Gay Gordon-Byrne on Right to Repair, Suyapa Portillo Villeda on Honduran Ex-President Conviction

This week on CounterSpin: About this time seven years ago, John Deere was arguing, with a straight face, that farmers shouldn’t really “own” their tractors, because if they had access to the software involved, they might pirate Taylor Swift music. Things have changed since then, though industry still gets up and goes to court to say that even though you bought a tractor or a washing machine or a cellphone, it’s not really “yours,” in the sense that you can’t fix it if it breaks. Even if you know how, even if you, frankly, can’t afford to buy a new one. More and more people, including lawmakers, are thinking that’s some anti-consumer, and anti-environment, nonsense. We get an update from Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the Repair Association.

Also on the show: “Former President of Honduras Convicted in US of Aiding Drug Traffickers” is the current headline. You’d never guess from the reporting that Juan Orlando Hernández was a US ally, that the US supported the 2009 coup that went a long way toward creating Honduras’ current political landscape. Instead, you’ll read US Attorney Jacob Gutwillig telling the jury that a corrupt Hernández “paved a cocaine superhighway to the United States.” Because Americans, you see, don’t want to use cocaine; they’re forced to by the wiles and witchery of Honduran kingpins—and, thankfully, one of them has been brought to justice by the US’s moral, as reflected in its judicial, superiority. That’s the narrative you get from a press corps uninterested in anything other than a rose-colored depiction of the US role in geopolitical history. We hear more from Suyapa Portillo Villeda, advocate, organizer and associate professor of Chicana/o–Latina/o transnational studies at Pitzer College, as well as author of Roots of Resistance: A Story of Gender, Race and Labor on the North Coast of Honduras.

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