Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Practical Radicals

Practical Radicals


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Ralph welcomes Professor Stephanie Luce of the City University of New York, who has co-authored “Practical Radicals: Seven Strategies to Change the World,” and together they outline the challenges and the strategies that face underdogs trying to change the system. Plus, our resident constitutional scholar, Bruce Fein, joins us to discuss the death of Russian dissident, Alexei Navalny.

Stephanie Luce is Professor of Labor Studies at the School of Labor and Urban Studies, and Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center at City University of New York. Professor Luce is best known for her research on living wage campaigns and movements. She is the author of Fighting for a Living Wage and co-author of The Living Wage: Building a Fair Economy, and The Measure of Fairness. Her latest book, co-authored with Deepak Bhargava, is Practical Radicals: Seven Strategies to Change the World.

We find it's actually hard to get people to imagine really liberatory worlds because we're so dominated by corporate culture and consumer culture and undemocratic functioning that it is hard to imagine a world that's different. So even just getting people to dream of a different possibility is a good start, and then we have to think about what kind of power it's going to take to make those changes.

Stephanie Luce

A lot of people critique [collective care as a strategy]. They think it's just about taking care of one another as part of life—that's what we do. We're arguing it can also be strategic because when done well, it enables people to engage in a fight in the long term. You can't go on strike if you don't have someone to watch your children, or if you don't have a strike fund. You can't risk arrest if you don't know if you have bail. So collective care is a way of taking care of one another, doing the things that enable us to take risks and to know people have our back. And that helps us up our militancy and strategy because we can take bigger risks and build the capacity for other kinds of struggle.

Stephanie Luce

There’s such a thing as the civic personality that is a huge Achilles’ heel of the drive to train people civically. You can train people civically… but if they don't have a civic personality, if they don't have fire in their bellies, so to speak, emotional intelligence, if they don't have a framework of a public philosophy, if they don't have a capacity for resilience to learn from their last mistakes, if they haven't controlled their ego so they can give credit to other people in their circle and set an example and motivate, if they're not willing to read and stay up to date with what's going on in their fields and in the area of their opponents, it doesn't matter how many skills they learn from our efforts.

Ralph Nader

Bruce Fein | Authors | Macmillan

Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law.  Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.

[Alexei Navalny] was free. He knew he could have left [Russia]. He probably could have won a Nobel Peace Prize. He returned anyway. And the pride which I can express in such a human being is beyond words.

Bruce Fein

In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis

News 2/20/24

1. A diplomatic row is brewing between Israel and Brazil. On Sunday, leftist Brazilian President Lula compared Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza to Hitler’s genocide of the Jews during an address to the African Union. In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared that until he retracts his comments, Lula is “persona non grata in Israel.” Yet Lula does not intend to retract these comments, and has instead recalled the Brazilian ambassador to Israel. The Israeli campaign against Gaza has forced nearly all of its over 2 million inhabitants from their homes. This from Reuters.

2. On Monday, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights issued a report alleging “credible allegations of egregious human rights violations to which Palestinian women and girls continue to be subjected in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.” According to this report, “Palestinian women and girls in detention have…been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence…photos of female detainees in degrading circumstances were also reportedly taken by the Israeli army and uploaded online.” Experts say “Taken together, these alleged acts may constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and amount to serious crimes under international criminal law that could be prosecuted under the Rome Statute.”

3. The anti-Biden “uncommitted” protest vote campaign in Michigan continues to pick up steam. On Valentine’s Day, the New York Times reported that Our Revolution – the Bernie Sanders legacy political operation – has endorsed the campaign. Our Revolution joins other prominent new boosters, such as Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and former Representative Andy Levin. In her video endorsing the campaign, Tlaib says “It is important…not only to march against the genocide, not only make sure we’re calling our members of Congress … it is also important to create a voting bloc, something that is a bullhorn to say enough is enough.”

