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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.
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Mar 23, 2017

This is only part of our interview with Bryan and Brett from Street Fight on WCRS. If you want get the whole interview, support the show, and receive access to tons of other 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 talks to past guests Bryan Quinby and Brett Pain, cohosts of Street Fight, an anarcho-comedy radio show that airs weekly on WCRS in Columbus, Ohio, and is also available via podcast three times a week. You'll remember Brett and Bryan from our election-night episode. We talk about what they've been doing post-election, including getting more involved in organizing and activism in Columbus. We also talk about strategies for keeping the work fun by keeping your sense of humor and integrating social events into the fabric of your organizing groups. in addition to boring planning meetings. The guys also have some fun talking about celebrities and other frivolous stuff.

Follow Brett (@BrettPain) and Bryan (@MurderBryan) on twitter. Also follow their show at @StreetFightWCRS.

Mar 16, 2017

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 Adam Johnson, a prolific media analyst and critic whose work can be found at FAIR, Alternet, The Nation, and other outlets. Kumars and Adam talk about the over-hyped Trump tax return story pushed by Rachel Maddow. We also discuss Adam's recent reporting on the Global Engagement Center, a State Department effort to spread propaganda targeting ISIS that has recently been expanded to target state actors like Russia and China. These efforts ostensibly aren't meant for domestic audiences, but Adam points out that the government refuses to rule out the possibility that this propaganda would reach Americans. In fact, certain diaspora communities living in the US are explicitly being targeted by these efforts, and US-based journalists have been paid by the State Department in the past, a practice the government refuses to rule out going forward. Adam and Kumars also talk about fake news, specifically how this concept, created by liberals, has been turned against them quite successfully by Trump.

In the introduction, Kumars also talks to his good friend, comedian Nick Martin, about Sean Spicer, Paul Ryan, and comedy in the age of Trump.

You can follow Adam on twitter at @AdamJohnsonNYC. Check out Nick Martin on twitter at @PissMistress.

Mar 9, 2017

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 is joined by writer and activist Arnesa Buljusmic-Kustura (@Rrrrnessa) to talk about some of the absolutely crazy shit that happened this week. We discuss the newly-released Muslim ban 2.0, and compare how organizers are responding now to how they responded to Trump's first executive order. We also talk about TrumpCare, including the implications for Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, and the redistribution of wealth from poor people to the rich. Kumars and Arnesa also welcome Freddy Martinez, the computer whiz you'll remember from a past episode, onto the show to discuss #Vault7, the latest Wikileaks release, and its implications for privacy and left organizing.

You can follow Freddy on twitter at @B_Meson.

Mar 1, 2017

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!!!

It's our first episode with Roqayah on hiatus! Before we get to the main interview, Kumars has a special guest for the show intro. He talks to writer, activist, and past guest Arnesa Buljusmic-Kustura (@Rrrrnessa on twitter) about their shared experiences as stressed-out graduate students, living in the Midwest, and the shit-show that was the Oscars. Arnesa will be joining us next week as co-host for the entire episode!

For the main interview this week, past guest and fan favorite Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture on twitter) takes over hosting duties and talks to Tania Unzueta, co-founder and policy director for Mijente, a nation-wide group dedicated to providing a hub for latinx organizing around immigrant justice, policing, and other issues of importance to latinx communities. They discuss how Tania, herself undocumented, got involved with organizing, helping to found the Immigrant Youth Justice League and later Organized Communities Against Deportations in Chicago, groups that centered the leadership of undocumented immigrants in the fight for their own rights. Tania talks about the recent history of organizing for immigrant justice, beginning in 2006, and how organizers navigated difficult choices around policy proposals such as comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act. They discuss immigrant justice movement tactics, and how those tactics have changed over time and will need to change again in the Trump era. Mariame asks Tania about the Adios Arpaio campaign which successfully ousted Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona and how they were able to win this fight on the same night that the right-wing made huge gains elsewhere. Mariame also asks Tania about the Sanctuary movement, which seeks to prevent local and state law enforcement from cooperating with Federal immigration enforcement efforts, and the report that Mijente recently released called "Expanding Sanctuary" which discusses the movement going forward.

You can follow Tania on twitter at @_LaTania. You can also follow Mijente at @conmijente. Check out Mijente's website to look for ways to plug into the movement for immigrant justice locally, and also donate to support their work if you are able.

Feb 23, 2017

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 and Roqayah speak with Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center or AROC, located in San Francisco. AROC is a grassroots organization dedicated to building Arab community power in pursuit of justice and self-determination for all marginalized peoples. AROC was instrumental in organizing the massive protests at San Francisco International Airport following Trump’s Muslim Ban executive order. We learn about the work AROC and their coalition partners had been doing since Trump's election to prepare to rapidly respond to impending assaults on their community, and how they were able to mobilize so quickly once Trump's Muslim ban was announced. We discuss the importance of logistics and infrastructure in sustaining any direct action, from legal consultation booths to food and water, from art supplies to extension cords. We learn about the strategies that AROC and their allies employed to build this infrastructure in a matter of hours, sustaining a multi-day action with roughly 10,000 participants, an action that led to the release of all detainees at the airport. We also talk about AROC's plans for continuing to resist, with a new Muslim ban executive order due any day now.

