Democracy Now! May 5, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 5, 2003
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Hour 1: Israeli troops shoot dead another journalist in the Occupied Territories, according to witnesses: James Miller was an award-winning documentary filmmaker who was famous for his piece on Afghanistan, Beneath the Veil; 33 years ago this weekend, US National Guardsmen fired into a crowd of people at Kent State University who were protesting the Vietnam War, killing four: we ll talk a man who was shot and survived and look at police violence against protesters today Hour 2: Patriot Raid: Citing homeland security & Patriot Act, INS raids NYC restaurant, questions staff at gunpoint and detains patrons; Operation Homeland Resistance: As immigration detainees complain about mistreatment in jail, a coalition of activists plan new campaign to oppose the war at home; As the US considers normalizing relation with the Indonesian army, we talk with Lesley McCulloch, a Scottish academic who was recently released from an Aceh jail.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:10 Headlines 8:10-8:11 One Minute Music Break 8:11-8:25: Another journalist has been killed in the Occupied Territories. James Miller was an award-winning British documentary filmmaker. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers were demolishing a home in the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Miller, another British journalist, Saira Shah, and their translator had just left the home of a Palestinian man when they came under fire. Television footage from the Associated Press showed the crew waving a white flag and yelling that they were British journalists as they approached an armored bulldozer conducting the operation. According to witnesses, a tank then fired on the journalists. The Israeli military is giving conflicting accounts. The London Independent and CNN are reporting the military claimed the tank had come under fire and then fired back. The Israeli newspaper Ha aretz reports the army denied there were any tanks in the area. And now, the Israeli military says Miller was hit from behind and that he may have been killed by Palestinian fire. The Israeli military plans to take Miller's body to the Israeli national forensic center in Jerusalem for an autopsy. James Miller was making a documentary for HBO about the lives of Palestinian children in Rafah. He and his partner, Saira Shah, are best known for their documentaries Beneath the Veil and Unholy War. The documentaries followed Shah as she journeyed to her Afghan homeland to expose the harsh rule of the Taliban government. The documentaries were made for CNN and the British network Channel Four. They won dozens of awards, including a Peabody and an Emmy. Miller is the second journalist to be killed by Israeli gunfire in a month. Palestinian journalist Nazeh Darwazi was shot dead by Israeli troops on April 19. Ironically, the shooting of James Miller took place on the eve of the United Nations World Press Freedom Day. Reporters Without Borders demanded the Israeli authorities conduct an investigation, make the results public, and punish those responsible. Reporters Without Borders also said U.S. attacks on the Baghdad hotel housing foreign journalists and the office of Al-Jazeera television were war crimes. Meanwhile, the Israeli military is threatening to expel the International Solidarity Movement from the Occupied Territories. The ISM brings international peace activists to the Occupied Territories. The Israeli government is currently trying to claim the ISM has ties to the two British suicide bombers involved in the attack in Tel Aviv last week. The Israeli newspaper Ha aretz claims ISM activists met with the two Britons last month. <sum> Lora, International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist in Rafah. She was shot at by an Israeli tank in the same area where Miller was shot. She believes it was the same tank that killed Miller. Lora is from Pittsburgh. Contact: <sum> Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! Correspondent who knew Miller and recently spent time with him in Baghdad <sum> George Rishmawi, International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist from Bethlehem. Contact: 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:35 JAMES MILLER, CONT D 8:35-8:58: We ve just been talking about the Israeli military s killing of British journalist James Miller. Another British journalist based in the region, Justin Huggler, told Democracy Now! he believes the US military is partly to blame. He said when US soldiers fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, killing two journalists, it sent a message to armies around the world that it is okay to kill journalists. Well US forces have also shot and killed protesters both around the globe and here at home. On May 4th, 1970 33 years ago yesterday US National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of unarmed student protesters on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. The guardsmen fired off at least 67 shots in roughly 13 seconds as students protested the war in Vietnam. Four students died and nine others were wounded. To mark the anniversary, hundreds of people marched at the university yesterday. They were protesting a more current issue: the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. 12 people were arrested. University spokesman Ron Kirksey said of the protest: "There's always a group that wants to exploit the day and get attention." <sum> Kent State: The Day the War Came Home, an Emmy award-winning documentary produced and directed by Mark Mori for the 30th anniversary of the shootings. <sum> Alan Canfora, who was shot by the National Guard at Kent State. He is now the chairperson of the Barbeton Democratic Party. Contact:, <sum> Sri Louise, San Francisco yoga instructor who was shot in the face by Oakland police at an anti-war rally at the Port of Oakland last month. After being shot by a non-lethal projectile, photos of her swollen, bloodied profile were beamed around the world. Link: 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58 Kent State, cont d 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:10 Headlines 9:10-9:11 One Minute Music Break 9:11-9:20: A month ago I experienced a very small taste of what hundreds of South Asian immigrants and U.S. citizens of South Asian descent have gone through since 9/11, and what thousands of others have come to fear. I was held, against my will and without warrant or cause, under the USA PATRIOT Act. While I understand the need for some measure of security and precaution in times such as these, the manner in which this detention and interrogation took place raises serious questions about police tactics and the safeguarding of civil liberties in times of war That was the beginning of an article written by New Yorker Jason Halperin who joins us in the studio. * Jason Halperin works with a local nonprofit in New York City. He was a victim of an INS raid of a local restaurant in March. Link: The original version of Halerin s story is at 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:35: Opposition against the Patriot Act continues to grow. Later today a coalition of immigration and human rights groups are launching a new campaign called Operation Homeland Resistance to protest the Patriot Act and the war on home post 9/11. The New York-based group planning to conduct a series of civil disobedience protests over the next three days. This comes as we learn of a series of new complaints of mistreatment from detainees who are jailed at Passaic County Jail in New Jersey. * Monami Maulik, she formed formed DRUM - Desis Rising Up and Moving in 1999 to organize New York City's low-income South Asian immigrant communities for racial, economic, and social justice. Link:;* Voices from inside Passaic County Jail in New Jersey. A collection of messages from detainees inside Passaic who called and left a message on DRUM s answering machine. 9:35-9:58: The US Ambassador to Indonesia said last week the United States wants to normalize relations with the Indonesian army. But Ambassador Ralph Boyce said obstacles remain, including suspicions that Indonesian soldiers were involved in the murder of two American teachers. The New York Times reported in January that Bush administration officials have in fact concluded that Indonesian soldiers carried out the deadly ambush that killed the two teachers. One senior administration official told the Times there is no question the attack was premeditated. The teachers taught at an international school owned and operated by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. The US company operates one of the world's largest copper and gold mines in the area. Freeport had reduced payments and other benefits to soldiers. A Western intelligence analyst said the killings were QUOTE "Extortion, pure and simple. Immediately, Indonesian and Freeport officials blamed a separatist group, the Free Papua Movement, which has been fighting a low-level guerrilla war for independence for several decades. Papuans and international human rights groups say the company has destroyed sacred lands, ravaged the environment and failed to share mineral wealth with impoverished local communities. The killings are only one of the most recent and most well publicized examples of the Indonesian military s brutal record of human rights violations, which include torture and mass killings. The Clinton administration cut off US aid to the Indonesian military in 1999, when the Indonesian armed forces razed East Timor to the ground. But US support for the brutal regime continues. The Bush administration is giving the Indonesian military and police forces millions of dollars for so-called counter-terrorism training. The regime has other allies. This week, Australian Prime Minister John Howard is expected propose to the United Nations that the UN Security Council be revamped to include a permanent seat for Indonesia. Ten days ago, Indonesia announced a $200 million dollar deal with Russia to buy six Russian fighter jets and helicopters. Today we are joined in our studios by a professor who experienced first-hand the brutality of the Indonesian military. She is Lesley McCulloch, a political scientist who for many years has been following human rights violations in Aceh. Aceh is on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. It has the largest natural gas field in the world. The people living in this resource-rich region are calling for a referendum for self-determination. They want independence from Indonesia because of the military s brutal repression of their people. After the overthrow of Suharto, mass graves were uncovered. Over 1,000 people have been killed in Aceh last year alone. An estimated 12,000 have been killed in the past decade. And the killings continue. McCulloch was visiting there last year when she was arrested on charges of visa violations. She was also accused of trying to contact members of a separatist group known as the Free Aceh Movement. She spent 5 months in jail, along with Joy Lee Sadler, an American nurse. We spoke to both of them last December from their cell phones in prison in Aceh. Lesley was released earlier this year and joins us now in our studio. * Lesley McCulloch, a political scientist based in Australia, is a long time research of human rights violations in Aceh. She was visiting there last year when she was arrested in Aceh on charges of visa violations. She was also accused of trying to contact members of a separatist group known as the Free Aceh Movement. She eventually spent 5 months in jail. * Kurt Biddle, coordinator, Indonesian Human Rights Network Contact: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
May 5, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
May 5, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., May 5, 2003
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