Welcome to #NJRR Live!
Hello everyone, this is New Jersey Revolution Radio and we are back on the air with another weekly episode of #NJRR Live! Brian would like to remind the audience to feel free to send him music on Instagram or another social media outlet. We would be happy to feature it on the show. NJRR cares about supporting artists as they create exciting new art.
Forgive and Forget
Brian gets the good vibes going by announcing that he forgives the officer who unfairly arrested him for cannabis related crime. For one thing, on the day Brian had court, he was out of weed but he really wanted to smoke a joint. When they dropped the charges, after a bit of nudging, the prosecutor and judge let him have his weed back. The universe isn’t so bad after all. In the world of activism, we preach understanding and tolerance. Therefore, tonight, Brian wants to reach out to Officer Vandegrut of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.
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From man to man, Brian would like Officer Vandegrut to know that it is totally okay that he has a tiny penis. It must be really difficult to look in the mirror every day and see a man who has disappointed every sexual partner in his life, including himself. That would be a hard thing for anyone to take. Even police deserve good healthcare, and some would argue that penis enlargement surgery should be included. As we move into 2021, we at NJRR wish Officer Vandegrut of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department all the best.
Young People Power
We welcome our writer Leah Giannantonio to the show. Brian shares that even having Leah, a young person, as a writer and occasional guest has notably boosted #NJRR Live’s numbers. Additionally, Brian has noticed an uptick in traffic as Leah has been taking over social media. Leah has been getting more comfortable running NJRR’s social media pages. The more time she spends at the company, the more confident she is that she won’t fuck up. Brian thanks Leah for being a constant presence in the company as technical difficulties pop up while he moves to Maine.
It is immeasurably important for young people to stay involved. Brian fills Leah in on the developing situation in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro is a leader who claimed power in Venezuela and whose claim was upheld by Western countries such as the United States that acknowledged his power. An election was held because of legitimate complaints that Maduro had stolen his seat. However, Maduro also won the election by a landslide because the opposition parties boycotted the vote. This is because the election is highly suspected to be fraudulent. Maduro is now in charge of all branches of the government.
New Jersey Revolution Radio knows how important it is to report on news from countries like Venezuela in other parts of the world that are experiencing conflict. The mainstream news media tends to give countries in South America a disproportionately low amount of airtime. This is especially problematic considering the incoming Biden administration.
Leah comments that things look grim if the Biden administration’s behavior in foreign affairs is anything like that of the Obama administration. Brian agrees, fearing escalation. One thing that we can do here on the ground is continue to spread accurate and truthful information and organize as effectively as we can. Social media is a great tool to do this. Young people possess an advantage because of their familiarity in the space.
Before welcoming our main guest to the show, Brian expresses gratitude to Leah for her hard work in writing and uploading articles as well as posting on social media for NJRR. Leah works hard and in order for her to be paid we rely on donations. To everyone already donating, you’re the best. If you’re not donating, and you’re able, you should definitely at least consider it. It’s the perfect way to cram good karma for the year and avoid coal in your stocking. Or, you can make donating to NJRR your New Year’s Resolution! Patreon makes it easy to give monthly donations. Thank you very much.
Our main guest tonight is Jake Ephros. Jake is an organizer out of Montclair in Essex County. He’s with North Jersey DSA and is a core member of the New York-New Jersey Abolish ICE Coalition. Like Leah, Jake is a young activist in his 20s. Jake informs us that there are currently 4 detention centers/concentration camps in New Jersey.
He describes pressuring the boards in control of these centers not to renew their contracts with ICE and receiving vague correspondences that avoided responsibility. In Hudson County, 6 out of 9 freeholders voted to renew an ICE contract to keep the center running “for as long as is legally permissible.” For the record, their names are Anthony Vainieri, Kenny Kopacz, Caridad Rodriguez, Albert Cifelli, Jerry Walker and Anthony Romano.
These 6 people are nothing short of Nazis. They are taking blood money to put people in prison. They should know that as they sit down to brunch with whatever people will line their pockets and wrestle with it every night as they go to sleep.
Biden Administration Unfolding
Jake fears that this is only the beginning. As Biden takes over for Trump, people are going to settle and allow things like this to happen. Much of the groundwork for the horrible reality we are seeing today in these centers was laid out during the Obama administration, in which Biden served as Vice President.
At the time of this show’s recording, a 25-day hunger strike is underway in the Bergen County detention facility. Nine individuals are involved. Jake testifies that the Abolish ICE Coalition is doing what they can in solidarity. It is hard to know exactly what is happening in these facilities at all times but it is being said that incarcerated individuals were force fed food or falsely promised freedom if they ate.
Standing Up For Ourselves
Because of the legal language which seems to indicate that he alone has indefinite power to operate detention centers, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise has been in the spotlight. He does not have the public’s approval. Despite activists, including Jake, protesting and holding vigils outside of his house for the past few nights, DeGise has refused to cancel the ICE contract. He cannot stand to face the people he is supposed to be representing. This is because he is a filthy man who is happy to roll with pigs and he knows it. As the nights have gone by, police have tried using restraining orders and other dirty tactics to inhibit protestors, but have been met with resistance.
So, as Brian likes to ask at the end of particularly heavy shows, what can we do? Jake describes himself personally as a maximalist who tries to meet people at all avenues in activism. He says that we need people in the movement who are ready for direct action as well as people who have institutional connections and are ready to use them. Every Friday, the Abolish ICE New York-New Jersey Coalition has been meeting and collectively calling public officials and clogging their lines. Making phone calls and sending emails urging public officials to do the right thing is an accessible way to get involved in this cause.
New Jersey Revolution Radio stands in solidarity with Jake and the Abolish ICE New York-New Jersey Coalition as they protest the atrocities that take place inside of these facilities. Jake says that the movement is only growing and becoming more powerful as momentum grows. He is hopeful that we will be able to Free Them All one day, and until then urges us all to get involved in whatever ways we can.
-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio