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20
Prisons are a very old concept and it's time to ask: Do they still work? Do they accomplish the goals for which they were created? What can we do with dangerous people if we do away with prisons, how can we protect society? Maya Schenwar is guest on this eye-opening discussion about her new book Locked Down, Locked Out. She says instead of healing, "Incarceration is tearing society apart." Dehumanizing inmates helps no one. So what can we do? Listen in and find out.

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18
 After any defeat, it's an important opportunity to listen and learn any lessons. Most of the Democratic losses in the 2014 election were among Blue Dog, "centrist" Democrats. On part one of today's show, Elias Isquith of Salon argues that it is Elizabeth Warren's party now, and that is a good thing for Democrats and America. And on the second half, we talk with Zaid Jilani of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee about the historic use of the word "socialist" as derision and that there is evidence that the negative reactions to that word are lessening and the more Americans, especially millennials, are ready to listen to socialist ideas for solving our deep structural problems.

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13
Peter Van Buren spent 24 years at the State Department and a year in Iraq. He has great knowledge of the players in the region, and on this show we focus on what's possible in the new war against ISIS. There are not a lot of options at this point, and none of them good. But if you want to know about what's really going on, give a listen.

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11
No doubt you've seen the current near-worship of all things military. All men and women in the military are called heroes. But what does that really do? On this show, Will Hopkins, who was decorated for valor in Fallujah 2004 and now serves as executive director of the NH chapter of Veterans for Peace, sheds a great deal of light on how Americans can best serve those who put their lives on the line. Myth is often taken as actual history, but Hopkins points out how crucial it is to instead see reality for what it is.

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06
What happened? With the Republicans now in the driver's seat, does this actually improve chances for Democrats in 2016? Or might that just be sour grapes talk? Guest on this discussion of New Hampshire and the nation is Republican political consultant Alicia Preston. If you are at all interested in electoral politics and what goes on behind the scense, you'll enjoy this one.

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03
On election day 2014 The Burt Cohen Show examinest the intent of America's founders. The far right has too often gotten away with claiming the mantle of the values of America's founders. Even Glenn Beck has stolen the title of Thomas Paine's 1776 pamphlet Common Sense as the title of his own book. In this interview, Montana author and radio host Brian Kahn talks about the real values of our founders. They are applicable today for progressives in taking on the illegitimate power of the corporations which have gained sovereignty over we, the people.

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30
Remember the boisterous chants of "We're Number 1!" and "USA! USA" when Osama binLaden was taken out? Exceptionalism is beyond mere national pride, it is an insistence that we are above the normal rules and that we are God's gift to the world. Of course if we know someone who feels this way about him or herself, we don't like that person. On this show, Professor David Bromwich of Yale discusses the nature and context of this belief in American Exceptionalism. Needless to say it does not serve us well at all, but if one criticises it, watch out. Give a listen, we can use this to make America better and more secure.

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23
But will congress give it to them? FBI Director James Comey recently went to congress asking to change the law to enable them to get a back-door access to our cell phone and computer communications data. But according to guest Jake Laperruque, Fellow on Privacy, Surveillance, and Security at the Center for Democracy and Technology, it seems both left and right are suddenly wary of government snooping, thanks in large measure to the work of Edward Snowden. And firms like Apple and Google are motivated to keep the back door shut. Listen in, and see that our voices do matter to congress.

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21
There have been many clampdowns on free speech in America lately, a sudden radical and highly disturbing new trend has emerged. If you dare to criticize Israeli policies, watch out for your job. Today's guest Allan Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism, says: "If you express views critical of the Israeli government and its policies, or are sympathetic to Palestinians and their efforts to achieve a state of their own, your views seem to be outside of the zone of protected free speech." It seems that Israeli policies on free speech run counter to traditional Jewish support for this crucial freedom.

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16
You've probably had the gut feeling there's more than meets the eye regarding the ISIS story. Guest today is Nicolas J. S. Davies who has done significant research and written about the subject in his book, Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion an Destruction of Iraq. He finds that a significant portion of those drawn to ISIS are Iraqis terrorized by the killing of a million or so Iraqis by thousands of US air strikes. ISIS seems to be the only organized resistance. And a lot of the background goes back to 1919 and is related closely to the dominance of the royals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait. There is another, far more productive way to defeat ISIS, according to Davies. It's not all that complicated. Listen in for a much needed clarification.

