Law and Disorder Radio – Robert Meeropol on the Rosenberg Fund for Children and the 60th Anniversary of the Rosenbergs’ Execution – Lizzy Ratner on Bloomberg and Inequality in New York City – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

We Steal Secrets: State Agitprop, by Chris Hedges

The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’ – A Response to the Book The New Digital Age

Michael Ratner Discusses Bradley Manning Trial – Hundreds of Protesters

Get Whistleblowers First, Then Journalists

A Phone Call To Save Lynne Stewart’s Life:

Attorney General Eric Holder – 1 202 514 2001

White House President Obama – 1 202 456 1414

Federal Bureau of Prisons – Director Charles Samuels – 1 202 307 3198 ext 3




13-06-16_Carry it Forward_0dadisnotacriminalCarry It Forward: Celebrate the Children of Resistance – 60th Anniversary of Rosenberg Execution

Today we speak to Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. He’s an author, activist, attorney and public speaker. He sued the FBI and CIA to force the release of 300,000 previously secret documents about his parents. Robert founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children which provides for the educational and emotional needs of both targeted activist youth and children whose parents have been harassed, injured, jailed or died because of or during their activism. This week the Fund hosts the event Carry It Forward: Celebrate the Children of Resistance to mark the 60th anniversary of the Rosenberg execution on Sunday, June 16, 2013.

Robert Meeropol:

The Rosenberg Fund for Children is a public foundation that provides for the educational and the emotional needs of the children of targeted activists in the United States.

I founded this organization in 1990. We help hundreds of children of targeted activists.

In some ways you can say that the Rosenberg Fund for Children was a vehicle for me to create something positive in response to the destruction that was visited upon me when my parents were arrested when I was just 3 years old.

  • Judge Kaufman’s sentencing statement justified a death sentence after a conviction for conspiracy to commit espionage by using the word treason.
  • The parallel today is the Bradley Manning case, which is going on right at this moment. He is being charged with conspiracy to commit espionage under the exact same law that my parents were charged under.
  • The question being asked is: Is he a whistleblower or is he a traitor?
  • We now know from the government’s own files that my parents had nothing to do with the secret of the atomic bomb.
  • The government wanted to make a big show trial and demonstrate that people who wanted to take this conscious driven action posed a threat to the entire nation.
  • Sixty years on, this case is just as relevant today as the day it was born.
  • The change that has occurred is that the government learned the lessons of my parents’ case and has now figured out ways in post-9/11 America to make all the illegal activities that they engaged in to obtain this big show trial conviction in the 1950s legal today.
  • We went through hell between the years of the arrest and the execution. I grew up with this sense, this unmet need to do something about this.
  • It wasn’t until I was 43 years old, in 1990, that I figured out what to do and that was to start a foundation in my parents’ name that would help children and young people in similar circumstances today.
  • Law and Disorder Interview On The Rosenbergs

Guest – Robert Meeropol, son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. In 1953, when he was six years old, the United States government executed his parents for “conspiring to steal the secret of the atomic bomb.” For more than 40 years he has been a progressive activist, author and public speaker. In the 1970s he and his brother, Michael, successfully sued the FBI and CIA to force the release of 300,000 previously secret documents about their parents. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, graduated law school in 1985, and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.

Welcome to the Gilded City of New YorkLow Wage Workers Unite

Last month in an article titled “Welcome to the Gilded City of New York” in The Nation, the collaborative work of editors compiled a detailed overview of Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy. The article assesses the various personas the New York mayor used to further specific agendas: the “top cop” presiding over a vast surveillance program, the union buster waging war on organized labor, the imperialist undermining the city’s term limits. New York City’s income inequality has grown rapidly in the last 3 decades, outpacing New York state and the nation. The article points out that there were choices available to New York City’s government to counter this economic trend, yet they’ve been basically ignored.

Lizzy Ratner:

We’re at a fulcrum moment in New York City. We’re at the end of the Bloomberg era–he is finally term limited at the end of this year.

In thinking about what New York City is now, we came upon a central theme and that is “inequality.”

Peel back the cellophane a little bit and what you see is deep struggle, deep poverty.

Because New York is an emblem sometimes for the larger country, what does it tell us about the country?

In 1980 about 21 percent of New York City’s population lived at or below the federal poverty line.

In the last 30 years we’ve had effectively no progress in the realm of fighting poverty in this city.

In 2011, about 400,000 people, or about 1 out of 10 of the city’s workers, didn’t earn enough money to get out of poverty.

That same year about 600,000 people earned $10 an hour or less.

The point of the metaphor was to contrast these two New York Citys, these two different worlds. The gilded world, which is flashy, which everybody sees on TV, which is the one that’s been promoted by the Bloomberg administration.

There is this perception of Bloomberg as a great liberal icon. There is a certain disturbing truth to that in that liberalism is being defined these days as social progressivism.

We have these sacrificed populations in the city which are being targeted.

The mayor took control of public schools, claimed control when he took office. The justification for that was that this was a way to tame an unruly system, narrow the education gap between students of color and white students.

One of Bloomberg’s signature failures was not addressing the horrifying inequality and job loss during the recession.

Bloomberg obstructed or vetoed: Paid Sick Leave Law, Living Wage Bill, Anti-Predatory Lending Bill

If you want to look at Bloomberg’s failure around poverty you just need to look at homelessness. Homelessness has almost doubled under his tenure.

A lot of organizations and grassroots groups have started building power and have come together in various ways to change conditions for workers in this city.

Guest – Lizzy Ratner, an editor of The Nation‘s special New York issue. Lizzy is a journalist and co-editor of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.

Past Law and Disorder interviews with Lizzy Ratner: