Boycott the Braids

Episode 73 – Recorded March 10, 2017.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) Fair Food Program in the tomato fields of Florida has eliminated modern-day slavery and sexual violence, improved farmworker wages and guaranteed basic protections for tens of thousands of workers. In this episode, Tom Broderick interviews Lupe Gonzalo, member and leader of CIW about how the Fair Food Program works, how it has benefited the workers in the field, the history of CIW, and just why CIW is leading a boycott of Wendy’s.

Translation is provided by Yaissy Solis, national co-coordinator for the Student/Farmworker Alliance, a national network of students and youth working in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

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Our Guests:

Lupe Gonzalo is a member and leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Ms. Gonzalo is a farmworker herself, with over 13 years of experience working in the fields of Florida. As part of the Fair Food Program, Ms. Gonzalo and her colleagues conduct worker-to-worker education sessions on human rights in the fields on all farms participating in the Program. Ms. Gonzalo’s work at the CIW includes hosting daily radio shows on the CIW’s low-power community FM radio station, leading the weekly women’s group meetings, receiving complaints of abuses in the fields, managing wage theft claims, and investigating cases of modern-day slavery. Finally, Ms. Gonzalo represents the CIW at a national level, speaking publicly on the challenges faced by farmworkers in Florida, both during major actions with thousands of consumers and in dozens of presentations throughout the year.

Yaissy Solis works as national co-coordinator for the Student/Farmworker Alliance, a national network of students and youth working in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Ms. Solis has substantial expertise in the fields of student/youth organizing, economic justice, movement building and direct-action campaigns.


For More Information:

Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Student/Farmworker Alliance

Alliance for Fair Food

Fair Foods Standards Council

Sign the Boycott Wendy’s Petition

 


Credits:

Episode Producer – Tom Broderick

Recording engineer – Bob Roman

Post production – Chelsea Anderson

Theme music – Brandon Payton-Carrillo

Blog editor – Bob Roman


 

Planned Inequality

Episode 72 – Recorded May 13, 2011, at the 53rd Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner in Chicago.

Ralph Martire
Ralph Martire

Our featured speaker for that evening was Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago. In this presentation, Martire contends the wreckage of our public institutions, our soaring private and public debt, our stagnating economy, the growing stench of racism in our politics: These are the natural outcome of an intentional, decades-long policy of massively redistributing wealth to those who were already very very wealthy.

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Music by Brandon Payton-Carrillo.

More Information

Only One Thing Can Save Us

Unions and a Democratic Society

Recorded May 8, 2015 at the 57th Annual Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner in Chicago. Tom Geoghegan argues that even as the U.S. labor movement crumbles, a revived but different labor movement is crucial to building a democratic society. How might that be done? Geoghegan has some suggestions and he notes: Disruption works.

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More information

Only One Thing Can Save Us by Thomas Geoghegan

The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan

Recorded 11.03.2016 — Chicago DSA’s Aaron Armitage interviews Cecily McMillan on her memoir. McMillan is a DSA activist who had been involved in the Wisconsin protests

Cecily McMillan
McMillan at press conference upon release from Rikers Island.

against Governor Scott Walker and in Occupy Wall Street. In an almost accidental connection with Occupy, she was arrested under dubious circumstances for assaulting a police officer, convicted, and sentenced to Rikers Island.

This interview explores the intersection of the personal and the political. In particular, McMillan describes growing up in an isolated rural Texas town, her dawning awareness of a larger world that leads to a continuing reassessment of her sense of identity. McMillan and Armitage discuss the Walker protests and Occupy Wall Street: It’s good, bad, and inadequate aspects.

In the end, many of the problems facing the poor

Cecily McMillan
McMillan at Seminary Co-op Bookstore.

and marginalized end up being regarded as personal problems. But, as McMillan notes at the end, “if it becomes personal, there is no language to deal with it.”

