Democracy Now! June 16, 2003

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Democracy Now! June 16, 2003
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Iranian Student Protests Continue as the UN s Nuclear Agency Calls on Iran to Allow Inspections. While President Bush praises the anti-government student protests in Tehran, demonstrators are critical of the U.S., the U.S.-backed monarchists as well as the current Iranian government; Cindy Corrie Speaks at Evergreen State College Commencement to the Classmates of her Slain Daughter Rachel Corrie. Rachel Corrie died three months ago today when an Israeli military bulldozer crushed her to death as she tried to nonviolently protest the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza; U.S. Peace Activist Brian Avery Returns Home Two Months After Being Shot in the Face in Jenin by Israeli Troops. At the time of the attack, doctors feared Avery would never speak again. His tongue was split in two. His jaw remains clamped shut. Today he joins us for a rare interview; The Red and The Blacklist Part 2. Blacklisted screenwriter Norma Barzman recalls how she faced two blacklists in McCarthy-era Hollywood, one for being a political radical, the other for being a woman.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:20: The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, today called on Iran to accept strict inspection of its atomic program to help dispel Washington s fears that it is secretly developing nuclear weapons. Reuters reports that IAEA board members have already received copies of a harsh report on Iran by ElBaradei which points out that, Iran has failed to report certain nuclear material and activities. The report will be discussed during a board meeting running this week. ElBaradei also called on Iran to sign an Additional Protocol with the IAEA to grant inspectors wider access and more intrusive, short-notice inspections. A spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization told Reuters that Tehran might be willing to sign it, though he reiterated Iran's demands for access to nuclear technology in exchange for the government's signature. Meanwhile, student protests in Tehran continued for a sixth night in a row and spread to three smaller cities. President Bush praised the demonstrators yesterday, calling their protests a positive step toward freedom. Iran's Foreign Ministry responded by accusing the U.S. of: "Flagrant interference in Iran's internal affairs" and said the significance of the protests was being deliberately overstated by U.S. officials. The Washington Post reports the Pentagon and the State Department are strongly divided over whether the United States should take an active hand in destabilizing the Iranian regime. Demonstrators vow to stay in the streets until July 9, the anniversary of the pro-democracy student revolts that were put down four years ago. This according to the Christian Science Monitor. The protests began Tuesday to oppose a proposal to privatize Tehran University but then swelled into a more general protest of Iran s poor economy, the lack of jobs and the failure of President Khatami to deliver on promised reforms. From the outset the protests were marked by particularly strident and daring language with some students calling for the head of Iran s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. On Saturday, a few hundred pro-government vigilantes, wielding clubs, knives and chains, attacked a dormitory of Allameh Tabatabaei university. 100 students were injured, with one stabbed in the heart and 50 taken to hospital. This according to the Financial Times. The pro-reform President called on the government to protect the students, but Khatami has himself been the target of the protesters frustrations. Khamenei has accused the U.S. of fomenting unrest and orchestrating the demonstrations. Washington has accused Iran of backing terrorism, pursuing nuclear weapons, harboring Al Qaeda, and encouraging anti-US forces in Iraq. For their part, reformists in Iran have disavowed any suggestion that they are allied with the U.S. But the Iranian expatriate community in the U.S. and abroad is sharply divided about whether external pressure would help or hurt the opposition in Iran. * Shirin Vossoughi, journalist and activist. Vossoughi is a 23 year old recent graduate from UCLA, where she majored in history and international development. She recently returned from a trip to Tehran where she worked with NGO s focusing on the rights of women and children. She also met students who were involved in planning the demonstrations. She, herself, is the daughter of Iranians who emigrated to the U.S. She currently sits on the advisory board of CWAME- Coalition of Women from Asia and the Middle East. * Ian Traynor, Guardian reporter, reporting from Zagreb. 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40: The largest graduating class in the history of Evergreen State College participated in commencement exercises Friday. One student was noticeably absent. Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old student activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer three months ago today. She was trying to protect a Palestinian home in the war ravaged Gaza Strip town of Rafah. Rachel s parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, have tried to continue their daughter s legacy, traveling the country and speaking about her work as an activist for peace and justice. On Friday, Cindy Corrie accepted an honorary degree from Evergreen. * Cindy Corrie, mother of Rachel Corrie speaking at Evergreen on June 13, 2003. Link: 8:41-8:50: On Saturday an American peace activist whose face was ripped apart by Israeli machine-gun fire in the West Bank town of Jenin returned to his parents home in North Carolina. 25-year-old Brian Avery was met by about 60 friends and supporters at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Avery still has wires and rubber bands clamping shut his jaw. The Associated Press reported that Avery has already undergone three reconstructive surgeries to rebuild the bridge of his nose and eye sockets. And he faces more surgery to repair his face. Avery told his supporters "As long as there's this many people ready to support peace and justice in the world, we're in good hands. I'm glad to be alive and that I'm going to keep meeting so many wonderful people." He was shot on April 5. Three weeks earlier Rachel Corrie, a fellow peace activist from the United States was killed by Israeli forces. * Brian Avery, U.S. peace activist who was shot in the face by Israel forces in Jenin in April. He returned home on Saturday. 8:51-8:58: Today we continue our conversation with screenwriter Norma Barzman who was blacklisted from Hollywood during the McCarthy era. She has just published a memoir entitled The Red and the Blacklist. In 1948 she and her husband screenwriter Ben Barzman were identified as communists. They were forced to flee Hollywood and the country. They went into self-imposed exile in Europe where they found a sympathetic community of left wing intellectuals and artists. While blacklisted, she worked on numerous films and wrote numerous screenplays but her name often didn t appear in the credits. The Writers Guild of America just restored her credit for Never Say Goodbye, Luxury Girls. She is still battling for credit on the classic film The Locket. * Norma Barzman is a screenwriter and novelist who lives in Beverly Hills. She wrote the screenplay for Never Say Goodbye , Luxury Girls (for which the Writers Guild of America has recently restored her credit), and is battling for credit on the classic film The Locket . She also worked for the Los Angeles Examiner, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. She was the wife of blacklisted screenwriter Ben Barzman. 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press, Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo

Date Recorded on: 
June 16, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
June 16, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., June 16, 2003
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