Democracy Now! March 28, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! March 28, 2003
Series Title:
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Hour 1: We go to a Houston immigration detention center as a Palestinian family prepares to be deported to Jordan; A Muslim man in Indiana is attacked and set on fire: Hate crimes against Muslim Americans on the rise again; A U.S. B-2 stealth bomber drops two bunker busters on Baghdad: We go to the Iraqi capital for a report from May Ying Welsh; International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice Rally Calls for major anti-war protest in Los Angeles: We have a discussion on race and war Hour 2: NYPD arrests 215 as protesters shut down traffic on Fifth Avenue: News media targeted at demonstration for its biased Iraq coverage; Time's Up!: Academy Award winning director Michael Moore tells the White House comment line with thousands of cheering supporters; This has been one long Orwellian week : Michael Moore on the corporate media war coverage.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:10 Headlines 8:10-8:11 One Minute Music Break 8:11-8:15: They have been described as the "Palestinian Cleavers." They were a generous and patriotic family that gave away hundreds of free American flags in Houston after Sept. 11. They have been publicly supported by their U.S. Congresswoman. They came to the U.S. after fleeing Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. They have lived an unremarkable life in Houston for 11 years. But that all changed a year ago when armed INS agents dressed in riot gear raided their house while much of the family was sleeping. The father and eldest son were picked up on immigration violations and were detained for months. And now they face deportation to Jordan, a country most of the family barely knows. We last heard from the Kesbeh family in September when they were first facing deportation. Overwhelming public support in Houston and the country led officials in Washington to give them a six-month stay in order for the INS to review their case. Well now the family appears to be set to be deported again. Today we join the family outside a Houston immigration detention center. They are expected to be deported to Jordan later today. * Noor Kesbeh, whose family faces deportation this week 8:15-8:25: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, (CAIR) the largest Islamic civil liberties group in the US, is reporting that hate-crimes against Muslim Americans are on the rise again. A number of anti-Muslim incidents have been reported recently across the United States. Just this week, Abdullah Naderi, a 37-year-old Afghanistan native was attacked at his restaurant in Indianapolis. According to media reports, Naderi told officials he was cleaning up in the kitchen when two people burst in and set him on fire. Naderi suffered second- and third-degree burns on 60 percent of his body and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Inside the restaurant, investigators found three 21/2-gallon gasoline cans, a pry bar, rope, aerosol cans and a disposable lighter. Fire and police investigators say there is an ongoing investigation and that no possible motive is being ruled out. CAIR is attributing the current spate of hate-crimes to the pro-war rhetoric leading up to the attack on Iraq, coupled with existing levels of anti-Muslim bias in American society. * Hodan Hassan, Spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) 8:25-8:40: A B-2 stealth bomber dropped two 5,000-pound bunker buster bombs on a major public communications center in Baghdad last night. They were the biggest bombs dropped on Baghdad so far. Throughout the day, wave after wave of air raids targeted both the city center and the outskirts. United Press International reports US bombs hit a residential complex affiliated with the Ministry of Housing. Initial reports indicate 10 more Iraqi civilians were killed and 44 wounded. Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera is reporting coalition bombs have landed in a residential area in the northern city of Mosul. The network reports at least 50 people are dead or wounded. Al-Jazeera showed footage of destroyed houses in a residential quarter where relief workers were searching for bodies buried under the rubble. A woman who was fleeing the targeted area with family members and neighbors told al-Jazeera: "They are all children and women. Why all this? If I see an American soldier, I will tear him apart. Back in Baghdad, the Iraqi Information Minister told reporters that a total of 75 civilians had been killed in coalition bombing yesterday. * May Ying Welsh, independent journalist in Baghdad 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58: Two of the first US casualties in the invasion of Iraq were soldiers of color. African-American Marine Sergeant Kendall Damon Waters-Bey of Baltimore and Jose Angel Garibay, of Orange County California. Michael Waters-Bey, Kendall s father lashed out at the Bush Administration for the death of his son who he last saw at Thanksgiving. He said, "Are you looking George Bush? Are you looking? This was not your son or daughter. That chair he sat in at Thanksgiving will be empty for ever. He continued, "I am against this war - I'm against killing for any reason. Kendall's sister Nakia, later added, "This war is all about oil and money. But Bush has already got oil and money. It's about greed. He ought to send his daughters over there to fight. In Jose Angel Garibay s last letter to his mother, he asked her to send him a Vicente Fernandez CD because he missed Mexican music so much. He