Interview: Andrea Haverkamp–Laborwave Revolution Rado

andrea pic

Laborwave Revolution Radio is a podcast started in 2017 in Corvallis, Oregon.  It is regularly hosted by Andrea Anarchy and Person X.  This podcast features revolutionary news and activism commentary on a national and global level.  We interviewed one of the founders, Andrea Haverkamp, to talk about the goals of the program and to hear what inspired its creation.  You can listen to Laborwave on Soundcloud here.


What is your work with Laborwave Revolution Radio about and what do you hope to accomplish with it?


Laborwave Revolution Radio is a podcast for leftist politics, critique, news, and activist interviews. The inspiration for starting this podcast came from, myself, being a media consumer and seeing a big difference in media presence between political spheres. Conservative media is much larger in terms of numbers and content creators than liberal media, which itself dwarfs the amount of leftist or union oriented media out there. This includes podcasts – if you look on Apple Podcasts or Google Play, the most popular political podcasts are either right-wing or NPR-esque centrist reporting which leaves a lot of critiques out of their discussions. We wanted to add a podcast which advocated locally and nationally, in solidarity with all the groups that intersect struggles here at Oregon State. This brought myself and my co-conspirator Person X to Laborwave – Revolution Radio, Corvallis. Our name harkens back to New Wave music and Waves of activism, whether feminist or otherwise. A wave of labor with revolutionary politics is rising and we wanted to capture this. We have had the wonderful opportunity to interview national figure David Barsimian, feature speeches and presentations that occurred locally from Sylvia Federicci and Zoe Samudzi, and interview local activists such as Mickinai Arefaini and Paige Kreisman. We usually report on news local and national and present articles we enjoy from leftist publications, anti-racist movements, and union organizing. Together we hope that this spurs conversation and community in Corvallis and highlights to communities elsewhere the amazing work being done in this small town. Part of imagining the success of a radical social/political/economic revolution is reporting on it. It is occurring all around us!


Who would you consider your organizing heroes and what did you learn from them that inspires you?


My organizing hero – hands down – is Emma Goldman. The way she was able to agitate large numbers of people in her speeches on the street, the fire and ferocity in which she spoke, and the way her words incited other to radical action is so deeply inspiring. Her sharp writing and critical perspectives were decades ahead of her time, and she stands out as one of the most influential late 19th century to early 20th century anarchist theorists. Over a hundred years ago she argued for sexual liberation, an end to prisons and legal systems of border regulation, and remained staunchly opposed to the Women’s Suffrage movement on the grounds that women should band together to end the system of government voting writ large. Her and Eugene Debs were a few of the most targeted high profile revolutionaries by the U.S. government, leading to legislation to pass such as the 1912 Sedition Act which specifically sought to silence their speech. Subsequently, our anarchist history has been confiscated, criminalized, banned, and burned for a century. Even when Emma was deported she maintained her activism from abroad and never ceased to advocate for a new social order built upon egalitarian justice. I hope to be able to channel her fire, her passion, and her ability to draw thousands to her words in public spaces with her words. While our public spaces are now limited, and crowds rarely gather in such numbers on the streets these days. If Laborwave were able to reach the numbers she was able to draw a hundred years ago I would be fulfilled in life.


In her essay “Anarchism – What It Really Stands For” she defines anarchism as “The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.” This is a guiding principle for my own ever-developing political philosophy, especially as it has grown and developed through synthesis with black liberation movements and transnational feminism.


Emma Goldman speaking in New York’s Union Square, 1916, where over 3000 gathered to listen.


What gives you hope for the future?


I am inspired and moved by the power of new media – including the often ballyhooed social media – to connect radicals, share organizing strategies, experience one another’s stories, and build global class solidarity. When I grew up in the early 90s my eyes were opened by the internet which allowed me to explore concepts such as evolutionary biology and communism despite a sheltered upbringing in rural Kansas. The internet is far from an egalitarian service, riddled with surveillance and capitalist pressures,  but despite this the spread of information and connection has contributed enormously to the revolutionary struggle. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the connections we are forming. Podcasts such as Laborwave can spread political thought to the far reaches of the globe, and even sharing critical perspectives on Facebook leads to life changing conversations. Activists are not born overnight – we develop through a thousand tiny conversations. I believe the internet age has accelerated the rate in which these thousand conversations can occur. Additionally it allows us to intervene when toxic fascist conversations are occurring to interrupt their cycle of malicious recruiting.



What do you think are the most significant obstacles to social/economic justice in the future?


