Democracy Now! May 8, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 8, 2002
Series Title:
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California Supreme Court rules Nike can be sued for lying about its labor practices, vs. ACLU who sides with Nike : a debate ; Rockerfeller drug laws: from New York to Tulia to Tallulah ; Mothers of the New York Disappeared, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Tonya White.

9:01-9:06 Headlines: HEADLINE:NO US GUNS TO ISRAEL: CALIFORNIA ACTIVISTS TAKE OVER THE OAKLAND FEDERAL BUILDING TO DEMAND A FREE PALESTINE Some 50 activists took over the Oakland Federal Building yesterday in one of this countrys most dramatic direct actions opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestine. They occupied the building for 4 hours, locking themselves to bright yellow tubes that read Unlock Palestine. 17 were arrested. Yesterday we got a call from David Solnit as he dangled 20 feet in the air from a banner he hung outside the building. Guest: David Solnit, Art and Revolution, speaking from outside the Oakland federal building that he and other activists took over to demand a free Palestine Contact: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break MUSIC 7: East Timor Promo 20: EVERY CITY, EVERY GHETTO - Lauren Hill The Miseducdation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse CD) 40: IF THERE'S HELL BELOW - Curtis Mayfield Dead Presidents Movie Soundtrack (Capitol CD) End: IF THERE'S HELL BELOW - Curtis Mayfield 9:07-9:20 THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT RULES NIKE CAN BE SUED FOR LYING ABOUT ITS LABOR PRACTICES, BUT THE ACLU SIDES WITH NIKE: A DEBATE The California Supreme Court has ruled Nike is liable for deceptive advertising and misleading public statements about labor conditions in the companys factories in Asia. The court declared that Nike and other corporations are not protected by the First Amendment when they make false statements about their labor policies or company operations in ads, press releases, or public statements. Nike became a major target of labor and global justice campaigners in the mid-1990s. In 1996, CorpWatch got a hold of Nikes own audit of a factory in Vietnam which showed that workers were exposed to toxic chemicals without protection or safety training and were forced to work illegal excess overtime. The story found its way to the front page of the New York Times. Nike responded with a wide-ranging public relations campaign. It hired Goodworks International, a consultancy firm owned by former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, to audit some of its factories. Nike then advertised Goodworks more favorable conclusions in full-page newspaper ads and letters to university presidents and athletic directors. California environmental activist Marc Kasky sued Nike in 1998 for false advertising. The ACLU filed briefs in support of Nike. Today, we will have a debate. Guest: Medea Benjamin, Founding Director, Global Exchange Contact: Guest: Ann Brick, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union. She worked on the case Kasky v. Nike.Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 ON THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DRACONIAN ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS, A LOOK AT CRIMINAL JUSTICE FROM NEW YORK TO TULIA TO TALLULAH Today is the beginning of the 30th anniversary of New York State's Rockefeller Drug Laws, some of the harshest anti-drug laws in the country. They were pushed through the state legislature in 1973 by then-governor Nelson Rockefeller. The laws require a minimum sentence of 15 years for minor possession of drugs. The laws mostly result in the imprisonment of first-time, low-level drug offenders. Most are poor, most are people of color. Hundreds of New Yorkers will gather outside Governor Pataki's office today to demand that he Drop the Rock and overturn Rockefeller's 1973 legislation. Elaine Bartlett is one of three women prisoners granted by clemency Governor George Pataki last year. She was sent to the Bedford Hills maximum security prison in 1984 when she was 16 years old. She was 42 when she left. Guest: Elaine Bartlett, member of the Mothers of the Disappeared who will protest outside the governors office today. She served 16 years for a drug conviction and was granted clemency in December 1999. IN STUDIO Contact: 212 539 8441 Guest: Wanda Best, member of Mothers of the New York Disappeared IN STUDIO Guest: Randy Credico, Director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice IN STUDIO Contact: Guest: Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network Contact: Links:,, 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 ON THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DRACONIAN ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS, A LOOK AT CRIMINAL JUSTICE FROM NEW YORK TO TULIA TO TALLULAH We go now to the story of an 18 month undercover drug sting in Tulia Texas, where 43 people in the small town were arrested for allegedly selling or delivering Coleman powder cocaine. 40 of those arrested were African-American. That was 16% of Tulia's African-American population. The evidence? Theword of one man, undercover agent Tom Coleman. Last month a judge dropped the charges against one of those arrested in the infamous drug sting, Tonya White. She was the last of 46 people indicted in connection with the controversial drug sting. She joins us in the studio today. Meanwhile, family and friends of Louisiana's child prisoners descended on the state capital yesterday to demand the Tallulah youth prison be closed down. Tallulah is the most notorious juvenile prison in a state known for its brutal juvenile prisons. The state seized control of the facility from its private owners in 1999, but parents told their legislators yesterday that little has changed. Yesterday parents laid a symbolic wreath on the steps of the capitol to memorialize the dying dreams of Louisiana's incarcerated children.GUEST: David Utter, Director, Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana Guest: Tonya White, recently exonerated defendant in the Tulia, Texas drug sting IN STUDIO Guest: Jeff Blackburn, Cooperating Council for the ACLU of Texas, which brought a lawsuit against the District Attorney and Sheriffs of Swisher County IN STUDIO Guest: Chris Hoffman, civil attorney for the defendants in the Tulia, Texas drug sting 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 8, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 8, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 8, 2002
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