Day: March 7, 2023

Background Briefing: March 7, 2023

Environmental Protestors in Georgia Are Charged With Domestic Terrorism for Exercising Their First Amendment Rights

We begin with the mass arrests of environmental protesters charged with domestic terrorism under a Georgia law for exercising their first amendment right to protest the destruction of a forest known as the lungs of Atlanta where construction is underway on an 85 acre “Cop City” for military-style training of police for urban combat. Joining us to discuss right wing efforts to turn political movements like the Forest Defenders and Black Lives Matter into criminal organizations while making martyrs and heroes out of the criminals who stormed the Capitol on January 6 is Carol Anderson, the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. Named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies, her books include Bourgeois Radicals, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy and most recently, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America, now out in a new paperback version.


Why in the Land of the Free Are we Afraid of Being Turned Into Communists by TikTok Videos

Then we examine the bipartisan bill from Senator Warner and Senator Thune’s Senate Intelligence Committee giving the Commerce Secretary the power to ban TikTok following a similar bill passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Joining us to assess why in the land of free speech we should be so afraid of being turned into Communists by TikTok videos is Jessica Melugin, director of the Center for Technology & Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute whose research focuses on technology issues including antitrust, online privacy, Internet taxation, telecommunications, social media content and net neutrality regulation.


Will the Biden Administration Make a Stand Against Netanyahu’s Assault on Israeli Democracy?

Then finally we assess whether the Biden Administration will make a stand against the assault on Israeli democracy from Netanyahu’s far-right government by denying a visa to Israel’s extremist Finance Minister Smotrich who recently incited a pogrom calling on settlers to “wipe out” the Palestinian town of Hawara. With more than 100 Jewish American leaders including the former head of AIPAC issuing a statement opposing the visit to Washington by Smotrich, we will discuss whether Biden will follow the advice of his Ambassador to Israel who said he would throw Smotrich off the plane to Washington. Joining us is Mitchell Plitnick, the president of ReThinking Foreign Policy and former vice president at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. A political analyst and frequent writer on the Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, he served as director of the U.S. Office of B’Tselem and co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace. He is the co-author with Marc Lamont Hill of Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics and he has a recent article at Mondoweiss, “Biden Can Rein In Israeli Violence Against Palestinians—But Will He?