F-Word: Weinstein Suggests It’s Time for a Shared Power Index for Companies

So what happens next? Since allegations emerged of years of sexual abuse by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, hundreds of women have gone public about their experiences of men raping, groping, abusing and humiliating them. Some men have spoken up about sexual abuse by men too.

So what’s it going to take to make sexual abuse unacceptable? By now we’ve probably all heard lots of suggestions. Fire some men? Hire more women? That’s probably already happening.

A lot of powerful men have already lost their jobs even before criminal charges have been brought; jobs in media, jobs in business, jobs atop a restaurant chain, atop an Amazon production studio.

Women have a long way to go when it comes to equality in the workplace. At the bottom, many are trapped in low-skilled, poorly protected work. At the very top, women — the majority of the world’s people -  still head only five percent or fewer of the world’s largest corporations.

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Excerpt: adrienne maree brown - Emergent Strategy Grows from Heartbreak

This month marks one year since the election of Donald Trump. The Laura Flanders show released a special report at that time, in which we asked our guests to reflect on social change. How it happens, how it doesn't, what they planned to do the day after the election to keep resistance movements alive, and what they do to support their own spirits. Here's adrienne maree brown.

Emergent Strategies are ways of looking at the world, the natural world that we're a part of and searching for collaborative efforts, like where does collaboration happen, where is a right relationship happening between humans and the planet, between different parts of the planet, and what can we as a species learn about how to be in right relationship with each other and with the planet that we're living on.

We're filming this in September, and this comes through a week where there were three hurricanes, an earthquake, a potential tsunami, there was flooding, there's droughts, there's a fire raging the entire West Coast. At the same time all the news is coming out of the White House is devastating for our folks we have people who are like "DACA is the thing that has kept my family together the thing that has allowed me to be in the place that I'm from". Everything feels like it's so heavy and so intense and how do we survive this moment, it doesn't feel like we can. And Emergent Strategy posits actually all of these changes, these are something we need to figure how do we embrace and also how do we shape them. So Emergent Strategy is really life moves towards live, longing moves towards longing. And if we're not also organized towards what we really want and what we long for, we will always settle into just reacting and trying to stop something bad from happening.

The trick of this book is that everything you need to know is on pages 41 and 42, and on page 50. If you just read those two pages, or you can look at page 15, page 15 also basically has the entire thesis everything about the book is right there.

This Octavia Butler quote "All successful life is adaptable, opportunistic, tenacious, interconnected and fecund. Understand this, use it, shape god."

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F-Word: Catalan Crisis or Capitalist Crisis? What’s happening in Spain is not only about ancient history.

It’s been a challenging time for the commentariat, with self-determination struggles breaking out in obscure parts of Europe. From Scotland to Catalonia, independence fights have pundits scuttling for the history books. Noble cultures, ancient grievances. The last time many people heard the word "Catalonia " it was on the cover of a screed by George Orwell. And just what was that Spanish Civil War about, anyway? 

It’s not easy boning up on Europe’s fusty history, but if they didn’t dig deep into the ancient past, the pundits just might have to look at the more recent sort.

What if the crisis in Catalonia had as much to do with 2008 as 1978? With the crisis of capitalism, as much as the crisis of the Spanish constitution?

The roots of the Catalan crisis are culturally specific, but the fact that it’s breaking out now isn’t all that esoteric. Corruption has so corroded the relationship between the governed and their governments that all across the capitalist world, democracies are at breaking point.

Catalan independence comes in many flavors: some separatists are eager to rid their affluent region of its responsibilities to Spain’s poorer parts. Immigrants, it should be noted, weren’t permitted to vote in the independence referendum. Others, inspired by the progress of Barcelona under its community-organizer mayor, Ada Colau, imagine a region reclaimed, and remade from the bottom up, with free healthcare, quality education and decision-making by popular assembly.

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Excerpt: Rosa Clemente - People Shouldn't Have to be Resillient

Rosa Alicia Clemente is a community organizer, independent journalist, and hip-hop activist. She spoke with us on the urgency of aid to Puerto Rico and what rebuilding differently looks like.

Laura Flanders:You're just back. You got back literally this morning as we're speaking. What's on the top of your mind that people need to understand about what's going on there?

