June 2, 2000

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50 Thousand March Against IMF in Argentina

The International Monetary Fund was the target of another protest demonstration this week, as about 50 thousand Argentines turned out in Buenos Aires to denounce the organization’s financial recipe. A delegation of the IMF traveled to Argentina this week to check up on the economy’s progress, just days after the government announced far-reaching budget cuts that include a pay cut for state workers. From Buenos Aires, Travis Lea reports.


FCC May Further Media Monopolies

The Federal Communications Commission this week proposed easing several decades-long restrictions on broadcasters, including one that prevents a broadcast network from owning more than one media outlet per market. The FCC also proposed ending a restriction on companies owning more than one national television network. In a biennial review that Congress ordered as part of its overhaul of the telecommunications industry in 1996, the FCC said it had begun preparing new rules to relax, but not eliminate, both the cross ownership and dual network restrictions. It also proposed changing the manner in which the listening audience of local radio markets is measured by regulators in a way that could allow companies to own more stations than they do under the current limits. I spoke with Jim Noreekus, Editor of Extra, the magazine of the media watchgroup Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, I started by asking him if the FCC’s proposal was a good idea for consumers.


A Chance to Vote Down the Drug War

Voters in six states will go to the polls in November to vote on ballot measures that, if passed, would represent a huge step back from the war on drugs. Voters in Colorado and Nevada will have the option of legalizing medicinal marijuana. Ballot initiatives in Utah and Oregon would make it harder for law enforcement officials to seize the possessions of non-criminals. And in Massachusetts and California, voters will cast their ballots on a far reaching measure that would prohibit authorities from sentencing people to prison for possession of drugs. Aaron Glantz has more from Sacramento.


Innocent Man May Die in Texas

Anti-death penalty activists are up in arms over the case of Gary Graham, or Shaka Sankofa, as he is known. Graham’s supporters say he is innocent. They say six eyewitnesses claim that Sankofa was not the gunman. Four alibi witnesses passed polygraph tests that Graham was not at the scene of the crime and a ballistics report withheld from the jury proved the gun that prosecutors presented was not the gun used in the crime. Meanwhile in Texas, Graham’s lawyers filed a clemency petition and his supporters are holding vigils throughout the state. Free Speech Radio’s Leslie George spoke with Minister Robert Muhammad, a minister of the Nation of Islam and a member of the Gary Graham/Shaka Sankofa Justice Committee.


WTO Fall-out Continues in Seattle Police Scandal

In Seattle, anti-police brutality activists looking for police accountability are running up against the blue wall of resistance. Recently Seattle’s mayor set up a Blue Ribbon legal panel to look into excessive force allegations. Recently Seattle police shot a mentally ill black man who was caught shop lifting, outraging the city’s African-American community. Also Seattle residents are still frustrated by brutal police behavior during the World Trade Organization demonstrations. And as Martha Baskin reports, Seattle police have not been very cooperative with those seeking more police accountability.


Free Speech Radio News is a production of Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship. Over 40 freelance reporters in 14 states and four continents are boycotting the Pacifica Network News for censoring legitimate news stories. These reporters are risking their livelihoods.

Free Speech Radio is produced by Aaron Glantz.

Thanks to the National Radio Project for leasing us production space.
Vanessa Tait provided technical assistance.
Matt Martin is the distribution coordinator.
Max Pringle anchors.


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