Democracy Now! March 11, 2003

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Democracy Now! March 11, 2003
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Anti-war protesters plan for massive civil disobedience in Washington next week; Immigrant rights groups prepare for a fourth round of mass deportations of Pakistani detainees; Police in Montpelier, Vt. photograph student protesters & ask for surveillance help from the local media: Meanwhile in Minnesota, law enforcement identifies student anti-war group as possible threat; A bigger leak than the Pentagon Papers? Daniel Ellsberg discusses the leaked email that shows the U.S. is spying on UN documents

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines: 8:06-8:07 One-Minute Music Break 8:07-8:10 8:10-8:20: Another mass deportation of Pakistani detainees is imminent. This according to the Brooklyn-based immigrant rights group Coney Island Avenue Project. There have been three other mass deportations so far. In November, 87 Pakistanis were deported from Buffalo, New York. 95 were deported in August and 131 were deported in June. The secret, mass deportations have taken place in the middle of the night when family members and immigrant rights activists are unable to be at the detention centers to help the detainees. Families have been ripped apart by the deportations. Witnesses who insisted on anonymity told United Press International in August that many of the deportees were married to U.S. citizens. They were forced to leave their spouses and children behind. Very few newspapers have picked up the story. We re joined right now by Bobby Khan, director of the Coney Island Avenue Project * Bobby Khan, director of the Coney Island Avenue project and long-time Pakistani immigrant rights advocate 8:21 8:50: Last week over 60 students walked out of classes in Montpelier, the state capitol of Vermont. As part of an international student strike, they marched through downtown to the steps of the statehouse. After a couple of failed attempts they were allowed in for a personal meeting with the governor. Then they continued the protest downtown. The event made local headlines. On Democracy Now! we talked to one of the students. But we have since learned it was not just the press that was a keeping a close eye on the student protesters. So were the Montpelier police. According to the Rutland Herald, the police took photographs of the students that are to be kept in the department s files. One local police officer even asked a local news photographer for copies of the photographs he was taken. The office reportedly told the news photographer, Make sure you get close ups of their faces in case they need to be suspended. The American Civil Liberties Union says the police should not be collecting information of citizens who are exercising their First Amendment Rights. Ironically, on the day before the protest, voters ratified a City Council resolution condemning the USA Patriot Act. The resolution directs the local police to QUOTE uphold its policy of respecting and protecting the freedoms of speech, religions and assembly and privacy. * Aria Allen, 10th grade student who organized student strike at Montpelier High School * Douglas Hoyt, Montpelier police chief * Joseph Gainza, program coordinator for the Vermont office of the American Friends Service Committee * Peter Evans, Montpelier High School principal We are also joined by Nathan Mittelstaedt an organizer with Students Against War at the University of Minnesota. Last week an expert on counterrorism identified his group Students Against War alongside other groups such as the Aryan Nation as a potential threat to the state of Minnesota. The Star Tribune reported, A Hennepin County sheriff's official with expertise on counterterrorism efforts urged Minnesota law enforcers Tuesday to become aware of several right-and left-wing organizations operating in the state. We are not calling any of them terrorists. We call them domestic identified groups that may affect our communities, Capt. Bill Chandler said after giving a presentation to emergency management personnel on Understanding Terrorism in Minnesota. Among the groups named were Students Against War, a Minneapolis book store called Arise, Ruckus Society and the group Anti-Racism Action. * Nathan Mittelstaedt, member of Students Against War at the University of Minnesota. He is a senior majoring in political science. 8:25-8:26 One-Minute Music Break 8:50-8:58: Yesterday on Democracy Now! we reported that a 28-year-old woman working at the top-secret British Government Communications Headquarters has been arrested on charges of contravening the Official Secrets Act. The GCHQ is the electronic surveillance arm of the British intelligence service. The arrest comes just a few days after the London Observer published a top-secret National Security Agency document. The memo revealed US agents had been ordered to bug the telephone and email communications of U.N. Security Council delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea. The surveillance operation was designed to help the US win votes for the war resolution on Iraq. The Observer reports the NSA document was leaked to the paper by British security sources who objected to aiding the US surveillance operation. Well, we re joined right now by the most famous whistleblower in US history, who Henry Kissinger described as "the world's most dangerous man." He is Daniel Ellsberg. During the Cold War, Daniel Ellsberg was a U.S. Marine company commander, a Pentagon official, an analyst at the Rand Corporation, and a staunch believer in fighting Communist expansion. But in October of 1969 Ellsberg began smuggling out of his office and photocopying a 7,000 page top-secret study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam, which later became known as the Pentagon Papers. By leaking the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg set in motion actions that would eventually topple the Nixon presidency and end the Vietnam War. * Daniel Ellsberg, exposed Pentagon Papers; author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, and Ana Nogiera. Mike Di Filippo is our engineer and webmaster.

Date Recorded on: 
March 11, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
March 11, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., March 11, 2003
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