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Today’s discussion: Monsanto | GMO’s and documentary highlight “The World According to Monsanto”.

Links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US has adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. In the early 90’s, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

Vermont has become the 1st state to require GMO labeling. Will any others follow…?

Saturday May 24th, 2014
Join in the march against Monsanto | Locations across the world:


Uprising Radio on KPFK

Uprising Radio on KPFK

A campaign to televise Uprising, the popular radio program hosted by Sonali Kolhatkar, on KPFK Pacifica Radio.

Uprising is a daily radio program produced at KPFK Pacifica in Los Angeles. Our content is unique, compelling, and from a people’s perspective, not corporations’ or politicians’.

Free Speech TV, a national, commercial-free television network with distribution to 40 million households nationwide, has invited Uprising to be part of its regular television line up.

I listen to Uprising Monday through Friday and love Sinali’s passion for what she does, getting the truth out. I support all she and Pacifica does for the people.

Be sure to visit:


No Doubt: The Murders of Oscar Grant

By: Thandisizwe Chimurenga

While listening to the Uprising show this morning on my favorite progressive radio station 90.7FM, Sonali Kolhatkar interviewed Thandisizwe on her new book about Oscar Grant and the murder of this young black man.

Oscar Grant was one out of many black men racially profiled, targeted and assaulted by the police. He was killed at the hands of people we are told to trust, and his story shall echo through the centuries.

About the Book

“Thandi Chimurenga’s book gives an unflinching critique of the role white supremacy has played in the institutionalization of state-sponsored terrorism and violence against African Americans. She forces the reader to grapple with the implications of this regime for a so-called “post-racial” society. With rich clarity, Chimurenga maps the historical trajectory of the criminalization of African Americans and connects it to the tragic murder of Oscar Grant, a young Black man whose 2009 slaying by white transit officer Johannes Mehserle elicited national outrage and civil rights protests. Chimurenga provides a bracing blow-by-blow account of the events leading up to Grant’s murder, the sham trial of Mehserle, and the groundswell of grassroots activism that emblazoned the injustice of Grant’s death into the nation’s consciousness. Students of courtroom politics will be impressed by her laser-like dissection of the proceedings, as well as her willingness to pose hard questions about the government’s continuing human rights violations under the cover of the “law”. If there are any doubts about how the legacy of slavery and racial apartheid has brutally dehumanized and denied Black people justice in the land of 21st century “equal” opportunity, Black multi-millionaires, and a Black president, Chimurenga dispels them with her trenchant take-down of America’s criminal injustice system.”

~ Sikivu Hutchinson, author, Godless Americana, Race and Religious Rebels

“No Doubt… is no doubt an essential read. It is brilliant, fantastically well-written, compelling, engaging and absolutely infuriating in its detail and honesty. No Doubt… leaves no doubt as to why Oscar Grant and so many like him are killed by the police or that these killings are indeed state-sponsored murders.”

~ Jared A. Ball, Associate Professor of media studies at Bowie State University; author, I Mix What I Like; Co-Editor, A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X.

“In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder and George Zimmerman’s acquittal, “No Doubt: The Murder of Oscar Grant” is a necessary book. Thandisizwe Chimurenga dissects the defense that was mounted for Grant’s killer and shows how the legal supports for murders of young Black and Latino people are constructed. In tracing each step in the successful effort to keep Grant’s killer from being convicted of murder, she provides a stunning analysis of how white supremacy is reinforced and planted ever deeper in U.S. society and government. This is crucial knowledge for anyone who works to replace racism with justice.”

~ Laura Whitehorn, Editor, The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind by Safiya Bukhari

“No Doubt” is the chilling and compelling story of the 2009 murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant by a BART police officer. It is also the story of the ways in which racism and white privilege infect America’s criminal justice system, media and society, and encourage, perpetuate, and justify the oppression and devaluing of the lives of people of color. A breath-taking read that will break your heart, stimulate your rage, and hopefully motivate you to take action.

