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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 15, 2021

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined today by Mark Maher, a staff attorney with Reprieve US. Mark currently works as counsel to six men detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and works on Reprieve US’ death penalty casework

During this episode Mark goes in-depth discussing the history behind the horrific abuse and internment of some 800 men and boys in the notorious Guantánamo Bay detention camp and how this grave injustice has impacted not only his clients but their families by stripping away their humanity—from reducing them to a number, to keeping them locked away from the outside world for decades without the ability to touch or hold their loved ones.

We also discuss the case of Ahmed Rabbani, endearingly referred to as Badr by those close to him, who has been on hunger strike since 2013 and Mark's role in his case as well as how Reprieve works to fight for Rabbani and other men still locked away inside Guantánamo Bay.

You can follow Mark on Twitter @mahermark123. You can also follow Reprieve @ReprieveUS and keep updated on their cases by visiting their 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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Apr 8, 2021

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined from the top of the show by Amanda Yee, an independent analyst and writer in New York City with a specialty in medical anthropology, and Ian Goodrum, a Beijing-based commentator and senior digital editor for China’s premier English language newspaper China Daily. In Amanda’s first appearance on the show in March 2020, she talked about the rising tide of anti-Asian racism and the demonization of China in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. 

This time, she and Ian go in-depth discussing the implications of anti-China policy and rhetoric in the context of China’s increasingly formidable role as a global anti-imperialist leader. The gang examines the spike in racist violence against people of Asian descent in the US over the past year and hammers out some of the kinks in the discourse around white supremacy in the wake of the Atlanta massage parlor shootings. 

You can follow Amanda on Twitter @catcontentonly and Ian @isgoodrum. You can also follow Ian’s work over at China Daily.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Mar 29, 2021

Kumars and Roqayah are joined today by Danielle Salinas, a certified medical assistant in Oregon and a member of AFSCME Local 328. Danielle recounts visiting Cuba as a public health student and discusses what makes the Cuban health care system unique befores sharing her more a bit of her more recent experience being thrown into the front lines during the pandemic. The gang talks all things vaccines, from vaccine envy and the success of the US rollout to vaccine hesitancy and the merits of comparing the different brands. Danielle offers her perspective on the top stories of the pandemic so far, including the high-risk labor conditions faced by health care workers, liberals being obnoxious, and how to prepare for the next pandemic. 

You can follow Danielle on Twitter @veryspooky_.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Mar 17, 2021

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined once again by Ken Klippenstein, a DC-based investigative reporter with The Intercept whose explosive work has appeared in The Daily Beast, The Young Turks and many other outlets. In his previous appearances, Ken has discussed his exclusive reporting on the Trump administration’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in revealing government misdeeds and corporate malfeasance. 

This time Ken walks us through the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision severely weakening FOIA as well as the effect of the pandemic on transparency and his latest reporting on the FBI spying on Congress in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The gang ends with a retrospective on Trump’s civil legacy on civil liberties, including his expansion of DHS and record number of whistleblower crackdowns, and takes stock of where the intelligence apparatus is headed under Biden.  

You can follow Ken and keep up with his work on Twitter @kenklippenstein and at The Intercept.

Feb 12, 2021

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by independent labor journalist Sarah Jaffe, reporting fellow at Type Media Center, cohost of Dissent Magazine’s Belabored podcast, and the author of two books: Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, and a new book out now from Hurst and Bold Type Books, Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone. In her new book, Sarah examines the expectation in the neoliberal era that we should love our work, and documents the resistance of workers who fight back against the “labor of love” myth by organizing. 

Sarah and Kumars discuss the main themes and historical background of the book, highlighting the commonalities between workers in sectors as disparate as social work and professional sports, as well as the roots of their contemporary struggles in the development of capitalism. They round out their discussion by reflecting on the obstacles to and possibilities of working-class politics in the 21st century, including the idea of the “professional-managerial class” (PMC) and the relevance of Marxism today.

