Friday, February 28, 1997

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  • Mumia Abu-Jamal Commentary

    Today, we air another commentary by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Author John
    Edgar Wideman introduces today’s segment.


    TAPE: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, a prisoner on Pennsylvania’s death row.

  • Congressional Redistricting

    A Federal Court this week outlawed a mostly Hispanic district in
    New York City, saying the district was unconstitutional because
    race and ethnicity were the dominant factors used to draw it. The
    ruling by a three judge panel in Brooklyn comes in the wake of a
    landmark 1994 Supreme Court decision that said minority districts
    amounted to a form of "political apartheid" and violated the rights
    of white voters.

    African-American, Asian-American and Latino legislators — who are
    already under-represented in most elected forums throughout the
    United States — denounced the ruling as a blow to representative
    democracy. Congress member Nydia Velazquez, whose district was the
    subject of the ruling, is the 10th Congressional lawmaker to face
    redistricting since 1994.

    TAPE: REPRESENTATIVE NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ, of the 12th District in
    New York City.

  • Drug War in Colombia and Mexico

    The Clinton administration is expected to announce this week a list
    of countries that have been uncooperative in fighting illegal drug
    trafficking. Such a blacklist carries enormous weight because US
    economic sanctions may follow.

    Two countries in particular have received sharp scrutiny this past
    year — Colombia and Mexico. The Colombian government of President
    Ernesto Samper is expected to face decertification while the
    Mexican government is likely to escape sanctions, despite
    revelations of high-level government complicity in drug


  • Christian Soldiers

    Federal investigators announced this week that they were skeptical
    about the role of a right-wing group in the bombings of a family
    planning clinic and a gay and lesbian nightclub in Atlanta. The
    Army of God claimed responsibility for the attacks in a letter sent
    to news organizations this week. But Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and
    Firearms (ATF) officials expressed doubt about the authenticity of
    the claim.

    On Jan. 16 two devices exploded outside the Northside Family
    Planning Services center in suburban Atlanta injuring six people.
    And just this past Friday, five people were injured when a bomb
    exploded in the rear patio section of the crowded gay and lesbian
    club — the Otherside Lounge. A second device was found outside the

    Although the police say the Army of God may not have been
    responsible, the attacks have all the hallmarks of a right-wing

    Here to discuss some recent developments on the radical rights is
    Fred Clarkson, a freelance journalist. He worked for two years as
    a Planned Parenthood researcher on the anti-abortion movement and
    the radical right. He is author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle
    Between Theocracy and Democracy (Common Courage).