Tuesday, December 21, 1999

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  • Reparations for the Palestinians

    German, US and East European officials sealed a historic agreement on Friday to compensate Nazi-era slave workers fifty-four years after World War II, offering $5 billion to the former workers and their survivors. The ceremony was attended by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. [includes rush transcript]

  • Reparations for Native Americans

    We now move from the fight for reparations abroad to the struggle here in the United States. In his book "A Little Matter of Genocide," (City Lights Books, 1997) Ward Churchill said that "during the four centuries spanning the time between 1492, when Christopher Columbus first set foot on the "New World" of a Caribbean beach, and 1892, when the U.S. Census Bureau concluded that there were fewer than a quarter million indigenous people surviving within the country’s claimed boundaries, a hemispheric population estimated to have been as great as 125 million was reduced by something over 90 percent. The people had died in their millions of being hacked apart with axes and swords, burned alive and trampled under horses, hunted as game and fed to dogs, shot, beaten, stabbed, scalped for bounty, hanged on meat hooks and thrown over the sides of ships at sea, worked to death as slave laborers, intentionally starved and frozen to death during a multitude of forced marches and internments, and, in an unknown number of instances, deliberately infected with epidemic diseases.

  • Reparations for African Americans

    During the signing of the $5 billion agreement for Nazi slave labor reparations last week, where Secretary of State Albright called the deal the first serious attempt to compensate "those whose labor was stolen or coerced during a time of outrage and shame. It is critical to completing the unfinished business of the old century before entering the new."

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