In a Democracy Now! exclusive on Earth Day, climate change activist Tim DeChristopher joins us for his first interview since being released from federal custody after serving 21 months in detention. DeChristopher was convicted of interfering with a 2008 public auction when he disrupted the Bush administration’s last-minute move to sell off oil and gas exploitation rights in Utah. He posed as a bidder and won drilling lease rights to 22,000 acres of land in an attempt to save the property from oil and gas extraction. The auction itself was later overturned and declared illegal, a fact that DeChristopher’s defense attorneys were prevented from telling the jury. His case is the subject of the documentary, "Bidder 70," which will screen all over the country today to mark his release and Earth Day. The founder of the climate justice group Peaceful Uprising, Tim DeChristopher joins us to discuss his ordeal, his newfound freedom, and his plans to continue his activism in the climate justice movement.
Father Michael Lapsley is a former South African anti-apartheid activist who has turned his personal tragedy into a clarion call for peace and forgiveness. In 1990, three months after the release of Nelson Mandela, the ruling de Klerk government sent Father Lapsley a parcel containing two religious magazines. Inside one of them was a highly sophisticated bomb. When Lapsley opened the magazine, the explosion blew off both of his hands, destroyed one eye and burned him severely. Father Lapsley went on to work at the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, South Africa, which assisted the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Father Lapsley joins us to discuss his journey and his thoughts on how Boston can begin to heal from last week’s bombings. "The journey of healing is to move from being a victim to a survivor to a victor, to take back agency," he says. "I realized that if I was filled with hatred and bitterness and desire for revenge, they would have failed to kill the body, but they would have killed the soul."
Authorities have used a public safety exception to delay reading Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present, a move that has sparked controversy. The Obama administration has been criticized in the past for rolling back Miranda rights after unilaterally expanding the public safety exception in 2010. A group of Republican lawmakers have also called for Tsarnaev to be held as an enemy combatant, but the Obama administration has signaled its intention to try him in civilian court. Constitutional lawyer and Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald joins us to discuss the legal issues surrounding the case. "It’s sort of odd that the debate is Lindsey Graham’s extremist theory [to hold Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant] or rushing to give President Obama credit for what ought to be just reflexive, which is, if you arrest a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil of a crime, before you imprison him, you actually charge him with a crime and give him the right to a lawyer," Greenwald says. "The fact those are the two sort of extremes being debated, I think, is illustrative of where we’ve come."
By Greg Palast
The Hidden Truth - Watch the Film
We are pleased to announce weekly postings in Spanish of labor news and analysis from the U.S. We’ll summarize several stories from the past week’s Labor Notes website. Please pass them on to your Spanish-speaking friends. Click to see the English version, too.
Teachers quickly settled contracts before Michigan’s right-to-work law took effect, locking in dues deduction. But most deals gave up a lot.
In 1982, investigative journalist Allan Nairn interviewed a Guatemalan general named "Tito" on camera during the height of the indigenous massacres. It turns out the man was actually Otto Pérez Molina, the current Guatemalan president. We air the original interview footage and speak to Nairn about the U.S. role backing the Guatemalan dictatorship. Last week, Nairn flew to Guatemala where he had been scheduled to testify in the trial of former U.S.-backed dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, the first head of state in the Americas to stand trial for genocide. Ríos Montt was charged in connection with the slaughter of more than 1,700 people in Guatemala’s Ixil region after he seized power in 1982. His 17-month rule is seen as one of the bloodiest chapters in Guatemala’s decades-long campaign against Maya indigenous people, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. The trial took a surprising turn last week when Guatemala President Gen. Otto Pérez Molina was directly accused of ordering executions. A former military mechanic named Hugo Reyes told the court that Pérez Molina, then serving as an army major and using the name Tito Arias, ordered soldiers to burn and pillage a Maya Ixil area in the 1980s. Click here to hear our live update of the trial from Nairn in Guatemala City. [includes rush transcript]
A historic trial against former U.S.-backed Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity came to an abrupt end Thursday when an appeals court suspended the trial before a criminal court was scheduled to reach a verdict. Ríos Montt on was charged in connection with the slaughter of more than 1,700 people in Guatemala’s Ixil region after he seized power in 1982. His 17-month rule is seen as one of the bloodiest chapters in Guatemala’s decades-long campaign against Maya indigenous people, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Thursday’s decision is seen as a major blow to indigenous victims. Investigative journalist Allan Nairn reported last night Guatemalan army associates had threatened the lives of case judges and prosecutors and that the case had been annulled after intervention by Guatemala’s president, General Otto Pérez Molina. Ríos Montt was the first head of state in the Americas to stand trial for genocide. Nairn flew to Guatemala last week after he was called to testify in Ríos Montt’s trial. He was listed by the court as a "qualified witness" and was tentatively scheduled to testify on Monday. But at the last minute, Nairn was kept off the stand "in order," he was told, "to avoid a confrontation" with the president, General Pérez Molina, and for fear that if he took the stand, military elements might respond with violence. In the 1980s, Nairn extensively documented broad army responsibility for the massacres and was prepared to present evidence that personally implicated Pérez Molina, who was field commander during the very Mayan Ixil region massacres for which the ex-dictator, Ríos Montt, had been charged with genocide. [includes rush transcript]
Hong Kong dockworkers walk off the job and describe nitty-gritty working conditions at the world’s third-busiest port.
