11:42 GMT31 October 2020
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    The Vulnerable Suffer as Governments Use Virus to Tighten Controls

    Political Misfits
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    Across the world, some are fighting the coronavirus and the havoc it’s bringing, while others are using that havoc to tighten screws.

    Many of the US’ biggest and most ubiquitous companies still deny their workers paid sick leave, and so far the so-called party of the workers, the Democrats, is doing nothing to force their hand. Gregg Mosson, civil litigation and employee rights attorney, joined “Political Misfits” to talk about what workers can do within the framework of US law. He and hosts Bob Schlehuber and Jamarl Thomas got into the limits of laws protecting workers in hazardous conditions and what workers can and should expect in this time of global medical crisis. He had some advice for workers who are weighing their options and perhaps anticipating layoffs. 

    Sara Dady, immigration attorney in Illinois, tells the Misfits about the Democratic turnout she saw in that state and the barriers blocking immigrants and their families in the US from accessing even basic pandemic response benefits. They also discussed ICE’s work during the pandemic, the continued deportations and the four day one steps the next administration should take to unravel the US’ horrifying immigration law system. 

    Mitchell Plitnick, political analyst, author and former vice president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, told the Misfits about Benjamin Netanyahu’s "assault" on democracy, taking advantage of the coronavirus to expand the country’s surveillance state and detention powers. They’re bypassing debate in the name of emergency, and dodging protest as people follow lockdown guidelines. If it works in Israel, watch for Trump and others to follow this example. 

    Jenny Brown, author of BIRTH STRIKE: The Hidden Fight Over Women's Work and Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now and an organizer with National Women’s Liberation, discussed trends in reproductive rights and why we’re seeing some positive movement, particularly in Catholic countries. She also highlighted the need to see these and other supposedly niche concerns as part of broader social reform. Coronavirus provides a chance to examine the importance of the care work traditionally done by women and femmes. Laws providing free menstrual products for free must be only the beginning of our demands.

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    Tags:
    Israel, abortion, quarantine, pandemic, coronavirus, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19
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