Links to today’s show transcripts:
May Day in Puerto Rico: Police Attack Anti-Austerity Protesters with Pepper Spray & Tear Gas
In Puerto Rico, thousands marked May Day by joining a general strike in the capital of San Juan to protest austerity measures, from the closing of public schools to increases in university tuition. When protesters tried to converge on the building where the federal oversight board has its offices, police fired tear gas and pepper spray. The board has called for the implementation of 10 percent pension cuts, eliminating mandatory Christmas bonuses, reducing required vacation and sick time, and allowing businesses to fire employees without having to first prove a just cause. This comes as at least 30,000 people still lack power almost eight months since Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Last month, an excavator downed a transmission line, blacking out the entire electrical grid.
Puerto Rico Needs Help: Unelected Fiscal Board Pushes Austerity as Island Continues Slow Recovery
It’s been almost eight months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and at least 30,000 homes in Puerto Rico still lack power.
Arizona Joins Red State Revolt: Teachers’ Strike Reaches Day Five
Schools are closed for a fifth day in Arizona, as thousands of teachers continue to strike demanding better funding for education. Crowds of striking teachers dressed in red T-shirts have rallied at the state Capitol this week and last to demand a 20 percent pay raise for educators and decreased class sizes, among other demands. The strike began Thursday, with teachers protesting the $1 billion funding cuts to education in the state since the 2008 recession. The teachers’ strikes in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona have been described by some as a “red-state revolt.” In 2016, Donald Trump won all four states. The Arizona Legislature is expected to vote on a budget today, which organizers say will now include additional funding for education. If the budget passes, teachers say they will return to class tomorrow.
With Labor & Immigrant Rights Under Attack, May Day Protesters Rally in New York City
Tuesday was May Day, or International Workers’ Day, and hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets worldwide. Major mobilizations were held across the globe, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Paris to Jakarta.
Detained and Then Deported: U.S. Human Rights Lawyers Barred from Entry into Israel
Two U.S. human rights lawyers were detained Sunday for 14 hours at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport before being deported back to the United States. Columbia University’s Katherine Franke and Center for Constitutional Rights executive director Vincent Warren were repeatedly questioned about their associations with groups critical of Israel. They were part of a delegation of American civil rights activists heading to Israel and Palestine to learn about the human rights situation and meet with local activists. They arrived back in New York City early Monday. This comes just days after Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinian protesters and wounded hundreds more on Friday, when the soldiers and snipers opened fire during the Palestinians’ weekly nonviolent protest near the Gaza border. On Saturday, a fourth protester died after succumbing to his wounds. The nonviolent protests demanding the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their land began on March 30. Since then, the Israeli military has killed at least 42 Palestinians, including two journalists, and injured thousands more.