Wed 12.01.10| Industrialized Punishment

More than one in every one hundred adults in the US is behind bars. What accounts for the 450% increase in the number of incarcerated people since 1980? Is it rising crime rates, or racism, or something else? Ruth Wilson Gilmore shared her analysis, and described anti-prison activism, before an audience at The Evergreen State College. (Encore presentation.)

Tues 11.30.10| Autonomy for All

They took over factories in Italy, fought neo-Nazis and the police to a standstill, militantly opposed nuclear proliferation, squatted large urban areas, and attempted to transform gender relations and the politics of everyday life. Radical scholar George Katsiaficas discusses the formidable European autonomist movements of the 1970s and '80s.

Mon 11.29.10| Selling Home Ownership

Alyssa Katz, Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us Bloomsbury, 2009
The meltdown of the US housing market is visible to anyone living in northern or central California, where foreclosed houses dot our urban, rural, and suburban landscapes. Journalist Alyssa Katz describes how the idea of owning one's own house has been actively fostered by a government wanting to generate private economic growth and abandon public housing. (Encore broadcast.)

Wed 11.24.10| Blue Collar Rebellion

Aaron Brenner, Robert Brenner, and Cal Winslow (eds.), Rebel Rank and File: Labor Militancy and Revolt from Below During the Long 1970s Verso, 2010
From the mid-1960s to 1981, working class people waged a double battle against their bosses and often ossified unions in a period of tremendous labor militancy. Yet that history has been written out of the books about the period, which tend to characterize workers as reactionary and prowar. Labor historian Cal Winslow and Mike Hamlin of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement set the record straight.

Tues 11.23.10| Shack Dwellers' Movement

Foreclosures and tent cities have become commonplace in the U.S. and those without domicile are often left to find individual solutions to their plight. In South Africa, the poor and the homeless have mobilized themselves and are fighting back. S'bu Zikode, the head of shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, discusses how that organization was formed and the obstacles it faces, including violent attacks by the police and those in power.

Mon 11.22.10| Fair Trade's Impact

Fair trade coffee, fair trade products -- we're told to buy these items because the extra amount we pay at the register goes to improving the lives of agricultural laborers abroad. But does it? Sarah Besky has done extensive fieldwork on fair trade-certified tea plantations in Darjeeling, India. And Mark Moberg co-edits a volume that features Besky's case study and many others.
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