A Socialist Elected in Seattle: Kshama Sawant on Occupy, Fight for 15, Boeing's "Economic Blackmail"
Seattle has elected its first Socialist to city office in generations. Kshama Sawant’s election to the Seattle City Council made her one of a few Socialists to hold elected office in the country. Sawant is an economics teacher and former Occupy Wall Street activist who ran on a campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. "The important thing about running as a Socialist is, for one, to show that there is a definite openness for clear alternatives, not only to the big business parties, but the system that they represent, the capitalist system," Sawant says. Seattle’s new mayor, Ed Murray, has announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all city employees. Meanwhile, voters in the nearby community of SeaTac recently increased the minimum wage for many local workers to $15. The vote suffered a setback when a judge ruled last month that the raise does not apply to workers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the area’s largest employer. That ruling has been appealed. Murray and Sawant are being sworn in today with record crowds expected at City Hall.
As we continue our conversation on the nationwide shift toward liberalizing drug laws, we are joined by the groundbreaking neuropsychopharmacologist Dr. Carl Hart. He is the first tenured African-American professor in the sciences at Columbia University, where he is an associate professor in the psychology and psychiatry departments. He is also a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and a research scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. However, long before he entered the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, Hart gained firsthand knowledge about drug usage while growing up in one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods. He recently wrote a memoir titled "High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society." In the book, he recalls his journey of self-discovery, how he escaped a life of crime and drugs and avoided becoming one of the crack addicts he now studies.
New York state is poised to become the latest state to loosen restrictions on marijuana usage. This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will reportedly announce a plan to use his executive power to allow 20 hospitals across the state to prescribe marijuana to certain patients. The governor’s surprise reversal on medical marijuana is part of a nationwide shift in drug laws. Last week, the world’s first state-licensed marijuana retail stores opened in Colorado to long lines of customers. Possession and private use of marijuana has been legal in Colorado over the past year, but it will now be legally produced and sold, as well. Around three dozen stores have been licensed to sell to customers. We speak to Gabriel Sayegh, the director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s New York policy office.
- Iraq Loses Control of Fallujah, Key Site in U.S. War
- Syria Rebels Battle Al-Qaeda-Linked Fighters
- Afghanistan: Violence Against Women Hits Record High
- "Polar Vortex" Brings Life-Threatening Cold to U.S.
- Australia Suffers Hottest Year on Record
- 30,000 African Migrants Protest Detention Law in Israel
- Kerry: Saudi King Voices "Enthusiastic Support" for Peace Talks
- Egypt Court Sentences 12 Activists to Suspended Jail Terms
- Boeing Workers Accept Major Concessions to Keep 777X in Washington
- NSA Declines to Specify Whether It's Spying on Congress
- Report: Oil in ND Train Explosion Contained High Levels of Flammable Chemicals
- AP: States Confirm Oil, Gas Drilling Contaminates Well Water
- USDA Proposes Lifting Restrictions on GMO Corn, Soybean Seeds
- Appeals Court Considers Texas Rule That Shuttered Abortion Clinics
On the same day the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army and people of Chiapas declared war on the Mexican government, saying that NAFTA meant death to indigenous peoples. They took over five major towns in Chiapas with fully armed women and men. The uprising was a shock, even for those who for years worked in the very communities where the rebel army had been secretly organizing. To learn about the impact of the uprising 20 years later and the challenges they continue to face, we speak with Peter Rosset, professor of rural social movements in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico.
The North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect 20 years ago this week on January 1, 1994. The massive trade pact was signed into law by President Bill Clinton amidst great promise that it would raise wages, create jobs and even improve health and environmental safety standards. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs have vanished as companies sought lower-wage workers in Mexico. Meanwhile, NAFTA has generated more poverty in Mexico, forcing millions of citizens to migrate to the United States in search of work. We speak to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of the new report, "NAFTA at 20."
Texas Student: After Reporting Rape, I Was Accused of "Public Lewdness," Sent to Disciplinary School
We begin today’s show with a shocking story about a Texas teenager named Rachel Bradshaw-Bean, who was accused of "public lewdness" and removed from her high school after she reported being raped in the band room. Her rapist was punished by being sent to a disciplinary school. Bradshaw-Bean was sent there too. She said she was treated "like a prisoner" for reporting the crime. The incident occurred in 2010, but it is now getting national attention after Bradshaw-Bean decided to speak publicly about being raped and about what happened next. In the summer of 2012, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ruled that the school had violated Title IX, the federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in education. We speak to Bradshaw-Bean and Sandra Park, a senior attorney with the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. "What we know about rape in this country is that half of the women who are raped are under the age of 18, so we are talking about girls, and a significant number of those sexual assaults are occurring in schools," Park says. "It’s vitally important that school administrators and police really understand their obligations to respond to the violence and not turn around and penalize the victim like they did in Rachel’s case."
- Sunni Militants Lay Siege to Key Cities in Iraq
- U.N. Warns Global Crises Testing Limits of Humanitarian System
- South Sudan Peace Talks Begin; Rebels Forcibly Recruit Civilians
- Bomb Blast Kills 5 South of Beirut
- U.S. Senators Pressure Afghan President on Troop Deal, Prisoner Release
- Cambodia: Police Open Fire on Striking Garment Workers
- Former Rwandan Spy Chief Murdered in South Africa
- U.S. Transfers Last 3 Uyghur Prisoners from Guantánamo
- Snowstorm Blasts Eastern U.S.
- Israeli Politicians Mark New West Bank Settlements as Kerry Arrives for Talks
- Hundreds Protest After Teenage Rape Victim Burned to Death in India
- Catholic Official Released from Prison After Appeal in Sex-Abuse Case
- California Court Lets Undocumented Man Become Lawyer
- Bratton Sworn In as New York City Police Commissioner
- Report: World's Top 300 Wealthiest People Got Richer Last Year