Rosa Clemente:That every day people are dying from lack of water, and sometimes the movements and organizations and progressive, well-meaning folks want to talk about the next step, but there is no next step. Water is truly life, and the adage given to us by our indigenous brothers and sisters has never felt so intensely immediate in Puerto Rico right now.

Laura Flanders:We're talking four weeks? After--

Rosa Clemente:Four weeks as of today.

Laura Flanders:So here's the reality check part. You and I talked before you went, and I said, "If we go, we want to talk about rebuilding different."

Rosa Clemente:Yeah.

Laura Flanders:You can't rebuild different if people are hungry and thirsty.

Rosa Clemente:Yeah.

Laura Flanders:And don't have the basics. So you're a rebuild different person.

Rosa Clemente:Yeah.

Laura Flanders:You're an independista going back long time. What do you make of the situation? How do we move forward and not just be begging for crumbs, the same old crumbs, probably from the same old people, who have their sights set on taking over the island?

Rosa Clemente:Yeah, I don't think we could even think about that right at the moment in Puerto Rico. I mean, everyone we talk to said, "Forget about all you United States people talking about cancel the debt, the Jones Act, where Puerto Rico's going to be in a week." The everyday, normal life of a Puerto Rican now exists of always standing on lines for everything. You don't get more than $200 on an ATM. The unemployment rate's going to hit 80 percent. 80 percent of people will not have jobs. There are no jobs.

Laura Flanders:Although there could be obviously.

Rosa Clemente:People are now, before Irma, without paychecks. Remember, people were without electricity before Irma. All the electricians we spoke to said, "There's no way this grid is built in six months." People might be without power for a year. Schools will probably shut down for a year. Colleges are not reopening. Unless movements are ready to get on the ground right now and deal with the immediate, there is no future for Puerto Rico. Not saying that Puerto Ricans don't want a future, but again you don't have water, power. People line up at the airport to text message. There's no form of communication on that island.

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F-Word: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

In our era of extreme capital accumulation is it any wonder that media capital accumulates extremely?

And what do we know about capital? It’s a social relation of power.

If you’d never thought about power and media and capital before, there’s a good chance the subject’s crossed your mind in the last twelve months. Maybe it was the presidential election, brought to voters by for-profit corporations that put clicks and ratings above all other values.

Maybe it’s the creeping and increasingly creepy power of social media.  Our society’s silent censors, I read recently that Google and Facebook channel 70 percent of all the traffic that goes anywhere near any news site.  It’s no wonder, then, that propagandists use social media to for anti-social purposes. They make it easy.

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Excerpt: David Galarza Santa - Resisting Shock Doctrine Calls for Energy Privatization in Puerto Rico

What could paths to a just recovery in Puerto Rico look like? David Galarza Santa, a labor and community activist, on a Puerto Rican plan to recover, revitalize and resist calls for electricity privatization by building back different.

Laura Flanders: So, we've heard it over and over again. This is a humanitarian crisis. The electricity needs to come back on. The next sentence depends on where your interests lie. What do you say about what needs to happen right now with respect to the electrical grid?

David G. S.: Well, what needs to happen right now is to make sure that we don't go back to the Puerto Rico that existed before this storm. We're weathering an economic storm of epic proportions, which is the bill that was enacted by Congress. Supposedly the people in Puerto Rico owe billions and billions of dollar to these hedge fund vultures and so forth, and so people were already being strapped in terms of their economic situation. Now comes this storm and it's literally the perfect storm to try and do the kinds of things that this initially was pledged to do, or PROMESA bill was pledged to do.

 Image result for puerto rico electricity

Image Source: Wired

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Excerpt: Next System Media - An Urgent Necessity

By Laura Flanders in collaboration with the Next System Project. 

Whose media revolution?

Americans have experienced revolutionary moments before; moments in which entire systems of governance, of production, of labor relations, and social organization, broke apart and stitched themselves back up in new ways. In every one of those moments, whether it was the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, or the Silicon Valley age, media fueled the transformation and were transformed by it.

In our era of extreme capital accumulation, media capital has accumulated—extremely. What we need is a bottom-up remaking of our system, and new commitment to media as a public good.

NBC recently reported that the Amazon corporation is in the process of buying up television channels. The corporation, which already accounts for about a quarter of all online sales in the United States, is holding talks to “supersize” its video-channel business, not just in the US but around the world. That, even as the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest owners of TV stations in the US is in the process of creating an ideologically-driven broadcasting behemoth that would reach some 72 percent of the television-viewing audience coast-to-coast.

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Sabaah Folayan: Social justice should be embedded in your lived experience.

As the news cameras left Ferguson, Missouri after the police killing of Michael Brown, Sabaah Folayan and her team stayed on to document what happens to people subjected to police violence as a matter of routine.

Laura Flanders:That's coming up. Plus an F word from me on surveillance. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention and if you are, well the Feds know about it. It's all coming up on the Laura Flanders show. The place where the people who say it can't be done, take a back seat to the ones who are doing it.

Three years after the killing of Michael Brown by police office, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri, the documentary "Whose Streets?", takes us back to Ferguson and the days and weeks following that event. Beyond the uprising and the clamp down, the killings and the protests, "Whose Street's?" takes viewers into the personal lives of the activists on the ground. They're young people with young families.

The documentary ends up being a lot about love in a community cornered by an increasingly militarized police. "Whose Streets?" is co-directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis. It's just now being released by Magnolia Pictures and I am very pleased to welcome Sabaah to the studio.

Glad to have you.

Sabaah Folayan:Thank you.

Laura Flanders:Remind us where you were when the news broke of what had happened to Michael Brown.

Sabaah Folayan:When I first heard, I was at work. I was on my computer and I started to see this information come through Twitter. And I saw the photograph of him on the ground and I saw the tweets of people who are out there.

Laura Flanders:And you were in New York, correct?

Sabaah Folayan:Yes, I was here in New York.

I was at a nonprofit doing reentry work so I was helping them to kind of understand how their organization was working with incarcerated people. And I heard about it through social media and it was just really triggering and then I started to see people taking to the streets. And I started to see the militarization. And it felt like a story that I somehow knew, even though I had never experienced anything like it.

Laura Flanders:Now you quote, I think, is Dr. King, "A riot is the language of the unheard." In a way, that beginning montage in your film, I couldn't help thinking sort of YouTube is the Hollywood of the unreported.

A lot of those images, I don't think most people had seen before, right?

Sabaah Folayan:Yeah. I think the media was really focused on the looting, the rioting, the what was shiny and would get rating. And people weren't really paying attention to what was actually happening to this community.

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F-Word: First They Spied on the Immigrants

To target activists in the 1970s, US intelligence agencies conducted so much illegal surveillance that they generated one of the biggest scandals in US history (COINTELPRO). 

Forty years on, we’re watching documentaries about the Vietnam War while our government conducts surveillance ops that put anything from that era to shame. The only thing Americans do less now than then is protest. Why is that?


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Excerpt: In Greece, Melissa Network Takes Leadership From Refugee Women

When it comes to finding new ways to organize society, some Greeks are finding inspiration in surprising places. Like in the community of migrant women organized by Melissa I visited in Athens. Check out the whole show. - Laura 

Nadina C.: We're at the day center of Melissa network. In the heart of Athens, Victoria Square. Melissa is a network for migrant and refugee women who live in Greece. Melissa means honey bee in Greek. And the idea of a day center was to create a kind of beehive. This also explains our vision of society. It stands for what our vision is. Which is, a society is an open beehive of communication, creativity and exchange.
Marzia Jamili: My name is Marzia Jamili. I'm from Afghanistan. I am 16 years old. I was born as a refugee. I came to Greece last year. I was very happy to come here and I feel myself very safe because when we were in the camp, the camp was not very safe. And I feel very happy in this place. Melissa now is like my house and they're like my family.
Nadina C.: In Melissa we have the involvement of women from over 45 countries. As well as many of the most active organizations. Women's groups, associations and organizations. So it's the long-term migrants who are actually involved in the implementation of our current program. Because long term migrant women are the ones who know better than anybody else, or who are better positioned to know what works in terms of integration and what doesn't work.We've created all together a sort of holistic approach to what we see perceive of as integration and it's based on literacy support, psychosocial support, art and creativity, information sessions. So we do a lot of information sessions on social rights, legal rights, labor rights, all the different sets of things that they ought to know.


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