Democracy Now! May 9, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 9, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Inside Report on Church of the Nativity deal ; history of Genocide; House of Representatives votes to turn Nevadas Yucca Mountain into the nations nuclear garbage dump.

9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break MUSIC 6: STRANGE FRUIT - Billie Holiday (Remix by Tricky) Verve//Remixed (Verve CD) 20: WE ARE - Sweet Honey and the Rock Sacred Ground (EarthBeat Recordings CD) 40: SOUTH CAROLINA (BARNWELL) - Gill Scott-Heron From South Africa to South Carolina (TVT CD) End: SOUTH CAROLINA (BARNWELL) - Gill Scott-Heron 9:07-9:20 AS ISRAELI TROOPS MASS ON THE GAZA STRIP BORDER, A DEAL IS STRUCK TO FREE PALESTINIANS TRAPPED INSIDE THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, BUT THE BUSES TO ESCORT THEM OUT DRIVE AWAY EMPTY: A REPORT FROM THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES The Israeli army is massing on the border of the Gaza Strip after a suicide bombing killed 15 people near Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Prime Minister Ariel Sharons security cabinet early this morning gave the green light for operations against alleged terrorist targets. And President Bush yesterday stopped short of calling on Sharon to exercise restraint. Bush urged Sharon to keep his vision of peace in mind. Meanwhile, the five-week standoff at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem hit a new impasse today over whether the 13 alleged Palestinian militants to be exiled will have the protection of European monitors. Buses which had arrived to escort over a hundred people out of the church left empty.Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian women snuck through the lines of troops and darted snipers to deliver food to those trapped inside the Church. They frantically stuffed packages of rice, sugar, and milk into the mailslot. More than 200 Palestinians fled into the church to escape invading Israeli forces 38 days ago. One week ago today, ten International Solidarity Movement activists snuck into the church with bags of food and protection for the Palestinians inside. Guest: Kristen Schurr, international activist inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem Contact: Guest: Robert Fisk, reporter for the Independent of London, speaking from Lebanon Contact: Guest: Dedrick Muhammad, organizer for International Solidarity Movement and former national field organizer for the National Action Network IN STUDIO 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 HISTORICAL MEMORY PROJECT: DOCUMENTING THE EXTINCTION AND GENOCIDE OF THE INDIGENOUS POPULATION OF LATIN AMERICA Washingtons narrative of the democratization of Latin America goes something like this: Latin American countries used to be governed by ruthless military dictators who murdered hundreds of thousands of people in order to stay in power. But in the 1970s and 80s, the military pulled out of the government and transitional democracies took root. Finally, new civilian governments were democratically elected. Successive White House adminstrations have used this story of democratization to push a free-trade agenda. But critics call this narrative a myth. They say the legacy of military dictatorships continues. Just last week in Guatemala, forensic anthropologists were forced to flee after receiving multiple death threats. They have been digging up the skeletons of thousands of massacre victims, which were going to be used to bring genocide charges against government and military officials. Also last week, an accountant for the Rigoberta Mench Foundation was shot dead in a cafeteria in Guatemala City. Police said it was a robbery, but Nobel Prize winner and indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Mench Tum suspects political motives. Menchu has received repeated death threats since she filed allegations of genocide against eight of Guatemala's former dictators, presidents and ministers. Menchu has made it her lifes work to document the untold stories of an untold people. The Historical Memory Project was founded with the same goalto document and uncover human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples in Latin America. Tomorrow, Rigoberta Menchu will be speaking at a conference held by the Historical Memory Project at John Jay College in New York. We are joined now by the organizer of the project, Marcia Esparza, and by a survivor of the Guatemalan civil war.Guest: Marcia Esparza, director of the Historical Memory Project and professor of Puerto Rican/Latin American Studies Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.IN STUDIO Contact: Guest: Emiliana Aguilera, survivor of the Guatemalan genocide. Emilianas sister was disappeared and her uncle killed during the civil war. Following the signing of the Guatemalan Peace Accords in 1996, she worked with the Truth Commission. IN STUDIO 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 AS THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTES TO TURN YUCCA MOUNTAIN INTO A NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE SITE, A LOOK AT THE HISTORY, SCIENCE, AND POLITICS BEHIND THE VOTE The House of Representatives voted yesterday to turn Nevadas Yucca Mountain into a high-level nuclear waste dump. The plan calls for 100,000 shipments of highly radioactive nuclear waste to be transported across the country on trucks, trains, and barges. It would then be dumped at Yucca Mountain, just ninety miles from Las Vegas. Yucca Mountain is an ancient volcano that lies in the heart of Shoshone territory. It has long been considered a sacred site by the Shoshone Native Americans. The government and the nuclear energy industry have been searching for years for a one-stop nuclear dump to store the nation's waste. They say Yucca Mountain is safe and provides the best storage solution. But not everyone agrees. A broad coalition of environmental, public interest, and indigenous rights groups has come together to oppose the plan. They say it is neither safe nor secure. They are fighting to get their message across before the decisive senate vote. That vote is expected in June. Last weekend, the Nuclear Energy Institute treated the key staffers of 22 congress members to a lavish trip to Nevada. NEI is the industrys well-heeled Washington lobby, and it spared no expense on the two-day junket. Staffers were wined, dined, and entertained before heading for their private tour of Yucca Mountain. That tour came just days before yesterdays House of Representatives vote. GUEST: Bob Loux, Executive Director, Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects (a division of the Governors office) Contact: GUEST: Corbin Harney. Spiritual Leader and Elder of the Western Shoshone Nation. He is the author of One Air, One Water, One Mother Earth. Harney is also the founder and executive director of the Shundahai network, a Las Vegas-based network of activists for environmental, nuclear, and Native issues. Guest: Lisa Gue, Policy Analyst in the Energy Program of Public Citizen. Contact: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 9, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 9, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 9, 2002
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