by a reporter for Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE, ostensibly to profile Anoa about her experiences as a black activist in Atlanta. Eugene was contacted because he had hosted Anoa on his radio show, which is on Radio Sputnik, which has ties to the Russian state. The article, which ran on WABE and was boosted in other outlets, attempted to discredit Anoa and Eugene's work because of this extremely loose connection to Russia. Anoa and Eugene situate their treatment in historical context, pointing out that black organizing has been discredited for decades as a Soviet conspiracy to destabilize American politics. We get everyone's thoughts on Russian "election meddling", ignoring the hype to discuss more pressing threats to our electoral system and real ways to address them that don't result in a jingoist frenzy. Anoa and Eugene call out mainstream US news outlets for chastising leftists for appearing on platforms they deem out-of-bounds, while simultaneously denying leftists space and instead giving platforms to far-right scum. Finally, we have a very nuanced conversation about the complexities of choosing the right platform for your message, especially in our media universe where no platform with any real reach is pure.

You can follow Anoa on Twitter @TheWayWithAnoa, and follow Eugene @EugenePuryear.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Apr 19, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars welcome back two friends of the show, Douglas Williams and Bryan Conlon, also known as @Cato_of_Utica on Twitter. Douglas and Bryan, the proprietors of the Southern-focused labor organizing blog The South Lawn, catch up with Roqayah and Kumars, venting about the media mourning Barbara Bush before sharing their insight into the recent wave of teachers’ strikes across the country. The crew discusses how they negotiate the tension between “meeting people where they’re at” on the one hand, and on the other hand, building an intersectional left in solidarity with all oppressed and marginalized people.

Douglas and Bryan debate the importance of elections, particularly for leftist organizers interested in building a broad movement for social justice. We revisit their 2013 article for Facing South, “Creating a culture of unionism in the South”, and discuss its relevance to the labor actions we are seeing nationwide. Bryan and Douglas also share their thoughts on what people need to be doing to keep up the momentum from these strikes, transforming otherwise isolated labor actions into a mass movement for social and economic justice. Finally, the crew discusses Janus vs. AFSCME, the national “right to work” case that would undercut unions on a federal level, and what will be needed to revitalize the labor movement in the face of that impending consolidation of corporate anti-union reaction. 

You can follow Bryan on Twitter @Cato_of_Utica, and follow both their work @TheSouthLawn. Don't forget to support The South Lawn on Patreon.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Apr 12, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, assistant professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and author of the new book Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. Safiya calls attention to the built-in prejudices that distort search results and influence the information users can access on Google and other search engines in ways that reinforce structural inequality and bigoted attitudes. The crew talks about how the reliance of companies like Google on human-created algorithms to sort and prioritize search results means that the creators’ racist and sexist assumptions get translated into a new, ostensibly “neutral” or “objective” media form.

Safiya discusses the particular case of Dylann Roof, whose search history led him to the right-wing ideas he said motivated his massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roqayah and Kumars ask Safiya about laws in Europe that compel companies to restrict access to Nazi propaganda and other hate speech, and get her thoughts on regulating how companies prioritize bigoted content. Finally, Safiya puts forward one model for how a radical search engine might work to both protect marginalized users and ensure that tools of oppression are presented in their proper context.

Check out Algorithms of Oppression here and you can follow Safiya on Twitter @safiyanoble.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Apr 5, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

On this week’s episode, Roqayah and Kumars are joined for the entire show by returning guest Shaun Scott, author of Millennials and the Moments That Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982—Present. Shaun talks with Roqayah and Kumars about Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx, the recent biographical picture that tells the story of Marx’s early career, his friendship with Friedrich Engels, his marriage to his wife Jenny, and the development of Marx’s ideas in the lead-up to the publication of his Communist Manifesto. Opinions differ on the quality of the film. Shaun explains his article for City Arts Magazine, “Identity Politics in The Young Karl Marx,” providing background on Marx’s life and arguing that the film’s perspective demonstrates not only the potential but the necessity of integrating intersectional thinking about identity with Marxist class analysis through social reproduction theory.

