Democracy Now! May 9, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 9, 2003
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Hour 1: Cop takes midnight photos of pacifist teacher s classroom, then Rush Limbaugh posts them on his website; President Bush may invoke executive privilege to keep 911 documents away from Congressional investigators: We ll talk to a man who lost his wife in the attacks and is preparing to sue the White House; Wounded Knee II, 30 years later: American Indian Movement ended its occupation of the village of Wounded Knee in May, 1973; U.S. government land grabs continue today; President Bush s daughters are again in the news for their alleged drug use, but its mostly people of color who go to jail for drugs: as the Rockefeller drug laws turn 30, celebrities and activists vow to overturn them Hour 2: Is it to protect mothers, or undermine Roe v. Wade? As Mother's Day approaches, we'll hear about one of the latest bills Republicans have introduced; Mothers in Prison: 2 million children in the US have a parent in jail; we'll hear children reading their Mother's Day Cards to their moms in prison; Mothers As Activists: women organize Mother's Day rallies, actions and celebrations around the country.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One-minute music break 8:07-8:20: The time was 1:30 in the morning. It was in a small town in Vermont. A local police officer was snapping photographs. Collecting evidence. This hardly makes for an interesting story. Except the uniformed officer was in room 211 of Spaulding High School in Barre, Vermont. The officer, who was on duty, wasn t investigating a crime. He was trying to document what was going on in the classroom of a pacifist history teacher. Well today we are joined by the teacher, Tom Treece, whose classroom was targeted by Officer John Mott. We tried to reach Officer Mott, but he did not return our calls. He recently explained his actions to the Barre Montpelier Times Argus: I wanted everybody to see what was in that room. He added, Having spent 30 years in uniform, I was insulted I m just taking a stand on what happens in that classroom as a resident and a voter and taxpayer of this community. <sum> Tom Treece, high school teacher in Vermont Link: 8:20-8:21 One-minute music break 8:21-30: Newsweek is reporting President Bush may try to invoke executive privilege to keep key documents relating to the September 11 attacks out of the hands of investigators with the independent panel created by Congress to probe all aspects of 9-11. Last week, we spoke with Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, who said that administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of an 800-page secret report prepared by a joint congressional inquiry. The report details intelligence and law-enforcement failures that preceded the September 11 attacks, including warnings given to President Bush and his top advisors during the summer of 2001. This week, Isikoff and Mark Hosenball are reporting chief that White House council Alberto Gonzales privately told the chair of the 9-11 panel Thomas Kean that the White House may seek to invoke executive privilege over documents sought by the commission. (Thomas Kean is the former Republican governor of New Jersey who Bush named to chair the panel.) Among the most sensitive documents the commission is interested in reviewing are internal National Security Council minutes from the spring and summer of 2001. That is when the CIA and other intelligence agencies were warning that an attack by Al Qaeda could well be imminent. The panel is also expected to seek interviews with key players in the Bush administration such as national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. And the panel will likely request to review debriefings of key Al Qaeda suspects who have been arrested. <sum> Stephen Push, with Families of September 11. His wife of 21 years, Lisa J. Raines, was on American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Links: 8:35-8:45: Thirty years ago this week, the American Indian Movement ended its occupation of the village of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The siege lasted 71 days, and drew international attention to the plight of Indigenous people within the borders of the US. The US government responded to the occupation with a full military siege that included armored personnel carriers, F-4 Phantom jets, US Marshals, FBI, State and local law enforcement, and the development of a corrupt vigilante group of Pine Ridge Reservation natives called the Guardians of the Oglala Nation, or GOONs. Two activist occupiers were killed by sniper fire. About a dozen solidarity activists disappeared when they attempted to run supplies in by foot overnight. The settlement is known as Wounded Knee II. The occupation of Wounded Knee is considered the beginning of what Oglala people refer to as the Reign of Terror, from 1973-76. Over 60 residents were killed in this period, their murders went uninvestigated by the FBI, which had jurisdiction. The period culminated in the June 26th shootout for which Leonard Peltier is still imprisoned. Today, government intrusion and land grabs continue to strip the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota of their traditional land. An encampment has just gone up along the Missouri River to stop the construction of a landfill and state park on a site where the remains of Indigenous people have been discovered. <sum> Madonna Thunder Hawk, member of the Lakota-Dakota-Nakota Nation, who participated in the occupation. (The U.S. government refers to her Nation as the Sioux.) Thunderhawk is a veteran of most every modern Native American struggle, from the occupation of Alcatraz to the siege of Wounded Knee. She is a long-time community organizer with experience in Indian rights protection, cultural preservation, economic development and environmental justice. Thunder Hawk was a co-founder and spokesperson for the Black Hills Alliance, which blocked Union Carbide from mining uranium on sacred Lakota land. She co-founded Women of All Nations and the Black Hills Protection Committee (later the HeSapa Institute). <sum> Faith Spotted Eagle, who is organizing against the construction of a waster dump and fish cleaning area for campers at a Native American burial ground near Pine Ridge 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:45-8:58: The Bush daughters have once again found themselves in the press this week for their alleged drug use. Actor Ashton Kutcher told Rolling Stone magazine how a year and a half ago he saw Jenna and Barbara smoking marijuana. He said one night I go upstairs to see another friend and I can smell the green wafting out under his door. I open the door and there he is, smoking out the Bush twins on his hookah." If the Bush daughters were caught doing this in New York, they could land serious jail time. This week is the 30th anniversary of the Rockefeller drug laws. In 1973, New York governor Nelson Rockefeller pushed through State legislature the first laws in the nation that require minimum sentences for first-time drug users. The Rockefeller drug laws mandate a minimum of 15 years for first-time, nonviolent drug users who are caught with small amounts of drugs. Dozens of other states and the federal government rushed to adopt their own versions of the Rockefeller drug laws when New York State set the precedent. But people like Barbara and Jenna Bush don t need to be too afraid. Most the people imprisoned by these laws are poor, and most of them are people of color. Yesterday in New York, a coalition of politicians, celebrities, and mothers of prisoners rallied outside Governor George Pataki s office to demand the repeal of the drug laws. Hip-hop promoter and producer Russell Simmons, former New York Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, Actors Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, and New York Reverend Al Shartpon were among those who spoke. <sum> Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records, one of the most successful recording executives, producers, and promoters in the hip hop world, and co-founder of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network <sum> Jason Flom, president and CEO of LAVA records <sum> Reverend Al Sharpton, civil rights leader 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20: Sunday is Mother s Day. Most people don t know this, but the holiday is ancient, dating back millennia. The earliest Mother's Day celebrations in Western History can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of the Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. In 17th century England, many of England's poor worked as servants for the rich and lived in houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday, servants were allowed to take the day off and return home to spend the day with their moms. In the United States, the earliest version of Mother s Day was Mothers' Work Day, and it was initiated in 1858 in West Virginia. During the Civil War, local teacher Anna Reeves Jarvis extended the purpose of Mothers' Work Days to press for better sanitary conditions for both sides in the conflict. In 1872, Julia Ward Howe suggested holding an annual Mother's Day. Howe is well known as the author of the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic . But she was horrified by the carnage of the Civil War, and proposed establishing Mother s Day as a day dedicated to peace. A year later, women in 18 cities celebrated a Mother's Day for Peace, and some continued to celebrate it for the next thirty years. It was Anna Jarvis, daughter of Anna Reeves Jarvis, who was the power behind the official establishment of Mother's Day. She swore at her mother's gravesite in 1905 to dedicate her life to her mom s project, and establish a day to honor mothers, living and dead. She wrote to politicians, clergy members, business leaders, and women's clubs. The US congress passed a Mother s Day resolution in 1914. But the bill emphasized women's role in the family, not as activists in the public arena, as Howe s Mother s Day had been. Well Congress is still interested in the issue of mothers, pregnancy, and women s role in the family On Wednesday, Congressional Republicans introduced a bill that would make it a crime to kill or injure a fetus. The "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" is sponsored by the staunchly anti-abortion Republican Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio and by Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Rick Santorum is the same senator who made headlines last week when he equated gay sex with incest. He said, "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Pro-choice activists say the legislation will undermine Roe v. Wade, and supporters of the bill agree. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah told CNN, "They say it undermines abortion rights. It does. But Hatch and other supporters say the undermining of Roe v. Wade is irrelevant. They say the law is important because it would protect pregnant women whose unborn babies are harmed or killed in a federal crime. The legislation has passed the House twice before but has languished in the Senate. However, anti-abortion activists are more hopeful this year because of a larger Republican majority in the Senate, and public outrage over a highly publicized case in which a pregnant woman, Laci Peterson, was killed. Peterson had planned on naming her son Conner. The bill is now known as "Laci and Conner's Law." Currently, 26 states have already enacted laws that make it a crime to kill or injure a fetus. President Bush has indicated recently that he strongly supports the proposed legislation. <sum> Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women Link: One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:45: Last month, 30-year-old Saundra Kelly of Brooklyn New York gave birth to a baby girl. She named her Sinaia. The birth took place at the Nassau University Medical Center. But just days later Saundra had to hand over her daughter to a friend. That s because Saundra is in jail awaiting trial on assault charges. Until six months ago the prison, the East Meadow jail in Nassau, ran a nursery for new mothers. But today Saundra, who was recently profiled in an article by Newsday, had no choice but to give up her newborn daughter. And unfortunately stories such as Saundra s are not rare. It is estimated that 2 million children across the country have a parent in jail. African American children are nearly nine times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children. Hispanic children are three times as likely as white children to have a parent who is in jail. As part of our Mother s Day special we are going to look at the plight of incarcerated mothers and what happens to their children. <sum> Julie Kowitz, Director of the Women in Prison Project In New York City, is an attorney with a background in women s rights and civil rights advocacy. Prior to joining the Correctional Association, she represented plaintiffs in police brutality, employment discrimination, reproductive rights, and other civil rights matters. Link: <sum> Lisa Turner, former prisoner and mother. Lisa Turner spent two and a half years in the New York State prison system. Lisa is from the Bronx and she is a mother of two children. She recently graduated from Project Greenhope (an Alternative to Incarceration program) and is involved with ReConnect, a leadership institute with the Women in Prison Project. Lisa has also now begun an HIV/AIDS peer education program. She aspires to be a substance abuse counselor. <sum> Tanya Krupat, Director of the Children of Incarcerated Parents Program (CHIPPS) of the Administration for Children s Services in New York City. Link: 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 Mothers As Activists: Women organize Mother s Day rallies, actions and celebrations around the country In 1870, author, abolitionist, peace activist and suffragist Julia Ward Howe attempted to get recognition for a national Mother's Day holiday as a worldwide protest of women against the cruelties of war." Howe called for women to rise up in protest on Mother's Day. She declared, "Arise then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears, say firmly: 'We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." In that spirit, a series of rallies, protests and celebrations are being held in an attempt to return the holiday to Howe's original vision: as a day of activism, resistance and women's solidarity. Well yesterday Democracy Now! producer Angie Karran spoke to several mothers to find out how they are planning to spend their Mother s Day. <sum> Mothers around the country talk about their plans for Mother s Day Links: 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 9, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
May 9, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., May 9, 2003
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