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Collection of interviews and Web sites with contacts for breaking news about the global social justice movement. (Audio files in MP3 and RealAudio formats.)


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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Feb. 7, 2003


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Feb. 11, 2003.

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

Relatives of Sept. 11 Victims Travel to Iraq
as President Bush Prepares for War

Interview with Terry Rockefeller,
of Sept. 11 Family for Peaceful Tomorrows,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The Jan. 27 interim report by United Nations co-chief weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei on their two months of work in Iraq begged more questions than it answered. While the UN team noted general cooperation by Iraqi officials in gaining access to requested sites, criticism was aimed at Baghdad's lack of detail in accounting for 6,500 chemical bombs, VX nerve agent and anthrax. Citing the fact that no evidence has yet been found indicating Iraq now possess or is making weapons of mass destruction - France, Russia, China and Germany asked for more time to continue inspections. The Bush administration greeted the UN report with bellicose statements and irritation at resistance to their war plans.

But while the Pentagon continued to pour planes, ships and troops into the Persian Gulf region, four members of a group called Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows journeyed to Iraq earlier this month. There, they witnessed first-hand the impact of the 1991 conflict; 12 years of sanctions and the very real prospects a new war is having on the people of Iraq. Peaceful Tomorrows is a group made up of family members of people killed during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and seeks non-violent alternatives to war.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Terry Rockefeller, whose sister Laura was killed at the World Trade Center in New York City. Rockefeller, a documentary film maker from Arlington, Mass., talks about the people she met in the cities of Baghdad and Basra, Iraq's preparations for war and her hope for peace.

Contact Peaceful Tomorrows by calling (415) 518-1991 or visit their Web site at

General Strike Organized Against
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Crumbles

Interview with Steve Ellner,
professor of history in Caracas, Venezuela
conducted by Scott Harris

The general strike organized by opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, now entering its eighth week, has been crumbling. Although the South American nation's economy has lost hundreds of millions of dollars due primarily to a work stoppage which paralyzed the state oil industry, backing for the strike and its leaders has withered.

In a recent show of support for the embattled populist president, hundreds of thousands of mostly poor Venezuelans took to the streets to demonstrate their backing for the constitution and Chavez, who has been twice democratically elected. But increasing class and racial polarization in Venezuelan society continues to breed tension that often erupts in violence. Recent efforts by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and the Organization of American States to broker a deal between Chavez and his opponents have thus far failed to produce results.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Steve Ellner, professor of history at the Universidad de Oriente in Caracas, who takes a look at the sputtering general strike and the political resilience of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Steve Ellner is the co-editor of "Venezuelan Politics in the Chavez Era, Class Polarization and Conflict," by Lynne Reinner Publishers.

Third Meeting of World Social Forum in Brazil
Addresses Issues of War, Peace and Economic Inequality

Interview with the Soren Ambrose,
of the 50 Years is Enough Network,
conducted by Scott Harris

For the third year running, Porto Alegre, Brazil has been a magnet for social justice activists from around the globe who converged there in late January for the World Social Forum. Originally conceived as a venue to counter the elite World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland -- where business and political leaders gather to formulate free trade and neoliberal policies -- the World Social Forum has in many ways eclipsed its rival. An estimated 100,000 activists, academics, workers and students, representing diverse social justice movements, participated this year in hundreds of workshops and plenary sessions to explore alternative models for equitable economic and environmentally sustainable development.

The recent election of Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva as Brazil's first leftist president cast this year's Social Forum as a celebration as much as a progressive summit. However, some controversy was generated by Lula's decision to visit the elite gathering in Davos after giving an address in Porto Alegre.

Between The Lines' Scott Haris spoke with Soren Ambrose, a policy analyst with the 50 Years is Enough Network, who reports from Porto Alegre on the deliberations at this year's Social Forum on issues ranging from President Bush's drive for war with Iraq to organizing opposition to the proposed hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Contact 50 Years is Enough Network by calling (202) IMF-BANK or visit their Web site at The World Social Forum Web site can be accessed at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage

  • Seventy-seven Italian police officers under investigation for alleged brutality and planting of evidence to justify raid against protesters during massive G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy July 2001. ("Genoa Police Admit Fabrication," BBC News, Jan. 7, 2003; "Media Missing New Evidence About Genoa Violence," FAIR, Jan. 21, 2003)
  • In the wake of Argentina's economic collapse, workers successfully take control of a textile factory in Buenos Aires. ("If the Clothes Fit, Wear Them," New Internationalist, December 2002.)
  • FCC's deregulation could irreversibly concentrate U.S. media ownership. Public comment may be made at:"FCC Decisions May Change Media Landscape," Associated Press, Jan. 7, 2003; "Empire of the Air," The Nation, Jan. 13, 2003; "The Fight for the Future of Music," The Nation, Jan. 6, 2003; and

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Sasha Summer Cousineau
Segment Producer: Melinda Tuhus 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 01/31/03

War With Iraq

200,000 to 500,000 at Anti-War March, 1/18/03 in Washington, D.C. Interviews with International A.N.S.W.E.R. organizer Brian Becker, Institute for Policy Studies' Phyllis Bennis and Vietnam War veteran, Jaime Vazquez. Organizers say 200,000 to 500,000 attended the protest

"U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup: Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds" By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2002, Page A01

U.S. Facing Bigger Bill For Iraq War Total Cost Could Run As High as $200 Billion, by Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2002, Page A01

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)

"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


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