#NJRR Live: Mutual Aid Locally Peace Missions Globally

Welcome to Tonight’s Episode of #NJRR Live!

Welcome to another episode of #NJRR Live! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Youtube and show support by liking, retweeting, and commenting on our content. Shoot us a message on Instagram if you’d like to have your music featured on the show. The intro music for the show tonight is by an artist who did just that. It has been a universally shitty year. They say misery loves company, but Brian just wishes no one had to suffer to begin with. We are looking forward to 2021 as a year of rebuilding—both around the world and at New Jersey Revolution Radio.

Vaccine Concerns

Brian fears that not enough people will get the vaccine for it to have a significant effect on the general population. It can be hard to get a specialist, especially for those experiencing poverty, but people should be in contact with a doctor rather than with self-proclaimed internet “professionals.”

We at NJRR do not intend to silence the fact that racism has historically pervaded and continues to be a part of medicine. However, we need to be adhering to reality. Some of the most infuriating rhetoric that Brian has encountered include claims that the vaccine is untested. Scientists have been testing the vaccine for a year and multiple studies have been published. Just because you are not paying attention does not mean that something isn’t happening.

Mutual Morris

We welcome Renee Shalhoub, co-founder of Mutual Morris and who was recently featured in statewide press and articles in The Nation. She has been on the show before and spoken about her activism. Renee has continued her activism throughout 2020. She began the COVID pandemic in February by trying to hand out masks and basic food and hygiene supply.

As Renee and Therese were distributing the bars of soap and oranges, people came to them in crisis. They realized that they needed to start delivering groceries to families, so that is what they did. It started with Theresa Markila and Renee doing it by themselves and then they recruited some help through activist networks. Before they knew it, they had over 500 families and over 100 volunteers involved in the program. They now provide groceries to 10-20 families per day.

Organizing During A Pandemic

They were able to translate a lot of their work because they were already organizers. Some ideas stuck and some didn’t. The biggest thing they’ve learned is to be flexible and recruit help where available. There is a lot of coordination involved and this type of work does not fit a concrete system. Volunteers are the foundation of the organization. Renee lost her job in June. The mutual aid work helped her to get through it because she wasn’t thinking of herself while doing it. Organizing and connecting with families through mutual aid is what kept her sane during the pandemic.

Theresa shares that the government has disappointed her. She doesn’t think the government is capable of providing for the needs of the communities in its own country. She is focusing on building power from the ground up rather than relying on the political system. For Theresa, educating, organizing, and giving power to communities is far more effective than getting involved in politics. Politics and elections are distractions from grassroots organizing. Most of the people they work with do not engage in political action because they know it does not serve them.

Are you interested in helping to grow a grassroots revolution? Donate to NJRR today! We rely on your donations so that we can pay our workers, such as Leah. New Jersey Revolution Radio has big stuff coming up in January. We are excited to expand and bring you the best content we can. The more donations we get, the more we can do. Thank you!

Bahman Azad

We now welcome tonight’s guest from the US Peace Council, Bahman Azad. Bahman has gone overseas on a number of youth missions and diplomatic trips in the name of spreading a different perspective, one of peace. He was born and raised in Iran and he served in the Iranian military.  

Brian backtracks a few weeks to ask about the Iranian nuclear scientist who was killed and why it was so important and upsetting to many. According to Bahman, he was one of the top ranking nuclear physicists and a top researcher for the revolutionary guards corps. He was under investigation for sabotaging Iran in order to bring the country to its knees so it would submit to the United States and other nations economically. 

Iran and Israel

It is widely suspected that Israel is behind this. Israel has openly admitted to state terrorism and carried on as if nothing happened. This latest attack is upsetting but not surprising in the least. Politicians like Bernie Sanders have come out and said that this is an unfortunate event but they will not perform any significant action. We must keep an eye on development in the Middle East, especially as we enter the Biden regime. It is possible that whoever is behind that attack was trying to spur military action and possibly even get other parts of the world involved.

As a Lebanese-American, Renee is discouraged by the whole ordeal. What happened to this man is really grotesque. Unfortunately, Aman has not seen much that indicates that there will be any serious backlash. One institution that has the power to bring some repercussions to this man’s killers is the United Nations, however, as it stands, the United States has been able to control even the UN. 

Venezuelan Presidential Crisis 

Brian talks to Bahman about the situation in Venezuela, considering his recent visit there. Venezuela has been experiencing a presidential crisis for nearly two years. The country is divided in support for Nicolás Maduro or Juan Guaidó, with Maduro having won an election but Guaidó having tried to overthrow the result. The western powers of the world have recognized Guaidó as a legitimate leader, but the coup failed out of the gate. 

Venezuelan officials don’t want to recognize that Guido even exists. It’s one of the most embarrassing attempts at a coup that Brian has ever seen in his life; he’s spoken about the “clown car coup” on the show before. If it wasn’t deadly, it would be funny how pathetic it is. However, people have lost their lives due to the current presidential mess that is going on in Venezuela. 

How You Can Help

You can Venmo Renee at Renee-Shalhoub or send info@mutualmorris.com money on Paypal. Please like and follow Mutual Morris on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They, like NJRR, are anti-capitalist but live in a capitalist culture. They are working with over 500 families that cannot feed their children. 25 dollars can provide a day’s worth of groceries for a family. If you want to volunteer, you can call or text Theresa at (973)-876-6718 or email them at info@mutualmorris.com. 

Mutual Morris’ toll-free number for help is (1-800)-535-9383. The number works for Passaic and Union counties as well, though Theresa may redirect faraway callers to a more local program. As part of the goal of bringing dignity to the process rather than it being a pure charity that relies entirely on material donations, Mutual Morris tries to customize the groceries that they bring to each family. If you want to get someone a Christmas gift, get them a 25 dollar sustaining membership to Mutual Morris.

Bahman Azad continues to travel the world to spread and promote peace. People can visit the Sanctions Kill website to check out what he has been working on lately related to Venezuela. Bahman is involved with the Move the Money to Human Needs! Initiative, which is working closely with Congresspeople to make efforts to reduce the military budget. You can go to the website to check out what they’re up to, including multiple campaigns to move money away from conflict and towards basic human needs in society.

See You Soon!

We at New Jersey Revolution Radio thank our guests for being on the show tonight. We will likely have another show this year. In 2021, we will be rebuilding, not just to where we were, but to somewhere even better. We want to affect real change in the world. Brian likes to quote Leo Tolstoy: wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in. The voice of peace is the voice of right. We thank our guests tonight for an awesome discussion and hope that everyone stays safe, healthy, and happy as we roll into another year.

-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio

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