Shows: July 1, 2013

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International Labor Rights Forum

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Wal-Mart, Gap under fire over Bangaldesh's "Death Traps"

A few months ago, the world was shaken by the horrific factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1100 and exposed, once again, the horrible safety hazards and exploitative conditions that are endemic one of the world’s major clothing export markets. This past Saturday protesters showed their outrage at the Rana Plaza tragedy before the gleaming display windows of Gap and WalMart stores around the world. Protesters from Osaka to Cincinnati demanded that WalMart and Gap sign a comprehensive factory safety accord that would force multinationals to improve factory conditions and safety monitoring.

So far, dozens of other companies have signed on, including many leading European brands. But US industry leaders WalMart and Gap have refused and tried to push their own “voluntary” safety plans instead. We'll hear from activists Eric Dirnbach and Arif Ullah, as well as other voices from the international campaign.

Sound clip of Kalpona Akter via Democracy Now!


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Everest: The World's Highest Trash Dump

Last May, adventure-seekers around the world celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first ascent to the summit of Mount Everest. Since that first journey to the top of the world, the mountain has become a huge tourist draw. And while we often think of pristine snowy peaks when we think of Everest, the reality is that humans have been leaving tons of garbage up there, with no one to clean it up, creating an ugly agglomeration of everything from leftover food to scraps of tents to corpses. There have been efforts in recent years to address the environmental impact of dumping by expeditionists. But so far, keeping Everest clean remains an uphill battle. The documentary Death Zone looks at how a group of sherpas have become stewards of the mountain environment and are campaigning to raise awareness of the dirty side of this majestic natural wonder.

More information on the September release of "Death Zone" in the U.S. will be posted on the website.


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Wong Chin Foo: "The First Chinese American"

Born in China and a naturalized American citizen, Wong Chin Foo (1847-1898) used journalism and political organizing to fight for the rights of Chinese in the US at a time when the population was vilified, scapegoated, and the target of violence. In a new biography, writer Scott Seligman argues that Wong's work and legacy should earn him the distinction of being labelled the first Chinese American. We bring you excerpts from a talk Seligman gave last month at the Museum of Chinese in America, at an event moderated by APF's own Andrew Hsiao.

We'll hear Seligman discuss how he first heard about Wong, and then we'll jump ahead to the 1880s, when Wong was back in San Francisco. The end of the talk is a Q&A between Seligman and Hsiao.


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This program is brought to you by Michelle Chen and Leyla Mei of the APF collective.

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