East Palestine: EPA Cover-up & Profiting From Disaster; Turkey Corruption & Earthquake Aftermath; Obi Egbuna Jr on Marxism and Black Power

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Listen to this week’s episode of COVID, Race, & Democracy:


Cleaning up the toxins released in Norfolk Southern Rail Company’s catastrophic train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, will cost tens of millions of dollars. Tetra Tech, one of the companies hired to do the testing, is being sued for falsifying records of its clean-up in San Francisco’s Treasure Island and Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.


Tetra Tech and Norfolk Southern are both partially owned by Black Rock Investment Management, so Black Rock may break even or even profit on the disaster. Pacifica’s Steve Zeltzer spoke to investigative journalist Greg Schwartz on the lawsuit against Tetra Tech. 

Find out more, get involved:

Demanding Transparency in East Palestine, Ohio

Ohio & EPA  officials say East Palestine’s water is safe. But where’s the full data?

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Hugh Sawyer is a railroad engineer on the Norfolk, Southern Railway. He spoke to Pacifica’s Steve Zeltzer about why the toxic environmental disaster was bound to happen as the company cut back on workers to inspect their railroad cars, and why the railroad industry should be nationalized. 

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The Ballad For Harry Bridges was written for the legendary West  Coast longshore union leader Harry Bridges whom the FBI and the government tried to deport 5 times to Australia. Last week his granddaughter Marie Shell performed it with musician Tony Marcus at ILWU local 34.

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On February 6th, a devastating earthquake wiped out entire cities in Turkey.  There are still thousands of bodies under the rubble.  Despite collecting an “earthquake tax” for years, the Turkish government was not prepared.  Relief organizations had been privatized, gutted, and looted by the neo-liberal system, and the Turkish government froze when faced with such a disaster.  

In response to the government’s failures, citizens from around the country collected food, water, and medicine for the quake hit region.  However, taking this as a threat to its credibility in approaching elections, the government confiscated the supplies, stopped those trying to help, and unplugged social media.  Mehmet Bayram reports.

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Obi Benue Egbuna was a political activist known for leading the Universal Coloured People’s Association, and a member of the British Black Panther Movement during the years he lived in England. He published several books on Marxism and Black Power, including “Destroy This Temple: The Voice of Black Power in Britain, published in 1971” and “The ABC of Black Power Thought,” published in 1973.

Attorney Nkechi Taifa, host of the Human Rights and Justice Show on Pacifica’s WPFW, spoke to journalist and activist Obi Egbuna, Jr. about the recent republication of one of father’s books.

And that concludes today’s edition of COVID, Race, & Democracy. We thank all of Pacifica’s sister stations and affiliates who contribute to the production of this show. Today’s program was produced by the CRD Collective and hosted by Ann Garrison.

Music:

Sweet Honey in the Rock, “GREED”

Mahzuni Seif, “Oy babo”