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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: September, 2017
Sep 26, 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!!!

Roqayah and Kumars spend the intro talking about Kumars finding himself once again targeted by white nationalists for his Palestine solidarity activism. They also talk about UC Berkeley's nazi appreciation ("free speech") week and contrast UC Berkeley's efforts to protect the speech of genocidal racists with their complete lack of effort to protect the speech of leftists.

For the interview, Kumars and Roqayah are honored to welcome Kshama Sawant. Kshama is a proud socialist, member of Socialist Alternative, and a Seattle City Councilmember. She joins Kumars live in Oakland, while Roqayah is, as always, on the other side of the world in Sydney, Australia. After hearing a little about how Kshama originally became radicalized, we learn what defines Socialist Alternative as an organization and how she discovered Socialist Alternative was the right fit for her. Kshama shares with us how she was able to become the only open socialist on Seattle City Council, and how she has been able to effectively push her agenda without other socialists in government. We hear more about some of Kshama's major policy wins, including a $15 minimum wage and an income tax targeting high earners. We also ask Kshama about Bernie Sanders, hearing her thoughts and criticisms of his Presidential campaign, his role in shaping the Democratic agenda, and his foreign policy views. Finally, Kshama shares her thoughts on how people on the left can build an effective alternative to both fascism and neoliberalism.

You can follow Kshama on Twitter at @cmkshama. Check her out on the web and also support other socialists running for city council seats, including in Seattle and Minneapolis

A transcript for this episode is forthcoming. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Sep 20, 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!!!

Roqayah and Kumars are joined for an in-depth discussion of German politics and the upcoming federal elections in Germany by Julia Damphouse and Loren Balhorn direct from Berlin. Julia is a Canadian student in Berlin and a member of the German Left Party, die Linke. Loren is an American member of die Linke and writes about German politics for Jacobin. After we get our usual political origin stories from our guests, they give us an introduction to each of the 6 major political parties likely to enter the Bundestag or German parliament after the election on September 24th.

Julia and Loren begin with their own party, explaining the roots of the socialist Left Party both in East German socialism and in more recent discontent with the center-left’s neoliberal turn. They explain that the bulk of the disenchantment is a result of the Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) increasing abandonment from their working-class base, and we clear up any misconceptions about who is responsible for the death of Rosa Luxemburg. Almost imperceptibly to the right of today’s Social Democrats are Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), whose shrewd movement away from conservative positions has consolidated their power in the face of a feckless SPD.

Julia and Loren both weigh in on the Islamophobic, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), which seems poised to become the first far-right party to enter the Bundestag in Germany’s postwar history, and discuss whether the US media is right to frame the AfD as a manifestation of “Trump-style” nationalism. Finally, Loren and Julia touch on the CDU’s possible coalition partners, the centrist Greens and the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP), and make our predictions about which potential alliance will govern Germany for the next four years.

You can read Loren’s writing on Jacobin and follow Julia on Twitter at @remarksist. Don’t miss Julia’s first appearance on the show as a guest cohost for our excellent interview with Kathleen Brown on the anti-G8 mobilization in Hamburg.

A transcript for this episode is forthcoming. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.

Sep 13, 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!!!

This week, Roqayah and Kumars packed two interviews into one show. First we have a short 15-minute discussion with Jon Grant, the former director of the Tenants Union of Washington State. In addition to being a community organizer and housing rights advocate, Jon is running for position 8 on the Seattle City Council as a proud socialist. We learn about Jon's background and bona fides, as well as why he's running for office and what makes his campaign different from that of other politicians. 

Next, Roqayah and Kumars talk to Ro Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist and writer for rohingyablogger.com. We wanted to have Ro Nay San on the show to discuss the horrific ethnic cleansing and genocide being perpetrated against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by military and paramilitary forces. We learn about how Ro Nay San got involved in writing and activism, and about the website he runs. He explains the key historical events necessary for understanding the current crisis in Myanmar, including the 1982 Citizenship Law that essentially made the Rohingya stateless. We discuss the staggering scope of the atrocities being committed, with entire villages burned, thousands murdered and hundreds of thousands displaced, internally and externally. We discuss the United States' quiet approval of and complicity in the violence, with Obama lifting sanctions on the Myanmar government as attacks on Rohingya Muslims intensified. We also talk about the false promise of Aung San Suu Kyi, a former champion of the opposition during decades of military rule who has long since sacrificed her principles, as well as the Rohingya, for a tiny taste of power. We discuss what can be done to stop these atrocities, cautioning against calls for western military intervention as well as trade sanctions that would disproportionately hurt the poorest and most vulnerable.

Follow Ro Nay San Lwin on Twitter at @nslwin. Make sure to check out rohingyablogger.com to learn more about what's happening in Myanmar. 

To find out more about Jon Grant's Seattle City Council bid, go to electjongrant.com. If you have the time and inclination to help out on his campaign, make sure to click “GET INVOLVED”. Follow @electjongrant on twitter for updates.

Sep 6, 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!!!

This week, Kumars and Roqayah are taking a much-needed break for Labor Day. After they both say hi to everyone in the introduction, we replay one of our most important and criminally under-listened interviews with KB Brower, an expert union organizer who gave Kumars a crash course in the tools of the professional organizing trade.

KB Brower is an organizer with the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, the independent nurses union in Philadelphia, which has a long history of rank and file militancy and social justice unionism. Before moving to Philadelphia, KB organized contracted out workers and students with AFSCME 3299, and before that, she ran domestic campaigns for United Students Against Sweatshops. She got her start in the labor movement with SEIU 1199 New England, where she learned about building majority social justice unions that aren't afraid to strike and win. KB gives Kumars and our listeners a crash-course in organizing best practices, based off of a two-day training she recently held. She discusses key components of the internal structure of any successful community or labor organizing group, and ways to grow your organization. Kumars and KB talk about where power comes from, and go over the concept of power mapping, including identifying and recruiting natural leaders. KB explains the basic ingredients of an organizing conversation, including identifying issues that resonate with the person you're talking to, agitating them, and giving them a plan to win. KB explains how to deal with difficult questions through affirming the point-of-view of the questioner, answering their question concisely, and redirecting back to the issue the questioner cares most about. We discuss the idea of the "biggest worst", an area where our organization is lacking in strength and has the best potential for improvement. Given limited time and energy, focusing on biggest worsts will result in the generation of more power than focusing on areas where we are already strong that don't have much room for growth. We also talk about turning an issue into a campaign that not only achieves your goal, but also grows the power of your organization. Finally, KB stresses the importance of having both majority participation and a broader conception of social justice so that you have both the power to win in the short-term while remaking society to make those gains long-lasting.

KB isn't on twitter herself, but you can follow the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals on twitter at @PennaNurses.

To support Harvey relief, we recommend you check out the wishlist that has been posted by the National Black United Front Houston Chapter. You can find more about them on their facebook page.

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