Tuesday, November 26, 2013

  • As Wal-Mart Workers Plan Record Black Friday Protests, Study Says Retail Giant Can Afford Higher Pay

    Barbaracollinsstrikesign

    As Black Friday approaches, Wal-Mart workers and activists are planning another round of protests and strikes at the nation’s largest employer on the biggest shopping day of the year. The Black Friday protests come at a time of heightened scrutiny for the company. It made headlines last week when a photo surfaced online of a sign made by workers at one of its stores in Ohio. The sign was taped to a table and read: "Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner." Wal-Mart says the food drive shows the company tries to help its workers. But critics say it reveals the low wages Wal-Mart pays them. The National Labor Relations Board also ruled last week that Wal-Mart violated the rights of striking workers. We are joined by Catherine Ruetschlin, a policy analyst at Demos who co-authored the new report, "A Higher Wage is Possible: How Walmart Can Invest in Its Workforce Without Costing Customers a Dime." We also speak with Barbara Collins, a former Wal-Mart employee fired after last year’s Black Friday strike. Collins speaks to us from Bentonville, Arkansas, where Wal-Mart’s headquarters is located. She has been protesting there since Friday as part of a group of eight fired workers who are demanding their jobs back after the NLRB’s ruling that their firing was unfair.

  • Reverend Billy Faces Year in Prison for Protesting JPMorgan Chase’s Financing of Fossil Fuels

    Bill

    For more than a decade, Reverend Billy, along with his Church of Stop Shopping, has preached fiery sermons against recreational consumerism — and more recently, against climate disaster. You can often find them greeting the crush of shoppers at Macy’s in New York City on Black Friday. That may not be the case this year. That is because in September, Rev. Billy was arrested after staging a 15-minute musical protest at a JPMorgan Chase bank in Manhattan to highlight the bank’s environmental record and the extinction of a Central American golden toad. He now faces a year in prison for misdemeanor charges of riot in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, unlawful assembly and two counts of disorderly conduct. Despite this, he and The Stop Shopping Choir are performing in New York City every Sunday through December 22. Rev. Billy is also featured in the film "What Would Jesus Buy?" and in the book of the same name.

  • "Hannah Arendt" Revisits Fiery Debate over German-Jewish Theorist’s Coverage of Eichmann Trial

    Hannah2

    As head of the Gestapo office for Jewish affairs, Adolf Eichmann organized transport systems which resulted in the deportation of millions of Jews to extermination camps across Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Eichmann helped draft the letter ordering the Final Solution — the Nazi’s plan to exterminate the Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Europe. After the war, Eichmann fled to Argentina, where he lived under a false identity until he was kidnapped by the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, on May 11, 1960. He was flown to Israel and brought to trial in Jerusalem in April 1961. After being found guilty, he was executed by hanging in 1962. One writer reporting on the trial was the German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, the author of "The Origins of Totalitarianism" and "The Human Condition." Arendt’s coverage of the trial for The New Yorker proved extremely controversial. She expressed shock that Eichmann was not a monster, or evil, but "terribly and terrifyingly normal." Even more controversial was her assertion that the Jews participated in their own destruction through the collaboration of the Nazi-appointed Judenrat, or Jewish councils, with the Third Reich. Arendt’s coverage of the Eichmann trial is chronicled in the 2013 film, "Hannah Arendt." We air clips of the film and speak with the film’s star, Barbara Sukowa, who was awarded the Lola Award for Best Actress, the German equivalent of the Oscars, for her role. We are also joined by the film’s director, Margarethe von Trotta, one of Germany’s leading directors, who has won multiple awards over her 40-year career.