Friday, September 17, 2010

17 Sep 2010: Today's Democracy Now!

Percy Schmeiser vs Monsanto: The Story of a Canadian Farmer’s Fight to Defend the Rights of Farmers and the Future of Seeds
Gathered here in Bonn this week are some eighty Right Livelihood Award laureates, including the Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, who has battled the biotech giant Monsanto for years. When Monsanto seeds blew into Schmeiser’s property, Monsanto accused him of illegally planting their crops and took him to court. Ultimately his case landed in the Canadian Supreme Court. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1997 for fighting to defend the rights of farmers and the future of seeds. [includes rush transcript]

Solar Power in Bangladesh Used to Empower People in Poor, Rural Areas
In Bonn, Germany this week are representatives of the Bangladeshi organization Grameen Shakti, which makes loans and offers technical assistance to allow poor, rural people to install solar power in their homes, often granting access to electricity for the first time in their family’s history. They have helped install more than 110,000 systems, often with a woman hired to maintain the system, creating jobs, empowering women, and raising the standard of living.

Large Anti-Government Protests in Thailand Scheduled on Fourth Anniversary of Coup
Large anti-government protests are scheduled to take place across Thailand Sunday on the fourth anniversary of a military coup that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The protests are being organized by the so-called Red Shirts, who have called for new elections and for the Thai parliament to be dissolved. We speak with a prominent dissident from Bangkok named Sulak Sivaraksa. He won the Right Livelihood Award in 1995 for his vision, activism and spiritual commitment in the quest for a development process that is rooted in democracy, justice and cultural integrity.

•Record Number of Americans Below Poverty Line, Uninsured
•Supporters Launch International Days of Action for Bradley Manning
•Clinton: Israeli Settlement Freeze "Would Be Helpful"
•Israel Carries Out Attacks in Occupied Territories
•Palestinians, Lebanese Mark Anniversary of Sabra and Shatila Massacre
•Militants Abduct Election Workers Ahead of Afghan Vote
•Exiled Pakistani Leader Slain in London
•Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves START
•Study: Microbes Consumed Natural Gas, Not Oil, After Spill
•Group Sues for Gov’t Records on Spill Size


•7 Civilians Killed in US-Iraqi Raid
•Israel, PA Remain at Odds over West Bank Settlements
•Report: GOP Plan to Extend Tax Cuts for Wealthiest Would Add $4.1 Trillion to Federal Debt
•Obama to Appoint Warren to Advisory Post
•Foreclosures Hit Record Levels in August
•Penn. Paid Firm to Monitor Activist Groups
•Suit Alleges Water Contamination from Drilling in Marcellus Shale
•US Orders Closure of Idle Gulf Wells
•Massive Fish Kill Discovered in La. Parish
•Hayward Defends BP Safety Measures
•Mothers of Remaining Jailed US Hikers Speak Out
•Corn Refiners Seek Rebranding of Corn Syrup

The Nation: Docs Reveals Blackwater-Linked Companies Provided Intel & Security to Multinationals Like Monsanto, Chevron
"Blackwater’s Black Ops"—that’s the title of an explosive new article in The Nation magazine that reveals how entities closely linked with the private security firm Blackwater have provided security and intelligence services to a range of powerful corporations over the past several years. The companies include Monsanto, Chevron, Deutsche Bank and others. Blackwater has also provided intelligence and training services to foreign governments, including Jordan, the Canadian military and the Dutch police. We speak with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. [includes rush transcript]

Right Livelihood Laureates from Croatia, Thailand and Burundi Discuss Their Battles for Social Justice
Three Right Livelihood laureates discuss their struggles for social justice: Sulak Sivaraksa, a Bangkok-based activist and scholar; Vesna Terselic, founder of the Croatian Anti-War Campaign; and Guillaume Harushimana, an activist from Burundi. [includes rush transcript]

Johan Galtung on the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mideast Peace Talks, and Why Obama Is Losing His Base
We speak with Johan Galtung, known as a founder of the field of peace and conflict studies. He’s spent the past half-century pursuing nonviolent conflict resolution in international relations. Galtung discusses the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Mideast talks, why President Obama is losing his base, and much more. [includes rush transcript]

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