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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Nov. 8, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Nov. 13, 2002.

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

Sen. Paul Wellstone Remembered as a Man of Principle
and Idealism, Qualities Rare Among U.S. Politicians

Interview with Robert Borosage,
Campaign for America's Future
by Scott Harris

For many progressive activists, Minnesota's Sen. Paul Wellstone represented the leading edge of what was possible in U.S. electoral politics. Against all odds, Wellstone, a college professor, ran a quirky, underfunded campaign against a Republican incumbent for U.S. Senate in 1990 and actually won. He triumphed over big money and traditional politics by touring Minnesota in an old green school bus; airing clever, but inexpensive TV ads and more importantly, making a strong connection with voters hungry for an honest representative who would look out for their interests in Washington.

In the closing days of a hotly contested campaign for a third term in the Senate, Wellstone, his wife, daughter, three campaign aides and two pilots were killed when their small plane crashed in rural Minnesota. The outpouring of tributes to Paul Wellstone's integrity after his passing, even from his political opponents, was affirmation that he was unique among politicians for holding onto his idealism. Wellstone was the only senator facing a tight race to cast a vote against a congressional resolution authorizing president Bush a free hand to declare war against Iraq. Defying dire warnings from pollsters predicting that his principled stand against war could jeopardize his re-election, Wellstone had pulled ahead of his GOP opponent Norm Coleman, in the days before he died.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with veteran political organizer Robert Borosage, co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future, who talks about the qualities that set Paul Wellstone apart from most other politicians in the Democratic party. He also discusses the emerging peace movement whose organizers in major demonstrations across the country Oct. 26, frequently invoked the late senator's name -- one of the few in the halls of power who openly embraced their cause.

Contact the Campaign for America's Future by calling (202) 955-5665, or visit their Web site at

Workers Party Candidate Lula Da Silva's Landslide Victory
in Brazil's Presidential Election Changes the World's Political Landscape

Interview with Steve Cobble,
of the Center for International Policy,
conducted by Scott Harris

In his fourth run for Brazil's presidency, Workers Party candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won an historic landslide victory, capturing 61 percent of the votes in an Oct. 27 run-off election. "Lula," as he's known across Brazil, will be sworn into office Jan. 1, becoming his nation's first popularly elected leftist leader.

Da Silva captured the hearts of many Brazilians for his unlikely journey to power. After growing up in poverty, Lula became a factory lathe operator, eventually rising to lead the metal workers union. He gained a reputation for courage as he defied Brazil's rightist military dictatorship in power between 1964 and 1985 and was jailed by the generals for leading a series of worker strikes.

Lula comes into office, pledging to improve the lives of Brazil's 50 million citizens now living in poverty. In his first speech after the election, the president-elect announced that his top priority will be to reduce hunger. But with the nation's finance sector uneasy about a Workers Party government, Lula has tried to assure bankers and industrialists that he will balance his fight for social justice with fiscal responsibility. Brazil's $260 billion debt and a steep devaluation of the currency are among the most formidable challenges faced by the working class leader.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Steve Cobble, senior fellow with the Center for International Policy, who assesses the significance of Lula's victory and the impact his Workers government may have on Latin America and the world.

Contact the Center for International Policy by calling (703) 531-1183 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

Nicaraguan Human Rights Attorney Fighting
for Indigenous Rights Target of Assassination Attempt

Interview with Maria Acosta,
Center for Legal Assistance to Indigenous Peoples in Nicaragua
conducted by Denise Manzari

On April 8, Francisco Garcia Valle, a well-known university professor in Bluefields, Nicaragua, was viciously murdered in his home and was found bound, gagged, and shot in the chest. At the time of the murder, Valle's wife Maria Luisa Acosta was meeting with a delegation from IFCO/Pastors for Peace.

Acosta is an internationally known attorney who has received threats to her physical safety in the past because of her work on behalf of indigenous communities struggling to keep their land and protect basic human rights.

In September, a forensics expert traced one of the bullets which killed Valle to a weapon registered to Peter Martinez, attorney for Peter Tsokos, an American citizen and real estate developer who claims he "purchased" the Pearl Cays, seven small islands off the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, for $30,000. Since then, Tsokos has sold some of the islands for half a million dollars each.

But this land was guaranteed to local indigenous communities under the Nicaraguan Constitution and the 1988 Atlantic Coast Autonomy Act. Acosta represents the Autonomous Region of the South Atlantic Coast against Tsokos.

Despite these laws, the courts of Nicaragua have been accused of ignoring these rights and collaborating with U.S. corporations to privatize and sell indigenous people's lands.

Maria Acosta is coordinator of the Center for Legal Assistance for Indigenous Peoples or CALPI. She spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about her husband's murder and international concern for her continued safety.

For more information about the case, call Pastors for Peace (212) 926-5757 or visit their Web site

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • The United Nations reports that 85 corporations in the U.S., Europe and South Africa violated international standards on business ethics by aiding criminal networks and military commanders in plundering the Congo of its natural resources. ("Multinationals in Scramble for Congo's Wealth," The Guardian, Oct. 22, 2002)
  • The National Rifle Association gained significant influence and political clout within the Republican party prior to the October sniper murders that terrorized citizens in metro Washington, D.C. ("The NRA Seeks Room to Grow," The Nation, Nov. 4, 2002)
  • Class action lawsuit filed in East Pointe, Mich. over racial profiling toward African American teens riding bikes. ("Biking While Black," Mother Jones, September/October 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Sasha Summer Cousineau
News reader: Denise Manzari
Segment producer: Denise Manzari
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 11/1/02

March on Washington, D.C. to Oppose the War with Iraq Saturday, Oct. 26

For more information, see

IMF/World Bank and Anti-Iraq War Protest Interviews, Teach-Ins Sept. 27-29,2002 Interviews with Mary Bull, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader in D.C. (in MP3 format) Others to follow on our website.

"Stopping Water Privatizers at Home and Abroad," Part 1 Featuring Clemente Martinez and Rudolf Amenga-Etego on campaigns in Nicaragua and Ghana. In RealAudio.

Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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