814: Shaming the System Shows

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Ashley Bohrer: “If a young white man in Wrigleyville is mugged, no one says ‘what were you wearing?’ or ‘maybe you shouldn’t have been out late at night’ or ‘do you have a history of giving money out on the street? Oh well you must have been asking to be mugged’ – That never happens.”

As Slutwalk Chicago participants paint signs (and bodies) ahead of their rally at Daley Plaza, we check in with Ashley Bohrer about the group’s philosophy, history and goals. Ashley explains Slutwalks origins in combating rape culture, how including a diverse group of activists and causes strengthens the walk’s impact, and why Hillary Clinton’s anti-victim past doesn’t bode well for her supporting women, fairness or equality in the future.

Ashley Bohrer is a super busy activist with, among a whole bunch of causes, Slutwalk Chicago.

 


 

Nafeez Ahmed: “Even though Netanyahu was publicly giving lip service about negotiating with Palestinians about Gaza marine offshore resources, behind the scenes those actual negotiations were being conducted without Palestinian officials being present.”

There are obviously many factors in the current Israel-Palestine conflict, but maybe none are as cynical and under-reported as Israel’s desire for oil and gas reserves in the Occupied Territories. Journalist Nafeez Ahmed covers the story in his Guardian piece IDF’s Gaza Assault is to Control Palestinian Gas, Avert Israeli Energy Crisis. Chuck talks with Nafeez about how the threat of an Israeli energy crisis influences actions in Gaza, why meetings about Palestinian energy resources are conducted without any actual Palestinians at the table, and how Israeli political extremism originates from within the Israeli government and spreads outwards.

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an international security journalist and academic. Nafeez writes for The Ecologist and The Guardian on the geopolitics of interconnected environmental, energy and economic crises. His latest nonfiction book is A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save it, and his novel, Zero Point, a near-future political science fiction thriller, was just released.

Nafeez on Twitter / Nafeez’s website

 


 

Frederic Mousseau: “What people have been fighting for, when they went to the streets of Kiev in January and February, was not about austerity measures and painful programs.”

For the Ukrainian people, choosing between West and Russia is not only a false choice, but a choice that comes with major economic decisions already made for them, usually against their interests and without their input. Frederic Mousseau is the Policy Director at the Oakland Institute and co-author of the report Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict. Frederic talks about the role international financial institutions played in the early days of Ukraine’s crisis, why choosing “Western values” also means having Western economic policies like austerity, GMO crops and free trade chosen for you, and the willful blindness that helps the World Bank and IMF profit from destructive policies across the globe.

Frederic Mousseau is the Policy Director at the Oakland Institute, where he coordinates the Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa project.


 

Brian Mier: “The number of kids for public grade schools and high schools – a majority black – who were in public universities when Lula got elected was two percent. And as of next year, it’s gonna be 50 percent. They’ve opened up all this space for the working class in society and this makes rich people furious. This is why they were booing Dilma.”

OK we sort of got caught up in it too, but ahead of the World Cup, the left was so excited about cataloging neoliberal encroachment on the people of Brazil that it let those critiques encroach on the truth about Brazil and its government. Irregular Correspondent Brian Mier wrote the post The World Cup Has Come and Gone and Brazil Didn’t Crash and Burn for the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and he reminds us that although FIFA and the World Cup were still gross, Dilma Rousseff is not Rahm Emanuel, and facts are still facts. Brian sets us straight on the political realities in Brazil, talks about what Ferguson, Missouri has in common with his home, and why so many Western leftist critics of Brazil see neoliberals everywhere they look because they’re looking in the wrong places.

Brian Mier grew up on the North Side of Chicago and has lived in Brazil since 1999. He is currently a policy analyst at the Centro de Direitos Economicos e Sociais. Brian’s first novel, Slow Ride, is available in paperback or e-book. We really recommend it!

 


 

Greg Palast: “The President of Argentina has said ‘I will not pay extortion’ to the vulture. And we had financial press say ‘how dare she call this extortion.’ You know where she got the term? From the US Treasury. Because the same vulture gets us.”

Why is President Obama letting a destructive billionaire do whatever he wa- OK so that question probably isn’t worth typing out all the way. But you do need to know that in this case, the destructive billionaire (Paul Singer) is doing whatever he wants (with Argentina’s economy) and Obama actually has the power to do something (something that George Bush actually did.)

Our hero, Greg Palast takes us through Paul Singer’s globe-trotting, carcass-capital feast, from shaking down cholera-ridden Congo to squeezing $12.9 billion from the US Treasury. Greg details the vulture’s latest extortion attempt in the report, Obama Can End Argentina’s Debt Crisis with a Pen up now at his site. Greg explains how Singer got powerful enough to threaten a nation with bankruptcy, and why Obama feels bad about the whole thing, but can’t bring himself to sign a piece of paper and solve the crisis.

Greg Palast is a serial investigative reporter who gets arrested, gets drunk, gets laid, gets all fucked-up in ways too numerous and embarrassing to enumerate, but ultimately GETS THE FACTS.

Greg on Twitter / Greg’s website

 


 

James Loewen: “Manitowoc, Wisconsin actually had a sign at their city limits saying – and yes I have to use the word – ‘Nigger don’t let the sun go down on you in Manitowoc.’ They didn’t have to have a sign to be a sundown town, most of them didn’t have a sign, they just had to have a policy that back folks are not allowed to live there. “

All white towns didn’t become all white by accident, and they definitely stayed all white on purpose. The signs of racism are everywhere in the history of America’s towns, including on actual signs. Sociologist and Lies My Teacher Told Me author James Loewen uncovers the history of civic discrimination in his book Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism. James talks with Chuck about how white flight and systematic racism created all-white spaces, why second generation Sundown policies are currently boiling over in towns like Ferguson, Missouri, and what white people could gain by learning to just relax around everyone else.

James W. Loewen is an author and taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. In 2012 the American Sociological Association gave Jim its Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, for “scholarship in service to social justice.”

 James on Twitter / James’s website

 


 

Jeff Dorchen: “You, Mr. Policeman-who-wrote-the-article-in-the-Washington-Post, during this time when the public is upset about an unarmed black man being shot to death, seem to want credit for all the times you and other cops have not shot an unarmed black man to death. I would call that 100% narcissism.”

This is the one of the rare Moments of Truth that is funny in absolutely no way. What can you say that is funny after you read an essay titled “I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me”? What can you say after you get past the reality of that title and read the actual words of an essay titled “I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me”? Jeff Dorchen spends the first part in a multi-part monologue examining how realities of American life breed the kinds of powerful, violent narcissism we see unleashed on the streets of Ferguson. If you’re a violent, narcissistic cop and you don’t want to get hurt, don’t read this challenge.

According to his contacts on LinkedIn, Jeff Dorchen can do just about anything. He’s a visual artist, songwriter/musician, actor, essayist, poet, playwright and screenwriter. His many unfinished novels are still unfinished.

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  • blah

    seriously? naming an event about safety “slutwalk” is asinine. good luck growing a movement that way. eye roll.

  • blah

    good interview on brazil, and good expose of apparently crap work on the part of zirin & the nation.