Belabored Podcast #68: Good Cop, Bad Cop, with Joshua Freeman

Belabored Podcast #68: Good Cop, Bad Cop, with Joshua Freeman

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2014 closed out with a wave of protests against police violence, and now, with police-community tensions coming to a boil, across New York City, 2015 has begun with a wave of cop rebellion, from the fighting words of a police union chief to a coordinated back-turning against the Mayor, to an apparent work slowdown, as summonses and arrests take a mysterious dive. We peer behind the blue wall this week with historian Josh Freeman, to discuss how police and their unions fit within the labor movement, and parse the political contradictions of uniformed officers getting organized on the one hand, and serving as agents of the establishment on the other.

Our news round-up features new family-friendly workplace laws in 2015, the latest effort to leave more food stamp recipients empty-handed, anti-austerity battles in Greek politics, and struggles for safety among Latino construction workers. Plus some recommended reading on an innovative organizing campaign in an online school system, and the subtle politics of slacking.


Michelle: America’s Workplaces Are Hostile to Families (The Nation)

Food stamp benefit cut may force a million people into ‘serious hardship’ (Al Jazeera America)

Alexis Tsipras or Antonis Samaras? Greece begins to weigh up the options (The Guardian)

Construction Work Is Getting More Deadly, But Only For Latinos (Buzzfeed)


Joshua Freeman,  Professor of History at the Murphy Institute, Queens College, and the CUNY Graduate Center

Police unions, organized labor have rarely seen eye to eye (Al Jazeera America)

Smash the Lynch Mob (Jacobin)

Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People (LAWCHA)

The NYPD Slowdown Is Proving That ‘Broken Windows’ Is a Failure. Isn’t It Time to Drop It? (The Root)

Michelle: How Should Labor Respond to Police Unions? (The Nation)

Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Michelle: Samantha Winslow, Virtual Teaching, Real Organizing (Labor Notes)

Sarah: Lindsay Beyerstein, Slacking Workers of the World Unite (In These Times)

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