Background Briefing: August 2, 2020
Americans Face a Tsunami of Evictions
We begin with what is expected to be a tsunami of evictions across the country now that the moratorium on evictions has expired along with the $600 a week unemployment benefits after the Senate went into recess without reaching an agreement. Ananya Roy, Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography and Chair in Inequality and Democracy at the University of California Los Angeles where she directs UCLA’s Institute on Inequality and Democracy joins us. We discuss how in Los Angeles County alone 495,000 households are at risk of eviction with 43,000 facing eviction in the affluent Silicon Valley which will lead to a tripling of the homeless population in the state. With the freeze in the California courts on processing evictions about to be lifted on August 14, unless state and local politicians, many of whom are funded by property owners, step up, we will see mass evictions which could lead to mass mobilizations in a housing justice uprising. With the GDP in the U.S. having fallen by 33% in the second quarter, which is four times worse than any quarter in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Republican senate went home without passing a new unemployment relief bill, which will reduce the unemployed to only some $1,200 a month to live on. And the average rent in the U.S. is $1,463 per month.
It is Clear Trump is Crippling the U.S. Postal Service to Stymie Voting by Mail in November
Then we speak with Christopher Shaw, an author, historian and political analyst who is the author of Money, Power, and the People: The American Struggle to Make Banking Democratic and Preserving the People’s Post Office, joins us to discuss a growing awareness that Trump is deliberately crippling the U.S. Postal Service to prevent Americans from voting with mail-in ballots in November. At a stirring eulogy for John Lewis on Thursday former President Barack Obama defined the threat to our democracy stating the GOP is attacking voting rights “with surgical precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election that is going to be dependent on mailed-in ballots so people don’t get sick.”
Advice From Portland’s Veteran in Non-Violent Activism and Training
Then finally we go to Portland to speak with a veteran in non-violent political activism and training, Tom Hastings, a professor of conflict studies at Portland State University who directs PeaceVote, a program of the Oregon Peace Institute and whose books include A New Era of Nonviolence and The Lessons of Nonviolence. He joins us to discuss ways activists can avoid providing Trump with campaign images of burning and looting and how much more effective nonviolent tactics are in standing up to police violence.