You can follow AROC on twitter at @AROCBayArea. If you are in the Bay Area, join the Bay Resistance rapid response text alert system by texting "resist" to 41411. If you are in the Bay Area and witness an ICE raid, call 415-200-1548.

Feb 14, 2017

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, our guest fell through so Kumars and Roqayah have a special Valentine's Day episode, just the two of them. We talk about football players protesting Trump and Israel. We also discuss major, world-wide protests planned for April and May including the March for Science (April 22), the People's Climate March (April 29), as well as the May Day General Strike and Immigrants' Strike (May 1). We discuss how important these actions will be in demonstrating left power, especially if the momentum can be maintained through those 10 days and beyond. After you eat your vegetables, Kumars and Roqayah get into a deep discussion about the meaning of Valentine's Day, love and relationships. We give some good leftist dating advice that will help you organize your community AND your love life. Roqayah also has some personal news to share. She will be taking a break from the show after the next episode while she catches up on her 50 other jobs and some much-needed sleep. We will have some amazing guest-co-hosts filling in until she returns, including some of your favorite past Delete Your Account guests and maybe even some new voices. So don't worry, we will keep serving you that same high-quality, anti-capitalist content you crave while she's away.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, who knows, you might even delete your account.

Feb 8, 2017

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 and Roqayah speak with Maryam Jamshidi, founder and editor-in-chief of Muftah, a digital magazine focused on going beyond the narrow parameters of current media coverage of the Middle East and North Africa. She is also an assistant professor at NYU Law School. In addition to her work at Muftah, you can find her writing in outlets including Truthout and Al Jazeera English, as well as an assortment of academic publications. We wanted to have Maryam on to discuss some of the foreign policy implications of Trump’s election, particularly rising tensions between the US and Iran.

We learn about what led Maryam to get involved in writing and political advocacy focused on the Middle East and North Africa, and we also find out more about the founding and mission of Muftah. We get into some of the history of the US-Iran relationship, from the 1953 CIA-backed coup, the Islamic revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, all the way through to Obama's Nuclear deal with Iran. Maryam gives her thoughts on what factors led to the successful implementation of that deal and a relative, if possibly only temporary, thawing of the US-Iran relationship. We then get into recent developments in the Trump era, including effects of the travel ban, Iran's recent ballistic missile test and the US sanctions that followed, the positioning of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen, and the recently introduced House of Representatives bill that would authorize the use military force against Iran. We talk about several Trump cabinet appointments and how the stars seem to be aligning for war with Iran. Despite these warning signs, Maryam gives a strong argument for why war with Iran is still unlikely, but encourages everyone to remain vigilant to make sure we stop the march to war before it gains too much momentum. We discuss what the anti-war movement will look like under Trump and brainstorm ways to make the movement more resilient and effective than it was under Bush and Obama.

The anti-war movement needs its own preemptive strike, we can't just wait for war to start to begin opposing it.

You can follow Maryam on twitter at @MsJamshidi and Muftah at @MuftahOrg.

Feb 1, 2017

This is only part of our interview with Matt Bruenig. If you want get the whole interview, support the show, and receive access to tons of other 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 talk to Matt Bruenig, a writer and researcher who focuses on poverty, inequality, and welfare programs. We really wanted to have Matt on to help us understand some of the history of US welfare programs and what Trump’s likely cuts will mean, especially for the poorest Americans. We discuss the role of welfare programs in a capitalist society, and go over the main components of the US welfare state. Matt describes what the social safety net looked like following its establishment during the New Deal under FDR and its expansion under LBJ's Great Society. We discuss rounds of expansion and contraction under subsequent presidents including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as what's in store for the welfare state under Trump and GOP governance. We talk about the failure of the liberal democratic welfare state framework, and discuss how universal, rather than means-tested or identity-based welfare programs could be more durable. We go over a couple of examples of universal programs, including universal basic income and medicare for all. Matt debunks some of the main criticisms of these programs, and makes clear that these are definitely achievable goals.

Patreon subscribers also get more show! We talk about Matt's new baby, his cross-eyed cat, and other fun stuff! Subscribe to hear it all!

Follow Matt on twitter at @MattBruenig. Check out some of his old posts from when he blogged over at Demos, as well as a more recent post about universal basic income which we discuss during the interview. Also, read Matt's latest piece for Jacobin about the Dow reaching 20,000, which we didn't get a chance to discuss during the episode.