The crew argues about how the film falls short, including its narrative focus on the development of ideas and its adherence to traditional biopic conventions. Roqayah and Kumars also discuss other recent depictions of communism, the Soviet Union, and Cold War politics in the recent movies Red Sparrow, The Death of Stalin, and The Shape of Water, and everyone concludes by taking stock of the complexities that arise when cinema takes on political issues.

Follow Shaun on Twitter @eyesonthestorm, and check out his analysis of The Young Karl Marx on City Arts.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Mar 29, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Emily Ozment. Emily was born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma. She is a special education teacher and lead teacher in her department for Biology and Physical Science at Eisenhower High School. Emily is participating in a grassroots effort by teachers across the state to bring funding back to the Oklahoma classroom and win a fair salary for Oklahoma teachers and education support staff. We talk to Emily about the statewide teacher walkout planned for April 2nd, placing it in the context of more than three years of political mobilization aimed at addressing the public education crisis in Oklahoma. Emily describes the dire conditions for both teachers and students, even as massive oil profits in the state are taxed at an absurdly low rate. With low wages forcing many teachers to work additional jobs, experienced teachers are fleeing the state and inadequately trained substitutes are being relied on more and more. Teachers are struggling to do their best in crumbling facilities with outdated and disintegrating textbooks, as the GOP-controlled state government has significantly decreased classroom funding. We talk about planning and preparation for April 2nd, as well as the support teachers are receiving from students, parents, and the broader community. We discuss the recent success of striking West Virginia teachers and the influence that this has had on teachers in Oklahoma, as well as teachers in other "red" states that are considering striking. Emily also talks about growing up in a deeply conservative state, and how her politics have shifted dramatically to the left as a result of what she has experienced teaching in Oklahoma.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Mar 15, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

 

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Matthew Kenner, author of Geohell: Imagining History in the Contemporary World, and Chris Oestereich, researcher and writer on economics and ecology, for a discussion of the left’s greatest unaddressed challenge in the 21st century: the problem of the contradiction between economic productivity and ecological sustainability. They begin with an explanation of the true meaning of “Geohell,” the much memed concept that has its origin in Matt’s reading of Dante’s Inferno. Matt and Chris give a rundown of the dependence of human civilization on the exploitation of the environment since the advent of agriculture millennia ago, emphasizing the increasing complexity and exploitation inherent in that process. They explain how even left-wing paradigms for development rely on notions of economic productivity that are in conflict with the demands of an environment undergoing catastrophic climate change.

Matt and Chris describe structural and ideological impediments to transitioning to an ecologically sustainable society, and explain the shortcomings of the “ecomodernist” strain of socialist thought that pushes technological fixes to climate change and views a future of “fully automated luxury communism” as not only desirable but attainable. The crew discusses the necessity for ecological economics, which currently lacks influence in the mainstream of the economics discipline, to frame maximizing growth as a principle that assumes impossible levels of energy consumption.

Follow Matt on Twitter @cutasterfee, and Chris @costrike.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Mar 7, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Roqayah is out for the week, but returning guest-co-host Nora Barrows-Friedman fills her shoes and joins Kumars for a conversation with Ali Abunimah, co-founder and editor of The Electronic Intifada. Ali is also the author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine and One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. We discuss several developments in Israel/Palestine since we last spoke to Ali, both on-the-ground and diplomatically around the world, and to what extent these changes are attributable to Trump. Ali shares the story of the Tamimi family, resisting the seizure of land in their village of Nabi Saleh for Israeli settlement construction. Multiple members of the Tamimi family have been killed in recent years as a result of their participation in weekly protests against the settlements. Not long after the near-death of 15-year-old Muhammad Fadel Tamimi, shot in the head with a "rubber" bullet, Ahed Tamimi, his 16-year-old cousin, lightly slapped one of two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as she attempted to remove them from her family's property. Video of the event went viral. Not long after, Ahed was arrested by the Israeli military where she now faces years in prison, and her family members have been targeted for arrest and abuse ever since. Ali talks about how Trump's Israel/Palestine policy agenda is largely in line with the increasing permissiveness for abuse and subjugation of Palestinians that has continued unaltered under Republican and Democratic presidents for decades. Ali posits that the salient difference between Obama and Trump is that Trump is "taking the mask off", dropping all pretense and revealing the ugly reality of Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism. We also talk about shifting public opinion on the question of justice for all Palestinians, particularly among young people, and why recent high-profile BDS victories have pro-Israel advocacy groups running scared, aligning more and more with far-right-wing governments and organizations.