A new film directed by Robert Greenwald looks at four whistleblowers who had their lives practically destroyed after they went to the press with evidence of government wrongdoing. They are Michael DeKort, Thomas Drake, Franz Gayl and Thomas Tamm. Whistleblowers have come under unprecedented attack by the Obama administration. Evoking the Espionage Act of 1917, the administration has pressed criminal charges against no fewer than six government employees, more than all previous presidential administrations combined. In the film, Greenwald also interviews government oversight experts and investigative journalists who warn about the chilling effect prosecutions may have on potential whistleblowers and the journalists who help them. Click to watch Part 2 of the interview. [includes rush transcript]
CNN is coming under criticism after it falsely reported authorities had arrested a Boston Marathon bombing suspect, whom it had earlier described as a "dark-skinned male." Both claims turned out to be wrong. Earlier in the week the New York Post claimed a Saudi man was in custody for the blasts, only to later see authorities later say the man was a victim of the marathon attack. We discuss the corporate media’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing with two guests: Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Peter Hart, activism director at the media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. [includes rush transcript]
In the wake of the deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, reporter Mike Elk of In These Times magazine joins us to discuss the plant’s safety record and the troubling regulatory environment for workplaces in Texas and nationwide. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not inspected West Fertilizer Co. in five years, and the EPA fined the plant in 2006 for failing to have a risk management plan. Elk says OSHA is understaffed and underfunded nationwide, across all industries. [includes rush transcript]
An unknown number of people have been killed, and well over 100 injured, in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. The incident began with a smaller fire that ignited chemical tanks, causing an explosion that shot flames high into the air and leveled surrounding buildings for blocks in each direction. A police official estimated five to 15 people have died, but the casualty count is expected to rise as day breaks. One initial estimate put the death toll at between 60 to 70 people. Local officials say around a half dozen volunteer firefighters who first arrived on the scene are now missing. Toxic fumes rising from the rubble of the plant have raised health concerns, and about half the town has been evacuated, including a nursing home. We go to Texas to speak with reporter Jay Hicks of the Waco television station KWTX, and Tony Dudik, a local resident who volunteered aid at a triage center three miles from the blast. "It was devastation beyond description," Dudik says. [includes rush transcript]
Thank you for helping to make this a marvelous and memorable event!
Noche de Fiesta
to the Community
Thursday, May 9, 2013
McAllen Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Ash
(north of Business 83, just east of Archer Park)
Reception 6:30 p.m.
Awards 7:30 p.m.
(Dinner catered by Frida’s Grill n Cantina)
Ann Williams Cass
Executive Director of Proyecto Azteca
for her commitment to housing, healthcare, and the well being of colonia residents
Juanita Valdez Cox
Executive Director of La Union del Pueblo Entero (L.U.P.E.)
for her advocacy for social, economic, and legal reform in south Texas
Mujeres Unidas (Women Together)
for its support of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by offering shelter and counseling
To support the excellent work of STCRP
For Civil Rights in South Texas:
Donate Now to STCRP
(make sure to donate it to
the South Texas Civil Rights Project,
TCRP has 5 offices state wide)
Your Tax-Deductible Gift Will Help to Keep
STCRP Active in the Most Needed Places
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Who will defend the indefensible Obama? Answer: There will be fewer and fewer Obamapologists, as each day passes. “For the monumentally dysfunctional Black Misleadership Class, the winding down of the Age of Obama is cause for frantic repositioning, and for the revising of their own histories.”
A model for fighting wage theft that is simple and classic: direct action organizing on a scale any group of workers could take on.
Authorities are hunting for clues behind Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 176. According to The Boston Globe, 70 victims remained in Boston hospitals Tuesday night, including 24 in critical condition. FBI officials say the two bombs were probably built in six-liter pressure cookers filled with nails and small ball bearings. The bombs were then hidden in bags left on the ground. Meanwhile, more information is coming out about the victims: eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was seen in a photo holding a sign that read, "No more hurting people. Peace."; 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a restaurant worker; and Lu Lingzi, a Chinese national attending graduate school at Boston University. We go to Boston to speak with Steve Brown, an anchor at the public radio station WBUR. [includes rush transcript]