Democracy Now! June 3, 2003

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Democracy Now! June 3, 2003
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Justice Department Report Finds Immigrants with no Ties to Terror Suffered Pattern of Physical and Verbal Abuse in Detention Facilities. The report does not recommend bringing criminal charges; Swiss Police Cut Rope Holding British Activist Hanging From Bridge, Sending Him Falling Dozens of Feet , and Raid the Independent Media Center, Beating Journalists; Leaders of the World s Richest Nations Issue Vacuous Statement on Poverty. French President Jacques Chirac allowed activists and nations from the Global South to give their input, but critics say action is needed, not just words; Seattle Police Attack Protesters and Seattle-Post Intelligencer Photographer with Rubber Bullets. People are protesting the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit seminar, attended by police intelligence agents from around the country and Homeland Security head Tom Ridge. It is closed to the public.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:12 Justice Department Report Finds Immigrants with no Ties to Terror Suffered Pattern of Physical and Verbal Abuse in Detention Facilities A Justice Department report released yesterday concluded authorities violated the civil rights of hundreds of immigrants detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. At a federal prison where over 80 people were held, there was a pattern of physical and verbal abuse." The review by the Office of the Inspector General also found FBI officials made little attempt to distinguish between immigrants with possible ties to terrorism, and those who simply had the misfortune to be swept up in the investigation. Without bail, detainees remained in jail for an average of nearly three months. They had to wait for weeks until they were allowed to make phone calls and find lawyers. Some were kept for months in cells illuminated 24 hours a day and were escorted in handcuffs, leg irons and waist chains. In one Brooklyn detention facility, some detainees said guards slammed them into walls and taunted them. <sum> Rebecca Thornton, Fellow at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. She is the spokesperson for a group of 20 organizations that met with the Office of the Inspector General when they were preparing their report. Contact: 8:12-8:20 Seattle Police Attack Protesters and Seattle-Post Intelligencer Photographer with Rubber Bullets Seattle police yesterday attacked protesters with non-lethal weapons yesterday. The people were protesting a five-day Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit seminar titled "Criminal Intelligence and the War on Terrorism." Police sprayed protesters with rubber bullets and pepper spray. A Seattle-Post Intelligencer photographer was hit by a rubber bullet, and an Associated Press photographer was doused with pepper spray. 12 people were arrested. The LEIU is a group of intelligence agents from police departments around the country. This year, for the first time, federal intelligence personnel are participating. Homeland Security head Tom Ridge is scheduled to address the conference. They are also meeting with corporations like Boeing and Microsoft. The conference is closed to the public. <sum> Mark Taylor Canfield, independent journalist who witnessed police violence at a protest against the LEIU. 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40 Swiss Police Cut Rope Holding British Activist Hanging From Bridge, Sending him Falling Dozens of Feet and raid independent media center, beating journalists The G-8 summit in Evian, France has come to a close today. Outside the luxury hotel overlooking Lake Geneva where the leaders met, beyond 25,000 police and a steel fence, protests continued overnight. Police used water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas against hundreds of demonstrators. Over the weekend, police severely injured a 39-year-old British protester, Martin Shaw, when they cut the rope he was hanging from while trying to hang a banner. Shaw dropped dozens of feet from the highway bridge, and suffered multiple fractures. Police dressed in anarchist black bloc gear raided the building some protesters were using as their headquarters. They severely beat independent media journalists there. Many of the activists and journalists recalled the police brutality during protests at the G8 meeting in Genoa two years ago. Italian police shot a 23-year-old protester twice in the head, then ran over his body with an armored vehicle. Some 500 others were also injured. <sum> Francesca Bria, Italian Independent Media Center journalist who witnessed and filmed Swiss police cutting the rope from which Martin Shaw was hanging. Contact: <sum> Jacquie Soohen, U.S. Independent Media Center journalist who was beaten by police and then dropped in a field outside of the city in the middle of the night. She has concussion and a cracked tooth. Contact: 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58: The G-8 summit in Evian, France came to a close today. Leaders from the seven richest nations in the world plus Russia issued an evasive closing statement which declared Our shared objective is a fully sovereign, stable and democratic Iraq. Last night at dinner, the leaders discussed a highly critical document prepared at an alternative summit last week by a thousand activists. That document included calls for full debt relief for the nation s poorest countries, the enforcement of labor rights and the creation of international rules to curb pollution. As the Associated Press puts it, this was part of French President Jacques Chirac s attempt to demonstrate to the world that the G-8 is not just capitalism s most exclusive club, but a collection of powerful nations taking into account the needs of the billions of people in the world living in poverty. But Bush missed the discussion on the alternative summit document, as he had already left for the Middle East. And none of those recommendations made it into the final, official document. Chirac also invited a record number of 11 world leaders from developing nations to participate in the opening day of talks, including several from Africa. The final statement listed many measures to help alleviate famine and water shortages. But a spokesman for British aid agency Oxfam told the BBC the document is vacuous. Another Oxfam spokesmand told the Agence France Presse: "Not only are there no firm commitments. Even the rhetoric is watered down compared to last year." Last year s summit in Canada drew up an ambitions action plan on Africa. But critics say nothing has changed. <sum> Njoki Njehu, 50 Years is Enough Network Contact: <sum> Olivier Hoedeman, Corporate Europe Observatory, based in Amsterdam. Contact: 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: 
June 3, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
June 3, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., June 3, 2003
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