Clearing the FOG with co-hosts Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

The Pentagon has started closing military bases and pulling troops out of Afghanistan but confusion over what this means for the United States' longest war exists. For clarification, Clearing the FOG speaks with retired US army major, author and activist, Danny Sjursen. He calls the Afghanistan War a disaster and says the United States would have been better off if it had buried all of the trillions spent to invade and occupy Afghanistan in the ground instead. Sjursen discusses what the withdrawal means for the people of Afghanistan and the countries in that region. He also advises us on what to watch out for as the war hawks push Biden to continue to have a presence there. We also talk about his newest book on US history and empire through the lens of American exceptionalism. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_7_26_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 6:29pm EDT

The United States has waged war on Cuba since it dared to revolt and chart its own path more than 60 years ago. The US' illegal economic blockade is devastating Cuba's ability to meet the basic needs of its people right now, which is even more deadly during the pandemic. On top of that, the US is funding a small opposition within Cuba and is using the crisis it created to foment unrest. The corporate media is playing right along. Clearing the FOG speaks with Bill Hackwell of Resumen-English and the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity to set the record straight about the history of US intervention in Cuba, the current situation and what people are doing to organize to stop the blockade. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_7_19_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT

More knowledge is being gained about and more attention is being given to the harm caused to our health and the planet by plastics, from the start of their production to their disposal as waste that doesn't ever go away. Clearing the FOG speaks with Yvette Arellano, the founder and director of Fenceline Watch, an environmental justice organization based in Houston, Texas. Yvette explains that the Gulf Coast is not only the home of the oil and gas industries, but also the plastic industries that use petroleum, and how they impact mostly Vietnamese and Spanish-speaking communities. They describe the global effects of plastics, how we can best stop them and the work to create alternatives. Once you know about the problems with plastics, you will understand that stopping their production is imperative for a livable future. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_7_12_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:30pm EDT

This week, Clearing the FOG speaks with artist and activist Eleanor Goldfield about her new EP, "No Solo." This is her first solo production and it is her most personal and political piece. Goldfield talks about the struggles of artists during the pandemic as they have been left out of the rescue plans. She discusses the role of the arts, particularly in activism, and her involvement in direct action, mutual aid and supporting campaigns to save the forests. Goldfield is journalist, podcaster, documentarian, photographer and more. Her work, as well as her new music video, "Pyre," can be found at ArtKillingApathy.com. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_7_6_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

Due in part to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the horrific truths about what children and their families endured and the graves of the children who were murdered in the residential schools are being uncovered. The residential schools originated in the United States, which has yet to recognize their existence and what happened in them. That may be starting to change after many decades of activism to raise awareness and now an initiative by Secretary of the Interior Haaland. Clearing the FOG speaks with Matt Remle, an indigenous human rights activist about the history of the boarding schools, their purpose to enable the exploitation of resources and how they are connected into the bigger picture of genocide and colonization. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_6_28_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 3:57pm EDT

Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab, who is a businessman born in Colombia, has been held for over a year now in the small African island nation of Cabo Verde at the request of the United States, which is seeking his extradition. Saab has not committed any crimes other than trying to thwart the United States' illegal economic blockade of Venezuela by buying food and medicines for the people. Clearing the FOG speaks with Roger Harris, one of the members of a recent delegation that traveled to Cabo Verde to free Alex Saab. Harris speaks about the brutal conditions in which Saab is being held, the results of the delegation and what Saab will face if extradited to the US as well as how this case fits into the bigger picture of US defiance of international law and what people can do about it. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_6_21_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:38am EDT

Julian Assange's father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton, are currently on tour in the United States to help organize a unified US movement in support of freeing Julian Assange and protecting press freedom. Clearing the FOG speaks with Gabriel Shipton about the tour, about Julian and about the reasons why it is critical that the Biden administration reverse the Trump era position of prosecuting Assange. It would be very simple for the Biden Department of Justice to cancel the appeal of the United Kingdom judge's decision not to extradite Assange and he would be free. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_6_14_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:20pm EDT