Follow Sarah on Twitter at @sarahljaffe, keep up with her work on her personal website sarahljaffe.com and workwontloveyouback.org, hear her on the Belabored podcast, and don’t forget to pick up a copy off Work Won’t Love You Back.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jan 28, 2021

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Dr. Abigail Cartus, PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh; Justin Feldman, epidemiologist and Health and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; and Jay O'Neal, West Virginia teacher and organizer who co-founded the West Virginia United Caucus within the WVEA. After getting to know our guests, including Jay’s experience leading the West Virginia teachers wildcat strike in 2018 that kicked off a wave of teacher strikes nationwide, Abby, Justin, and Jay help us better understand the impact of the pandemic on the United States' educational institutions and how the pressure to open schools is failing our teachers and students, leaving them at greater risk despite little to no support from state officials. 

Abby and Justin explain the myths and realities behind many of the studies being shared on social media, and Jay argues why it's necessary that public health advocacy on behalf of school re-openings involves a thorough understanding of what community transmission means and its implications both inside and outside the classroom. Jay also gives us a clearer picture of how dire things are for teachers, many of whom are risking their lives after being pressured to go back to in-person teaching.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jan 14, 2021

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) organizer Lillian House, one of 6 leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement in the Denver area to be arrested on September 17, 2020. After sharing a bit about her own path to organizing, Lillian shares her insight into the strength and endurance of BLM organizing in Colorado around the cause of 23-year-old Elijah McClain, slain in 2019 when Aurora, CO police put him into a chokehold and injected with a sedative. Lillian describes how she and her comrades were held illegally for 8 days before seeing a judge and now face decades in prison on trumped-up federal charges, as well as how the local community and labor organizations around the world have shown up to support them while continuing to demand justice for McClain.

You can find more info and ways to help at the National Committee for Justice in Denver website as well as the PSL website, where you can donate to the legal support fund, sign and share this petition demanding that all charges be dropped, and sign and share this statement of solidarity for your organization. 

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jan 7, 2021

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Cliff Willmeng, a registered nurse of 13 years, an activist in rank and file labor and environmental struggles, and a front line healthcare worker unjustly dismissed for bringing attention to safety violations which includes the reusing of hospital scrubs and the lack of basic supplies.

Cliff, who once ran for Boulder County Commissioner as a independent socialist and worker’s candidate, helps us understand the impact of the pandemic on nurses, and how hospital administrators have been retaliating against workers such as himself who have been bringing attention to the lack of PPE, despite the obvious risks this poses to both nurses, their families, and patients alike. 

Finally, we discuss how capitalism has devastated US hospitals and why the fight to win healthcare for all necessitates a united front against administrations and health industry CEOs who are profiting off of a global pandemic.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Dec 10, 2020

This week, Roqayah and Kumars go solo and answer a listener question about their own origin stories, and how the show came to be. If you want to hear the rest, subscribe at patreon.com/deleteyouraccount for $5 a month! We can't do the show without your support!

Dec 4, 2020

This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined once again by San Francisco District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston and his chief of staff Jen Snyder to discuss just how the pandemic is impacting homelessness, housing, and evictions across California. 

Dean, founder of Tenants Together, helps us understand the impact of the pandemic on housing, and how his administration worked to permanently ban evictions in San Francisco for those unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19. Jen, a housing rights activist and former campaign manager for Proposition F, a San Francisco ballot measure that guaranteed tenants a lawyer if they’re being evicted or otherwise forced out by their landlords, breaks down the failures of San Francisco Mayor London Breed and what it will take to bring about real change for homeless communities in California.  

Finally, we examine the role of California governor Gavin Newsom and why his moratorium on evictions has not stopped police from violently throwing families out onto the streets, even in the midst of a pandemic.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Nov 23, 2020

This week, just in time for the inevitable arguments at Zoom Thanksgiving, Roqayah and Kumars go guest-less, spreading holiday cheer with a look at Trump’s foreign policy in review. They analyze the common conception of Trump as an anti-interventionist, taking stock of his legacy in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East before touching on some of what we can expect from the incoming Democratic administration.  

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Nov 5, 2020

For Roqayah’s triumphant return, she and Kumars are joined from the top of the hour by friends of the show Brett Payne and Bryan Quinby for the 4-year reunion of their classic election night 2016 episode. Brett and Bryan are the hosts of Street Fight Radio as well as the creators and stars of an upcoming live action comedy series on Means TV

The gang begins by catching up at the tail end of the weirdest year in American history before diving into some ballot proposition election results across the country, including big wins for drugs. They then proceed to hash out the thorniest issues surrounding the ongoing election and possible futures for the left under a Biden administration, and a wonderful time is had by all. 

Follow Brett on Twitter @BrettPain, Bryan at @murderxbryan, and the Street Fight show account @StreetFightWCRS, and as always you can hear Street Fight Radio wherever pods are cast.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Oct 28, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by returning guest cohost Shanti Singh along with René Christian Moya, California-based housing rights activists extraordinaire, for a deep dive into Proposition 21, the statewide rent control expansion up for popular referendum in next week’s elections. Shanti, who is based in San Francisco, is a leader in DSA SF’s Housing Committee, the former deputy data director for the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign in California, and currently serves as the legislation and communications coordinator for the statewide renters' rights group Tenants Together. René is based out of Los Angeles, formerly of the LA Tenants Union and is the Campaign Director for the Yes on 21 campaign.

René, Shanti, and Kumars begin by outlining the looming eviction crisis which has already begun thanks in part to the Trump administration’s so-called moratorium at the federal level. René, who was last on the show discussing Prop 10, the previous iteration of Prop 21, explains how the new ballot measure differs in terms of specifics, and why the political situation is more favorable than in the 2018 midterms. The gang talks about the real estate industry’s $70 million, Republican-aligned campaign to defeat the proposal as well as Prop 21’s biggest backer, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They round out the conversation on a positive note, discussing Shanti’s work with the elderly residents of SF’s Midtown Park Apartments, who just concluded the longest rent strike in the city’s history. 

Follow René on Twitter @rcmoya84 and find out more or get involved in the final push, visit yeson21ca.org. You can follow Shanti on Twitter @uhshanti and Tenants Together @tenantstogether and learn more about how you can support their work at tenantstogether.org.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Oct 15, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by returning guest cohost Nora Barrows-Friedman, associate editor at the Electronic Intifada and cohost of the Electronic Intifada Podcast as well as The Brief, along with Jewish Voice for Peace organizer Estee Chandler, founder of that group’s Los Angeles chapter, producer of Middle East in Focus and Middle East Minute+ on KPFK, and host of the upcoming podcast called The Breakout Room with Estee Chandler. After sharing her personal path to Palestine solidarity activism, including her career in Hollywood as an actor and visual effects artist, Estee introduces listeners to the saga surrounding The Lobby – USA, a four-part Al Jazeera documentary exposing Israel’s covert influence operations in the United States that remains largely unseen almost three years after its completion due to a successful pressure campaign from the Israel lobby to get the government of Qatar to censor the film, later obtained and released by the Electronic Intifada.

The gang discusses the context of the surge in repression of the Palestine solidarity movement after 2014, when an initial wave of victories for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns were followed by a critical mass of activists explicitly linking white supremacy in the US and Israel-Palestine at the protests sparked by the police killing of Michael Brown. Estee explains what the documentary reveals about the strategy and methods of Israel lobby organizations as well as the close relationships between them and the Israeli government. 

To RSVP for the special screening of the 1 hour supercut (plus a Q&A to follow) this Thursday October 15, go to jvp.org/LobbyCampusCut

You can follow Estee on Twitter at @caliactivist and keep up with her organizing with JVP Los Angeles @JVP_LA. You can follow Nora @norabf, and check out the Electronic Intifada podcast at electronicintifada.net as well as The Brief at thebriefpodcast.com and wherever pods are cast. 

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Oct 8, 2020

As a special treat, we've unlocked our recent sporting edition of Delete Your Account AFTER HOURS. Kumars was joined once again by Sam Sacks and Sam Knight, journalists and founders of the District Sentinel News Co-op, who host the daily District Sentinel Radio podcast as well as Means Morning News, their weekly collaboration with Means TV

The Sams give listeners a rundown of newsworthy events in the worlds of sports and politics, including the hijacked NBA players’ strike over the killings of James Blake and other black victims of police and vigilante violence, a campaign to organize the first tennis players’ union that leaves much to be desired, and the Big Ten buckling to pressure from conservatives to proceed with the college football season in the face of rising COVID-19 numbers at universities. The gang rounds out the hour nerding out about soccer, dissecting their memories of World Cups past, their favorite players, and their varying degrees of hatred for the USMNT. 

You can follow Sam Sacks on Twitter @SamSacks and the official District Sentinel account tweets @TheDCSentinel. Subscribe to Means TV to keep up with their antics every week, but Means Morning News is also available to nonmembers, in audio-only form, wherever pods are cast. 

Oct 1, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by two veterans of arguably the first successful video game worker strike in history, writer Krissy Perez and returning guest Emma Kinema. Krissy is the most senior writer for Lovestruck, a mobile visual romance novel game distributed by the US subsidiary of Japanese developer Voltage Inc. and played by millions worldwide, and a member of Voltage Organized Workers (VOW). Emma Kinema is a former game developer, one of the founders of Game Workers Unite, and currently serves as Campaign Lead for the CODE-CWA, the Communications Workers of America's initiative to organize unions in the North American tech industry. 

Krissy gives listeners a lay of the land at Voltage USA, explaining how the Lovestruck writers’ famously prolific output has come at the cost of brutally tight deadlines and industry-low pay. The gang walks through a timeline of the VOW strike, which lasted 3 weeks and ended in a decisive win, securing the workers substantial pay raises among other concessions. Krissy and Emma reflect on the Voltage workers’ messaging making it clear that they are all members of marginalized genders and/or sexualities, and what worker power means to Lovestruck’s heavily female and queer fanbase. 

You can follow Krissy on Twitter @kepmakingwords, Emma @EmmaKinema, CODE @CODE_CWA and the Lovestruck writers @VOW_Together.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Sep 24, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by two organizers with the Southwest Louisiana chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America: Phil Peterson, an activist, organizer, and educator based in Lake Charles Louisiana, and Megan Romer, also an organizer, writer, and educator based in the neighboring city of Lafayette, Louisiana. After introducing listeners to their communities and their personal paths to organizing, Phil and Megan describe the devastation on the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Laura as DSA SWLA and allied groups like Mutual Aid Disaster Relief continue their recovery efforts despite a lack of interest from national media. 

Phil discusses his experience of being displaced by the storm and the significance of Louisiana activists as innovators at the vanguard of climate struggle, and Megan explains the key lessons we can learn from DSA SWLA about organizing during a pandemic, along with the convoluted local politics behind the city of Lafayette’s refusal to accept refugees from Lake Charles in the aftermath of the police killing of 31-year-old Trayford Pellegrin on August 21. The gang highlights the willful abdication of responsibility by Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and the dire implications of local authorities’ decision to lift mandatory evacuation orders for the majority-black, heavily working class people of Lake Charles and the surrounding area, over 10,000 of whom are now forced by FEMA to pay out of pocket to subsidize New Orleans’s otherwise failing hotels. 

You can follow Phil on Twitter @Sadsackjacobin and Megan @meganromer. To keep abreast of Southwest Louisiana DSA’s activities and to check for updates on how you can help, follow them on Twitter as well @DSASWLA, and donate to their GoFundMe here.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Sep 16, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by Kimberly Galindo, lead organizer for Southern California’s High Desert region with the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, an alliance of over 40 civil society organizations providing support to immigrant communities. Kimberly starts off by describing about her own political development growing up undocumented and later becoming a DACA recipient. She gives listeners an introduction to ICIJ’s various aid projects and advocacy campaigns since the start of the pandemic, recounting their spectacular direct action at the governor’s mansion in Sacramento California, where 14 undocumented organizers and immigration attorneys were arrested after chaining themselves to Gavin Newsom’s front gate demanding an end to ICE transfers and the release of those behind bars as coronavirus runs roughshod through the US prison system. 

Kimberly talks about her work acting as a liaison with detainees at the privately-owned Adelanto Detention Facility, detailing what she’s seen and heard of the conditions there. Kimberly and Kumars discuss a number of recent news items that throw the Trump administration’s genocidal immigration agenda into sharp relief, including reports of mass, nonconsensual hysterectomies performed in a Georgia ICE facility, and Kimberly shares her perspective on the flaws of DACA, Barack Obama’s legacy in immigrant communities, and the resonance of immigrant struggles in a moment of unprecedented visibility for the politics of prison-industrial complex abolition. 

You can follow ICIJ on Twitter @IC4IJ and learn more about their work at ic4ij.org, and you can donate to their Adelanto bond fund here.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Sep 7, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by returning guest Madeline Peltz, senior researcher at Media Matters for America and the world’s foremost expert on Tucker Carlson. Madeline is best known for combing through the Fox News host’s weekly guest spots on the talk radio program of C-list shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, exposing a history of openly bigoted statements that put Carlson’s seeming descent into white nationalism in its proper context. Madeline breaks down several of her recent articles for Media Matters on the revolving door between the Trump administration and conservative media personalities as well as how One America News Network and Fox News are covering the QAnon movement and the rise of white nationalism generally. Madeline begins by discussing her explosive report on former OANN correspondent Emily Miller, who was appointed FDA spokesperson by Trump and fired 11 days later, shortly after Madeline’s reporting. Madeline and Kumars review the responses of Carlson and other Fox hosts to the Kenosha shooting, including Sean Hannity, whose lawyer is involved in Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense. Madeline and Kumars investigate whether Trump really has ditched Fox for OANN, round out the conversation by updating listeners on the campaign urging corporate advertisers to boycott “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” taking stock of the efficacy and limits of boycotts targeting far-right media.

You can follow Madeline on Twitter @peltzmadeline and keep up with her work at mediamatters.org

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Aug 27, 2020

This is only part of our interview with Eoin Higgins. If you want to 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 us on Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!! 

Roqayah is still off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by onetime guest host and freelance journalist Eoin Higgins, who has written for The Intercept, Common Dreams, FAIR.org, Vice, and the Washington Post. After sharing a bit of his personal background and political trajectory, Eoin breaks down his most recent reporting for The Intercept on the ongoing scandal surrounding Massachusetts Democratic Party efforts to torpedo the primary challenge of progressive House candidate Alex Morse, mayor of the Western Massachusetts town of Holyoke, who is running to unseat entrenched incumbent Rep. Richard Neal in MA’s 1st congressional district on Sept. 1. 

Eoin walks listeners through the initial coverage by his colleagues Ryan Grim and Daniel Boguslaw, which revealed that members of College Democrats at the University of Massachusetts Amherst had been plotting to entrap Morse for over a year by engineering a situation in which they could frame him as a predator, before detailing the most recent developments, which suggest that the state Democratic Party actively coordinated with College Democrats to amplify the smear that has now blown up in their faces. 

Subscribe on Patreon to hear the full version of this interview, including Eoin’s predictions for another Massachusetts Democratic primary battle he’s been covering — the Senate race between Green New Deal sponsor Ed Markey and his conservative challenger, Rep. Joe Kennedy III — and his assessment of the eclectic coalitions assembled on either side

You can follow Eoin on Twitter @EoinHiggins_ to stay abreast of his future work for other outlets as well as his personal blog at eoinhiggins.com

Aug 21, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by the hosts of the Left POCket Project Podcast, returning guest Wendi Muse and Richard, who makes his Delete Your Account debut. Wendi is the creator of the Left POCket Project and a PhD Candidate in History at New York University, where her dissertation analyzes the impact of anticolonial struggles in Portuguese Africa on the Brazilian left during the Cold War. Richard is a gig worker and cohost the now defunct Progressive Army’s The Discourse podcast. 

After sharing a bit about his political origin story, Richard talks about what he learned from participating in the uprisings in Washington state this summer, and Wendi updates listeners on what’s been new in her life since her previous appearance. Wendi and Richard react to this week’s Democratic National Convention and the selection of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate. They discuss Democrats’ appropriation of identity politics and pro-worker rhetoric, corporate attempts to co-opt Black Lives Matter, the discourse around “cancel culture,” and how socialists should think about the relationship between capitalism and white supremacy. 

Follow Wendi on Twitter @MuseWendi and Richard at @Road2Revolution. The Left Pocket Project podcast is on Twitter @LeftPOC, and available to listen and download whenever pods are cast, but you can find every episode for free as well as support their work at https://www.patreon.com/leftpoc.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Aug 10, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by Food Not Bombs cofounder and veteran organizer Keith McHenry. Keith has been active with various chapters of the network of mutual aid collectives known as Food Not Bombs for four decades and is the author of several books including Food Not Bombs: How to Feed the Hungry and Build Community, which is the original handbook for the group’s model of movement building through vegan food distribution. 

