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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: 2019
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!!!

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