No. 86, Sept. 7-13, 2000

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Democrats and Republicans conspire to monopolize debates

As the debate over debates heats up, the Bush campaign is balking at participation in the events proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Bush’s concerns revolve around format and venues. But few journalists covering this story have looked into the legitimate questions about the Commission, especially whether the CPD is independent enough to decide which candidates get to participate.

The following timeline reveals a history of politicking, insider-dealing and exclusion camouflaged behind “nonpartisan” rhetoric.

A brief history of the Commission on Presidential Debates

1985: debates or “joint appearances”
The origins of the CPD can be traced to 1985 discussions between the national chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties, Paul Kirk and Frank Fahrenkopf, which led to an agreement to cooperate in the production of “nationally televised joint appearances conducted between the presidential and vice-presidential nominees of the two major political parties. ... It is our conclusion that future joint appearances should be principally and jointly sponsored and conducted by the Republican and Democratic Committees” (Joint Memorandum of Agreement on Presidential Candidate Joint Appearances, November 26, 1985).

1987: “strengthen the two-party system”
At a February 18, 1987, news conference in Washington, GOP chair Fahrenkopf and Democratic chair Kirk announce the CPD’s formation, with themselves as co-chairs (positions they still hold). “Mr. Fahrenkopf indicated that the new Commission on Presidential Debates ... was not likely to look with favor on including third-party candidates in the debates,” reports the New York Times (“Democrats and Republicans Form Panel to Hold Presidential Debates,” February 19, 1987). “Mr. Kirk was less equivocal, saying he personally believed the panel should exclude third-party candidates from the debates.” “As a party chairman,’’ says Kirk, “it’s my responsibility to strengthen the two-party system” (“The Debate Debate,” New York Times, February 22, 1987).

1988: out of their league
The CPD takes complete control of the debates, after the League of Women Voters refuses to let the Republican and Democratic campaigns dictate terms of the 1988 events and ceases cooperating with the Commission: “The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debates ... because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public” (League news release, October 3, 1988).

1992: record-breaking audiences
After the Clinton and Bush campaigns negotiate a behind-the-scenes deal that includes the participation of Ross Perot (each side calculating that his presence would benefit them), the CPD invites Perot to the debates. At the time of the invitation, his standing in the four major polls averages between 7 and 9 percent support (“Tentative Deal Set On Debates,” Washington Post, October 2, 1992; polls from CBS/New York Times, NBC, ABC, Gallup/CNN/USA Today). The three presidential debates are watched by record-breaking TV audiences, averaging 90 million viewers, with the audience growing for each successive debate.

1996: “non-event”
Perot is excluded in a two-party deal sanctioned by the CPD, according to George Stephanopolous. The Clinton aide revealed his campaign’s negotiations with the Dole campaign in a February 1997 panel discussion on the 1996 election: “[The Dole campaign] didn’t have leverage going into negotiations. They were behind. They needed to make sure Perot wasn’t in it. As long as we would agree to Perot not being in it, we could get everything else we wanted going in. We got our time frame, we got our length, we got our moderator… We didn’t want (people) to pay attention. And the debates were a metaphor for the campaign. We wanted the debates to be a non-event.” The 1996 debates have shrinking audiences that average 41 million viewers, less than half that of the 1992 debates.

2000: 15 percent barrier announced
The CPD announces that it will exclude candidates from presidential debates unless they have 15 percent support in national polls on the eve of the debates (CPD news release, January 6, 2000). Such a threshold would have barred Perot from the 1992 debates (he finished with 19 percent of the vote), and would have excluded Reform candidate Jesse Ventura from the 1998 gubernatorial debates in Minnesota (at 10 percent in polls before the debates, he won the election with 37 percent).

Source: Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR):
www.fair.org

Drug busts leave Texas town divided

By Katherine Stapp

New York, New York, Aug. 31 (IPS)— The trial of Kareem White next week caps a year in which the blue collar Texas town of Tulia has seen 10 percent of its black population rounded up and jailed in a drug sting that many residents call a blatant example of racial profiling.

Like anyplace else, people say, Tulia had its share of drug users. But were there really 46 cocaine dealers --32 of them black- in a town of just 5,000? And if so, asked one woman with five close relatives in jail, “(where are all the) cars, houses, money? We don’t have that.’’

