Democracy in the Dark: Getting Away with Dirty Tricks During the Primary

Welcome to #NJRR Live! 

Hello and welcome! Tonight’s episode features a full house of excellent comrades. First, we bring in Belisha Beacon, who is here to give us our monthly anti-capitalist movie review. Moxie is a teen film starring Amy Poehler. She also directed and produced it. The movie is about a feminist revolution that takes place at a high school. Belisha comments that it has lots of classic teen flick tropes yet also highlights stages of activism. 

Brian comments that Amy Poehler’s versatility shone through in her performance. Belisha feels that today’s teens are ahead of the movie, so it felt somewhat contrived. The movie gave Gen Z activism the Hollywood treatment and dumbed down Gen Z as a whole. There are valid criticisms to be made for the film, but overall, Moxie was pretty decent. Brian and Belisha give Moxie 3 out of 5 fists.

[#NJRR Live June 16, 2021 with Brian Powers, Christian Perez, Belisha Beacon, Jessica Berrocal, Dr. Flavio Hickel Jr., and Afrika]

Yet Another Newark Police Incident

Next, Brian welcomes Christian Perez and Afrika to the panel to discuss an incident of police violence in Newark that took place on June 1st. During said incident, the Newark police attacked a group of young people who were not doing anything illegal. The kids had white T shirts, fanny packs, and dreads. Apparently, this served as probable cause, because the cops jumped out at them dressed as civilians from unmarked cars. The kids did not know who their assailants were and ran to the defense of one of their brothers who was being beaten by an officer. The incident has since been described as “police being attacked by a mob,” which was disproved by cell phone video evidence.

This type of incident, according to Afrika, is common in Newark. Newark police are known to be especially corrupt and bad. The family of the boys involved in the incident is in need of financial support at this time. You can pitch in by contributing through CashApp at $MoniqueRodwell. 

#NJRR Live Welcomes Jessica Berrocal and Dr. Flavio Hickel Jr.!

We now bring back our comrade Jessica Berrocal. Jessica is here to talk about her electoral run in the New Jersey primary. We also welcome once again to #NJRR Dr. Flavio Hickel Jr., who is here to give his commentary on political corruption as a professor of political science. To start, Flavio points out that not as many people vote in primaries as in other types of elections, such as the midterm election. Jessica moved from Jersey City to Fairview about 3 years ago. She spent under $7,000 on her campaign while her opponents spent an average of approximately $50,000.

Jessica noticed that there was no significant political action going on during her time working with food donations in Fairview. She noticed a lack of infrastructure compared to neighboring towns. For example, there are no speed bumps around any public schools in Fairview. She wanted to run in order to have a chance to implement solutions for these issues.


Jessica found that it was near pointless to run for election in New Jersey because the winners are generally predetermined. Flavio cites barriers to voting such as a lack of physical accessibility at voting places. It also takes a lot of mental effort to choose a candidate if you want to look past party lines. It can be easier to just mindlessly vote for the same party over and over. Many people fall into that trap.

Jessica was also harassed by supporters of her incumbent opponent. Police were unhelpful when she attempted to report the incident. Flavio says that Jessica’s experience is, unfortunately, relatively common for any politician who runs against the status quo.

Although she did not win the election, Jessica reports that she has noticed an increase in support following her candidacy. Many people in Fairview were glad to have seen a Brown woman running for candidacy. Jessica reports that several residents have met with her personally and offered her assistance with future projects. 


What can be done to make the voting system fairer for everyone? One idea is ranked-choice voting. Jessica is going to be working to try to implement this system in New Jersey in the coming years. The panel unanimously agrees that would inspire more confidence in elections for them. Dr. Flavio Hickel suggests holidays for voting and expanding early voting provisions. 

Afrika has a new podcast, All Power to the People, which can be found on Youtube!

There’s less than a week until our big event! We are super excited. Don’t miss it—here’s the Facebook event link!

-Leah Giannantonio, for the Revolution Radio Network

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