Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monday, December 15,2014: KPFA End of the Year Fund Drive - Please donate!

The UC Anti-Apartheid Movement And The Legacy of Free Speech Movement.

Graduate students and other demonstrators picketing outside Sproul 1964

Kate Raphael interviews then-student leaders Andrea Pritchett and Rita Himes and faculty activist Ruth Rosen, who was also involved in the Berkeley movements in the 1960s, especially the anti-war and feminist movements. We'll also listen to excerpts of the film, SOWETO TO BERKELEY, which tells the story of this extraordinary time on the Berkeley campus.

This program was aired on September 29th.

Click here to listen to today's show. Go to KPFA to donate now. Thanks for listening. 59:50 min

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014: We pay tribute to the Power of African American Women of the Civil Rights era.

It's Pledge Drive time again. If you haven't already, please donate to KPFA and Women's Magazine. Thanks!

We pay  tribute to the Power of African American Women of the Civil Rights era.  While we mourn the death of black bodies killed by police we remember how our foremothers also experienced police violence and stood up against the horror of racism.  For fund drive we offer a historical audio package of the voices of powerful women activists of the 60s like  Rosa Parks, speaking out about her arrest,  Fannie Lou Hammer talking about her surviving police brutality and her pursuit for justice against her assailants, and  Corretta Scott King speaking out three weeks after Dr. King's assassination; just three of the amazing voices of our foremothers available to you on a 3 CD or 9 CD MP3 collection.

Free Marissa Alexander

Click here to listen to entire show that also features an interview with Nell Myhand and Zanne Joi who talk about Marissa Alexander's unjust conviction for defending herself against her batterer. She is serving a 60 year sentence for an indictment for which she has not been convicted. Come to an teach in and direct action planning to free Marissa on Sunday December 14 from 1-4 at the Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kitteridge in the meeting room on the 3rd floor. For more info phone 510-543-5280 or email 59:50 min.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014: Lesbian Avengers

Lesbian Avengers, a memoir

Kate Raphael speaks with Kelly Cogswell, author of Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger.

Spanning the twenty years from the Culture Wars through the War on Terror, EATING FIRE begins in 1992 with the author's transformation from ex-Southern Baptist hickster poet into fire-eating Lesbian Avenger. She haunts the streets of New York, battles cops on Fifth Avenue, eats fire in front of the White House, and mobilizes 20,000 lesbians for the International Dyke March. She also squirms through excruciating meetings and finds true love. Several times.

Her avenging doesn't end when the group implodes. She morphs instead into a pioneering citizen journalist, coding the pages of her own online magazine, The Gully, and looking everywhere for truth and justice, from Havana cafes to the Laundromats of Paris and New York. She mostly doesn't find any, and the book deepens into a meditation on citizenship and social change in the post-9/11 world.

Kelly will be reading from her book Thursday, Dec 11 at Modern Times Bookstore at 7 PM. It is located at 2919 24th Street in San Francisco. For more Modern Times Events go to

Listen now or Get MP3

We remember Mary Berg, longtime host of A Musical Offering on KPFA. Click here for Mary's tribute and the rest of the show. 59:50 min.
Also on today's show:
Thoughts on Ferguson
Wal-Mart Workers on Strike
Tru Bloo

Monday, December 1, 2014: Tru Bloo

Tru Bloo's new album

Samar Habib explores queer Middle Eastern counterculture with Lebanese-Armenian Bay Area hip hop artist, Tru Bloo. You can download Tru Bloo's new album Tru Starz at More info about Tru Bloo at

Listen now or Get MP3.

Click here for the rest of the show including a tribute to Mary Berg and other local events. 59:50 min.

