Wednesday, May 2, 2012

  • Obama Touts War’s End in Afghanistan, But Critics See Election-Year Guise for Prolonged Occupation

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    On a surprise visit to Afghanistan, President Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Osama bin Laden and announced the signing of a long-term strategic partnership with the Afghan government. In a speech to the U.S. public, Obama said the agreement heralds "a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins." We’re joined by writer Tariq Ali and former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright, who helped reopen the U.S. embassy in Kabul in 2001. [includes rush transcript]

  • May Day Protests Span the Globe with Calls for Economic Justice, International Solidarity

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    Hundreds of thousands of people across the world marked May Day on Tuesday by filling the streets and demanding better working conditions, greater job security and improved quality of life. May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, resonated with protesters from Spain to Bangladesh to Iraq and throughout the United States. "This is brutal and dictatorial," says Mariano, a member of Spain’s General Union of Workers who denounced his country’s conservative government for recently announcing job cuts in the health and education sectors as well as tax increases. [includes rush transcript]

  • May Day Legacy of Labor, Immigrant Rights Joined by New Generation of Occupy for Historic Protests

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    Several major unions joined with immigrant rights activists and tens of thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City for a massive rally that marched to Wall Street. "I’m here today to support the efforts of May Day in fighting as a coalition to protect working families, struggling families and individuals — quite frankly, known as the 99 percent — to make sure that our issues, our causes are not forgotten and that we are not demonized," says Barbara Ingram-Edmonds of District Council 37 AFSCME. Throughout the day, teach-ins, pickets and wildcat protests took place across the city. We also speak with Baruch University professor Jackie DiSalvo about the history of May Day, dating back to the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago on May 1, 1886. [includes rush transcript]

  • As Students Revolt over Cutbacks and Debt, NYC Occupy Stages May Day "Free University" for the 99%

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    In New York City’s Madison Square Park, hundreds of people attended a "Free University" hosted by Occupy Wall Street, where professors gave free classes to May Day protesters. Activists said the event marked an alternative means of sharing knowledge outside the capitalist system. "This movement is all about building community and sharing and coming up with alternatives to the economic system that’s so pervasive in our lives in everything that we do," said Amin Husain, a key facilitator for the Occupy movement, who attended the event. "These are cracks in capitalism, where we can actually give and take on our terms," he added. Ruthie Wilson Gilmore, a professor and co-founder of the prison abolitionist group Critical Resistance, brought her class from the City University of New York to the action. "May Day is the day in which we rise up and say we should be free, which means we should control the means of production so that we can have all the say possible in how we reproduce ourselves," said Gilmore. "Studying policing and studying capitalism and studying racism is a way toward figuring out how to change the future." [includes rush transcript]