Links to today’s show transcripts:
“Public Education Is Not Your Plaything”: L.A. Teachers Strike Against Privatization & Underfunding
Los Angeles public school teachers are on strike for the first time in three decades. On Monday morning, tens of thousands of teachers braved pouring rain on the picket line for the strike’s first day. Some 20,000 people marched through downtown Los Angeles, demanding smaller class sizes, higher pay, the regulation of charter schools and more nurses, counselors and librarians. Over 31,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles are striking. Cecily Myart-Cruz is the strike leader and National Education Association vice president at United Teachers Los Angeles, and Eric Blanc is a reporter covering the strike for The Guardian and Jacobin. He is author of the forthcoming book “Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics.”
Will Trump’s AG Pick William Barr Face Questions over Gitmo, Mass Incarceration & NSA Surveillance?
Senate confirmation hearings begin today for William Barr, President Trump’s nominee for attorney general to replace Jeff Sessions, who was fired in November. Barr served as attorney general for George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993. During that time, he was involved in the pardon of six Reagan officials for the Iran-Contra scandal and oversaw the opening of the Guantánamo Bay military prison, which was initially used to indefinitely detain HIV-positive asylum seekers from Haiti. Barr also openly backed mass incarceration at home and helped develop a secret Drug Enforcement Administration program which became a “blueprint” for the National Security Agency’s mass phone surveillance effort. Vincent Warren is the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Arizona Activists Face Jail Time for Providing Life-Saving Aid to Migrants Crossing Sonoran Desert
As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history heads into its 25th day and President Trump continues to crack down on immigrants, Democracy Now! looks at how the Trump administration is criminalizing humanitarian aid at the border. In Tucson, Arizona, activists with the humanitarian group No More Deaths go to trial today facing charges for a slew of federal crimes, all due to their efforts to leave water and food in the harsh Sonoran Desert to help refugees and migrants survive the deadly journey across the U.S. border. The charges were filed last year in January, just a week after No More Deaths published a report accusing U.S. Border Patrol agents of routinely vandalizing or confiscating water, food and other humanitarian aid, condemning refugees and migrants to die of exposure or dehydration. Paige Corich-Kleim is a humanitarian aid worker and volunteer with No More Deaths, and Ryan Devereaux is a staff reporter at The Intercept. His latest piece is titled “Arizona Judge in No More Deaths Case Had Secret Talks with Federal Prosecutors.”