Between The Lines

News and Analysis
For The Week Ending May 19, 2000

Listen to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer 7 or RealPlayer G2).

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Struggle continues to close U.S. military's bombing range in Vieques
Interview by Scott Harris.

After a year of occupying the U.S. Navy's bombing range on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques -- more than 200 protesters were removed by federal agents on May 4th. The Navy has said their jets resumed bombing practice with non-explosive weapons despite opposition claims that a number of protesters remained on the range.

The decades-old movement to stop the U.S. military from using the island for training gained active popular support after stray bombs killed David Sanes Rodriquez, a civilian security guard, during training in April 1999. Those demanding the immediate closure of the bombing range claim that the exercises have harmed their health, stunted tourism, jeopardized endangered species, and destroyed fishing grounds, coral reefs and mangroves.

Roberto Rabin, a spokesperson with the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, discusses the U.S. Navy's resumption of bombing on the island and the continuing campaign to permanently close down the military training range.

Contact the Committee by calling (787) 741-0716 or visit their Web site at:

The fight for low-power FM radio moves to Senate
Interview by Scott Harris.

In January, the Federal Communications Commission voted to create a new class of low power FM radio stations -- ranging from 10 to 100 watts. The plan would have distributed these new frequencies to non-profit schools, churches and civic groups, to serve their communities in ways that giant broadcast conglomerates were unable and unwilling to accommodate.

But the National Association of Broadcasters or NAB, a well-healed industry lobby group, had other plans. The NAB crafted legislation to effectively kill the FCC's low power radio initiative. Their bill won passage in the House of Representatives on April 13th, and will soon be taken up by the U.S. Senate. The NAB and their allies, including National Public Radio, assert that adding more stations to the FM band will interfere with the signals of existing stations, a fact disputed by the FCC and low power advocates.

Jennifer Toomey, a musician with the Low Power Radio Coalition, explains why she is fighting to preserve a Federal Communications Commission decision to create a new class of low power FM radio stations.

Contact the Coalition by calling (877) 468-8884 or visit their Web site at:

GOP Convention targeted for large-scale protests
Interview by Scott Harris.

When Republicans meet in Philadelphia this summer for the coronation of their presidential candidate George W. Bush, they will be met by tens of thousands of demonstrators not at all happy with the GOP or its platform. But the organizers of the demonstration, dubbed "Unity 2000," encountered many obstacles in securing city permits for rallies scheduled for July 29 and 30.

Many of the same groups that came together in Seattle to oppose the policies of the World Trade Organization, and to Washington D.C. in April to demonstrate against the IMF and World Bank, are taking part in actions targeting the Republican gathering in Philadelphia and the Democrats' August convention in Los Angeles. This new coalition, which many observers believe forms the core of an emerging global movement for social and economic justice, are planning both legal activities and non-violent civil disobedience actions at both party conventions.

Michael Morrill, lead organizer with Unity 2000, recounts the difficulties encountered in gaining the legal right to march against the Republicans, and explains the overall goals of the demonstration.

Get more information about the July 29-30 GOP Convention demonstration in Philadelphia by calling (610) 478-7888 or visit their Web site at:

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled from alternative media sources by Bob Nixon

  • Nation Magazine: Open-ended anti-terrorism laws imprisoning foreigners such as Zionist Jonathan Pollard and Islamic activist Anwar Haddam for lengthy periods under undisclosed charges.
  • In These Times, April 3, 2000: Pepper spray and tear gas used in Seattle and Washington D.C. protests can lead to long-term health ailments .
  • E: The Environmental Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2000: World Bank's coal mine, Kotku Dam and cash crop development projects in central India endanger the Asian tiger, elephant and old growth forests.

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