TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.
In 1968, American sprinter John Carlos's famous black power salute shattered the apolitical veneer of the Olympic games, and expressed solidarity with the political convulsions of that time. Carlos has dedicated the subsequent decades to sports and social outreach—and yesterday, he joined the The Nation's Dave Zirin (who is also his biographer) to show his support for Occupy Wall Street. "We are not asking for change," he states in an interview with Democracy Now!. "We are demanding it."
You can read Zirin's column on John Carlos's trip to Zuccotti Park here.
What will an Obama vs. Cain presidential campaign look like? It will be, to say the least, "fascinating," The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry says on MSNBC's Sound Off. Cain has been a leading GOP candidate in many states and surely the most competitive African-American Republican candidate so far. Harris-Perry points out that his campaign signifies the ideological complexity in African-American communities, and as long as he doesn't reveal his ignorance on topic such as foreign policy, his folksy appeal will have some resonance.
Is Occupy Wall Street capable of bringing about concrete, social change? In the midst of an ongoing debate surrounding the protest's effectiveness, Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel ventured to Liberty Plaza to see the protests for herself. In an interview with Danny Schecter and Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, she discusses the movements admirable “moral clarity”—and its potential need for electoral energy to push for radical, systemic reform.
Was ESPN's recent firing of Hank Williams Jr. an appropriate response to his inflammatory politics—or a violation of free speech? In a spirited debate on ESPN yesterday, Nation sports columnist Dave Zirin took on the controversy surrounding Williams's comments, and discussed the problematic implications of Williams's long involvement in Monday Night football. You can read Zirin's article about Williams's firing here.
Three weeks into Occupy Wall Street, many on the right and some on the left continue criticizing the occupiers for having not come up with clear demands. The movement seems to be amorphous and not all of its participants have a list of specific items on their agenda. But should that be the reason to dismiss and diminish the movement—when it's still in its cradle? After all, Occupy Wall Street is not even three weeks old.
The Nation's Naomi Klein talked with Brian Lehrer on WNYC yesterday before she spoke at Liberty Square, the epicenter of the protests. She points out that the very organic nature of the movement—people from all walks of life coming together in common frustration with a system that allows extremely unequal distribution of wealth and power—and the greedy profit-hungry "culture" it seeks to resist pretty much determines that it takes time to formulate specific demands. But beyond demands, the situation requires imagining an entirely new yet feasible alternative structure of power. The participating youth and those in the movement who are not so young deserve support, not scorn.
Does the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has now spread from lower Manhattan to places as far flung as Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, signal a new beginning for the left? After the faltering of the anti-globalization movement in the early-2000s, the following decade saw a series of defeats for progressives. But that may now be changing, as cities across the country echo to the chants of the protester's unifying rallying cry: "We Are the 99%." On The Rachel Maddow Show last night, The Nation's Naomi Klein spoke with Ezra Klein about the massive potential Occupy Wall Street holds for reinvigorating a demoralized and disenchanted left. For more, read the speech Klein made at Liberty Square last night, Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement grows—10,000 to 15,000 people participated in the Foley Square march yesterday in Lower Manhattan—the mainstream media can no longer turn away from it. So some of them have decided to mock the movement and dismiss its legitimacy.
The Nation's Naomi Klein appeared on Democracy Now! this morning to condemn this “sick” and “corrupt” move that “welcomes” people who participate in politics. In addition, she exposes the lies of “scarcity” created by those in power to cover up the unequal distribution of wealth in a capitalist society.
New York's most powerful unions have endorsed it. CEOs have expressed vague concerns for their safety. As Occupy Wall Street gains ground throughout the country, Nation writer Kai Wright joins Democracy Now! to discuss whether the protests could evolve into a viable, populist movement.
Over 70 soldiers and students were killed yesterday in a bomb blast in Mogadishu. The militant group al-Shabab took responsibility for the attack, refuting previous claims by the Somali government and African Union that the terrorist organization had been eradicated from the nation's capital. The bombing marks al-Shabab's most lethal attack since the launch of their insurgency in 2007, and the group may soon cause even more destruction; the international community additionally blames the group for fomenting Somalia's devastating famine by refusing Western aid, jeopardizing up to a million Somali lives.
In a conversation this morning with Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, The Nation's Jeremy Scahill explains how yesterday's bombing fits into the history of terrorism in Somalia. Scahill argues that al-Shabab is the direct product of America's short-sighted and invasive foreign policy—and that American involvement in Somalia tends to benefit the very radical groups it attempts to defeat. You can read more of Jeremy's coverage on Somalia here and here.
Since the 2010 election, thirty-four states have introduced and twelve have passed legislation that sets out to impede voters’ rights at nearly every step of the electoral process. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, an independent public policy research center, the legislation in these different states could affect the voting rights of more than 5 million people. That number is higher than the margin of victory in two of the past three presidential elections. The restrictions in the legislation—requirement for proof of citizenship and government-issued photo ID, repealing election day registration, suspension of voter registration drives, shrinkage of early voting period, disfranchising former convicts who have served their time—will have an impact “most heavily on young, minority and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
The Nation’s Ari Berman sat down with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! today to explain the steps and consequences of these moves and the GOP’s systemic disfranchising effort to prevent voters from voting across the country. Berman points out that Republican officials and the pro-corporation conservative organization ALEC are behind these voter-repression drives.