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(05 Jun) 170501 Laverne Cox - Transgender Visibility

The LGBTQ, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer community have made significant strides in recent years in achieving legal recognition and protection. But some of the gains are being rolled back. The Trump administration revoked federal guidelines specifying that transgender students have the right to use public school restrooms that match their gender identity. Resistance to the edict is coalescing as fast as you can say LGBTQ. An important case will be argued soon before the Supreme Court involving a high school student in Virginia. At stake is whether transgendered persons are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Higher Education Act amendments. At issue is whether they can freely use public rest rooms. The case pits evolving generational attitudes toward gender non-conformism against a longstanding culture of intolerance.

Laverne Cox is an actor, documentary film producer and LGBTQ advocate. She stars in the highly acclaimed Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Her documentary productions include The T Word and Free CeCe.

(12 Jun) 170502 Laura Secor - Iran:History and Politics

Iran, a country of 80 million people, strategically straddles West and South Asia. Once in Washington's hip pocket, Iran dramatically left the U.S. orbit in 1979 when the Shah was overthrown and the Islamic Republic was established. The "loss" of Iran was a major blow to Washington's policy of dominating the Middle East and controlling its oil. Pretty much, ever since, the countries have been at loggerheads. The nuclear deal of 2015 was a breakthrough. However, there is a new sheriff in town and the rhetoric coming from the White House is belligerent. The President has tweeted, "Iran is playing with fire. They don't appreciate how 'kind' President Obama was to them. Not me!" Calling Iran, "the number one terror state," he put it on the travel ban list. What's going on inside Iran is largely unknown. Most media reports omit context and background.

Laura Secor has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Affairs and other publications. She is the author of Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul Iran.

(19 Jun) 170503 Arun Gandhi - Gandhian Nonviolence Today

As protests and demonstrations continue around the world, once again the relevance of the strategies and tactics of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance arise. What are we to do when faced with injustice? Look away? Or resist? Are sit-ins, blockades and boycotts viable tools of resistance? Do people risk arrest and incarceration? Thoreau, who was an influence on Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., went to jail for refusing to pay taxes. He was a principled opponent to slavery and the U.S. war on Mexico. As the story goes, his friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson visited him in jail. Emerson asked Thoreau, What are you doing in there? To which Thoreau replied, "What are you doing out there?" Going against power is not easy. Gandhi, who went to jail many times said, "Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong."

Arun Gandhi is the grandson of India's apostle of nonviolence, Mohandas Karamchand "Mahatma" Gandhi. In 1991, Arun Gandhi and his wife Sunanda, founded The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Memphis, Tennessee. An author, journalist, and activist, he lectures all over the world.

(26 Jun) 140404 Max Blumenthal - Israel: Siege Mentality

From Kissinger to Kerry, U.S. Secretaries of State engage in endless rounds of shuttle diplomacy. They issue rosy statements about progress and breakthroughs. But little changes. Israeli policy has created concrete facts on the ground. Settlement building on Palestinian land, illegal under international law, has expanded over decades. Some 500,000 Israelis live in settlements from Ariel to Ma'ale Adumim. Jeffrey Goldberg writing in Bloomberg.com calls them "self-destructive." New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says they constitute "tacit annexation of the West Bank" and "is not winning Israel friends in Europe or America." The West Bank, supposedly the home of a future Palestinian state has been sliced and diced into pieces. Israeli-only roads and so-called security barriers and walls are turning Palestinian areas into isolated enclaves. Thus the fabric of a just and lasting peace is tattered and becomes more remote.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in he New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Huffington Post, and other publications. He is the author of Republican Gomorrah and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

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Alternative Radio (Aust.) PO Box 687 Cowes VIC 3922 Australia
tel. 61-3-5952 5780 mob. 61-4-1359 7828 inquiries@araustralia.org
www.araustralia.org