Democracy Now! January 15, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 15, 2002
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Actor Danny Glover, is dropped from the list of speakers at a Martin Luther King Day celebration. He is then re-invited amidst an outpouring of public support. Martin Luther Kings opposition to U.S. foreign policy has been erased from mainstream history. Today, on his birthday, well break the silence with a rare speech on his opposition to the war in Vietnam : The Good War And Those Who Refused To Fight It a film about conscientious objectors to World War II airs this week on PBS. Host: Amy Goodman

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES Actor Danny Glover has become one of the latest victims of the war on free speech. After publicly criticizing the use of military tribunals in November, he has been slammed and censored by both media and politicians. Most notably, the Modesto California City Council attempted to withdraw its sponsorship of Glover as the featured speaker for the official celebration of Martin Luther King Day, next Monday. I spoke to Danny Glover just hours ago today, on what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.s 73rd birthday. Heres what he had to say: GUEST: DANNY GLOVER, actor and civil rights activist 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 WHY I OPPOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM: A TIME TO BREAK SILENCE Today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s birthday. He would have been 73 years old. Younger generations know Dr. Martin Luther King as the country's most prominent civil rights leader of all time. But Kings opposition to the Vietnam War, and to U.S. foreign policy in general, has been erased from mainstream history. On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before Dr. King was assassinated, he gave a speech at Riverside church in New York City called Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. Time magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi," and the Washington Post declared that King had diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people. As U.S. bombs continue to fall on Afghanistan, and the mainstream media continues to silence opposition to todays war, we turn to an excerpt of Dr. Kings speech. AUDIO: Martin Luther King, Jr. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 THE GOOD WAR AND THOSE WHO REFUSED TO FIGHT IT The Good War And Those Who Refused To Fight It tells the story of US conscientious objectors who refused to fight "the good war," the most popular war of the 20th century. Many of these COs were Quakers or others whose religious beliefs interpreted the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" to include war; others were passionate pacifists who felt morally incapable of cooperating with a violent conflict. Refusing to fight during WWII was considered cowardly and unpatriotic. Many conscientious objectors performed alternative service to prove their patriotism, risking their lives as fire jumpers and medical guinea pigs on experiments on human starvation. Thousands of other COs volunteered to work in mental institutions under Civilian Public Service, a national system of work camps administered and paid for by the "peace" churches, like the Quakers, Mennonites and Brethren. Thousands, however, refused to cooperate with the war effort at all, and spent the war years in prison, often working to reform the federal prison system by hunger striking. But all COs lived with the scorn of a nation, family and friends. Filmmakers Rick Tejada-Flores and Judith Ehrlich, who both opposed the war in Vietnam, created The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It," which airs tonight and throughout this week on PBS. Today, well speak to the co-producer of the film and well see hear from some of the men whose memories inspired it. GUEST: RICK TEJADA-FLORES, co-producer and co-director of the filmCONTACT: VIDEO: clips of the film The Good War 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 THE VOICES OF CONSCIENCE: CIVIL RIGHTS AND AFRICAN LIBERATION ACTIVISTS WHO OPPOSED THE GOOD WAR, PART I The vast majority of Americans publicly supported World War II after Pearl Harbor was bombed, but while 16 million Americans served in the military during World War II, nearly 43,000 Americans refused to fight during WWII for reasons of conscience. We do not often hear the stories of these men who refused to fight the good war, the bloodiest conflict in human history. Especially after the events of September 11th and the so-called war against terrorism, there has been a renewed groundswell of gratitude for war veterans. Today, on Martin Luther Kings birthday, we are joined by two World War II conscientious objectors and civil rights activists. Bill Sutherland joins us in our studio: he is co-author of the book Guns and Gandhi in Africa: Pan African Insights on Nonviolence Armed Struggle and Liberation in Africa. He is a lifelong African liberation activist who splits his time between Tanzania and the US. George Houser is also with us, he is the founder of the American Committee on Africa, now called Africa Action, and the longtime executive secretary of the Congress of Racial Equality. GUEST: GEORGE HOUSER, World War II conscientious objector and civil rights activist GUEST: BILL SUTHERLAND, World War II conscientious objector and African liberation activist 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
January 15, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 15, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. January 15, 2002
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