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The Laura Flanders Show

The Laura Flanders Show expands our sense of what is possible.

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This week Laura speaks to Edgar Villanueva, about being one of the very few indigenous people working in grant-making, and ask what he thinks Native American traditions have to teach philanthropy. Then, we report from the United Nations where indigenous women gathered from around the world this spring to flip the script on so-called indigenous issues.
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On January 19 and 24, New Orleans police and Louisiana state police raided eight strip clubs on Bourbon Street, the city's tourism center. Male officers reportedly stood in the dressing room while the women got dressed, took pictures of the undressed women, announced the women's legal names in front of customers, and made derogatory comments. Now the workers are fighting back. Last night, hundreds of strip club employees and their allies marched through the French Quarter in a raucous protest....
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The story of food and farming in the US is not just one of neglect and extraction. It's also one of wisdom and liberation, with practices that have intricate, cultural roots. Leah Penniman returns to the show with a new book, "Farming While Black," which includes stories and applications that have her community at their center.
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Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party discusses the importance of worker cooperatives in empowering communities across Britain. Wealth inequality obstructs a democratic society. Emphasizing investment at a local level is central to Labour's plan to put money back in the pockets of working people and create a more equitable society.
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One of my books of essays was dedicated to those who have learned to divorce hope from reason," says author, Arundhati Roy. "I think it would be very very sad if we just looked around us and felt hopeless.
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Monopoly capitalism may be on its last legs! This week, economist Michael Hudson joins us to say his predictions on the Trump budget have come true and seem to suggest, more than ever, that capitalism is not only a disservice to the people, but it's also unsuccessful. Then, Stacy Mitchell and Joe Maxwell join us at the Progressive Caucus Strategy Summit in Baltimore. Monopoly capitalism, they say, translates to monopolized power.
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India in the throes of a fascism that echoes what we have in America. The country is undergoing a political upheaval with PM Modi at its front, and fueled by increased violence towards Muslims, queers, Dalits, women, and more. Our returning guest, Arundhati Roy, covers this vast breadth of ground in her second novel in 20 years, ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,’ now out in paperback.
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Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulin Cruz, on how resilience and the support of allies from across America -- and the world -- are helping Puerto Ricans brave corporations attempt to privatize the island's resources.
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Two scholars, from Haiti and Brazil, discuss the global solidarity that forms between states who have faced similar oppressions. Food sovereignty is a necessary part of resistance movements in the Global South, they say, because it gets to the heart of Western imperialism and occupation. Thanks to the Vera List Center. This interview was filmed at the "Grounded Struggles: Land, Dispossession, and Freedom" event at the New School. Maria Luisa Mendonça is a visiting scholar from Brazil...
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Two young activists partnered with Princeton University to collect interviews that helped them write 'The Classroom Index,' a textbook for teaching racial literacy.
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Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living and Vilissa Thompson, founder of Ramp Your Voice! join us in DC to discuss the movement for independent living. Celebrating ​#ADA28 alongside disability activists​ allows us to revisit the story of how disability came to be a civil right, even as it was pathologized and co-opted into ableist narratives. How can we make this not a conversation about ability, but accessibility, one that is intersectional and...
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Senior Economics Commentator for the Guardian, Aditya Chakrabortty sits down with Laura to discuss how new models for community wealth building in Preston and Enfield are transforming these towns from places of working poverty to working prosperity.
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Up to 1,000 people were in attendance at the American Museum of Natural History for the Anti Columbus Day Tour on Indigenous Peoples Day (October 8.2018), organized by the Decolonize This Place Artist and Cultural Workers' Coalition. For the third year in a row, coalitions and its allies have demanded 0rename, reclaim, respect...0 asking that the AMNH, funded by various major corporations, remove its statue of Theodore Roosevelt. Removal of the statue, activists say, is the first step to...
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The problem with obsessing over Donald Trump is that it makes us oblivious to the system that produced him, says author, Arundhati Roy. We live in a world where governments subsist on the proliferation of arms. This necessitates a world either at war or perpetually on the brink of war.
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Grammy Award Winner Arturo O’Farrill introduces Laura to the hi-pinky salute across the border, which he hopes will turn into an international symbol of humanity over commodity.
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Where do we begin to think about food? Is it about how we grow it, how we eat it, or who has access to it? Isn't it all of it? However you put it, food is as political as it gets. Today, we'll hear from farmers, organizers, workers, and seed-keepers who all attended the NESAWG conference on food justice in late October. Among them, Leah Penniman whose beautiful new book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land, is out now.
