Workers’ Memorial Day – End Corporate Privatization of Public Services & Free Leonard Peltier

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This week on COVID, Race, & Democracy…

April 28 is commemorated as Workers’ Memorial Day around the world to remember those workers who have died on the job.  Darrell Whitman was a lawyer and investigator with the Federal OSHA whistleblower protection program in Region 9 in San Francisco. He investigated and made merit determinations of workers who made health and safety complaints and suffered retaliation. Companies such as Fed-Ex, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Amazon in some cases were ordered by his boss to falsify reports and drop the investigations. Whitman was fired by then Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and has been organizing the cases of unprotected workers who were retaliated against.

Find out more about the Diogenes Project https://drdarrelllwhitman.substack.com/

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The effort to destroy Medicare has been taking place under both Republicans and Democrats, including the Biden administration. WPFW’s Thomas O’Rourke interviewed Ana Malinow, a pediatrician and organizer for national single-payer health care.  She is past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, with more than 20,000 health professionals that support a national single-payer health program in the US and currently a lead organizer for National Single Payer. She lives in San Francisco. He also interviewed Professor Carol Lang of New York City teaches history at the Bronx Community College of  the City University of New York and is a member of the American Federation of Teachers Professional Staff Council.

For more information on this issue go to https://protectmedicare.net/.

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Thousands of public teachers in Oakland who are members of the Oakland Education Association voted by over 70% to hold a one day strike on April 29 against the closure of 11 schools and privatization of the district. 

They will be joined by ILWU Local 10 longshore workers who will stop work in solidarity during the day. They will then rally at Oscar Grant Plaza or Oakland City Hall to fight  against not only privatization of the schools but the privatization of the Port of Oakland by billionaire A’s and GAP owner John Fisher who wants a new stadium in the port. 

We air their recent statement.

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East Bay Democratic politicians are also voting to give Fisher $850 million for his stadium and development project with 3,000 million dollar condos. The teachers and longshore workers’ new organization, called  Schools & Labor Against Privatization or SLAP, is hosting the rally and they will also join the Bay Area May Day march supported by unions throughout Northern California that will be held in San Francisco on May 1.

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On June 26, 1975, FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams died in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement, AIM spent the last 44 years in prison for aiding and abetting their murders. Peltiers’ co-defendants were acquitted based on self-defense.To convict  Leonard, constitutional violations were committed by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney. Because these were two FBI agents it was personal and they used their government resources in getting a conviction of Leonard Peltier.

Leonard who is now  77-year old suffers from diabetes,  hypertension, partial blindness from a stroke, and an aortic aneurysm. He had been asking for his Covid booster shot ever since boosters were available. But in January of this year Leonard caught Covid.  Peltier said, he was finally given a COVID booster shot on Feb. 15.

James Reynolds, the U.S. Attorney who was on this case. was asked in an interview, “Did you pick the wrong man?” to which he said, “I don’t know.” Mr. Reynolds has joined those who lobby for Mr. Peltier’s release over the years. Glenn Crooks who was the lead prosecutor admitted to the Court of Appeals, “We don’t know who shot the agents and what participation Mr. Peltier had, if any. And there’s no evidence that he had any role in this except that he was there.”

From Between the Lines radio, we offer an interview with Kevin Sharp, Leonard’s Attorney.

Learn more at the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee website, Who Is Leonard Peltier dot INFO. https://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/ We thank producer Jacquelyn Baptiste of KPFT, Houston.

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Hundreds of Amazon worker supporters rallied in New York city on  Sunday. Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) president Sara Nelson along with Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday joined a rally in solidarity with the Staten Island Amazon Workers. We air a short clip from Sara Nelson.

Credits:

Today’s program was produced by executive producers of CRD Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev, and Steve Zeltzer and hosted by Akua Holt.

 

Music

“Fight the Power”, Public Enemy 

https://youtu.be/mmo3HFa2vjg

“More Than A Paycheck”, Sweet Honey In The Rock

https://youtu.be/UzlEGxiHpEU 

“Hard Work”, John Handy (1976)

https://youtu.be/MrppyREk4FA 

“Beat Goez on Peltier” by Buggin Malone with Keith Smith, from the Album Spirit World