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06
Do you oppose the concentration and centralization of power and authority? Prefer natural, locally grown foods. Want top end American imperialism and militarism? Sounds like typical left stuff, right? Today there are petitions from more than 30 states calling for secession. Yes, secession. Today's guest is Michael Hill, hardly a typical lefty. Actually he's a very traditional conservative. He's co-founder and head of the League of the South, which holds all the above values, and is dedicated to a new paradigm which he and many others believe will serve us a lot better than the monolithic centralized power America has become. Check it out!

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02
As he embarked on a book tour in 2011, Henry Kissinger was met with protests. And you know the tour did not include  Spain or France, where there are warrants out for his arrest. Guests on this show are Joyce Horman, who blames the murder of her husband Charlie Horman on Kissinger (the subject  of the movie "Missing"), Debra Sweet, Director of World Can't Wait, and Tom Keough, who organized the protest against Kissinger when he appeared at New York's 92nd St Y. Listen and ask yourself why a Democratic candidate for president in 2016 might love him so much.

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30
Thomas Jefferson said: "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." Maybe that's exactly why some authoritarian political interests try to ban many books. The last week of September is the annual Banned Books Week and our guest on this show is Devon Chaffee, executive director of the NH Civil Liberties Union. You might be surprised at the familiar much loved classics which have been banned over the years. But what about parents protecting their kids from inappropriate books? That can be done without imposing on other parents. As a bumpersticker reads: Critical Thinking; the Other National Deficit. When it comes down to it, America is all about our First Amendment rights.

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25
Freedom is very appealing. Especially in the case of over zealous and ill focused police work. On the first part of this show, Benjamin Domenech of The Federalist talks about the mood of the so-called millennials, people born from 1980 to 2000. They deeply value freedom and have huge numbers heading into the election. Will libertarian Republicans win them over? And did you know that arrests for small amounts of marijuana are three times that of arrests for actual violent crime? On the second half, Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance sheds light on significant ballot initiatives relative to changing marijuana laws in a number of states and municipalities this November 4th.

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23
Ink on paper, books, have always been subversive. They lead to critical thinking. On the first part of this show, Ken Gloss,  proprietor of the internationally renowned Brattle Book Shop talks about the role of books in the 21st century. And he is most optimistic. And on part two, journalist Sarah Jaffe dissects the surprising dynamics of the recent New York state primary where Andrew Cuomo's campaign hit a major bump in the form of a left-leaning populist named Zephyr Teachout  who had pennies to his mega-dollars. What does this say about the perceived inevitability of institutional candidates across America?

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18
Freedom of speech; we take it for granted. But after the Reverend Bruce Shipman wrote short, a fairly mild letter to the NYTimes, recognizing that Israels devastation of Gaza probably fanned flames of anti-Semitism, he was forced to resign from his position at Yale. People call him brave, but why should it require courage to speak out? A professor at University of Illinois was similarly dismissed, for daring to broach this subject. What is behind this serious chilling of Freedom of Speech? It appears to be the influence of AIPAC money in politics and universities. An especially good show, listen in.

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16
Talk about making history! On Thursday September 18, Scotland votes on whether or not to declare independence from the United Kingdom. My guest is Bob Campbell, a Scot who is in the north of England. He doesn't want a Yes vote because Campbell figures if liberal/left Scotland leaves, that ensures more power to the right wing Tories of Cameron. But why shouldn't Scotland be the master of it's own fate? Many smaller countries have done the best in the world: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland. How much of a factor is England's eagerness to go to wars along with the big US? How would independence affect the Scottish economy? The audio quality across that bid pond is not ideal but give a listen and learn about this momentous decision.

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11
The State of Israel and it's defenders have been very adept at intimindating Jewish Americans from speaking out against their brutality in Gaza by labeling critics as "self hating Jews." On this show, "self respecting Jew" Eric Mann takes this charge head on. He is a veteran of the 60s civil rights movement and knows a lot about effective organizing to successfully achieve stated goals. Mann provides a valuable perspective and offers useful suggestions as to how to change US policy toward Israel despit the currently powerful pressure.

