The Mother of All Strikes: Botswana 2011

Labor Radio
program date: 
Mon, 03/12/2012 probably didn't read about it in the paper, but last spring, more than 90,000 public employees in Botswana walked out on a record-breaking two month strike. Pnina Werbner, professor emerita of social anthropology at Keele University in the UK, was there, and she joined us in the studio to talk about it. She is working on a book on the Manual Workers Union and other public sector unions in Botswana, and she visited Portland to give a talk at Reed College entitled "The Mother of All Strikes: Popular Protest Culture and Vernacular Cosmopolitanism in the Botswana Public Service Unions' Strike, 2011." She came into the KBOO studio to talk with host Al Bradbury about how the workers employed playful songs and other creative tactics to sustain their unity over the period, how they related their struggle to the anti-authoritarian and anti-austerity popular uprisings in many countries that year, and the political and social impacts of the strike.

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