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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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Apr 18, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Christine O’Donovan-Zavada, a reproductive rights organizer in central Pennsylvania. After Christine shares how she cut her teeth as an organizer, she discusses the implications of restrictive anti-abortion legislation that is on the rise, including so-called “fetal heartbeat” bills that have emerged recently in Ohio and Georgia.

The gang talks about the role trigger laws may play in states where abortion restrictions have failed should Roe v. Wade be overturned, thereby making abortion illegal. Christine goes on to describe the chilling effect of these unconstitutional bills, including now-failed Texas House bill 948, which would have not only banned abortion but would have made it a capital offense. We also discuss the Trump administration's domestic Title X gag rule, and how this will obstruct pregnancy options by slashing access to contraceptive care, and deny patients abortion referrals.

Christine describes the restrictions that have historically faced those attempting to access abortion facilities: from the trauma of having to travel some 100 miles to reach one of only 780 clinics in the United States, to the costs associated with making the journey as well as having the procedures themselves. The crew also dives into what solidarity efforts you can engage in, including the National Network of Abortion Funds’ annual Bowlathon, and why the fight for abortion access is an integral part of the struggle for reproductive justice.

Follow Christine on Twitter @queenozymandias.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon 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!!!

Apr 11, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Kooper Caraway, the current president of the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO central labor council in South Dakota and a Labor Rep for AFSCME Council 65, representing workers in Minnesota as well as North and South Dakota. Before being elected central labor council president at age 27, making him the youngest ever in the history of the AFL-CIO, he worked with the American Federation of Teachers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Kooper begins by sharing his first experiences of organizing, including successfully thwarting an ICE deportation raid while still in high school.

The gang talks about the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO’s decision to ban white supremacists from union membership, and Kooper discusses the need to forge lasting connections between the labor movement and community organizers, including the actions his organization has taken to support workers in South Dakota’s Native communities. Kooper ends with his thoughts on the importance of changing the culture of union organizing towards inclusivity and international solidarity.

Follow Kooper on Twitter @KooperCaraway.

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!!!

Apr 4, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by John Halcomb, a computer technology preparatory teacher at Prescott Elementary in Oakland, California. John is a rank-and-file member of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) and participated in last month's week-long teachers’ strike which resulted in a tentative four-year agreement with teachers will reportedly receive an 11% salary increase and one-time 3% bonus.

We discuss the reasons behind the OEA's 3,000 member strike—from paltry wages, congested classrooms, to a startling lack of school nurses—and how the city's growing inequality has impacted students and staff. John explains how the strike emerged, and the tactics that were implemented to pressure school administration and discourage workers from crossing the picket line.

John discusses why he believes both the OEA demands, and the ratified agreement didn't go far enough. He also stresses the need for sustained political education and organizing among educators between contract fights.

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!!!

Mar 28, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Dr. Adam Gaffney, instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Cambridge Health Alliance as well as the President of the single-payer health care advocacy organization Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). After sharing his obligatory origin story, Adam puts the unprecedented mainstream momentum behind Medicare for All in context by detailing the insufficiencies of the system today and how the increasing corporatization of health care in the neoliberal era has impacted people’s day-to-day decisions.

Adam describes the different versions of Medicare for All currently in Congress like the Senate bill introduced by Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s House bill, highlighting where they differ and where they could go further. The gang also discusses the role of grassroots organizing in pushing the health care debate to the left over the last several years, and Adam touches on some of PNHP’s strategies for mobilizing doctors in the push for single-payer. Roqayah and Kumars also ask Adam about proposed alternatives to single-payer like the public option, as well as the best ways to counter common conservative arguments against Medicare for All, including the ones Adam successfully fended off in his viral guest appearance on Fox Business Network.

You can follow Adam on Twitter @awgaffney, and keep up with his work at theprogressivephysician.net.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon 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!!!

Mar 20, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by first-time guest Chris Schiano, an investigative journalist for Unicorn Riot. His work focuses on exposing white supremacists, discovering neo-Nazi cells, and the police repression of protest movements. We are also joined by returning guest and friend-of-the-show Freddy Martinez. Freddy is a technologist and journalist who works on the “Discord Leaks” platform, a searchable repository of over 1.5 million fascist and far-right chats. His work at Unicorn Riot focuses on hate speech, labor, and technology.

Chris and Freddy explain the importance of the most recent so-called Discord leaks, leaked chat logs which expose the organizing efforts of white supremacist organization Identity Evropa, now rebranded as the American Identity Movement (AIM). We learn the details regarding how Identity Evropa members are actively working to infiltrate the GOP, and support far-right politicians like Iowa congressman Steve King. Chris and Freddy explain how Identity Evropa tried to enforce strict discipline related to outward messaging to give the group mainstream appeal, even as their private communications show them as a group with neo-Nazi beliefs and violent impulses. We also discuss the role of internet platforms like Discord and Slack in fascist organizing, and how tech corporations, including Twitter and YouTube, have failed to address the issue of white supremacist content, and online radicalization.

