I’ve been thinking about Joe Hill a lot lately, listening his music, reading a novel about an IWW strike in the early part of the last century and just reflecting on the work that radical labor did 100 years ago.
Today is the 107th anniversary of Joe’s execution by firing squad for a crime he didn’t commit. But really the state killed him because he organized, resisted capitalism and fought fascists.
It’s also the same day that Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of killing two men and wounding a third man at a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI.
I’m outraged and heartbroken by the news of Rittenhouse’s acquittal. But, I’m not surprised and don’t have much expectation from our current system. People who resisted capitalism, police violence and fascism were gunned down by a teenage vigilante and he got away with it.
To me, this moment around Rittenhouse’s acquittal is a moment to fight back and organize. My friend Joshua says that we need to integrate gratitude and connection to historical movements into our organizing work to help sustain us.
In this moment where the far right is on the rise and the capitalist political economy is allowing them to flourish, I feel gratitude to Wobbly organizers like Joe Hill who organized and radicalized labor over 100 years ago and created a cultural identity for the left that persists.
Here’s Joe’s will that he wrote on his last day of life:
In our final interview from COP 26 in Glasgow, Scott welcomes Lisa Winter and (welcomes back) Alex Cohen with Rising Tide North America (@risingtideNA) to Green and Red. The three of them have a lively discussion about direct action and mass disruption to meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis from COP to frontline battles around the world.
Bob and Scott talk about the state of the Democrats in the wake of the Virginia, New Jersey and Buffalo elections. They talk about how the Democrats continue to act like it’s 1993 and put up tired old Clinton hacks like Terry McAuliffe and ex-Goldman bankers like Phil Murphy and expect things to be different. Furthermore, they undermine democratic socialists like India Walton in the Buffalo mayor’s race and blame woke politics, defund the police, medicare for all, the Green New Deal, etc when things don’t go their way.
New audio version of our recent coverage from Glasgow.
The UN Climate Summit in Glasgow (COP26) is in its second week. It’s been marked by large street protests, a “greenwash trade show” inside the meetings and empty promises by world leaders in the face of climate disaster. Green and Red focuses on movements and what’s happening in the streets, so we’ll be talking more with organizers and “outside voices” in Glasgow than you’ll hear from mainstream media channels.
At Green and Red, we’re big fans of popular culture and how it can politicize and radicalize people. We’ve already done shows on sports and activism, progressive Country music, cancel culture, Socialism and the Sopranos and other such themes. So…..in an upcoming series of episodes, we’re periodically going to talk about our favorite political/radical films, television and music.
The United Nations climate summit goes into a second week in Glasgow, Scotland. Over the weekend, over 100,000 (led by youth, Indigenous and frontline delegations) marched demanding a just and stable climate as world leaders, corporate lobbyists, the non-profit industrial complex and others continued to meet and negotiate on critical climate issues.
Scott gets an update from Glasgow from Emma Rae Lierley (@EmmaRaeLierley) with Rainforest Action Network (@RAN). They discussed Saturday’s march and the invisibilization of Indigenous leadership and delegations by the media. They also discussed the (empty) pledge by world leaders to stop deforestation by 2030, the role of reactionary countries such as Brazil and Indonesia and the importance of Indigenous land and forest defenders in stopping deforestation and climate crises. Finally, they talked about corporations at COP26, public relations strategies, greenwashing and “Net Zero by 2050.” Continue reading ““It’s a greenwash trade show”: Climate, Forests and Corporate Power at COP26 w/ Emma Rae Lierley”
In this episode, Bob had a conversation with Executive Director Sera Koulabdara (@SeraKoulabdara) of “Legacies of War” about the 50+ year crisis of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) in Laos. Scott was away on assignment.
At the same time as it was attacking Vietnam, the U.S. conducted a “secret war” against Laos through the air, dropping 2 million tons of bombs as part of its “sideshow” to the main war against the Vietnamese Revolution. Included in that massive campaign were 270,000,000 cluster bombs, smaller bombs–about baseball-sized–or “bomblets” that often did not detonate. So today, decades after the war ended, about 80,000,000 bombs remain in Laos. Continue reading “80,000,000 Bombs in Laos: A Conversation with Sera Koulabdara of “Legacies of War””