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Working People

Oct 19, 2023

The derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train in East Palestine , Ohio, on Feb. 3 of this year, and the subsequent “controlled release” and burnoff of toxic vinyl chloride, is one of the most catastrophic and devastating industrial accidents in our country’s history, and a catastrophe of equal or greater proportion could literally happen again tomorrow. Why? Because no serious steps have been taken on the industry or the government side to substantively address the issues that led to the derailment and its toxic fallout. Meanwhile, for the people still living in and around East Palestine, there is no going back to normal… life will go on, but it will never be the same, it will never again be what it was on Feb. 2. We cannot forget about East Palestine, and we cannot give up on the people there, who have been largely abandoned by their government, by Norfolk Southern, and by the media. As part of a new series of Systemic Justice Teach Ins hosted by the Harvard Law School, Max was invited to Harvard on Sept. 23 to participate in an all-day event titled "Storytelling for Justice—East Palestine," where he conducted a live Working People interview with Chris and Jessica Albright, two residents of East Palestine whose lives have been turned upside down by the derailment. With permission from the organizers, we are sharing the audio of this interview with our audience.  

Special thanks to Professor Jon Hanson, Simone Unwalla, Haley Florsheim, Samantha Perri, Jessenia Class, Chris Albright, and Jessica Albright. 

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive:

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song