4. On February 15th, the African Methodist Episcopal, or AME Church Council of Bishops issued a statement calling for the “Immediate Withdrawal of Financial Support from Israel.” This major step from a prominent Black faith group is an indication that the genocidal Israeli campaign in Gaza is alienating significant factions of the Democratic Party coalition. The statement reads “Since 1954, Israel has shown a willful disregard for the human dignity of Palestinians. Since October 7, 2023, in retaliation for the brutal murder of 1139 Israeli citizens by Hamas, Israel has murdered over 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The United States is supporting this mass genocide. This

must not be allowed to continue.

There must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire between these two communities. We call for a solution to be negotiated by genuine representatives of the people of Israel and Palestine and condemn all violence as a means of resolving this conflict. Surely there is a grassroots solution that affirms the dignity and humanity of all God’s people in Palestine and Israel. The tools of empire, colonialism, and domination will not solve the problems they created. The cycle of violence between historically wounded peoples will not be dissolved by the creation of more wounds or through weapons of war. We remain in solidarity with Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a Palestinian Jew, and the Prince of Peace.

We weep for the suffering being inflicted upon the children of God in the Holy Land and all the earth. We cry for freedom and implore those who say they love God to demonstrate a tangible love for their neighbors. We will travail in prayer and pursue justice until freedom reigns for all.”

5. Semafor reports that Pro-Israel groups are engaging in targeted harassment of mainstream American journalists perceived as too critical of Israel. This story focuses on Washington Post foreign correspondent Lousia Loveluck, and documents how SKDK – a D.C. PR firm close to the Biden administration – has dug into Loveluck’s background, including unrelated protests she attended before becoming a journalist. While the Washington Post defended Loveluck’s reporting, they did not defend her personally – setting a dangerous precedent for intimidation of American journalists by Israel-aligned groups.

6. The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that “An embryo created through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a child protected by Alabama’s wrongful death act and the Alabama Constitution.” Specifically, the court ruled that the “parents of frozen embryos killed at an IVF clinic when an intruder tampered with an IVF freezer may proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic for alleged negligence.” Yet in a broader sense, this means that IVF clinics will be legally liable for the death of embryos fertilized through IVF – likely spelling the end of IVF in the state. This from 1819 News.

7. A stunning report from the Center for Climate Integrity, published in the Guardian, reveals that the plastics industry has deliberately misled the public for years, claiming that their products are continuously and sustainably recyclable – all the while knowing that “recycling cannot be considered a permanent solid waste solution [to plastics], as it merely prolongs the time until an item is disposed of”. Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity puts it simply: “The companies lied…It’s time to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.”

8. REI, the company given constant adulation by the liberal press, is union busting. From the REI Union SoHo, “On Feb 15, REI announced it will be withholding annual merit pay increases from our store and all unionized [REI] stores across the Co-op.” Unionized workers walked off the job in protest of this blatant anti-union move.

9. AP reports Amazon has joined SpaceX and Trader Joe’s in arguing that the National Labor Relations Board is unconstitutional. We have discussed this corporate stratagem on this show before and noted that more corporations, particularly those facing unionization efforts, were likely to adopt this legal argument. Seth Goldstein, a lawyer representing the Amazon Labor Union and Trader Joe’s United, said “Since [these companies] can’t defeat successful union organizing, they now want to just destroy the whole process.”

10. Finally, in some positive labor news, Michigan has become the first state in 60 years to overturn its so-called “right to work” law, the Nation reports. Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber is quoted saying “This moment has been decades in the making…By standing up and taking their power back, at the ballot box and in the workplace, workers have made it clear Michigan is and always will be the beating heart of the modern American labor movement.” Beyond overturning right to work, Michigan has also “restored prevailing-wage protections for construction workers, expanded collective bargaining rights for public school employees, and restored organizing rights for graduate student research assistants at the state’s public colleges and universities.”

This has been Francesco DeSantis, with In Case You Haven’t Heard.

Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.