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Audio Archive:

August 8th, 2005: - Listen | Download

Featured Guest(s):
Dave Zirin, Nancy Lessin & Charlie Richardson


July 12th, 2004 : mp3 file not currently online

Could Burundi be the next Rwanda? Members of Military Families Speak Out talk about their opposition to the war in Iraq and the case of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia.

Featured Guest(s):
Vénérand Ndegaya, Nancy Lessin & Charlie Richardson

Phil remarks on the death of Phoebe Brand, a founder of the Group Theatre and a victim of the McCarthy blacklist after she was named by Elia Kazan in 1952.

Vénérand Ndegaya, author of “Répression Au Burundi: Journal d'un prisonnier vainqueur”, talks to Phil about the history and current situation in Burundi. Burundi and Rwanda share many of the same demographics and issues. Ndegaya talks about the history of control by the Tutsi minority up to the first democratic election in 1993. Melchir Ndadaye, a Hutu, was elected by 70% of the vote that June and assassinated by the Tutsi-dominated army in November. The second Hutu president was killed in 1994 when the plane carrying him and the Rwandan President was shot down by the Rwandan Patriotic Front. This was followed by an army coup. Current plans for democratic elections are in jeopardy because the necessary preconditions are not in place.

Nancy Lessin and Charlie Richardson talk with Phil, Phil Conlon and Steve Reimer, about their organization Military Families Speak Out. They represent 1500 families with members in the US military. They oppose the illegal, immoral war on Iraq. "The only right thing is to say the war is wrong - it's the only way to support our troops". They point out that, "the mainstream media was really complicit in bringing our nation into a war based on lies". They also talk about the case of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia who was imprisoned for desertion. He had refused to return to his unit in Iraq, citing moral reasons, the legality of the war and the conduct of US troops towards Iraqi civilians and prisoners. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned for his conscientious opposition to participating in war.

Amnesty International declares SSgt. Camilo Mejia "prisoner of conscience"

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