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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Oct. 27, 2000


Between The Lines/WPKN Radio Webcast: PRE-ELECTION ISSUE FORUM
"Growing Economic Inequality, The Failed Drug War & Prison Industrial Complex." Recently, WPKN Public Affairs Director Scott Harris and WPKN "Black Introspectives" Program Host Ameni Harris examined the growing gap between rich and poor, the failed war on drugs and the U.S. prison industrial complex, which now incarcerates more than two million of our citizens. The forum included activists, journalists, academics and our listeners. An hour long speech by Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, recently recorded at Yale University, was also featured.

Due to unexpected server problems, we were unable to stream the forum on WPKN's regular 24-hour Webcast. So we will be archiving some excerpts from the forum here -- including Ralph Nader's speech. "Stay tuned!"

See United For a Fair Economy ( reports on the growing income gap between rich and poor.
See The Sentencing Project ( for reports on racial disparity in the prison industrial complex.


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking here or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer G2, 7 or 8.)
This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Critics Assert U.S. Cannot Be an Honest Broker in Future Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks
Interview by Scott Harris.

Although an emergency peace summit convened by the U.S. in Egypt succeeded in reaching a ceasefire agreement, confidence was low that it would end weeks of escalating violence between Israeli troops and Palestinian demonstrators. More than 100 mostly Palestinian youth, have died in bloody street battles in the West Bank, Gaza and parts of Israel.

The agreement signed in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt called for both sides to pull back from the brink of igniting a new Middle East war. Despite Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's position that the United Nations should lead an investigation into the causes of the recent violence, the cease fire agreement signed in Egypt calls for the U.S. to direct that review.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Yvonne Haddad, professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, who discusses the efforts to salvage the fragile Middle East peace process and the role of the U.S. in future negotiations.

Contact the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University by calling (202) 687-2575 or visit their Web site at

Alliance for Democracy Engages in Civil Disobedience in U.S. Capitol to Demand Campaign Finance Reform
Interview by Scott Harris.

A determined group of activists that included medical students, physicians and retirees were arrested in the historic U.S. Capitol rotunda on Oct. 14 as they unfurled banners and called for an end to the nation's corrupt campaign finance system.

The group, which was calling attention to the connection between the obstruction of health care reform legislation and large campaign contributions made by the insurance, pharmaceutical and managed care industry, is part of a yearlong campaign organized by the Alliance for Democracy. This was the sixth of the so-called "Democracy Brigades" organized by the Alliance to commit nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol building.

Between The Line's Scott Harris spoke with Nick Pennimen, director of the Alliance for Democracy, who describes his group's campaign and connections he hopes to make with the growing student-based global social justice movement.

Contact the Alliance for Democracy by calling (781) 894-1179 or visit their Web site at

Despite U.S. Aggression, Cuba's Revolution Survives
Recorded by Martin Koppel. Produced by Denise Manzari.

The Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies at Yale University recently hosted a community forum titled, "Ending the Cold War with Cuba."

Gabriel Camacho, president of the Massachusetts Chapter Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, spoke about the effects of the blockade on workers in Cuba. Other topics of discussion included current U.S.-Cuba legislation and the state of democracy and human rights on the island.

Since the Sept. 23 conference, the House voted to lift unilateral sanctions against Cuba, Libya, Iran, Sudan and North Korea, but it is cash-strapped Cuba alone that cannot be issued U.S. government or commercial credit to buy essential food and medicine. Although legally able to purchase goods from the U.S. for the first time in four decades, Havana says the restrictions on credit and other technical issues are the main reasons it will refuse to do business under these conditions.

Mary-Alice Waters is the president of Pathfinder Press, which has published many books on Cuban literature and politics. She spoke at the Yale Community Forum and reflected on the history of the Cuban revolution and why she believe it has survived despite continued U.S. aggression against the Cuban people.

For more information about Pathfinder, call (212) 388-9346.

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon and Denise Manzari.

  • Militarization of anti-terrorist program a threat to civil liberties. (Mother Jones: September/October, 2000)
  • Growing public pressure has brought about corporate codes of conduct. (The Nation: October 2, 2000)
  • Medea Benjamin, human rights activist turned Green Party candidate for California's U.S. Senate, campaigns against moderate New Democrat Diane Feinstein. (The Progressive: August, 2000)

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