No drugs, guns or cash were found in last July’s pre-dawn raids. The only evidence was the word of one white undercover officer named Tom Coleman, who was later voted “Lawman of the Year.’’

Then the sentences started coming down, and real fear set in. Freddie Brookins’ son, Freddie, Jr., a 22-year-old with a job and no prior record, was given 20 years for delivering 3.5 grams of cocaine, an amount known on the street as an ‘’eightball’’ that sells for roughly 200 dollars.

“I believe they focused in on certain people they wanted to get rid of,’’ the elder Mr. Brookins said. “Personally, I think it was racially motivated. Most of the people were in mixed (race) relationships, and in a small town, they just can’t deal with that.’’

Added one resident: “Even the ones who are white (that were arrested) have black family members.’’

The 99-year sentence given to Joe Moore, 67, signaled to many that justice had taken a wrong turn. Moore was convicted of two counts of delivering an eightball to Coleman, who single-handedly ran the operation. His sentence was compounded by two prior felonies.

Kizzie Henry, 23, who had two young children and a clean record, got 25 years. And on it went.

Freddie Brookins, Sr. and others say the harsh sentences meted out in the initial trials were a pressure tactic to get other defendants to plead guilty-- a tactic that appears to have worked until critical stories in the Texas press started to appear and the Swisher County district attorney, Terry McEachern, decided to back off a bit.

McEachern did not return telephone calls for comment, but has repeatedly denied that race played a role in the sweep.

Now, Kareem White, Kizzie’s brother and the last of the 46 defendants, is preparing for trial next Tuesday amid an atmosphere of intense distrust among Tulia’s African-American community.

“It’s prejudice,’’ said White’s mother, Mattie, who is now raising Kizzie’s two children, ages three and six. “They don’t want the blacks in this town ... You’re black, you don’t have a chance. We know what it is.’’

Kareem, who everyone calls “Kreamy,’’ has been charged with one count of delivery of a controlled substance. He is facing 2-20 years in prison, and says he is innocent.

“There’s not even a semblance of justice in these cases,’’ said White’s court-appointed attorney, Dwight McDonald. “I’m as much against crime as the next person, but let’s do it right. I think they didn’t do it right here.’’

As in the majority of the other 42 cases, McDonald said the evidence against White boiled down to the word of Tom Coleman against that of his client. Coleman apparently never wore a wire or other electronic surveillance device, and conducted all the buys alone.

While these may not be particularly unusual tactics for an 18-month deep-cover operation in a small rural community, defense lawyers and others say that aspects of Coleman’s past make his testimony less than credible.

Coleman himself had been charged with theft by his previous employer, the Cochran County Sheriff’s Office, over misuse of his county credit card. Although the Tulia sheriff was notified of the outstanding warrant months into the sting, he allowed Coleman to continue.

The issue was apparently resolved when Coleman agreed to pay nearly 7,000 dollars in restitution. But when asked in court later if he had any criminal record, Coleman said he did not.

Defense attorneys complain that they have not been permitted to use this information to impugn Coleman’s testimony.

“He lied to the court or he lied on the stand -- either way, he lied,’’ said Kizzie Henry’s lawyer Ronald Spriggs.

Meanwhile, families are struggling to care for the children left behind, as they await the outcome of state court appeals.

“Virtually the entire black community has been impacted,’’ said Charles Kiker, a retired white preacher who got involved after Joe Moore was given 99 years in prison. Kiker holds weekly prayer meetings with the relatives of those arrested, and hopes to attract the interest of legal aid groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Our strategy has been to try to call attention to it, and it has been a long, slow process,’’ Kiker said. “The black community is pretty discouraged. We’re hoping that sooner or later, we can get a civil rights lawsuit.’’ Gary Gardner, another of Tulia’s handful of white residents who seem bothered by the busts, compared them to the communist witch hunts of the 1950s.

“Law enforcement in Tulia has talked up a major crime wave, but there’s no drug problem of the scale that they’ve shown it, and that’s based on facts,’’ said Gardner, who has attended several of the trials and performed a good deal of research. “The whole system is screwed up in the town ... If you put these 46 people in a line-up and gave this undercover cop nametags and said pin ‘em on, he couldn’t do it.’’

