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Beneath The Surface
Sunday, June 16, 2024 10:00 am 1:00:12
Maggie LePique (Special Programming)
Serj Tankian
Down With The System: A Memoir (of Sorts) by Serj Tankian
Down With The System: A Memoir (of Sorts) by Serj Tankian
Maggie LePique goes deep with Serj Tankian re: his new book Down With The System: A Memoir (of Sorts) an exhilarating, thoughtful, and beautifully written memoir by musician, songwriter, and lead singer-lyricist of Grammy award-winning metal band, System Of A Down, Serj Tankian. In DOWN WITH THE SYSTEM, Serj presents readers with a memoir that is far more than just a rock 'n' roll fable. It's an immigrant's tale, it’s an activist's awakening, and it's a spiritual journey from darkness toward light. And all of this comes down to the fact that Serj himself has had the chance to live an extraordinary life—thanks to a combination of luck, circumstance, struggle, talent, and spiritual awakening. Get your copy of the book 818-985-5735 press 2 or donate online:[amount_paid]=100.00&selected_premium_id=58113&ppage=0
Beneath The Surface
Sunday, June 9, 2024 10:00 am 1:00:12
Ilya Budraitskis
Putin's Repression, Kagarlitsky's case
On June 5 Boris Kagarlitsky’s appeal against a 5 year prison sentence was rejected by the Military Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. Kagarlitsky must now serve his sentence in a penal colony in Torzhok some 155 miles northwest of Moscow. The decision was unjust, but not unexpected.
Kagarlitsky was in pre-trial detention for nearly 5 months on baseless, far-fetched charges of ‘justifying terrorism” for ironic remarks he made on his social media channel after the explosion on the Crimean Bridge in 2022. He was freed after a military court handed him a fine in December. But in February 2024 there was an unexpected appeal trial at a military court of appeals where the prosecutors overturned the December verdict that freed him, citing excessive leniency.
During the June 5 appeal hearing, Kagarlitsky explained that the title of the offending YouTube video, “Explosive Congratulations for Mostik the Cat” — a reference to a real cat that lived on the Crimea bridge — was “an extremely unfortunate joke.” However, he argued that his jail term was disproportionate to the offense. Kagarlitsky’s attorney plans to appeal the verdict with Russia’s Constitutional Court on the grounds that his client received “excessive” punishment.
The case against Boris Kagarlitsky is indicative: people are put in jail for words -- meaningless words, in Boris’ case, a joke that didn’t land. For a few words, he received five years – not for the content of the video, but its title. The judges’ cruel decision reflects the determination of the Putin regime to crush domestic opposition to its war on Ukraine. This is a regime -- and state -- bent on suppressing all forms of criticism, jokes included. In this context the basic democratic and legal rights of anti-war activists like Boris Kagarlitsky and thousands of others count for very little.
Boris Kagarlitsky has been courageous and consistent in speaking out against the war in Ukraine since day one and is in prison because of this. He is the victim of a gross but entirely deliberate miscarriage of justice and has become a symbol of the struggle for the right to freedom of expression. He's a prisoner of conscience and requires our support as do all the political prisoners. Ilya Budraitskis, another Putin critic, was dismissed from his job at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and forced to flee Russia to avoid arrest for his active critique of the war in Ukraine and consistent opposition to Putin’s regime. He joins us with his take on the fate of opposition in Russia and the case of Boris Kagarlitsky in general. #FreeBoris
Beneath The Surface
Sunday, May 26, 2024 10:00 am 1:00:12
Boris Kagarlitsky
Free Boris Kagarlitsky #FreeBoris
Boris Kagarlitsky, the renowned Russian Marxist last spoke to us shortly after his release from nearly 5 months in prison on baseless, far-fetched charges of ‘justifying terrorism” for ironic remarks he made on his social media channel after the explosion on the Crimean Bridge in 2022. He was freed after a military court handed him a fine in December 2023, and he did this interview two weeks later. Barely two months after Kagarlitsky’s release there was an unexpected appeal trial at a military court in February 2024, and the prosecutors overturned the December verdict that freed him, citing excessive leniency. Kagarlitsky was sentenced to 5 years in a general regime penal colony and whisked from the courtroom to prison. Now three months later -- after several moves -- Boris has arrived at his final place of detention, Penal Colony No 4 in Torzhok, 155 miles northwest of Moscow. Once again Boris requires our solidarity. His final appeal will be heard on June 5 by Russia’s Supreme Court. An international petition has garnered more than 15,000 signatures calling for the release of Kagarlitsky and all anti-war political prisoners. President Putin’s regime is using anti-terror laws to step up its already draconian repression of dissent at home and in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. More than 20,000 Russians have been detained and more than 1000 have been put on trial. In an open letter from prison Kagarlitsky wrote, “Under today’s conditions, when political action and self-organization in our country have become extremely difficult, helping our co-thinkers who have been imprisoned is not just humanitarian activity, but also an important political gesture, an act of practical solidarity “ Boris Kagarlitsky has brought his incisive analysis to these airwaves for more than three decades. He was recently granted the first Daniel Singer Prisoner of Conscience award. Please show your solidarity and support: sign the petition demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Boris Kagarlitsky and all other anti-war prisoners at or
Beneath The Surface
Sunday, May 19, 2024 10:00 am 1:00:12
Barry Eidlin
Yolanda Peoples, Renee Berry, Victor Vaughn
Volkswagen workers on their historic unionization victory
Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee scored an historic victory on April 19, when they voted by a 3-1 margin to join the UAW. That makes Tennessee Volkswagen the first auto plant in the South to unionize by election since the 1940s. While the recent victory was overwhelming, it came only after two bitter organizing defeats for the VW Chattanooga workers, first in 2014 and then in 2019.
The organizing victory at VW is one of the single most important wins for U.S. labor in decades, and potentially the start of a much bigger turnaround.
Guest host Barry Eidlin talks to auto workers Yolanda Peoples, Renee Berry, and Victor Vaughn -- all deeply involved in the organizing campaign at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant about how they organized, how they won, and what comes next.
Beneath The Surface
Sunday, May 12, 2024 10:00 am 1:00:12
Barry Eidlin, Al Bradbury, Jane Slaughter
Labor Notes & the Labor Movement
Barry Eidlin assesses the most recent Labor Notes conference held near Chicago from April 19-21. The Labor Notes conference is the premier gathering of rank-and-file labor activists and organizers from across the U.S. and around the world. This year’s conference was the biggest yet, with over 4,700 people gathered to hear the latest on organizing and contract victories, and to learn about how to build stronger unions and fight the boss better. And, in a bit of serendipity that would have been too much for a Hollywood screenplay if it weren’t true, Labor Notes conference goers got to watch together on the first night of the conference as vote tallies came in from the union election at the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the United Auto Workers won an historic 3-to-1 victory, organizing the first foreign-owned auto transplant in the South. What does this year’s Labor Notes conference tell us about the state of the U.S. labor movement, and what lies ahead? Barry discusses these questions and more with two long-time Labor Notes conference organizers, Al Bradbury and Jane Slaughter.
Beneath The Surface
Sunday, April 28, 2024 10:00 am 1:00:12
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