Monday, November 14, 2011

  • Syrian Human Rights Lawyer Razan Zaitouneh Speaks from Hiding, Says Over 4,000 Killed in Uprising

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    Daily protests continue in Syria even as the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates the government has killed more than 3,500 people during the last eight months in its attempt to silence a growing popular uprising. Over the weekend, protesters carried out a general strike in several cities. We get a live report from Damascus from Razan Zaitouneh, a lawyer and human rights activist, who says she believes at least 4,133 people have been killed. "At the same time that the protests are continuing around the country daily, the average of killing is also increasing. It’s now at least 30 persons get killed daily by the regime in different cities of the country, especially in Homs and Hama and Idlib," Zaitouneh says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Arab League Suspends Syria, Concern Grows over Foreign Intervention to End Crisis

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    Today the European Union decided to impose sanctions on 18 Syrians in response to the killings of protesters by Syrian forces under President Bashar al-Assad. The move comes after the Arab League formally suspended the Syrian delegation on Saturday over its violent crackdown on eight months of protests. In a new report, Human Rights Watch accused the Assad government of "crimes against humanity" for alleged killings of protesters dating back to April and called on the United Nations to impose an arms embargo on Syria and refer top officials to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. We speak with Bassam Haddad, director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University. He says he opposes external intervention in Syria and calls for non-military action. "The economic sanctions that are taking place targeting particular individuals might [work]," Haddad says. "I suspect that the defection of the business classes from the regime’s ranks is going to continue and increase very rapidly." [includes rush transcript]

  • Occupy Honolulu: Hawaiian Musician Makana Performs Protest Song to World Leaders at APEC Summit

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    As President Obama met with world leaders this weekend at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Hawaii to discuss how to bolster global trade, activists with the group Occupy Honolulu protested economic inequity that they say would result from new trade agreements. Meanwhile, within the heavily guarded compound where the summit took place, renowned Hawaiian musician and guitarist Makana carried out his own act of protest. Makana had been invited to play instrumental music at the gala dinner Saturday night. At the dinner, Makana opened his jacket to reveal a t-shirt which read, "Occupy with Aloha." Then, instead of performing the background instrumental he was scheduled to play, he started to sing a protest song he had released earlier that day. As world leaders including Obama and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao sat in the audience, Makana sang his new song inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, "We are the Many." "I started out very subtly and subliminally. And I was like, 'Ye come here, gather ’round the stage. The time has come for us to voice our rage,'" Makana says. "Then I realized that, 'Wow! I didn't get in trouble!’ So I played it again." [includes rush transcript]

  • East Timor Massacre Remembered: U.S.-Armed Indonesian Troops Kill 270 Timorese 20 Years Ago

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    This weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor. On November 12, 1991, Indonesian troops fired on a peaceful memorial procession in the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, killing more than 270 East Timorese. Two decades later, Amnesty International has called for a judicial inquiry into the massacre, noting that the failure "to hold all the perpetrators to account highlights a wider problem of impunity for crimes under international law and other human rights violations committed during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste (then East Timor) between 1975 and 1999." We play an excerpt from a 1992 documentary, "Massacre: The Story of East Timor," produced by journalist Allan Nairn and Amy Goodman. [includes rush transcript]

  • Occupy Oakland Encampment Raided for Second Time: Live Eyewitness Report

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    At the end of our broadcast we went live to the Occupy Oakland encampment, where hundreds of Oakland police officers have surrounded the encampment in order to evict hundreds of protesters. Democracy Now! correspondent John Hamilton says, unlike the first police raid which used tear gas and rubber bullet projectiles, this time police have massed in large numbers: as many as 1,000 officers are on the scene. [includes rush transcript]