“There’s 46 human stories down here,’’ Gardner added. “It’s one of those things where you see what’s happened, know what’s happened, but it’s damn hard to prove.’’

US radiation subjects denied compensation

By Marc Perelman

New York, New York, Sept. 3 (IPS)— They were given money, promised shorter jail terms, and told they could redeem themselves by serving their country. All they had to do was submit to vasectomies and “groundbreaking’’ radiation tests.

But what the 131 inmates at state penitentiaries in Oregon and Washington didn’t know was that in addition to becoming sterile, they would face lifelong pain and an increased risk of cancer.

A motion by the federal government to dismiss compensation claims filed by 19 former Oregon inmates was just postponed to Nov. 21, partly in hopes that the parties will reach a settlement. The inmates have also moved to certify the suits as a class action.

But lawyers say it is unlikely the government will voluntarily compensate the victims of this controversial research, which some have compared to the Nazis’ chilling human experiments during World War II.

Between 1961 and 1973, the inmates’ testicles were biopsied and heavily X-rayed to determine the impact on the male reproductive system of repeated doses of radiation.

During the Cold War, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) --the forerunner to the Department of Energy-- funded, sponsored and supervised numerous radiation studies on terminally ill patients, aborted fetuses, mentally retarded children, poor people, and prisoners.

The research became public in November 1993, and an advisory committee appointed by President Bill Clinton recommended that compensation be paid to the subjects or their surviving relatives. While the government complied in some cases, it has refused to settle with the former inmates, arguing that it was not directly responsible for the experiments.

Or perhaps, as the plaintiffs’ lawyer suggests, the real reason for the government’s refusal is that it sees the Oregon and Washington victims as unworthy of compensation because they were in jail.

“It may be that the US is not offering to do the right thing on this because it involves prisoners,’’ said Eric Cramer, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “But it may also be because they simply don’t care.’’

The lead plaintiff, Harold Bibeau, says that for the past three decades, he has suffered from severe and recurrent testicular pain. He also had a temporary groin rash, a wart on the inside of his upper leg and lumps on his arm and back.

Bibeau never saw a doctor, assuming the symptoms were just a result of getting older. Then he read about the Department of Energy revelations in the newspaper.

Bibeau says he still remembers the day of Sep. 29, 1965, when he was rushed from his cell to a laboratory. He was told to lie face down, with his scrotum suspended in a small plastic box filled with warm water to help the testes descend. Tubes on each side emitted radiation 20 times stronger than a chest X-ray.

He and a few other “volunteers’’ then had to provide regular semen, blood and urine samples. They were eventually paid to undergo vasectomies for fear they would produce abnormal children.

In 1995, Bibeau filed a federal lawsuit seeking 250 million dollars for the long-term effects of the experiments and for the suppression of critical information which prevented the 67 Oregon inmates from seeking follow-up medical care.

Defendants in the suit included the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation (PNRF) and its employees, the late Carl Heller and his assistant Mavis Rowley, as well as Oregon state officials and two prison doctors who performed testicular biopsies and vasectomies on the prisoners.

But Bibeau also wanted compensation from the federal government, which he accused of “negligently and wrongfully initiating, approving and supervising the experiments.’’

On Aug. 15, a tentative settlement was reached for about 2.2 million dollars with the state of Oregon, the two doctors and the PNRF-- but not the federal government.

In its latest motion to dismiss, the government claims immunity under the concept of “discretionary function’’-- in other words, that the AEC division overseeing the experiments had broad autonomy in selecting and funding them.

But the plaintiffs say the division’s authority was actually very limited and that the AEC, as early as the 1950s, had a clear policy prohibiting funding and/or support for non-therapeutic experiments involving human beings.

Although this policy was relaxed in the 1960s, it was still applicable to the prison experiments, they say, which involved impermissibly high doses of X-rays.

While the lawsuit could take years to be resolved, Bibeau says he intends to fulfill the pledge he made before the advisory committee in 1994: “Almost half of us are now dead and they’re hoping if they simply ignore us long enough, we’ll die and the problem will simply vanish. But I won’t go away.’’

The radiation experiments were seen as having a noble purpose at the time: protecting US citizens engaged in building the nation’s high-priority nuclear and space programs. Still, plaintiffs say they clearly violated the Nuremberg Code, a set of rules governing human experiments agreed upon after World War II as a way to prevent further unethical research.

Under the code, the voluntary and informed consent of research subjects is absolutely mandatory. But long-term prisoners are, by definition, vulnerable to incentives like extended visitation rights, shorter sentences and cash payments.

Inmates in the AEC research were paid 25 dollars per biopsy-- they all had at least five-- and an additional 100 dollars for undergoing a vasectomy. Given that they were earning 25 cents a day for prison work, it was a windfall that would have been hard to turn down.

In addition, the risks of the experiments were minimized. The prisoners signed a consent form that only mentioned the sterility resulting from the vasectomy and the possibility of “some skin burn from the radiation.” The risks of cancer, lifelong pain, orchitis (testicular inflammation) and bleeding into the scrotum were left out.

In a 1976 deposition, Dr. Heller said he had sometimes mentioned the possibility of a tumor, but avoided using the word cancer because he did not want to “frighten’’ the prisoners.

The experiments were eventually halted in January 1973 because of concerns over the voluntary consent of the subjects. Those who could be located complained of groin, upper thigh and back pains, as well as lumps. Lawyers say they only found one reported case of cancer and one case of sterility for an inmate’s child.

But many of the subjects could not be tracked down, and cancer from radiation can take decades to develop.

When the experiments ended, Dr. Heller and AEC officials agreed that medical follow-up was necessary, but no effort was made to even locate the subjects.

Despite initial denials, it turned out that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was also closely monitoring the experiments because they involved the same levels of radiation astronauts were exposed to during space flights.

“I listened to a brilliant doctor explain to me how I could help NASA learn how to protect astronauts in space,’’ Bibeau told the presidential Advisory Committee in 1994.

“I was a dumb convict. Rather than serving my time as a local jailbird, I could actually do something that would help my country and I could hold my head up and be proud,’’ he recalled with irony.

Racist attack on activists in Selma

Selma, Alabama, Aug. 28— Black activists from the Campaign for a New Beginning in Selma suffered another major attack during an electoral fight against racist Selma mayor Joe Smitherman when two activists’ cars were set on fire last night in front of the activists’ office.

Joe Smitherman has held the mayor’s office in Selma for over nine terms. Mr. Smitherman was first elected mayor 36 years ago. In fact, he was a professed segregationist in the early terms of his career and was mayor during Bloody Sunday, the infamous police attack against the 1965 Selma Voting Rights march. While there have been campaigns against Joe Smitherman before, racial tensions are particularly high this year as the Sept. 12, 2000 runoff election approaches. This is due in part to the recent discovery by committed activists that black citizens were turned away from the polls by the use of bomb threats, the moving of poll locations, and fraudulent absentee ballots. Because the FBI, District Attorney, and Attorney General will not investigate complaints of massive voter fraud and voter intimidation, activists are concerned that these tactics will be used again in the runoff election.

Malika Sanders, executive director of the 21st Century Youth organization, states, “It is incredible how this man has been able to undermine the democratic process for black voters during the last 37 years: confusing voters by changing their polling places, casting absentee ballots for people on the inactive voters list, and spreading rumors about those people who are willing to stand up against him.”

Activists are claiming that a car fire was only the latest in a string of attacks made by the entrenched political establishment against activists in Selma. From character assassination, crank calls, and break-ins, many of the activists working on the Joe Gotta Go Campaign have had to endure such harassment before. The activists come from a coalition of community based organizations that focus on issues like black farmer reparations, youth education, and tracking in the schools.

Earth First! locks down in Jeb Bush’s office

Tallahassee Florida, Aug. 31— Five activists with Ichetucknee Earth First! locked down for five hours in the entrance to Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s office Tuesday at 8:45 am to demand that he revoke the permits that the state granted to Anderson Columbia Co. to build a cement kiln 3.5 miles from the pristine Ichetucknee River.

The group gave a list of demands to Bush’s staff and answered questions from the media. The media, which had shown up for a press conference for Bush’s plan to eliminate affirmative action, had to walk around the lockdown to get to the press conference. After a few hours of interviews with members of the lock down, the press went in and asked Bush about rumors of scandal and other citizen complaints and environmental concerns involved in the cement plant and land use deal. Outside the capitol building members of Sierra Club, Florida Green Party, Ichetucknee Mobilization, Environmental Action Group and many high school students protested on the streets with huge puppets and signs. One protester scaled a telephone pole and dropped a banner.

Anderson Columbia Co. is notorious for noncompliance with environmental laws and has racked up 17 violations for dumping in waterways, soil contamination, air pollution, and operating without permits, among other violations. The Ichetucknee River is a spring fed, crystal clear water way that is 72 degrees year round. It is also Florida’s cleanest river and is listed as an outstanding river system. There are two endangered species --a rare snail and freshwater crayfish, which live in a 4-mile radius of the kiln site, which was designated in original county land use plans for agriculture, not industry.

The cement kiln, which had its ground-breaking ceremony on Monday, will emit dangerous levels of mercury, phosphates, particulates and dioxins by burning tires to make Portland cement. Also, an onsite limestone mining operation could threaten the aquifer, and dynamite blasts could damage the spring system. No environmental impact statement was ever done to determine whether this kiln would affect the air, water and human/animal health.

Bush never appeared to engage the group, so after five hours of being locked together, they agreed to unlock and attend an open meeting with the Fla. Department of Environmental Protection to discuss a possible court action or statewide referendum to block the construction. Police made no arrests.

Source: www.metanet.org/im and www.ichetucknee.org

Automakers exploit loophole favoring gas guzzlers

Washington, DC, Sept. 1, (ENS)— A new study from Friends of the Earth (FoE) finds that automakers are exploiting a loophole in the federal tax law that encourages production of more polluting and gas-guzzling vehicles. The loophole translates into billions of dollars each year for the most polluting vehicles -- light trucks and sport utility vehicles. The study comes as controversy swirls around steep increases in gasoline prices. While many areas of the country are faced with dramatic prices increases, automakers continue marketing gas guzzling sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) to consumers.

While other cars are subject to the federal gas guzzler tax, SUVs and light trucks are exempt.

“Automakers are avoiding paying taxes, and cranking out polluting and gas-guzzling vehicles,” said Brian Dunkiel, director of tax policy at FoE. “It’s not fair, it’s bad for the environment, and it’s making America more dependent on foreign oil.”

Enacted in 1978, the gas guzzler tax is a little-noticed environmental measure that applies to less fuel efficient cars. Automakers must pay the tax on cars that get less than 22.5 miles per gallon. The worse the fuel efficiency, the higher the tax. However, SUVs and other light trucks that get less than 22.5 miles to the gallon are exempt. If they were not exempt, automakers would pay more than $10 billion a year in taxes, shows the FoE study.

“This is the single largest subsidy for pollution in the world,” said Sean Moulton, author of the report. “Why should a gas-guzzling SUV be exempt when a gas-guzzling sports car is not?”

The report is available at www.foe.org/gasguzzler

Man doused with pepper spray dies

Winston-Salem, NC, Sept. 3— A man with a history of heart trouble died Saturday after being doused with pepper spray by a hospital security officer, authorities said.

Willie E. Simmons, 57, was barred by a court order from the grounds of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, where his estranged wife works. When he showed up at the hospital early Saturday, four security staffers followed him to a nearby Comfort Inn, where he scuffled with the officers and was pepper sprayed, said Winston-Salem police Lt. Fred Jones.

Attempts to resuscitate Simmons failed and he died later at the hospital. An autopsy is being performed.

Simmons recently had a heart attack and underwent heart surgery, said his brother, Benjamin Simmons.

“If he got away, they should have let him go on about his business,” Benjamin Simmons said. “That makes me mad.”

Hospital spokeswoman Karen Richardson said security officers followed Simmons because other medical center offices are near the hotel. Officers also wanted to warn hotel employees about Simmons, and alert police to his whereabouts.

“The officers followed proper procedure ... but they had to defend themselves at some point and use pepper spray,” said Richardson.

The State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the incident.

Source: Associated Press

Nader calls for single-payer healthcare system, loses battle over debates

Buffalo, New York, Sept.1— On Aug. 29, Ralph Nader called for a universal health care system in the US --with public funding, private delivery, and controls against waste, profiteering and malpractice, which would be similar to the single-payer system in Canada.