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The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan by Cecily McMillan

Michael Harrington on Socialism

This particular speech by Michael Harrington was given in early 1971 at the Reynolds Club at the University of Chicago. The meeting was sponsored by the University of Chicago chapter of the Young Peoples Socialist League. In many ways, the speech is classic Harrington: a mix of the pragmatic and the utopian, with an awareness of the complexities that ideology often obscures. Some parts of the speech are 1960s quaint, but with the consequences of the Sanders movement still unfolding in this second decade of the twenty-first century, there are also aspects of the speech that are very worthwhile keeping in mind if we want the revolution to continue.

Michael HarringtonMichael Harrington is probably best remembered as the author of The Other America: Poverty in the United States. Published in 1962, it documented how, after two decades of unprecedented prosperity, there were still a substantial number of Americans who were poor and that it was not simply a matter of race or rural isolation, but something that was endemic all across our country. The book was not the first to document this state of affairs. But it was eloquent, thorough, and well timed to catch a growing wave of liberalism in the early 1960s. It was, in fact, given credit for inspiring the Johnson Administration’s “War on Poverty”.

The timing of the book was also fortunate in that Harrington was just finding his voice as a public speaker, allowing him to take advantage of the “buzz” and to become a player in mainstream politics. This also enabled him to become the last public spokesman of any consequence (until Bernie Sanders, perhaps) for democratic socialism in the United States.

This recording is a redigitization of a file posted in Chicago DSA’s Audio Archive.

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A Tale of Two Cities and Rev. Pinkney

Recorded August 25, 2016. It’s a story of racism, class, corporate power and the denial of democracy and justice. It is a story of how neoliberal policies are affecting all parts of our country. Tom Broderick interviews Robert McKay and Paul Sakol about how Reverend Edward Pinkney ran up against an obdurate and vindictive local Establishment in Benton Harbor / St. Joseph, Michigan, that has put him in jail… for possibly a long time.

Robert McKay is a member of the Central Coordinating Committee to Free Rev. Edward Pinkney and a spokesperson for the Free Reverend Pinkney Campaign.

Paul Sakol was the Executive Director of the Blue Gargoyle Social Service Agency in Hyde Park covering the south side of Chicago from 2002 to 2007. He was the Executive Director of the Lupus Foundation branch in Illinois 2009 to 2011. He is a social worker who did psychotherapy and administration for various mental health and social service agencies in Chicago and northeastern Indiana. He worked for the Federal Government in DC for 9 years early in his career for HUD and the OMB. His education includes an MBA and an MA in Social Work both from the University of Chicago. He is an LCSW in the State of Illinois.

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MP3 (32.2 MB) or OGG VORBIS (25.5 MB) (33:29)


For More Information

Black Autonomy Network Community Organization

Justice4Pinkney

Two Towns, Two America: The Story of Rev. Edward Pinkney” by Paul Sakol

Why Is Rev. Edward Pinkney in Prison? Another Case of Political Persecution” by Jackie Miller


Modernizing U.S. Food Aid

In the wake of World War II, the US launched an ambitious effort to help save lives by fighting the scourge of hunger. The idea was simple: take surplus US grain and send it to people in need around the world. Since then, US food aid has saved hundreds of millions of people from malnutrition and starvation.

Now, 60 years after the program was launched, it’s time for US food aid to be modernized. Millions of more lives could be saved simply by adding flexibility and efficiency to the program.

Chicago DSA’s Alex McLeese interviews Oxfam America’s Adam Olson on the fight to reform food aid.

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Adam Olson is Oxfam’s Regional Advocacy Lead and Advocacy Advisor for Illinois and neighboring states. Oxfam is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. Adam’s work focuses on breaking cycles of poverty through change in in public policy and private practice. He regularly collaborates with policymakers, allied organizations, community leaders, and academics. His work is entirely nonpartisan, and is not related to elections.

About Oxfam America

Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. As one of 18 members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. Oxfam saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty, and campaigns for social change. Oxfam America is a nonpartisan organization, and works closely with members of all parties and backgrounds.

For More Information