Friday, March 8, 1996

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  • Bella Abzug on the New York Primary and Contract With Women

    Bob Dole has unequivocally won the New York Primary, taking all 93 of the state’s delegates. Former New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug comments on these results, saying that she pities the Republican Party in their disarray and their poor choice of candidates, and she does not believe that they will able to defeat the Clinton administration in their bid for the White House. Abzug, who is now president of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), also announces the launch of a national "Contract With Women of the USA" campaign, which is a grassroots mobilization effort to make women’s concerns a central issue in America policy-making and elections at the local, state and federal level.

  • Trade Agreements Profit Corporations at the Expense of Democracy

    Vandana Shiva is a former university professor turned anti-GATT activist, who now directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi. Shiva asserts that the mega-merger just announced between pharmaceutical giants Ciba-Geiger and Sandoz demonstrates how large multinational firms are desperate to monopolize so that they can maximize their profits, gaining ever larger market shares and ever more control of resources. Shiva also accuses drug companies of claiming ownership of folk knowledge and traditional medicines that people have freely accessed for centuries, and patenting them for their private gain. She says that global trade agreements such as GATT undermine democracy, turning every service and commodity into an international trade item, and every person into a citizen of the corporations.

  • Latina Youth Turns Painful Past into Activism

    Ana-Maria Nieves is a Latina youth activist who was born in The Bronx to a drug-addicted father and an institutionalized, schizophrenic mother. She spent time in the foster system until her father regained custody of her, only so that he could use her for his personal profit; renting her out to childless couples and transforming her welfare benefits into drugs. She was left alone to fend for herself for weeks at a time, until she met a young man who seemed to want to help. After moving in with him though, she was subjected to years of rapes and beatings, until she became suicidal. Nieves finally found help when she went to earn her GED and was asked to join a leadership program, where she met other young people with similar traumatic experiences, and was inspired to become active in her community. She proceeded to join every youth organization she could find, and helped form an outspoken youth advocacy group called Urban X. Nieves is also involved with Do Something, a national organization that provides resources and training to help young people improve their communities.

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