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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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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



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




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2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

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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.


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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.

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"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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After 3-Year Protest Campaign, Swiss Banking Giant UBS Pulls Back from Investments in Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Posted Aug. 27, 2014

MP3 Interview with Tom Torres, organizer with the group Hands Off Appalachia, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

MTR

In November 2013, 14 activists were arrested for challenging the role financial services company UBS plays in mountaintop removal coal mining. Their protest action took place at the U.S. headquarters of UBS in Stamford, Connecticut. One group of activists scaled a crane and unfurled a banner which read, “UBS Stop Funding MTN Top Removal," while others locked themselves to a railing inside the headquarters’ main entrance.

Over the past few years, UBS has moved away from its earlier unqualified support for companies engaged in mountaintop removal coal mining that blows the tops off mountain ridges and dumps the debris into valley streams below. The mining method results in massive air and water pollution, and several studies have shown a significantly higher incidence of some cancers and birth defects among residents of communities located in coal mining areas where this extreme energy extraction practice is in use.

The Swiss banking giant’s actions over the past several months make it clear that UBS no longer thinks investment in mountaintop removal is a good business decision, apart from ethical concerns. In a statement to the local Stamford Advocate newspaper, Karina Byrne, a spokesperson for UBS Americas, said the company "fully acknowledges the importance of mining to the global economy. At the same time, it also recognizes the potential environmental, social and human rights impact of this industry sector." Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Tom Torres, an organizer with Hands Off Appalachia, the group which organized the UBS protest actions in Stamford last November. Here, he describes his group's ongoing campaign to stop mountain top removal coal mining and his reaction to the recent UBS announcement.

TOM TORRES: Throughout 2013, Hands Off Appalachia had a series of escalating actions against UBS, targeting their financial support of MTR. In the early spring, we had a lot of regional actions in the Southeast and in Appalachia, and in May, we escalated our campaign in Knoxville, Tennessee to arrestables, where three activists with Hands Off Appalachia got arrested in the protest in Knoxville – where Hands Off Appalachia started the campaign. Then in June, a group we work with, Capitalism vs the Climate, did a solidarity action with us in Stamford, Connecticut, where four activists were arrested at the protest at the UBS Americas headquarters. And so the work we were doing in Connecticut with the action camp was built off that escalating series of actions that we had been planning all year.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Can you tell us more about the history of UBS involvement with mountaintop removal coal mining, or MTR?

TOM TORRES: In 2010, UBS facilitated the merger of Alpha and Massey, which created the largest MTR company in the country. And between 2009 and 2010, UBS gave $1.4 billion to coal companies that engage in MTR – Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and James River Coal. And then, in 2011, Rainforest Action Network, in their mountaintop removal scorecard, ranked UBS as the world's third largest funder of mountaintop removal. And since then, there's been other instances of UBS, but that's the main stuff with UBS, historically.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Can you summarize what action – or maybe lack of action – UBS has taken recently regarding its financing of mountaintop removal?

TOM TORRES: Yeah, so the Hands Off Appalachia victory wasn't a recent decision that UBS publicly made; it's been a series of actions they've taken over the past two years, but especially over the several months since our action camp in November and the Stamford actions that came out of it. In 2010 UBS released a statement against MTR, but the statement, we feel, is inadequate and really vague, with no real accountability in place, and so it just states their commitment to reducing their exposure to companies that engage in mountaintop removal, but beyond that doesn't have any way of holding them accountable -- no specific numbers or targets or goals or timelines or anything like that – so we've been bringing that up and having that be a big part of our campaign, and during the Stamford actions, our ask – our demands – of that week were for them to put out a stronger statement because we had seen them kind of taking some steps – like they hadn't actively funded anyone in a while, for a few months, and so we were like, Okay, maybe this is an opportunity to push for this, for them to release a stronger statement. So we ended up meeting with executives of UBS, like their global head of social and environmental risk, their global head of sustainability, people like that, and we had an hour and a half meeting with UBS and went through the policy line by line and then talked about our issues with it and different opportunities for them to strengthen that, and we walked out of that meeting...we didn't get the statement we wanted, so we did these actions. But over the past few months we've seen them not participate in loans with companies they've historically engaged with; we've seen them downgrade coal companies that they've previously funded from past years, so while we feel the statement itself isn't sufficient to prevent them from engaging in MTR financing, the actions they've taken recently show us their commitment to doing that. And we feel that's a big win for the movement.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Tom Torres, is Hands Off Appalachia asking anything else of UBS or are you moving on to other targets?

TOM TORRES: Yeah, it would be great if UBS would release a stronger statement, and there's gonna be some stuff around that, but as far as the campaign is concerned, everyone is working on different projects right now. So, the way it was shaping out was after the actions we were considering what our next steps look like, and so there are different talks about an international day of action as the logical next step for our campaign when we got the news of what's been going on with UBS, and since then, we've been working on other campaigns, because this is a really big win for the movement, but this isn't the win we need for the fight against strip mining and mountaintop removal, so we're working on different campaigns as well, beyond the UBS Hands Off Appalachia campaign.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Sometimes the biggest punishment for these kinds of non-violent direct actions is all the times people have to return to court. In the case of the UBS 14, they had to travel from Appalachia to Stamford, Connecticut every month only to be given another continuance. Can you say where the legal situation stands now?

TOM TORRES: Everyone is kind of in a different place in terms of resolution, and so, one member about a month ago, maybe six weeks ago, one of the 14 people who got arrested in Stamford got cleared of everything and so all the stuff they needed to do with court is over. Other folks are getting to that point. Other folks are expecting a little bit longer in this process. It depends on their level of participation in it, but the court stuff from the November actions is still happening, so people are still having to go up there kind of regularly.

For more information on Hands Off Appalachia, visit handsoffappalachia.com.

[CORRECTION: According to Rainforest Action's scorecard on mountaintop removal, in 2011, UBS was the third largest funder of the MTR coal-mining practice.]

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