Keith shares moments from an eventful life, like the mentorship of Howard Zinn and facing massive repression and criminalization from the highest levels of government, including staring down 25 to life under California’s “three strikes” law. Keith talks about the stories of organizers from Myanmar to Iceland who have engaged in direct action under the banner of Food Not Bombs, and Keith and Kumars reflect on the legacy of the movement, including the role of anarchism and punk culture in sustaining and how mutual aid projects inspired by Food Not Bombs are responding to the current moment.

You can find the current Food Not Bombs handbook in addition to every other imaginable resource for finding a chapter near you or starting your own at foodnotbombs.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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Aug 1, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by returning guest Olivia Katbi Smith and first-timer Albert Lee, both members of Portland DSA who have been in the streets of Portland since the uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing began. Olivia is the co-chair of Portland DSA and a board member of CAIR Oregon. Albert Lee is a Portland-based activist, a member of Portland DSA and former Our Revolution-endorsed congressional candidate who earlier this year ran as an open socialist in an unprecedented primary challenge to incumbent Democrat Earl Blumenauer in Oregon’s 3rd. 

Olivia and Albert share their experiences of the ongoing federal occupation of Portland by DHS and paramilitary forces from other agencies as well as their insights into the way imperial tactics and far-right ideology have become more glaringly apparent in policing practices from local cops to the now nationwide wave of federal repression. The gang closes out by discussing the latest out of Portland, including the conflicting reports of DHS troop withdrawal and new evidence regarding the effects of the tear gas being used on protesters, as well as the newsworthy reinforcements and the ongoing mutual aid projects helping to sustain the movement. 

And you dear listener can follow Albert on Twitter @AlbertLee2020 and Olivia at @livkittykat.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jul 23, 2020

This week, Kumars and returning guest host and policy analyst with Open the Government Freddy Martinez are joined by The Intercept’s Micah Lee, a journalist, activist, and prolific open-source software developer involved in the publication and analysis of recent leak, dubbed Blue Leaks, of about 270 gigabytes of police data from more than 200 police departments and fusion centers and some 700,000 cops. 

Freddy and Micah are both members of the advisory board of the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), which acquired and released the data before being banned from Twitter and raided by the German government. The gang runs through the different components and major takeaways from the vast trove, delving into Micah’s analysis for The Intercept and Freddy's report on fusion centers for Open the Government, including how fusion centers massively oversold the threat of left-wing protesters to local police departments while downplaying the threat of far-right violence and what the leaked police data can illuminate about the massive federal repression currently underway in US cities.

You can follow Micah on Twitter @micahflee and keep up with the work of DDoSecrets at ddosecrets.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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

Jul 16, 2020

Roqayah is off this week, so Kumars is joined from the top of the hour by Albuquerque-based community organizer Selinda Guerrero, founder of the Albuquerque Mutual Aid Coalition and National Action Coordinator for Save the Kids, an all-volunteer organization working to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Selinda also organizes with Building Power for Black New Mexico, Forward Together, and the Industrial Workers of the World’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), and heads the New Mexico chapter of the prison-industrial complex abolitionist group Millions for Prisoners

After sharing a bit about her background as an organizer and the genesis of the mutual aid project she helped kick-start earlier in the pandemic, Selinda fills listeners in on the plight of her husband and fellow Black Lives Matter activist Clifton White, who helped organize BLM protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and was arrested on June 1 by Albuquerque police under extremely dubious circumstances. Selinda and Kumars discuss the conditions Clifton and other incarcerated people are facing from California to Louisiana as coronavirus continues to ravage the US prison system. Selinda relays testimonials from those behind bars, highlights their organizing in the face of government depravity, and reflects on what it means to be a political prisoner. 

Please call Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham at (505) 476-2200 and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller at (505) 768-2200 and demand the immediate release of Clifton White (DOC #60458). You can find a complete list of numbers to call and a sample script here. You can also follow the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee at @IWW_IWOC and IWOC New Mexico at @IwocNew.

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 Apple Podcasts. We can't do this show without your support!!!

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