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Friday, December 2, 2011

  • Martina Correia, 1967-2011: Led Struggle to Save Brother Troy Davis’ Life as She Fought for Her Own

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    The Georgia activist Martina Correia died on Thursday after a more than decade-long battle with breast cancer. She was 44 years old. At the same time as she fought to save her own life, Martina Correia struggled valiantly to save that of her brother’s — Troy Anthony Davis. Troy Davis was executed by the state of Georgia on September 21 despite major doubts about the case, including the recantation of seven of the nine non-police witnesses. Correia was her brother’s staunchest advocate, at times leading rallies and public events from her wheelchair. She will also be remembered for her relentless women’s health activism after advocating for the creation of mobile mammography vans serving poor women in Savannah. At the funeral for Troy Davis in October, Amy Goodman spoke to Correia about her brother’s life, her quest to end the death penalty, and her own struggle against cancer. "The fight for my life, and the fight for Troy’s life, has been two-fold. They used poison to kill my brother, and then they use poison to keep me alive," Correia said. "So I want people to understand that we’re not supposed to kill people, and we’re supposed to help people. And I want them to know that Troy is just as much me as I am Troy. And I’ll never forget that." [includes rush transcript]

  • "Hancock 38" Defendants Found Guilty for Bold Army Base Protest Against U.S. Drone Attacks Abroad

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    Thirty-one of 38 accused activists were found guilty on Thursday for their role in a protest against U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The activists were arrested on April 22 at the New York Air National Guard base at Hancock Field near Syracuse, New York, after trespassing to protest the MQ-9 Reaper drones, which the 174th Fighter Wing of the Guard has remotely flown over Afghanistan since late 2009. The protesters draped themselves in white clothes splattered with blood-red pigment and then staged a "die-in" at the main entrance to the base. They said their act of nonviolent civil disobedience aimed to visualize the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan by drones operated by personnel sitting in front of computers thousands of miles away. The group calls themselves the Hancock 38 Drone Resisters. Following the guilty verdict, four of the activists were sentenced to 15-day terms in prison while a number of others were given fines and community service. We speak to Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. attorney general turned outspoken human rights activist, who testified at the trial that the drones violate international law. We’re also joined by Harry Murray, one of the Hancock 38 and a co-defendant in the trial. "Having a drone control center established at Hancock Air Base has really brought the war home to central New York," Murray says. "Having people who are actually killing human beings in Afghanistan working right in Syracuse really makes Syracuse and upstate New York a war zone." Clark says drones are "a weapon of extreme provocation and extreme danger, extreme inaccuracy... International law, I believe, does prohibit the use of drones." [includes rush transcript]

  • Richard Wolff: Eurozone Woes Result from Mating of Our "Dysfunctional" Political, Economic Systems

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    European leaders are preparing to unveil their plans for addressing the sovereign debt crisis that’s threatened to tear apart the eurozone. Both France and Germany are expected to push for changes to the eurozone treaty, including centralized oversight of national budgets and tighter reins on debt. In a speech on Thursday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said radical changes are needed in order to save the euro. Sarkozy’s address came after central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, took coordinated action to prevent a credit crunch among European banks. For more on the developing crisis in Europe and its implications worldwide, we are joined by economist and professor Richard Wolff. He is the author of several books, including "Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It." "The Fed is recognizing that another bailout is needed," Wolff says. "All the steps taken over the last few years to try to cope with this crisis of our capitalist system haven’t worked, and so we’re now again on the brink of a crisis, and again public money and public institutions are bailing out a private banking system and a private enterprise system that is not working and is not solving its own problems." Wolff continues, "The fundamental question is, you’ve got to deal with an economic system that isn’t working... You’ve got to take big steps that change the way this economic system works, or find a new system... It’s as though we have a dysfunctional economic system coupled to a now dysfunctional political system, and instead of fixing each other, these two systems are making each other in a kind of a spiral downturn." [includes rush transcript]