Democracy Now! October 25, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! October 25, 2002
Series Title:
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Tens of thousands to protest war: This Saturday is an international day of action with demonstrations from Washington DC and San Francisco, to Baghdad, Berlin, Madrid and Mexico City; Police Brutality in Brooklyn, a Democracy Now exclusive: High school counselors witness police brutality and become victims themselves; Police arrest sniper suspects: A conversation with filmmaker Michael Moore about ballistic fingerprinting, militarism and US gun culture

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:05 Headlines: POLICE ARREST SNIPER SUSPECTS Police believe they have solved the sniper case that has terrorized the Washington D.C. area, with the arrest of two men, John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo Thursday morning. Neither man has been charged yet in connection with the string of shootings that left 10 dead and three wounded shootings in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. this month. The men were arrested Thursday while sleeping in their Chevrolet Caprice at a Maryland rest stop. Police say in the car they found a .223 caliber Bushmaster telescopic rifle that matched the gun used in at least 11 of the shootings. Muhammad, who was born John Allen Williams and is a Gulf War veteran, was arrested on a federal firearms violation. 17-year-old Malvo, who is a Jamaican citizen, is being held as a material witness. Law enforcement officials plan to meet today to discuss what charges to file and where the charges should be filed and in what order. The location could determine the fate of the men. Virginia trails only Texas in the number of people it has executed in recent years. Meanwhile Maryland has a moratorium on a capital punishment. Police tracked down the men after following a tip, perhaps from the sniper themselves, that the Washington area shootings were connected to an unsolved murder in Montgomery, Alabama. A fingerprint found at the scene in Alabama matched that of Malvo s whose prints were on file with the INS. The investigation then took police to Bellingham Washington where Malvo once lived and had met Muhammad. Muhammad reportedly spent nine years in the US military, including a stint on active duty during the Gulf war. The London Independent reported that in The 1980s he served at Fort Lewis, outside Tacoma, Washington where the army runs a top-notch sniper program. The program s motto was "One shot, one kill." The Fort Lewis course teaches snipers to work in pairs, with one man acting as the trigger and the other as a lookout, the pattern apparently followed in the Washington-area shootings. It is not yet known whether Muhammad participated in the sniper program but Army records show that he was an expert marksman. Despite his background, he could no longer own one. This is the result of a two-year-old restraining order that his second wife Mildred Denice Muhammad had taken out. She had told a Washington court that John had threatened to destroy her life and that she feared for her children s safety. To avoid her former husband she once changed her phone number three times in five days. Both of his ex wives have accused him of kidnapping their children after their marriages ended. Police say Muhammad met Malvo in Washington. Police originally reported that Muhammad was Malvo s stepfather but later retracted the claim. Police have not determined why the men were traveling together to Washington or what their motive was. Investigators also retracted a statement that tied the men to the Ground Zero USA training ground in Alabama. Federal officials originally reported that the FBI had searched the controversial camp, which ABC News once alleged had links to Al Qaeda. As for the weapon used. It was an $800 gun that resembled a military M-16. It was manufactured in Maine by Bushmaster, a gun company with close ties to the Bush administration. The head of the gun company, Richard E. Dyke once served as President Bush s chief Maine fund-raiser in 1999. 9:05-9:06 One Minute Music Break 9:06-9:15: People around the world are organizing against the Bush administration s plans to invade Iraq. This weekend, anti-war protests will take place in India, South Korea, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Italy, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium. Tomorrow, Saturday, October 26th, tens of thousands of people will converge on the east and west coasts -- in Washington, DC and San Francisco -- for anti-war demonstrations. Pacifica will be covering the rally live from Washington DC. From Iraq, we are joined on the phone by Kathy Kelly of Voices in the Wilderness. She is planning to hold an anti-war protest tomorrow on the streets of Baghdad. Sara Flounders, an organizer for the International A.N.S.W.E.R coalition talks about tomorrow s demonstration in Washington D.C. Phone Guest: Kathy Kelly Lower Third: Voices in the Wilderness Phone Guest: Sara Flounders, Co-director, International Action Center Lower Third: A.N.S.W.E.R. organizer Links: Voices in the Wilderness: A.N.S.W.E.R.: 9:20: On October 10th, just a week before the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, two high school counselors in New York taught a session on conflict resolution at W.E.B. DuBois High School in Brooklyn. Afterwards, Raybblin Vargas and Dennis Flores walked their students to the local subway station. They witnessed two police officers beating up a young man, but by the end of the incident, Vargas and Flores themselves ended up at the hospital and in jail. In this Democracy Now exclusive, we ll hear their story. Studio Guest: Dennis Flores, School counselor, W.E.B. Dubois H.S Lower Third: School counselor beaten by police Phone Guest: Raybblin Vargas, School counselor, W.E.B. Dubois H.S Lower Third: School counselor beaten by police 9:20-9:21 One-minute music break 9:21-9:30 Police brutality cont d 9:30-9:44: Police have arrested two men in connection with the Washington-area sniper. John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo were arrested Thursday morning as they were sleeping in their car at a Maryland rest stop. Investigators confirmed the car in which the two men were arrested contained the .223 caliber Bushmaster telescopic rifle used in the killings. Authorities said last night ballistics tests have matched the gun to the bullets used in the attacks. Ballistics tests are at the crux of the case. But the Bush administration opposes most forms of ballistic fingerprinting. The Bush administration and the National Rifle Association believe in most cases, investigators should not be allowed to trace a bullet back to its gun. They believe investigators should only be allowed to use ballistic fingerprinting technology to link the bullets in separate crimes. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says tracing a bullet to the gun would invade the shooter s privacy. Well today on Democracy Now! we re going to talk about gun violence in America. As today s sniper killings have come at a time of heightened war-mongering, with the Bush administration calling for war at all hours of the day, filmmaker Michael Moore observes that the Columbine High School shootings came on the heaviest day of the bombing of Kosovo. Moore has spent the last several months asking why the US is such a violent, gun-happy country. His latest film, "Bowling for Columbine," documents this exploration. The film won a special 55th anniversary prize at the Cannes Film festival. A limited release in Los Angeles and New York resulted in sold-out theaters on both coasts. Guest: Michael Moore, Filmmaker, Bowling For Columbine Lower Third: Author, Stupid White Men Links: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
October 25, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
October 25, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., October 25, 2002
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