Labor Wave Radio Season 2: Feauring adrienne marie brown, Hillary Lazar, and Shane Burley

We reproduce highlights from interviews in our second season of Laborwave. More episodes from Laborwave will be released in the late summer of 2019.

Highlights include clips from our interviews with:

Marianne Garneau on the Women’s Strike. Garneau explains why it is necessary to have specific targets tied to specific demands within a larger strategic plan in order to be effective in any struggle for working class improvements, and how all of these features are absent from the IWS, so far.

Shane Burley on Lessons from the Burgerville Workers Union. In addition to lesson from BVWU’s victories we discussed the need to rethink labor organizing under late capitalism, where workers no longer self-identify with particular forms of industry and precarious labor is the norm. BVWU’s successes in some ways points to the need to re-embrace as Shane says, “19th century unionism” in the 21st century.

Hillary Lazar on Border Politics and Antifascism. Our interview focused on Hillary Lazar’s essay, Connecting Our Struggles: Border Politics, Antifascism, and Lessons from the Trials of Ferrero, Sallito, and Graham published in Perspectives on Anarchist Theory (n.30). The piece focuses on the lost history of anarchist editors and supporters of the periodical Man! who were swept up in an anti-immigrant and anti-anarchist political reaction during the early part of the 20th century in the United States. The piece uses this case study to explore connections and continuations of anti-immigrant policies of today and how such policies bolster the repression of political dissent.

adrienne maree brown on Pleasure Activism. How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? Author and editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls “pleasure activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism. Her mindset-altering essays are interwoven with conversations and insights from other feminist thinkers, including Audre Lorde, Joan Morgan, Cara Page, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Together they cover a wide array of subjects — from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs — building new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.

AK Thompson on Premonitions: Selected Essays on the Culture of Revolt. Our clip focuses on his essay discussing leftist critiques of Avatar and how they failed to also use the limitations of the movie and its popularity as opportunities for radical organizing.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on Social Justice Unionism.Fletcher Jr discusses the need for “social justice unionism” in a post-Janus United States. Workers are becoming increasingly atomized in the US, and the state continues to rollback any investments into the reproductive labor that stitches society together. The moment, as Fletcher Jr states, that organized labor can seize for victory is almost over. We might not get another moment.

What role do teachers strikes, worker-owned businesses, and housing cooperatives play in seizing this current moment? How do the rank and file push labor leadership to understand that we cannot continue doing “business as usual” despite not being knocked out by Janus right away?

Filmmaker and author of Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It. His work is featured at Jacobin, In These Times, Salon, Truthout, etc. @Shane_Burley1

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