February 25, 2003
Amos King Execution Tomorrow (3:47)
Confirming what many have alleged for years, that racism plays a big role in sending African Americans to death row, the supreme court today ruled 8-1 that Texas prosecutors stacked a jury with whites and did not allow defendant Thomas Miller-El to present evidence of this bias in his trial. The Supreme court sent the case back to a lower court where Miller-El will now get a new trial that could over turn his death sentence. While eight justices agreed that there was clear evidence of racism at play, Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s only Black member, dissented. Meanwhile, another execution date has been set for Florida death row inmate Amos King. This is the sixth execution date for King who has been on death row for 26 years. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection tomorrow at 6pm. This time his attorneys say they are afraid it might be the end. From St. Petersburg, Sally Watt reports.
A Virtual March on Washington (4:05)
The Bush administration today gave the United Nations Security Council two weeks to adopt the new resolution it introduced yesterday along with Britain and Spain. Also today, Turkey’s cabinet agreed to host the tens of thousand of American troops who would probably lead a ground invasion through northern Iraq; Meanwhile, as Air Force B-52 bombers begin conducting training missions in the Persian Gulf, preparations for a Virtual March on Washington are underway. The massive protest is the first of its kind and is scheduled to take place tomorrow. More on this story from FSRN’s Nadja Middleton.
India’s Anti-War Movement (4:05)
The anti-war momentum is slowly gaining ground in India where the Hindu nationalist government has come out with a belated and lukewarm endorsement of the need to give UN inspectors more time. Reports say US pressure is increasing to get New Delhi to toe the American line and many in India are outraged at the supine position the government is taking in the international arena. And while left parties finally prepare to organize mass protests against US plans to invade Iraq, citizens initiatives to mobilize public opinion are already underway. Sputnik Kilambi reports from Hyderabad.
Al-Arian Terrorism Charges (4:00)
The detention hearing for Palestinian professor, Sami Al-Arian and two co-defendants was delayed today after defense attorneys said they needed more time. Outside the courthouse, about 70 people rallied in support of the defendants and Al-Arian’s daughter read a statement from her father in which he said, “I’m a prisoner because of the hysteria engulfing this country.” Last Thursday, U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft announced the arrest and indictment of Al-Arian and three other Palestinian Americans for alleged membership and support of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, charging they helped kill more than one hundred people in Israel and Palestine. Two of the men have close ties to Chicago’s Palestinian community – and their supporters are fighting back. Chris Geovannis reports from Chicago.
Black Protest for Peace Month (3:23)
In 1915, the son of former slaves and noted Black scholar and historian, Carter G. Woodson, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History to emphasize and honor the contributions of African-Americans to U.S. and world history. In February of 1926, Woodson initiated Black History week to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln and for many years the second week in February was celebrated by Black people across the United States as Black History Week. In 1976, as part of the nation’s Bicentennial, the week was expanded and established as Black History Month and is now celebrated all over North America. In NYC, this year’s celebration has been further expanded through a council resolution naming February as Black Protest for Peace Month. Dred-Scott Keyes reports.