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09

So much of what we love about American culture has roots in Africa. Today some Americans fear the unknown Islamic world of the region. But there really is nothing to fear and a lot to gain. There is a West African music and culture festival coming up on September 21 in Portsmouth. Great dance and drums and lots of other culture from which we can learn and grow. Check it out. There will be contagious joy to share.

 

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03
Brushed aside for decades, a recent conference of scientists focused on the potential uses of LSD and other psychedelics. On this show, guest Randolph Hencken of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies talks about Psychedelic Science for the 21st century. If carefully controlled, should LSD and other psychedelic drugs become available as a tool for addressing psychological problems? If it can be of significant benefit to humankind, why not prescribe?

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02
As this show was being recorded, word came that another American journalist was beheaded. War hawks McCain, Graham, and Hillary Clinton are calling for massive intervention, but that has so often backfired. On this show, veteran foreign policy journalist Patrick Lawrence calls for bombing of ISIS to be a part of a solution, but only a small part. Everyone agrees we need to do what really works to put them out of business, but what? With his knowledge of the region and it's history, Lawrence has some very practical ideas

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28
The presidency of Bill Clinton was, on the domestic side, "just as damaging to the nation as George W Bush's was on the foreign policy side." This according to today's guest Dr. Steven Jonas author and co-author of many books and former insider on the Clinton Health Care fiasco. The big banks got much more powerful, working families took a big hit, and the power of the top one percent grew. It all started when power-hungry right wing Democrats watched George McGovern accept the party nomination.

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26
He seems to be picking up steam: Tennessee Senator Rand Paul separates himself from the pack by his libertarian and conservative credentials. But can this mix actually happen? On this show, political researcher and writer Sean McElwee discusses his conclusion that "libertarianism is antithetical to conservatism," and that a Rand Paul run for president in 2016 would "decimate the Republican base." Interesting stuff.

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21
Public support for legalizing and regulating marijuana/cannabis is growing quickly. But most politicians remain wary of such a change. Why? Who is behind the various efforts to keep it illegal? On this show, guest is Sarah Bryner, data analyst for the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. Aside from what you'd expect, even the drug counseling industry is in on the effort to keep it illegal.

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19
Is this America? With heavy arms and tanks, police in Ferguson attacking journalists? Police are there to serve and protect, while the military makes war on enemies. On this reprise show, guest is Alex Pareene, a columnist for Salon.com who has researched and written about the roots and extent of this historic and rather chilling change.

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12
Rabbi Michael Lerner says "Real friends don't let friends pursue a self-destructive path." Despite intense pressure, he refuses to be silent in the face of the destruction of Judaism. As the State of Israel moves away from traditional Jewish values and engages in possible war crimes, despite the immense power of the Israel lobby in Washington, he urges us all to speak up. Listen in and learn about real history and current realities.

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06
While the left has very few electoral victories, author Michael Kazin argues it has very effectively changed the nation. The author of "A Godly Hero: William Jennings Bryan," talks about what's gone right and wrong with America's left, and ideas for where we go from here.

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05
It was October 25. 2002 that a freak accident took the lives of Senator Paul Wellstone and five others. Wellstone, of course, was the biggest thorn in the side of the White House's planned war on Iraq. The guest on this show is Jim Fetzer who has thoroughly investigated and researched the evidence in the death of Wellstone, just ten days before an election he was expected to easily win, much to the discomfort of VP Cheney, who did in fact make threats to the senator. All evidence points to intentional electromagentic interference.

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04
We know it started 100 years ago, and we all thought it ended with the armistice and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. But author and columnist Michael Moran argues the conflicts responsible for the horrific bloodletting remain as alive as ever. In the Middle East, in the Balkans, and in India, Pakistan, and Africa as well, top say nothing of the Versailles-created state of Iraq.

