Democracy Now! May 3, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 3, 2002
Series Title:
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Report on Manger Square and trapped Palestinians in Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ; Human Rights Watch Report On Communal Violence In Gujarat ; Activist COMEDIAN RENO Recounts Her Days After September 11th

9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break MUSIC 6: BREATH OF A SPIRITUAL - Langston Hughes The Voice of Langston Hughes (Smithsonian Folkways CD) Mixed with TIME WILL TELL - Dean Faiser 20: I'M ANGRY - Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Chior Say Yo' Business (EarthBeat Recordings CD) 40: OH, SACRED WORLD - Studs Terkel Where Have All The Flowers Gone (The Songs of P:ete Seeger) (Appleseed Recordings CD) Mixed with FAWN - Tom Waits Alice (Anti Recordings CD) End: HOLD ON HOPE - Guided By Voices 9:07-9:20 INTERNATIONAL ACTIVISTS JOIN PALESTINIANS TRAPPED INSIDE THE BESIEGED CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY IN BETHLEHEM A group of 23 international activists slipped past Israeli army roadblocks in Bethlehem yesterday and entered Manger Square, where the army has been besieging Palestinians inside the Church of the Nativity for weeks. While some activists in the group acted as decoys, others ran for their lives across the square, under the gaze of snipers and paratroopers behind sandbags. The door swung open at the churchs tiny entrance. Ten activists and a Los Angeles Times photographer ducked inside. 13 others were detained by Israeli soldiers. The activists brought food--rice, flour, lentils, canned goods, salt, cigarettes and sugar--in their backpacks to the 200-some Palestinians who have been trapped in the church for almost a month. Palestinians say they have been subsisting on boiled grass. The internationals also bring protection. Moments after they arrived inside the church we spoke to Kristen Schurr by cellphone. Guest: Kristen Schurr, activist with the International Solidarity Movement On tape 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 WE HAVE NO ORDERS TO SAVE YOU: STATE PARTICIPATION AND COMPLICITY IN THE COMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN GUJARAT More than 2000 people dead in the last two months. Thousands more missing. Homes destroyed, businesses burned, hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees. State complicity in violence against Muslims. Brutal torture. Eye-witness reports of crimes against humanity. No, this is not the Occupied Territories. This is the state of Gujarat in western India. It is the site of some of theworst anti-Muslim violence in recent history. Some are calling it genocide. The violence in Gujarat began two months ago, after a Muslim mob in Godhra set fire to a train carrying Hindu nationalists. Fifty-eight people died in the attack, many of them women and children. Hindu nationalists then embarked on a three-day killing spree. They burned Muslim homes, destroyed Muslim shops, raped Muslim women, brutalized Muslim children. The Government says that 850 people died in the attacks. Independent sources place the figure above 2000. The state of Gujarat has repeatedly dismissed the massacres of the past two months as a "spontaneous reaction" to the train attack in Godhra. They say that Muslim terrorism provoked the uprising and deserved to be punished. But a groundbreaking Human Rights Watch report argues the reverse: it says that the attacks on Muslims were planned in advance of the Godhra incident and that the government actively helped organize them. Smita Narula is the primary author of that report... Guest: Smita Narula, senior researcher for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. Smita is the primary author of the recently released Human Rights Watch report: We Have No Orders To Save You: State Participation And Complicity In The Communal Violence In Gujarat . The Report Documents the Complicity of the State Government in the Gujarat massacres. IN STUDIO Guest: Suleman Kazi, first cousin of Mohammad Aswat, a British national killed in Gujarat two months ago while on a visit to his home village. Kazi is leading the effort to file charges of crimes against humanity against the Gujarat government. Guest: Ruth Manorama, director, National Alliance of Women, one of the leading womens rights organizations in India, speaking from Madras. PHONE CONTACT: 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 REBEL WITHOUT A PAUSE: COMEDIAN RENO RECOUNTS HER DAYS AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 11TH ATTACKS Rebel Without a Pause thats the name of the New York comedian Renos new act. Her own website explains: An opinionated alternative comedian who creates heavily improvised topical monologues with wit, political consciousness and common sense. Reno was awakened on September 11th by the impact of the first plane crash, just blocks from her loft. She became the first artist to publicly exorcise her conflicted experiences, with audiences looking for words to describe their own confusion. Before Rebel Without a Pause, Reno had been wrestling with a monologue about "that other religious militant group" fundamentalist Christians. Before that, Reno produced, directed and starred in a TV show called Citizen Reno, which aired on Bravo. She won a Cable Ace nomination for the adaptation for HBO of her off-Broadway hit Reno in Rage and Rehab. Two days ago Reno was nominated for the Drama Desk Award. She joins us now in our firehouse studio. GUEST: RENO, activist and comedian IN STUDIO CONTACT: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 3, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 3, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 3, 2002
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