FEATURING TOMÁS GÓMEZ MEMBREÑO AND BEATRIZ CORTEZ - Months after the brutal murder of Honduran indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres, a new leader has been chosen to head her organization. The Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. COPINH is a leading force in the Central American nation opposing major development projects like the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam. Honduras has been plagued by extremely high levels of violence in the wake of a US-backed coup in 2009. Find more information at www.copinh.org and http://copinhenglish.blogspot.com. Tomás Gómez Membreño, newly chosen General Coordinator of COPINH, Beatriz Cortez, interpreting for Tomás. She is also a Professor of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge and a board member of board member of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Los Angeles.
FEATURING SUSIE LAMPERT - October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you didn't know this, the plethora of pink-tinged products in store aisles might clue you in. The symbol of the "pink ribbon," now synonymous with the fight against Breast Cancer, also makes an oversize appearance every October, so much so that some refer to this month as "Pinktober." We're all supposed to embrace these symbols, particularly because of the horrifically high death toll of American women from breast cancer. But the so-called "Race for the Cure" has been going on for so long with nary a cure in sight, that one might wonder where all the money that is supposedly being raised is going. One breast cancer activist who asked these questions years before anyone else did was Barbara Brenner. The organization she headed, Breast Cancer Action, based in San Francisco was a pioneer in popularizing the phrase
FEATURING JONATHAN SKURNIK AND JOHANNA CLEARWATER - Transgender youth are subject to some of the highest levels of violence and bullying and form a significantly large proportion of at-risk youth in schools. A large part of the problem is the invisibility of the community, which filmmakers like my guest are striving to remedy. In a new short documentary set in Los Angeles, Jonathan Skurnik profile a transgender teenager named Johanna Rodriguez. In Becoming Johanna, Skurnik traces many of the common problems facing trans-teens through Johanna's life: lack of acceptance from parents, challenges in school, prospects of surgery and hormones, and finding a safe community. The film is part of the Youth and Gender Media Project and will be screening around the country. Find out more about the movie and viewings at http://youthandgendermediaproject.org. Jonathan Skurnik, Director and Producer of 'Becoming Johanna', Johanna Clearwater, subject of film. [CORRECTION: Johanna's last name has recently been
FEATURING DAVID DAYEN - Wells Fargo, one of the nation's largest banks, is facing continued scrutiny weeks after it was first fined $185 million by the Federal Government over illegal banking practices. CEO John Stumpf testified at a hearing on the matter for the second time on Thursday. His first congressional grilling found him in the cross hairs of Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose no-holds-barred questioning went viral. Stumpf was also this week subject to what is called "a clawback" of stocks, to the tune of $41 million over his leadership. Meanwhile California dropped its own bombshell with State Treasurer John Chiang announcing wide ranging sanctions against the bank on Wednesday over what he called, the "venal abuse of its customers." Wells Fargo employees are also fighting back, through the launch of a $7.2 billion class action lawsuit that alleges the bank, forced employees to "choose between keeping their jobs and
FEATURING NICK SURGEY - Lest you think the Republican Party has gone into hiding, embarrassed about their Presidential nominee, think again. As is the norm with the GOP, party leaders and supporters are hatching new plots to achieve their political goals behind the scenes. You may know about voter ID laws and gerrymandered districts. But you probably haven't heard about the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), an organization receiving windfall donations from major corporations and industry groups in exchange for closed-door meetings where who-knows-what sorts of favors are being promised on the judicial front. The idea is that the GOP pours money into the campaigns of Republicans running for state Attorneys General in order to win conservative influence. Find more at www.exposedbycmd.org. Nick Surgey, Director of Research with the Center for Media and Democracy.
FEATURING HUWAIDA ARRAF - Shimon Peres, former President and Prime Minister of Israel, who served for decades in the Israeli government under various capacities, died on September 28 at the age of 93. Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with Yasser Arafat and Yizhak Rabin for his role in the Oslo Accords. Newspaper obituaries in Western papers describe Peres' legacy with glowing language using words like, "visionary," "dreamer," and "warrior for peace." But in fact Palestinians see Shimon Peres' legacy as steeped in violence through his push for settlements and greater Israeli militarism. Few in the mainstream press have acknowledged his role in building up Israel's nuclear capabilities, and his oversight of a brutal slaughter of civilians in Qana, South Lebanon in 1996. Huwaida Arraf, Palestinian American human rights activist, lawyer and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. She is also the former Chair of the Free Gaza
FEATURING NICK TILSEN - While mainstream media attention to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests has already waned, activists are refusing to back down. Since April of this year indigenous leaders and tribal members have set up camp in Cannonball, North Dakota, near one portion of the controversial pipeline project. The protests grew enormously in September when activists of diverse backgrounds joined in to express solidarity. Under the hashtag #NODAPL, spirited demonstrations captured national attention. Bizarrely, the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest federation of labor unions, recently issued an official position supporting the pipeline claiming it would help create jobs. Despite this, opposition to the project remains firm and has even spread to other parts of the pipeline, which extends across four states. Find more at www.thundervalley.org. Nick Tilsen, Executive Director, Thunder Valley Community Development Corp.
FEATURING ROBERT JENSEN - With less than 6 weeks left to go until this year's Presidential election, so many questions remain. The two major party candidates are neck-in-neck in polls, or slightly ahead of the other depending on which poll you pick. A large number of Americans remain undecided, perhaps aghast that it has come down to a bombastic billionaire and a neo-liberal war hawk. Arguments abound over voting for a third party candidate like Jill Stein who says, "forget the lesser evil, and fight for the greater good." In past years elections have been seen as sucking the energy out of social movements, but this year communities that were generally marginalized by the mainstream have shown inspiring leadership through Black Lives Matter and the #NODAPL actions. Robert Jensen, a Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of numerous books that we have featured on this
FEATURING DEBORAH ESQUENAZI - In just a few years we as a nation have witnessed a major cultural shift on the issue of gay rights. While there is still a ways to go to achieve full equality, even the nation's highest court has affirmed that LGBT Americans have the same rights to marry as everyone else. It seems hard to imagine that not too long ago we lived in a country where homophobia was so rampant that it took bizarre forms and deeply impacted many, many lives. A new documentary called Southwest of Salem tells the story of four women in San Antonio, Texas who were the victims of such homophobia and wrongly accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable - the rape and assault of young children. The four women, all Latinas and all lesbians, Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez, spent years behind bars.
FEATURING AJAMU BARAKA - Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off on Monday night at Hofstra University in New York for the first of a handful of debates ahead of the election. The highly anticipated event was the first time the two had debated one another and it was not pretty. Predictably Trump made many claims that were not backed up in fact, boasted about his business prowess, and constantly went over time and interrupted Clinton. While Clinton missed many opportunities to counter Trump's claims, she did make a few points such as denouncing trickle-down economics, and stop-and-frisk policies. Overall, Clinton's pro-Wall Street, pro-police, pro-war positions were the ones that sounded sane in comparison to Trump's. But that is because two third party candidates were left out of the debate. In a few minutes we'll be joined by Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka who was with