Program Archives

Tues 9.07.10| The Making of the South Korean Working Class

Last May, workers facing mass layoffs at the Ssanyong Motor company in South Korea took over their factory. The occupation lasted 77 days and ended after pitched battles with police commandos, who dropped tear gas on them from helicopters; the workers responded with home made catapults and fire bombs. Radical writer Loren Goldner talks about the state of class struggle in South Korea, following IMF austerity and casualization of the workforce.

Mon 9.06.10| "Rights Talk" and Workers

Richard McIntyre, Are Worker Rights Human Rights? U. of Michigan Press, 2008

Human rights and their violation are an insistent focus of many activists and organizations. But are there important limitations to rights-based politics? Because an individualist interpretation of rights holds sway, Richard McIntyre asserts that the rights revolution has failed to advance the collective strength of US workers. (Encore presentation.)

Wed 9.01.10| Keeping Nations Down

Poor nations don't, or can't, devote adequate resources to improving their populations' health and well-being. Are the policies of the International Monetary Fund partly to blame for this? Rick Rowden explains how IMF dictates, and the neoliberal economic logic that ungirds them, block poor countries from developing.

Tues 8.31.10| What Children Need

Stephen Goldsmith & Lynne Elizabeth, eds., What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs New Village Press, 2010

Clare Cooper Marcus, Iona Dreaming Nicolas-Hays, 2010

Healing Landscapes (scroll down directory)

What if urban and suburban neighborhoods were designed specifically to meet the needs of children? If young people's preferences were given priority in design and planning decision making, where would children play and how would they develop? Clare Cooper Marcus asserts that parks and playgrounds are far from sufficient, and she points to child- and pedestrian-friendly designs implemented abroad.

Mon 8.30.10| Green Panaceas?

Carbon offsets, organic food, and biofuels all promise to help us save the planet, by compensating for greenhouse gas emission, replacing petroleum, and reducing the pesticides and fertilizers that are poisoning our waterways and bodies. Unfortunately, says Heather Rogers, such products may be less green than they seem. She traveled around the world to investigate and her conclusions are devastating.

Wed 8.25.10| Disasters and Mutual Aid

Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell Viking, 2010 (paper)

Rebecca Solnit, "When the Media is the Disaster: Covering Haiti" Huffington Post

A.C. Thompson, "Katrina's Hidden Race War" The Nation

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina touched down on the Gulf Coast. What followed was a very human-made disaster, whipped up by a media that favored hype over accuracy. Yet it was also a moment of human-created solidarity and mutual aid. Award-winning writer Rebecca Solnit speaks about how disasters can make us step out of the isolation and fragmentation of our daily lives and give us a glimpse of how a society based on collectivity might look.

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