September 11, 2003
9-11 Memorials in DC
Today is the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks in which two hijacked planes brought down the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, another plane crashed into the Pentagon, while still another plane crashed in a Pennsylvanian field. Over three thousand people died on that day. Since that time the United States has retaliated by invading two countries that denied any connection to the 9/11 events, resulting in thousands of more deaths. At home the U.S. Congress passed the Patriot Act giving the government unprecedented authority to investigate its citizens. Also, over a thousand immigrants have been detained, without a right to legal counsel. President George Bush is using the 2nd anniversary of 9/11 to garner support for the broadening of the Patriot Act. Bush yesterday said the first Act did not go far enough and that he favored further expansions by allowing federal authorities to issue subpoenas without going to a grand jury, hold suspects without bail, and to seek the death penalty in more cases. Meanwhile, peace groups throughout the country are observing the second anniversary of 9/11 not by focusing on hate and fear but using the anniversary to be mindful of creating a better world. Mitch Jeserich reports on some of those events happening right in the middle of the Nation’s Capitol.
9-11 Remembered in NYC
Also in NY, commemorations at the so-called “Ground Zero” site began early this morning. Jackson Allers brings us this collage of voices remembering September 11, 2001.
Compensation Issues from 9-11 in NYC
Meanwhile in New York City the day was commemorated with both memorials and protests. Two years after the attacks residents of lower Manhattan continue to battle health concerns and to fight efforts to displace them. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, LMDC, is a joint state-city agency responsible for distributing more than $2 billion of federal funds to businesses and individuals in lower Manhattan which were affected by the September 11th attacks. Yet as Gail Walker reports, many people have been left out of the compensation. Reading for Gail Walker is Simba Russeau.
Chile’s Sept 11 Remembered
Today is also the 30th anniversary of the other September 11 – when democratically elected Chilean Socialist president Salvador Allende was toppled in a US backed coup led by Augusto Pinochet. The death of the coveted leader was the start of years of torture and the disappearance of thousands of Chileans. Although some 90 military personnel are being prosecuted in Chile for Human rights abuses during the Pinochet regime, victims say the government is doing little to address human rights issues and are still seeking reparations. Victims are enraged that a human rights proposal put forth by Chilean President Lagos last month grants immunity from prosecution to those providing information about the Pinochet era human rights abuses. In this report by Pauline Bartolone , Chilean exiles in Berkeley California reflect on the coup 30 years ago and why justice still has not been served in their country.
FSRN Exclusive: WTO Kills Farmers
Agriculture issue continue to dominate the World Trade Organization meetings, both inside and outside the gathering of top negotiators from 146 countries. Inside a group of four of the poorest African countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad & Mali – have asked the US to end its $3.2 billion subsidies to its 25,000 cotton farmers which they say have destroyed the livelihoods of 10 million African farmers. Key European countries including Germany and Britain are supporting them in their battle just as 21 developing countries are demanding that both the US and the EU cancel all agricultural subsidies. Outside the officials talk, thousands are attending alternative agriculture fairs, symposiums and protests. These protests have been dominated by the dramatic suicide of a South Korean farmer who stabbed himself on top of a police barricade. FSRN producer Kata Mester was one of the last journalists to speak with the rice farmer before he died and files this report from Cancun.