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This week on the show, 2018 brought us #TimesUp, but the history of collaboration between grassroots activists and Hollywood celebrities was already very long. Laura talks to Eve Ensler, who will be returning to Broadway with a new play titled "In The Body of the World," about why our bodies must be connected to our politics. Then, an interview with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, of the hit show 'Grace and Frankie,' alongside Saru Jarayaman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Center...
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UK Labour Councillor Sakina Sheikh in Perry Vale, Lewisham on bridging gaps between political activism and political institutions as a young politician of color. Watch the full show on our page.
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An excerpt from our full episode. After 8-year-old Asifa Bano was raped and murdered in Kashmir, angry protests swept across India. What could compel such brutality? asks author and activist, Arundhati Roy. For decades, the author has been using her platform to elevate issues of violence and corruption in India. She joins us on the LF Show to discuss her newest novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
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2018 has been a year of upheaval for students, in and out of the classroom. This week on the Laura Flanders show, educators and education activists talk about educational justice, teaching in Trump times, and taking stock of the current state of education. We're joined by Natasha Capers, of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice; Adam Sanchez, of Rethinking Schools; and José Luis Vilson, of EduColor.
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Money for the arts. Where’s it come from? Where does it go?  Every day there’s another multi-million dollar art auction. Art as a private commodity is the preserve of the very rich. But what about the rest of us? If we all agree that arts and creativity are important ingredients of life,  are we doing all we can to support the artists in our midst? Laura is joined today by three guests who make it their job to figure out how we’ll democratize access to art and art making. First,...
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The fact that a lot of progressive people, thinkers, writers, organizers, campaigners, academics are now getting the ear of the Labour Party is a very, very welcome move." Watch the full special report from the UK on our page
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The slaying of Marielle Franco, a black, gay Brazilian council member, and activist is a blow to Brazil's most marginalized and vulnerable communities. In this week's F-word, Laura celebrates the life of this exceptional woman as well as the unprecedented, global response to her murder.
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What would students in debt, worker coops, and entrepreneurs stand to gain from a public bank in the financial capital of the world? This week, putting communities over commodities w/ leading figures in the fight for a new economy for working people. Is a Public Bank in the financial capital of the world possible? And how will that public bank help worker co-ops, students, entrepreneurs, and more? Deyanira del Río from the New Economy Project, Linda Levy of the Lower East Side People's Federal...
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The problem with Amazon has less to do with Trump's criticisms and more to do with a government that's helped it become a market monopoly. Two experts on community wealth building speak to Laura about why Amazon's effort to corner the market on commerce make it a dangerous and unprecedented economic phenomenon. Stacy Mitchell is the co-director of the Institute of Local Self Reliance, and Joe Maxwell is the CEO of Family Farm Action.
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Black history month and women's history month are all year! We visit Women's March NYC's inaugural "daring discussions" event at Verso Books to take a look at how Black women have been, and are, on the frontline of building our movements for equity and liberation. Part of an event discussing Black women's historic contribution to movements for social justice, the panelists take a look at some criticisms of the Women's March and how the organization will create dialogue around these...
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The Supreme Court ruled in October 2018 to uphold a lower decision requiring North Dakota voters to bring proof of residential address to the polls. Many Native Americans living on rural tribal lands, which are typically without named and numbered roads, do not have residential addresses. Michelle Cook, Navajo Nation Human Rights Commissioner and Hartman Deetz, Mashpee Wampanoag activist speak on why this kind of voter suppression is a key way that the colonizer state limits the sovereign...
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Donald Trump just called off the much anticipated North Korean nuclear summit. Maybe not much of a surprise given the president's inner circle but Noam Chomsky says he should have just stepped back and taken credit as a peacemaker. Find out what he had to say about the state of nuclear geopolitics, international solidarity and more in our recent interview with the renowned linguist.
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1980’s Art – turbulent and provocative – arose out of the AIDS epidemic. Two major art exhibits on view in New York City – one universally-acclaimed a must-see, the other overwhelmingly-anticipated: Peter Hujar: Speed of Life (Morgan, through May 20) and David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night (Whitney, July 13 – Sept 30). The artists’ lives were singular and intertwined: personal and political, formal and furious, playful and profane. What do this Art and the lives...
