Norm Diamond hosts this episode of the Old Mole, which includes the following segments:
The Battle for a Clean Portland Harbor: Local struggles for climate justice are today probably the fastest growing and most dynamic parts of this country's environmental movement. Right here in River City the Portland Harbor Community Coalition is a great example of how these very low overhead volunteer powered organizations become a thorn in the side of the city’s economic and political elites, fighting for the health of the low income communities that live and breathe along the harbor. Old Mole Bill Resnick talks to Cassie Cohen, Director, Portland Harbor Community Coalition. They discuss how the Willamette got so dirty, why the city was so generous to the polluters, how the Harbor Coalition organized, how it prepares its members and activists to do battle, and how it and the rest of the environmental justice movement relates to the struggle to stop global roasting.
The People’s CDC: After multiple retractions, garbled messages, bad advice, and politically-driven decisions from the CDC about how to respond to COVID 19, a group of public health professionals are fed up. In a manifesto published in the Guardian April 3, they announced the formation of the People’s CDC, with the promise of a more equitable, layered and evidence-based approach to the pandemic. Patricia Kullberg reads from and comments on their statement, The CDC is beholden to Corporations and Lost Our Trust. You can access their “weather reports,” toolkits and more at their website peoplescdc.org or on twitter: @peoplescdc.
El Golpe (The Hit): Divide-and-conquer – it’s a tactic used by big corporations all the time to keep working people from uniting for economic and social justice. But some union workers see through it. Writer and photographer Matt Witt reviews a new book called El Golpe by Rob McKenzie that tells the true story of workers at Ford auto plants in the U.S. and Mexico who joined together to fight for better living standards and working conditions on both sides of the border. Matt not only reviews the book, he was personally involved in the struggle. See his video of the union struggle on youtube: $4 a Day? No way! Joining Hands Across the Border.
Smelter Wars: For our regular segment Another World Is Possible, Norm Diamond talks with Ron Verzuh, author of the just released book, Smelter Wars. The smelter in question is just across the Canadian border along the Columbia River, and the book covers the history of worker organizing there, from company union to Communist-led union to McCarthyism. Norm and Ron talk about the role of culture in organizing, the dilemmas posed by women workers during World War II and the choices faced historically by the non-Communist left, and different visions of radical and militant unionism. This is part one of a conversation that will be continued in the next episode of AWP.