Monday, May 24, 2010

  • Trial Begins for Ex-Chicago Police Lt. Accused of Torturing More than 100 African American Men

    Burgeweb

    A former police commander accused of overseeing the torture of more than 100 African American men goes on trial today in Chicago. Former Lieutenant Jon Burge is accused of lying when he denied in a civil lawsuit that he and other detectives had tortured anyone. He faces a maximum of forty-five years in prison if convicted of all charges. The accusations of torture date back forty years, but Burge has avoided prosecution until now. For nearly two decades, beginning in 1971, Burge was at the epicenter of what has been described as the systematic torture of dozens of black men to coerce confessions. In total, more than 100 people in Chicago say they were subjected to abuse, including having guns forced into their mouths, suffocation with bags placed over their heads, and electric shocks inflicted to their genitals. We speak to attorney Flint Taylor and torture victim Darrell Cannon. [includes rush transcript]

  • From Japan to Guam to Hawai’i, Activists Resist Expansion of US Military Presence in the Pacific

    Okinawaweb

    In Japan, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama sparked outrage this weekend when he announced he has decided to keep an American air base on the island of Okinawa. Before last year’s historic election victory, Hatoyama had vowed to move the base off of Okinawa or even out of Japan. On Sunday, he said he had decided to relocate the base to the north side of the island, as originally agreed upon with the US. Hatoyama’s decision was met with anger on Okinawa, where 90,000 residents rallied last month to oppose the base. A number of activists opposed to US military bases were recently here in New York for the International Conference for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World. Anjali Kamat and I spoke to three activists from Japan, Guam and Hawai’i. [includes rush transcript]