~ Jill Nelson, author, Volunteer Slavery, editor, Police Brutality: An Anthology

“No Doubt” tells the horrifying tale of how Oscar Grant was murdered once on a New Year’s subway platform before hundreds of witnesses, and a second time in media and the courts to minimize or prevent the punishment of his killer and to preserve the larger principle of police impunity when it comes to killing young Black men. After covering nearly every day of the killer’s trial proceedings and researching transcripts of pre-trial proceedings, veteran reporter Thandisizwe Chimurenga proves she can tell a good story as well and isn’t afraid of where it leads. Go see ‘Fruitvale Station’ if you need an airbrushed, slightly fictionalized version of Oscar Grant’s last day on earth. But you’ll have to read “No Doubt” to get the story of his death, and to trace the steps of the official dance which all-but-guarantees the double murder of Oscar Grant will happen again and again and again.”

~ Bruce Dixon, Co-Founder and Managing Editor, The Black Agenda Report

“White supremacist capitalism it’s all about making sure only the ‘right’ humans get human rights … as for the Trayvon Martins, the Aiyana Joneses, the Anthony Griffins and so many more, this system relies on dehumanization to justify their murders, on nobody being supposed to give a damn. But we know better, and we do give a damn. In this important document, Thandisizwe Chimurenga traces the events that led to another young man of Afrikan descent being murdered by the state’s mercenary thugs, placing Oscar Grant’s death in both its historical and global context. Pushing back against the dehumanizing and criminalizing narratives of the racist oppressor system, Chimurenga has given us an account that is as necessary as it is painful to read.”

~ K. Kersplebedeb, Canadian-based publisher of anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist radical literature.


Journalist Alan Weisman on Overpopulation and how to Ethically Reduce It

Alan Weisman’s new book – Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

He digs deep on the ethical method of population control through the education of women and available birth control, it’s direct effect on Earth and how more people can be conscious in the state of an ever closing natural habitat and available economic system to keep people afloat.

I have always wanted to be able to word perfectly how population control, when done the right way can be good for Earth and all of its inhabitants. This interview showed me how….

Enjoy this enlightening interview with Sonali Kolhatkar and Alan Weisman.


From the Ashes of Garment Factory Disaster, A Demand for Jobs with Dignity

From the Ashes of Garment Factory Disaster, A Demand for Jobs with Dignity

By Sonali Kolhatkar Published in

The soft-spoken, 5 foot tall, brown-skinned woman I met this week did not in any way appear to be a dangerous criminal. Yet, Kalpona Akter, the now-famous Bangladeshi labor activist, spent a month in prison last year, facing criminal charges brought by a subcontractor for Walmart. While serving her sentence, she was interrogated for hours on end, while her colleagues were beaten. Her crime: organizing garment workers. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world where nearly 4 million garment workers, mostly poor young women, toil in about 4,000 factories to make clothes for brands like Gap, Sears, Disney, and Benetton. Bangladesh’s factories export more garments than any other country in the world, second only to China. In the past year, thousands of women have died in Bangladesh in a series of deadly factory accidents. Last November, a fire at Tazreen factory in Dhaka killed hundreds of mostly female workers.

And this April, the multi-story Rana Plaza factory collapsed, killing more than 1,200 and injuring 2,500, again, mostly women workers. The world was shocked at the deaths, but the corporations whose clothes the women died making have done little to nothing in response. I asked Kalpona to describe a typical day in the life of a female garment worker in Bangladesh: she told me of the burdens of balancing family and work that most women endure, waking up at 5 am to cook meals for their husbands and children, clean, and keep house. At 7 am they head to work on foot or by bus.

At 8 in the morning they start their shift, breaking only once at 1 pm for lunch. The work is mindless and repetitive with unhygienic bathroom facilities and no clean drinking water. Although the work-day officially ends at 5 pm, workers are required to put in overtime until about 7 or 8 pm. By the time they return home, cook dinner, care for their children, keep house, and make their way to bed, it is usually midnight. For all this, a typical garment worker earns a minimum wage of about $38 a month, plus a few more dollars for overtime. When I remarked that many Americans would not think twice about spending that entire amount on a single piece of clothing, she agreed, unsurprised.

