Shows: March 31, 2014

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Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Three Years Later

March 11th 2014 marked the third year anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi power plant. A coalition of anti-nuclear energy activists, including many Japanese residents in New York, is engaging in an on-going movement to shut down the Fukushima Daiichi complex permanently, as well as to demand the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to take responsibility for the disaster, which still affects the residents in and around the Fukushima area. The coalition of anti-nuclear organizations and individuals coordinated two public demonstrations/marches in honor of the victims of the Fukushima disaster, as well as to seek the decommissioning of nuclear plants worldwide, particularly the unlicensed Indian Point nuclear power plant, which is located 35 miles from New York City.

APF also sat down with Yuko Tonohira and Ayumi Hirai to discuss the on-going ramifications of the nuclear disaster in Japan, along with the work that is being done by local New York activists seeking the end of nuclear energy.

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The Legacy of Rana Plaza and Labor Movements in Bangladesh

Last April, the Rana Plaza factory compound in Bangladesh collapsed, leaving more than 1,100 workers dead amid a massive pile of rubble. Today, the victims and their families are still struggling for some kind of compensation, but the sheer magnitude of the disaster spurred campaigns around the world to improve safety and working conditions at factories, led by consumer and pro-labor groups. One year on, the fight for economic justice continues, but Rana Plaza has helped shift the political ground. One big step forward has been a a major new health and safety program known as the Bangladesh Accord. The approaching anniversary of one of the global garment industry's worst disasters coincides roughly with another somber milestone: the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, the ferocious factory blaze that killed scores of factory girls in New York City and helped spur major labor reforms of the 20th century.

Recently labor experts and scholars gathered in New York City for a panel discussion on the legacy of Rana Plaza and the lessons of history that we can learn from the Triangle fire and its impact on the labor movement. In this clip from the event, hosted by Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, we hear from Judy Gearhardt, Executive Director of the ILRF, and Dina Siddiqi, Professor of Anthropology at BRAC University Dhaka.

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Zohra Saed: Fantastical Journey into Afghan American Identity

Last week, APF covered a story on the Asian American Literary Review’s latest publication entitled "Local/Express: Asian American Arts and Community 90s NYC." To celebrate the release of this book, AALR hosted a reading and open mic at DUMBO Sky in Brooklyn. We hear a selection from the open mic, featuring poet Zohra Saed, who shares her writing on the development of her Afghan American identity.

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This program is brought to you by Zhaleh Afshar, Michelle Chen and Danny Kim of the APF collective.

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