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Sat, 24 Dec 2022 05:01
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We're giving you some updates on the UC strike, but we recorded these before some changes happen progress. You could call it maybe it's not progress, depend on where you're at. And position wise with that, but there are two interviews today. One's going to explain a little bit about the bargaining and the differences between rank and fire on the bargaining team. The other one's going to explain the very important and radical and and progressive access needs demands that were made and it seems like ultimately not at least in on the table in this tentative agreement. So there's a tentative agreement out for voting right now. If you have been on the internet today Saturday and if you've been on today, you'll have seen it presented as if the strike was over. That's not necessarily the case, right? The contract is up for ratification and it's ratified by union members who have to vote on it. A number of people are organizing for a no vote, especially people who are in departments or parts of the university, which would qualify for lower tiers of pay. The contract has tiered pay has tiered pay, both geographically and and debate based on what kind of work you're doing. And so a lot of people who are left at the bottom of those tiers are obviously feeling like they've been out on strike for five weeks and haven't got what they wanted. A lot of people who are on those higher tiers are also feeling like they should be expressing solidarity with their fellow workers at the bottom. But you will have seen like a lot of reporting. Some of it came out very, very quickly after the after the tentative agreement was made, which is odd and perhaps is because the union appears to be the union staff. I should say the people who are making these are some of the people who are who are in favor of this contract are using a PR company, which appears to have maybe seen some stories and some publications, but we can't be sure certainly they were very quick to press. So I would urge you to listen to this as sort of a coder to some of what you might be reading. There are two things you can listen to them separately. You can listen one after the other. We won't have any podcasts for a while over the over the break. So I will speak to you again in the new year and I hope you enjoy both these interviews. My hand, but can you just explain first of all, tell folks like which campus you're at and maybe what you're studying and where you are in the in the giant structure that is like the UAW UCSD. Yeah, absolutely. So I'm at UC San Diego. I'm a fifth year in the PhD program in the Department of Ethnic Studies. And yeah, I specifically study like Muslim racialization and sectarianism in the US. How that yeah, how that wings up to like, periodism, settler colonialism, gender formation, things like that. And I suppose my place within this, as you say, like the, the labyrinth of UCSD and UAW politics. Right now, I'm just a ranking final member. However, a couple of years ago, I was the unit chair for San Diego. So I was actually on the bargaining team previously. And I was at the beginning of the pandemic. And so a lot of like COVID bargaining, for example, I sort of like oversaw that. And prior to that, I was a organizer with the Cola movement. And so I helped organize the Wildcat Strike. Great San Diego. Yeah. Yeah. Nice. Yeah, they had a so long history if you need an organist. It's good. And so can you explain to folks a little bit about because you mentioned the bargaining team there, right? And maybe people wouldn't be familiar with the distinctions in union organization. Obviously, this isn't Italy in the 1960s. So you don't bargain with the entire union on mass. Sadly, but the university meets with a certain group of union representatives. So can you explain like who they are and how they're selected to start with maybe? Yeah, absolutely. Um, so there are essentially two levels of, well, three levels of leadership. Um, within the, the union. So at the top, in terms of statewide leadership, you have the executive board. Um, and that's, you know, like president, vice presidents for North and South campuses. Um, trustees, treasurers, things like that. Um, and then you have campus-based leadership. And that's split between head stewards that are apportioned to campuses based on their population in size. Um, and then you have, uh, two kind of, uh, sort of like head leadership positions. One being the unit chair and the other being the recording secretary. And so the bargaining team for the whole union is composed of the unit chair and the re-exec from each campus. Um, and this time around, we've added someone from UC San Francisco. They're usually not represented. It's like in past bargaining cycles they haven't been. So there are now 19 people on, um, um, the U.A.W. 2865 bargaining team, um, whereas previously there had been 18. Um, yeah, and I guess this, this sort of like final level of, of leadership that combines both campus level and statewide leadership is what's called the joint council. Um, but that's kind of the, the higher you, the structure of the union. Okay. Yeah, it's fascinating that it just went to an odd number because I want to get on to something next, which is this division. Like there's, uh, I think people are calling them BT 10 and BT 9, right? Yeah. Which, which could have been BT 9 and BT 9 if you, if you didn't have the, uh, the UCSF person, uh, which would have been a whole larger, uh, sort of mess. Um, so much fun. Yeah. Yeah, that would have been great. Uh, so what is this division? Like there are two distinct, I guess, positions as, as regards bargaining. So perhaps you could explain a little bit of that. Yeah, absolutely. Um, I mean, I think just, you know, this might be obvious, but just a preface with the fact that, um, even within these so-called camps of like BT 10, BT 9, there's a lot of heterogeneity, right? Yeah. And so we saw this voting block emerge, um, in the first week of the strike, mainly around, um, the wages demand and how, um, you know, one of the central pieces of that original demand, the way that it was crafted was that it was aimed at bringing members out of rent burden. And so rent burden, um, sure folks have talked about this before, but it's defined as paying more than 30% of your monthly income and rent. And so that translated in terms of our demand to a minimum base wage of $54,000 a year, along with wage increases that are tacked on to, um, the increase in like the median rental price, um, for, for housing. And so, uh, in that vote, we saw, you know, the split emerge 10, 9, and then we saw, um, again, this kind of split, uh, paralleled in the vote to have open or closed burning sessions, and the fact that 10 people voted to have closed sessions. And again, you know, since then, um, another big concession, I'm going to use the term concession, even though there's a lot of consternation coming from like UAW leadership, because a concession is technically when you lose something you've already, you already have. And so when it comes to like the disability and access article, um, you know, something that we proposed and which, you know, a demand that was crafted through and by, uh, you know, disability, just this activists and disabled workers was mandatory supervisor training. And that was dropped. Um, and again, we saw that along same lines of 10 and 9. Um, and so, you know, I think ideologically speaking, if I were to kind of, you know, analyze this and give my, my take, it's that the, the nine people, I think are more committed to, um, I suppose being like representative of, uh, their campus concerns. Um, and so for example, some of those BT9 members, I was on the bargaining team with a few years ago, and, you know, they and I didn't necessarily agree on a lot of issues. Um, but now because their campuses have been vocally in support of demands like a cost of living adjustment, a cola, or in support of, um, you know, not dropping the amount of childcare that we can get folks reimbursed for. Um, you know, actually listening to their membership has caused them to kind of, quote, quote, side, with, um, um, other bargaining team members, which may have, uh, other ideological commitments beyond just the contract, right? And so commitment to progressively defunding, uh, UC PD, right, the police department, and sort of putting those, those funds elsewhere within the university system. Um, and so yeah, I mean, I think, you know, we see that kind of split emerge, um, you know, now with this bargaining cycle, but this is also a split that's existed within the union for a while. And so you look historically at the 2018 contract cycle, 2014, right, um, 2010, 2011, and there's always been this kind of division and it's represented in American labor more broadly between kind of like sociopolitical unionism on one end and more like liberal or business unionism on the other. And so it's not really, it really shouldn't be surprising to us that a lot of those BT 10 members or a majority of folks on the statewide executive board are aligned with what's called like the administrative caucus at the UAW International level or their vocally supportive of current UAW President, uh, Ray Curry. And in the latest, uh, general elections, um, even though officially the local didn't take a stance, um, on social media, like there's photos of our union president posing with Ray Curry, um, for the career solidarity team. Um, and so there are those kind of like larger structural lines as well. Yeah. And of course, if people aren't aware and even, yeah, but like you say, within the union as a whole, like, yeah, and within the whole, like, American unionization, right, we have the AFL CIO, which includes, uh, union, which, uh, of police officers. And then we have, I know that the UCSD, uh, locals of you, of only so UC locals, I should say, of UAW have made statements about that being an issue, but it's, it's still a thing that's happening. And, um, yeah, it doesn't necessarily, um, follow, especially in this country that labor organization is always progressive in, in, in, in, in, in, in, other politics, right? Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I thought it was really cool that a lot of the demands that were made were progressive when, when the strike began, right? Like, um, there was a cops off campus demand, there was access needs demand. And things like that, like, uh, you know, access to trial care for people, some of them, some of them were economics, some of them were not economic, some of them, which has always been a thing with student organizing, right? We can go back, um, I'm not really going to mass. We can go back to 1968 and we can, we can look at like, students making political demands and that changing the demands that unions made in the 1960s. And I think it's cool that, that you all had those going in, uh, where are we at with the bargaining now? Like it, it doesn't look like cops are leaving campus from what I can see right now. Yeah. I think, um, so it's kind of complicated right now because we've, uh, just recently entered, uh, voluntary pre-impest mediation. Um, and so a lot of the big outstanding articles, wages, child care, uh, there were a mission of, uh, non-resident, uh, supplemental tuition, which disproportionately affects international students, right? Makes them put a post more costly to the university. Um, so a lot of those open things now are being, uh, discussed through this mediator. Um, and, uh, I think even within that process, um, we see a lot of the same issues emerging that have been present for the entirety of the bargaining process, which mainly is that, um, again, my, my position on this is that our bargaining team hasn't been pushing enough. Um, and you see that kind of on two levels. One, at the actual table, um, there's a lot of passivity. And so when, you know, the bargaining team is kind of explaining their decision to membership, it's mainly, um, you know, they're saying things like, well, we reduce the wages demand by $11,000, like right away because that's what would be more amenable to the university. And of course, that is not true, right? Because the UC came back to us with like a $28,000 offer or something like that, like pitifully low. Um, and so again, there's a lot of, you know, concessionary, I think, moves, um, and there's the desire to, to kind of close the gap with the university essentially. And again, that kind of betrays, um, I think, uh, a fundamental misunderstanding from our bargaining team that somehow, if we are respectable enough, if we present enough rational arguments, the UC will, uh, respect that, right? They'll, they'll sort of like give in to our demands. Um, that will somehow go them to come in our direction. Whereas, you know, we should see the UC as like one of the largest, um, bosses, one of the largest landlords in the country. Um, and so of course they're going to try to screw us out of as much as they can because that's their function. Um, and so on one end, I think we've seen a lot of core demands get dropped. We've seen, um, intense like weakening of our position as well as a really incredible lack of transparency. Um, and so I mentioned before the fact that, uh, most bargaining meetings, or most bargaining sessions have been closed doors. Um, the fact that, uh, a number of like, uh, private like side bars have taken place and oftentimes membership gets like very vague emails or were, you know, told like, oh, progress was made, you know, we won certain things, but then the technicality of those wins is completely left out of the picture. Um, even more recently, uh, bargaining team members voted to, uh, make the votes at the table private. And so after dropping the cold of demand, you know, folks were upset and obviously reaching out to the bargaining team showing up to caucuses and being upset. And so from there, the bargaining team framed this as a harassment and essentially voted to make all the votes private. Um, and so, you know, we've seen a lot of moves like that that, you know, make it clear that the union leadership is trying to preserve the union rather than preserve, uh, its membership, right, and preserve the well-being of those folks. And so I think at the table, again, we see this kind of passive or concessionary, um, uh, strategy and on the ground, when it comes to, like, the strikes at all these campuses, we see something similar where, you know, the majority of the actions that we took in the first two to three weeks of the strike was just picketing, right? And obviously, you know, the picket is, is a powerful tool. The picket is a very symbolic tool, but in a, you know, industry like the academy, picketing doesn't serve the same purpose as it might, like, at a factory, right? We're not actually shutting down the workplace. It's a great show of, a force in a way because you have thousands of people out, but obviously when we're being required to sign up for 20 hours of picketing to get our strike pay, folks get exhausted. We have, we'll have, you know, like huge marches through campus go to a rally and it'll be two hours of people talking, um, and that exhausts people. And even when it comes to, you know, like, you see Davis, they had, uh, the undergrad's actually had like an amazing direct action where they block hated the campus every single day. Um, and that of course led to a legal response from the university and the union leadership, you know, rather than challenge that or, you know, take, uh, take measures to make sure that those folks could organize autonomously of them, um, started, uh, like harassing and disciplining folks basically, um, for taking, uh, taking part in solidarity actions that may push up against the law. Um, and so what we see as like a concessionary, um, attitude at the table, I think is translated as a very, um, or is translated into like, respectability politics, um, on the ground. Um, yeah. Yeah. No, I think that's the next way of phrasing it. And that's sort of what, what you were definitely suggesting and what it seems that we've seen. So where does that leave people? And like some of the things that have been suggested to be like in, in sort of current proposals both from the union and the university would leave people with a contract that they would find I'm guessing unsatisfactory, right, especially after, um, for, for, in a half, five weeks of being out of and, and possible withholding of pay, right, which we can get onto. And yeah, but where does that leave people? Like what, what's the feeling amongst your, so obviously you can't speak for the rank of file across the whole university, but what's the sort of feeling amongst the rank of file with regards to what do we do if we get this offer which doesn't give us the things that we went out for in the first place? Yeah. Um, I think that there is a lot of just, uh, polarization around that question. Um, I've heard from a number of folks, uh, unsurprisingly, I think people who, um, are materially treated a little bit better, right, we get higher pay already, um, from the university, uh, being all right with it, you know, but that's, the, the most that I hear. I haven't heard anyone, even the most staunch supporter of the union establishment say that this contractor, at least what is bound to come to the table at this point is going to be satisfactory, is going to actually be desirable. It's just seen as like, oh, this is the best we can get and we might as well settle in like every sense of the word. Um, but that being said, there is a large contingent, again, of folks that are totally fine with that, or they're tired of striking, or they're seeing a lot of retaliation from their supervisors, and the union, I think, has failed to, um, not only respond to that retaliation and to like, reassure and empower members, but it's also failed to, um, you know, the technical term and organizing would be a knock-ulate, right? Um, there is a huge, in my opinion, organizational failure to make clear exactly what could happen to folks when we go on strike, or to prepare us to hear the talking points from the university, um, and how to, you know, collectively organize against it to build up a kind of consciousness to resist internalizing that and to say like, oh, I don't want to strike because my job's at risk or something. And it's like, yeah, of course, right? That's the point. You know, it's like, where we're taking that action. Um, and so on one end, right? I mean, there's a number of reasons to why and the kind of hinted at that, but there is a large contingent of, of, of people who, um, would just be okay, and they're going to vote yes. Um, but I also think, right? And as, I'm sure, you know, you've, you've seen around social media, you've talked other folks who are on the side of voting. No, um, you know, I think a lot of the consternation there comes again from the fact that we've dropped so much, um, and kind of have left our most vulnerable members out to dry. Um, so whether that comes from, you know, reducing the amount of childcare or, um, dependent health care or, um, you know, again, dropping those like really core elements of the disability and access needs, um, articles when it comes to dropping cola and dropping our wages down to a point where we would still be in not just rent burden, but severe rent burden. Um, it's been leading a lot of folks to, uh, you know, promote the idea that we're going to vote no, um, regardless, because even if the remaining articles, you know, are better than we expected, um, and they get tentatively agreed to, there's already too much that's been lost to make this, uh, an adequate contract, right? Not even great, not even satisfactory, but just adequate. Um, and so, you know, of course, that kind of, uh, division, as you might say, um, has brought up a lot of tensions, especially in the last few days. Um, but, you know, I, I think now we're seeing, uh, a, a broader gap between these two, like, sides. Um, where there are folks that are pretty much, again, set on voting yes because it's good enough. Um, and there are other folks who, um, are pretty staunch in voting now and trying to build up that movement. Um, and I think the point we're at now, at least speaking from that, like, vote no side, is that, we really need to outline and be transparent with membership, uh, where we can go from there. Like, how do we demystify the process or the process, the possibility of impasse? Um, you know, that's been a concept that's thrown around a lot by, you need leadership and is never fully unpacked. Um, and so it's like a fear mongering tool that's, that's been, in my opinion, at least like, used, um, to subdue member militancy. Um, so that's one issue. Another issue is like, how do we reopen certain articles? How do we build this, quote unquote, long haul strike to gain more than we've already, you know, um, given up at this point? And so I think a lot of those technicalities that are up in the air are, uh, renewed sort of like areas of, uh, organizing focus. Yeah. So you don't have to abandon some of those demands, which were not economic. Like, yeah, those can still be, yeah, I mean, I guess at this point, it's really speculating how many people will vote. Yes or no, we'll see once, once we see the agreement. And yeah. But like, can you give us an update then on where striking gets to obviously progressively harder to get longer, right? People don't want to stand on a picket for five weeks, six weeks. They don't, they want to go home for the holidays. Um, they have this pressure that's been leveraged, perhaps unfairly, and sometimes, uh, like erroneously that their students will face, immigration or graduation consequences, which is largely untrue. And so like, can you talk about there's, there's a chance that people won't be getting paid, right? In December, has that happened to anyone? What's the latest with that? Um, so a lot of what's been going around in terms of, issues with pay, uh, a lot of the news I've seen concerns postdocs. So, folks from the local 5810, yeah, who actually just signed an approved, is that tentative agreement. Um, so the university has put out some language, implying that they'll retroactively dock pay. Um, and so, um, yeah, I can't like speak to the technicalities of that. Um, but that's definitely a concern. I've seen floating around, um, and I know that they're actively organizing around it. Um, for ASCs and, uh, student researchers, um, we none of us have been docked pay yet. Um, we all got paid for December, um, in part because I just think the university has a really hard time keeping track of who's on strike. On top of the fact that, I mean, I don't know if anyone's already complaining to you about UC path, but the payroll system that I got rolled out, yeah, a few years ago, um, it's terrible. It's an absolute fucking nightmare. Yeah. Um, and so I think it would be a massive achievement for them to even be able to withhold folks paid through that system. Yeah, thanks. Druggled to pay people in the past, including myself. Yeah. Um, yeah, absolutely. And so, um, you know, I think it is, it is a real concern, but at this point, um, at least to my knowledge, no one in 2065 or SRU has been affected by, by pay withholding. And then let's, so let's talk about the grade withholding, which is now like today is today, right? That the grades should be due in. Obviously, many people are not filing those grades. Um, which again, it's another example. I see the UC just being a bureaucratic disaster, but we can skip past that. So the grades are not being being filed. Can we talk about some of the suggestions that have been made by the university? I know one of them was that students on, like, F1 visas might face consequences. Um, yeah, that's not true. As best I've, having been on F1 visa is better to understand it. Um, and that, uh, students on think on, on grants and scholarships might face consequences. So can you explain sort of what they've said, and then perhaps, perhaps offer some insight into why you think that that might be misleading? Yeah, absolutely. So exactly what you're saying, um, you know, folks in vulnerable categories, such as people on academic probation, or whose financial aid is dependent on, um, being in, like, you know, good standing, um, or yeah, like international students. Um, yeah, there's been a lot of, fair mongering and misleading information out there that these students might be, you know, kicked out of school. They might be deported. They might, um, face, uh, you know, again, like financial consequences. Um, but it's important, I'll sort of recognize that, uh, having a grade remain blank, uh, doesn't affect folks GPA. It doesn't affect folks academic standing. Um, and for international students, um, you know, the best that we understand, and we've actually communicated with universities, uh, international students offices. And what they say is that, um, it's enrollment that matters, not necessarily having the grade. And so, um, even if, you know, let's say like all of someone's grades are withheld, they've still enrolled in the requisite number of credits. Um, right. And so that that standing in terms of Avisa wouldn't be affected. Um, and the same goes for even something as simple as moving on to the next course in a sequence, um, because, uh, you know, again, the withholding of a grade doesn't affect, um, that kind of like progress or academic standard. Um, and, uh, as a sort of like technical note, a lot of folks are again, concerned that like, well, wouldn't this blank grade lead to an incomplete or wouldn't it lead to an F? Um, and, uh, in terms of the incomplete, there's a reason why we're not filing everyone with an eye, uh, we're leaving the grades blank because an incomplete is costly. It's more work for everyone. And so we're avoiding that. And, um, blank grades don't default to an F until the following semester or following, uh, term ends. And so for us at UCSD, um, since many of us are withholding grades, those blank grades wouldn't turn to an F until the end of winter, so around March. And I don't think anyone expects the strike to go that one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that would be pretty historic. And yeah, so how has the undergraduate response been then? Yeah, that's, um, it's difficult because I know at certain campuses, like I mentioned UC Davis earlier, there's been huge undergrad involvement there. Um, at San Diego, I think the response has been a bit mixed. Um, I know many of my students, for example, were supportive of the strike. Um, and within, you know, my department, ethnic studies, we did try to get students more involved, like we held, uh, teachings, um, to get students to come out and, you know, the class I'm T.A. 4 right now is called Land in Labor. And so we talked about, you know, UCSD, right? And the relationship to like colonialism, capitalism, yeah, land in labor. Um, and so we've tried to integrate, you know, not just, um, you know, student engagement and support, but also to use this as another form of study, right? As a form of study that's, that's outside the kind of like bureaucratic mess that is the university and with its nonsense. Um, I think what's difficult at San Diego is that, um, you know, political engagement has historically come in waves, obviously at all universities, folks come and go, but it's particularly acute, I think, at San Diego where there's massive moments of like, upheaval and like folks coming out in the thousands, like we saw back in, um, 2020, um, around the pandemic, around the, the, the uprisings, um, during the summer, around even the cola movement, right? Which was a little bit before that. We saw huge numbers of undergrads come out. In part because we were able back then, at least to connect our demands to their concerns, right? The fact that psychological services on campus are horribly underfunded, right? People have to wait a whole quarter to get even the intake appointment. Um, the fact that again, like they're getting screwed over with housing just as much as we are, um, paying, you know, over 10 or 15,000 dollars a year in it for a dorm. Um, and so, you know, that connection back then, I think, really drew out the undergrads, and that's what's really lacking now. Again, I think because of the way that the union has framed the struggle quite narrowly as not just what affects workers, but what if what affects the majority of workers? Um, that's left out a lot of the broader concerns that has foreclosed a lot of broader critiques of the university. And so when it comes to something like the cops off campus demand, the fact that we have bargaining team members at UCLA, for example, literally lie and say that it's never been on the table, um, is really indicative of how the union is trying to frame this. And so the fact that, you know, again, those broader conversations around the UC being a landlord, around the way that, you know, profit and resources are, um, inequitably distributed through the university infrastructure, right? Those things drop out of the conversation about our strike. And if we do bring it up, we're seen as dissidents or something like that or radical. And so the fact that those things have dropped out, I think, has led to us seeing a situation like we see at UCSD where the undergrads are almost ambivalent, if not hostile, um, because we haven't done a good enough job engaging them. We haven't also organized alongside and with them. Um, rather, it's been like come support your TAs and not like we're fighting together, right? And so it's, yeah, it betray, it gives the impression that this is like a very one way, um, or, you know, like a unidirectional form of support, where in reality, you know, we should be building up those ties of solidarity and that, you know, we should be focusing not just on winning a contract, but then building and sustaining this movement, um, against the university in a much larger, broader sense. Yeah, because I'm speaking from experience, I know a lot of those undergrads feel very disempowered in their relations with the university and some of the demands, like the access needs demand, uh, you know, the demand for improved student counseling, psychological services, things like that, but that would benefit directly everyone on campus. And then yeah, it's a shame not to see that it's a shame to see that sort of left to the side when I think, yeah, it could build a more effective movement. Yeah. So yeah, it does seem to go, like you've said, campus by campus department, your department has historically been a lot more engaged than others. I think it's fair to say so. And so we've reached the Christmas break now. Grades have been withheld, which I think a lot of people thought was like sort of a nuclear option or like a step up. Yeah. Which it doesn't seem to have been, like it really hasn't done anything. And and the UC has entered into, or they think the university and the union have entered into a voluntary pre-impasse mediation. When did you, like if you were just speculating and when do you think we'll see like a resolution? Because it's already slipped out of coverage, right? Like if I look at our local newspaper, they've stopped reporting on it, which doesn't help. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, I think, you know, it's, it's difficult to to speculate in part because as we've seen with past bargaining updates, they tend to drop bombshells on us. Like with the whole cola demand being, you know, severely cut down, we found about, we found out about that like two hours before the bargaining session, which is at like 10 pm. And so it's totally possible by like that by the end of this week we'll have a tentative agreement. Like, you know, folks have been speculating on that. It wouldn't surprise me. I would be disappointed, but I wouldn't be surprised. Um, at the same time though, I, I do think that we've been able to build up sufficient pressure on the union establishment or the leadership. That I think there it might be a bit more hesitant, right, to take that sudden of a move, or to kind of come out of left field or something like that. Um, and so, you know, there is the distinct possibility, especially with the holidays coming up that this might go into the new year. And obviously that would be like my hope to go as long as possible. Yeah. Um, but yeah, I think it's, it's incredibly tough. And I think that's causing a lot of anxiety. And that's kind of a disorganizing energy, right, to not know when something like this might happen because there is such an utter lack of communication or, um, you know, democratic input. Um, and I think in terms of, you know, the, the coverage or the grade strike, um, what's really unfortunate, I think is the way that I've heard, you know, from the, the horses mouth, right, certain bargaining team members saying that withholding grades isn't an important form or isn't an impactful form of, of labor withholding, because the university doesn't care. And historically, we've seen that they really do care. And with an academic strikes, withholding finals is a massive thing, right? Yeah. And I think that in order to really, um, realize the impact that that'll have on the institution, we have to go for a few more weeks into the winter quarter. Um, and, you know, right now, even to try to, um, build up some more, um, I guess like, you know, PR around grade withholding, um, there are folks doing research and trying to calculate, like, quantify, um, what like, you know, each credit would mean in like, real dollars, and then the fact that, you know, hundreds of students' grades are being withheld for a three or four hour, like three or four credit, um, class, and what that translates to into money. Um, yeah. And so, yeah. Yeah. I mean, if we look at what the university does, right, it, it, it turns its capital into, into, into income essentially through like leveraging its credibility for a credential and, and charging people masses of rent for living there increasingly. And you can't take away the housing, right, which is it's, it may just also revenue, but you, you can take away this, this product. Yeah. And, and, and there have been, um, you know, there are a number of petitions out there, uh, for example, um, uh, for undergrads to request like a reimbursement of their tuition for any classes that haven't been, um, held or grades that have been withheld. Um, and I think that's a really fantastic way to engage them and to put pressure on the university. There's also been, uh, attempts or at least, you know, um, some strategizing on, on our end on how to, uh, have the grade, uh, strike impact the university as accreditation. Um, and so we are trying to look for avenues to increase the pressure, um, from this kind of like strategic move. Yeah. That's smart. Yeah. Yeah. It must be difficult. I'm sure like, is you develop relationships with undergraduates and especially when you're T.A.ing in your department, the class you care about, uh, it, it's a shame to, to lose that opportunity to talk to people about important things like landed labor. And so I'm sure it's difficult to not have that chance to even check in at the end of the end of the, uh, the term and just say like, you know, this has been fun. What have we learned? Yeah, absolutely. Um, and I think, you know, for a lot of us who are ASEs, you know, we're doing this, not just for ourselves, but for our students, right, because we care about education, we recognize that the university as institution is actually corrosive, right, to a quality education. And so, yeah, absolutely. I think like, there is a sense of loss. I think the fact that I can't, like you're saying, close out my class, the fact that I can't, um, you know, really invest in my students the way I want and not trying to blame that on the strike, but trying to blame them on the conditions that have brought us to strike them the first place. Right. Yeah. Um, I don't want to get like full Marxist on May, but like, yeah, the, the further alienated you are from your labor, then the, the, the, the, the less that the experiences for your undergraduates and, and that is definitely a thing that happens at the university, you become more and more in alienated and uh, oh yes. Yeah, the joy that dies. Yeah. I say with a PhD in doing no work and I could even, uh, Muhammad, is there anything else people should know about the strike? Like, that we haven't talked about? Hmm. See, um, I, I would say, you know, one, one important thing is that both for folks within the university system and from, you know, at the outside, it's to kind of place this strike in historic context. Um, I think when the, the eating leadership has spoken about this at all, it's mainly around the size of the strike. The fact that it's historic because we have, you know, 48,000 possible strikers from throughout the UCs. And that's kind of misleading because I think the real kind of like historic potential within this struggle is, um, for example, establishing a precedent of what a researcher's strike looks like. Part of the reason it's so difficult for us to not only, you know, mobilize researchers, but also, you know, um, pushback at the Guest of Taliation is because there is no set structure for what that kind of strike looks like, right? Um, there is no effective way that we have to counter the possible impacts on these people's futures. Um, and so I think that, you know, really emphasizing that to folks is, um, is key. Another thing is, um, the cola demand, right? The fact that we are trying to, or at least we've tried to tack, um, our wage increases not just to, um, inflation or the consumer price index, but to the median increase in rental prices. Um, that would be huge. And that's not just big for us as, as workers within this local, but that does have the precedent for all workers in the US. And I think that, you know, we really, by we, I mean, you'd like the, the union as a whole apparatus has not stressed the importance of that or the kind of like monumental shift that I could, um, kind of provoke in the, the landscape of American labor broadly. Just so if people aren't aware, like, like rent in California has gone up, but way more than double or almost triple the rate of inflation. Yeah. Uh, and working people, people who are members of unions by and large 10 to be people who don't own property. They're 10 to be people who rent property, right? And I can see by your, your unfinished concrete ceiling that, uh, you're, you're renting from the UC, which is the biggest landlord in California. So like, you're right that this is a very historic thing. Is that rent increased for cola? Is that tied to median rent in the state? Or is it median rent across UC rented, uh, like apartments? So I think the actual language, so this is the problem is that because it was dropped so quickly at the table, we weren't even able to get into the vicissitudes of the, the demand itself. Um, and so for, for my understanding, the, uh, increase would be based on, um, um, the like least affordable or essentially the largest increase that we'll see at any of the campuses. Um, and everyone's wage would be increased to that. When we look at the base wage, though, the 54 K, um, that was tacked on to again, a kind of like median income or median, um, rental price throughout the state as well. And so actually 54 K would be exactly enough to get me out of rent burden. So anything less than that would actually still keep me in rent burden. Um, and so yeah, that's kind of, yeah, how the difference. Yeah, which rent burden is, is far too normalized, I think, especially in California. Yeah, yeah, that, and like collective bargaining as tenants as well as workers is fascinating, right? Like it's something we've seen, but not on a large scale, like, and, and like you aren't on rent strike yet, but, uh, yeah. And, oh, sorry. I mean, as, as, as I know, yeah, um, we did have a couple of rent strikes in, uh, within the UC system in the past few years at Berkeley at UCLA and here. And so I was actually part of organizing, um, in the aftermath of cola at the beginning of the pandemic, um, I helped organize the first rent strike, um, within, uh, HDH, uh, UCSD grad housing. Um, and so we have, we have also seen that, but that's another way that the union has kind of limited the scope of this movement, because there's been so much focus on us as only workers and the bread and butter issues. We kind of lose sight of the way that withholding rent, as you're saying, is another way of like, really getting at the heart of the UC's profit engine. Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah, it is a shame that these, like, um, yeah, everyone has to think that the historical perspective, uh, of course, like, like a love Paris 68, you know, it's like the monolith of student political organizing, I guess, and student political organizing, changing the established structures of the left, which, which is some of what you had demanded was very similar to that in a sense, and that it was societal and political as much as it was an economic, right? And an American union's tender phrase themselves in terms of like, respectable liberal politics, not that. So it's a shame to see that go, I guess. Absolutely. And I think, you know, uh, this actually came up in a, in a meeting, um, which kind of astounded me, but again, then on one hand, astounded me in the other hand was completely, sort of like, to be expected, which is someone, uh, saying we need to make this movement, um, as accessible as possible to workers without an activist bone in their body. Um, and so again, there's always that appeal to the right, always the appeal to the most conservative reactionary force, and always at the expense, right? Of the folks who are the most vulnerable, always at the expense of expanding this movement. And so as you're saying, something that is more, uh, socio and socially and politically engaged. Yeah. Yeah. I think most people come activists when they have to live in their car because they can't afford to live in the UC housing and they work at the UC, but that is not everyone, of course. And all right. But how much work and people find to you? Do you have social media? Do you, as I said, do you want to share? Would you prefer to share like your unions or? Um, I guess, uh, on, on Twitter, um, I am, uh, at Islamomarchsist. Uh, thank you. And so yeah, uh, yeah. So, uh, folks can find me there. Um, otherwise, I mean, if there are folks within the UC, um, that are organizing, um, within any of the like vote, no channels, I'm sure folks could find their way to me. Um, but yeah, I think just in general, like following the, the rank and file and COLA associated accounts on, on social media, trying to attend, uh, as many meetings as possible, is, uh, is really how I think folks can get more, um, in tune with, with the, the struggle. Yeah. That's great. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. And yeah, best of luck with everything. Thanks so much. Yeah. So I'm joined today by Megan Lynch, who's the founder of an volunteer for UC Access now, which has been one of the important bodies lobbying for increased access needs for people with disabilities at the UC as part of this strike. Hi, Megan, how you doing? Hi, I'm doing well. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Great. Thanks, folks. Thanks for coming. I'm going, Megan, can you explain and maybe expect a little bit about a UC access now first? And then we can get into sort of what the issues were and what the demands were. Well, let me start with clarifying what access needs are. Um, generally, I wouldn't want to, I want to, I wouldn't want to have more access needs because it would mean that I need more things that I need to negotiate getting them met. So an access need is, uh, I have something that I, I need somebody to, to, you know, the, the inaccessible environment that we have often, it's, it's sort of default inaccessibility. And so having an access needs means that, you know, I need to work out how to be in that environment. And sometimes you can even be in a really well accessible environment. And, uh, it would be hard for people to meet your access need without again, trying to come to some kind of agreement. So there's a difference between accessibility and access needs. And I just wanted to clarify that. Thank you. Yeah. I think that's very important. And so can you explain then what sort of issues people were running into before the strike? Like what, what sort of things were there that limited people's access to university spaces or education or work? Well, still very much going on. And in fact, it's actually increased during the pandemic. Um, the only time where things got a little better for some of us was, uh, you know, in March 2020 when everybody, you know, and this is what often happens is that something, when suddenly people who don't identify as disabled need something and there's enough of that, then it's, there's no problem. Nobody has to submit medical documentation. Nobody has to get special permission. It's really not a big rigmarole, right? But, uh, when you identify as disabled, and you say, I have this as an access need, then suddenly, you know, you get, you get the, the Spanish inquisition in terms of whether you, you, you deserve this thing that your tax dollars have been paying for at your institution anyway. So, um, it really runs the gamut for, you know, I guess what I could best talk about is my own situation and, uh, what led to the formation of easy access now. So, um, I arrived here before the start of fall 2019 as a 50-year-old disabled grad student. So, I'm already in a kind of unusual position by being 50-year or four years old here and then disabled on top of it. And, uh, I was set to TA my first, uh, quarter here. And I could spot even before the quarter started that the kinds of cycle wrecks they have here at UC Davis, which is, you know, usually lauded for being, quote, unquote, bike friendly. Yeah. We're not accessible to me and that they would eventually, you know, I could do it once or twice without hurting myself, but over time, I was going to be hurt and that would get in the way of me being able to do my duties as a TA, not to mention anything I need to do for myself. Because, uh, I was riding like a lot of disabled cyclists. I don't ride the standard upright bicycle. I ride a recumbent bicycle with under seat steering. And the, the racks are not usually a big deal places. I've lived in a number of different cities in California, uh, Berkeley, Los Angeles. See, a lot of places have what are, you know, U-rax, you know, it, which is similar to kind of two as Sheffield Rack, for folks who know those except, you know, not quite as big. So, it's not like it's this special, you know, you don't go to a special adaptive store for this rack. It is a more accessible rack and most cities are sensibly using them. But for here, because despite their bike friendly reputation, they actually want to prioritize space for cars. They have made these racks that are so close together and not supportive, et cetera, that the only part I could ever lock my bike to would be the ends. And that's what everybody else wants to take first. And it wouldn't even be easy to the ends because again, these are really very specifically. They have wheel wells and the relationship between the lock thing and the wheel well is exactly the space of part you would do if you had sort of a standard adult size upright bike. And honestly, they're not even good for people who ride those. So, for instance, if you go on UC Davis subreddit, you will see sometimes threads where people are bullying people who want to get a cruiser bike because they're like those things take up too much room. No, it's not that they didn't take up too much room. It's that the racks are very poorly designed. Yeah. There are things to take up out of room in cities, but they are SUVs. Yeah, they would rather bully somebody about their choice of bike than to say, hey, these are really what a waste of taxpayer money to get these these bike racks that not only don't work for a lot of disabled people, but don't even work for people who are riding cargo bikes or using a trailer or other things you would want to do. So anyway, I went first to the Disabled Students Center here, which is the rationing and policing agency for disabled people. And it's amazing to me. These are the people and they would literally call themselves experts on disability and accessibility. And they said to me, gosh, it never occurred to us that that would need to be accessible. This is on a campus where they're trying to encourage you to leave your car at home, at least some of us, right? Yeah. And it's also how you get to school and to work, right? So why wouldn't I need that to be accessible? And so they I asked for something as simple as can you sign a letter, they wouldn't do it. You know, they wouldn't they wouldn't back me up at all. So then I go directly to the transportation and parking services. They were like, it's not covered under ADA, which is not true. And you know, and then they were like the solution they wanted to pose with it. You know, eventually when I finally after months got in meeting, they were like, well, give us your schedule of classes and we'll install one of these racks at each building you're at. As if my schedule isn't going to change each quarter. Right. Yeah. And it's going to take us to do it. Yeah. Is that a better use of tax money to send a crew around to like to to to to jackhammer concrete at a different location for each quarter, according to each disabled cyclist class that changes. Just get the right rag. So that that's what I went to the union. And even in the union at that time, uh, you know, it was really clear. It wasn't just with that issue. I had other issues. But this was definitely getting in the way of my work as a TA because it was hurting my hands very badly. And in fact, I'd fallen a couple of times and my bike had fallen on top of me and like, nobody helps you. You just sit there watching you like a turtle trying to know. So there's things like that. There's things like, um, even just a housing here in terms of, for instance, if I had had the luck of having a romantic partner, if I'd had the wealth and the ability to choose to have children, I would have been able to get grad housing. But as a disabled person who has an access need to be close to campus, I was I had zero priority whatsoever. And so I very nearly ended up starting that quarter having to live out of my car because, you know, and I would think it would be pretty clear that a 50-friar-year-old disabled grad student might actually have maybe have more, have fewer options in housing than somebody who's in their 20s and isn't disabled. But, you know, and I'm not saying that parents don't need family housing or anything like that. But what I'm saying is very clearly, I think, some disabled people do have strong access needs to have accessible housing near campus. And that's very much not something that they bothered themselves with here at UC Davis. So, you know, there's other things in terms of online accessibility and other things, but those are the things that affected me that I think are worth mentioning simply because they're both unusual things people don't tend to think of. Right. Yeah, yeah. And it is a very difficult system to navigate. Like you said, I think one of the things that's really stood out is this demand for like documentation for any sort of accommodation that you might need. Like they can make it very hard. I remember in, I was teaching at UCSD and I shattered my pelvis and like that made moving at all extremely difficult for me. And they wouldn't give me a parking pass. And like, then proceeded to ask me once I had diabetes, which is a whole like interesting, like it's a sort of calculation of which one of those things will definitely stop you walking. So yeah, it was extremely sort of humiliating, I can say, from a personal perspective and degrading and time consuming and unnecessary. And so, what were the demands then that at the start of this strike, right? There was an access needs element to the demands being made by the union. So perhaps we can go through maybe first we can go through how you went from like this bike rack which didn't accommodate a pretty basic need right to transport yourself to campus. How do we get from there to the union having access needs demands as part of the strike? So as far as UC access now is involvement with it, we went on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and published the demand of FESTO in July of 2020. So the months between the fall when I made, you know, went through these processes and when I finally decided, okay, nobody's doing anything about this and I don't see any other organizations. So let's jump into this. By July, UC access now was contacted by somebody who was an officer within UAW 5810 and that's the postdoc in academic research or union. And they had seen our work, via social media and whatnot and said, you know, we're about to go into contract bargaining and we'd really like to talk about disability issues. So we had a meeting with them and we actually had, we did a presentation also to them for their social justice seminar series, but we also had a meeting with a number of people from 5810 in terms of, let's, you know, let's think creatively here. Let's, let's be ambitious about what it is, you know, because the thing is that a lot of what people tend to do particularly, particularly when they're not disabled, but even some disabled people can do this because internalized ableism is really hard to throw off. We're sort of, you know, and this is true of other oppressions too. We're all sort of used to this system that has this policing austerity, et cetera. You know, we all get schooled into not hoping for much anymore because we're just so used, you know, in my lifetime, I've lived through decades of this kind of reg and I baloney. So it takes a while to think big about these things, but that's what we were trying to do. And so we sort of brainstormed with them on several UC access now members and several 5810 members in terms of the sorts of things they could be asking for. And so if, if there's time and you don't mind, I can give you, you have that because the other stuff's online, but this isn't. Okay, yeah, yeah, please too. So again, this is sort of just a spit-balling document, but we were like, you know, all ads for postdoc positions on all platforms, they have to be accessible. Now, some of this and some of what we're talking about is stuff that UC is actually legally obligated to do and just has not been doing. That would be one of them. Training, you know, most emergency access plans are not made with the input of disabled people and they don't even mention us. So, you know, there are considerations for accessibility for different types of disabilities, different people. We have several buildings on UC Davis campus here that have little placards right in the lobby that say they say something like, if you depend on visual alarm systems in an emergency, please let somebody else know you're in this building, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, even the way that's phrased because, you know, quote, unquote, abled people, are you dependent on a sound alarm system to get out in a fire? Yeah, but they don't phrase it, you know, as dependents when it's for them, right? They only phrase it as dependents when it's for somebody who's deaf or hard of hearing. So, we've got several buildings on campus where they know that it's not up to not even just ADA, but just like basic human decency. People will die in that building. Deaf and hard of hearing people will not know that there's a fire or other emergency alarm system going off because we couldn't be bothered to pony up for some lights. So that kind of thing in terms of an emergency action plan, these things have to be done. There has to be training not only for the supervisors, but really for UC itself because the whole system is just, you know, a cramful of ableism, you know, online working's key to accessibility. So it has to be a regular option, not just something for the pandemic. It should have been the whole time and it also shouldn't, you know, be a big burst up to it. There are some, and you know, there are like kind of things you would think of as smaller that we put in here simply because, again, we're trying to think creatively, which is, you know, reimbursements, for instance. I mean, that's a general problem with grad students and whatnot is that the university, which has far more resources than we do, is sort of, you know, taking its time, reimbursing us for things that we had to get, right? And so the debt is actually being heaped onto the people least able to support it. And when it comes to disabled people, that is going to be even more of a burden because most disabled people have a higher cost of living it and often have a lower income to boot. So we put, you know, that in there, we put in reimbursements for costs incurred working at home or, or, you know, in other ways remotely for an employer. That's section 2802 of the California labor code. You know, sick policy in terms of like commuter checks, which, you know, or some other kind of thing for public transit. The childcare spaces and lactation rooms are accessible because, you know, the union will like lobby for that, right? But you need to be, you need to be expressive