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08
In the 30s, Communism meant an idealized hope for many destitute Americans. Then in the 50s, it became the Red Scare, led by the murderous Stalin. And the word Capitalism brings forth images of freedom and individuality. But there's a great deal of misunderstanding. On this show, Salon columnist Jesse Myerson sheds light into these dark mysterious corners.

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01
Though American history is full of left-leaning populist movements, for the last few years, the only populism has been on the far right. That may be changing, so argues Elias Isquith, assistant editor at Salon.com.

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01

Many Americans see our freedom to choose as consumers as what independence is all about. But recovering corporate CEO and Huffington Post columnist Richard Eskow on this show shines a light on how far we've veered from what the founders envisioned as the meaning of Independence.

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26
Peter Van Buren knows from personal experience. He told the truth about Iraq and was pushed out of his job at the State Department because of it. he sees three distinct eras in terms of a constitutional republic versus a police state. In the first era, the colonists lived under laws dictated by the king. Protest was not possible. Van Buren points out in this revealing interview that this new phase looks a lot like the one our founders rebelled against. Press harassment, free speech "zones," NSA spying; all have happened under the Obama Administration. And when we acquiesce, our foundation of freedom crumbles.

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24
A protest sign read: End Legal Bribery. As with lots of political change, it is starting in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary. The New Hampshire Rebellion is catching fire, as people fed up with the corruption of our system by vast fortunes being poured into politics, are coming together, Democrat and Republican, to create ever increasing pressure on congress to restore democracy to our electoral process. Guest is Jeff McLean on the NH Rebellion. We are not powerless.

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19
Many saw it coming back in 2003: the US invasion of Iraq was an avoidable disaster. It was easy to see it could not work. Now as ISIS swarms Iraq, what can be learned? Can Iraq save itself? Is there really anything the US can do now that might actually work? Guest on this show is Patrick Smith, former bureau chief to the International Herald Tribune and author of several nonfiction books and regular contributor to Salon, the New York Times, the Nation and others. He explains that one can not see reality in Iraq without an understanding of history. There may be some positives: this can be a moment form which we can learn and change. 

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17
Five hundred years may separate the reformation of Martin Luther and the nationalist/populist surge currently taking place in Western Europe, but there are strong connections between the two. On this show, John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus, describes some remarkable similarities. And America's current right wing populists also share some qualities. Like anger and mistrust at central power and bringing decision making back to those most affected. My question is where is the traditional American left populist movement? Many useful lessons are to be learned.

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12
Most of the world seems to think that the State of Israel and Judaism are one and the same. They are not. Where Judaism is thousands of years old and lived for peace with Muslims and Christians in what Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss calls The Holy Land, Zionism is only about a hundred years old and is part of the rise of European nationalism which has caused so much trouble and bloodshed. Weiss insists "the Zionist state conflicts with the basic teachings of Judaism, and is resulting in a rise in anti-Semitism as so many confuse the two. This is one very informative discussion.

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10
Though it's usually thought of as a good thing, the word "tolerance" really falls well short of full inclusion. Instead tolerance actually preserves prejudice and leaves intact inequality. Suzanna Danuta Walters' just published book (right in time for Gay Pride Month)  is called The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality. In a remarkably thought-provoking, and actually fun interview, Walters will leave you with a clearer understanding of how far we still have to go.

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03
If we rely on the mainstream media, the narrative about Ukraine is pretty clear. But investigative historian Eric Zuesse has instead simply used the internet to go to primary sources and found that we are being lied to. The alleged good guys Obama is backing up include some not so nice folks, actual Nazi-types, according to Zuesse. It's all part of a power play and the news reporters are acting more like stenographers for the party line. And now Obama is calling for a big increase in military involvement in the region.

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29
She looked inevitable in 2008, too. But Hillary Clinton as a presidential contender has some serious vulnerabilities. On this show Guy Saperstein, former civil rights attorney, past president of the Sierra Club Foundation, and board member of Brave New Films addresses those weaknesses head on. Not only is she exceptionally hawkish but her connections as a darling of Wall St can not be seen as electability pluses heading into 2016. And her record as secretary of state appears to be rather lacking as well. If Democrats want to win the White House, we might want to look elsewhere.