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Pamela Sneed is an American poet, performance artist, actress, activist, and teacher. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery (Henry Holt, 1998), and KONG And Other Works ( Vintage Entity Press, 2009) and the chapbook, Lincoln (2014).
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What difference does it make when some people are left out of the picture? When police don’t keep data on queer women, for instance - or when the culture looks all white. This week, activist attorney Andrea Ritchie returns with her book, Invisible No More and Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas - 2 generations of picture makers talk about mothers, sons and radical art. Thanks to TED Women for their collaboration on this report.
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Writer JoAnn Wypijewski joins us to discuss her piece in The Nation, "What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About #MeToo." In it, she argues that the pandemonium of rapid-fire accusations that have come to define the #MeToo era are amplifying a culture of sex panic that does little to ensure that women are safer in the workplace. This interview was shot in March, and Wypijewski article was published in February.
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Community organizer Dominique Stevenson takes the LF Show on a tour through Tubman House, a community farming project in Sandtown, Baltimore. From a vacant, rundown lot to a thriving urban farm, Tubman House is addressing the issue of food apartheid in Baltimore while reinvigorating community wealth building in that neighborhood.
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Despite efforts over the last two years to curtail progress for trans people by the current administration, trans activism has gained momentum and become prominent within the movement for queer justice. Laura speaks with Imara Jones, a trans activist, former policymaker, and host of The Last Sip on Free Speech TV about her work to amplify transgender narratives, on and off the screen.
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From the field: Douglas Belchior is the founder of UNEAfro Brasil, a grassroots organization focused on educating poor, Black, youth and mobilizing around political issues in Brazil. The need for solidarity between Black people living in the North Americas and in Latin America is urgent, says Belchior, because the genocide and state violence they face shares a history.
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Our wars abroad and our wars at home. This week on the show, acclaimed graphic artist Molly Crabapple and Syrian journalist Marwan Hisham join me to talk about their collaborative book “Brothers of the Gun.” Then, a report by Jonathan Klett on a community in Wisconsin that mobilized to greet Republicans attending a Trump fundraiser: Voces de La Frontera.
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The Trump administration claims its response to Hurricane Maria was a 0tremendous,0 0unsung0 success. Yet, what has been truly tremendous in the year since the hurricane is the will of Puerto Ricans building, organizing, and recovering on the island. #HurricaneFlorence #HurricaneMaria #PuertoRico This week on the Laura Flanders Show, we report from CommonBound. Laura speaks to Edgar Gomez, a city official from the town Toa Baja, PR and two education activists from the island, Ana Yris Guzman...
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On March 8 2018, poor, working, disabled and chronically ill, trans, indigenous, Black, immigrant, refugee, Muslim, sex workers, women of color, are just some of the many women who will convene to call for systemic and culture change. They will strike for an end to the neocolonial and neoliberal police state. Because solidarity is our weapon, we stand with them. In 2018, we not only recognize and celebrate the victories and accomplishments of women across the globe, we demand action. The...
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Gianpaolo Baiocchi is director of the Urban Democracy Lab at NYU and the lead author of The Community of a Commodities Report. He discusses the need not only for affordable and rent stabilized housing, but housing that is inclusive, green, clean, and democratically controlled.
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Education activists Ana Yris Guzman Toress of Nuestra Escuela Puerto Rico and Nicolle Teresa Ramos, coordinator of Universidad Sin Fronteras talk about how they're building, organizing, and recovering on the island. Watch the full episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6tQ0h1Th6c #HurricaneFlorence #HurricaneMaria #PuertoRico
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We visit Berl's Bookstore in Downtown Brooklyn to attend a reading of tankas. Featuring writing by workers from groups such as Picture the Homeless, the Retail Action Project, and Domestic Workers United
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“Politicians and pundits tend to get excited about war, but the US-led strike on Syria of April 14th, was more of a show of weakness than of strength, veteran Middle East correspondent, Patrick Cockburn tells Laura Flanders. “
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Outlandish is a worker cooperative making the world of tech a fairer place. Kayleigh Walsh joins us on this week's LF Show to discuss alternative social enterprise models and putting clients at the center of projects.
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What's in store for Puerto Rico's future? More disaster capitalism, or solidarity economics? While the lights have come back on for most, 8% of electrical customers are still waiting. The conversation in other media seems to be shifting to the social crises that are emerging -- but for many basic supplies, services and medical care are still nowhere in sight. And let’s not forget that some people are pushing to privatize everything from education to the power grid. In the massive gaps left by...