about the idea that these things need to be accessible. Like people don't think of everything need to be accessible, but really it does. Yeah. And that sends a very sort of kind of sending message about like what, you know, different people with different, different abilities might, or might not be doing, which obviously isn't great, but the UC is doing that. And so like, I really, I thought these demands were fascinating because it's not what we often talk about. We talk about strikes. Like we talk about strikes often purely in terms of economics, right? Like in the US that can include things like non wage benefits or like healthcare. But it in sort of most instances we talk about striking bread and butter terms, like they have gone out and they want this much money to come back. And I think that strikes have the potential to build much greater solidarity by doing things like this by incorporating these, I guess, social justice demands is one way of phrasing it, this basic human decency demands would be another way of saying it. And it really, yeah, really impressed me that this was part of the package of demands from the union. How have things gone, are you comfortable talking about how things have gone since the strike began? Well, I certainly don't know everything backwards and forwards because honestly, it would be hard for anyone person to know it all. It's all extremely complex stuff. In terms of, not in terms of like, you know, things on the ground, but in terms of the language in contracts and the process and bargaining, there's a difference between like things that are traditional to do as opposed to things that are actually the law. And then of course, the actual enforcement of the law. So anyway, this has been going on for a whole year. And as you can imagine, like penetrating it as your average person, it can be very difficult. So I will certainly give you, you know, my view of it as so far as I've seen it. But we do have, so we helped 5810 with like sort of spitballing and they took it from there. And what they started out with was not as, you know, ambitious as the spitball document. I think it 10, I think that got replicated a lot throughout the unions, which is, you know, my advice as somebody from the outside, just thinking about negotiations in general. Okay, you know, they're going to cut you down, right? Yeah. So why would you be the one to cut you down? You know, they're going to do it, right? You think big, let them cut you down. Yeah. And unfortunately, there were the majority voices in the bargaining teams tended often to be at least where the access needs articles were concerned, tended to be kind of let us cut ourselves down. So the starting doc for 5810, although, you know, it still had things in it that were very like if we have the original version of 5810 instead of what actually the folks, you know, voted on, voted yes on recently. It would still be a revolutionary document in, in US labor history, I think, you know, I don't, I've never heard in the news of anything, any more ambitious than that. But, but definitely it was down from what we were starting with, which, you know, so, but I think what happened was that, you know, 5810 came out and they were trying to coordinate and learn from each other, did different units, right? So then folks on SRU and UAW2865 also worked on the access needs articles and the access needs articles even in themselves was a change because the previous versions of these things were phrased as reasonable accommodations, which is language that stems from the Americans with Disabilities Act. And even that phrase is something that is really outdated because it is the idea, the idea is who is deciding what's reasonable, right? The person who has no lived experience of disability or this gigantic public institution that is funded, including by disabled people's tuition and fees and whatnot in Texas. But, you know, where's my money go? It goes into building an inaccessible university, right? So why am I supposed to let you judge what is reasonable? I think it's incredibly unreasonable that you use my money to build a, a university that is not, is not only hard for me to be at, but is actively hostile to my health. And so, you know, and just the word accommodations centers and codifies that inaccessibility is being the norm. And anything you do different from it is like you being accommodating. We'll get the hell out of here with that stuff. Yeah. Yeah, it makes much more sense to phrase it in this way. And like, yeah, it seems like it was, as you said, a very ambitious goal and one that, that not all of those things got transferred, which is, I mean, that can happen in strikes, but it's also like it's a non-economic thing that the university could have given to you all that it wouldn't have had to have, you know, I mean, and the university has a lot of money and it would be very possible for it to pay graduate students away to ask for at the start and post-grad postdocs and could be paid the way to say I was for two and it wouldn't really have the university. They could, they could, you know, if they're a million ways, I could fund that. And but well, I think that gets to the crux of why they don't do this because the thing is is that if you really think about it this way and it takes a little doing because again, we're sort of schooled dot two. Yeah. But it is a form of misappropriation of public funds. If all of the public is funding this institution and we do that through our state and our federal taxes, we do and and then of course if we get in, we're doing it through tuition and fees. And then of course the grants the university gets are also federal grants and this sort of thing. Then what you're doing is you're taking money that comes from all of the public and pre-pandemic figures in terms of like this is before the mass disabling event that the pandemic is. The 25% of Americans, adult Americans had at least one disability. So you're taking money from those folks and you're saying, but we're not going to build this public university in a way that is not only like tolerable by you, but like a place where you could thrive. It doesn't even reach tolerable. It actually drives a lot of us out of here. It worsens health and I have no doubt that it has killed people. So what happens, the reason I mentioned this is because that misappropriation of funds, that's the incentive. What can if you're going off this austerity mindset that you shut off like people from things they need, what happens to that money? Well, we have an admin that is completely bloated in size. We have every single chancellor getting a raise during a pandemic that they completely blew in terms of public health protections, in terms of accessibility even to people when they needed it during the pandemic. Like if they hadn't been fighting accessibility that long, we would have handled the pandemic better because we would have had better online pedagogy already available and developed. Yeah. So it is, that's a kind of jump that people don't make, but that's exactly what's going on. That's why they have the interest in putting this rationing and policing bureaucracy together to like not many disabled people even get here because this is of course not the only ableist institution. It's hard to even get here. But then when you get here, they want to reduce who can get their access needs met and then the access needs being met is such a gauntlet. And only the most privileged of disabled people can get that. And so, you know, as far as disabled people at, at you see who are in the system, so to speak, you know, are registered or whatever, that's going to not at all be representative of the public. That's going to be mostly white folks with some access to privilege, you know. Yeah, of course. I think you've given a good sort of elucidation of why it's a struggle that obviously everyone should be part of and everyone should be getting behind because it's all of us are invested in this and all of us are paying for this university, which isn't accessible right now. So, I wonder, like, what's your advice because there are unprecedented numbers of people forming unions, right? Like Starbucks being one example that we see a lot of coverage of, but all across the country, there are more people forming unions and more people going on strike. How should they organize around similar things? Like, how should they organize around getting these access needs met? Well, I think, I think you have to start by sweeping your own side of the street, which is that you have to make sure that your union communications, your meetings, everything about your union is accessible. And if you don't know how to do that, then that's where you start. You start with learning what accessibility is and how to make things accessible because what we found when we started, when we came out kind of UC Access now, did, well, as you can imagine in a society where there are quite strong financial punishments for even identifying as disabled. And what I mean by that is, like, say, again, here on UC Davis, you were talking about how hard it was for you to get parking, right? When you had a shadow pelvis, how it was to go every single day here on campus, there are able employees driving trucks and vans that they drive straight up to the door of the building on the sidewalk, blocking egress for actual disabled people and actually blocking fire egress out of the building because that's what's, you know, because they can't be bothered to walk 20 feet from the legal space that they have already have the privilege of being on campus compared to everybody else, right? But they had to have it even more convenient to that and they drive straight up to the door, right? Nobody gives them, nobody says boo about that. Nobody says you need to get a medical documentation. Nobody says you're getting fined and you don't get to drive this campus truck again or whatever. None of that goes on. What would happen? I guarantee you, if that employee identified as disabled all of a sudden, then they would come down on that person for what they're doing. It's a real, so because of these things, there's a lot of incentive for people to hide their disability because you get a, there's a lot of stigma, but there's also a real, quite real financial hit to it. And so what happens once you sort of create a safer space to talk about it, people will start DMing you, you know, and they will let you know that they're starting to have problems on the job or whatever. They may not be ready to come out for those, like some people it's obvious they're disabled, right? It's not even like they have a choice about quote unquote coming out, right? Yes. But for other people, it's not obvious unless they tell you and they have a lot of incentive to not, you know, identify that way. But when you make your union safe and inclusive and accessible place, you will find that you have already been making assumptions about what your union membership is. So you already have members who are disabled. It's just that they're not telling you about it. But furthermore, if your union starts really becoming an accessible inclusive place, you know, not performative really being there, like your, your communications are accessible, you're clearly educating yourselves around ableism, educating yourselves around accessibility. So like when you have your meeting, it's not in a room that isn't wheelchair accessible that doesn't have a working elevator on that floor or all these things that people kind of don't think about until they're the one with the broken leg. Then that really goes some way to helping you organize things and you will find you already have members that you can tap, you know, because they'll start to feel more, more involved once they see you're willing to go to bat for them. And what I would say that peaks folks should learn from the UC UAW experience right now. And this doesn't just refer to disabled workers. It's really other marginalized workers, which is you know, if you're in a contract bargaining situation and it's clear that like you're the bargaining chip, like why would that why would that group want to hang with you? You're you're saying support us in what we want, but we're going to desert you when it's your time. You weren't going to depend on the fact that everybody likes more pay. And we're just going to say, okay, you're going to stick with us and work, you know, with the union no matter what. It's like, no, a lot of people are going to go, well, I'm sticking, you know, you clearly don't support me, so I don't see why I need to go with you and put myself at risk. Because if you win, I'm going to get the raise anyway. And if you don't win, well, then that's good for you, because now you know how it feels like to be tossed aside. So you have to really be there for your marginalized workers. You know, it has to be this non-performative thing. But the thing is is that if you are non-performative about it, you are you're making the workplace not only better from disabled workers you already have, but you are making it better for yourself. Because every single one of us pretty much is going to be disabled either temporarily or permanently at some point in our lives. It is the easiest club to join. And you know, I think as we found during the pandemic, you know, a lot of people, they make this, they say, oh, online sucks, online school sucks. Why does it suck? Because you never invested in it. It's like several decades old. You never invested in it. You never put any effort or money into it. Like that's, you know, so if you want your workplace to be a good quality workplace for you that is not only just like a place you barely, you know, feel okay going to, but like someplace you really, we spend most of our lives in the workplace, you know, especially as gratitude and see. Right. So it should be someplace that really makes us feel better and fulfilled because nobody works well when they're stressed out. Nobody, you know, you're not productive when you're constantly stressed. So this really should be a win-win all around. And you think about it this way also, which is that, you know, and this is particularly applicable when it comes to UC. And, you know, the pandemic is another great example of this. This has gotten a little bit of focus in the press, but I don't think as much as it deserves, which is that you have this not only an event where millions of people died globally, right. But you have, you have quite a few people, they have long COVID, they have other things. People who arrive at UC and particularly who go, you know, get to the point they've got their degree or whatever, you know, these are people who are trained, highly educated, trained in a certain thing, they're making contributions to their field. Do you really want it to be that we lose all the knowledge that these people have, all the the institutional memory and experience that these people have just at a time when we're facing an incredible crisis as a planet, you know, in terms of climate change and in terms of, you know, the attacks on democracies and things, or just even what the people mean to their community, right. You know, you're talking about the fabric of your community. If you make it, if you have an inaccessible workplace, if you have an inaccessible school, if you have places, you know, in the public square that are not accessible, you're making it so that when somebody becomes disabled and that person could be you, you may never be able to practice the thing that you love and you've trained for your whole life. And the community loses what you could bring to this at a time when we need more than ever, every all hands on deck to be like solving climate change and other problems that face us. Yeah, yeah, that does, it's very well said actually, that yeah, so certainly made a very good case. So I wonder, I mean, obviously the negotiations are still ongoing, at least for the S.R.U. and for I think for the TAs as well. So what can people do to support the demands that have been made? Like how can people, maybe who are not part of the union, who are not part of the UC even, or perhaps undergrad to, or part of the UC, but not part of the union? How can they show solidarity and support here? Well, I think part of it is, you know, not giving up on the idea that we can press for the original access needs article. I know there's all sorts of like, you know, technical rules about regressive bargaining, but honestly, I think UC has broken a lot of the rules of bargaining, so I don't see why that doesn't, you know, what's good for the goose is good for the gander as far as I'm concerned, but there's also even outside of bargaining, you know, as I said, a lot of these things are things that UC routinely breaks ADA. You see routinely breaks, there's other parts of disability law in terms of Section 504, the Rehabilitation Act, and there's some California laws as well as my understanding of it. So, you know, you see, just as they have this rationing and policing agency bureaucracy, and it's two separate silos, one for students and one for workers, and they do that, like even the fact that they do that communicates that it's not about offering accessibility as a default, because why would you have two silos for that? Well, you have two silos for that because the law that affects students and affects workers are slightly different. So, what you're coming from is this aspect of we are dedicated to only doing the barest minimum of the minimum required by law. So, we don't even want to meet that minimum required by law. It's like, you know, you want to offer minimum wage, but if you can get away with it, you're not even going to meet minimum wage, and you have a lot of lawyers and a bureaucracy to make it possible for you to do that. That's what UC does. So, that kind of stuff is stuff that outside of even a labor contract, you should be able to write the governor, write the lieutenant governor who's actually got a seat on the Board of Regents, write your California legislators. You know, when there was a, there was a NIMBY HUSSUD Cal, this was in the news this year. There was a NIMBY HUSSUD Cal to make it so the Cal couldn't make housing. And Cal or to Cal to make it so the Cal was going to have to limit how many it was admitting because in the opinion of that group, like they weren't building enough housing to take care of their students and they were crowding up Berkeley and blah, blah, blah. The outrage about that from parents who wanted to send their kids to Cal was so great that like, within a couple of weeks, the governor and the legislators had passed something to address that. If you put that kind of pressure on the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the, you know, your state legislators, they will make sure that the UC office of the president feels that pressure because these are things, these are laws, you know, at the, we had more ambitious things beyond law, but some of the things that we were that are trying to do in this contract are really just things that they're already required by law to do but aren't doing. We were trying to give it and make it so there was more teeth there because clearly the federal and state teeth weren't good enough. So we have a resist spot petition out there, but you know, to make it a little easier to contact you're, if you're a California resident, the resist spot petition would work that way. But if, but if not, you know, like I said, if you if you're a parent of a student here, you can write, if you're an alumni, you know, you can write, just really hammer them about it. Okay, yeah, yeah, definitely. I think writing does make a difference. I think especially for an institution that I don't quite know how financially dependent they are on donations, but they certainly do like to solicit them, especially if you're an alumnus because they solicit them for me a lot. I do not have that much money. So yeah, thank you very much for sharing all of that with us and I thought that was really, really instructive. How can people find you and how can people find UC access now if they want to find you online? We are on Twitter as access UC, at access UC. We are on Facebook and Instagram as well, actually is also linked in for the more business people. UC access now. And you can also reach us at UC access now at gmail.com if you wanted to email us. Wonderful. Yeah, thank you very much. Just to finish up briefly, we are going to try and make a transcripts that's available at the same time as the episode goes out. And so folks would like to read it that way. That's easier for them than we're going to make sure that we have that for this one. So yeah, if you're listening or if you think someone else that you know would like this and listening doesn't work for them, then we're going to do that. Thank you so much, Megan, for giving us some of your afternoon. And yeah, I hope you see some support and I wish you the best of luck with everything. Well, thank you so much. 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This episode is sponsored by FX's Kindred, the original series only on hulu based on the celebrated and critically acclaimed novel by Octavia e butler FX's Kindred centers on Dana James, a young black woman and aspiring writer. Dana begins to settle into her new home in Los Angeles and is violently pulled back and forth in time. She emerges at a 19th century plantation, a place intimately linked with Dana and her family. The clock is ticking as Dana struggles to confront secret she never knew ran through her blood. FX's Kindred, all episodes now streaming only on hulu. This holiday ad will be over in 27 seconds. Unlike the new Dyracel battery with powerboost ingredients that can last 19,976 seconds in your kids RC motorcycle or 6,801 seconds on your beard trimmer for this year's family photo or 15,172 seconds on your electric frother for some holiday eggnog and many more seconds to get more out of your holiday season. Dyracel, unlike this ad, engineered for more. Wow and welcome to It Could Happen here. My name is Shereen and today you are stuck with me. Yes, what a treat for all of you beautiful people out there. I've been wanting to do an episode about the World Cup for a while but I felt like there was just so much to cover and it was also happening in real time so I wanted to wait a bit so I could have enough stuff to pull from. I will say I am recording this on Monday, December 19th. It is the day after the weekend where France lost to Argentina and Argentina are now our World Cup champions. I'm happy about that. Morocco did lose last week to France which was devastating to me and my family and the rest of the Arab world because we would have loved to see them beat their colonizers but they got really far and I want to talk about the impact that that's had. They did come in fourth when they lost to Croatia this weekend as well so just in case you all needed to know that. But I will say I am really happy for Argentina and maybe it was because Morocco lost to France but I wasn't mad seeing France losing and all the celebrations I've seen from people celebrating Argentina have been so heartwarming and yeah but anyway I wanted to focus on something that I think has been so unprecedented and beautiful and singular and I think deserves more coverage and that is this show of Palestinian solidarity that has been happening during the World Cup. It is so cool and I want to talk about why it's happening, the circumstances that could lead to this happening and what it means because I think it's very significant moving forward when it comes to Palestinian rights and Palestinian support. So let's get into it. There's a great article by British Palestinian writer Hamza Alisha titled Palestine is the biggest winner at this year's World Cup and this article did such a good job compiling some key moments so I'm going to be referencing from it a lot as we continue this episode. Okay here we go. Despite the Western media doing its best to ignore it the World Cup has seen a huge tidal wave of Palestinian solidarity and it's united the Arab world in a really special way and also highlighted just how many people Arab and non-Arab alike support the Palestinian cause and so not to be too cheesy the biggest winners of this World Cup in my opinion have it even had a team at all competing and that's the Palestinians. The World Cup has been characterized by unforeseeable developments and dramatic quote unquote upsets which is a word I don't even really like even if it's grammatically correct when it's used in fucking sports jargon but I don't like it because it kind of sounds like a bad thing because it's like upset. But really I think surprises like this are a really good thing because what these upsets usually mean is simply that the underdog one which is a narrative I will always support so these surprises really started with Argentina's loss to Saudi Arabia which shocked everyone. The faces in the stadium, jaws in the floor, everyone was shocked, I watched it with my mom, it was incredible and it was truly a beautiful game. I highly recommend you at least watch some clips from it. It was fucking cool and I don't know I came out of nowhere who was really beautiful and after this victory King Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered that day that they won a public holiday to say the least everyone was losing their minds. And these surprises seemed to be endless in this World Cup mostly because as I said the obvious teams were losing to the underdogs and coming out of this one of the most consistent themes has been this overarching Palestinian solidarity that has unfolded particularly among fans of Arab nations. The 2022 World Cup was already significant on its own. It's held in Klaatad making it the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world and the Muslim world and only the second held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan. The Arab world is obsessed with soccer. An understatement to say obsessed I shit you not. It's a huge part of Arab culture, Middle Eastern culture and so this was already a huge deal to start with and I think these two things together the fact that it's very cultural and the fact that this is the first time it's been on an Arab stage. I think these two things together created the seed for Arabs and Middle Easterners to really come together in a way we've never really seen. And this first World Cup in the Arab world has captured in this symbolic way this reality where Western powers have receded in the face of their challengers. Morocco they reached the semi-finals and they played France, their colonizers which was so symbolic. Saudi Arabia humiliated one of the tournament favorites Argentina and then Tunisia did the same to its former colonizer France. Japan they beat Germany and Spain. This traditional power imbalance in global soccer and what it means for geopolitics I feel like it can no longer be taken for granted or ignored. As many as five million Moroccans live abroad, mostly in Europe and they've celebrated the team's victories in huge street celebrations in France and Belgium and Spain and the Netherlands and just internationally. For Moroccans living outside of Morocco and for so many other migrants from the Arab world or Africa, they've been driven by decades of desperation in their home countries to risk everything to reach Europe only to suffer abuse and contempt. So this achievement after achievement was a huge pivotal milestone. And I think this drive has been coupled with the show of Palestinian pride in Khatar as well. There was no Palestinian team at the World Cup and yet the Palestinian flag was everywhere. Not only in the hands of celebrating Moroccan players and fans but also at every game and on the streets of Duhat and Khatar it was just overwhelming and so amazing to see. And these displays, they shocked some Israeli journalists who had been assured by their own government that the US brokered Abraham Accords that had happened between Israel and Morocco and other Arab states. They thought that this signaled that the Arab world had relinquished any pretence of advocacy for Palestinian rights. But as we see with a lot of sports, soccer creates its own form of civil society and especially because it's a huge international game in a way that no other sport really is. And also being played in a region where civil society has largely been suppressed by authoritarians. It's made it clear in this World Cup that the Arab public is not willing to follow their unelected leaders in accepting the brutality against Palestinians and what human rights organizations have called Israel's apartheid system. A.K.A. Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, violence, brutality, murder, the list can go on. I'm sure you've heard me on my soapbox before but it always bears repeating. My point is that the Arab public and the people in these Arab nations do not represent and do not necessarily believe in these leaders that again they did not elect. It's all authoritarian dictatorships and just corrupt government that I mean we can get into history another time but the disabile might have so many of these governments have been because of the Western world. Say the least. I don't know. Different episode I'm getting distracted. Sorry. Even countries that did not qualify for the World Cup are surging with this united pride and pro-Palestinian sentiment. The Palestinian cause is obviously near and dear to the hearts of many Arabs across the world and again not only is this the first time the World Cup has been hosted in an Arab country it's also probably the first time there has been such a large gathering and concentration of Arabs across nationalities gathered all in one place. And again at almost every single game there have been fans holding the Palestinian flag or banners that say free Palestine in the stadium. In their matches against Australia and Belgium respectively Tunisia and Moroccan fans each unfurled a huge free Palestine flag in the 48th minute which is very significant because this is in reference to the 1948 Necaba which translates to the catastrophe. The Necaba deserves millions of episodes on its own but essentially it was the mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing of at least 750,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948 when the state of Israel was formed. A side note that I do want to mention here is that there's an incredible film on Netflix right now that you should all go watch. It's called Farhad, F-A-R-H-A. It's about the Necaba and there's never been a film like this before and the Israeli government has been doing this like smear campaign against it and has been calling it all sorts of terrible things but the other side, Palestinians, supporters and Palestinians, they've made it so successful. They've outdone the haters I guess to say the least and it's doing really well and it's because of these supporters that it's doing so well. So I mean sorry to get a little bit tangential here but I really encourage you to watch Farhad on Netflix right now. There's never been a film about this catastrophe the Necaba. So I highly encourage everyone to watch or even just like put it on in the background while you're doing something else so it counts as views just keep supporting it. I think this is a really important time and it feels really significant that this is all happening at the same time. So anyway go watch that film. But Tunisia and Moroccan fans each at the 48th minute in reference to this catastrophe they unfurled this huge free Palestine flag and by waving that Palestinian flag Moroccan fans and players expressed a very public descent from the choices of their government and of the Western powers and as well as other Arab autocrats to abandon the Palestinians to their fate. And as they advanced Morocco was able to sustain the attention on these issues and their players proved time and time again that they are more than deserving to be playing on this world stage. Morocco was also the first African team to make this semi-finals of the World Cup which is also a significant achievement and a lovely slap in the face to anyone who doubted them. The Moroccan defense was incredible maybe some of the best defense I've ever seen but due to soccer's globalization the top players and soccer have for decades all played in Europe's elite leagues and this was the first World Cup in which all five African teams were coached by African coaches rather than by European ones and Morocco's coach in particular appears to have made an exceptional difference. During Tunisia's game against France a Tunisian fan ran onto the pitch and he waived a Palestinian flag cartwheeling in the process. The crowd erupted into chance of Palestine as he was dragged away by security and in a different match at the stadium fans chanted with spirit and blood we will redeem you oh Palestine they chanted this an Arabic and this occurred on the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people November 29 and it felt very poetic and then when Morocco knocked the former champions Spain out of the tournament the Moroccan team posed for the standard celebratory team photo and instead of holding the Moroccan flag they all held the Palestinian one a winning team holding up the flag of another country has literally never happened before and the fact that it's a Palestinian flag I don't know man chills I'm obsessed obsessed but okay I feel like I'm gonna get more rambly and distracted so before I do that let's take a break I could not think of a witty segue to get there but here are some ads okay we're back I also wanted to mention what in my opinion is the most iconic image of the 2022 world cup and that is when Morocco's Sophia and Bufal was dancing with his mom after his team's brilliant upset victory over Portugal in the quarter finals they were dancing and happy and she's wearing a hijab and it was just this pure display of joy and it just it felt really familial to me and it felt that way to a lot of Middle Easterners and Arabs and Moroccans this moment this dancing between him and his mom it was a statement of pride and of priorities and a reminder that as the mother of another great football player Zina Dien Zadan she once said that quote some things are bigger than football Bufal and his mother like the majority of Morocco's players and coaches they live in European cities and they're part of that continent's best marginalized and imbattled migrant underclass again she or hijab something that she would be barred from doing if she was a teacher or a public servant in France against all of that this moment on the field was captured in a moment of unbridled joy it was so pure and so human and just reminded everyone I hope reminded me and my family of who we are and again I think this is really significant when you think about the geopolitical implications that we've seen during these games with countries like Morocco playing against the teams of the countries that colonized them aka when they played with France it really feels like this beautiful blossoming of culture against all odds of trying to suppress it so outside the stadiums this theme remained the same when it came to Palestinian solidarity a Saudi Arabian vendor selling flags of different countries he went viral after he was spotted giving customers an extra Palestinian flag as a free gift with any purchase and so this uplifting message that has been repeated time and time again during this world cup is that Palestine can never be removed from the hearts of the people and there are so many heartwarming videos like the one I mentioned and I urge everyone to follow Palestinian accounts to keep up if you're curious I know the world cup is technically over now but these videos are so fun and joyful to watch I really felt so much joy watching them this outpouring of support for Palestine is reminiscent of an earlier time in history when the Arab world was also united in its support for Palestine the Palestinian cause was once a driving force in the policy direction of the Arab world and it reached its zenith in the 1960s when nations like Syria, Jordan and Egypt they went to war against Israel with the anti-imperial objective of regional Arab unity and Palestinian liberation however those aspirations were stomped out in 1967 when Israel quote unquote won the Six Day War or the June war which is also known as the 1967 Arab Israeli War or the Third Arab Israeli War just a very quick history lesson here this war was fought between Israel and a coalition of Arab states and it ended after Israeli tanks and infantry advanced on a heavily fortified region of Syria called the Golan Heights they successfully captured the Golan Heights after this the next day on June 10th in 1967 a UN broker CIS fire took effect and the Six Day War came to an abrupt end the casualties between the two opposing sides are basically incomparable I'm going to say some stats here but just bear with me between 776 and 983 Israelis were killed and 4517 were wounded 15 Israeli soldiers were captured Arab casualties were far greater between 9800 and 15000 Egyptian soldiers were listed as killed or missing an action an additional 4,338 Egyptian soldiers were captured Jordanian losses are estimated to be 700 killed in action with another 2500 wounded the Syrians were estimated to have sustained between a thousand and 2500 killed in action between 367 and 591 Syrians were captured it's an incomparable an insurmountable loss and I might go as far to say it was a massacre because it was so unbalanced casualties were also suffered by the UNEF the United Nations emergency force that was stationed on the Egyptian side of the border in three different episodes Israeli forces attacked a UNEF convoy as well as camps in which UNEF personnel were concentrated as well as the UNEF headquarters in Gaza and this resulted in one Brazilian peacekeeper and 14 Indian officials killed by Israeli forces with an additional 17 peace keepers wounded in both groups that's your history lesson for today at least for now but as you can imagine this was a huge loss for the Arab world in addition to sealing the Golden Heights this war led Israel to seizing and occupying all remaining Palestinian territories and as you know or should know by now Israel has maintained its control of the land at the expense of the Palestinians with Arab leaders not able to do much in protest over these years especially after this 1967 loss a lot of Arab leaders almost seemed indifferent when we fast forward to 2020 something happened that seemed like a decisive death blow to the hopes of Palestinian solidarity in 2020 the Abraham Accords were signed and these were a series of joint normalization statements between Israel and Arab countries that would theoretically pave the way for increased business and diplomatic relations the implication was that Israel could afford to maintain its apartheid rule and still enjoy warm relations with the Arab world because their politicians too were happy to willfully neglect the Palestinians officials from Bahrain the UAE and Morocco all signed the supposed quote unquote peace treaty with Israel however as we've seen from this year's World Cup the Arab people do not agree with their politicians or their decisions again most of these decision makers are not elected by their people there's a lot of corruption at play and I think it's very important to always separate a government from its people as we're seeing especially in Iran right now which is something that makes me very emotional and deserves to be talked about more I can't do addresses in this one sentence but I urge you all to keep spreading awareness about Iran please what they're doing to protesters is in humane and truly medieval recent polls indicate that the Arab public widely disapproves of the Abraham Accords strongly disagreeing with the prospect of normalizing ties with Israel as long as the Palestinians remain oppressed but if there were still any lingering doubts that these Accords are bullshit and not wanted the experience of Israeli journalists and Kletthud can be seen as this decisive confirmation that the treatment of Palestinians will actually be what dictate the trajectory of normalization. Israeli journalists broadcasting live have been interrupted by rallies of people chanting pro-Palestinian slogans and waving Palestinian flags an Egyptian man went viral after he leaned into the camera and said live on Israeli television be the Palestine fans refusing to speak to Israeli channels has also been a hilarious common occurrence one particular exchange included Moroccan fans posing for the camera before swiftly walking off upon realizing it was for an Israeli media outlet. The reporter's response was one of shock repeatedly citing that a peace agreement had been signed by Morocco thereby assuming that the Moroccan people themselves endorsed the notion that Israel's crimes could be whitewashed and forgotten and again highly recommend you watching videos they have brought me a joy that I haven't felt in literal years and it's just beautiful and most importantly hilarious to see I highly recommend there are silver lining sometimes to life and I feel like there are enough terrible things happening where a little joy is fine and seeing Israeli journalists being humiliated thank you thank you world there's a thread on Twitter of world cup football fans refusing to speak to Israeli channels I'll try to put that in the notes somewhere but regardless highly recommend looking up these videos just again beautiful beautiful stuff and as I mentioned Israeli journalists often seem bewildered as to why they are being boycotted an Israeli reporter told the New York Times I really changed my mind here at Gatad we are not human beings for them they want to wipe us out from the map which is obviously not true and language like this is one of many Zionist talking points that are all stupid and while Israeli journalists speculate about being wiped out that is in fact the lived reality for Palestinians under Israeli rule also there is a video that was captured and I'm sure there are many more instances like this where it was not captured on video but the Israeli police were violently cracking down on Palestinians including children who were celebrating Morocco's previous wins in occupied East Jerusalem they were celebrating Morocco becoming the first African or Arab country to reach the semi finals and they were literally beaten up there's no defense in this video that's the thing that I can't get over is the IDF accident away that is so indefensible and so obvious and you can say there may be the similar things about the police here it's mind blowing that they've been able to terrorize Palestinians for basically a century now I also want to play this video well you're going to hear the audio there is a Palestinian activist online that I really admire he's always posting really great things and he sometimes post funny things which are very funny but his name is sublita and his handle is sbe ih.jpg and there is a video that he posted about basically what Israel has been doing just throughout even the past week when this world cup is happening and I feel like he'll say it better than me paraphrasing it so here he is let's go through everything Israel has been doing two Palestinians in the past week or so during all this hype of Morocco making it to the semi finals and these are the reasons why so many people are carrying and waving the Palestinian flag at the world cup right now including the Moroccan team after their matches first we have Palestinians who are celebrating Morocco's wins being attacked by Israeli occupation forces they're out here waving the Morocco flag trying to celebrate with them and of course it has to be cut short with Israeli soldiers coming and hitting everyone then we have a 16 year old child named Gena Zagadni who was on the roof of her house when she was shot in the face by Israeli forces during another illegal raid of the city of Genin we have another 16 year old Palestinian child a boy named the Eid i Ma'li who was also killed by Israeli forces in west of ramallah on top of those two we have four Palestinian men also killed by Israeli forces Mujah had Hamid at al-Shalebi, Walatak Damaj and Sultanize Zikadni is really forces demolished another Palestinian home in a town near Jericho then another Palestinian home in the town of Laibin Israeli occupation forces fired tear gas at journalists who were covering the Palestinian protests against the illegal Israeli settlement expansions in the town of Bitnesian you'd think that we're done but there's more we have an Israeli soldier brutally beating a young Palestinian man in Nablus the soldier sits on top of him and punches him in the head in east of hebraan Israeli forces cut down 50 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers and of course Israeli settlers continue to break into al-Upsamas under the protection of Israeli occupation forces this is why everyone is living in Palestinian flag at the world cup this is why that Tunisian man randomly ran through the match with the Palestinian flag or why Israeli reporters are being ignored and shunned these are the reasons why not because anti-Semitism is because Israel is literally killing Palestinians it rather just blame it all on anti-Semitism instead of simply holding Israel accountable for their actions everything I just listed happened in the past like 10 days putting aside everything that Israel has been doing to Palestinians for the past well almost a hundred years now so don't be surprised when people stand with the people of Palestine last week marked six months since LG's e-registering Abu Eqle was assassinated by Israeli forces and while her death did attract more coverage than is usual and parked at her being an American citizen it was unfortunately not an exception since the year 2000 50 Palestinian journalists have been murdered many many more civilians including children have been murdered so if media representatives or journalists from any partite state can't seem to understand why the reception to their presence has been so cold they just are better off examining why that is and why their government is actually the one attempting to wipe a people off the map even in the weeks during this world cup Israel has killed multiple Palestinians has murdered multiple Palestinians they killed a 16 year old girl when she was on her roof searching for her cat she was shot four times twice in the head how can you justify that they're claiming it was an accident but it's similar to what police say here when they shoot someone multiple times in the back and then blame it on the person that they murdered and the family that they destroyed XYZ etc etc and just to put it in perspective Israeli forces have killed over 215 Palestinians this year making it the deadliest year and over a decade Israel is the one who does not see Palestinians as it's proven time and time again by their actions as human beings something so significant is that the public support of Palestinian solidarity has not been confined to only fans of Arab nations resilient fans also proudly raised the Palestinian flag and Uruguay supporters have been spotted donning the Kofia which is the symbolic black and white scarf that has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance and they're also wearing pro-Palestinian shirts with fans insisting the Palestinian people deserve freedom one clip that also went viral on social media featured an English fan who during an interview with an Arabic channel confessed that his Arabic wasn't really that strong and then he shouted free Palestine in great Arabic and then he broke into this free free free chant with everyone around him again joyful beautiful stuff that just proves that this kind of support works and it grows and it spreads and so all this really goes to show is that while Arab governments have been normalizing relations with Israel that sentiment is not reflected in the streets and Arabs and non-Arab's alike are more passionate than ever about the Palestinian cause some Palestinians living in Kothalad have referred to the world cup as a quote golden opportunity to introduce our cause and this intent has been received enthusiastically to say the least and yet in the face of such an unavoidable talking point there's been a striking if not unsurprising radio silence from Western media it's a huge reason why I wanted to talk about this in an episode I found it so strange that my family and friends who were tuned into the world cup were constantly talking about something that hasn't been covered at all by Western media at least not in a real honest way if anything the world cup has ignited Islamophobic and Orientalist tropes in some Western news coverage which I think is so shameful for example I'm gonna go through a little list that El Jazeera shared a Dutch newspaper published a cartoon of Moroccan men stealing the world cup trophy and this image they're on a bike and they're grabbing this trophy from a white man they're depicted as not white obviously and it just reinforces these stereotypes of young Arab men in the Netherlands being seen as criminals another example is okay so when Muslims put up an index finger it's what we call deathweed which is to signify the oneness of God because Islam there's only one God just like all the the big three as far as religions go but when these Muslim teams are winning the gestures from the players like sometimes you'll see a player raising an index finger or raising two index fingers and so this fucking German TV news anchor responded to Morocco's success by suggesting that these players that are raising their index fingers are showing support for ISIS and some fans have responded to this with humor but at the same time it's like you're laughing only because it's sad and maddening another example is a cartoon in a French newspaper it depicted cathode as national team as bearded caricatures that were playing soccer holding rifles and machetes is such an ugly cartoon and I have no idea why they insist on making these artistic depictions I think they know because it's gone people riled up in the past it's almost like they're like poking the bear so it's kind of annoying that's so childish in my opinion but again terrible depiction of Arabs what's new and then another example is a photo caption in a British newspaper stated that catholites are not used to seeing women in western clothing when in reality about 87 percent of cathode population is from other countries including western ones and this caption was later removed another example yes there's still more is that a French journalist joked about there being a lot of masks in cathode as if that was something like notable to be aware of yeah no shit people are fucking Muslim cathode and then a Danish TV channel literally compared Morocco's players who were celebrating by hugging their mothers on the field they compared them with monkeys on live television TV 2 news they showed a segment in which the anchor soren libert he held up an image of monkeys embracing while talking about maracos national team players hugging their mothers and while comparing black and brown people with monkeys is a common unsurprising racist trope it was still pretty upsetting to see it happen in this year of 2022 whatever I just think the obvious orientalist nature of western news really came out in full force for some of this coverage but yeah I just think these kind of depictions and coverage it reinforces stereotypes that are harmful and shameful and further makes immigrants and people of color in countries that they immigrate to just get terrorized and I just wanted to bring up some examples to remind you that news sucks most of the time okay the world cup and all the joy and pride that's come from it is all my family and I'm sure most air families have talked about for the last month and I feel like it barely registers here you have no idea how happy I've seen my parents and my mom in particular just text me updates or watching a game with me we're all so united in a way that I haven't felt before and it's just really beautiful and reminds you that border they're all made up and in the end we're all the same people fighting for the same things notoriously large sections of US and British media have engaged in the practice of deceptive framing and untrue coverage when it comes to covering Israel's treatment of Palestinians we've seen this in inaccurate headlines the twisting of words and the general constant anti-Palestinian and pro-Israel bias that is almost always present when western media talks about Palestine and if Palestine rises in the political agenda western media is quick to disparage it in the UK when a labor party candidate made reference to Palestine during the campaign in 2021 the liberal leaning new statesman magazine referred to it as quote unhinged and an obsession British Palestinian writer again Hamza Ali Shah writes in his article do people suffering from decades of cruelty deserve support apparently not if they're Palestinian it's characteristic of this bias that while human rights have been a hot topic throughout the world cup and fans across the world are being commanded to speak out against injustice the outpouring of Palestinian solidarity has largely been ignored and this unfortunately isn't surprising but it doesn't make it any less disappointing he continues as it maintains its rule Israel has spent years with unconditional assistance from the western world cracking down and suppressing Palestinian solidarity we are under no illusions that the outpouring of support at the world cup will cause the occupation to grind to a halt or prevent Palestinians from being killed as a British Palestinian he says I often see the misery of my family who are living under occupation gets swept under the carpet by the international community as a result it's hard not to exist in a perpetual state of despondency but seeing the Palestinian flag hoistive so proudly during the world cup has been heartening because it provides new grounds for hope and it shows that this is by no means a solo struggle and that the commitment to Palestinian liberation remains as unshakable as ever that was the end of his article and that's a great place to end because that was fucking great and poetic and I hope that you also go watch the movie Fetha on Netflix it's really important and it all goes hand in hand with supporting the Palestinian people and continuing to raise awareness because that's a huge reason why we've gotten this far and the culmination of all of that being broadcast from the world cup internationally is just been really really incredible and beautiful to watch and yeah that's the episode until next time I don't know go watch Fetha that's the only thing I can really say and I hope you all have nice holidays whatever you do yeah have fun good bye this episode is sponsored by FX's Kindred the original series only on Hulu based on the celebrated and critically acclaimed novel by Octavia E Butler FX's Kindred centers on Dana James a young black woman and aspiring writer Dana begins to settle into her new home in Los Angeles and is violently pulled back and forth in time she emerges at a 19th century plantation a place intimately linked with Dana and her family the clock is ticking as Dana struggles to confront secret she never knew ran through her blood FX's Kindred all episodes now streaming only on Hulu this holiday ad will be over in 27 seconds unlike the new 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legitimately one of my first memories is just I have the words engraved into my mind hanging chads and so we we we will get to what exactly that is but the 2000 election was one of the most chaotic elections in in the history of the United States now the US has a long history of really really weird elections I mean you know from from the perspective of sort of like is the US representative democracy I think there's a pretty good argument that no election until like after the civil rights act is even sort of a legitimate election but you know I mean in so far as you like consider elections to be legitimate which you know okay but you know the US is no is no stranger to someone I winning an election than not taking office there are in fact there are if you go back into your break in history there were two different elections that are called the corrupt bargain there's a John Quincy Adams in I think it's yes it's in 1824 makes this really really weird alliance with the original American political sleazeball Henry Clay to get himself installed as president although that that that is an election that's like truly an election with a no heroes where it's it's John Quincy Adams Henry Clay allying to bring down Andrew fucking Jackson so you know no heroes there there's there's another election after reconstruction which is the end of reconstruction where the Republican party literally trades and like trades ending reconstruction for putting their president in office after a truly genuinely wild set of voting results happens where like all of the votes are in a box and the two parties are fighting over like who's going to count the votes because the guy who counts the votes from like the box is the person who's going to determine who wins the election and so there's this whole negotiated thing where the the 1800s like racist Southern Democrats are like okay it will give you will give you this election if you promise to