It might seem contradictory to what has given me hope, but I believe the Information Age has given us significant road blocks at the same time. Study after study show that we are becoming more insular and fragmented through the algorithms employed by Google and Facebook which tailor our daily internet experience to be the most agreeable to us. The same google searches on different computers will lead to wildly different results based on browsing history they have obtained. Famously during the turmoil in Egypt it was shown that one user account might see news on the social upheaval, while another may produce results highlighting tourism instead. The way that I interact – and distribute a podcast – with people very much like myself is a hurdle in our organizing. Emma Goldman was able to reach crowds of thousands of very different people. This occurs directly alongside our loss of public spaces. While we have gained the ability to connect and distribute with like minded individuals, it has distanced us wildly from those who need intervention the most. Public spaces where crowds meet and mingle are virtually non existent. There is simply no need to congregate in the fashion people did 100 years ago. The state has been very successful in squashing many of the societal support structures which allowed for most of the social movements over the past few decades. Ending the draft effectively took upper class and middle class comrades out of the subject population of oppressive military service. Contrary to many narratives, it allowed our government and influential citizens to become completely separated from the wars we instigate. The sky rocketing income inequality and inaccessibility of college tuition access has critically impacted leftist organizing. The economic ability for students to spend large amounts of time subsisting on small amounts of money – without tens of thousands of dollars in loans – squelched campus radicalism. We are shoved into wage work to pay off these loans right upon graduation. Myself, I am no exception. How can we build communal spaces and new commons when private landowners have rendered it economically impossible? Public spaces have been reduced, heavily regulated regulated, and organizing in them has been criminalized. Combined with Information Age fragmentation of our society into like-minded social sectors, it is difficult to see a clear path forward. This presents new challenges for decades old organizing strategies that I am sure we will overcome. We require rapidly shifting strategies and organizing innovations coming out of these challenges. The alt-right and nazi-ism has particularly capitalized upon new media, loss of the commons, and social fragmentation. I hope we are doing the same.


What books or movies or media would you recommend people study to learn about organizing and social change?


I am going to kick it off with a podcast I love – Kicking the Kyriarchy Kyriarchy is a theory that we live in a society not directly hierarchical or patriarchal, but that all of the axis of difference come together to form a system of power which may look more like a pyramid, complex and full of horizontal, vertical, downward, and ever-changing pressures. It is closely tied to intersectional feminist theory as a way to view social domination and subjugation. The wonderful producers, Elena and Sidonie, walk the listeners through various forms of oppression and the tangled knot they form in our every day lives. I can’t recommend it enough!


One of my favorite books is Captive Genders released through AK Press. In the age of rainbow capitalism, it could not be more important. It expertly outlines the social regulation of gender and sexuality through the prison system and administrative governance, which particularly enact violence on black and brown queer/trans bodies. It contains a collection of powerful essays and stories from a broad range of activists. It provides scathing critique of modern LGBTQ+ politics while simultaneously highlighting radical transformative justice organizations such as FIERCE! in New York City and Critical Resistance. Outlining strategies to build an abolitionist queer movement and providing educational materials for our communities, this is an essential volume to get ahold of.


I am a creature of the internet – I barely turn on a TV anymore. If you are prone to binge watch youtube videos, I gotta hand it to John Oliver.  John Oliver is certainly closer to NPR style politics than anything I engage in as an activist. But, regardless, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is often witty and intricate journalism which digs really deep into topics providing a lot of data, sources, and compelling narratives. I know we are all guilty of watching things that aren’t perfect – our quest for perfection can often stifle engagement. John Oliver’s topics for his 20-ish minute segments include sharp analysis of multi-level marketing’s targeting of women of color, of the private capitalist addition rehab industry, historical critiques on the mythos of Rudy Giuliani, and even the national boondoggle of government backed flood insurance. There are more than enough topics well worth a watch. His jokes rarely punch down, and instead punch up. But as an HBO political personality, he isn’t perfect. None of us are. I certainly am not. Go watch some John Oliver. Given the rising likelihood of national anti-reproduction rights being stifled, I highly recommend his videos on the sticky web of anti-abortion laws and tax payer funded crisis pregnancy centers . Each are roughly 20 minutes long and well worth it. I sure learned a lot.


Interviewed by Joseph Orosco, July 2018.

Uneasy Prosperity

By Mark Naison (July 26, 2018)

Those who think that the low official unemployment rate signals a return to prosperity for working class and middle class Americans or that it guarantees Donald Trump’s re-election in 2020 are not seeing what I am seeing on the ground.

