Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Jailed Bahraini Activists Get Appeal, But U.S.-Backed Regime’s Abuses Continue Unabated

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    Bahrain has granted appeals for 21 people accused of trying to overthrow the U.S.-backed monarchy after the Arab Spring protests began last last year. The prisoners include human rights leader Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who is on the 82nd day of his hunger strike. "We’ve seen this before, where if there’s enough international pressure, they’ll send the case back to court and then try to buy as much time as possible ... until the international community, to some extent, loses interest in following up with the case," says Alkhawaja’s daugher, Maryam Alkhawaja. "These are people that should have never been arrested or imprisoned, to begin with, and they should have been released." She notes much of the evidence used in the military courts was gained from confessions extracted under torture. We also speak with Human Rights Watch’s Joe Stork, editor of a new report that finds Bahrain’s police continue to beat and torture detainees, including minors. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Booker’s Place": Documentary Tells Story of Black Mississippi Waiter Who Lost Life by Speaking Out

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    In 1965, Booker Wright, an African-American waiter in Greenwood, Mississippi, dared to be interviewed by NBC about racism in America, a decision that forever changed his and his family’s lives. Wright said during the interview, "I always learned to smile. The meaner the man be, the more you smile. Do all your crying on the inside." He would later lose his job, be beaten by police, and ultimately be murdered. Wright’s story is told in the new documentary film, "Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story," a collaboration between our two guests: co-producer Yvette Johnson, Wright’s grand-daughter, and director Raymond De Felitta, whose father, Frank De Felitta, originally filmed the interview with Wright and later said he regretted it. [includes rush transcript]

  • Ahead of May Day, David Harvey Details Urban Uprisings from Occupy Wall Street to the Paris Commune

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    On Tuesday, May 1st, known as May Day or International Workers’ Day, Occupy Wall Street protesters hope to mobilize tens of thousands of people across the country under the slogan, "General Strike. No Work. No Shopping. Occupy Everywhere." Events are planned in 125 cities. We speak with leading social theorist David Harvey, distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, about how Occupy Wall Street compares to other large-scale grassroots movements throughout modern history. "It’s struck a chord," Harvey says of the Occupy movement. "I hope tomorrow there will be a situation in which many more people will say, 'Look, things have got to change. Something different has to happen.'" Harvey’s most recent book is "Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution." [includes rush transcript]

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