Democracy Now! April 29, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! April 29, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

A Palestinian activist detained by the INS ;Israeli forces invade Hebron, and lift siege on Yasser Arafat ; thousands protest Ariel Sharons government ; Arthur Anderson and Native Americans: class action law suit.

9::01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break MUSIC ALL BREAKS AND SONGS BY KHAYUMBIA KHAYUMBIA IS KHARABIA RAYFORD (vocals, percussion) & YUMI STEVE HOOKS (bass, guitar, flute and keyboard) Contact: 6: NOT IN THE NAME OF MY CHILD 20: KUWAIT 40: RECLAIM THE LAND END: PEACE IS A-COMING 9:07-9:20 ISRAELI FORCES INVADE HEBRON, AFTER ISRAEL'S CABINET BANS A U.N. INVESTIGATION INTO JENIN BUT AGREES TO LIFT THE SIEGE ON PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT; THOUSANDS OF JEWS AND ARABS GATHER IN TEL AVIV TO PROTEST SHARONS GOVERNMENT; INTERNATIONAL ACTIVISTS IN BETHLEHEM FORCE THEIR WAY INTO MANGER SQUARE A group of 20 international activists tried to deliver food, water and medicine to people trapped inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. They forced their way through the barbed wire around Manger Square, marched to the church, and sat down in front of it. Israeli troops rushed at them and pulled them away. Guest: Georgina Reeves, Palestine Independent Media Center, Bethlehem Contact: Israeli tanks and helicopter gunships have invaded the West Bank city of Hebron, killing eight Palestinians and wounding many others. The attack comes two days after Palestinian gunmen killed four Jewish settlers in a settlement near Hebron. Guest: Dr Sally Motch, psychologist with Doctors without Borders, in Hebron Thousands of Israeli Jews and Arabs gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest the policies of the Sharon government and stand in solidarity with Israeli reservists refusing to serve in the military. One of the speakers was Nurit Peled-Elhanan, whose daughter was killed in a Hamas suicide bombing. Ronen Wolff was also there. He is an Israeli peace activist with an Arab-Jewish peace group. Guest: Ronen Wolff, an Israeli with the group Taayush, an Arab and Jewish Israeli group working against racism and militarism, speaking to us from Tel Aviv. He helped organize the peace rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday night Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 THE CRACKDOWN ON IMMIGRANTS OF MIDDLE EASTERN DESCENT CONTINUES: A PALESTINIAN ACTIVIST IS DETAINED BY UNDERCOVER OFFICERS IN NEW YORK Early Friday morning, the Immigration and Naturalization Service detained a well-known Palestinian activist named Farouk Abdel-Muhti. Three New York police officers and an INS agent, all in civilian dress, came to Abdel-Muhtis Queens apartment without a warrant and said they did not need one. They claimed they wanted to ask Abdel-Muhti some questions about September 11th. They said they believed there were weapons and explosives in the apartment. When Farouk's roommate, Bernard Mcfall refused to open the door, they threatened to break it down. Once inside the apartment, the INS and police officers told Abdel-Muhti was under arrest for being in the US illegally and said they were taking him to be deported. They also accused him of criticizing Israel's policies towards Palestinians. Abdel-Muhti has not been charged with anything relating to terrorism. Farouk Abdel-Muhti's arrest came three weeks after the INS and the NYPD raided his home in Queens, New York. Farouk wasnt there, because he was at an early morning interview at WBAI. He learned of the raid from his son, Tarek, and his roommate, Bernard McFall. Several hours later, he came to visit Democracy Now! in the Firehouse and tell us what happened. Guest: Farouk Abdel-Muhti, coordinator, Palestinian National Alliance. He was detained by the INS on Friday morning with the help of three NYPD detectives. Almost three weeks earlier, the INS and NYPD raided his house in Queens. ON TAPE Guest: Gilma Camargo, attorney, American Association of Jurists. Camargo is the lawyer for Farouk Abdel Muhti IN STUDIO Guest: Shakir Balosh, former INS detainee, recently released from more than 6 months in a federal detention facility -- most of it spent in solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was released two weeks ago and deported to Canada. He is originally from Pakistan 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 THE INDIAN ENRON? HUNDREDS OF BOXES OF DOCUMENTS DESTROYED, CHARGES OF CONTEMPT OF COURT, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AT STAKE, MILLIONS PAID TO ARTHUR ANDERSON: NATIVE AMERICANS SUE THE US GOVERNMENT IN ONE OF THE LARGEST CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS IN HISTORY The destruction of hundreds of boxes of documents; charges of contempt of court; billions of dollars at stake; millions paid to Arthur Anderson. No, its not the Enron scandal. It is much bigger. Its one of the largest class-action lawsuits in history, and its about how the U.S. government has treated Native Americans over the last century.The US government began taking Native American land and putting it into government-run trust funds in the 19th century. In 1887, a new law called for the breaking up of tribal land into allotments to individual Native Americans. The law was a means of winning land for white settlers after allocating land to individuals, the government would declare a surplus, and buy the surplus for a pittance. Congress has also concluded that law was an attempt to break up tribes. It destroyed the land base of many reservations. Over the years, the government leased the land to oil companies, miners, ranchers, and loggers, and sent checks to landowners. But according to a massive class-action lawsuit, the system has plagued by problems for decades. Landowners have no way to determine how much money they are owed and whether they are receiving a good value for their leases. The government often fails to collect on leases or send funds to the correct beneficiary. There has never been an accounting of the funds. The General Accounting Office, the Interior Department, and Congress have all urged reform. Congress tried to fix the system and failed. The Interior Department tried, and failed. Accounting giant Arthur Anderson was paid over $20 million to fix the system, and failed. In 1996, Blackfeet Nation treasurer Elouise Cobell launched the class action lawsuit to account for all royalties due individual Native Americans since 1887. Since then, the government has destroyed over one hundred boxes of records. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin under Clinton were held in contempt of court. Cobell just finished a month-long hearing seeking contempt of court charges against the current Interior ecretary, Gale Norton.Guest: Eloise Cobell, former treasurer of the Blackfeet Nation Contact: Guest: Keith Harper, attorney, Native American Rights Fund Contact: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
April 29, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
April 29, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. April 29, 2002
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