17:31 GMT17 May 2021
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    On this episode of Fault Lines, hosts Jamarl Thomas and Shane Stranahan discussed a variety of issues, including who progressives should vote for or not vote for, the future of Republicans, and the People’s Party Convention.

    GUESTS

    Chris Smalls - Activist and Organizer | May Day Workers' Strike at Six Major Online Retailers

    Medea Benjamin - Co-Founder of Human Rights Group Global Exchange and Peace Group 'CODEPINK' | China/Pompeo/Inspector General

    Kim Iversen - Independent Journalist and Host of the Kim Iversen Show on YouTube | Covid-19 Response

    In Jamarl’s monologue, he said that Joe Biden's recent comments that writing and looting are not the same as protesting wasn't a valid position since Biden did not provide enough context about what may be motivating some protesters.

    Then the hosts were joined by former Amazon manager Chris Smalls, who was a speaker at the recent People's Party Convention. Smalls said it is important for progressives and socialists to stay the course and support Joe Biden, who has the support of Bernie Sanders and members of "The Squad." He said that third-party reform is important, which is why he spoke at the convention, but getting rid of Donald Trump is a priority. Smalls talked about his organizing work when he was at Amazon and how raising concerns about Amazon workers being exposed to COVID-19 had cost him personally. He also discussed his recent post showing that Amazon was looking to hire people with an intelligence community background to research union organizers, especially after a protest where they had a guillotine outside Jeff Bezos's mansion.

    In the second hour, Shane and Jamarl were joined by Code Pink's Medea Benjamin, who also spoke at the People's Convention, and she said she is "absolutely" voting for Joe Biden, even though she supports a variety of tactics to get the Democratic Party to support a more socialist agenda including third parties, influence campaigns in the Democratic Party, and voting for alternative parties such as the Green Party. Medea pondered whether one should push back on the idea that the Obama administration was worse than the Trump administration, citing the war in Yemen as an example of where the Trump administration escalated what she said is the bloodiest and deadliest conflict in the world today. Medea also said that on domestic policy the Biden administration would not be ideal but would be better than the Trump administration for a second term.

    In the third hour, Shane and Jamarl were joined by Kim Iverson, who said she had watched the People's Party Convention and was disappointed because she thinks there is a potential for a real third-party movement, but what she saw was going to be at best an alternative to a third party such as the Green Party. She said that the language at the convention was firmly rooted in standard leftist politics and argued that what is needed is a new kind of centrist political policy that also appeals to people on the right, while differentiating dissent from simple establishment rhetoric. She also agrees that while policy is important, it needs to be a more inclusive policy, and she talked about historical examples where new parties have been able to succeed, such as the Bull Moose Party in America. Kim said that she sees the issue of money in politics as a unifying issue that could bring together the Republican and Democrat base; however, she does not see either party touching that issue en masse. Kim said she also sees a possible scenario where Republicans become the party of the workers.

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    Tags:
    protest, money in politics, Donald Trump, socialism, Progressives, Joe Biden
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