There is a struggle right now to push the World Trade Organization to waive patent protections for medicines, vaccines and technology used for the COVID-19 pandemic. James Love of Knowledge Ecology International explains why that would be an important but not sufficient step to increase access to medicines and vaccines. There are steps governments could take right now to share critical information and expertise to lessen the disparities between rich and poor nations in access to vaccines. Love goes on to explain how there could be greater openness in sharing information in general and how pharmaceutical research and production could be done in ways that improve innovation and make access more equitable. He points the way to where activists can best focus their energy on this issue.  For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_show_6_7_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:35am EDT

For Memorial Day week, Clearing the FOG speaks with David Swanson, the cofounder and executive director of World Beyond War, an international organization that is working to abolish all war. World Beyond War will hold its annual conference virtually from June 4 to 6. The conference, called "From Weapons Fairs to War Zones: Unraveling the War Machine," will bring activists together to share how they are stopping weapons corporation exhibitions, divesting from war, closing foreign bases and more. They will discuss what type of world they are working to create. David also speaks about his recent book, "Leaving World War II Behind," that debunks the myth of that as "the last good war." For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_5_31_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:24pm EDT

A case brought before the United States Supreme Court by three Native American women, who have been representing themselves, may decide the future of the 1975 Indian Self Determination Act. Clearing the FOG speaks with Charmaine White Face, a petitioner in the case, about her fight to stop the privatization of an Indian Health Service facility, Sioux San Hospital in Rapid City South Dakota, that serves 325 tribes in the area. She describes how the privatization is harming the health of the people who use this historic hospital. To her knowledge, this is the first effort to privatize an Indian Health Service hospital. If the privatization is allowed to continue, which has been done without the consent of the people who are impacted, it will set a dangerous precedent for all tribes and allow any federal agency to take a similar illegal action.

Read more and support their effort here.

Direct download: CtF_Show_5_24_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:26pm EDT

Colombians have been on a national strike since April 28 with protests in 500 cities and blockades that have shut down the major highway. The protests were sparked by a proposed bill that would place the burden of financing the country's debt on the people while cutting taxes for the wealthy, but economic conditions for most people have been in decline for a long time. The government has responded to the protests with violent repression by its militarized police that is funded and trained by the United States. Clearing the FOG speaks with Charo Mina-Rojas, a human rights defender in Colombia who was a leader in the 2016 peace agreement, about the protests, the conditions, and the political environment in Colombia. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_5_17_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:46pm EDT

The Biden administration claims to care about the climate crisis but it is currently allowing a dredging project to proceed in the Matagorda shipping channel to open the way for crude oil exports in Texas. Not only will this drive a surge in oil extraction, but it will also increase mercury pollution by digging in a Superfund site left by the aluminum company, Alcoa. The project will decimate the struggling local fishing industry. To stop this project, veteran activist and shrimper, Diane Wilson has been on a hunger strike since April 7. Clearing the FOG speaks with Diane about her current hunger strike and her long fight to protect the waters in her area. For more information, visit PopularResistanceorg.

Direct download: Ctf_Show_5_10_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 7:45am EDT

The United States' drone assassination program is illegal under international law, but the whistleblower who exposed it, Daniel Hale, is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Chip Gibbons of Defending Rights and Dissent describes who Daniel Hale is and why his act of leaking information about the program to a journalist is akin to Daniel Ellsberg leaking the Pentagon Papers. Gibbons also places Hale's action in the broader context of FBI surveillance, the war on whistleblowers and other truthtellers, such as Julian Assange, and the assault on our right to know. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_5_3_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:23pm EDT

The second and final round of the presidential election took place in Ecuador on April 11. Clearing the FOG speaks with Leonardo Flores, the Latin American campaign coordinator for CODEPINK who served as an official election observer, about that election and the many ways the United States and the corporate media worked to prevent the election of the popular leftist candidate, Andres Arauz. The election of a banker, Guillermo Lasso, means the neoliberal assault on the people will continue. Flores speaks about the resistance in Ecuador and the general state of the Pink Tide in South America. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_4_26_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:23am EDT

