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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: 2018
Dec 5, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Adam Johnson. Adam is a media analyst with Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting or fair.org. He is also the co-host of the media criticism podcast Citations Needed alongside Nima Shirazi.

Adam joins us for an in-depth discussion of a number of important media-related topics. We start out dissecting the recent case of academic Marc Lamont Hill who was fired from his position at CNN for his remarks before the United Nations about the Palestinian struggle against occupation. We also discuss the oversaturated media coverage of the death of George H.W. Bush as well as the larger issue of American attitudes towards deceased domestic political figures, and how appeals to civility undermine conversations we must have regarding the human rights abuses these figures have had a part in.

Adam also takes us through the article by New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss and Eve Peyser of VICE (intentionally not linking), where they examine how they became friends despite political differences, a superficial and conciliatory attitude that exposes extreme privilege and more common political ground than either Bari or Eve might like to admit. We also talk Russiagate, the migrant caravan, and more.

Follow Adam on twitter @AdamJohnsonNYC.

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!!!

Nov 28, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Ares and Kristen, volunteers with the Tech Workers Coalition (TWC) — a democratically-structured group of tech and tech-adjacent workers based in industry hubs across the country — to discuss organizing for social justice in the tech industry, from workplace rights to international solidarity. After Ares, who is based in the Bay Area, and Kristen, who is based in Boston, share a bit about their personal paths to tech labor organizing, they discuss how TWC has evolved from a solidarity campaign with striking tech industry service workers to a leaderless, decentralized network of resources that have supported Google workers to win rights for victims of sexual abuse in the workplace as well as end their company’s contract to develop drone AI for the Pentagon.

We also discuss the obstacles, including ideological ones, to unionizing and labor organizing generally in the tech industry, and how Silicon Valley’s liberal reputation belies the conservative politics of its leadership. Finally, the gang ends by reflecting on the way forward for Tech Workers Coalition, expanding workers’ power at home and constantly building connections with communities most affected by the inescapable violence of the industry.

You can follow Tech Workers Coalition on Twitter @techworkersco and find out more about 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!!!

Nov 21, 2018
This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by J. Redwoods and Cassandra Williams, co-founders of Mask Oakland, a grassroots effort to deliver N95 respirator masks to marginalized people in Oakland and beyond who are dealing with hazardous smoke from the massive wildfire in Northern California. J. and Cassandra begin by sharing their personal origin stories as leftists and organizers, and explain the genesis of Mask Oakland as a response to the failure of local and state governments to deal with the fallout from the 2017 fires in Sonoma and other Northern California counties. 

They then break down the whirlwind experience of the past couple weeks, explaining how their team of volunteers have collected donations and distributed tens of thousands of masks across Northern California. J. and Cassandra talk about the key role of community partners in expanding the reach of their impromptu supply network, and how Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tried to take credit for Mask Oakland’s work after dropping the ball herself. Finally, the gang discusses what it means that Mask Oakland is filling a vacuum created by government and corporate inaction, and how their model and initiative provides a clear way forward for organizers to provide emergency disaster relief when no one else will. 

Follow Mask Oakland on Twitter @MaskOakland to learn how to get involved with future efforts. You can also donate on Venmo @MaskOakland.

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!!!

Nov 14, 2018

This week, Kumars is joined by Wendi Muse for a primer on Brazilian politics and the lessons from the recent election of fascist president Jair Bolsonaro. Wendi is the host of the Left POCket Project podcast and a PhD Candidate in History at New York University whose dissertation analyzes Portuguese Africa’s impact on the Brazilian left through intellectual and political exchange during the Cold War. Wendi begins by providing necessary historical context, discussing how Brazil remains indelibly shaped by slavery and the military dictatorship that purged leftists and workers’ institutions and kept poor people, most prominently the sizeable Afro-Brazilian population, in fear and misery.

Wendi and Kumars discuss how the wealthy and middle class in Brazil chose the unfettered economic and racial domination of Bolsanaro over the tangible but moderate reforms of imprisoned former President Lula and his successors, including the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad. Wendi explains how the Brazilian right’s co-optation of protests over increased bus fares led to the impeachment, on trumped-up corruption charges, of PT President Dilma Rousseff, and outlines the US role in legitimizing this 2016 coup. After discussing what Bolsonaro’s open bigotry and nostalgia for the dictatorship represents in Brazilian politics, how he differs from Trump, and why he should be considered a fascist, Wendi shares her thoughts on the outlook for social movements and the Workers’ Party in Brazil, and how concerned people in the US can show solidarity.

Follow Wendi on Twitter @MuseWendi and keep up with the Left POCket Project at @LeftPOC.

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!!!

Nov 1, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by René Christian Moya. René is an organizer with the LA Tenants Union and has been working over the past year to pass California's Proposition 10, which would restore the rights of cities to expand rent control.

René joins us to discuss the tenant-led movement against mass evictions, landlord harassment, and unfair rent increases. René gives us an important background lesson on the history of rent control in California, including the devastating impact of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which allowed for landlords to price-gouge tenants by exempting units from rent control if they were built after February 1995. We also examine the impact of this legislation on homelessness and food insecurity in California, which impacts some 300,000 children per year, and how the Prop 10 campaign aims to fight on their behalf. René closes us put with some critical optimism and necessary reflections on what the fight for housing and tenant rights will look like after votes as cast.

