Democracy Now! May 31, 2001

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 31, 2001
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Indonesian parliament demands the impeachment of President Wahid as thousands of Wahid supporters battle police: Privatizing public health: Washington D.C. shuts down its only public hospital after 200 years: "compassionate conservatism" for the rich: legislators scrapped provisions in the $1.3 trillion tax cut legislation which would have increased donations to charities.

Indonesian parliament demands the impeachment of President Wahid as thousands of Wahid supporters battle police. Privatizing public health: Washington D.C. shuts down its only public hospital after 200 years. And, "compassionate conservatism" for the rich: legislators scrapped provisions in the $1.3 trillion tax cut legislation which would have increased donations to charities. All that and more on Democracy Now!, the exception to the rulers. 9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:08-9:20 INDONESIAN PARLIAMENT DEMANDS THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT WAHID AS THOUSANDS OF WAHID SUPPORTERS BATTLE POLICEYesterday, Indonesia's Parliament voted 365 to 4 to ask the country's top legislative body, the People's Consultative Assembly, to begin impeachment proceedings against President Abdurrahman Wahid, while thousands of Wahid supporters battled police in the capital of Jakarta and other cities on the Island of Java. In January a Parliamentary commission implicated Wahid in two corruption scandals and censured him in both February and April, but President Wahid largely ignored the parliament's criticism. Yesterday's vote was viewed by many Indonesians as a reflection of widespread disillusionment with Wahid's erratic and sometimes incompetent leadership. If Wahid is impeached it is lmost certain that he would be replaced by Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who has firmly aligned herself with the Indonesian military. Megawati's husband Taufik Kiemas was in the United States last week, where he tried to persuade the Bush Administration and Congress to resume aid to the armed forces. Wahid came to power in October 1999 with widespread support. His popularity, however, has deteriorated in the face of Indonesia's continued economic crisis and Wahid's unwillingness to prosecute former dictator General Suharto or other Indonesian military officials responsible for massive human rights abuses in East Timor, Aceh, West Papua and the Moluccas. The political turbulence comes as Amnesty International released a report stating that widespread extrajudicial killings, arrest and torture continue throughout the archipelago. More than 600 people have been killed by the military this year in the province of Aceh alone, but Indonesia's armed forces continue to operate with near total impunity. GUEST: AYU RATIH, human rights activist at Volunteer Team for Humanity (TRK) 9:20-9:21 ONE MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:30 WARDEN AND 3 CORRECTIONS OFFICERS ARE FIRED AFTER MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS VISITING A JAIL ARE STRIP-SEARCHED District officials have fired the warden of a Washington, D.C. jail and three corrections officers in connection with the strip-searches of middle school students on a tour of the facility. The dismissals involve a May 17 trip to the jail by 13 students from Evans Middle School in Northeast Washington. Nine of the students have told school investigators that they were subjected to strip-searches. The boys from Evans had received in-school suspension for offenses such as cutting class and fighting. The in-school suspension coordinator at Evans, who has been placed on administrative leave, has said she arranged their visit to the jail to deter them from criminal behavior. Attorney Wayne Cohen has sent notice to the city that he intends to sue on charges of civil rights violations. GUEST: WAYNE COHEN, lawyer who is representing the students 9:30-9:40 PRIVATIZING PUBLIC HEALTH: WASHINGTON, D.C. SHUTS DOWN ITS ONLY PUBLIC HOSPITAL AFTER 200 YEARS Two weeks ago the Federal Control board which oversees the District of Columbia announced that it was closing DC General Hospital, the city's first and only public hospital, after nearly two hundred years. Citing financial mismanagement, the Control Board decided to contract with a consortium of private health care providers to run the hospital and six city clinics. The Hospital's outpatient clinics and emergency room will remain open, but inpatient and trauma wards, in essence the hospital itself, will be closed.The closing of DC General follows a trend toward the privatization of public hospitals around the country, which has been prompted by the massive consolidation of the private health care industry. Public Health advocates charge that the city is abandoning many of the poorest and most vulnerable of the city's residents by closing DC general. Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders recently stated that "DC General a hospital that serves the uninsured, a hospital that serves a minority community - is exactly a hospital we would not want to close if we are serious about national health concerns." GUEST: MICHAL YOUNG, President, Medical and Dental Staff and Director of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at DC General Hospital. GUEST: JAMIE LAUGHNER, who is in the 16th day of a fast outside the mayor's office and the DC Control Board to protest the hospital closing. 9:40-9:41 ONE MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 "COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM" FOR THE RICH? LEGISLATORS SCRAP PROVISIONS IN THE $1.3 TRILLION TAX CUT WHICH WOULD HAVE INCREASED DONATIONS TO CHARITIES President Bush has repeatedly called for increased involvement of religious and community organizations in combating the nation's social problems. As one of his first actions in the White House, he established the controversial "Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives" which would handle the granting of federal funds for social service programs run by religious organizations. The plan allows for direct federal funding of religious congregations' programs for the purpose of carrying out government programs. As part of this attempt to shift the public eye from government programs to non-governmental organizations, President Bush has also repeatedly called on Americans to increase the amount they give to charities. But in the much-touted, $1.3 trillion tax cut legislation, provisions which would have led to increased giving were scrapped. The bill omitted a tax deduction for those who don't itemize their tax returns a Bush campaign promise that would have increased charitable giving by $15 billion a year, according to a study commissioned by Independent Sector. And the bill began the process of repealing the estate tax, which the Treasury Department estimated could deprive nonprofits of $6 billion per year. We're joined right now by three people to talk about how the tax cut legislation will affect non-governmental organizations. GUEST: GARY BASS, Executive Director of OMB Watch and chair of the Coalition of Nonprofits to Preserve the Estate Tax CONTACT: GUEST: PAT REED, Vice President for Public Affairs of the Independent Sector CONTACT: GUEST: MARGARET TYNDALL, CEO of YWCA 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
May 31, 2001
Date Broadcast on: 
May 31, 2001
Item duration: 
59 min.
WPFW; Kris Abrams, Brad Simpson, Amy Goodman host, May 31, 2001
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