Follow Unicorn Riot @UR_Ninja and Freddy @b_meson on twitter.

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!!!

Mar 14, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Eli Valley. Eli is a writer and artist his work has been published in The New Republic, The Daily Beast, The Nation, among other outlets.

We discuss Eli's latest book “Diaspora Boy: Comics on Crisis in America and Israel”, a scathing work of satire designed as an act of rebellion to galvanize the Jewish left, center the diaspora experience and reject Zionist self-hatred. Eli explains his artistic aesthetic, oftentimes referred to as “grotesque”, the anger it elicits from his critics, and some of the trouble it has gotten him into.

We talk about the bad faith outrage surrounding Ilhan Omar and how Eli found himself in a back and forth with an extremely outraged Meghan McCain, who had described a caricature satirizing her tokenization of Jewish suffering as “one of the most anti-Semitic things” she had ever seen. Eli also explores how Jewish identity is being exploited by the far right at the immediate expense of millions of Palestinians living and dying as refugees, under occupation, or under apartheid.

You can follow Eli on twitter @elivalley, and explore more of his work at elivalley.com.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon 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!!!

Mar 7, 2019

Unfortunately, our interview for this week fell through at the last minute, but we didn't want to leave you all without content! We dug deep into the Delete Your Account vault and pulled a clip from one of our favorite interviews, with one of our all-time favorite guests, Mariame Kaba. This clip was from Episode 27, recorded shortly after Trump's election, and we comment on how many of the points Mariame made then, particularly around the concept of left unity, are just as salient today. We also discuss how far the political discourse and balance of power has shifted, from then to now.

Follow Mariame on twitter @prisonculture.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon 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!!!

Feb 26, 2019

This week Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Garrett Kelly, a worker at the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco and a member of the new Anchor Brewing Organizing Committee, and Evan McLaughlin, the new organizing coordinator of the DSA SF Labor Organizing Committee. They’re both involved in the historic effort to unionize the Anchor factory, the biggest such facility in San Francisco, and earlier this month called on Anchor in a MoveOn.org petition to remain neutral and recognize the outcome of the union vote. After Garrett and Evan each share a bit about their personal paths to organizing, Garrett explains that the legacy of Anchor Brewing as the original craft brewery and a cultural icon in SF is a rallying point for workers, and points to the negative impacts of the company’s 2017 takeover by Sapporo as a catalyst for the current campaign.

Evan and Garrett describe how the organizing committee observed best practices while mapping out attitudes towards the union among the rank and file, and reached out for support to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) because of the union’s unique history of radical organizing and solidarity with social justice struggles in the Bay Area and beyond. They go on to share highlights from their actions, including a “drink-in” at Anchor Public Taps, and the state of play with regard to management as the union drive picks up steam.

Follow the Anchor Union on Twitter @AnchorUnionSF, and make sure to show your support by signing their petition at MoveOn.org. To learn more about starting a union drive at your workplace, check out Labor Notes for organizing workshops in your area.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon 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!!!

Feb 18, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Olivia Katbi Smith and Isi Breen. Olivia is co-chair of the Portland, Oregon chapter of the DSA, and Isi is the former press secretary for then-Congressman Keith Ellison, and current Communications Director for Jewish Community Action in Minnesota.

They join us for an in-depth discussion of the firestorm surrounding tweets on Israel and the pro-Israel lobbyist group AIPAC from newly-elected Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar. We explain the accusation of anti-Semitism Omar has been smeared with, and talk about the racist framing and bad faith nature of the accusations. Isi draws on his own experience dealing with bad faith accusations of antisemitism as press secretary for Keith Ellison, and stresses the importance of moral clarity on the subject of Palestine while also being mindful of the language we use from a tactical perspective. Olivia, who herself has been at the receiving end of a character assassination campaign due to her own Palestine advocacy, dives into the toll these kinds of smears take on someone. We talk about the importance of not engaging with bad faith accusations, often propagated by those with their own anti-Semitic records, and instead focusing on building solidarity across all communities with justice in mind. 

Follow Olivia on twitter @livkittykat, and Isi @isaiah_kb. Find out more about the work Olivia is doing at @PortlandDSA, and learn more about the work Isi is doing over at @JCA_MN.

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!!!

Feb 6, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are rejoined by Katy Slininger, a former postal worker and DSA organizer who recently chronicled her personal experience of pregnancy discrimination and unemployment in an article for Popula.com. Katy was a member of the ad hoc steering committee for the Boston chapter of DSA before moving to Connecticut, where she started a DSA organizing committee in the rural Northeast, known as Quiet Corner DSA. Katy fills Roqayah and Kumars in on what she’s been up to and why she left DSA, then details how she suffered as a result of the US Post Office management’s disregard for pregnant workers’ health and the failure of existing union and welfare state protections like the Family Medical Leave Act to help her. She goes on to describe being forced to quit and undertaking the grueling process of applying for jobs given the grossly inadequate protections of pregnancy discrimination legislation for blue-collar and service workers. The gang ends on a practical note, examining Katy’s call for more radical unions and considering what organizers need to do differently to ensure that freeing reproductive labor is a priority on the left.