The northern portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline is stopped for now, but there is another pipeline under construction, Enbridge's Line 3, that will also carry tar sands from Canada. Resistance to the pipeline is widespread and escalating with direct actions to shut down construction and solidarity actions. Clearing the FOG speaks with Dawn Goodwin, co-founder of the RISE Coalition, about the history of the pipeline, the harm it will cause, and how people can take action to stop it. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_4_19_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

The myth of black buying power - that black people collectively hold trillions of dollars in wealth and that they could improve their economic status if only they 'spent their money more wisely' - has been used for more than a century to take the focus off the systemic racism and uphold capitalism. Dr. Jared Ball, author of "The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power," explains what is behind this myth and why it is still actively embraced today despite evidence to the contrary. He talks about what power is and what we must do to build it. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_4_12_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 2:15am EDT

The Biden administration is doubling down on aggression toward Syria and a small group of progressives is openly supporting US intervention. Clearing the FOG speaks with Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone about who is behind a recent open letter taking leftists to task for opposing the US' foreign policy in Syria, the truth about the US' military presence and economic warfare there and how the corporate media are misleading the public as well as how Syria fits into the Pentagon's global great power conflict strategy. Blumenthal is the author of "The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump" and is an expert on the region. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_4_5_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:50pm EDT

Last year, after the United States so brutally and openly assassinated the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al -Muhandis, the Iraqi Parliament voted for the United States to cease its occupation of the country. The United States has not done that, but the resistance to US occupation in Iraq is growing. Clearing the FOG speaks with Iraqi sociologist Sami Ramadani about the history of internal resistance to the Saddam Hussein regime, how the devastation caused by the United States impacted that and the current state of the resistance. Ramadani described the "Biden Plan" to divide Iraq into three sectors and to maintain the US presence in the region to protect US oil interests. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_3_29_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

Members of the Sanctions Kill coalition are currently in Nicaragua as guests of the Friends of the ATC (the Association of Rural Workers) to learn about the Sandinista Revolution and the impacts of the recent economic war being waged by the United States against it. The ATC is a member of the global Via Campesina movement. Nicaragua is putting concrete programs in place to uplift its people by focusing on eradicating poverty, providing basic necessities such as health care, education, retirement security and more and empowering sectors of society that are typically at a disadvantage. A major focus of the Nicaraguan government is achieving food sovereignty using farming methods that are rooted in sustainable and organic methods and supporting small farmers. Clearing the FOG speaks with Erika Takeo of the Friends of the ATC, Antonio Tovar of the Farmworkers Association of Florida and Paul Oqwist of the Nicaraguan government. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_3_15_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:25am EDT

While the Equality Act that passed recently in the House is getting attention, the critical struggle for the rights of transgender people is taking place in state legislatures. This year, 26 states have legislation that would criminalize the provision of gender-affirming care to youth, ban transgender students from participating in athletics and more. This is an increase from 20 states last year. These bills are being pushed through by conservative Christian groups. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chase Strangio, a lawyer with the ACLU LGBT project, who is tracking the bills and working to stop them. We discuss what these anti-transgender rights bills would do, where they are imminent and what people can do to stop them. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_3_8_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:15pm EDT

The current student debt burden is over $2 trillion and it is crushing the economy. Defaults on student loans are high and for most borrowers, especially those who are people of color, their loan balances are rising instead of falling. Clearing the FOG speaks with Alan Collinge of Student Loan Justice about the impacts of the student loan burden and how to resolve this crisis. He makes a critical point about why it is President Biden, as he promised on the campaign trail, and not Congress, who cancels student debt and why that would be a powerful way to stimulate the economy. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_3_1_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

The state of Maryland and Baltimore City in particular have been dominated by Democratic Party politics for decades, yet many residents struggle under a repressive police force, a lack of affordable housing, gentrification, inadequate investment in schools and in majority black communities, environmental pollution, and more. Black workers in the state have spent the past ten years building their own political structure, the Ujima People's Progress Party, to challenge the Democrats and now having established a base of support, they are working to achieve ballot access. Clearing the FOG speaks with the state organizer, Nnamdi Lumumba, about building black worker power in the state by engaging with communities around the struggles they are facing, building self-sufficiency and providing political education. He explains why this is necessary at this moment in time and how it fits into the broader picture of building political power on the Left. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_2_22_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:14pm EDT