never got to hear it. Well today, let s listen to Youth Radio s Silvia Rivera, a college student in Chicago, who has been thinking about the role of people of color in the military. She s a young Latina against the war, but she s aware that many people in her community are fighting in Iraq. Youth Radio sent us her commentary: Guest: Youth Radio documentary produced by Silvia Rivera That was Sylvia Rivera, a college student who works with Radio Arte in Chicago. Special thanks to Youth Radio for sending us her commentary. Well, African-Americans make up nearly 20 percent of military personnel, 30 percent of Army enlistees, but are make up only 12 percent of the nation's population. Polls have indicated far greater opposition to the war among African American populations that the general population. The latest CBS / New York Times poll claimed 78 percent of the white population approved of Bush s handling of the war. This compares to just 37 percent of African Americans. To display this opposition, the Los Angeles-based International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice, a federation of 20 organizations has called for a major peace protest for tomorrow, March 29, in Leimart Park. The Coalition includes the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, headed by Martin Luther King III, and the Organization US, a Black cultural and social change group, chaired by Kwanza creator Maulana Karenga. We are joined by Dr. Karenga on the phone. * Maulana Karenga, Professor in the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach and Chair of the organization US which is one of the groups organizing the International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice Rally in Los Angeles tomorrow, Saturday, March 29, at 11 a.m. 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:25: Some 215 people were arrested yesterday in New York after a major act of civil disobedience that shut down traffic on Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center. Scores of demonstrators laid down in the street in the die in to portray Iraqi war victims. Rockefeller Center was selected because it the home of major media companies whose coverage of the war was also protested yesterday. This was just the latest large direct action protest against the war. Last week some 2,200 peace protesters were arrested in San Francisco which saw two days of direct action protests after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Let s now go to hear the voices from yesterday s protests. * Tape: Voices from the NYC direct action protest 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40: Michael Moore, documentary filmmaker, television producer and author, produced his first feature-length documentary Roger and Me, in 1989. The film is a study of the devastating effect that the loss of the General Motors factory had on the citizens of Flint, Michigan. According to the LA Times, it remains the highest-grossing narrative documentary in the history of American film. His best-selling book "Stupid White Men: And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation", which was almost pulped by the publisher after September 11th, is in its 12th month on the New York Times best-seller list and is once again the best selling book in the country. "Bowling for Columbine" is his latest film and it won him an Academy Award on Sunday for best documentary. Let s take a listen to the awards ceremony * Michael Moore at the 75th Academy Awards ceremony on March 23, 2003 Well last night at Riverside Church, Michael got a chance to finish his speech. Let s take a listen. * Michael Moore at Riverside Chuch, March 27, 2003 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58: Michael Moore joins Democracy Now s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez for a live interview. Among other things they discuss recent media coverage of the war. Yesterday Editor & Publisher ran a column of 15 stories that the press has widely misreported or poorly reported so far: 1. Saddam may well have been killed in the first night's surprise attack (March 20). 2. Even if he wasn't killed, Iraqi command and control was no doubt "decapitated" (March 22). 3. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 22). 4. Most Iraqis soldiers will not fight for Saddam and instead are surrendering in droves (March 22). 5. Iraqi citizens are greeting Americans as liberators (March 22). 6. An entire division of 8,000 Iraqi soldiers surrendered en masse near Basra (March 23). 7. Several Scud missiles, banned weapons, have been launched against U.S. forces in Kuwait (March 23). 8. Saddam's Fedayeen militia are few in number and do not pose a serious threat (March 23). 9. Basra has been taken (March 23). 10. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 23). 11. A captured chemical plant likely produced chemical weapons (March 23). 12. Nassiriya has been taken (March 23). 13. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 24). 14. The Iraqi government faces a "major rebellion" of anti-Saddam citizens in Basra (March 24). 15. A convoy of 1,000 Iraqi vehicles and Republican Guards are speeding south from Baghdad to engage U.S. troops (March 25). * Michael Moore, Academy Award winning director of Bowling for Columbine 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogueira and Elizabeth Press. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.

Date Recorded on: 
March 28, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
March 28, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., March 28, 2003
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