Jon Nelson hosts this Labor Day Special of the Old Mole, which was postponed from September 4 due to unexpected problems with production. Today's show includes the following segments:
A Lifetime of Labor Struggle: Bill Resnick interviews Dianne Feeley who has fought her whole life for worker power, not just for a bigger piece of the pie, but for real participation and decision making in a society in which democracy is not confined to occasional elections but is nourished in daily life. She started as a member of the Catholic Workers movement, living in their community home when she wasn’t jailed for civil disobedience. In her forties she went to work on the Ford and then General Motors assembly lines, organizing on the shopfloor to democratize and radicalize a union that had become friendly and cooperative with the companies. This year the dissidents won the UAW national election and immediately were challenged to wage a fight for a new contract that will expire later this month. Bill Resnick interviews Feeley on the contract struggle that promises to be bitter and crucially important to all manufacturing workers. Already a strike has been authorized by 97% of the voters. Feeley is the author of Leon Trotsky and the Organizational Principles of Revolutionary Party and hundreds of articles on labor organizing.
Lessons from Labor History: On this Labor Day program Laurie Mercier speaks with Mary Anne Trasciatti, Director of Labor Studies and Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy at Hofstra University, about the inspirational early-20th century anti-capitalist radical, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and her successful coalition organizing. They also discuss the importance of using public spaces to tell labor’s stories.
Legal Strategies for Climate Justice: The fight against construction of Enbridge Company's Line 3 in Minnesota, carrying tar sands oil from Canada through the Midwest, was the largest Indigenous-led pipeline resistance in North America after Standing Rock. Opposition from 2017-2021 brought thousands of people from across the country to join front-line camps in solidarity. The repression was brutal with over 1000 activists charged with criminal offenses. Jan Haaken talks with Claire Glenn and Kira Kelley, attorneys with the Climate Defense Project, about these cases, the activists still facing charges, and what the lessons are for strategies of resistance. Glenn and Kelley take up what they view as key principles in movement lawyering and the limits of using the courts as a forum for justice.