You can find Ali on twitter at @AliAbunimah. Find Nora at @norabf.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Feb 28, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!! 

On this episode, Kumars interviewed incarcerated environmental activist Bryant Arroyo, speaking to us from Frackville Prison in Pennsylvania. Bryant has been incarcerated by the state of Pennsylvania for 24 years, and has been fighting to prove his innocence after being sentenced to life without parole. In addition to becoming a lawyer while behind bars, Bryant organized a victorious campaign against a coal gasification plant slated to be built next to his prison. He has taken on other campaigns to improve environmental conditions for Pennsylvania prisoners and has spoken to environmental conferences by phone about his efforts.

We learn how Bryant was able to organize hundreds of fellow prisoners at SCI Mahanoy in Southeastern Pennsylvania to oppose and eventually prevent the construction of a coal gasification plant nearby. Despite strict rules against circulating petitions, Bryant was able to get 402 prisoners to send identical, individual letters to Mahanoy Township Supervisors, joining with some local residents and environmental groups to stop construction of the plant. Bryant discusses how he was moved from medium-security SCI Mahanoy to the maximum-security SCI Frackville prison as a result of his activism.  Despite repression like this, Bryant hasn't been deterred from his work, and he tells us about his current efforts combatting black mold and critically contaminated water at SCI Frackville. Bryant talks about the serious health problems Frackville inmates are experiencing as a result of being forced to drink contaminated water, and the evidence he has uncovered showing that prison officials were aware of the contamination issues and failed to act. Finally, we ask Bryant for his thoughts about the censorship of Worker's World newspapers in Pennsylvania prisons, as a result of their coverage of the #OperationPush prison strikes in Florida.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Feb 21, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!! 

On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars interviewed DC-based DSA organizers and accessibility advocates Conor Arpwel and Matthew Sampson. Conor is autistic and is a writer and law student doing internal accessibility advocacy for Metro DC DSA, and is a member of the steering committee for DSA’s Disability Working Group. Matthew is a deaf graduate student at the Urban and Regional Planning program at Georgetown University and also the founder of a group called Deaf Urbanists, which aims to educate the Deaf community about modern urban planning, and encourage the community to be involved with the city’s planning and growth. He is active in local government in DC, and is involved with the Transportation and Public Infrastructure committee for his neighborhood. Matthew was also joined by Claire who assisted with interpreting the conversation. We learn how Conor and Matthew found themselves organizing with DSA, and what accessibility means to them in the context of left organizing spaces. We discuss the challenges associated with surviving in a world that is hostile to disabled people, as well as serious impediments toward reaching universal accessibility under capitalism, even in the most well-meaning of leftist spaces. Conor and Matthew explain that accessibility isn't a thing that can be given all at once, but instead a gradual process of doing better, with the responsibility being collectivized to the greatest extent possible. We explore how some of the ways the framing of socialist organizing as a project of appealing to "normal people" often implicitly, sometimes deliberately, marginalizes the concerns of disabled people and and other minority groups on the left. We also talk about an essay Conor wrote about passing in the context of disability, and an essay by Sara Nović about the desire of many deaf people to resist assimilation into mainstream culture. Finally, Matthew talks about how the lives of deaf people in Russia were radically transformed by the 1917 revolution, with deaf people living and working together, controlling their own communities, factories, culture and destiny in a way that is hard to imagine under modern capitalism.

Follow Matthew on Twitter at @riotpedestrian and follow Conor on Twitter at @Arpwel.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Feb 14, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!! 

