On the same day the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army and people of Chiapas declared war on the Mexican government, saying that NAFTA meant death to indigenous peoples. They took over five major towns in Chiapas with fully armed women and men. The uprising was a shock, even for those who for years worked in the very communities where the rebel army had been secretly organizing. To learn about the impact of the uprising 20 years later and the challenges they continue to face, we speak with Peter Rosset, professor of rural social movements in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico.
The North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect 20 years ago this week on January 1, 1994. The massive trade pact was signed into law by President Bill Clinton amidst great promise that it would raise wages, create jobs and even improve health and environmental safety standards. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs have vanished as companies sought lower-wage workers in Mexico. Meanwhile, NAFTA has generated more poverty in Mexico, forcing millions of citizens to migrate to the United States in search of work. We speak to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of the new report, "NAFTA at 20."
Texas Student: After Reporting Rape, I Was Accused of "Public Lewdness," Sent to Disciplinary School
We begin today’s show with a shocking story about a Texas teenager named Rachel Bradshaw-Bean, who was accused of "public lewdness" and removed from her high school after she reported being raped in the band room. Her rapist was punished by being sent to a disciplinary school. Bradshaw-Bean was sent there too. She said she was treated "like a prisoner" for reporting the crime. The incident occurred in 2010, but it is now getting national attention after Bradshaw-Bean decided to speak publicly about being raped and about what happened next. In the summer of 2012, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ruled that the school had violated Title IX, the federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in education. We speak to Bradshaw-Bean and Sandra Park, a senior attorney with the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. "What we know about rape in this country is that half of the women who are raped are under the age of 18, so we are talking about girls, and a significant number of those sexual assaults are occurring in schools," Park says. "It’s vitally important that school administrators and police really understand their obligations to respond to the violence and not turn around and penalize the victim like they did in Rachel’s case."
- Sunni Militants Lay Siege to Key Cities in Iraq
- U.N. Warns Global Crises Testing Limits of Humanitarian System
- South Sudan Peace Talks Begin; Rebels Forcibly Recruit Civilians
- Bomb Blast Kills 5 South of Beirut
- U.S. Senators Pressure Afghan President on Troop Deal, Prisoner Release
- Cambodia: Police Open Fire on Striking Garment Workers
- Former Rwandan Spy Chief Murdered in South Africa
- U.S. Transfers Last 3 Uyghur Prisoners from Guantánamo
- Snowstorm Blasts Eastern U.S.
- Israeli Politicians Mark New West Bank Settlements as Kerry Arrives for Talks
- Hundreds Protest After Teenage Rape Victim Burned to Death in India
- Catholic Official Released from Prison After Appeal in Sex-Abuse Case
- California Court Lets Undocumented Man Become Lawyer
- Bratton Sworn In as New York City Police Commissioner
- Report: World's Top 300 Wealthiest People Got Richer Last Year
The civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart has returned home from prison after a federal judge ordered her compassionate release. Stewart is 74 years old and dying from late-stage breast cancer. Viewed by supporters as a political prisoner, she had served almost four years of a 10-year sentence for distributing press releases on behalf of her client, Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric known as the "blind Sheikh." Stewart arrived to a group of cheering supporters in New York City on Wednesday. Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and Renée Feltz were at the airport to cover the homecoming and speak with Stewart about her time behind bars and her plans to continue fighting for political prisoners — and for her own life — now that she's free.
Letitia James was sworn in on Wednesday as New York City’s new public advocate, the position previously occupied by new mayor Bill de Blasio. James is the first African-American woman to be elected to citywide office in New York. In her speech, she condemned "a gilded age of inequality" that grew under de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg. An 11-year-old homeless girl named Dasani Coates, who was recently profiled in The New York Times, held the Bible during James’ swearing in.
Singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte opened Wednesday’s inauguration for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Changing the stop-and-frisk law is — as important as it is, the change of a law is only the tip of the iceberg in fixing our deeply Dickensian justice system," Belafonte said. "Bill de Blasio has been overwhelmingly mandated to make many, who for much too long danced with despair, believe again that the American dream is attainable. A dream filled with hope, a dream filled with opportunity and justice. ... Bill de Blasio gives New York another opportunity to open the door of possibilities. We New Yorkers must not let him fail."
Bill de Blasio began his term as New York City mayor on Wednesday with a bold pledge to tackle income inequality in the nation’s largest city. De Blasio was sworn in following last year’s historic victories in the Democratic primary and general election on a progressive platform. In his inaugural address, de Blasio focused on his campaign pledge to tackle what he called "a tale of two cities," a growing gap between rich and poor. "New Yorkers [will] see our city not as the exclusive domain of the One Percent, but a place where everyday people can afford to live, work, and raise a family," de Blasio said. "We won’t wait. We’ll do it now."
- South Sudan Peace Talks Begin Amidst Continued Violence
- U.N.: Both Sides of South Sudan Conflict Committing "Terrible Violence"
- Hotel Bombing Kills 11 in Somalia
- Militants Control Provincial Capitals in Growing Iraq Violence
- Al Jazeera Seeks Release of 3 Detained Journalists in Egypt
- Israel to Announce New Settlements After Kerry Visit
- Explosion Kills Palestinian Ambassador to Czech Republic
- Millions Receive Coverage as Obamacare Plans Take Effect
- De Blasio Takes Aim at NYC's Inequality in Inaugural Address
- Civil Rights Attorney Lynne Stewart Free After Compassionate Release
- Colorado Retailers Begin Legal Marijuana Sales
- Judge Strikes Down Welfare Drug Tests in Florida
- Federal Judge Upholds Unfettered Electronics Searches at U.S. Border
- Catholic Groups Win Obamacare Exemption on Contraception Coverage
- NYT Editors Back Clemency for Edward Snowden