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Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of ConsortiumNews.com, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

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SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris





SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018





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THANK YOU TO EVERYONE...

who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.


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Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

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"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.





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JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

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Ecuadorean Court Finds Chevron Guilty of Polluting Amazon Rainforest

Posted Feb. 16, 2011

Real Audio  Real Audio  podcast  MP3

Interview with Andrew Miller, advocacy coordinator with Amazon Watch

oilOn Feb. 14, a judge in the Ecuadorean town of Lago Agrio ruled that U.S.-based oil giant Chevron was responsible for polluting an area of the Amazon rainforest the size of Rhode Island and must pay $8.6 billion in damages, including ten percent of the total to an organization formed to represent the plaintiffs comprised of indigenous farmers and other residents of the area.

Chevron reacted by declaring that the verdict was fraudulent, "illegitimate and unenforceable," and is appealing the case. The plaintiffs are also appealing, maintaining that remediation will cost much more than the $9 billion awarded by the court.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Andrew Miller, the Washington, D.C. advocacy coordinator with Amazon Watch, a San Francisco-based organization that works with indigenous groups in the Amazon to defend their rights, often against U.S.-based multinational companies. Miller explains that the litigation has already gone on for 18 years, and that this court ruling will likely not be the end of the case, but nevertheless is still a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice and compensation.

ANDREW MILLER: It really means a number of different things. One is that Chevron is guilty, in the eyes of the Ecuadorean court system, of essentially environmental crimes of destroying huge swaths of the Ecuadorean Amazon, of polluting water, of causing damages to tens of thousands of people on the ground, is one thing it means. It's really only one step in a multi-decade process. The court trial started almost two decades ago, 18 years ago, and we anticipate it will go on for probably a number of more years. But it is an important step, and it's especially crucial for people on the ground who've been making these accusations against Chevron for many years. And of course Chevron has been saying people are lying and it's just a big shakedown, so the Ecuadorean courts have come down on the side of the community. That's the local implication.

I think the broader implication is one of corporate accountability, environmental justice and human rights. Our hope is that one, this gives the space for communities to hold companies accountable, and two, hopefully it also leads to a change in corporate culture, to a kind of preventative corporate culture, where expenses are made, costs are taken on the front end in order to avoid having multi-billion dollar lawsuits down the road.

BETWEEN THE LINES: You could see the destruction, right? You could see the oil gushing up and so on. How much of the evidence related to human health costs? Did people die, were a lot of people sickened, and that was part of what was presented in court?

ANDREW MILLER: Yeah, that was absolutelypart of the evidence has to do with the fact that people are consuming water and have been consuming water and bathing in it and preparing their food in it, and eating fish that swim in it for decades now, and we've seen the rise of any number of different kinds of skin diseases and cancer that never existed previously. Chevron says this is just bad sanitation, but you can assume it's been bad sanitation for centuries, for millenia, and what's changed of course is the oil operations in the region. So there are different estimates of the number of people who died from oil-related diseases; one of the numbers is around 1,400 people. So that was some of the information that was presented.

A lot of the evidence were soil samples -- tens of thousands of soil samples that were done in the different drilling sites and sites where toxic wastes were dumped. If these were in the U.S., they would be considered Superfund sites, and there are hundreds of these around the forest. And the judge and the plaintiffs and Chevron sent scientific teams to do sampling, and it's actually that evidence, which includes evidence provided by Chevron's team, which the judge used to come down with this verdict.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What's the square mileage of the area that's been despoiled?

ANDREW MILLER: It's an area about the size of Rhode Island, so it's a pretty significant size. It's also worth mentioning that this is a particularly bio-diverse part of the world -- the area where the Andes come down and hit the Amazon, it's a biodiversity hot spot. This site is also part of the headwaters of the Amazon River, and pollution that's created in this area flows down-river and unfortunately is added to other pollution from other oil drilling sites in northern Peru, for example. There have been a number of recent oil pipelines breaking and spilling into the river, and then you have different kinds of mining going on, like informal mining. So all of these toxic elements are actually being added into the Amazon River and flow downriver, so all the millions of people that depend on these waters are being exposed, directly or indirectly, to these contaminants.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Andrew Miller, I know that Chevron is going to appeal, but I've heard that the plaintiffs are also appealing, saying the ruling isn't nearly enough. Is that correct?

ANDREW MILLER: Yeah, that is correct. We're likely to see appeals on both sides. There are a number of estimates that have come out previously. There was a court-appointed expert who set the damages at $27 billion, and there were other international experts who came, saw the situation and actually placed the estimated damages at tens of billions of dollars. Essentially what we're talking about -- and the primary demand of the communities -- is a real remediation of the soil; remediation of the water sources and water they can drink, and health care. So we're not talking about communities that are going to get big cash infusions and each individual member is going to get millions of dollars as part of this. What we're really talking about is how to remediate the situation, which is very fragile and which is going to be very difficult. And how to ensure that these communities have access to fresh water and to health care to address the health issues they've been facing.

Contact the group's San Francisco office at (415) 487-9600 or visit their website at AmazingWatch.org

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