On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new contract with the United Federation of Teachers. The tentative $4 billion, nine-year agreement ends a bitter five-year conflict between the city’s teachers and City Hall. "All that was needed was a little respect, some novel thinking and genuine cooperation between labor and management," writes Juan González in his column in the New York Daily News. "That’s the main message we should take away from the new labor pact the de Blasio administration reached this week with the United Federation of Teachers."
As comprehensive immigration reform has languished in Congress, undocumented immigrants have increasingly come forward to share their stories in order to call attention to the need for a change in federal laws. One of the leading voices has been Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. In 2011, he outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in an essay published in The New York Times Magazine. He chronicles his experience in the new film, "Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American."
New details have emerged about the FBI’s efforts to turn Muslim Americans living abroad into government informants. An exposé in Mother Jones magazine chronicles the story of an American named named Naji Mansour who was living in Kenya. After he refused to become an informant he saw his life, and his family’s life, turned upside down. He was detained, repeatedly interrogated and ultimately forced into exile in Sudan, unable to see his children for years. Mansour began recording his conversations with the FBI. During one call, an agent informs Mansour that he might get "hit by a car." Mansour’s story is the focus of a new piece in Mother Jones titled, "This American Refused to Become an FBI Informant. Then the Government Made His Family’s Life Hell." We speak with Naji Mansour in Sudan and Nick Baumann, who investigated the story for Mother Jones.
The culture jamming activist group The Yes Men have struck again. Earlier this week, members of the group spoke at the Homeland Security Congress posing as U.S. government officials. At the conference, they announced a fictitious new U.S. government plan called "American Renewable Clean-Energy Network" to convert the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. After the announcement, The Yes Men and indigenous activists led the audience in a large circle dance to celebrate the fictitious plan. We air excerpts from their action, including the speeches delivered by "Benedict Waterman," Undersecretary of Policy Implementation at the U.S. Department of Energy, and "Bana Slowhorse," a Bureau of Indian Affairs official with the "Wannabe Tribe".
The group joins us in studio to talk about their action. Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum are two members of The Yes Men, and Gitz Crazyboy is an activist fighting tar sands extraction in his native lands.
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