Jan 25, 2017

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 and Roqayah speak with Eugene Puryear. Eugene is an organizer and founding member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation or PSL, and is on the editorial board of Liberation News, a biweekly publication of the PSL. He ran for Vice President alongside Presidential candidate Gloria La Riva under the PSL banner in both 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.

We ask Eugene how he got involved with organizing and how he found himself working with the PSL. We find out more about the PSL, their history, mission, and organizational philosophy, as well as the split between PSL and the Workers' World Party. Eugene gives us his critiques of Bernie Sanders, democratic socialism, and working within the Democratic party, while acknowledging the benefits of the Sanders campaign for the American socialist project. We discuss PSL's electoral politics strategy, both its strengths and limitations. We also talk about the concept of "lesser evilism" and Eugene's vision for what socialism means today.

You can follow Eugene on twitter at @EugenePuryear and check out his writings over at Liberation News.

Jan 18, 2017

This is only part of our interview with Emily and Larry from DSA. If you want get the whole interview, support the show, and receive access to tons of other 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 talk to two organizers from the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, the largest socialist organization in the United States. First, Emily Robinson joins us from Edinburgh, Scotland, where she is also a member of the Scottish Labor Young Socialists. You can find her writing in Current Affairs. We were also joined by the pseudonymous "Larry Website". He is a former northwest field organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign and refers to himself as the Billy Mays of the DSA, which definitely seems to be a fitting description. After Kumars eviscerates Emily and Larry by their own logic, the gang gets down to business, talking about the history of DSA, its mission, and why Emily and Larry each got involved. We have a candid discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of DSA's approach to organizing, comparing and contrasting with groups to their right and to their left along the political spectrum. Larry and Emily discuss their participation in the Left Caucus within DSA which is trying to pull the organization in a more radical direction. We talk about the role that Bernie Sanders played in making socialism palatable to wide swaths of the country, boosting the profile of virtually every socialist organization in the process. We also talk about the limits of Bernie Sanders' approach and the weaknesses of democratic socialism as an end in of itself, rather than a means to achieving a more radical future.

Patreon subscribers also get more fun stuff! What role will cats and dogs play in the revolution? Subscribe to find out!

Follow Emily (@See_Em_Play) and Larry (@LarryWebsite) on twitter. Also follow @DemSocialists to learn more about DSA.

Also, DSA is having a membership drive now through January 22nd trying to get to 15,000 members. If the group appeals to you, consider joining up! If it's not your thing, find a group that fits you better and get to work!

Jan 11, 2017

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 and Roqayah speak with Barrett Brown, a journalist and founder of Project PM, a crowd-sourced investigation into the cyber-military-industrial complex. He’s authored two books and countless articles including, most recently, award-winning work in The Intercept. In 2012, Brown was indicted on multiple federal charges stemming from the 2011 hack of private intelligence firm Stratfor. Brown was denied bail and eventually sentenced to 63 months in prison and ordered to pay close to $900,000 in restitution to Stratfor. He was released at the end of November and we have him on the show to discuss his time as a political prisoner, as well as his work before and since.

Barrett describes to us the concept of his crowd-sourced investigation Project PM, and what this effort was able to accomplish, uncovering some of the dirty tricks and shady dealings of private cybersecurity and intelligence firms like HBGary and Stratfor. Barrett describes how he became a target of the FBI, who raided his home on two separate occasions, in addition to raiding his mother's home. Barrett describes how he was arrested and charged with threatening a federal agent, as well as multiple charges relating to simply sharing a link to documents from a hack of Stratfor. He tells us about his time in prison, including the gag order he was placed under to prevent him from discussing the details of his case. He tells us about his life now that he is relatively free. He is continuing his career in journalism, writing all of his stories with pen and paper since he isn't allowed to use a computer according to the terms of his parole. Finally, we talk to Barrett about his recent efforts to build on the success of Project PM by developing a software-based civic participation platform to facilitate horizontal collaboration among activists.

What happened to Barrett under Obama's watch is an example of the type of treatment journalists can expect a lot more of under Trump, as well as a reminder that attacks on journalists aren't a new phenomenon or one that is exclusive to GOP presidents.

You can learn more about Barrett's situation by following @FreeBarrett_ on twitter or by going to freebarrettbrown.org.

Jan 4, 2017

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 and Roqayah speak with Ali Abunimah, co-founder and editor of the Palestine-related news website the Electronic Intifada. Ali is also the author of such books as The Battle for Justice in Palestine and One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. We ask Ali for his thoughts on the Obama administration's Israel-Palestine legacy, including John Kerry's recent speech trying to salvage the long-dead two-state solution. Ali gives his predictions regarding the movement for Palestinian human rights in the Trump era, including some that might surprise you. We also discuss the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and how it can remain resilient in the face of right-wing rule. Finally, we get Ali's thoughts on how we defend against repression of Palestine solidarity organizing, and discuss ways we can keep moving forward even as we are forced to expend energy playing defense.

You can find Ali on twitter at @AliAbunimah.

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