Democracy Now! May 1, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 1, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

May Day, International Workers Day demonstrations: in.Paris, against Jean Marie Le Pen; and London and New York :African National Congress activist Father Michael Lapsley ; Part 2 MAUDE BARLOW interview, author of Blue Gold: The Fight To Stop The Corporate Theft of The Worlds Water.

9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 TODAY IS MAY DAY: ACROSS THE WORLD, WORKERS AND ACTIVISTS HIT THE STREETS FOR INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY Today is May Day, the day that honors the struggle of working people throughout the world. From France to Japan, China to Nicaragua, workers are celebrating with strikes, rallies, marches and teach-ins. But the United States and Canada dont recognize the day as a national holiday. Ironically, it is in the United States that May Day, a pagan holy day celebrating the first spring planting, was first declared International Workers Day. It came out of the movement for an 8-hour workday that rocked the country more than 100 years ago. On May 1, 1886, the American Federation of Labor called a national strike to put an end to the 12, 14, and even 16 hour days that were common. Two days into the massive strike, the police opened fire on a crowd of protesters in Chicago, killing four. The following day, a bomb was thrown at police officers as they descended on peaceful protesters in Haymarket Square. The bomb killed one police officer and injured many more. The police fired into the crowd, killing at least one and wounding dozens. Although it was never known who threw the bomb in Haymarket Square, the incident was used as an excuse to attack the Left and labor movement. Eight of Chicago's most active labor leaders were sentenced to death by a kangaroo court, and four of them were ultimately hanged. News of these executions sparked labor protests throughout the world, and in 1889, the Socialist International declared May 1st a day of demonstrations. In cities across the world, activists celebrate International Workers Day by combining it with protests against racism, militarism, and capitalism. In central Athens, where thousands of demonstrators gathered today, banners read: "Long live international solidarity to Palestine. In Australia, police arrested dozens of people after scuffles broke out at a picket to protest against the country's immigration policies. Today in Berlin, thousands gathered at a peaceful May Day and anti-Nazi demonstration. Violence broke out when hundreds of riot police moved in, using water cannons against protesters. We are going to go now to three May Day demonstrations. In Paris, May Day is a national workers holiday, and hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to protest far-right presidential contender Jean-Marie Le Pen. This Sunday is the runoff election against President Jacques Chirac. Guest: Nick Champaix, reporter for Radio France International, on the streets of Paris for the pro-Le Pen demonstrations In London, hundreds of cyclists converged on the U.S. embassy, 6,000 police are on guard in the city and many businesses have boarded up their windows The statue of Winston Churchill outside the Houses of Parliament has been boarded up to protect it from the fate that befell it two years ago, when protesters covered it in graffiti and put a grass mohican on its head. Guest: Roger Sutton, organizer of the London May Day March Contact: In New York, workers will march to demand a general amnesty for all undocumented immigrants. They march in the footsteps of the immigrant workers who struggled for the 8-hour day in 1886. Guest: Hector Figueroa, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Local 32-BJ (SEIU is the Service Employees International Union. Hector leads 32-BJs Education, Political, and Community Action Programs Contact: Guest: Baldemar Velasquez, founder and current president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Velasquez, began working in farm fields at an early age, gained national attention in 1967 when he organized farm labor in northwest Ohio where many jobs had previously been unpaid. In 1979, FLOC was formally recognized as a labor union of farm workers in the Midwest. Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 ANTI-APARTHEID ACTIVIST FATHER MICHAEL LAPSLEY DISCUSSES APARTHEID, OCCUPATION, AND RECONCILIATION In 1990, three months after the release of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, the ruling De Klerk Government sent anti-apartheid activist Father Michael Lapsley a parcel containing two magazines. Inside one of them was a highly sophisticated bomb. When Lapsley opened the magazine, the explosion brought down ceilings in the house and blew a hole in the floors and shattered windows. It blew off both of the priest's hands, destroyed one eye and burned him severely. Michael Lapsley joined the African National Congress in the mid-1970s, after being expelled from South Africa for his activism. He served for many years as the ANCs chaplain in exile, struggling with the tension between his commitment to pacifism and his commitment to resistance against apartheid. Today Michael Lapsley is the director of the Institute for Healing of Memories. Guest: Father Michael Lapsley, director of the Institute for Healing of Memories. Previously he worked at the Trauma Center for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, which is assisting the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. IN STUDIO Contact: 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 BLUE GOLD: THE FIGHT TO STOP THE CORPORATE THEFT OF THE WORLDS WATER: PART TWO OF AN INTERVIEW WITH ANTI CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION ACTIVIST MAUDE BARLOW The wars of the next century will be about water. That is what activist and author Maude Barlow warned on yesterdays Democracy Now. Sitting in our firehouse studio, she explained that the consumption of water doubles every twenty years more than twice the rate of the increase in human population. At the same time, she explained, transnational corporations are plotting to control the worlds dwindling water supply. In England and France, where water has already been privatized, rates have soared and water shortages have been severe. The major bottled water producers Perrier, Evian, Naya, and now Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are part of one of the fastest growing and least regulated industries, buying up freshwater rights and drying up crucial supplies. In the end, corporate giants act in their own interests and water flows only to the wealthy, who can afford it. Well, today on Democracy Now! we are going to continue our conversation with Maude Barlow, author of Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the Worlds Water. I started by asking her how extensive the threat is to the worlds water supply. Guest: Maude Barlow, national volunteer chair of the Council of Canadians, Canadas largest public advocacy organization, and author of Blue Gold: The Fight To Stop The Corporate Theft Of The Worlds Water. IN STUDIO Contact: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 1, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 1, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 1, 2002
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