This week, Roqayah and Kumars packed two interviews into one show. First we have a short 15-minute discussion with Jon Grant, the former director of the Tenants Union of Washington State. In addition to being a community organizer and housing rights advocate, Jon is running for position 8 on the Seattle City Council as a proud socialist. We learn about Jon's background and bona fides, as well as why he's running for office and what makes his campaign different from that of other politicians.
Next, Roqayah and Kumars talk to Ro Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist and writer for rohingyablogger.com. We wanted to have Ro Nay San on the show to discuss the horrific ethnic cleansing and genocide being perpetrated against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by military and paramilitary forces. We learn about how Ro Nay San got involved in writing and activism, and about the website he runs. He explains the key historical events necessary for understanding the current crisis in Myanmar, including the 1982 Citizenship Law that essentially made the Rohingya stateless. We discuss the staggering scope of the atrocities being committed, with entire villages burned, thousands murdered and hundreds of thousands displaced, internally and externally. We discuss the United States' quiet approval of and complicity in the violence, with Obama lifting sanctions on the Myanmar government as attacks on Rohingya Muslims intensified. We also talk about the false promise of Aung San Suu Kyi, a former champion of the opposition during decades of military rule who has long since sacrificed her principles, as well as the Rohingya, for a tiny taste of power. We discuss what can be done to stop these atrocities, cautioning against calls for western military intervention as well as trade sanctions that would disproportionately hurt the poorest and most vulnerable.
To find out more about Jon Grant's Seattle City Council bid, go to electjongrant.com. If you have the time and inclination to help out on his campaign, make sure to click “GET INVOLVED”. Follow @electjongrant on twitter for updates.