Democracy Now! February 27, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! February 27, 2002
Series Title:
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Crackdown on civil liberties continues with more than a thousand Arab and south-Asian nationals detained indefinitely without trial, charge, or legal rights : look at one of the disappeared: A Muslim religious leader who has been held in solitary confinement for more than two months : should the government play matchmaker? A day after Bush announced a new marriage promotion plan for low-income parents, well have debate on marriage, poverty, and welfare reform.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT PLAY MATCHMAKER? A DAY AFTER BUSH ANNOUNCED A NEW MARRIAGE PROMOTION PLAN FOR LOW-INCOME PARENTS, WE HAVE DEBATE ON MARRIAGE, POVERTY, AND WELFARE REFORM.The long-anticipated welfare debate of 2002 has officially begun. Yesterday afternoon, President Bush offered his vision of a reformed welfare system to an audience of low-income moms and community activists in a church in Washington, DC. Declaring that the 1996 welfare overhaul was a resounding success, Bush called for even stronger work requirements and hundreds of million dollars a year to promote marriage among welfare recipients. "Work is the pathway to independence and self-respect," he told his audience. "Many are learning it is more rewarding to be a responsible citizen than a welfare client." Bushs welfare proposal comes some six months before the welfare law of 1996 is set to expire. When that happens, the law must be rewritten and then reauthorized by Congress. The debate surrounding this process is expected to be fierce and sometimes furious, with conservatives calling for tougher regulations and liberals and welfare activists demanding a sturdier safety net. Already, one of the presidents proposals has ignited heated discussion. In the weeks leading up to yesterdays announcement, Bushs marriage promotion plan garnered cheers from some and condemnation from others. Under the plan, the federal and state governments will give a combined total of $300 million a year to finance marriage education campaigns and other experimental programs to get low-income parents to wed. While supporters praise the initiative as a step in the right moral and social direction, critics argue that education, job creation, and a solid safety net are far more effective at ending poverty. Well, today on Democracy Now! we will have our own debate on marriage promotion. GUEST: MARTHA DAVIS, legal director, NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund. As legal director, Martha Davis oversees NOW-LDEF's litigation and advocacy in the areas of economic justice, violence against women, education, reproductive rights and employment. Martha is the author of numerous articles and the book, Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement, 1960-1973. In 1999, she helped argue the first welfare reform case to reach the Supreme Court.CONTACT: GUEST: INGRID RIVERA, organizer-activist. Until recently, Ingrid worked as the Racial and Economic Justice Policy Analyst at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. She moved on just a few months ago to pursue a career as a poet, performance artist, and activist. Ingrid is also a mother; her daughter is 12 years old.CONTACT: GUEST: PATRICK FAGAN, Heritage Foundation, William H.G. FitzGerald Research Fellow in Family and Cultural Issues. He was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services during the former Bush Administration. Currently, he researches on the relationship between family, community, and social problems.CONTACT: 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 A MUSLIM RELIGIOUS LEADER HAS BEEN HELD IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR MORE THAN TWO MONTHS: THE CRACKDOWN ON CIVIL LIBERTIES CONTINUES AS MORE THAN A THOUSAND ARAB AND SOUTH-ASIAN NATIONALS ARE DETAINED Since September 11th, more than a thousand Arab and south-Asian nationals have been detained indefinitely without trial, charge, or legal rights. The Justice Department acknowledged the arrest of 1,200 people before it stopped releasing numbers in November; human rights groups believe the total number could be as high as 2,000. Among the disappeared is Rabih Haddad, a widely respected religious leader and founding member of one of the largest Muslim charities in the US. The Immigration and Naturalization Service came for Haddad at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan more than two months ago. Since then Haddad has been held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. And yet Haddad, a Lebanese citizen who was educated in the United States, has been charged with no crime. According to the Treasury Department the only branch of government to give any explanation whatsoever he and his charity, the Global Relief foundation, are suspected of links to the al-Qa'ida organization. Global Relief, which disburses about $5 million a year in emergency relief across the Islamic world, is the third major US-based Islamic charity to be caught up in President Bush's anti-terrorist dragnet in the wake of September 11th. On the day Haddad was arrested, its assets were frozen and the FBI raided its Illinois headquarters. The charity's field offices in Albania and Kosovo were also raided by Nato troops and two of their operatives hauled off into custody for several weeks. Today we are going to take a look at the case of Rabih Haddad. We are joined by a reporter for the British Independent newspaper, Andrew Gumbel, who wrote a piece on the detention of Rabih Haddad, The Disappeared, in yesterdays Independent, and Haddads lawyer, Ashraf Nubani, a Palestinian immigration lawyer based in DC. GUEST: ANDREW GUMBEL, reporter for the British Independent newspaper, based in Los Angeles. CONTACT: GUEST: ASHRAF NUBANI, lawyer for Rabih Haddad 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 ILLEGAL DETENTIONS, SECURITY CULTURE, AND THE NEW WAVE OF REPRESSION AGAINST THE MUSLIM-AMERICAN AND ACTIVIST COMMUNITIES Rabih Haddad's case and the thousands of detained and disappeared in this country has caused barely a blip in mainstream public opinion or the US media in the prevailing mood of indulgence towards law enforcement agencies. The passage of the USA PATRIOT Act and recent executive actions by the Bush administration offer some context for the new wave of repression against Muslim-American communities and activist communities across the country. On Sunday, New York City activists gathered to talk about illegal detentions, security culture, and repression in the activist community, then and now. Among the speakers were Ward Churchill, co-author of "Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret War Against the Black Panther Party" and "The COINTELPRO Papers", and Natsu Saito, attorney and professor of law at Georgia State University in Atlanta. We turn now to Natsu Saito. TAPE: NATSU SAITO, attorney and professor of law at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Recorded by Justin Lipman of the New York City Independent Media Center. LINKS: MUSIC: 6 - WELFARE SYMPHONY by Carole King 20 ONE OF US by Prince from the Emancipation CD 40 GOOSE STEPPIN by Suzanne McDermott contact: End - ONE OF US by Prince 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
February 27, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
February 27, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. February 27, 2002
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