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27
The fall of Qadaffi and instability in Libya. Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria. The French war in Mali: all these hot spots influence the world and neighboring Niger, another former French colony. On this show NH resident Bess Palmisciano who has been in Niger some 40 times, talks about realities on the ground and her work with Rain for the Sahel and Sahara, and the difference it makes working with and respecting indigenous cultures, specifically the nomadic Tuareg. Even America's war in Afghanistan effects the region.

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22
In old East Germany or the Soviet Union, there was no question the government was watching. Everyone was a suspect. But this is the United States where we still have a fourth amendment in effect that is supposed to protect us from such intrusion into our privacy. On this show conservative Republican Chuck Douglas, who served New Hampshire's second district in congress and was a state Supreme Court justice, talks about the clash between our Constitution and NSA spying. A lot can be done about it, if we the people make noise and keep after candidates.

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20
On May 17, 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously against "separate but equal" in public schools, recognizing segregation meant inequality. The point was to improve education for impoverished minorities. But today's guest Richard Rothstein argues black children remain more racial;ly and socioeconomically isolated today tha at any time since data have been collected, and that the cycle of poverty continues. He says housing reform is necessary for their to be effective education reform. It is a sobering message, we have a long way yet to go.

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15
On the first half, Chuck Collins, co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, talks about the effects of extreme wealth on democracy and public health and what can be done about it. And on part two, journalist Amanda Marcotte discusses a recent home-school prom in which a teenage girl was kicked out for being too alluring to the teen boys fathers! What are the "proper" roles for young women, according to fundamentalists?

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13
A war on terror is, by definition, a war without end. On this show, Afghan correspondent for the Wall St Journal and Christian Science Monitor Anand Gopal talks about his new book: No Good Men Among The Living; America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes. The NY Times calls it "essential reading for anyone concerned about how America got Afghanistan so wrong." Gopal looks at three representative individuals and finds so many missed opportunities. The war goes on.

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06
Andrew Hemingway is not the party favorite, but the 32 year old Republican is running for governor. On issues of privacy, the threat of a big casino, and the intransigence of our current governor on therapeutic cannabis, I suspect you will like what he has to say. And on the second half of the show, Republican state representative Ted Wright talks about his fight in the legislature for compassionate use of cannabis. It's hard to believe there is opposition, but for now, there is. Of course it is far from over. You can help.

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29
Thousands of people joined the farmers, ranchers, and tribal leaders of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance the week of April 22-26 in Washington DC. They were joined by actor Darryl Hannah and rocker Neil Young. We open with Neil's words to those gathered and then talk with Tom Genung, a rancher from Nebraska whose water from the Ogallala Aquifer is under threat from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry some of the world's dirtiest, most toxic oil under high pressure across the US for use exclusively outside the US.

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24
There's a new religion out there. Up on a pedestal are the new information monopolies, which many believe in as infallible, purely scientific mechanisms that fix humanity's problems better than mere humans. Google and Comcast are the new all-powerful institutions which merely organize the world's information and are the sources of knowledge. Not unlike the Catholic Church of medieval times. In the concluding in a series on the power of the internet, guest on this show is media studies professor Kevin Healey. We ask the question who serves who: the internet or humanity?

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22

Remember when we thought the internet, being "open," might be a leveler of power, putting the tools of creation in everybody's hands equally? The reality is our digital devices are new shackles chaining us to corporate America and to government surveillance. Despite what we expected, the internet has actually enabled greater concentration of power. In a revealing examination of our new digital realities, my guest on this show is Astra Taylor, author of the just released The People's Platform; Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She suggests that the internet be treated as the public utility it has become.

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15
In the 1930s, 2800 American men and women, black and white fought fascism in the prelude to the second world war. The battle was in Spain. They were the legendary brave heroes of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Now none of them are still alive but the spirit and the struggle for human rights lives on. The recipient of the 2014 human rights award goes to Bryan Stephenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Currently there is unimaginable injustice when it comes to carrying out alleged justice; sentencing discrepancies are appalling and very little attention is being paid to the adverse effects the broken system is having on hundreds of thousands of American families. As it was for the Lincoln Brigade, it's an uphill struggle for justice and human rights. But the work is being done. And you can help.

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