Follow Renè on twitter @rcmoya84. You can also visit the LA Tenants Union’s website to become a member.

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!!!

Oct 24, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by two members of the NYC Democratic Socialists of America Street Medics, pathology resident Tatyana Zinger and Jacob Clary, an EMT, pre-med student studying structural epidemiology, and program director of the Street Medics’ Opioid Overdose Prevention Program (OOPP). After sharing how they got involved in left politics, Tatyana and Jacob outline the origin and primary functions of the NYC DSA Street Medics, including conducting trainings, first aid and logistical support at protests, and projects in the works like mental health directories for marginalized people. Jacob discusses the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program's distribution of Naloxone, an antidote to opioid overdose that routinely saves the lives heroin addicts. The crew also talks about the history of street medics in radical movements and the NYC DSA Street Medics’ own philosophy as an organization. Finally, we discuss the possibility of scaling up this type of organizing to create permanent health care infrastructure that can give communities real autonomy where government policies fail.

Follow Tatyana on Twitter @sweetbabyruski and Jacob @dirtycollar. You can also follow NYC DSA Street Medics @nycdsamedics and request support at your upcoming action 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.

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!!!

Oct 17, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars welcome back 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 lead the growth of the Safe Bar Collective, which works to end harassment and discrimination in nightlife.

Jessica joins us to discuss her recent impromptu campaign to become president of her Parent Teacher Association (PTA). She was inspired to run after the then-unopposed PTA presidential candidate, a producer for Fox News, tweeted favorably about Brett Kavanaugh following Senate testimony where he attempted to refute multiple sexual assault allegations. Jessica describes what motivated her to run, and how a viral tweet turned into national coverage of a hyper-local PTA race and nationwide support for her run. We discuss how race and class intersect within Jessica's PTA as well as countless other organizing spaces, with gentrification leading to an influx of wealthier white parents which now dominate the leadership of a PTA made mostly of poor parents of color. We discuss the potential of local organizing in the context of the PTA, including how a radical candidate like Jessica could implement more equitable representation, and bring about better conditions for teachers, parents, and students. Jessica discusses the type of hostile pushback she received after announcing her PTA run and how her opponent relied on solidarity from other fellow white women to help her coast toward victory. Finally, we hear Jessica's thoughts on why it is necessary for everyone to engage in local community politics, and the value of the fight itself even when the odds are stacked against us.

You can 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.

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!!!

Oct 10, 2018
This week, Roqayah and Kumars speak with Liz Jackson, a founding staff attorney for Palestine Legal and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights. We talk to Liz about the surveillance and harassment of Palestine solidarity activists on US college campuses by the far-right and governments. We learn more about the pernicious Canary Mission website which smears activists as anti-Semites and supporters of terrorism, and other efforts to suppress boycott, divestment, and sanction efforts targeting Israel. Liz also describes efforts by Trump's Department of Education to expand the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel and Israeli policy toward Palestinians. We also discuss several pieces of anti-BDS legislation at the state and national levels, and the ways in which Palestine Legal is working to safeguard the right to protest Israeli apartheid. Liz explains that the best way to combat the avalanche of repression is to bring BDS more and more into the mainstream. Finally, we examine the campus free speech frenzy from the perspective of Palestine activism, and discuss whether free speech absolutism is actually the best foundation upon which to build a movement for justice in Palestine.

You can follow Palestine Legal on Twitter at @pal_legal and visit Palestine Legal online to learn about ways you can support their work.

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!!!

Oct 3, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars discuss one of the ways that people are fighting the rising costs of insulin. The cast is joined by Anthony DiFranco and Yann Huon de Kermadec, of the Open Insulin Project which is developing a cheap, easy, and open-source protocol for insulin production. Anthony, founder of the Open Insulin Project and boardmember of Counter Culture Labs in the Bay Area, explains how deeply the American healthcare apparatus has failed people, and describes his own experience living with Type-1 Diabetes. Yann, a French protein biochemist working on the project, gives listeners the scientific background necessary to understand the basics of what insulin is, and why their project is so important for diabetics and their families around the world.

We talk about horrific cases of people dying while being forced to crowdfund for their supplies and trying to make their insulin last, and how the pharmaceutical industry has taken a life-saving drug—with a patent sold for $1 in 1923—and turned it into a oligopoly dominated by three companies (Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Sanofi) that charges patients hundreds of dollars for what they literally cannot survive without. We discuss the possibilities and limitations of open-source, crowd-funded citizen science for addressing the global healthcare crisis, and give ways for people to get involved in the fight for open-source insulin.

You can follow the project on twitter at @OpenInsulin. You can also read more about the initiative 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!!!

Sep 26, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars talk surveillance and repression with first-time guest Kade Crockford, director of the ACLU Massachusetts Technology for Liberty program, as well as returning guest Freddy Martinez, a hacker, activist, and director of the transparency and digital rights organization Lucy Parsons Labs. Freddy fills everyone in on the circumstances surrounding his arrest at a far-right rally in Berkeley called “No to Marxism,” after which his name and mugshot were tweeted out by the Berkeley Police Department as part of what emails obtained by Lucy Parsons Labs show was a deliberate social media strategy to punish him and other leftist organizers.

Kade and Freddy touch on the historical role of surveillance in the repression of radical organizing, particularly in marginalized communities, before detailing the current landscape and latest developments in the expansion of surveillance by local, state, and federal police forces. We learn about the Preventing Emerging Threats Act and leaks showing FISA is being used to spy on journalists. The gang ends with a discussion of the longstanding, mostly unspoken alliance between law enforcement and the far-right, going beyond overlaps in membership to consider the ways state power and the supposed right-wing fringe collaborate against their common left enemy.

Follow Kade on Twitter @onekade and Freddy @b_meson. Check out Freddy’s write-up of the leaked Berkeley PD emails on the Lucy Parsons Labs blog, and keep up with Kade’s work on the ACLU Massachusetts’s blog Privacy Matters.

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!!!

Sep 12, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by game developer and cofounder of Game Workers Unite Emma Kinema and journalist and game designer Ian Williams for an in-depth discussion of the context and challenges of unionizing workers in the video games industry. The gang begins with Ian’s 2016 article laying out the case for game developers organizing. Ian and Emma describe the exploitative labor practices of major companies and how the uniqueness of the industry compounds the difficulty of organizing. Emma describes the current efforts of Game Workers Unite to create an international network of solidarity and guidance and build a unionized games industry.

Emma and Ian talk about the history of unionization efforts by game workers, refute some common arguments used to dismiss game workers' fights to win power in the workplace, and explain how the conservative leanings of the industry impact organizing campaigns.

Follow Emma on Twitter @EmmaKinema and Ian @brock_toon. You can also follow Game Workers Unite @GameWorkers, and find out 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!!!

Sep 5, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by prisoners’ rights advocate Jared Ware. Jared is an activist, writer, producer of the prison abolitionist podcast Beyond Prisons, and co-host and co-producer of the anti-capitalist podcast Millennials Are Killing Capitalism. Ware is part of the press team for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak publicizing the ongoing nationwide prison strike. Jared gives us necessary background on the strike, which began on August 21st, the 47th anniversary of the death of Black Panther prison organizer George Jackson, and is set to continue until September 9th, the 47th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion. Jared describes the important role that jailhouse lawyers are playing in organizing strike actions, and how authorities at prisons around the country are trying to suppress all participation in what is likely the largest prison strike in US history. Jared explains the different forms of resistance manifesting within prisons as part of this strike—from work stoppages and commissary boycotts to sit-ins and hunger strikes—and how detained immigrants impacted by America’s fascist border policies are participating in the strike as well.

Jared discusses his work with the press team for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and the importance of amplifying the voices of those incarcerated. We learn why prisoners themselves are drawing connections between incarceration and slavery, and how the strike is part of a broader, longer-term effort to undermine and ultimately abolish the prison system. We also discuss the importance of shows of solidarity from non-incarcerated people, and talk about ways people can get involved.

Follow Jared on Twitter @jaybeware.

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 29, 2018

On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Australian comedian and writer Ben McLeay, known better by his Twitter handle @thomas_violence. Ben has written for Pedestrian and SBS Comedy’s The Back Burner and is a co-host on the Boonta Vista podcast.

Ben shares some important Australian diggerydo’s and diggerydon’ts, imparting his wisdom on how to navigate a country like Australia where every animal has the ability to kill you. We dive into the political crisis gripping Australia just as word was coming in of the departure of now-former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Ben also offers some background on Australia's colonial attitudes, and the surging racism and incitement of violence against refugees that is dominating Australian politics.

You can follow Ben on Twitter, and listen to him on Boonta Vista.

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.

There is an extended version of this episode, for patreon subscribers only! 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 17, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Aaron Cantú, a journalist with the Santa Fe Reporter and one of more than 200 people arrested at the #J20 protests on the day of Trump’s inauguration. As he describes in his article “Enemy of the People: An indicted journalist reflects on conspiracy in today's America,” Aaron was charged with 8 felonies and faced up to 80 years in prison before the charges were dropped in July after almost 18 months. Roqayah and Kumars ask Aaron about his experience of prosecution, and Aaron shares historical examples the of the criminalization of dissent that provide context for the collective identity and guilt attributed to the #J20 defendants by the prosecution.

We talk about the chilling effect of government suppression of left-wing dissent, as well as how antifa tactics including doxxing have forced the far right to regroup. We also discuss the false equivalence between fascist and antifascist protesters in mainstream media reporting, citing recent examples. Finally, Aaron shares his views on the responsibilities journalists have while reporting left- and right-wing movements.

Follow Aaron on Twitter @aaron_con_choco and read his latest work at the Santa Fe Reporter. You can also read Bobby London’s article “Your Camera is a Snitch” on her blog, and check out our previous coverage of the #J20 protests and prosecutions with Alexei Wood 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.

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 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

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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

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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

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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.

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