Episode

10/25 The Grenada Revolution; NJ Nurses Strike w/ Bhaskar Sunkara, Sophia Moccio, Aaron Habrack – MR Live

October 25, 2023

It’s Hump Day! Emma speaks with Sophia Moccio and Aaron Habrack, ICU nurses at the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to discuss the recent developments in their strike, which has lasted over 75 days. Then, Emma is joined by Bhaskar Sunkara, president of The Nation, to discuss his recent piece in The Guardian on the 40th anniversary of the coup in Grenada. First, Emma runs through updates on Israel’s bombarding of a blockaded Gaza, the UN Secretary General’s calls for a ceasefire, DeSantis’ crackdown on pro-Palestine action, and the potential speakership of Mike Johnson. Sophia Moccio and Aaron Habrack then join, first reflecting on the 83 days that they and the other RWJ Nurses have been on strike and the severe backlash that they’ve faced at the hands of RWJ management, before stepping back to assess the conditions that pushed the nurses to this point, with a particular focus on the over-working and under-staffing that led to poor patient care. After looking at the massive role RWJ plays within both New Brunswick and New Jersey writ large, Sophia and Habrack tackle the legislative reform they’re hoping New Jersey will institute, and how we – on the outside – can help. Bhaskar Sunkara then jumps right into the forgotten story of the only successful socialist revolution in the anglophone world – that of Grenada – and what we can learn from its memory 40 years after a US invasion crushed it. After briefly exploring the role that socialist internationalism – particularly with Cuba – played in bolstering this revolution (and the US’ opposition to it), Bhaskar steps back to walk Emma through the conditions of the absurd and corrupt rule of Eric Gairy that primed the radicalizing afro-Caribbean population for revolution, exploring how some 50 people drew on popular support to overthrow a regime of thousands. Next, Sunkara and Emma run through the overwhelming and immediate success of the socialist policies under Maurice Bishop, as well as the incredible effort it took from an incredibly small movement, before wrapping up with the eventual decline of Bishop’s regime and the Regan-backed overthrow of his party after four short years in power.

And in the Fun Half: Emma discusses the Peter Thiel–SBF origin connections, explores Eric Toller and the NYT’s visual investigation into Israel’s role in the bombing of al-Ahli Arab Hospital, and why such reporting is so important. Sandy from Ontario expands on yesterday’s discussion about the ostracization and marginalization of Sarah Jamma from Canadian politics, the Speakership of anti-gay, anti-choice, and election-denying bigot Mike Johnson, and the GOP’s continuing attack on Social Security. Yosef from Israel on his appreciation for MR’s Reporting (and a small piece of context), and Barnaby Raine touches on the UK’s anti-Semitic panic, plus, your calls and IMs!

Find out more about the RWJ nurses strike here: https://jacobin.com/2023/10/robert-wood-johnson-hospital-nurses-strike-new-jersey-short-staffing

https://linktr.ee/rwjnursesunited

Check out Bhaskar’s piece here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/25/the-us-invaded-the-island-of-grenada-40-years-ago-the-legacy-of-revolution-lives-on

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