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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.
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Now displaying: January, 2017
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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