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Asia Pacific Forum

5 EpisodesProduced by Asia Pacific ForumWebsite

Asia Pacific Forum (APF), is a unique public affairs podcast on Asian and Asian American culture, politics, history and current events. Since its early days as a community radio program on New York’s famed WBAI, APF has produced interviews with a wide range of eminent figures in Asian and Asian Amer… read more

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Pandemics, Racism, War Crimes and Climate Change

Anti-Asian Violence and Discrimination in the Coronavirus Era

With the establishment of the United States as the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are feeling the impact of the crisis. But many in Asian American communities are also facing hatred directed towards those perceived to be responsible because the president and other public figures have played up the fact that the virus emerged in China. We speak with Professor Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University about his work monitoring anti-Asian violence and discrimination in the coronavirus era, including the website Stop AAPI Hate where individuals can report hate incidents.

International Criminal Court Opens Door to Investigating US War Crimes Charges

As the Trump administration scrambles to broker a deal with the Taliban that will allow the US to reduce its military presence in Afghanistan, the International Criminal Court is providing victims of that war one last chance to seek justice. The ICC’s Appeals Chamber reversed an earlier decision by the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber, which had blocked the ICC Prosecutor from initiating a formal investigation into human rights violations and related crimes against humanity. Because the investigation would involve many US officials, the Trump administration, not surprisingly, sought to pressure the ICC and stonewall the investigation. The new ruling from the Appeals Chamber gives a greenlight for the investigation to go forward. Though the US has historically ignored and refused to comply with the ICC, the human rights lawyers involved in the case hope that moving forward with the ICC process will strike a blow against the near total impunity that many US officials have enjoyed up till now.

MoMA Divest Disrupts Iraq War Art Exhibit

At the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1 Space in Queens, a group of activists from the MoMA Divest campaign staged a demonstration at a controversial exhibit featuring artists’ reflections on the Iraq War, titled Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991-2011. The group delivered the demands of many artists and activists calling for divestment from morally corrupt enterprises such as private prison companies, and the defense contractor Constellis Holdings, formerly named Blackwater, which was heavily involved in the Iraq war. The protesters had intended to tear up the works of one of the artists, Ali Yass, who had asked for his artwork to be destroyed as a statement of protest. In the end, MoMA managed to remove Yass’s works before the protesters had a chance to get to them on March 1, but they found a workaround. We talk to Basma Eid, an organizer with Freedom to Thrive.

Confronting the Danger of Environmental Activism in the Philippines with Spirit Questing

The Philippines is ground zero for climate related disasters and one of the most murderous countries for environmental defenders. We speak to Peachie Dioquino Valera, a Philippines based environmental activist, Futures Learning Advisor for Center for Engaged Foresight, and Spirit Questor. Valera shares how she confronts corporate greed and extrajudicial killings through spirit questing and climate justice work. 

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