At only 36 years of age, Kalpona Akter has lived a life few of us can imagine. She began working in a garment factory at the age of 12, taking her 10 year old brother with her. Her parents had no choice: “we were the breadwinners of the family,” she told me. Akter would go to school one day and then to the factory across the street the next day. She recalls being able to see her school playground from a window in the factory and wistfully watching her classmates play while she worked. She calculated that for about 450 hours of work she was paid the shockingly paltry amount of $6 each month. “I didn’t have any idea about the law and my rights. All I understood was that the factory owner was so kind as to give us jobs. But I never knew that we were being cheated. We were being deprived of our legal rights!” Once she understood that she had rights, Kalpona began organizing her fellow workers at the young age of 15. She was immediately fired and blacklisted from working in other factories. She continued working and organizing and today she is the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity where she continues her activism on behalf of factory workers, demanding better working conditions and better pay.

Kalpona’s activism comes at a heavy price. In addition to her imprisonment and the on-going criminal charges she is fighting, she risks her life. One of her close allies, Aminul Islam, well known around the world and even in the US for his labor activism in Bangladesh, was found dead a year ago. Islam’s death brought global embarrassment to Bangladesh after numerous governments and international bodies denounced his murder and demanded an investigation. It is a testament to the work of Aminul Islam, Kalpona Akter, and other labor activists that Bangladesh’s garment factories are the subject of international debate today. But it was the deaths of thousands over the past year that has really galvanized the promise of any meaningful action.

While it made just a few headlines in the US, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory this April took Bangladesh by storm. Akter described to me how ordinary people in Bangladesh watched their television screens with bated breath as the death toll was constantly reported, climbing each hour to everyone’s horror. “The whole nation cried together… people couldn’t eat.” The accidents and their unimaginable death toll brought to mind the famous Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City more than a century ago, where 146 immigrant women and girls perished, locked in a sweatshop and unable to escape. It was one of the worst industrial accidents in the history of New York. From the ashes of that fire came labor victories fought with the blood, sweat and tears of the survivors and their allies. What could arise from the ashes of Tazreen and Rana Plaza?

A meeting just this week in Geneva has brought together corporate heads, labor unions, and worker advocates under the umbrella of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to determine compensation for the families of those killed. Even though the factory workers in Tazreen and Rana Plaza were producing clothes for several American brands such as Walmart, most companies have remained shockingly indifferent to demands for compensation. Many, including Walmart, have refused to attend meetings like this week’s Geneva meeting or a similar meeting held earlier this year. Kalpona Akter tells me that over 80 fashion and apparel companies, mostly from Europe, have signed onto a binding accord to protect factory workers in Bangladesh but American companies like Walmart and Gap refuse to sign on. Instead they have proposed voluntary codes of conduct, and signed onto agreements that do not allow union activity. They have invoked the standard argument: that it is the factory owners, not them, who are responsible for the poor conditions and the resulting deaths. Kalpona told me, “The corporations now say that the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ tag has become dirty. But I say to them, don’t dare say that because if it has become dirty, you have made it so… you didn’t do anything to correct these working conditions… or follow your so-called codes of conduct.” But Akter has a message for American consumers too – especially the ones who might spend $38 on a single piece of clothing – equivalent to the monthly base salary of a garment worker in Bangladesh – without necessarily thinking about where it was made or under what conditions: “We need these [factory] jobs. But we want these jobs with dignity… with safe working conditions, decent wages, and a voice in the workplace, and a unionized work place.” But how could ordinary Americans make that happen? “As a consumer, you have the power to ensure that,” retorted Kalpona defiantly. “You may think, ‘as one person, how can I do that?’ …But if you go to the internet, there are many groups in the US, across the country, raising their voices to make [Bangladesh’s] workplaces better…

Please join them and support them so that they become stronger. As a consumer you will see that you are not alone – there are many people raising their voices.” Here is a partial list of groups Kalpona Akter recommended that Americans can join: International Labor Right Forum: Solidarity center: Workers Rights Consortium: Sweatfree Communities: – See more at: