Announcements 


SPECIAL REPORT: "Tortured Logic: McGovern talks about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director"

The Resistance Round Table panel interviews former CIA analyst Ray McGovern about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director who oversaw torture after 9/11. The conversation includes discussion of the U.S. as an 'out law state,' American exceptionalism and the fight to defend net neutrality. Panel: Scott Harris, Ruthanne Baumgartner and Richard Hill (49:08) May 23, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action': Understanding and Resisting Attacks on Immigrants"

Three-part excerpts from Avi Chomsky's presentations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17. Includes a historical perspective as well as a question and answer session with immigrants. Recorded and produced by Chuck Rosina, long-time public affairs and news producer at WMBR FM, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's radio station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. April 17, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action' Takes On Today's Political, Economic Challenges"

Chuck Rosina's report on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17, where members of the MIT and broader local community were given an opportunity to devote the day to engaging with the political, economic, environmental and social challenges facing us today, through learning, discussion, reflection and planning for action. Includes comments from Avi Chomsky, daughter of the renowned professor Noam Chomsky (12:58) April 17, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "Response to chemical attack in Syria – The priority must be the people"

The Resistance Roundtable panel discusses the U.S. missile strikes on Damascus and interviews Stan Heller from Promoting Enduring Peace (www.pepeace.org)about the situation in Syria and the broader Middle East. Panel: Ruthanne Baumgartner, Scott Harris and Richard Hill. April 14, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "What's next for the youth movement against gun violence?"

Tyler Suarez, lead organizer of the March for Our Lives demo in Hartford, CT on March 24, assesses the event attended by 10,000 and discusses the agenda for the youth movement going forward. Interviewed by Richard Hill.



SPECIAL REPORT: "March for Our Lives - Hartford, Connecticut" March 24, 2018

Selected speeches from the March for Our Lives in Hartford, Connecticut, recorded and produced by Scott Harris




Panel Discussion: Privatization v. Public Good and the Upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24



SPECIAL REPORT: Organized Labor: Resurgent or On the Ropes?



SPECIAL REPORT: Neoliberalism Comes Home: Connecticut's Water Under Privatization Threat



SPECIAL REPORT: Can There Be Food Justice Under Capitalism?



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Round Table – Feb. 10, 2018






Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of ConsortiumNews.com, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.



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The Resistance Starts Now!

Between The Lines' coverage and resource compilation of the Resistance Movement



SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris





SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018





SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018




SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017






SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven




2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.



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THANK YOU TO EVERYONE...

who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.


Between The Lines on Stitcher

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Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

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"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.





Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.



JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at www.WPKN.org (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.


Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016


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Public Sector Labor Unions Face Further Damage in Janus vs. AFSCME Supreme Court Case

Posted March 7, 2018

MP3 Interview with Ari Paul, independent journalist, conducted by Scott Harris

janus

For over 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the right of public sector labor unions to collect agency fees from non-union members that they represent in collective bargaining negotiations with management regarding job site working conditions which affect the entire workforce. Now, with the justices about to rule in the Janus vs. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) case, that could change.

The plaintiff, Mark Janus is an Illinois state employee who doesn’t want to pay the union fee that was established as being constitutional in the 1977 Abood v. Detroit Board of Education case. That precedent was first challenged in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Supreme Court case in 2016, which resulted in a 4-4 split ruling after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, where no action was taken.

The Janus case is supported by right-wing anti-union groups and activists, including the billionaire Koch brothers, the National Right-to-Work Legal Foundation, the Bradley Foundation and the pro-Trump Mercer family. Their objective is to further weaken labor Democratic Party candidates that unions fund, and undermine worker rights. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with independent journalist Ari Paul, who assesses what's at stake for public sector labor unions in the Janus case, which was argued before the Supreme Court on Feb. 26.

ARI PAUL: Mark Janus is a civil servant in the city of Chicago who was an agency shop fee payer in Chicago at AFSCME, who argued that it is a violation of his free speech to be compelled to pay an agency shop fee for the union that he is not a member of. The idea here that the Coalition of the Right to Work advocates say is that to have an agency shop fee violates someone's free speech because you're compelling their speech – you're forcing them to make a political statement, because if you pay the union money, you are somehow endorsing everything the union says or does in public.

The argument against that came up from the union side in the Janus case is that this opens up sort of a Pandora's box. This means that any kind of fee that anyone is compelled to pay in the public realm is then subject to litigation. For example, if a homeowner disagrees with something its local school board does, does it mean one doesn't have to pay property taxes?  If you are compelled to pay a car registration fee at the DMV, are they somehow compelling your speech?

It's sort of an argument based on any kind of payment to someone else somehow endorses everything that other person or entity stands for. But as shaky as a case that might be, it plays to the conservative majority's belief that they have said over several years, that money is considered speech and it works to their ideological stance that they would like to disempower unions. In the oral arguments, Justice Kennedy essentially stopped arguing about any constitutional issues and just scolded the solicitor from the state of Illinois to say that unions bankrupt governments, they protect bad teachers, all this sort of litany of anti-public sector union talking points. Sort of just basically showing his hand, that he just wants any kind of case to disempower labor unions.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Now Ari, one of the unstated, but certainly, one of the priority goals of anti-union legislation and this case now before the Supreme Court is to damage labor unions' ability to fund political candidates, particularly Democratic party candidates. And this, as I understand it, is really a partisan fight going here in the guise of a labor union vs. corporate issue.

ARI PAUL: Yeah, I mean, it's very clear that organized labor, with some exceptions, but for the most part – organized labor is alive in the Democratic party. More or less and especially on the local level in cities where there's a lot of union density, labor unions are powerful political players and endorsements can make or break a candidate.

And so, especially in union states with high unionization rates, like New York, California, Illinois, labor unions still are one of the forces that keep those states blue, because of their influence. In the same vein as voter suppression, it's very important for the political right to make sure they can disempower voters of colors and key states to advance and to also gerrymander districts to favor Republicans. We saw that in Pennsylvania very recently but it was struck down by their Supreme Court, by the state Supreme Court.

This is de-empowering the labor unions; it weakens the Democratic Party hand. But it's not just the ability to get behind candidates. It's also their ability to act as advocates in the workplace. It will mean if unions are living under this regime and they're losing members, that's less money for union organizers to fund campaigns, to have an office where union staffers and members can meet, strategize and organize. It's partly political, but it's also partly economic.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Ari, is there any way to calculate the damage and fallout for the public sector labor unions if this case goes the way we think it will go, in terms of a win for Janus and against AFSCME?

ARI PAUL: Yeah, in worst case scenarios, unions have the right to work states lost, the biggest loss is somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 percent, which, depending on the size of the union, can be a pretty big chunk of change. But it's also political influence.

One of the arguments that the anti-union side makes when posed with the accusation that they're not about free speech but really just about disempowering labor unions, they say well everyone is perfectly free to voluntarily pay these dues. And if the union is a "good one" people will go ahead and pay.

And there are unions that maintain high density rates. For example, in the state of Nevada, a right-to-work state, the casino workers union usually stay somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 percent. This is touted as a sort of a success story of a union operating in the right-to-work environment.

But this is where it becomes hard to calculate, because even though they're keeping the membership and they're keeping the revenue flow into the union, this means that it changes the focus of how a union operates. The organizers, rather than going out to workplaces and organizing around health and safety campaigns or for the next contract. Or going out and organizing new workplaces. They're simply having to go around workplaces and find new members and sign them up. It's a drain on union resources and union money.

So, in the worst case scenario, you're losing a lot of members. But even in the best case scenario when you keep a lot of your members, it really keeps the union overly focused on keeping members so you have a high density rate. This affects their ability to be politically lnfluential.

For more information, visit Ari Paul on related websites at jacobinmag.com/author/ari-paul; forward.com/author/ari-paul; souciant.com/author/ari-paul; /psc-cuny.org/search/node/ari%20paul.

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