Since our last episode, the world seems to have been turned upside down. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic continued to ravage communities around the world, but a nationwide groundswell of protest against police brutality has erupted in the wake of George Floyd's killing. Meanwhile, hostilities between the US and China are escalating over the pandemic response. In this episode, we’ll talk to labor activists in Myanmar and the US about how workers are coping with the pandemic, examine anti-Asian sentiment in the presidential race, and look at protests in Asia, Minnesota and beyond.
Organizing API communities amid the pandemic and systemic racism
We spoke Kim Geron, Monica Thammarath and Alvina Yeh of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance about how Asian American workers and their communities are faring as they face the COVID-19 pandemic, economic devastation, and an explosion of racial unrest. (A portion of this segment also appeared on Dissent's Belabored podcast.)
Pushing back against "tough on China"
Tobita Chow, head of Justice is Global, talks about the politics of the presidential election are heating up under the specter of China. While Trump's ant-China rhetoric is on full blast, Biden’s upping his anti-China game too. A group of Asian American activists recently penned an open letter to Biden condemning one of his campaign ads, which accuses Trump of "being soft on China," and called for a more enlightened foreign and domestic policy when dealing with both Beijing and the Asian American diaspora.
#CancelRent in Chinatown
Myanmar's workers are on a strike wave
Labor organizer Andrew TIllett-Saks discusses workers' struggles in Myanmar’s garment factories and the broader impact of the pandemic on conditions in South and Southeast Asia’s factories.
Cultural protest in Chile and Palestine
Natisu, a Chilean-based musician and cultural worker with Trabajadoras de la Música, and Tarin Gonzalez, a Bronx-based activist with Existence is Resistance, speak about the recent protests in Chile, along with what it means to draw global connections and build solidarity in the Bronx, Palestine, and Chile.
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