In the working class neighborhood of Eastern Long Island where we have a home ( we are the only dual residence family on our block) almost every house has 4-6 cars parked in front of it, meaning that families are doubling or tripling up or taking in boarders. This has been going on for more than ten years, but you actually see MORE cars parked in front of houses than you did five years ago, even though the unemployment rate is lower. And this is not just a sign of the Latinization if the neighborhood. White, Black and multiracial families also have multiple cars in their driveways.

What is going on? Some of this is the result of inflation-in the past year, food and gas prices have gone up, and medical expenses have skyrocketed. But the major reason is wage stagnation and the disappearance of stable, high paying jobs. Everyone, young middle aged and old, has to piece together multiple jobs in a “gig economy” to assure themselves of the basic necessities of life and have little left over to afford homes and apartments on their own.

The profound sense of economic unease this inspires contributes to the tense and volatile political atmosphere in the nation. It also explains why some working class and middle class people who voted for Barack Obama turned around and voted for Donald Trump.

The majority of people in the country are struggling economically and are worried about where we are heading

That is our reality in 2018, no matter what statistics tell us

To quote Bob Dylan:

“It’s tough out there. High water everywhere”


Bezo’s Plan for Space Intensifies Misery on Earth

By Arun Gupta (July 20, 2018)

Consider this.
Jeff Bezo’s wealth has surpassed $150 billion.
There are at least 11,600 homeless people in King County, where Amazon is located.
Amazon recently strong-armed the Seattle City Council to repeal a small $275 annual head tax on large corporations to address the soaring homelessness in the wealthiest city in the Western Hemisphere.

Bezos sees no use to spending his fortune on planet Earth. His explicit plan is to sell $1 billion of stock a year to colonize space

“I get increasing conviction with every passing year, that Blue Origin, the space company, is the most important work that I’m doing. Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune.”

A grumpy old German bro described all of this nearly two centuries ago:

“Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole.”

If you’re not a Marxist, you’re not paying attention.


What It Takes to Say that the US Was Ever Great

By Matilda Bickers (July 18, 2018)

You explain to a white man what it takes to say that the US was ever great:

It takes disregarding the genocide of indigenous people’s;
The mass kidnap of Africans in order to steal their physical and sexual labour for the duration of their lives, their children’s lives, their grandchildren’s lives, their great grandchildren’s lives, their great great grand children’s lives–
and then the mass disenfranchisement of these people when their descendants are finally allowed their freedom
the creation of new ways to exploit them after emancipation;
the exploitation of all poor and working class people, including their children;
the dehumanization and state sanctioned murder of people of colour, queer people, and esp trans women of colour;
That today in the 21st century women STILL aren’t equal citizens under the law

It takes disregarding the suffering and exploitation and murder of hundreds of millions of people, maybe billions, over four centuries, in order to focus on the freedoms allowed to middle and upper class straight, white, cis men.
It takes believing that the prerogatives enjoyed by this very very small subset of humanity and of the US population–these are more important than ANYTHING else.

And the man tells you: if you don’t like it you should move.


The High Price of Using Racism to Fight Liberals and Leftists

By Mark Naison (July 17, 2018)

I understand being angry at liberals and leftists. But when you are willing to first tolerate, and then applaud open appeals to racism to get back at them, you are walking down a very dangerous path, the path trod by Hitler and his German supporters.

Make no mistake about it, those who continue to support Trump no matter what he says or does because it pisses off the “snowflakes” and the “libtards” are not going to be very happy where this all ends up. Everybody loses when a society declares war on its most vulnerable people. Including those who think they were going to be immune to the consequences

Remember: Hitler said that everything he did, including the death camps and killing squads, was necessary to “Fight Communism.”

As for the broader consequences, including its impact on those who supported Hitler: When WW2 ended, there wasn’t a blade of grass left in the Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest park, because every piece of vegetation had been eaten by the starving people of that city.


It is Moral Failure to Quit in a World Organized by Dominance

By Katherine Power (July 16, 2018)

I’ve been thinking about the difference between the situation of the children stranded in the Thai cave on the one hand, and on the other hand, the US border patrol’s separating children from their parents and putting them in cages.

In Thailand, everyone was working together, government was mobilized, volunteer specialists came from halfway around the world, nothing was held back because of a shortage of resources, there will be medical and psychological help for survivors, and no one even mentions that several of the trapped young people are stateless refugees. As in so many situations in human life, the ending could quite possibly have been tragic, but would try with all our might.

At the border, we have a brutal, uncaring government doing everything it can to escape accountability; the resources are being used to enrich corporate cronies; the parents and the children are despised as dangerous and unworthy foreigners. It seems like the disaster could go on forever.

