Jun 23 2006

Weekly Digest – 06/23/06

Weekly Digest | Published 23 Jun 2006, 11:24 am | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 06/23/06 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising —

* After the recent Gitmo suicides, former US Army Muslim Chaplain James Yee describes the mistreatment of detainees that he witnessed.
* Independent film maker Jill Friedberg addresses the popular struggles of teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico as they battle on-going police brutality.
* Investigative reporter Sasha Ambramsky on his new book, “Conned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to the White House.”
* Empire Notes by Rahul Mahajan on the plan to give amnesty to Iraqi insurgents
* The Black Commentator on the “imperialist mind”.

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Oaxaca Teachers Struggle for their Rights
Granito De ArenaGUEST: Jill Freidberg, award winning film maker “Granito de Arena,” or Grain of Sand

In the days leading up to the Mexican Presidential elections, tens of thousands of workers are planning a 24 hour strike on June 28th. The workers’ unions represent Mexican miners, university employees and telephone workers who are protesting alleged government interference in union affairs. Meanwhile striking teachers have closed schools in several Mexican states. Worst hit is the southern state of Oaxaca, where teachers are demanding pay rises and want the state governor to resign. According to Indymedia, the teachers had been camping in a tent city for 23 days when 3,000 state police, armed with riot shields and clubs tore apart the camp. Over the 6 hour police intervention, three people were reported to have been killed, two women and one child. Hundreds of thousands protested against the police brutality on June 16th. They were joined by people from San Salvador Atenco, the town brutalised by the Mexican paramilitary police last month.

For over 20 years, global economic forces have been dismantling public education in Mexico. The popular resistence by teachers and students has been brutally repressed by the police as has happened in the last few weeks. Granito de Arena is a new documentary by independent film maker, Jill Freidberg, about the resistance of hundreds of thousands of public schoolteachers whose grassroots, non-violent movement took Mexico by surprise, and who have endured brutal repression in their 25-year struggle for social and economic justice in Mexico’s public schools.

Empire Notes on the plan to give amnesty to Iraqi insurgents

GUEST: Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade

Empire NotesEmpire Notes are weekly commentaries filed by Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade. Today’s commentary is on the plan to give amnesty to Iraqi insurgents.

Empire Notes is online at www.empirenotes.org.

ConnedConned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to The White House
GUEST: Sasha Abramsky, author of “Conned,” Senior Fellow for Democracy at the public policy organization Demos, whose previous book was “Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation”

A June 1st article in Rolling Stone magazine by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asked the question, “Was the 2004 election stolen?” In the article, Kennedy says, “The issue of what happened in 2004 is not an academic one… For the second election in a row, the president of the United States was selected not by the uncontested will of the people but under a cloud of dirty tricks.” My next guest, Sasha Abramsky adds that part of the problem is the growing disenfranchisement of Americans, particular people of color, who have had their votes taken away from them because of felony convictions. In his new book, “Conned: How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote, and Helped Send George W. Bush to The White House,” Abramsky takes us on a journey through disenfranchised America, detailing the revival of antidemocratic laws that came of age in the post-Civil War segregationist South, and profiling Americans who are fighting to regain the right to vote. I spoke with Sasha in studio and he began by reading an excerpt of his book.

Black Commentator on black Democratic sellouts
Glen Ford, co-publisher of The Black Commentator

Black CommentatorThe Black Commentator is an online political magazine bringing you commentary, analysis and investigation from a black perspective. Today’s commentary is on black Democratic sellouts.

The Black Commentator is online at www.blackcommentator.com.

James YeeJames Yee on Torture of Guantanamo Prisoners
GUEST: James Yee, former Army Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo, author of “For God And Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire”

During his trip to Vienna for the US-EU summit, President Bush said he would like to close down the US run prison in Guantanamo Bay, but that a way must first be found to send inmates there home or put them on trial. Bush said 200 detainees had been sent home, and that most of the 460 who remained were from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan. After the recent suicides by three inmates at Guantanamo on June 10th, the Bush administration has been under increasing international pressure from countries like Spain and Chile to shut down the facility. Meanwhile the acclaimed new film, “The Road to Guantanamo” opened in theaters on Friday June 23rd. The film profiles the three young men from the British midlands who ended up in Guantanamo. Today we end the program with US Army Chaplain James Yee, who was the only Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo. Yee was arrested, and charged with espionage, aiding the enemy and spying and spent 76 days shackled in maximum security prison. All charges against him were eventually dropped. He has written about his experiences in a book called “For God And Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire.” I interviewed James Yee about his experiences at Guantanamo when his book was first released and asked him about the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners that he witnessed.

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day:
“There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war – at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace and prison and death in its wake.” — Daniel Berrigan

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