Jovenel Moïse's term as president in Haiti ended on Sunday, February 7, but he is refusing to leave office with the support of the Biden administration, the United Nations and other western imperialist countries and institutions. Moïse was placed in power by the United States and is ruling unilaterally by decree. He is violently repressing anyone who challenges his power. Clearing the FOG speaks with Wilkenson Bruna, a filmmaker and political activist in Haiti, about the dire situation, the events surrounding Moïse's refusal to step down and what people in the United States can do to support the rights of the Haitian people. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_2_15_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 8:33pm EDT

President Biden declared early in his presidency that he wants to advance racial equity. The new Secretary of Defense, General Lloyd Austin, the first Black person to serve in that role, announced his intentions to root out racism in the Pentagon. The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) recently launched two new campaigns calling for specific actions the Biden administration can take to end militarization of black and brown communities and to end the 'forever war' on Afghanistan. Clearing the FOG speaks with Ajamu Baraka, the national organizer for BAP, about these initiatives and the imperative to build the antiwar, anti-imperialist movement during the Biden administration. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_2_8_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

On January 22, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into effect. This treaty, which is supported by more than two-thirds of the countries in the world but none of the nuclear states, is groundbreaking in many ways and is a significant step toward nuclear disarmament at a time when the threat of nuclear war is the highest it has ever been. I speak with Seth Shelden of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons about the treaty, how it came about, what it will do and what people in the United States can do to press our government to ratify it. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_2_1_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 11:07pm EDT

Baltimore Maryland is a majority-black but hyper-segregated city. Following the uprising in Baltimore in 2015 in response to the police murder of Freddie Gray, Dr. Lawrence Brown, a public health expert at Morgan University, a historically black university in Baltimore, found that historical context and data were missing from the conversation about what was happening. Thus, he wrote "The Black Butterfly: The Politics of Race and Space in America." In this book, Dr. Brown describes the history of and the players who created the urban apartheid and how Baltimore became a template for many cities across the country. His book, available through Johns Hopkins University, provides the data, language and solutions necessary for the struggle to dismantle systemic racism. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_1_25_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT

In the last years of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rejected duopoly politics and challenged the roots of the crises we face, what he called the triple evils of racism, capitalism and militarism. As many people active in the Civil Rights Movement moved into the Democratic Party, Dr. King taught that the movement must be independent of political parties and be "the conscience" of them. For this, Dr. King was shunned and hated. In this interview from MLK Day in 2015, Kevin Zeese and I spoke with Kymone Freeman, co-founder of We Act Radio in Washington,DC, JasiriX, an activist and artist out of Pittsburgh, PA, and Cat Brooks, an activist in Oakland, CA about the revival of the radical Dr. King and how they are continuing his work in their communities. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_1_18_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 5:26pm EDT

On January 6, 2021, thousands of Trump supporters rallied in Washington, DC at the White House with President Trump and then marched to the Capitol as the presidential election was being certified. Some of them entered the Capitol illegally, either with the assistance of police, as the police passively allowed them to enter or by breaking in through windows and doors. Some of them sought out and threatened lawmakers and ransacked offices. I speak with longtime DC organizer, Brian Becker, who is the national coordinator for the ANSWER Coalition about the events of January 6, the rising extreme right wing movement in the United States and what can be done to turn the current dangerous situation around. For more information, visit PopularResistance.org.

Direct download: CtF_Show_1_11_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

This past weekend, new members of Congress voted for the speaker of the House. Given the slim majority of Democrats, progressives urged members of Congress who ran on a platform of Medicare for All to negotiate a floor vote for the Medicare for All bill in exchange for their support for Nancy Pelosi. Given the recession, pandemic, the millions who have lost their health insurance, growing support for Medicare for All and this rare opportunity of holding political power, the floor vote was seen as an important demonstration that progressives in Congress would fight for the people's interests this year. The campaign went by the hashtag #ForceTheVote. I speak with Nick Brana of the Movement for a People's Party about the campaign and next steps to win National Improved Medicare for All. For more information, visit PopularResistance.com.

Direct download: CtF_Show_1_4_21.mp3
Category:News Commentary -- posted at: 7:05pm EDT

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