Episode

10/5 Mass Protest Without Revolution & UN Sends Forces to Haiti w/ Vincent Bevins & Brian Concannon

October 5, 2023

It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with journalist Vincent Bevins about his recent book If We Burn:
The Mass Protest Decade and the Missing Revolution. Then, she’s joined by Brian Concannon, human rights lawyer and executive director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy (IJDH) in Haiti, to discuss the UN’s recent authorization of Kenyan forces into Haiti in an attempt to stabilize the country.

First, Emma runs through updates on the House GOP’s Speakership Fight 2.0, Biden border hawkery, the arrest of Code Pink activists, COVID vaccines, the Menendez fraud, various fraudulent GOP campaigns, Biden’s student debt relief, and the Alabama gerrymandering case, before parsing through the incredible launch of a 75k strong Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers’ strike. Vincent Bevins then joins, diving right into his work exploring the 2010s through the lens of mass protest and their impact, bringing to light the shocking fact that many of the most notorious protests of the era lead to the very opposite of their original goals. Next, looking to his key examples, Bevins walks Emma through the mass protests that exploded in Brazil in June 2013, looking at the role of mass and social media in highly publicizing the protests and the state’s violent response, and expanding the protests well beyond their original aims as various political groups took advantage of the moment, pushing aside the social democratic goals of original organizers in favor of broad anti-corruption, anti-regime ideas, all of which laid the path to the corrupt anti-corruption case that jailed Lula da Silva and landed Bolsonairo in the presidency. Expanding on this, Vincent Bevins parses through the failure of the organizing strategy of the new left – following decades of the crippling social and organizing structures under neoliberalism and atomization – and why the decentralization presented by largely media-driven mobilization can often see moments hijacked by more centralized and politically powerful groups, before looking more carefully at the evolution of the internet over the last two decades, and how the ideas of the social good of the internet and the neoliberal “end of history” were actively challenged as mainstream ideas. Wrapping up, Vincent and Emma explore what the successful protests of the era looked like, and the importance of a movement that speaks for itself – lest someone else speak for them. Brian Concannon then tackles the recently approved, UN-backed, Kenyan-run mission to police the people of Haiti, walking through the birth of the mission in the U.S. State Department and their intense desire to not be seen killing Black Haitians in poor neighborhoods, resulting in their outsourcing of the project to the Kenyan military. Next, Concannon parses through the interests behind the State Department’s project to maintain the unelected regime of Ariel Henry – a project they present as pro-democracy – and their hope to avoid conflict before the 2024 election, before they wrap up with an assessment of the material impact of Biden’s anti-immigration presidency.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt Binder as they watch Senator Markwayne Mullin jump on the opportunity to trash Matt Gaetz, Simmer from New York asks about the future of WGA-SAG solidarity, and Cullin from Baltimore shouts about why corporate price gouging didn’t cause inflation because: “No.” They also watch Andrew Yang attempt to get back into the conversation, the UnHerd podcast gets schooled over borders, and Cassie from NoLa explores the absurdity of the right’s culture war. Jamelle from Cleveland discusses hip hop history and anti-capitalism, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Vincent’s book here: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/vincent-bevins/if-we-burn/9781541788978/?lens=publicaffairs

Find out more about IJDH here: https://www.ijdh.org/

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