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Jeremy Corbyn on the economic inequity in the UK and the need for regional investment and nationalizing key industries. Watch his full interview here: http://www.lauraflanders.org/
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In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, something unexpected rose up out of the devastation in the Rockaways-- worker-owned businesses. Six years later, we get an update from Lorena Giron and Brendan Martin of The Working World, an organization focused on starting and sustaining cooperatives in low-income communities. We also hear from noted Marxist geographer and anthropologist, David Harvey.
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When technology is being used to put workers out of jobs, what sorts of platforms put power back in the hands of workers? CoWorker.org is one example of tech that's trying to do just that. Palak Shah is the Director of Social Innovations at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Michelle Miller is the co-director and co-founder of CoWorker.org.
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Edgar Villanueva has made a career out of radically rethinking the traditional philanthropic model. He joins us on the show to give his analysis of the dysfunctional colonial dynamics at play in philanthropy and finance. Using the guidance of indigenous wisdom, he offers his prescription of how to restore balance and engage in collective healing.
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14 corporations have joined the Fair Food Program so far, but Wendy's has not. Instead, Wendy's has moved its tomato-picking operations to Mexico. Without proper protection for farmworkers in Mexico and a commitment from Wendy's, many of these workers face dangerous working condition, including the threat of sexual violence, wage theft, and intimidation. Hundreds of workers joined the Freedom Fast at 120 Park Avenue in New York City to call for Wendy's investors to push the company towards the...
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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has proclaimed April as Confederate Heritage Month, and many are protesting. Mississippi is the last state banner to feature confederate iconography, and the movement to change it has become a klaxon for the greater movement to take down Confederate symbols in America. Laura speaks with actress and activist Aunjanue Ellis about her organization Take It Down America, and why, for her, this movement is personal. Plus, another artist from Mississippi, Genesis Be,...
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When working with those who have been displaced by gentrification -- the process of new, wealthier, residents moving into neighborhoods and forcing older, lower-income residents to move out -- how can developers and architects ensure they don't perpetuate social systems that caused displacement in the first place?From our TED Women series, two architects who are combatting the effects of gentrification and serving low-income communities through innovative design.
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Food --- from where it grows, to where it goes, all of it matters to our bodies and our communities. We begin October with a conversation about how farmers are creating equitable food systems inside cities, from urban agriculture to worker-owned cooperatives.
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A conversation with iconic photographer Deborah Willis (NYU Tisch) & son Hank Willis Thomas about connecting across generations through art and documentation. In collaboration with TED Women.
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As Israeli forces kill unarmed demonstrators for a third week in Gaza and while the US simultaneously prepares to strike Syria over human rights abuses, Laura spoke to Lana Abu Hijileh, a Palestinian humanitarian and development professional attending the SKOLL World Forum conference in Oxford, UK, April 13, 2018
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Dara Baldwin Senior Public Policy Analyst at National Disability Rights Network explains what disability rights advocates are demanding in policy form from this administration. Excerpted from our Special Report: Ableism Out, Independent Living Now! #independentliving
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Resist. Protect. Build. Public Bank NYC's recent launch action with New York City organizations, including New York Public Interest Research Group; NY Communities for Change; and The Working World, calls for a complete divestment of public money from big banks and into New York communities. Their message? A public bank is possible even in the financial capital of the world.
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Journalist Salaam Green on #BlackVotersMatter in Alabama, a movement led by grassroots coalition organizing and, notably, by black women.
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Some of us have too much of this world’s goods​... and we are thereby separated too widely from each other," ​wrote Eleanor Roosevelt, the subject of Blanche Wiesen Cook's three-volume biography​. ​For Women's History​ ​Month, Laura speaks to Cook about ​Eleanor - the First Lady of the World - and why her work still resonates. ​Plus, a documentary by filmmaker Ross Watne on Arthurdale, the ​​experimental​, government-funded community Roosevelt ​championed in...
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Author and reporter Jeff Biggers returns to the show to discuss his new book. In this excerpt, Biggers says we have to get "beyond the personnel" when it comes to the immense damage being done by the EPA. The agency meant to protect the environment is in bed not only with Trump, but with coal lobbyists like Andrew Wheeler, the new pick for EPA chief after Scott Pruit's scandal-laden resignation in July 2018. Biggers is the author of 'Resistance: Reclaiming the American...