Nader noted that in the US 24 cents of every dollar spent on health care goes to administrative costs compared to 11 cents in Canada. He said the difference could go a long way in covering the 47 million Americans who now have no health insurance. Nader, the Green Party candidate for President, said the US was ranked by the World Health Organization as 37th among nations in the world regarding the quality of health care.

“This is not only embarrassing, but also unacceptable,” Nader said. “Western European countries provided for their people 40 to 50 years ago…why can’t we do it now in a period of economic growth and budget surpluses?”

Nader said the nation is in a “transitory period” which gives us a “real opportunity” to recast our health care system in a nonprofit mode and implement accessible universal health care, with attention to prevention of diseases and trauma.

Nader also urged that price restraints be placed on all drugs developed with taxpayer dollars, including most AIDS drugs. He said pharmaceutical companies are getting huge windfall profits from the government-developed drugs and then gouging patients mercilessly.

“Instead of giving away a monopoly on these taxpayer-funded drugs to just one company, multiple licenses should be issued to any company that wants to sell them,” Nader said. “That would create competition and bring down prices.”

Nader said if any company objects to the idea, the government should say to them, “if you’re going to engage in profiteering, we’ll make them ourselves --and more cheaply than you. The public health of the American people comes before vast profiteering.”

Nader was also critical of HMOs, charging that they are “destabilizing themselves by their own greed, tying the hands of professionals in the medical and nursing areas from using their independent judgment in caring for their patients, and abusing consumers.”

Two days later, on Sept. 1, a federal judge turned down a request by Ralph Nader and the Green Party to stop the Federal Election Commission from letting companies help pay for the upcoming presidential debates.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit corporation, has solicited millions in corporate donations to help finance the debates, the first of which will take place Oct. 3 at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.

While federal law bars corporations from donating directly to candidates, wrote US District Court Judge Patti Saris, it doesn’t prevent companies from funding the Commission on Presidential Debates.

“Permitting a nonpartisan corporation funded by corporations and labor unions to sponsor debates which will educate voters and spark enough interest to motivate them to vote or register to vote is fully consistent with the express legislative intent to permit nonpartisan organizations to get-out-the-vote and encourage voter registration,” she wrote.

Nader has argued that letting corporations underwrite debates gives them undue influence over the candidates.

Source: Associated Press

Colorado town bans GMOs on leased farmland

Boulder, Colorado, Aug. 30— A municipal panel in Boulder, Colorado has adopted a new policy to ban biotech crops from city land. The City of Boulder owns about 33,000 acres of open space, of which over 15,000 are leased for agriculture. The primary reason for the new policy are fears that herbicide-resistant crops might be planted on leased land. City officials say too little is known about the long-term impacts of these crops.

Boulder’s public land trustees unanimously approved the new policy last Wednesday, Aug. 23. One city official told the Rocky Mountain News that “One of our charges is to protect environmental resources, and there are enough concerns about genetically modified crops to justify taking this action.”

According to the paper, Boulder County is studying the possibility of following suit with a similar policy.

Starting next year, city officials will alter leases to require farmers to plant conventional crops.

A small but significant number of local governments are leading a mini-revolt against federal policy on biotech. Most actions, like the city council resolutions recently passed in Minneapolis, MN and Austin, TX, are non-binding resolutions related to GMO labels on food. Boulder’s policy is different in that it has teeth for the small piece of farmland owned by the city. A number of other local initiatives are underway from New England to San Francisco.

Source: Rocky Mountain News

Clinton Colombia visit protested across US

New York, New York, Aug. 31— Two hundred people took to the streets of New York on Aug. 30 to protest US President Bill Clinton’s trip to Colombia. Thousands of people heard a united message of “USA, CIA, out of Colombia!”

The demonstration was one of a dozen protests in cities across the US and part of an international day of protest against Clinton’s delivery of $1.3 billion in military aid to what critics are calling a death-squad government in Colombia —part of Andres Pastrana’s Plan Colombia.

Other US demonstrations took place in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Helena, Los Angeles, Providence, San Diego, San Francisco, and West Palm Beach.

 

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