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Collection of interviews and Web sites with contacts for breaking news about the global social justice movement. (Audio files in MP3 and RealAudio formats.)


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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending May 17, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until May 22, 2002.

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

Le Pen Defeated in France, But Neo-Fascist Parties
are On the Rise Across Europe

Interview by Scott Harris

Jean Marie LePen, leader of the neo-fascist National Front party shocked many in France and Europe in April when he captured enough votes to enter the final round of the French presidential election May 5. Surpassing the Socialist party of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, LePen faced off against the conservative incumbent Jacques Chirac.

During the first round vote, many French voters stayed home, owing to the perceived lack of difference between Chirac and Jospin. But LePen's entry into the final round with 17 percent of the vote woke up the French electorate -- prompting a million and a half to take to the streets in anti-LePen protests.

With the backing of rival Socialists, Chirac overwhelmed LePen in the May 5 vote by an 82 percent to 18 percent margin. Although LePen was soundly defeated, he did manage to increase his support in the second round by almost a million votes -- a fact which confirmed LePen's appeal to voters angry at immigrants, rising crime rates and elite politicians. LePen and his party hope to capitalize on hostility toward the European Union and anti-globalization sentiment in legislative elections set for June 9 and 16.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Doug Ireland, a contributing editor at In These Times Magazine who lived in France and reported on French politics for over a decade. He assesses the results of the French presidential election and the rise of right-wing parties across the European continent, already in power in Italy, Portugal and Norway.

Doug Ireland is contributing editor at In These Times Magazine. Read Ireland's analysis of the French elections online at

Hundreds of Israeli Army Reservists Refuse
to Serve in Occupied Territories

Lt. Noam Weiner explains why he has chosen to resist
Interview by Scott Harris

In the face of defiance from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan abandoned the Security Council endorsed investigation into the conduct of Israeli soldiers who attacked the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp. Sharon, who flew to Washington on May 6th for talks with President Bush, advocated the exclusion of Yasir Arafat from future peace talks, and took time to thank the White House for their help in blocking the human rights inquiry.

Although Mr. Sharon has gained broad public support for his invasion of Palestinian West Bank cities, not all Israelis are applauding their government's policies. Hundreds of Israeli reserve soldiers who oppose their nation's 35-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, have signed a public declaration refusing to serve in the occupied territories. Since Jan. 25, more than 450 Israeli soldiers have signed onto the Courage to Refuse campaign which proclaims that "we shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people." Thus far 41 resisters have been sent to military prison for their disobedience.

Noam Wiener is a 27-year-old lieutenant in the Israeli Army Reserves and a law student who has signed the Courage to Refuse declaration. He traveled to the U.S. in May and addressed audiences at Yale University, a local synagogue and community groups in New Haven, Conn. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Noam Wiener about why he has refused to serve in the occupied territories and in so doing, risk imprisonment.

Contact the Courage to Refuse U.S. support network by calling (312) 409-4845 or visit their Web site at

Broad Coalition Working to Derail
Fast Track Legislation in U.S. Senate

Although likely to pass, opponents
have strategy to defeat bill in House

Interview by Scott Harris

Last December, the House of Representatives approved by a one-vote margin the Trade Promotion Authority bill opposed by many labor, environmental and human rights activists. The legislation, more commonly known as "Fast Track," is now being considered by the U.S. Senate and is designed to grant the president authority to negotiate future international trade deals with minimal debate and in Congress with no chance for legislators to propose corrective amendments.

If signed into law, Fast Track will enable the White House to expedite approval of the controversial Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty. The FTAA, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, has been criticized for the lack of labor or environmental standards and the power it surrenders to corporations. Although passage in the Senate is likely, a broad coalition of groups opposed to Fast Track are promoting several amendments that they say will defend worker's rights and protect public health, safety and environmental regulations.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Patrick Woodall, research director with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, who discusses what's at stake in the current campaign to defeat fast track trade legislation.

Contact Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch by calling (202) 546-4996 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

  •, the Institute for Policy Studies' Global Economy Project

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon and Sasha Summer Cousineau

  • Taliban regime in Afghanistan ousted, but U.S military buildup continues -- boosting strategic presence in former Soviet Asian republics and expanding ties with Central Asia's booming energy industry. ("Permanent Installation," In These Times, April 29, 2002)
  • Ninety percent of victims of modern wars are women and children. ("State of the World's Mothers 2002: Mothers & Children in War and Conflict," Save the Children,
  • President Bush appoints an enemy of reform to the Federal Election Commission, which will oversee recently adopted campaign finance law banning soft money contributions. ("A Fox in the Electoral Henhouse?" by Micah Sifry, Mother Jones magazine, April 15, 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
News writer: Sasha Summer Cousineau
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Sasha Summer Cousineau
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 5/10/02

Stop the War March on Washington, D.C. April 20th, 2002

Between The Lines Special Report: Interviews with Rev. Billy and John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies on Washington, D.C. Indymedia Web site April 20 Stop the War at Home and Abroad March on Washington. Independent Progressive Politics Network

Depleted uranium weapons use in Afghan War

U.S. Uses Unprecedented Quantities of Depleted Uranium Weapons in Afghan War Between The Lines interview with journalist Robert James Parsons, Week Ending March 22, 2002

"America's big dirty secret,"by Robert James Parsons, Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2002 (English translation)

World Economic Forum Protests, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2002

Between The Lines Report, Week Ending 2/15/02. With more related audio files.

"Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues 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

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

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

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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