BTS 4/1/11: Labor Fights Back; Libya; Manning Marable

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Tonight we feature the fight back to the massive assault on labor and democratic rights underway in this country. We talk with Frances Fox Piven. She has been targeted by Glenn Beck as the mastermind of an overarching left-wing plot which supposedly engineered the financial crisis of 2008, healthcare reform, Obama's election and massive voter fraud, and she is fighting back. She and Cornell West are moderating a “National Teach-in on Debt, Austerity and How People are Fighting Back” live web cast streaming on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011, from New York City. 175 campuses across the country are participating and the number grows hourly. The teach-in features (among others) AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka with activist reports from a Wisconsin student, a homeowner fighting foreclosure and a public school teacher fighting budget cuts, lay-offs and the assault on collective bargaining rights. We’ll talk to Frances about the teach-in and fighting back.

We then turn to Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary –Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO for more fight back on Monday, April 4, (the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King JR). This year people of conscience stand as one around the world. From Wisconsin to LA, We are One rallies, pickets and meetings will be held all over the US, as well as in Paris and Kabul, the message is ‘we are one.’ We’ll ask Maria Elena about organized labor’s fight back against the massive assault on public workers and their unions in one state after, and what pressure is being put on the Obama administration and the Democratic Party to stand up to this attack on democratic rights.

At the end of the hour we’ll talk to Randy Short, an independent researcher currently working on Libya who came across a WikiLeaks document that he thinks has been overlooked: it shows extreme U.S. interest in the prospect of a rebellion in the eastern part of Libya. Short also notes that Qatar, which funds al Jazeera, has a material interest in the outcome of the intervention in Libya since it has signed an oil deal with the Libyan rebels. We’ll also talk to him about other issues around the war with Libya, including water, refugees and relations with other African countries.

But first tonight, we just learned that Manning Marable, African-American Studies Scholar, has died. His long awaited biography of Malcolm X is being published on Monday. We dedicate tonight’s show to Manning Marable. Bill Fletcher Jr. joins us.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Bill Fletcher Jr. is the co-author (with Fernando Gapasin) of Solidarity Divided, The Crisis in Organized Labor and A New Path Toward Social Justice is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Labor Rights Forum, Executive Editor of The Black Commentator and founder of the Center for Labor Renewal.

2. Frances Fox Piven is professor of political science and sociology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and her many books include: Regulating the Poor written with Richard Cloward, Poor Peoples' Movements, Why Americans Don't Vote (and Why Americans Still Don't Vote), The War at Home, and Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, a look at the interaction of disruptive social movements and electoral politics in generating the political force for democratic reform in American history.

3. Maria Elena Durazo is the current executive secretary–treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. She was appointed the interim executive secretary–treasurer following the resignation of Martin Ludlow in February 2006, and was voted as the permanent replacement on May 15, 2006.[1] She is the widow of Miguel Contreras, who preceded Ludlow as the executive secretary–treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. From May 1989 until March 2006, Durazo was the president of UNITE-HERE local 11.

4. Randy Short is an independent researcher who holds a doctorate in African studies from Howard University and a masters of divinity from Harvard University.