On this episode, Kumars is joined by returning guest-co-host Nora Barrows-Friedman, reporter and associate editor for The Electronic Intifada. In the intro, Kumars and Nora discuss the latest developments in Israel/Palestine as well as Roqayah's triumphant return to the show!
For the interview, Kumars and Nora welcome Jeff Stein, Congressional reporter for Vox, where he reports on politics, policy, and activism. He is also the former editor and founder of the Ithaca Voice. We wanted to talk to Jeff about the reporting he’s been doing on healthcare and other issues of relevance to the Left which happens to be some of the most valuable work coming out of a mainstream outlet. We first learn about what got Jeff interested in the worlds of politics and journalism, as well as the way he approaches his work. We ask Jeff about his coverage of the defensive fight against the various iterations of Trumpcare, as well as the offensive fight for single-payer/Medicare for all, and why he is one of the few journalists who is covering these issues so thoroughly for a mainstream outlet. We also talk about the activist groups engaged in these fights, most notably ADAPT, and the impact they are having.
Aside from the healthcare fights, we also talk about the new Democratic slogan which Jeff revealed to the world (A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages) and whether it will resonate with anyone. We also talk about new legislation that would criminalize participation in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Jeff tells us about a conversation he had with ranking Democratic congressman Eliot Engel where Engel didn't seem to have a problem with criminalizing speech he didn't personally agree with.
On this episode, Kumars is joined by guest co-host Samantha Jacobs, a Chicago-based comedy writer and member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). Become a Patreon subscriber to hear our premium After Hours episode with Sam, in which we run the gamut from her PSL work to socialist memes, rap, and standup comedy. In the intro, we talk about the People's Congress of Resistance, a project of PSL and other organizations that Sam has been organizing around, as well as the health care debacle.
On this episode, Kumars is joined by guest co-host Julia Damphouse, a Canadian organizer and student in Berlin. Julia is involved with the German Left Party's International Working Group and the Berlin Jacobin Reading Group. Kumars and Julia use the introduction to learn a little more about Julia's bio and to discuss their shared love of Germany and the eccentricities of German politics.
For the interview, Kumars and Julia welcome Julia's friend and comrade, Kathleen Brown. Kathleen is an American socialist living in Berlin, who, along with Julia, is an activist with The Coalition Berlin, one of the main groups involved in organizing the mobilization against the recent G20 summit in Hamburg. We start off by learning more about Kathleen and how she got involved with left organizing. We also talk about her organization, The Coalition Berlin, how it came about and what their mission is. We get some background on the G20 Summit and discuss why people protest it, this year and every year. We talk about the concept of alter- or alt-globalization, championed by left groups, which embraces international solidarity and cooperation as an answer to both failing neoliberal globalization and the anti-globalization, right-wing nationalist movements building around the world. We discuss what took place at the G20, both at the meeting itself and the protests outside. We discuss the ramifications of the Hamburg protests, including a looming crackdown on civil liberties by the German and possibly other EU governments. Finally, we share our thoughts on what activists in Europe should do moving forward and what activists worldwide should do in response to summits like these in the future, especially as their practical significance decreases each year.
You can keep up with what The Coalition Berlin is doing on Twitter at @TheCoalitionDE as well as on their Facebook page. You can also follow Julia at @remarksist and read her interview with Emily Lacquer about the G20 Summit and mobilization against it over at Jacobin.
On this episode, Kumars starts the episode talking to frequent friend-of-the-show Nora Barrows-Friedman (@norabf on twitter) about everything from new Jay-Z to New Jersey. Did Kumars sign up for Tidal to listen to the album? You'll have to listen to the episode to find out!
For the interview, Kumars and Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture on twitter) talk to Kay Whitlock, an activist, organizer and writer who has been involved in movements for social justice for over 50 years. She's co-written books including Queer (In)justice, which addresses the criminalization of LGBT people in the US, and Considering Hate, which argues for abandoning the hate crime framework as a means to address vigilante violence. Kay joins us from her home in Missoula, Montana.
Kay talks about growing up conservative in Southern Colorado before changing her views, becoming immersed in labor, anti-war, and black and brown power movements in the late 1960's and early 1970's. She gives her thoughts on the organizing successes and failures of that time, praising the imagination of activists while cautioning against romanticizing them. We also talk to Kay about her work on hate crime policy, including writing and organizing she did with the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker justice organization. Through multiple reports for the AFSC and her book, Considering Hate, Kay argues that hate crime legislation harms the same groups it purports to help by distracting from the structural roots of vigilante violence. Hate crime legislation places blame on individual vigilantes even though vigilantes just take supremacist structures to their logical conclusions. Kay also discusses the disappointing limitations of Occupy Wall Street and the great potential of the Movement for Black Lives. Finally, Kay gives us some advice on how to deal with the rise of the right wing, drawing on her vast personal experience.
You can follow Kay on twitter at @KayJWhitlock.