Facebook Food Service Workers Fight for Justice; Ukraine Farmland Theft; SuburbanDC Bus Drivers Strike; Florida Public Library Debate

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Listen to this week’s COVID, Race, & Democracy radio show:

 

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has terminated thousands of workers. Facebook food service workers who are members of UNITE HERE however have not received just compensation compared to engineers and other laid off workers. Over 100 have been laid off in Silicon Valley. They are rallying around the country and rallied at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley on March 1st.

Facebook Unite H.E.R.E. Local 19 Workers Demand Justice From Billionaire Owner Zuckerberg

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US officials call the Ukraine War a fight for “democracy”. The federal government has already spent $113 billion on weapons for the war, handing a major windfall to the military industrial complex. It’s less well-known that US capitalists  are privating Ukrainian farmlands, which are some of the most fertile in the world.

The Oakland Institute’s Policy Director Frederic Mousseau is the co-author of a study on those privatization efforts titled, “Theft: The Takeover of Ukraine’s Agricultural Land.” This and previous reports are available on their website OaklandInstitute.org.

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A strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union local in suburban Washington’s Loudoun County, Virginia, is now in its eighth week with pressure building.  Three weeks ago a Teamster local representing drivers for Prince William County OmniRide commuter and intracounty service called out its members against the same transit contractor Keolis North America.  Thomas O’Rourke of Pacifica station WPFW spoke to Teamster strikers and union officials at their picket line in Woodbridge Virginia.

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Libraries, and what residents of Manatee county in Florida get to read there was on the agenda of a workshop Tuesday in the Manatee County government administrative building in downtown Bradenton. The Republican-only Manatee County commissioners discussed how to reign in what they believe is bias in public libraries after listening to a presentation by the manager of the Manatee public library system, Tammy Parrot. Simon Valec reports for Pacifica affiliate WSLR in Sarasota, Florida.

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The US has refused to restore Ethiopia’s preferential trade status unless it submits to an international investigation of human rights violations during the Ethiopian civil war, which ended in December 2022. Pacifica’s Ann Garrison reports. 

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A series of events in a number of Latin American countries have left observers scratching their heads as they try to determine the actual political orientation of the government in each case. Don DeBar spoke with Journalist Stephen Sefton about recent developments in a number of countries with supposedly leftist governments that are appearing to stand with the US on some issues, but not others.

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.

Thanks for listening!

Music:

John Lennon, “Imagine” 

Hozier feat. Mavis Staples, “Nina Cried Power” 

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message” 

Omah Lay, “Soso”

Wayne Shorter, “Speak No Evil”

Mr. Shorter, was a legendary, Grammy-winning saxophonist, who

transitioned, March 2, 2023 in Los Angeles. He was 89.