On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars interview Joe Piette, a Vietnam veteran, retired postal worker and union member, and member of the Philadelphia branch of the Workers World Party, or WWP. He has been active in left organizing since returning from the Vietnam war. We talk to Joe about how his time in Vietnam led him to not just oppose that war, but all US imperialism around the globe. He talks about how he got involved with Workers World, which at the time was the only organization to consistently show up, even in the dead of winter, to leaflet and protest induction centers where those drafted into service were taken. We ask Joe about WWP's work supporting prisoners across the country, and discuss abuses faced by prisoners, particularly in Joe's home state of Pennsylvania. We also discuss #OperationPush, ongoing prison strikes and commissary boycotts in Florida, spearheaded by the prisoners themselves with support from the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons, and other organizations. Joe talks about how recent WWP coverage of #OperationPush has been banned from prisons in Pennsylvania, allegedly for inciting criminal activity, despite there being nothing illegal about a prison strike. Finally, we discuss ways for people to support both striking prisoners in Florida, as well as prisoners in Pennsylvania and elsewhere who are having their reading materials censored.

Check out ways to help striking prisoners in Florida here. To support Pennsylvania prisoners facing censorship, send complaints to Department of Corrections, 1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050, call 717-728-2573, or email ra-crpadocsecretary@pa.gov.

Follow Joe on Twitter at @pastpostal65 and check out his writing for Workers World.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Feb 7, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!! 

On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars welcome two guests for a wide-ranging discussion on topics including new media, celebrity and branding on the left, and call-out culture. First we have Liz Ryerson, a Los Angeles-based multimedia artist, musician, designer, critic and host of the podcast Beyond the Filter, which deals with digital media and especially new media - the newer the better - from a left perspective. We are also joined by returning guest Shaun Scott, a Seattle-based independent filmmaker and author of Millennials and the Moments That Made Us - A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982—Present, due out this month. Liz discusses the reactionary tendencies and radical possibilities of video games, and how they influence and reflect society at-large. We also discuss the dual phenomena of celebrity and branding in rapidly expanding and heavily-online left spaces. Drawing off Shaun's recent writing and Exiting the Vampire Castle, an essay by the late Mark Fisher, we explore these phenomena and the importance and pitfalls of calling-out our comrades.

Follow Liz on Twitter at @ellaguro and read her awesome piece about the world of Doom modding on Waypoint. Follow Shaun at @eyesonthestorm and read his recent defense of call-out culture.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Jan 26, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!! 

On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars discuss workplace sabotage as radical praxis with returning guests Bryan Quinby and Brett Payne, fan favorites and hosts of the anarcho-comedy show Street Fight Radio out of Columbus, Ohio. Brett and Bryan share stories of monkeywrenching from their own lives and from their listeners, and Kumars discovers that “salting” is not just what happens to the street after it snows, but also an organizing tactic that involves getting hired at businesses with the aim of unionizing the workforce. The crew breaks down Street Fight’s campaign against the right-wing shipping supplier Uline, as well as a OSS field manual with tips on how to effectively infiltrate enemy institutions. They discuss workplace slowdowns, whistleblowing, Uber, Nathan for You, living your politics and why it’s necessary to see bosses as the enemy.

Finally, Brett and Kumars dish about their experiences seeing Lana Del Rey in concert, and arrive at the definitive leftist critique of their mutual celebrity crush.

Follow Bryan on Twitter @MurderBryan, Brett @BrettPain, and the official Street Fight account @StreetFightWCRS.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Jan 17, 2018

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon page for as little as $5 a month. Also, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes. We can't do this show without your support!!! 

On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by two guests, both of whom have been on DYA before. First we have Peter Moskowitz, a journalist and the author of the book How To Kill A City, which explores the gentrification of US cities. Peter recently wrote a piece for The Outline called "Protest fatigue syndrome: What to do when activism burns you out" that combines research and reporting with discussion of Peter's own personal battle against burnout. Peter shares their story, picking up where we left off when we last spoke to them in the wake of Heather Heyer's murder in Charlottesville. We learn how Peter was able to overcome protest fatigue through self-care and reprioritizing the unglamorous day-to-day work of community organizing over the spectacle of street protests. To help provide some expertise on this topic, we are also joined by Megan Clapp, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology whose work focuses on trauma, anxiety, and depression, with an emphasis on LGBTQ issues. Megan discusses how shame and trauma contribute to burnout and shares some helpful tools for keeping us healthy, happy, and fighting.

You can follow Peter on twitter at @ptrmsk. Follow Megan at @MemeVVitch. Also, don't forget to check out Megan's blog. Listen to Megan's first appearance on our show. Check out Peter's past appearances (1 and 2) as well.

A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

1 2 3 4 Next »