Between The Lines

GOP Convention Protest Special
News and Analysis
For The Week Ending Aug. 4, 2000

Listen to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking here or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer G2, 7 or 8).

Click here to listen to protest speeches and interviews with activists during the GOP convention. (Audio files in MP3 and RealAudio formats.)

For additional up-to-the-minute coverage of the GOP Convention Protests, see the Philadelphia Independent Media Center Web site at:

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

Diverse Unity 2000 Coalition will march in Philadelphia for new direction in U.S. politics
Interview by Scott Harris.
As Republican party delegates gather in Philadelphia to celebrate the nomination of George W. Bush as their presidential candidate, tens of thousands of demonstrators will also be converging on the "City of Brotherly Love." Participating in legal marches, a Shadow Convention, rallies and non-violent civil disobedience, these progressive activists will be voicing their opposition to the agenda of both major political parties. Similar actions are being planned to coincide with the Democratic National convention in Los Angeles in mid-August.

Many of the same groups making up the coalition that are organizing demonstrations in Philadelphia and Los Angeles were also in Seattle and Washington D.C. protesting the policies of the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund & World Bank.

Groups gathering in Philadelphia include those advocating universal health care and economic human rights, abolition of the death penalty, and an end to gun violence.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Barbara DiTullio, president of Pennsylvania's National Organization for Women, and an organizer with the July 30th "Unity 2000" march for economic and social justice. She explains the multi-issue rally's message, calling for a new direction in American politics.

Call Unity 2000 at (215) 627-5007 or visit their Web site at:

Why thousands of activists are willing to practice non-violent civil disobedience and risk arrest at GOP Convention
Interview by Scott Harris.

As in recent mass demonstrations in Seattle and Washington D.C., many of the activists coming to Philadelphia are preparing to commit acts of non-violent civil disobedience, risking arrest to make a political statement.

The Philadelphia Direct Action Group is coordinating a series of actions which will focus on disrupting the Republican Convention and business as usual in Philadelphia. Over the past two months city police and federal agents have systematically monitored the activities of direct action organizers by staking out their offices, videotaping their comings and goings and even rifling through their trash. Despite what organizers characterize as law enforcement's effort to harass and intimidate them, thousands of activists from all over the country will be converging on Philadelphia in the days before the convention to receive non-violence training and plan their actions.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Matthew Ruben, an organizer with the Philadelphia Direct Action Group, who explains why so many activists, in the tradition of the civil rights movement, are willing to put their bodies on the line for social justice.

To contact the Direct Action Group call (215) 545-1505 or visit their Web site at:

Poor people's march set for opening day of GOP convention
Interview by Scott Harris.

Despite the so-called "economic boom" of the last several years, millions of America's citizens are poor and becoming poorer. An estimated 20% of children in the United States are growing up in homes without adequate nutrition, health care or shelter. Groups working on behalf of the poor have become alarmed at the growing income inequality in the U.S., one of the deepest gaps among all industrialized nations in the world.

The Kensington Welfare Rights Union, working with a national coalition of poor people's groups, has organized a March for Economic Human Rights on Monday, July 31, coinciding with the opening day Philadelphia's Republican National Convention. The march was called to focus attention on the plight of America's poor, a critical issue -- organizers assert -- which has been ignored by both major political parties. Despite being denied a permit for the march by the City of Philadelphia, thousands of poor and homeless families and their supporters say they will march to the site of the GOP convention.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Galen Tyler, an organizer with the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, who discusses the group's July 31st March for Economic Human Rights.

To contact the Philadelphia's Kensington Welfare Rights Union, call (215) 203-1945 or visit their Web site at:

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

  • Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader's public interest efforts. (Nation: July 17, 2000)
  • Third party activity surging at the grass-roots level. (In These Times, July 10, 2000)
  • Bush brothers considering privatizing part of the environmentally troubled Everglades. (Mother Jones: July/August 2000)

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