Follow Katy on Twitter @itsbreadtimebch, and read her piece ”Alienated Labor”.

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 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!!!

Jan 30, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Ciro Wagner of the climate justice grassroots organization Earth Strike to discuss the impact of climate change and the global general strike their group is organizing in response. Ciro explains the organization's international structure and goals, and why a global general strike is necessary to fend off climate catastrophe.

We discuss strategies for conveying the importance of striking to workers, including with those working in sectors of the economy—such as coal, oil, and gas—that would be impacted by a transition to a green world. The crew also gets into what other activists around the world are doing to fight for climate justice, from blockades to school walkouts.

Follow Earth Strike on Twitter @EarthStrikeInt and keep up with their efforts, and how you can get involved, over at their official EarthStrike website. Join with workers around the world by striking for the climate on September 27th, 2019.

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 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!!!

Jan 23, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by investigative reporter Ken Klippenstein, whose explosive work has appeared in The Daily Beast, and The Young Turks, among others.

Ken takes us through his reporting process, his use of FOIA requests and several of his most important discoveries, including his work exposing the dealing of utility company Whitefish Energy Holdings in Puerto Rico.

Ken discusses his most recent efforts covering the so-called government shutdown, and how mainstream discourse has all but marginalized the voices of the most disenfranchised furloughed workers, like federally contracted janitors, and why programs that are lifelines for low income communities, such as WIC and SNAP, are facing even more trouble should the shutdown continue. We discuss how the discourse around the shutdown takes for granted that government functions like the military are sacrosanct, while government functions that provide services to the poor must constantly be justified and deliberately funded. Ken shares with us several stories from affected workers, and we discuss the challenges and possibilities facing all of us as the shutdown continues.

Follow Ken and keep up with his work on Twitter @kenklippenstein.

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 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!!!

Jan 11, 2019

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined live in the Delete Your Account Studios by friends of the show Brett Payne and Bryan Quinby, hosts of the anarcho-comedy podcast Street Fight Radio. Kicking off the California leg of their West Coast tour, Brett and Bryan dish about their favorite moments from the tour so far and what they love about doing live shows. The gang discusses the ongoing government shutdown drama over border wall funding, as Trump holds an address blaming undocumented immigrants for the opioid epidemic. Bryan and Brett touch on their usual beat on Street Fight, sharing personal and listener stories about drugs and addiction, bad bosses and bad customers, before capping things off with a rundown of Rashida Tlaib’s swearing scandal.

Follow Brett on Twitter @BrettPain and Bryan @MurderBryan. You can also follow Street Fight Radio @StreetFightWCRS and get information on future tour dates and all things Street Fight on their official website.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon 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!!!

Dec 18, 2018

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by returning guest Shaun Scott, organizer, filmmaker, and author of “Millennials and the Moments That Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982—Present”. Shaun joins us for the start of the show for a little pop culture talk before getting into a special announcement: his candidacy for City Council in Seattle’s 4th district.

Shaun explains his platform, and highlights some of his policy positions as well as the solutions to the issues facing Seattle's most vulnerable communities. We hear about the steps Shaun would take to address climate change and how he would confront corporate polluters who are destroying our environment and wrecking our climate. Shaun also discusses several proposals to address Seattle's housing crisis, and highlights how housing, transportation, and climate change are inextricably linked.

Shaun, a member of Seattle DSA, also talks about how he is going about building his campaign and remaining accountable to the organizers that will be necessary to get him elected. We discuss how one can build a winning coalition made up of a broad range of working-class constituents while not compromising one's principles for the sake of expediency.

Follow Shaun at @eyesonthestorm and follow his campaign at @ElectScott2019. Learn how to support his 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.

If you want to support the show and receive access to tons of bonus content, subscribe on our Patreon 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!!!

Dec 12, 2018

This week, Kumars is joined by Maya Little, an anti-racist organizer and PhD student-worker at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, for a conversation about the ongoing TA and faculty strike to prevent the reinstatement of a Confederate monument on that campus. Maya describes in detail the openly racist origins of “Silent Sam,” the statue of a soldier dedicated under Jim Crow in 1913 to honor UNC students who fought for the Confederacy, and its continuing function as a gathering place for white supremacists and symbol of the racial hierarchies that persist on campus and in the broader community.

Maya explains the #StrikeDownSam campaign’s demands, and how it came together to block the UNC leadership’s proposal to reconstruct the statue after direct actions, including her unique own unique protest, finally resulted in its toppling on August 20th. As she once more faces charges for protesting in the wake of the university’s proposal, Maya describes how the backlash she’s experienced from the university has outstripped the legal ramifications of her protest, and how the UNC administration’s tacit support for open fascists points to the work of dismantling white supremacy that will remain to be done after the last statue falls.

Follow Maya on Twitter @readkropotkin and the Strike Down Sam campaign @strikedownsam. You can donate to the legal and strike fund for Maya and other TAs facing charges 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 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!!!

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!!!

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