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.
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.
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.
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.