Democracy Now! August 9, 2001

Program Title:
Democracy Now! August 9, 2001
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NEWS HEADLINES A SURVIVOR OF THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF NAGASAKI SPEAKS OF HER EXPERIENCES 56 YEARS AGO TODAY 56 years ago this week the US dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 6 the U.S. dropped a bomb on Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people in the world's first nuclear assault. Pilot Claude Tibbets named the plane that dropped that bomb Enola Gay after his mother. Today is the anniversary of the second atomic bombing of Nagasaki. On that day at 11:02 a.m., a U.S. plane, the Bock's Car, dropped an atomic bomb, killing 70,000 people. Thousands of Nagasaki residents gathered in Peace Park today to commemorate the anniversary of the second atomic bombing. Standing near where the bomb exploded, participants bowed their heads, many clasping their hands in prayer as a bell rang out and an air-raid siren filled the skies. Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito said: "The citizens of Nagasaki have continuously struggled to realize a 21st century free from nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, no fewer than 30,000 nuclear warheads still exist on our planet, and the nuclear threat is today on the verge of expanding into space." We conclude our four-day series on the birth of the nuclear age 56 years ago, and the birth of the military's space age today, with an interview with a survivor of the atomic attack on Nagasaki. Tape: Sueko Motoyama, survivor of the atomic attack on Nagasaki. Story: THE STORY OF MINIK, THE INUIT BOY TAKEN FROM HIS HOME AND PUT ON DISPLAY IN THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Yesterday, we heard part of the story of Minik, a young Inuit (which we know better as Eskimo) from northwestern Greenland. In 1897, the American explorer Robert Peary brought Minik, his father and four others to New York and presented them to the American Museum of Natural History as one of six Eskimo "specimens." Four members of the group, including Minik's father Qisuk, quickly died of exposure to strains of influenza to which they had little resistance. The Museum of Natural History then put on a funeral and buried Qisuk- or that's what Minik thought. But the funeral was a sham, put on solely to fool Minik. The Museum actually sent Qisuk's body to a plant which defleshed the bones. Minik discovered all of this years later, when he discovered his father's skeleton on display in the museum. He then begged the Museum for his father's bones and a proper burial, but the Museum refused. Minik decided to return home to Greenland. That's where we pick up the story. We turn now to Kenn Harper, who is the author of the incredible book, Give Me My Father's Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo. Kenn Harper has lived in the Arctic for over thirty years in Inuit communities in the Baffin Region and in Qaanaaq, Greenland (from where Uusaqqak Qujaukitsoq spoke to us earlier). He speaks Inuktitut, the Eskimo language of the eastern Canadian Arctic, and has written extensively on the northern history and the Inuktitut language. I interviewed him when the book was published. Tape: Kenn Harper, author of Give Me My Father's Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo (Steerforth Press, 2000). Story: FEDERAL JUDGES IN SAN FRANCISCO RESIST ATTEMPTS TO SURVEIL THEM AND THEIR CO-WORKERS; BIG BROTHER'S CORPORATE COUSIN: CHRISTIAN PARENTI ON THE POLITICS AND HISTORY OF EVERYDAY SURVEILLANCE It's not just union activists and political dissidents who are upset at the proliferation of surveillance in the workplace. Now a group of judges with the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco are waging a campaign of resistance against government attempts to monitor them and their colleagues at work. The judges say that the government's use of monitoring software to watch their office computers is a violation of their right to privacy. They recently began dismantling the monitoring software in protest of the practice. The judges' protests have forced the government to negotiate and given new meaning to the phrase "Judicial Activism." The Judicial Conference of the U.S., the ultimate governing body of the courts, will meet to resolve the matter early next month. The Federal Judges in San Francisco who are resisting attempts to monitor their computers at work are a public example of a widespread phenomenon. The American Management Association estimates that 80% of employers monitor their workers. Many corporations say that surveillance and monitoring technology save money and time and are necessary to prevent workers from loafing off on the job. Civil Liberties advocates tend focus on the threats to privacy posed by such technology. But others say the new technology of surveillance is more than just a threat to privacy. It's also a political tool for, as one critic puts it, "pushing social relations on the job toward a new digital Taylorism, where every motion is watched, studies and controlled by and for the boss." And it's a tool with a long history. Guests: Alex Kazinski, Judge with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who wrote an 18 page legal brief against the use of the monitoring software. Christian Parenti, activist and author of Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in an Age of Crisis. He is writing a new book on the politics and history of everyday surveillance and published an article in this week's Nation magazine entitled "Big Brother's Corporate Cousin."

Date Recorded on: 
August 9, 2001
Date Broadcast on: 
August 9, 2001
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. August 9, 2001
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