Democracy Now! March 12, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! March 12, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

ARGENTINA PROTESTS : Israeli army raids Palestinian refugee camps in Occupied Territories : Muslim cleric and former BLACK PANTHER Jamil Al-Amin [H.Rap Brown] is convicted of killing one sheriff's deputy and wounding another. Prosecutors are urging jurors to sentence the Muslim spiritual leader to death : report from his brother from inside the courtroom.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES STORY: WORKERS MARCH ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO PROTEST TACO BELL A group of migrant farm workers, college students, and activists from around the country converged on the global headquarters of Taco Bell yesterday to demand that the corporation take responsibility for the sweatshop conditions in the fields where its tomatoes are grown and picked. The action capped a two-week Truth Tour across the country, organized by the Coalition for Immokalee Workers. The Coalition is a community based worker organization located in Immokalee, Florida, the heart of the countrys tomato industry. The Truth Tour follows months of protests at Taco Bell restaurants across the country. GUEST: Laura Germino, Coalition of Immokalee Workers 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 SHARON SAYS HE WILL END ARAFAT BLOCKADE BUT PUSHES AHEAD WITH PUNISHING MILITARY CAMPAIGN Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, said that Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, was free to move from his home in Ramallah yesterday, where he had been held for three months under house arrest. The announcement came just days before US Special Envoy, Anthony Zinni, arrives in the region to try to restart peace talks between the two leaders. But as slight shifts took place at the diplomatic level, the Israeli army continued to sweep through Palestinian villages and refugee camps, killing more than 30 Palestinians and rounding up nearly 2000 more for interrogation. Early this morning, the Israeli army unleashed a storm of tanks, bulldozers and helicopter gunships on the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The raid left seventeen Palestinians dead and dozens more wounded, many seriously. The Israeli Army reportedly withdrew several hours later, declaring the attacks a success in fighting terrorism. The mornings attack on Jabalya followed just hours after the Israeli Army moved into Deheishe refugee camp, outside the West Bank town of Bethlehem. The army surrounded the camp last Thursday, preventing all movement in and out of the area. Upon entering, it rounded up hundreds of men and boys, herding them, bound and blindfolded, to a quarry on the camps edge. Well, we go now to the West Bank town of Beit Jala, just outside Deheisheh refugee camp. We are joined by Shauki Issa, a human rights lawyer and board member of Ibdaa, a cultural center for young Palestinians living in Deheisheh. GUEST: MUNA HAMZEH, refugee from Deheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank GUEST: SHAUKI ISSA, Executive Director of the Society of Law, a Palestinian human rights organization and a board member of Ibdaa, Deheisha Refugee Camp Youth Center CONTACT: 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 MUSLIM CLERIC JAMIL AL-AMIN [H. Rap Brown] IS CONVICTED OF MURDER; PROSECUTORS URGE JURORS TO SENTENCE THE MUSLIM SPIRITUAL LEADER TO DEATH On Saturday, a jury convicted Muslim cleric and former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, of killing one sheriff's deputy and wounding another in a shootout in Atlanta in March 2000. Jurors deliberated 10 hours over two days before finding Al-Amin guilty of 13 counts, including murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, obstruction, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Jurors will decide this week whether to sentence the Muslim spiritual leader to death, life with parole, life in prison. Al-Amin's lawyers argued that Al-Amin is innocent of the shooting. They say Al-Amin's fingerprints were not found on the murder weapon, and he was not wounded in the shooting, as one of the deputies said the shooter was. The deputy also said his eyes were grey. They are brown. His lawyers and supporters say its a case of mistaken identity, and that the government has been out to get him for several decades. As a young man, the black activist known to the media as H. Rap Brown epitomized the revolutionary Black Panther movement of the sixties and seventies. In 1967, at the age of 23, he became chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the direct action group associated with Martin Luther King. Those were the days of Cointelpro and J Edgar Hoovers infamous FBI programs that targeted a wide net of dissidents, particularly African American activists. In Al-Amins autobiography, called Die, Nigger, Die! he says he spent most of his days as SNCC chairman in jail, in court or out on bond. In 1971, Brown went to jail, converted to orthodox Islam, and changed his name to Jamil Al-Amin. Since then he has become a well-respected imam in his Muslim community. But his story doesnt stop there. After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Imam Al-Amin was arbitrarily hauled in, interrogated and released under heavy and continuous surveillance despite the absence of any evidence connecting him to the bombing. It is a story that has become all too familiar since September 11th. His trial was postponed after September 11 because the judge feared anti-Muslim sentiment would taint the jury pool. GUEST: EKWEME MICHAEL THELWELL, professor of black studies at the University of Massachusetts and author of a piece in the Nation magazine called H Rap Brown/Jamil Al-Amin: A Profoundly American Story. He is a former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee field secretary and acquaintance of H Rap Brown for many years. GUEST: ED BROWN, brother of Jamil al-Amin, who is at the trial all this week, speaking to us from a cellphone outside the courthouse. CONTACT: 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 MASSIVE PROTESTS RACK ARGENTINA, ONCE THE DARLING OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND Massive protests have exploded across Argentina since December. In worker assemblies, worker pickets and strikes, and mass street demonstrations across the country. In the course of two weeks, the country saw five different presidents. Argentina is a country in crisis. Banks in Argentina were once considered to be among Latin America's strongest and most trusted, especially as subsidiaries of foreign giants such Citibank built themselves into the nation's leading financial institutions. But today, Argentines view them as among the worst places to stash their cash. The Argentine financial system is in deep trouble after four years of recession that led to a massive government debt default and the devaluation of the peso in January. Once the darling of the International Monetary Fund, Argentina is in an economic and political crisis that world financial institutions are at a loss to explain. Argentina has followed IMF policies of privatization and trade liberalization to the letter, but in the last two months prices milk and flour have risen as much as 50%. As the Argentine government continues to negotiate with the IMF for a bailout, the people of Argentina-- whose protests caused the resignation of the government in December--are calling for more fundamental change. Today we will look at Argentinas economy and also at a movement that has sprung up to document the nationwide protests in Argentina: the Independent Media Center movement. The IMC first opened in Argentina last February and it exploded in December as protests racked the country. TAPE: a piece on Argentinas economic crisis, produced by Rick Rowley and Jacquie Soohen and narrated by Jacquie Soohen. GUEST: ALAN CIBILS, economist in Buenos Aires and an expert on Argentina's economic crisis GUEST: ANA NOUGEIRA, New York City Independent Media Center. She has just returned from working with the Argentinian IMC. IN STUDIO CONTACT: MUSIC: Nanci Griffith and Friends, If I Had a Hammer Bob Marley and the Wailers, War/No More Trouble Watts Prophets, When the 90s Came 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
March 12, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
March 12, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
These terms will not bring up a complete list of all items in our catalog associated with this subject. Click here to search our entire catalog.
WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. March 12, 2002
PRA metadata viewPRA metadata view
This recording is currently on a 1/4” reel tape and has not been digitally preserved. If you would like to contribute to the cost of transferring this recording, and receive your own personal copy on CD, please complete this form and we will return your request with pricing information. You will hear from an archive staff member once your request has been researched. We can also be reached by phone at 800-735-0230.