Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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Episode 997

Zone Defense

Mar 31
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Liza Featherstone

A voice without influence: The false democracy of focus groups.

Journalist Liza Featherstone examines the role of focus groups in American politics and commerce - as a communication ritual between capital and consumer, resembling democracy but emptied of influence, and as an increasingly contested practice as the gap between the public and elites widens beyond shouting distance.

Liza is author of Divining Desire: Focus Groups and the Culture of Consultation from OR Books.

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Janae Bonsu

Chicago's gang database casts an invisible net around Black and Brown communities.

Policy researcher Janae Bonsu explains how Chicago's secret, massive Gang Database criminalizes entire communities of color - by identifying and cataloging suspected gang members through flawed criteria, and distributing that data upwards, across a larger framework of state and federal surveillance networks operating in secret, and targeting Black and Brown neighborhoods.

Janae is the lead author of the report Tracked & Targeted: Early Findings on Chicago’s Gang Database.

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Pearl Ahrens

The void is not a bad thing: On the nonstate of the ZAD.

Writer Pearl Ahrens traces the boundaries between the French state and the ZAD, a zone à défendre - an anarchic, occupied space held against the advance of capitalist development by a convergence of farmers, environmentalists, crusties and normal people living a new form of everyday life in struggle against (and sometimes beyond) the state.

Pearl wrote the article A Free Zone Unlike Any Other for Salvage.

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Katharyne Mitchell

Building radical geographies to see beyond the neoliberal world.

Geographer Katharyne Mitchell how a radical geography helps us see the neoliberal world clearly - from the spatial dimensions of inequality that exist beyond the illusions of economic freedom and choice, to the ways our understanding of time and space have been co-opted by the logic of global capitalism, and how we can win them back.

Katharyne is author of Making Workers: Radical Geographies of Education from Pluto Press.

Transcript via Antidote Zine

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Karina Moreno

Immigration, inequality and the labor of Latino baseball players.

Immigration researcher Karina Moreno examines the impact of immigration and labor laws on the lives of Latino baseball players - from the travel ban and wave of populist nativism in the Trump era, to the policies enforcing inequality and exploitation of minor leaguers at the base (and future) of a $10 billion-a-year industry.

Karina co-wrote the article Baseball, Latino America's pastime, faces new challenges in age of Trump with Mike Elk for The Guardian.

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Jeff Dorchen

A Passover lesson on place and power from Ho Chi Minh.

In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen celebrates Pesach by the traditional reflecting upon the Vietnam War, and Ho Chi Minh's telegraph to Harry S Truman that probably didn't even get read, and what that tells us about oppression and freedom and the deeply conservative value of inertia in the face of injustice.

Read the transcript here

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