The difference in outcome between the cave and the border could look like a moral failure, a difference in the value put on the lives of the people in the two groups. It seems to me, though, to be to be a perfect illustration of the difference between a world organized by cooperation and mutuality, and a world organized by dominance.

Notice the power, the immense energy and ingenuity brought to bear by people working together to rescue the children in the Thai cave. True, it was an acute problem of one moment, but the capacity to address it arose from a wealth of healthy civic, governmental, and social relationships and activities.

We are working together to rescue the children in the cages. We may not win in one jubilant moment. The moral failure would be to quit in despair.


This originally appeared on Katherine Power’s blog, Practical Peace.  You can see it here.

Campaign Against Kavanaugh is Already Lost

By Todd May (July 12, 2018)

Here’s something I don’t understand: a campaign against Kavanaugh. I get that Democrats are supposed to vote against him. But a real campaign against him? That’s where our energy is supposed to go? I think folks who want this don’t realize that they’re getting played. Kavanaugh is conservative Republican establishment. Is he awful? Yes, he’s awful. But suppose the forces against him prevail and he isn’t confirmed. Then Trump nominates somebody worse and your capital is already spent opposing this guy. That’s the strategy: put a more “reasonable” guy up first and either force an acceptance of him or a rejection of him that gives Trump the opening to nominate someone worse who will be confirmed.

You’ll never get the Senate to reject two people in a row. It’s not going to happen. There is so much that requires our energy right in through here. Don’t waste your time on a battle you can’t win.

Some people will counter with the Bork nomination. But Bork was an outlier to begin with. Instead, the “moderate,” Kennedy was nominated and confirmed. But Trump is not making the same mistake. Reject Kavanaugh, and the next one, who will probably be an outlier, will get confirmed.

Other people will counter with the idea that the Senate may turn Democratic in November. Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. And two things to keep in mind: rejecting Kavanaugh will bring out a lot of Republican voters in November and there are Democratic Senators in red states are not going to vote against Trump’s nominee twice.

We’ve lost this one. Let’s put our energy toward something we can win. It’s not as though we’re casting about to find struggles worth engaging in.


Portland Fighting More Vicious than Charlottesville

By Jason Wilson (July 4, 2018)

I have seen a lot of street confrontations in Portland and elsewhere now. The beat downs I saw last Saturday were among the worst I have seen anywhere.

I don’t want to get into league tables of street violence but the street confrontations were more vicious and plentiful than what I saw in Charlottesville (even though they played out over a much shorter period).

What you see in the video is really alarming. (Those sensitive to violence should know that it’s disturbing content) Several people attacking someone prone on the ground, and refusing to stop when asked (and actually attacking the person intervening). Ask cops, paramedics, or prosecutors exactly how dangerous that is.


People traveled from other states to be part of the Patriot Prayer rally. I counted 60+ people in Proud Boys colours. So where does this situation we have ourselves in the PNW end? I hope it doesn’t end with someone dying. That video shows how close we came to that last Saturday.

I have heard (but can’t confirm) that someone was hospitalised with serious head injuries as a result of a beating on Saturday. We’re getting close to the edge.

People outside the region should pay attention to what is happening here. They should factor it in to any discussions they are having about what is going on in this country right now.


Jason Wilson is a journalist for the Guardian US and Australia, living in Portland.

The New American Way: Forgiveness is the Healthy Thing

By Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas (July 4, 2018)

If I ask you to think ten positive things that come to mind when you think of people on the opposite political spectrum, how long would it take you to mention them? What if I ask you to think 10 negative things? Is it easier to add negative dimensions as you consider the other?

Psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov tell us that when judging faces after an exposure time of 100 ms, we perceive trustworthiness and competence; meaning how safe that person looks to us or how threatening. Other researchers tell us that in one-twelfth of a second we can identify someone based on race, age, gender (Susan Fiske, Amy Cuddy, Peter Glick, et, al.) We judge, sometimes without knowing; not all the judgments are negative, but it is our actions of distancing ourselves that creates that gap in time and space. We live in times of continued distancing and intimate and uncomfortable real feelings. I was inspired to write these words from many conversations that I hosted with friends and family; some conversations look similar to the following video: Can Trump Supporters And Immigrants See Eye To Eye?

I live in the Portland metropolitan area, the epicenter where ideas are clashing. Just a few days ago, Antifa and Proud Boys clashed violently in what I can better describe as the symptom of our socio-political times.


