Democracy Now! January 25, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 25, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 


That was Philadelphia, at the Republican National Convention, this is New York, the World Social Forum, next week. The same man is leading both operations. With the help of former Philadelphia police commissioner John Timoney, New York police vow to crush protests against the World Economic Forum. Also, well talk to singer-songwriter-activist, Dar Williams. THE LAW OF THE FIST: NEW YORK POLICE VOW TO CRUSH PROTESTS AGAINST THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM Next week, the World Economic Forum will hold its annual meeting in New York, from January 31st to Feb 4th At the meeting, 1,000 of the worlds top business leaders, and hundreds of political and media leaders will come together to shape the global agenda. This year the WEF says their meeting will focus on finding ways to "reverse the global economic downturn, eradicate poverty, promote security and enhance cultural understanding." Those who oppose the global financial spread say this means rescuing failing corporate giants and clamping down on dissent. Many say that the WEF has chosen to meet in New York because the citys recent trauma has made it a difficult climate to protest in. Last year when the WEF met in Davos, Switzerland, thousands came from across Europe to show their opposition to the meeting of corporate chiefs. Richard Espositos piece in the Village Voice this week begins: Seen through the eyes of New York cops, the anti-globalization movement looks like one bloody line of terror and mayhem, stretching back to the Seattle riots of 1999 and heading right at them. If the protesters pouring into the city for the World Economic Forum at month's end have plans for creating more scenes of violence and destruction, the NYPD says they can just think again. The piece presents a militarized city prepared to take violent action against violent protesters. Is this the scene we can expect in New York? GUEST: RICHARD ESPOSITO, consulting producer for ABC News and a reporter for Reuters, and co-author of the book Dead on Delivery: Inside the Drug Wars, Straight from the Street. He authored an article in the Village Voice this week, Lockdown at the Waldorf. IN STUDIO CONTACT: GUEST: KATE COOPER, Another World is Possible coalition and anti-World Economic Forum organizer IN STUDIO CONTACT: THE LAW OF THE FIST: THE LAW OF THE FIST: NEW YORK POLICE VOW TO CRUSH PROTESTS AGAINST THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM CONTD After the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia the summer of 2000, Philadelphia police commissioner John Timoney was widely hailed in the media as having won the battle of the streets. But what was the cost, and what does it mean for New York next week? Timoney is now CEO of a private security firm thats been brought in to help with the protests in New York. During the RNC, the police made mass pre-emptive detentions and arrests in order to keep the streets clean of demonstrations. But even as the major media wallowed in accounts of Timoney's "deft" and "restrained" policing, reports of serious civil rights violations and abuse by police mounted. Over 400 protesters were arrested or detained, along with innocent bystanders, bike messengers, and a photographer for U.S. News and World Report. According to the legal team R2K, the umbrella group that organized the Philadelphia protests, most of those arrested were held for over 60 hours before being arraigned on misdemeanor charges that normally would warrant no more than a desk-appearance ticket. Almost all the charges against the arrested protesters were dropped. In what seems a systematic campaign by the police and city officials to lock up suspected "ringleaders" until after the Democratic convention in Los Angeles, Philadelphia prosecutors obtained unprecedented bail of $1 million for two prominent organizers. One of them is John Sellers, a former Greenpeace activist who is now the director of the Berkeley-based Ruckus Society, which has trained thousands in nonviolent protest tactics. Sellers bail was later reduced to $100,000. Sellers now has a lawsuit pending against the Philadelphia police department. He joins us from Berkeley GUEST: JOHN SELLERS, director, Ruckus Society. CONTACT: TAPE: BORK, anarchist activist who was arrested during the Republican National Convention in August 2000, and beaten by police BRAZIL GEARS UP FOR THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM GUEST: MAIZA MENDOZA, organizer for the World Social Forum organizer in Brazil, taking place next week. Right now she joins us from the Amazon, where she is part of a preparatory conference, the Amazon Social Forum SINGING TO BREAK THE SILENCE: A CONVERSATION WITH SINGER-SONGWRITER-ACTIVIST, DAR WILLIAMS Dar Williams is one of today's most acclaimed singer-songwriters, a folk artist in the tradition of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Utah Phillips. She has said of her music, "I hope I'm writing songs that go into the niches and places other people don't." But she has one song that holds a special place in the hearts of us engaged in the struggle to save grassroots community radio: a song she wrote about the influence of New York Pacifica station WBAI called "Are You Out There?" which goes: And what's the future, who will choose it? Politics of love and music Underdogs who turn the tables Indie versus major labels There's so much to see through Like our parents do more drugs than we do Corporate parents, corporate towns I know every TV set that has them lit They preach that I should save the world They pray that I won't do a better job of it Pray that I won't do a better job. So tonight I turned your station on just so I'd be understood. Instead another voice said I was just too late And just no good... Since the early 1990s, Williams has been combining a fierce dedication to social justice with a deeply personal sensibility in her music. And indeed she has raised her powerful, 3-octave voice for array of progressive movements: from Pacifica radio to the environment to women's rights and anti-corporate global justice. In the process, she has created a unique sound, where the personal intersects with the political, past traditions merge with the present, and struggle melts into humor. Dar Williams launched her music career nearly a decade ago on the Boston-Cambridge coffeehouse folk circuit. In 1994 she recorded her first collection of songs, The Honesty Room, on her own homegrown label. It was eventually picked up by Waterbug Records and then re-released in 1995 to a wider audience by the independent Razor & Tie record label. Since then Dar Williams has recorded four albums, each one an inspired combination of politics and poetry. She has toured extensively, with folk legend Joan Baez, Lillith Fair, and various folk festivals. She'll return to the studio next month to record another album. GUEST: DAR WILLIAMS, singer/songwriter 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
January 25, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 25, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. January 25, 2002
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