On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars interview Ruth H. Hopkins, a Lakota and Dakota of the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, and an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Nation. She’s also a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network and co-founder of Last Real Indians. Ruth has recently been involved in a massive, sustained direct action campaign to stop construction of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline, a movement led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other indigenous groups.
We talk to Ruth about the Sacred Stone encampment which has now ballooned to over 8,000 people from roughly a dozen when the camp formed in April to resist the construction of this pipeline. We discuss the unprecedented nature of the unification of native tribes in opposition to this pipeline, solidarity which hasn't been seen since Tecumseh united tribes in opposition to settler colonialism at the beginning of the 19th century. Ruth explains that even historic enemies have set aside their differences to join forces, unity which she sees lasting long after the encampment disbands. Ruth also describes the vicious repression they've faced, including violence from private security who even released attack dogs on protesters. We discuss how this movement seems to be entering mainstream consciousness, and what implications this shift has for both practical and tactical organizing strategy. We also discuss how to increase coordination between seemingly separate, yet actually interconnected, struggles.
If you want to learn more or get involved:
Places to donate/groups to support:
Follow Ruth H. Hopkins on twitter at @RuthHHopkins.
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, Roqayah and Kumars talk to 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. We find out how Brett and Bryan got involved in political talk radio, and how their politics have evolved over time. We discuss their past lives as conservatives and what caused them to eventually see both American political parties as not being for them. We ask Brett and Bryan about how having kids has molded their politics as well. Finally, we discuss the importance of understanding where people are coming from and having compassion for their unique situations, and how understanding and compassion are different from tolerating dangerous and reactionary ideas or actions. In order to be successful as a political organizer, you need to be able to change minds, and Brett and Bryan give us some insight into the minds of people we need to bring along in any political revolution.
On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by joined by Imraan Siddiqi. Imraan is a writer, activist and Executive Director of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Arizona branch. He's also head of the Islamophobia tracking project Hate Hurts. Imraan explains how Islamophobia manifests in ways that go far beyond mere criticism of Islam, despite what folks like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins would have you believe. He explains how Islam, despite not being a race, is racialized, with non-Muslims falling victim to Islamophobic attacks based on characteristics including race and national origin that are incorrectly perceived as Islamic. We discuss how the war on terror, even when dressed up in liberal rhetoric by politicians like Obama and Clinton, inevitably feeds Islamophobia by implicitly and explicitly devaluing Muslim lives. We also discuss how economic insecurity in working-class rural white communities, as well as in Muslim communities, creates fertile ground for hatred and fear-mongering. Defeating Islamophobia will ultimately require dramatic structural fixes, including ending the war on terror and seriously addressing wealth inequality.
This is only part of our interview with Adam Johnson. If you want to hear the rest, 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 Adam Johnson, a prolific media analyst and critic whose work can be found at FAIR, Alternet, and other outlets. We talk about Adam's work chronicling how mainstream media outlets essentially serve as PR firms for government and other powerful interests. Adam talks about the countless and often silly comparisons of Donald Trump to various enemies of the US, in a way that purposefully ignores similarities to other US politicians and foreign allies. We discuss how censorship functions in a liberal democracy, where adversarial writers simply can't find work at mainstream outlets, while true-believers in the status quo see their careers advance quickly. The gang also has a lot of fun in the bonus content which you won't want to miss!
Follow Adam on twitter at @AdamJohnsonNYC.
While we don't recommend listening, here is the "With Her" Hillary Clinton campaign podcast which inspired our cold open for this episode. Seriously though, don't listen. It's really painful. You've been warned.
On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars first talk to Dave Zirin, a prolific writer at the intersection of politics and sports and author of Brazil's Dance with the Devil about Brazil's hosting of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics. We ask Dave about the unique factors that make the Rio Olympics horrible for ordinary people in Brazil. Dave also talks about the common defining features of all Olympics: mountains debt taken on to finance the games, displacement of people to make way for Olympic venues, and militarization of local police.
Next, Roqayah and Kumars talk to Robin Jacks and Jonathan Cohn, two co-founders of No Boston 2024, a network of activists that helped defeat Boston's bid to host the 2024 Olympic games. Robin and Jonathan go in-depth on how they were able to help keep the Olympics out of their own backyard. They discuss the importance of having both an inside and an outside organizing strategy, that incorporates mainstream politics with creative protest and direct action. They also highlight the importance of starting to organize early, and identify chokepoints where your effort can be most effective.