There are extreme examples but also everyday ordinary examples of an air that feels and breeds separation. What’s the most radical thing that we can do today? I asked a group of friends. Almost all of them added fuel to the fire; except for a few, they all mentioned that they are sick and tired of navigating these stressful toxic times. I think both sides of the visible political spectrum may feel the same: anger, frustration, increased isolation, depression, anxiety…

New findings provide evidence that sociopolitical events can impact the psychological and physical functioning of people.

Lindsay T. Hoyt, an assistant professor of psychology at Fordham University studied young adults in the United States experiencing an increase in biological stress after the 2016 presidential election. Professor Daniel P. Keating has led several studies to monitor the nation’s health related to toxic stress; he mentions that the principal drivers of stress and anxiety are fear, uncertainty, and a lack of control over one’s life and future, and these have grown markedly over the past year. Professor Steven Stanton at Duke University conducted a study on the stress hormone cortisol response in people on both sides of the political spectrum in 2008 after the elections in North Carolina and Michigan. The results: John McCain voters had increases in post-outcome cortisol levels, whereas Barack Obama voters had stable post-outcome cortisol levels. I’m not sure about the studies related to independent voters; Google it.

Family separations cause anger, depression, anxiety worry, clashes in your city between opposite sides of the political spectrum. The added constant negative newsfeed on social media adds more fuel to the fire. Worst yet, families, friends, neighbors that I know for many many years stop talking to each other. Their distancing has created a bittersweet emptiness. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Yes, some knew each other for 20 years, 16 years, and most recently, a social media argument between two superb friends ended dramatically.

In February 1865, 400 people were executed as crowds, reporters and politicians observed; this was after the end of the civil war. This was an unusual execution. However, during that time, Lincoln, a fervent Republican, issued many pardons for war-related offenses. Weeping mothers claimed for their husbands. Many generals did not agree with Lincoln on the pardons because it was a sign of “weakness.” Many historians have documented the limits of Lincoln’s mercy, but what we often hear is the triumph and the victory of the Union over the Confederates. It’s extremely hard, to listen, to hear, to even look at the opposition when so much pain, suffering, and acts of cruel and inhumane can be attributed to them. Trust me; I’m angry right now at family separation and many other things.

What’s the most radical thing we can do now then?

Perhaps the new American way is not the distancing and affirming our ground and holding on to our flag to be right (no matter the cost), but the freedom to explore righteousness; not only because the whole world is watching but because the wellbeing of the next generation depends on our actions today.

In 1961, Dr. King delivered a sermon at Central Methodist Church where he argued that Jesus’ command to love one’s enemies was not “the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer” but the words of a “practical realist.”


He then follows with the words “Put us in jail, and we will go in with humble smiles on our faces, still loving you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we will still love you. . . . But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer.” We can also look at the movement a group that was founded by former violent extremist committed to compassion, education and countering hate and discrimination.

As people of color, we know what is like to suffer constantly. I think is time to give the new American way the chance to be healers and unifiers; however painful and awkward is the beginning of the conversation. Of course, this may apply to a micro-level and inter-personal level; the macro level requires a more complex conversation.

George William Russell wrote once as he reflected on forgiveness: “Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave, Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!” I’m not saying that suddenly neighbors, friends and distancing militants will drop everything and hold hands to dance kumbaya (I don’t even know how to spell it) I’m saying that a new door or window of potential courageous opportunities awaits. It’s 4th of July; first impressions last longer, small but significant gestures of positivity can lead to gigantic socio-political-cultural changes. We have more in common in our political diversity that what we have with the barons that are profiting monetarily and politically from our division.

On April 3rd, outside of Petersburg Virginia, Lincoln rode his horse past the lifeless bodies of a bloody war; he quietly turned to Ulysses Grant and said in a reflective tone… “We made it possible for one another to do terrible things.” He then instructed for a peaceful transition; the painful and intimate decision to forgive and at some time to apply justice.

In Italy, six researchers conducted a study on forgiveness employing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) looking at the response to painful emotions, anger, hostility, and the desire for revenge. “Granting forgiveness was associated with the regulation of affect through cognition, which comprised the precuneus, right inferior parietal regions, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.” Translation: forgiving is a healthy thing to do.

To my friends and neighbor’s: What’s the most radical thing that we can do? We can begin a small difficult, courageous, and controversial conversation with those who we perceive as different than us yet… so close to us; the new American Way.

PS: I’m an indigenous immigrant with radical ideas on my mind when it comes to community healing, diplomacy, and courageous conversation; you know where to find me… extending my hand. No, I do not have my bbq grill on today.