Also on today's show:
Thoughts on Ferguson
Wal-Mart Workers on Strike
Lesbian Avenger

Monday, December 1, 2014: Thoughts on Ferguson

Remembering Mary Berg

Click here to listen to a tribute to Mary Berg who every Sunday morning at 5 AM gave us A Musical Offering. Also on today's show:

"There are no winners here, just consequences." Reflections on Ferguson

Eryn Ashleigh, journalism student at Columbia University and former co-host on Women's Magazine reflects on Ferguson and keeping Black men safe. "...I can only imagine how many verdicts our elders have had to sit through and be disappointed by...I was afraid of losing my belief in the inherent good of people." Listen to Eryn's thoughts:

Listen or click to Get MP3

Monday, December 1, 2014: Wal-Mart Workers on Strike

Strikers at Wal-Mart

Lisa Dettmer talks to striking workers and supporters at Black Friday's protest at Walmart in Milpitas. For more information about the Black Friday strike at Wal-Mart and how to contact managers in support of the strikers go to*. Listen now or Get MP3.

Click here to listen to a tribute to Mary Berg who every Sunday morning at 5 AM gave us A Musical Offering. Also on today's show:
Thoughts on Ferguson
Lesbian Avenger
Tru Bloo

*Correction: We mistakenly gave the website  Sorry!  That domain is owned by, a union busting site possibly paid for by Wal-Mart execs. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014: Leslie Feinberg 1949-2014

“Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

photo credit: Leslie Feinberg
Self-portrait in setting sun

Leslie Feinberg, who identified as an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist, died on November 15. She succumbed to complications from multiple tick-borne co-infections, including Lyme disease, babeisiosis, and protomyxzoa rheumatica, after decades of illness.

She died at home in Syracuse, NY, with her partner and spouse of 22 years, Minnie Bruce Pratt, at her side. Her last words were: “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

Feinberg was the first theorist to advance a Marxist concept of “transgender liberation,” and her work impacted popular culture, academic research, and political organizing.

Her historical and theoretical writing has been widely anthologized and taught in the U.S. and international academic circles. Her impact on mass culture was primarily through her 1993 first novel, Stone Butch Blues, widely considered in and outside the U.S. as a groundbreaking work about the complexities of gender. Sold by the hundreds of thousands of copies and also passed from hand-to-hand inside prisons, the novel has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, German, Italian, Slovenian, Turkish, and Hebrew (with her earnings from that edition going to ASWAT Palestinian Gay Women).

In a statement at the end of her life, she said she had “never been in search of a common umbrella identity, or even an umbrella term, that brings together people of oppressed sexes, gender expressions, and sexualities” and added that she believed in the right of self-determination of oppressed individuals, communities, groups, and nations.

She preferred to use the pronouns she/zie and her/hir for herself, but also said: “I care which pronoun is used, but people have been disrespectful to me with the wrong pronoun and respectful with the right one. It matters whether someone is using the pronoun as a bigot, or if they are trying to demonstrate respect.”

Feinberg was born September 1, 1949, in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Buffalo, NY, in a working-class Jewish family. At age 14, she began supporting herself by working in the display sign shop of a local department store, and eventually stopped going to her high school classes, though officially she received her diploma. It was during this time that she entered the social life of the Buffalo gay bars. She moved out of a biological family hostile to her sexuality and gender expression, and to the end of her life carried legal documents that made clear they were not her family.

Discrimination against her as a transgender person made it impossible for her to get steady work. She earned her living for most of her life through a series of low-wage temp jobs, including working in a PVC pipe factory and a book bindery, cleaning out ship cargo holds and washing dishes, serving an ASL interpreter, and doing medical data inputting.

In her early twenties Feinberg met Workers World Party at a demonstration for Palestinian land rights and self-determination. She soon joined WWP through its founding Buffalo branch.

After moving to New York City, she participated in numerous mass organizing campaigns by the Party over the years, including many anti-war, pro-labor rallies. In 1983-1984 she embarked on a national tour about AIDS as a denied epidemic. She was a key organizer in the December 1974 March Against Racism in Boston, a campaign against white supremacist attacks on African-American adults and schoolchildren in the city. Feinberg led a group of ten lesbian-identified people, including several from South Boston, on an all-night “paste up” of South Boston, covering every visible racist epithet.

