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Between The Lines Archive
For The Week Ending Sept. 7, 2001


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. Individual interview segments and news summary will be posted soon. MP3 files available until Sept. 12, 2001.

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

Protest Actions Planned for Vieques
as Navy Prepares for September Bombing Exercises

Interview by Denise Manzari.

Twenty-four-year-old civilian David Sanes was killed in April 1999 by an errant bomb during U.S. Naval maneuvers on the tiny Puerto Rican island of Vieques. This incident triggered relentless protests by the people of Vieques, who recently voted in a nonbinding referendum for an immediate cessation of bombing and the U.S. Navy's permanent departure from the island.

In the last series of civil disobedience actions, many protesters were arrested and served jail time, including nonresidents, like activist Al Sharpton, who has since been released after serving his 90-day sentence. In early August, the mayor of Vieques, Al Damaso Serrano was sentenced to four months in federal prison in San Juan Puerto Rico.

Now, the Navy is gearing up for a new round of manuevers in September, and so are the protesters. Robert Rabin is with the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about his group's determination and strategy to end the 60-year U.S. military presence on Vieques.

For more information, call (787) 741-0716 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

On the 5th Anniversary of Welfare Reform,
Poverty Rates Remain Unchanged

Grassroots groups organizing to
challenge congressional reauthorization

Interview by Melinda Tuhus.

It's been five years since Congress passed controversial welfare reform legislation. The program that former President Clinton promised would "end welfare as we know it" has removed tens of thousands of welfare recipients from the rolls, but failed to address the problem of poverty. There are wide variations in state welfare requirements, time limits and available support services, but all states must abide by strict federal regulations limiting welfare benefits to a lifetime cap of five years.

Many media reports celebrate welfare reform as a major success, but often limit their examination solely to the decrease in numbers of welfare recipients, ignoring the dire conditions of poverty in which many former recipients are now forced to live. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as welfare reform is formally known, will be subject to Congressional reauthorization next year.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Ann Withorn, professor of social policy at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and author of "For Crying Out Loud: Women's Poverty in the U.S." She talks about the down side of welfare reform, what poor families are doing to survive, and humane welfare policy alternatives.

"For Crying Out Loud: Women's Poverty in the U.S., is published by South End Press. For more information, visit the Women's Committee of One Hundred Web site:

Related links:

  • Federal Welfare Publications of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • "Average Incomes of Very Poor Families Fell During Early Years of Welfare Reform" Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Aug. 22, 1999.
  • "Welfare Reform: War on the Poor?" Between The Lines Q&A/transcript of interview with Wendell Primus of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, for week ending Aug. 22, 1999
  • "Percentage of the US Population on Welfare Since 1960" Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/January 1999. At its highest point in 1993-94, welfare recipients made up no more than 5.5 percent of the population.
  • "On 5th Anniversary of Welfare Reform, Poverty Rates Unchanged," Between The Lines Q&A, transcript of interview with Ann Withorn, released Sept. 3, 2001

    NOW Campaigning to Dissuade CNN from Hiring Rush Limbaugh
    Interview by Scott Harris.

    Progressive activists, already angry about their virtual exclusion from news coverage and commentary in U.S. corporate media were horrified to learn that the AOL/Time-Warner owned Cable News Network was talking with Rush Limbaugh in hopes of hiring the right wing radio talk show host as a commentator.

    CNN, losing ground in the cable ratings war to Rupert Murdoch's unabashedly conservative Fox News Channel, presumably hopes to boost viewership by giving Limbaugh a new platform from which to spew what many label as sensational and hateful rhetoric. Although conservatives criticize CNN as a "liberal mouth piece," studies have revealed that the network offers little opportunity for labor, environmental or human rights activists to speak to the nation.

    In response to the CNN-Limbaugh negotiations, the National Organization for Women has launched a campaign to persuade the news network's management to look elsewhere on the political spectrum for new program hosts.

    Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with NOW president Kim Gandy, who explains why her group is working to stop CNN from giving Limbaugh a larger audience.

    Contact NOW by calling (202) 628-8669 or visit their Web site at

    Related links:

    • "The Most Biased Name in News: Fox News Channel's extraordinary right-wing tilt" Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting's overview and special reports,
    • "CNN Rushes Rush" by Al Franken, The Nation magazine, Sept. 3, 2001.
      This week's summary of under-reported news
      Compiled by Bob Nixon

      • Palestinian youths in Israel's Tel Mond prison go on hunger strike to protest conditions and beatings by guards. (World Press Review, September 2001)
      • Overwhelming medical bills forcing more patients to file for personal bankruptcy, but new legislation makes it harder to file. (The Progressive, July 2001)
      • Living wage movement success now target of corporate effort to limit workers' pay increases. (The Nation, July 23-30, 2001)

      Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
      Program narration: Arch Currie
      News reader: Zelphia Hunter
      Segment Producers: Melinda Tuhus, Denise Manzari
      Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
      Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
      Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD

American Revolution Feature

An interview with Paul Lussier, author of the book, "The Last Refuge of Scoundrels: A Revolutionary Novel"

Upcoming Protests

"IMF Protesters File Suit over "Exclusion Zones," Washington Post, Aug. 20, 2001

Sept. 28-Oct. 3, International Monetary Fund/World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Sept. 28-Oct. 4, International Monetary Fund/World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Sept. 29 International Action Center's "Surround the White House,"

Sept. 29 "Beat Back the Bush Attack!", by the International Action Center

Sept. 28-Oct. 4, School of the Americas Watch's International Days of Action Against the IMF,

Follow up Stories on G8 Summit Protest/Police Brutality, Genoa, Italy

"Fascism's Face in Genoa," Commentary by John J. Allen Jr., The Nation, Aug. 20, 2001.

Stunning personal statements from U.S. protesters beaten at G8 Protest summit"

U.K's The Observer Special Reports on G8 Summit Protests News stories glaringly omitted by the U.S. media's Globalization articles Collection of articles on the protests in Genoa, Italy

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues and particularly in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

"The Fight for Everything" A series of interviews with activists and leaders of grassroots, progressive groups analyzing the goals, strategy and tactics of the global social justice movement

Post Inauguration and Electoral Reform Resources

"National Lawyers Guild Considers Campaign to Impeach Supreme Court Justices Who Stopped Florida Vote Count" Between The Lines interview, Aug. 10, 2001

"Making Every Vote Count", The Nation Magazine, Special Section

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report


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