Democracy Now! June 28, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! June 28, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 


9:00-9:01 Billboard: Today, a conversation with Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre, director of Smoke Signals, the first full-length feature film written, directed and performed by American Indians. We talk to him about his new movie Skins, the only feature-length film ever made on the Pine Ridge Reservation. And we speak with a woman who grew up on Pine Ridge: Leonard Peltier's daughter, Marquetta Shields. She talks about the difficulty of growing up on the reservation, without her father. Finally, Education Injustice: As Congress approves nearly $400 billion in military spending, a New York State appeals court rules the state is obliged to provide no more than an eighth-grade education to its students and prepare them for nothing more than the lowest-level job. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 FILMMAKER CHRIS EYRE AND MARQUETTA SHEILDS, DAUGHTER OF LEONARD PELTIER: A DISCUSSION OF EYRE'S NEWEST FILM, "SKINS," LIFE ON THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION, AND JUSTICE FOR PELTIER The 13th annual Human Rights Watch international film festival came to a close last night with a sold-out screening of the movie, Skins. The two-week long festival featured heroic and often heart-wrenching stories of activists and survivors from around the world. From Ciudad Juarez in Mexico to an Arab village in Israel to the hard streets of New York, the festival put a human face on threats to individual freedom and dignity. It elevated film to a medium of truth, change, and political struggle. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival comes at the height of a season of big-budget war movies. The nation's No.1 or 2 box-office hit has been a large-scale war film for seven out of the past 22 weeks. Well, today we are going to speak with the filmmaker of Skins, the film that closed the Human Rights Watch film festival last night. Skins explores the love/hate relationship of two Oglala Sioux Indian brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Pine Ridge is the poorest county in the United States - a ramshackle town plagued by alcoholism, unemployment, and domestic violence. It is nestled under the shadow of Mount Rushmore, near the site of the Wounded Knee massacre. The story of Skins is centered around Rudy, a policeman on the Pine Ridge reservation struggling to "clean up the public image of his people." He is also a vigilante with his own brand of justice; he beats up two murderous local punks and burns down the white-owned liquor store in an effort to wipe out the community's rampant alcohol abuse. Rudy's older brother, Mogie, is a teen football star and Vietnam veteran turned alcoholic. He accused Rudy of assimilating and flaunts the Indian stereotype that Rudy abhors. But in the end, Rudy's vigilante impulses and Mogie's social outrage merge and find their expression in one spectacular act of protest art. Skins is the second movie of director Chris Eyre. Eyre's debut film, Smoke Signals, was the first full-length feature film written, directed and performed by American Indians. It garnered widespread praise, including the Sundance Film Festival's Trophy and Audience Awards. Guest: Chris Eyre, Director, Skins and Smoke Signals. Smoke Signals won the Filmmaker's Trophy winner as well as the Audience Award. Guest: Marquetta Shields, daughter of Leonard Peltier. Marquetta grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She currently works with the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. Contact: to previous DN! Segments on Leonard Peltier: Leonard Peltier Speaks from Prison, Part Peltier Speaks from Prison, Part 2: Tape: Excerpts from Skins 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 FILMMAKER CHRIS EYRE AND MARQUETTA SHEILDS, DAUGHTER OF LEONARD PELTIER CONT'D 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 A NEW YORK STATE APPEALS COURT RULES THE STATE IS ONLY OBLIGED TO PROVIDE AN EIGHTH-GRADE EDUCATION AND PREPARE STUDENTS FOR NOTHING MORE THAN THE LOWEST LEVEL JOBS A New York State appeals court ruled Tuesday that the state is obliged to provide no more than an eighth-grade education to its students and prepare them for nothing more than the lowest-level job. The decision overturned an earlier ruling that New York State had failed its constitutional duty to ensure "a sound, basic education" for New York City schoolchildren. This, as Congress approves over $350 billion in military spending. The suit was brought on behalf of New York City students by a group of parents and activists called the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. In January 2001, Justice Leland DeGrasse of Manhattan's State Supreme Court ruled the city's schools were inadequate and seriously under financed. He found the state's school financing system is discriminatory and illegal, denying over a million school children fair educational opportunities. He ordered Albany to come up with a more consistent method of school financing and substantially more money for New York City's schools. Experts estimated the State might need to increase its spending by as much as $1 billion a year. But yesterday, four judges in the State Appellate Division overturned Justice DeGrasse's ruling. They held that New York City students are only entitled to an eighth-grade education, because that is all that is needed to participate in the jury process. They added that newspaper coverage of political campaigns was written at anywhere from a 6th-grade to an 11th-grade level. Guest: Robert Jackson, New York City Councilmember. Jackson is the founder and former chairman of the board of directors of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, and the lead Plaintiff in CFE v. The State of New York Contact: Saadiya Jackson, daughter of Robert Jackson. Jackson brought the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit on her behalf as well as on the behalf of all New York City students. 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
June 28, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
June 28, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
These terms will not bring up a complete list of all items in our catalog associated with this subject. Click here to search our entire catalog.
WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. June 28 , 2002
PRA metadata viewPRA metadata view
This recording is currently on a 1/4” reel tape and has not been digitally preserved. If you would like to contribute to the cost of transferring this recording, and receive your own personal copy on CD, please complete this form and we will return your request with pricing information. You will hear from an archive staff member once your request has been researched. We can also be reached by phone at 800-735-0230.