Feinberg was one of the organizers of the 1988 mobilization in Atlanta that re-routed the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan as they tried to march down Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., on MLK Day. When anti-abortion groups descended on Buffalo in 1992 and again in 1998-1999 with the murder there of Dr. Barnard Slepian, Feinberg returned to work with Buffalo United for Choice and its Rainbow Peacekeepers, which organized community self-defense for local LGBTQ+ bars and clubs as well as the women’s clinic.

A WW journalist since 1974, Feinberg was the editor of the Political Prisoners page of Workers World newspaper for 15 years, and became a managing editor in 1995. She was a member of the National Committee of the Party.

From 2004-2008 Feinberg's writing on the links between socialism and LGBT history, "Lavender & Red," ran as a 120-part series in Workers World newspaper. Her most recent book, Rainbow Solidarity in Defense of Cuba, was an edited selection of that series.

Feinberg authored two other non-fiction books, Transgender Warriors: Making History and Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, as well as a second novel, Drag King Dreams.

Feinberg was a member of the National Writers Union, Local 1981, and of Pride at Work, an AFL-CIO constituency group. She received an honorary doctorate from the Starr King School for the Ministry for her transgender and social justice work, and was the recipient of numerous other awards, including the Lambda Literary Award and the American Library Association Gay and Lesbian Book Award.

During a period when diseases would not allow her to read, write, or talk, Feinberg continued to communicate through art. Picking up a camera for the first time, she posted thousands of pictures on Flickr, including “The Screened-In Series,” a disability-art class-conscious documentary of her Hawley-Green neighborhood photographed entirely from behind the windows of her apartment.

Diagnosed with Lyme and multiple tick-borne co-infections in 2008, Feinberg was infected first in the early 1970s when little was known about the diseases. She had received treatment for these only within the last six years. She said, “My experience in ILADS care offers great hope to desperately-ill people who are in earlier stages of tick-borne diseases.”

She attributed her catastrophic health crisis to “bigotry, prejudice and lack of science”—active prejudice toward her transgender identity that made access to health care exceedingly difficult, and lack of science in limits placed by mainstream medical authorities on information, treatment, and research about Lyme and its co-infections. She blogged online about these issues in “Casualty of an Undeclared War.”

At the time of her death she was preparing a 20th anniversary edition of Stone Butch Blues. She worked up to within a few days of her death to prepare the edition for free access, reading, and download from on-line. In addition to the text of the novel, the on-line edition will contain a slideshow, “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like,” documenting the breadth of the organizing campaign to free CeCe McDonald, a young Minneapolis (trans)woman organizer and activist sent to prison for defending herself against a white neo-Nazi attacker. The new edition is dedicated to McDonald. A devoted group of friends are continuing to work to post Feinberg’s final writing and art online at

Feinberg’s spouse, Minnie Bruce Pratt, an activist and poet, is the author of Crime Against Nature, about loss of custody of her sons as a lesbian mother. Feinberg and Pratt met in 1992 when Feinberg presented a slideshow on her transgender research in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the local Workers World branch. After a long-distance courtship, they made their home for many years in Jersey City, NJ, where, to protect their relationship, the couple domestic-partnered in 2004 and civil-unioned in 2006. They also married in a civil ceremony in Massachusetts and in New York State in 2011.

Feinberg stressed that state authorities had no right to assign who were or were not her loved ones but rather that she would define her chosen family, citing Marx who said that the exchange value of love is — love.

Feinberg is survived by Pratt and an extended family of choice, as well as many friends, activists, and comrades around the world in struggle against oppression and for liberation.

Written by Leslie Feinberg and Minnie Bruce Pratt. Published in the Advocate.

Get MP3 of this segment. 4:31 min.

Also on today's show: