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News and Analysis
For The Week Ending Oct. 6, 2000

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Between The Lines co-sponsored event: INDEPENDENT MEDIA CONFERENCE. Oct. 13-14, Trinity College, Burlington, VT. Writers, media producers, and activists will gather to share experiences, examine challenges, and develop a common agenda. Friday, 8 p.m. keynote with Michael Parenti and Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!"; Saturday workshops, lunch/dinner, and entertainment. For registration and lodging information, write IMCVT c/o Toward Freedom, POB 468, Burlington, VT 05402; e-mail,; Website,; or call (802) 654-8024. Registration: by Sept. 30 - Friday ($10), Saturday ($20); after Sept. 30 - Friday ($15), Saturday ($30).

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Economist Challenges Notion "There Are No Alternatives to Neo-Liberal Economic Policy"
Interview by Scott Harris.

As bankers, corporate executives and government ministers gathered in Prague for the 55th annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, thousands of activists from around the globe took to the streets to assail these institutions' policies. This is the second time this year that demonstrators have targeted the World Bank and IMF since tens of thousands of protesters attempted to block delegates from attending a Washington, D.C meeting in April.

Since last winter's landmark actions in Seattle against the World Trade Organization, a growing international coalition of labor, environmental and human rights groups have criticized the Bank's economic policies for widening the gap between rich and poor nations, and exacerbating the poverty in which much of the world's people live. The World Bank and IMF have for decades operated under the economic orthodoxy known as neo-liberalism to which former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was once quoted as saying "there is no alternative."

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Arthur MacEwan, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and author of the book "Neo-Liberalism or Democracy?" He challenges the notion that there are no alternatives to free trade, deregulation of markets, and cuts in social programs.

For more progressive economic analysis contact Dollars and Sense Magazine by calling (617) 876-2434 or visit their Web site at:

See related coverage:

Protesters Target National Association of Broadcasters' Campaign Against Low Power Radio
Interview by Scott Harris.

A week before international actions denouncing the policies of the World Bank and IMF in Prague and elsewhere, thousands of media activists gathered in San Francisco to protest the National Association of Broadcasters' campaign to kill low power radio in the United States.

Last January, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to establish hundreds of low power, noncommercial radio stations in local communities across the country. This was in part a victory for activists who had established many so-called unlicensed "pirate" stations as a form of protest against growing corporate control over the public airwaves. But the National Association of Broadcasters, one of the most influential industry lobbies on Capitol Hill, and their allies like National Public Radio, immediately worked to defeat the measure. Their campaign has effectively killed the prospects of increased diversity on the nation's radio outlets.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Janine Jackson of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting or FAIR, who discusses the protests in San Francisco and the power and influence wielded by the National Association of Broadcasters on a wide range of issues like campaign finance reform and media deregulation.

To learn how you can act locally, contact FAIR by calling (212) 633-6700 or visit their Web site at

Related news and information:

Aboriginal Rights Activists Draw Attention During Olympic Games to Australia's History of Discrimination
Interview by Ruben Abreu.

While throngs of people and media from around the world have gathered in Sydney, Australia to cheer their nation's athletic teams competing in this year's Olympic Games, little or no attention has been paid to thousands of Australians, both white and aboriginal, who have turned out to demonstrate against what they say are the corrupt practices of the Olympic Committee and the negative impact the costly games will have on many of Sydney's poor residents.

Leaders of Australia's Aboriginal rights movement are also attempting to take advantage of the Olympic spotlight on their nation to inform visitors and the world about the suppression of indigenous rights and discrimination they say has been perpetrated by past and present governments.

Between The Lines' Ruben Abreu recently traveled to Australia and spoke with Isabel Coe, an elder and veteran civil rights activist who helped establish a "tent embassy" in Sydney's Victoria Park. She speaks of the changes that have occurred in the aboriginal rights movement since the first protest tent encampment went up in Australia's capital, Canberra, 28 years ago.

For more information on the aboriginal rights movement, visit the Anti-Olympic Alliance Web site at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Rich Fraser and Bob Nixon

  • Greenpeace and others concerned about safety at Mexico's Laguna Verde nuclear power plant after radiation engineer calls attention to plant security, radiation monitoring procedures and management attitude toward plant safety. (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, July-Aug. 2000)
  • Over the summer, gay rights activists won the right to march in Rome after the Italian Left rallied to their defense. (The Nation, Sept. 18, 2000)
  • Environmental Protection Agency order to clean up unexploded ordinance at Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod sets worldwide precedent for action in such places as the testing range at Vieques, Puerto Rico and former U.S. Clark Air Base in the Philippines. (Scientific American: June, 2000)

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