November 21, 2002
Protests Against NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is meeting this week in Prague marking the first NATO summit behind the former Iron Curtain. NATO just passed a resolution pressing Iraq to comply with UN inspectors or face serious consequences. Meanwhile, several peaceful street demonstrations are taking place against the summit. FSRN’s Charles Michael Ray has this story from the streets of Prague.
National Anti-War Student Day of Action
The Christian Science Monitor is reporting today that the US is quietly recruiting inside Iraq to make a 5,000 strong military force for the Iraqi National Congress in an attempt to topple Saddam Hussein by promising recruits $3,000 and a trip to America. The INC has very little support inside Iraq. Meanwhile, back in the US, thousands of students across the country walked out of classes yesterday to protest the pending war against Iraq. Students who participated in the National Student Youth Day of Action, organized by Not In Our Name Project, pledged to make their high schools and college campuses centers of resistance. WBAI’s Leslie George has this report.
Airline Mechanics Walk Out Over Union & Safety Issues
After INS sweeps through NYC airports on Tuesday picking up some 118 airport workers for alleged immigration violations, yesterday sweeps reached other airports around the country with dozens arrested at Dallas Fort Worth airport. The US Attorney’s office says more arrests are planned. Meanwhile, in a grassroots effort, mechanics from some of the country’s largest airlines held informational pickets at airports nationwide this week to publicize the looming job cuts and pay concessions they say are in the offing. Mechanics will also publicize what they say are increasingly lax maintenance standards industry wide as airlines farm out maintenance contracts to non-union, non-airline maintenance facilities. From San Francisco, Max Pringle reports.
Movement to Repeal the Patriot Act
In the wake of 9/11, congress overwhelmingly-and some might say, hastily, passed the USA Patriot Act on October 24th, 2001. The 342 page act was passed without debate nor hearings and amends parts of 15 existing laws. At the time of its passage, the country was engulfed in fears of further attacks, while some democratic leaders received mail laced with anthrax. As the fears subsided and people took a closer look at the legislation, many became alarmed at some of the acts provisions which called for the indefinite detention of non-citizens, the expansion of the abilities for government agencies to increase wire tapping, read private e-mail, conduct secret searches, increase surveillance of domestic organizations, access sensitive personal and business records and the large scale investigations of American citizens by the CIA for “intelligence” purposes. Civil libertarians say interpreting the vagueness of the law presents real danger to all Americans. But people across the country are starting to resist these draconian measures. Dred-Scott Keyes reports that cities and towns are seeking to repeal the Patriot Act.
Part 2 Hindu Right: Rewriting History in School Text Books
In the second part of our special series looking at the role of the Hindu far right in India, and a day after a stinging report was released charging US corporations and individuals with funding much of the Hindu Right’s violence in Gujarat, today we look at a Supreme Court battle recently won by India’s government-appointed education council, allowing them to re-write the national syllabus. The council, run by India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party the BJP, released the first of the textbooks in October. They were met with outrage from historians and parents for their rampant errors and pro-Hindu bias. Last week, the BJP’s education council released a third book. Miranda Kennedy, our reporter on assignment in Delhi looks at the hail of controversy around the textbooks.