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Christine Hong, board member of the Korea Policy Institute and an anti-war activist, on how the history of American militarization on the Korean peninsula is disrupting ongoing diplomacy in the region. Hong also says President Obama was invested in sustaining a geostrategic position on behalf of the United States that was geared towards the production of permanent war.
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Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd District)​, also co-chair of Dems' Progressive Caucus and Eduardo Maura, spokesperson of Spanish political party, Podemos, on where a populist progressive vision can take us, even in repressive times.
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...you can't cut your way to prosperity, you invest your way into prosperity." - Jeremy Corbyn on the replicability of The Labour Party's Model. Watch his full interview here: http://www.lauraflanders.org/
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An interview with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, of the hit show 'Grace and Frankie,' alongside Saru Jarayaman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Center United. Laura speaks to them in Detroit during the summer of 2017 after they went to canvas door to door for a ballot initiative that seeks not only to win a single fair minimum wage, but to help build a broad progressive agenda in Michigan statewide.
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Social movements and party politics - inherently at odds or natural allies? This week, in his first in-depth TV appearance, Maurice Mitchell, the new National Director of the Working Families Party, joins us in studio. Laura and Maurice discuss his activist background, the WFP's national and international vision, and how the organization is tackling this midterm election year.
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We speak to indigenous women leaders at the 17th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) at the UN Headquarters in New York. Among them are Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara of North Dakota), of the Indigenous Environmental Network; Lucy Mulenkei (Maasai, Kenya) of the Indigenous Information Network; Yasso Kanti Bhattachan (Thakali, Nepal) of the National Indigenous Women Forum; and Otilia Lux De Coti (Quiché Maya, Guatemala) of MADRE. The session was...
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Avery Bang, of nonprofit Bridges to Prosperity, on building footbridges to freedom for isolated communities.
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The Laura Flanders Show
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​What difference does a Party make? This week on the Laura Flanders Show, we talk about what's happening in the UK where one of the two main parties is picking up many of the radical demands coming out of movement groups seeking to transform the economy and society. In 2017, mainstream media predicted that the Labour Party​ would be crushed in the general election. Instead, it won its best result in 20 years, getting more than 40% of the vote under the leadership of life long socialist and...
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The Laura Flanders Show
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The social fabrics connecting us are being torn apart. This state of affairs is normal, Laura laments in this week's Fword, but only in a broken society. Bombarded by the influx of breaking news and scrambling to make ends meet in this hypercapitalist world, we are losing touch with our humanity. We're not at national suicide point yet, but only time will tell.
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The city of Preston, UK is taking its lessons from rust-belt Cleveland, and spearheading a global movement to invest in local economies through economic cooperation. With the potential to subvert neoliberalism, this model uses community input and local investment to tackle issues such as housing, wages, and austerity. Featured here are UK Labour Party Council Leader for Preston, Matthew Brown, as well as Tim Murgatroyd, teacher and author, at the "Another York Is Possible" event in...
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We meet the co-founders of SURJ, Showing Up for Racial Justice, and ask tough questions about white women voters and race while looking back at the 2018 midterm elections.
Topics: New York, New York, The Laura Flanders Show, Youtube, Grit TV, capitalism, socialism, Laura...
US healthcare is still in crisis. Over thirty million Americans remain uninsured, and even more are sickened by sky-high insurance costs. This January Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon announced that they were banding together to form a new healthcare… entity. It’d be premature to call it a plan. The men from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan say that whatever-it-is will be "free from profit-making incentives and constraints." but remember, we’re talking about...
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Author, journalist, Christian Parenti believes that we don’t demand enough of government but extreme weather will force that behavior to change. Christian Parenti is an American investigative journalist, academic, and author. His books include: Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis, a survey of the rise of the prison-industrial complex.
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The Preston Model -- based off Evergreen Cooperative, a community wealth building model in Cleveland, OH -- is designed to keep and build wealth within a designated area by emphasizing local investment and procurement to democracy.
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Artist from Mississippi, Genesis Be, returns to her hometown to speak to a childhood friend who thinks the Confederate flag should stay.
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Kamau Franklin is a co-founder of Community Movement Builders in Pittsburgh, Atlanta. Community Movement Builders (CMB) is a member based collective of black people dedicated to being a force for creating sustainable self-determining black communities through cooperative economic advancement and collective community organizing.
Topics: New York, New York, The Laura Flanders Show, Youtube, Laura Flanders, GRITtv, independent media,...