pull troops out of the south so okay you know American elections have always been sort of more fraudulent than people given credit for but the 2000 election even by the standards of like an American election is some bullshit so let's let's let's go back let's go back to the version of the story the year is 2000 for the last time in human history humanity has taken collective action to stop an independent catastrophe having by the the heart-wending labor of a bunch of cis admins including a guy that I knew growing up who spent fucking New Year who literally spent New Year's Eve until the bell ring like basically in a closet with a bunch of computers at his job trying to make sure what UK wouldn't happen but you know we did it actually we we actually did it there was there was there was like you know there was human collective action to stop a major catastrophe from happening and Al Gore a Democrat who claims to have invented the internet is running against Harvard educated Harvard and actually Yale educated oil man caused playing as a cowboy whose name is George Bush and I I God I don't know I don't I feel like people have kind of forgotten how really genuinely sleazy George Bush was like he has this sort of public like you know the one of the reasons he's wins elections is he has his public image is like the guy who you know like I've been wanting like he he's the presidential candidate who you'd want to have a beer with but again like literally everything from he's like public manorisms down to like the minutia of his accent to like the stupid cowboy hat that he wears all of this this is bullshit right this is a fucking Harvard guy and all of this is you know completely and intricately manufactured by a set a set of for like very very very like sleazy but incredibly ruthless and efficient republican political operatives now George Bush's father is George H. W. Bush who was the first to the only director of the CIA to become president so yeah Bush Bush is running on this sort of neo conservative alliance of Texas oil and men evangelical hardliners weapons contractors um the weapons contractors part uh winds up being incredibly relevant when 9-11 happens and both Bush and dick his co- what's his called vice presidential I I guess candidate at the time but his vice presidential selection Dick Cheney who is like Dick Cheney like saying that he's like the physical human embodiments of the military industrial complex is underselling how closely tied um kickcheney is to the military industrial complex and you know like this is part of the reason why the war in Iraq happens because again like this entire coalition is just like it is it is the it is is the the sort of height of the the the military petro dollar coalition just a a a coalition of peer evil like fueled by war profits in homophobia and but you know part part of what's been happening in in this entire period is this is this is the year after the battle of Seattle on the anti globalization movement hasn't been smashed but again this is this other thing is this is pre 9-11 right this is this is a very very short period of time where like in between the battle Seattle and I I just 9-11 where American politics are very very very weird and you get another thing that we don't really have now but it from the 90s until about 9-11 kind of existed were that which was that there was a period where third parties kind of mattered ish like Ross pureau like in the 90s arguably maybe could have won the 1992 election if you hadn't just like given up but yeah you know what what what one of the sort of products of this is that the green party is actually a real thing in in 2000 in a way they're kind of not right and this has been this sort this sort of unfolding of a bunch of left wing social movements into which is absolutely disastrous attempt to enter party politics but they pull you know to this the thing and no one has ever heard the end of but they pull a bunch of votes into Ralph Nader in Florida which winds up being a big deal but the product of this is that this election is on a just on a knife's edge both sides of this election are unbelievable be close the entire election comes down to Florida now the problem with the entire election coming down to Florida is that the American electoral system is a fucking joke it is a disaster it is a a genuine embarrassment the United States is a country that has more resources than like it it it it has enough resources that like gangus con would weep like it has a genuinely unfathomable amounts of resources and its election system is basically run by a bunch of weird dipshit like party if like local like like a weird patchwork of like completely underfunded and overworked local government officials who never have real budgets and who just spends like two months not sleeping with their like three co-workers trying to make the elections work and this is really weird because like most places on earth that have elections there's like you know a national thing that sort of does the elections and the US like no no it it relies heavily on volunteers it's just like this weird patchwork quilt of stuff and Florida being Florida a bunch of stuff goes very wrong very quickly there's two very famous ballot problems the most famous of which is hanging chads so okay okay what what what is a hanging chat for people who've forgotten or people who you know worked alive then which I realized is I man the fact that the fact that I have co-workers who were not alive for hanging chads is really really disturbing thought but okay so what is a hanging chat um the answer is that in Florida the way this ballot works is that you have to physically punch holes in your ballot in you know you punch a hole in the place like it okay so today right when you fill in a ballot you have to like fill in a square right with a pencil I in in in Florida you have to like hold punch that square this is maybe the worst ballot design I can possibly imagine and it goes terribly wrong a bunch of these hold punches basically don't actually remove all the paper and there's there are so many ways so many ways that this gets fucked up the the hanging chat is the most famous one that hanging so the chat basically it's the piece of paper that when you punch the thing with like the whole punch it's supposed to like it's the paper that the paper that comes out of the hole right a hanging chat is when you do the whole punch thing but the chat is still connected to the piece of paper by like one corner but but but again less less do you think there's only one way that these ballots get fucked up no no no there's there are like there are unfathomable number of ways that these ballots don't punch correctly they're they're swinging door chats there's trichets there's dimpled chats there's pregnant chats it's unbelievable and a bunch of people's votes just don't get counted because these ballots the reason they're doing these whole punch ballots is that these these these are these are you know this is supposed to be like a fancy new like voting technology right then and the new voting technology is these voting machines and the way the voting machine works is basically the voting machine can check if if if there's a hole there and if there's a hole in the paper that it counts you as it that it counts as the vote but if the entire chat hasn't been punched out it won't count your vote this is a problem and there's a nother problem uh and and that problem is the butterfly ballot so the butterfly ballot was originally is is this ballot they're using in Florida that was originally designed to help elderly voters um it's supposed to be the the the the the goal of the ballot is to have larger font sizes to make it work accessible for people which this is good right like okay I I support I support accessible designs for accessible design for voting the problem is this ballot is designed like shit other way works is there's a two page ballot with like a crease in the middle right it's kind of like a book right it's like you unfold a book in the middle of the ballot deal and and on on on both of these pages there are like the different candidate names in parties the problem is in order to pick a candidate you have to punch just like a hole you have to punch one of this one of these sort of circles but these circles are in a line down the middle of the crease of the ballot right so you have you have candidates on both you okay you should you should Google what these look like because it's kind of hard to explain but basically what's happening is that there are there are different party names on each side of the ballot but then in order to pick which party you're voting for you have to pick for a specific hole that's supposed to be next to the like the candidate you supported in the middle of the page the problem is these are all in a line right they're all a straight line which means that two candidates can be like across me turn on the same page or on opposite pages and then there's two holes that are like right next because the holes are both the middle of the ballot right so the youthy situations where for example for and this the one that's important inside of the there's like two lines and then there's like it says algorithm in it right and inside of those two lines in in the in the in the middle of the page there are two holes and one of these holds votes for Gore but the other one of those holes I is is is for the candidate on the other side of the page which is reform party candidate crypto fascia's goal pap you can in and the result of this is as people start looking through these things were uh pap you can in has a bunch of voters from democratic party strongholds and like also particularly like a bunch of like democratic Catholic voters vote for Buchanan and Buchanan himself is like there's no way this is real like Buchanan's like you know he he's he's a figure will probably like one day do like a will probably talk about more on this podcast yeah that we there's behind the bastards episode about him he is a he is a fucking Nazi uh he sucks ass but he's also so he's some a kind of evangelical who like really really really fucking hates Catholics and you know so there's a bunch of these Catholic like democratic voters you voted for this guy and everyone's like what the fuck happened here the thing that happened here is all these people got confused and and yeah so that this is a disaster on a hundred million levels and when we come back from ads we will talk about the product of all of this which is not good all right we're back so on election night the media starts to call Florida for Gore based on exit polling but they start getting calls for republican political operatives saying hold on hold on it's actually too close to call and the initial count from Florida has the republican party ahead but when I say the republican party is ahead they're ahead by like 1600 votes and so this triggers a mandatory recount but and this and this is another problem with this right we we've gone through at length all of the problems with these ballots right the recall that they do is a recall using the voting machines and those voting machines are guess what the ones that are if you if you rerun a fucked up Chad ballot through the same voting machine it's going to get a fucked up result so okay so they they run this again and the difference in votes comes down to like 500 votes and at this point gores campaign requests a manual recount they want people to look at the ballots by hand and figure out who people actually voted for because these machines are a fucking shit show but in any kind of sort of like you know and even remotely competent or sane like democratic political system there would be a bunch of people doing this like they're you know like when when an election happens they would be just a very very large number of people mobilized to make sure that it runs smoothly there's not there's like a bunch of like unbelievably overworked and underpaid some of you are people who also people who are just fucking volunteers like a bunch of just random like unbelievably exhausted like local election officials who have to do this recount and this is where the bush campaign sees their chance to steal the election so the election happens on November 7th and on November 11th the bush campaign sues to stop the recount now we talked on a previous episode a while back about the democrats how they they have this line in the 2000s about how they're part of the quote reality based community and how this is a reflection of you know if you look at the whole quote which is probably a republican political strategist I what what's actually what they're saying here is that what what's happening is that the the democrats observe reality while the republicans set out to define reality and this is the moment this election is where we get to see how the dynamic we we get to like really first see these these principles in action oh I'm gonna read from the lush and post here unlike the gora campaign which focus on filing motions in florida courts to keep the recount going in key counties like Miami Dodd the bush campaign waged a broader costlier effort on multiple fronts blickman said it was a three pronged effort he said it was a court battle it was a recount organization and it was also a PR effort because a third of voting effort ended the campaign never did until there was a definitive winner so what happens here is republicans start this massive media blitz to convince people that bush actually won the election and this this is a really really important moment in sort of american history because it's one of the things that solidifies um it's one of the things that solidifies sort of like like owning the lib for example it's like a major point in it's like like one of like the key focal points of the american republican politics and this is eventually going to consume like all of their politics right until we when we get to sort of you know like now right where that's like we're owning a lib is the only thing this is about you know this this had owning the lips is kind of like it's it's been a part of republican politics for a long time but this is where we really start to see it sort of consuming everything and okay if you look at their like like what they're saying by modern standards it is incredibly weak shit right this is like this is a culture that is just a bird from the 1990s nobody has invented real postage yet but it is real only lip stuff like they have this whole campaign where they call the Goylea remain campaign sore loser man and everyone has like sore loser man hats and like they have all these like printed signs and like t-shirts and they're selling merch and you know and so you know the the the running basically an op and they're running an opt to convince everyone that like no actually we legitimately won this election and it's over and the recounts just people being but heard they lost and this is where things get really really weird so in my Emmy dawd where there's a man who recount going on a bunch of protesters in fancy suits show up but start screaming at election workers now if this was the old democratic party machine like LBJ would have personally pushed six of these guys out of window and the recount would have been run by like 60 of the burliest dudes the entire Chicago mob but this is the incredibly decrepit 2000 democratic party who have replaced all their mob guys with consultants and these people legitimately like you know that they believe in the rules and the norms and the process and the result of this is that bush literally destroys the entire United States and pro I I think in like irrevocably damaged like the entirety of the of you know like what whatever is left the American democratic system so how how this is achieved but back Miami Dod this democratic party operative is seen walking around the recount area with a ballot now this is a blank ballot right this guy is going to see he's going with an election official to go see if he can replicate like the like how the haing chas stuff happens to prove that like this is what's going on but they're probably can see this guy they immediately start screaming about how the democrats are stealing the election and they like beat the share out of this guy and just a full on riot starts in this government building and it works the recount stops the election workers are terrified I the recount yeah like the all everything like everything stopped for the day they can't do anything and the next day the recount is is fully stopped it never resumes and the republicans are stunned by this they assume that like you know the political operatives doing the rioting we're going to like face some opposition to the democrats on the ground for you know like literally assaulting and intimidating a bunch of election workers in order to like stop votes from being counted but there's they they don't there's nothing there's no resistance at all um here's a quote from Douglas hay who is a or a republican political operative who's one of the organizers of the Brooks Brothers riot who he tried to do a redemption arc in the media in 2020 to sort of like be like oh I was part of the Brooks Brothers riot but even I think the stop the steel stuff is bad which like I think my man doth protest too much um here's just a quote so I still don't understand how it was so we completely outmatched the democrats hay says and this is how bush wins the election the supreme court which again it should also be known the supreme court is staffed by a bunch of George H. W. Bush appointees um eventually hears the clayette case and decides that the constitution says that the winner has to be declared by a certain time so there's no time for a recount and they have the election to Bush and this is achieved and this is possible because of the Brooks Brothers riot and the Brooks Brothers riot is what this whole sort of republican operative things comes to be known because they're all wearing Brooks Brothers suits um now okay there are a lot of people involved in this riot who are like at the core of modern republican politics um yeah and neo-Goritz and Amy Cohn Barrett and I think there's actually one other like Paris the Republicans have elevated to senior office there are are multiple people on the supreme court today who were on the bush legal team when they were doing this and you know that there's also the question of the extent to which Roger Stone is involved the asked Roger Stone he claims to have organized literally this entire thing um now other people who were involved with it claim that Roger Stone was like fucked off at a hotel somewhere else and didn't which is sort of around and didn't actually organize it but either way this set a precedent for how you can rig an election which is if you if you can seize a majority on the supreme court with sort of like you know you can put your sort of loyal minions there and then you can have an initial count of an election that looked that that that looks like it's favoring you even if that's not actually true if you then have a an initial count of an election that says that you win and then you can stop and then you were able to stop votes from being counted from November until January you will win the election that is that that is the precedence that was installed by by the 2000 election and if you look at the stop the still campaign this is exactly what Trump is trying to do and literally Roger Stone is also trying to do this right this this this is this is what stop is still is I you can find Trump talking about this months before the election right this this this is why he was trying to do his whole thing about about the mail-in ballots because he and Roger Stone and sort of all the political operatives who involved in the circles were like okay so we know that a bunch of Democrats are going to do mail-in ballots because of covid because they don't want to be there at the ballots they know that the initial count is going to favor them and I think people have forgotten this but if you remember the the the the the the night of the election in 2020 I remember like like even a bunch of my friends who were like people who were you know like like fairly serious like I don't know politics nowhere people who were really deeply invested in politics like thought that Trump had won the election because the what would have been counted on that night was just was just the the sort of initial it wasn't counting the the mail-in ballots and so yeah the the plan was just to delegitimate mail-in ballots in the eyes of sort of the the the well mostly the Republican base but like sort of the American populace as a whole and then have a bunch of people physically assault these centers to get them to stop the the the places where these votes are being counted to get them to stop the count and it doesn't work and it doesn't work I think partially because but yeah those feelings like one of the things is that you know you can't if you're gonna do a play like this you have to run it like you you you are relying on the sort of physical intimidation of the court workers but mostly what you need to do is make sure that it's stuck in a court fight and the problem is that like the the the sort of modern like Trump base people like they don't have any competent lawyers so rooted Juliani is like trying to do this shit or whatever but like that guy I don't know that that guy may have known what a law was in like 1973 but his brain has been just melted by like inhaling a gar smoke and truly copious amount of drugs so you know they're not they're not really able to sort of pull this off but Bush is and the result of this is the American reaction to that 11 is the war in Iraq is basically the the the sort of complete annihilation of like the con like like this is lightning exaggeration but like the concept of freedom in the US like the ability for you not to be constantly surveilled the ability for you to like you know live live live live in a society in which there's like every single thing you do isn't being monitored by a thousand different kinds of police stations who are all sharing your tweets so they can fucking grab people out off of the road and fucking non-marked vans right like that's all stuff that is a specific product of the sort of kind of fascism of the Bush administration deploys and they're able to do this because they just trade up still an election and now we all we all sort of just live in the permanent after life of the Brooks Brothers riot this is what January 6th was this is what stop the steal is and it's what the it's what the modern public and party is so yeah I happy holidays everyone I hope you have a good new year and in Shalav we will destroy these fascist Republican bastards and make sure that none of them ever get to do this again this episode is sponsored by FX's Kindred the original series only on Hulu based on the celebrated and critically acclaimed novel by Octavia E Butler FX's Kindred centers on Dana James a young black woman and aspiring writer Dana begins to settle into her new home in Los Angeles and is violently pulled back and forth in time she emerges at a 19th century plantation a place intimately linked with Dana and her family the clock is ticking as Dana struggles to confront secret she never knew ran through her blood FX's Kindred all episodes now streaming only on Hulu this holiday ad will be over in 27 seconds unlike the new Dura-Sale battery with power boost ingredients that 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wanting to talk about ever since we started the show how telling your kids that Santa exists is actually child abuse this is very exciting and glad we can have this civil discussion to to to cover these these hard hitting topics that are impacting us most in in 2022 I'm trying to say this is like a santa abolitionist or something yes I I think the the fact that we condone lying to children in this way every Christmas is I'm sorry but that's that's so politically unrealistic I don't know how you have a platform it can't take that seriously it teaches our kids not to trust us it's start it is really an extension of the great man theory that Santa as this man is the only one capable of delivering all these presents I think it's I think it's quite I try to say it's also a manifestation of patriarchy that's right it is it is quite it's it's quite problematic you know those elves are not getting paid you know that Santa has tried to bust unions at his workshop every year I don't think this reindeer are treated very well there is a whole a whole a whole lot of issues here yeah it's normalization of the surveillance state it that's right on the shelf classic yeah elf on the shelf came to rise after the Patriot Act was introduced condition American children into thinking it's okay to always be watched this is it's this is this is sick parents are culpable in promoting this myth I think this needs to be addressed you know what I think you know I think I think you all need to be Christmas build I don't know about you but I love I love Christmas so I think I think it's I think we need to take a Christmas bill you know of course the actual gift getting hasn't been the best you know especially one to get past a certain age it's like oh okay this is what it is then but you know the unity in the joy and the excitement I mean what about that you know the color the food and the drink getting people together um catching up you know celebrated in many different ways religiously and non-redigestly and of course it's not even celebrated at all in some places with some people um and you know they are other religious observances in holidays around this time you know like canaka and kwanzaa and whatever else but you know I think a lot of us are most familiar with Christmas and I think we are you know mostly familiar with the origins of Christmas that's not the kind of episode we're getting into here I think you know we all know about Jesus and you and satanelian all that fun stuff knows that about Charles Dickens and Scrooge and of course the the diagram of um Scrooge and cringe and you know whether or not those two concepts overlap but I want to look more to the sort of you know ideas of what Christmas is what it means you know um and really how a lot of our societies issues come to the forefront around this time of year um at the scooge of Scrooge is particularly apparent I mean for many Christmas is basically capitalism on steroids for one um and Santa have to sort of promote that from an early age as a propaganda tool of the capitalist as I'm sure that's right um what's right thank you thank you Andrew great yeah well that's the episode everybody thank you for tuning in I hope you I hope you have a good holiday season oh wait I'm I think Andrew has more to say yeah I think we're wrapping up a little bit early there you know um but you know we can't talk about the fact that you know Santa really is um a big fan of this like ultimate now you know there's GDP growth sort of inducing this this pro-crow this capitalist uh production for production seek consumption for consumption seek like the idea that Santa uh expects children to write and request something from him every single year um that he he he stakes an entire holiday upon his own business and upon his own you know production school industrial apparatus is sent around this one event um and I mean the sort of consumption we see around Christmas season is like it ramps up you know online stores department stores malls just boasting with with people um looking to buy buy buy um all around the world in America at least 2019 so Americans spend over one trillion dollars just on the Christmas season I mean it's just glorious excess honestly uh and of course there's also the excessive you know decorating and shopping and drinking and the issues and sort of a rise with um those things and that sort of over in del Junsu's part of what seriously harm the planet not to you know blame individuals and exclusively because you know obviously there's sort of things encouraged by you know advertising and by entire industries that builds around this this idea of consumerism but the holiday is basically you know you know it's become this thing where the focal point is to indulge to splooge to consume and you see a lot of Christmas movies too I mean Christmas for the crownks is one particularly iconic example and with all this you know consumerism it feels like we lose sight of the poopless you know of the gift gift I don't think we've lost our self less nature but I think we've lost some of the heart within it I think it's by design uh a natural tendency to care for the people in our lives is sort of exploited um you know we're expected by the systems are super hyper competitively in the spirit of capitalism but now we have to be super generous in caring around this time of year but just in a way that just so happens to profit countless anyways like yeah yeah be generous be caring and stuff by this gift for you know you know you loved one and I will pocket the change and I don't think it has to be that way but the commercialization of what we're once holy days is you know it tends to do that and of course with all these soup kitchens and canned food drives and red cross centers outside groceries pulling a link and for some donations um and by the way donate to red cross they kind of problematic uh salvation army do not do not donate to salvation oh salison okay either of my bad oh they always read read I think it's confusing them red cross just takes credit for anarchist projects in the relief of disasters and uh salvation army hates gay people so it also has also has shot anarchists um I think they don't talk about very much what down that should probably be an episode yeah it's another way of that but yeah yeah you know it's like all this stuff is happening and um it's like this sort of performance of all of a sudden we care about um what's the name of that little kid from christmas carol tiny tin tiny tin tiny tin all of a sudden we care about tiny tin in a system that literally requires an impoverished base of people you know poverty is certainly this virtue that we we look to help to meet the rates we care for you know we we want to uplift the tiny tins we want to warm the hearts of the scruge mcducks of the world rest of the years just like oh well you know this underclass as a patria underclass needs to exist i think the extension of our tenancy towards mutual aid throughout the year and across bonds of kid and not and kid and lake is something that we should pursue um to prefigure a gift economy um not just around a particular season but year-round i think that is both wild exercise to to look into and of course i think you know ideally you would want to see i guess i could call this my christmas wish um uh readjustment of this sort of consumption around this time of year so one that is done with a sort of a decroethmine set one of his cognizant of you know local conditions one that seeks to reduce food miles localize production consumption so that's i guess wish number one christmas wish number one let's um let's make a gift economy rather than a capitalist uh gift consumption day and of course i think i next christmas wish on this topic could be a wish for work abolition you know with all that consumption happening around this time of year it really does a number on these service and manufacturing and delivery and so on and so forth workers around the world you know work sucks in general but it extra sucks around this time of year you know with sweatshop labor with retail hell around this season it's really the opposite of peace on earth for a good chunk of the work in class you could call it the season for overwork and it's not just for um you know gays token oppressed group you know the elves like the other workers that uh be exploited that we should probably be championing yeah wait we talked about this and i a couple of the china episodes that i did but one of the big reasons for the the the sort of huge like worker uprisings in china in the last like few weeks was that like basically a bunch of people got locked into a factory because foxcon and apple were trying to hit the christmas like production targets and people started fighting the cops because they were like this actually sucks i don't want to be stuck in here being lied to you about how much i'm gonna get paid so that these companies can have their christmas sales i mean yet definitely i think it's completely fair to say that the worker elves are very mistreated um but with the exception i think of specifically the elf on the shelf elves i don't think those counters workers the other coves our cops they only function as snitches for this arena state so yes the elf workers are mistreated um and should unionize and and should should deserve way more support and possibly even the abolition of of work but the elf on the shelf elves are not workers i think that's a that's an important distinction yeah yeah it's like they're like they're class streeters more than anything exactly yeah very blatantly so yeah it really is you know the season for all for work in you know with all this it's very interesting that that's really what triggered the the protests in china i mean i would love to see celebrations and festivals have given in any sort of an archic society but it isn't fair nor is it right that these festivities are built on the exploitation of others i mean what kind of celebration is it's be hard when people are suffering in such a capacity to produce that sort of celebration and speaking of suffering i think um there are a lot of people who suffer through family around this time of year and i think some people actually appreciate having to work through the holidays because it means they don't have to deal with said family and i mean family is a big focus and the sort of culture of christmas but you know unlike the greeting cards and the billboards and stuff not everyone's family is picture perfect and holidays often open a lot of wounds and heightened red for a lot of people good people continue to hit people um and a lot of toxicity and intoxication is grot under one roof during christmas celebrations bigotry abuse that sort of thing it's not a fun time for some people and so i think it's important uh in this season and in general to let go of this sort of patriarchal and restriction designation of family in favor of something that is was subject to choice to agency uh to consent to you know more expanded forms of kinship brand people together who care for and enjoy and want to share each other's company you know create a new traditions to build new bonds of solidarity and care um i think you know opportunities like these seasons like these uh any of us to demonstrate the variety of the liberation that can be had in our projects i think it's something that a lot of people need around this season because mental health boys seem to we sun around this time of year they often toxic culture of christmas that we telly bad people's mental health you know with loneliness and depression and suicide and the struggle to care for your basic needs that alone enjoy the season and it takes some big tool on people's well-being i know it's easy to say or just go to therapy and whatever um but with the inaccessibility of therapy and the fact that uh you know therapy is not necessarily a self from material conditions um there needs to be a social safety net in place they must be healing in community and not just nice solution um and so i think the season is an opportunity to for us to reflect on that and to you know try to avail ourselves to those who um we fear my peace of freeing at this time to and if you yourself are suffering and it's trying reach out and sort of engage in that sort of mutual mutual aid i mean to your support i think there's a lot that we can reframe and reconsider surrounding christmas and for a seasonal kindness and given it unfortunately it hurts a lot of people um but that can change you know through solidarity through generosity through kinship solidarity organizing the bottom up the extension of the principle of mutual aid and to everyday life um redirecting our generosity around this time from giving to the pockets of billionaires to uh given to the people um to display our capacity for well doing uh to think locally to think DIY to think meaningful rather than to just oh add another thing to the amazon cart and of course not just physically giving gifts but also being generous with our time and our love and our care because we do need each other um not just in this time but in general i think bread santa had some entertaining suggestions for the season to bread santa of course be in bitter krabatkin he figured that we should all pose as santa clothes perhaps there as a subversion of what he represents as a capitalist but all pose as santa clothes are saint necklace and to infiltrate the stores and give way the toys um in one postcard krabatkin route but are the night before christmas we'll all be about while the people are sleeping we will realize our clout we'll expropriate goods from the stores because that's fair and distribute them widely to the who's we need care so yeah merry christmas and happy holidays to all and to all a good fight for freedom you can of course find me on youtube at andruism on to se.com slash and underscore saint true and if you want you can support me on patreon.com slash saint true and that's it for me uh for this year for it could happen here see you next year great the distraillist icon santa clause hey we'll be back monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe it could happen here as a production of cool zone media for more podcast from cool zone media visitor website coolzone media dot com or check us out on the iheart radio app apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for it could happen here updated monthly at coolzone media dot com slash sources thanks for listening this is john tomas with pop five tech stocks dot com 2023 will bring me AI revolution five tech companies are booming thanks to enormous advancements in robot it over 150,000 jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence and wise investors are cashing in right now go to top five tech stocks dot com and download my 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