Democracy Now! September 7, 2001

Program Title:
Democracy Now! September 7, 2001
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban draws to a close as delegates try to salvage a workable agreement in the face of opposition from the US and Europe over the occupied territories and slavery : Interview with a leading member African National Congress; and an Afro-Colombian woman speaks out on the racial dimensions of the Colombian governments war against its own population : the voices of women on Democracy Now in Exile.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES In Washington, DC George Washington University officials announced they are shutting down and will force more than 5,000 students to leave campus for five days surrounding the IMF/World Bank protests scheduled for the end of this month. The decision is one of the most dramatic steps taken so far for the protests, which are expected to draw up to 100,000 people. GUEST: Tanya Margolin, Senior at GWU and a member of the GW Action Coalition, which is helping to organize the IMF and World Bank protests. 9:06-9:07 ONE MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:26 SOUTH AFRICA SEEKS TO BREAK DEADLOCKED NEGOTIATIONS AS U.N. RACE CONFERENCE ENTERS FINAL DAY; A LEADING MEMBER OF THE ANC ASSESSES THE RESULTS. The U.N. race conference entered its final day today, deadlocked over two issues: an apology and reparations for slavery and centuries of colonialism, and the Middle East. Negotiations ran late into the night, but delegates were unable to reach an agreement on the issue of reparations and an apology, despite the mediation of Brazil and Kenya. African nations and NGOs from around the world want an unambiguous apology, the recongition that slavery and colonialism constitute crimes against humanity, and reparations. Sources close to the talks told the Agence-France Press that Europeans are worried about the implications of an apology for possible lawsuits and are offering expressions of "regret", "sorrow", "deep remorse" or "abhorrence". On Thursday, Namibia's Herero people said they had brought a $2 billion suit in a U.S. court against three firms for alleged German colonial atrocities a century ago. Marathon negotiations have also failed to minimise differences between the European and Arab groups which have persisted since the U.S. and Israel walked out of the conference on Monday over "offensive" language on the Middle East. Since then South Africa, which is chairing the conference in Durban, has produced two new draft texts to address the issue; the latest, presented early yesterday, as a "take-it-or-leave-it" option. Disputed wording in original conference documents produced during preparatory meetings had referred to "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians, described Israel as an apartheid state engaged in a crime against humanity, and referred to "the racist practices of Zionism". The latest text, produced by South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma [en-ko-sa-ZAH-nah], expresses concern for the "plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation", but avoids any explicit condemnation of Israel. Arab sources said the Arab caucus at the conference had rejected the text in its current form and wanted it amended. GUEST: MAVIVI MYAKAYAKA-MANZINI, head of nternational Affairs for the African National Congress, and an independent expert for the Committee to End Discrimination Against Women 9:26-9:27 ONE MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:27-9:43 MAVIVI MYAKAYAKA-MANZINI, CONTD 9:43-9:44 ONE MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:44-9:58 AN AFRO-COLOMBIAN WOMAN AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSON SPEAKS OUT ON THE RACIAL DIMENSIONS OF THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENTS WAR ON ITS OWN PEOPLE. Despite the large presence of NGOs, the structure of the conference has meant that government delegates could easily arrive, negotiate and leave without ever having considered actual, real-life experiences and effects of racism. To address this problem, Gay McDougal of the International Human Rights Law Group teamed up with the South Africa Human Rights Commission to organize the "Voices Special Forum on Comparative Experiences of Racism." The forum was carefully planned to attract as many government delegates as possible: the sessions were held during the delegates lunch break in a room next door to the main hall. Despite the U.S. medias blackout of the Voices forum (and of the conference in general), the South African Broadcasting Corporation broadcast the hearings live across the African continent. Right now we will hear the speech that Ana del Carmen Martinez, an Afro-Colombian woman, delivered yesterday for the final day of the forum. Gay McDougal introduced her... TAPE: ANA DEL CARMEN MARTINEZ, speaking at the final Voices Special Forum during the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, 6 September, 2001. She is an Afro-Colombian who was forcibly removed by the Colombian military and paramilitaries. Her brother was mutiliated and then murdered. Gay McDougal, the executive director of the International Human Rights Law Group, introduces her. 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
September 7, 2001
Date Broadcast on: 
September 7, 2001
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Kris Abrams, and Brad Simpson. Anthony Sloan, Technical Director. September 7, 2001
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