On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars talk to George Ciccariello-Maher. George is a writer, radical political theorist, and currently Associate Professor of Politics at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He has taught radical theory and politics at Drexel, U.C. Berkeley, San Quentin State Prison, and the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas. His first book, a history of revolutionary movements in Venezuela entitled We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution, was published in 2013, and he has more books on the way.
We discuss the rise of Chavez in Venezuela, and recent setbacks for the Bolivarian revolution following his death. We examine the reasons for these setbacks, and discuss what other leftist movements can learn from Venezuela. We also discuss other countries in the region including Honduras, and the role of western entities like the US government and the IMF in fighting against leftist gains made in these countries.
Follow George on twitter at @ciccmaher to learn more.
This is only part of our interview with Margaret Kimberley. 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 Margaret Kimberley, a journalist and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report. She writes the weekly “Freedom Rider” column, which appears on Black Agenda Report and is widely republished elsewhere. We discuss the history and philosophy of Black Agenda Report, including its focus on left anti-imperialism. We discuss the #DNCLeaks and the garbage fire that is the Democratic Party. Margaret makes the case that neither party can be trusted and a viable left third party must be built. We debate the relative efficacy of top-down versus bottom-up strategies for building a left party, and whether both approaches are really needed. We also have some fun talking about Clinton's VP pick and the silly media coverage of the RNC.
Follow Margaret on twitter at @freedomrideblog.
On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars talk to Mehmet Yuksel, the official US representative for the People's Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey. HDP is a left-wing, anti-nationalist, pro-Kurdish and other minority party, the largest left-wing party in Turkey, currently holding 60 seats in Parliament. HDP is strongly opposed to the policies of Erdoğan's ruling right-wing Justice and Development (AKP) Party, and yet also came out strongly against the military coup that attempted to oust Erdoğan. We ask Mehmet about HDP's strong opposition to both AKP and military rule, and the steep price that HDP and the constituencies they represent have paid as a result of standing up against attacks on Turkish democracy. Mehmet gives us his take on who was behind the coup attempt, as well as the political conditions that made such an attempt inevitable. He goes in-depth into why a military coup could never be in the interests of a left-wing party like HDP. We talk about how Erdoğan has capitalized on the failed coup attempt to consolidate power and attack his enemies, including followers of political rival Fethullah Gülen, religious and ethnic minorities, and the HDP itself. We also ask about the role HDP has played in attempting to mediate diplomatic talks between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed resistance group fighting for Kurdish rights and autonomy, and the AKP, and why those efforts have so far failed.
On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars talk to Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Israel (BDS), and of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). Omar clears up some common misconceptions of BDS, and addresses critiques of the strategy from both the left and the right. He talks about the origins of the movement, what inspires him, what ethical sanctions would look like, and the usefulness of nationalism as a framework for decolonization. Omar also discusses the concepts of "ethical decolonization" and "indigenization" in the context of Palestinian refugees' right of return. Omar stresses the importance of ending complicity, not just with the crimes of the Israeli government, but with oppressive structures world-wide.
Follow @BDSMovement on twitter to learn more.
Links discussed in the show:
On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars interview Cat Brooks, an Oakland-based community organizer and founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP). We ask Cat how she got involved in community organizing and what drives her to do the work. Cat also tells us about her organization, which provides victims of police terror and their families with support services, as well as engaging in organizing and direct action to pressure police departments in the Bay Area to end their assault on black and brown communities. We learn about two victims of police terror, Yuvette Henderson and Richard Perkins, murdered by Emeryville Police and Oakland Police respectively, and how APTP supported their families. We learn about some of the direct action work of APTP, including their phenomenally successful 96 Hours of Direct Action events over the past two MLK Day Weekends, which aimed to commemorate and reclaim the radical legacy of MLK. Finally, we discuss how APTP and other organizations active in the Bay Area have in recent months ousted police chiefs in both San Francisco and Oakland. Oakland, which went through three police chiefs in the span of a week as a result of community pressure, now currently has no police chief because everyone in the department is too corrupt to be given the job.
We also ask Cat about her views on reform and revolution, and her view for how we get from where we are now to an end to policing and prisons. We also compliment her on a well-placed hyphen in the name of her organization.
On this episode, Roqayah and Kumars talk to Andalusia Knoll, a freelance multimedia journalist based in Mexico City. She was recently on-the-ground in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, where government forces just massacred teachers who were protesting neoliberal education reforms.
Andalusia discussed the proposed reforms and why teachers are standing in opposition, even in the face of brutal state violence. We discuss the reasons for why the Mexican government has repeatedly and viciously attacked teachers in particular, without fear of accountability at home or abroad. In this context, we revisit the Ayotzinapa massacre of 2014, which Andalusia has also reported on extensively, to learn the status of efforts toward justice for those victims. We also discuss the role of the United States in violence perpetrated by drug cartels and government actors. Finally, we talk about next steps for those organizing within Mexico, as well as steps folks outside Mexico can take to support this struggle.
Check out Andalusia's work in VICE News, AJ+, Democracy Now!, and Truthout. In Mexico, she collaborates with various independent media and art collectives. Follow her on Twitter at @andalalucha.
This is just part of this week's episode. If you want to hear the full episode, 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 interview Lara Kiswani, a community organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area and Executive Director of the nonprofit Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC). As a leader at AROC and in the Bay Area activist community, Lara has contributed to numerous high-profile wins for social justice, including preventing Israel's largest shipping company from docking in Oakland following the 2014 Israeli bombardment of Gaza (#BlockTheBoat), kicking the Urban Shield convention out of Oakland, and securing Arabic and Vietnamese language instruction in San Francisco schools, among other victories.
Roqayah and Kumars discuss these high-profile wins, as well as street-tested strategies for cross-movement coalition-building, including how AROC was able to help build the 70-member-organization Block The Boat Coalition. Lara discusses the necessity of having coalitions broad enough to be large, powerful, and inclusive, as well as the dangers of watering down your message and betraying your principles when engaging in broad-based coalition work. As someone who organizes, quite successfully, through the lens of her identity as a Palestinian American, we also discuss with Lara the strengths and limitations of identity politics as an organizing framework. Lara discusses several concrete strategies for mitigating the inevitable pitfalls of both coalition-building and identity politics, while also explaining the importance that experience plays in shaping our actions and views.
Links discussed in the episode:
On this episode of Delete Your Account, Roqayah and Kumars have on Doug and Patrick, a couple of radical labor organizers who run a blog called The South Lawn. The South Lawn focuses on labor organizing in the Southern United States, with an aim of producing writing that resonates with the working class, not just labor lawyers or academics as is the case with most labor writing. The gang discusses Doug and Patrick's most recent piece on political violence and its role in combating fascism. Is Trump a fascist? How do we beat him? Is beating him even enough? Should you vote for Hillary Clinton? Listen to learn the answers to these questions and more! Also, stick around to hear the gang roast Hillary Clinton for demeaning the name of our show, as well as some other podcasters who shall remain nameless.
This is just part of the interview we recorded with Doug and Patrick. If you want to hear the full, unedited interview, 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!!!
Important links mentioned in the show:
On this episode, we put election madness aside. If we want to win, first we need to learn how to fight.
To teach us how to fight, we invite on our first guest ever, Mariame Kaba, though most of you know her as @prisonculture on Twitter. If you're not familiar with Mariame, she's a brilliant organizer whose work focuses primarily on dismantling the prison industrial complex. She's the founder of Project NIA, which is an advocacy group focused on ending youth incarceration. She's also co-founded a number of other organizations including the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women, and We Charge Genocide.We talk about an impressive list of wins compiled by Chicago activists like herself, including reparations for survivors of torture by Chicago Police, funding for a new trauma center in Southside Chicago, and the successful ouster of Anita Alvarez, the prosecutor who participated in a cover-up of the police murder of Laquan McDonald. Roqayah, Kumars, and Mariame also discuss the perceived tension between reform and revolution, as well as what it means to be a prison abolitionist in your daily life.
Roqayah and Kumars also take on the pundit class, mocking their nonsensical and contradicting positions on political violence in the wake of the egging of some proto-fascist Trump fans in San Jose.
If you like the show and want access to special bonus content, please donate here: https://www.patreon.com/deleteyouraccount
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. They’re radical leftists, but not that kind. The other kind. The fun kind.
On this inaugural episode, Roqayah and Kumars discuss long-suffering Hillary Clinton supporters on college campuses, liberal defenses of Clinton and Democrats, the weaponization of social justice rhetoric, having a beer with Hilldawg, Kumars’s Fox News obsession, brainstorming possible insulting terms for Jill Stein supporters, Bernie on Palestine, third party protest voting, what the election means for organizing, cheering the rise of the Cat Video Left, and a tribute to The Toast.
If you like the show and want access to special bonus content, please donate here: https://www.patreon.com/deleteyouraccount