This week on NOW:
There are undercover agents infiltrating peaceful protests in America.
Pretending to be political activists, law enforcement officials are
monitoring the activities of advocacy and protest groups based on what
one judge calls those organizations' "political philosophies and conduct
protected under the First Amendment." Operating under the Attorney
General's new relaxed guidelines, is law enforcement abusing its power
by spying on the lawful activities of ordinary citizens because they
disagree with government policy? NOW exposes a disturbing national trend
that some say is part of a coordinated effort by the government to
criminalize dissent. The report takes viewers inside incidents in
Washington, DC, Colorado and Iowa, where government agents went
undercover to monitor and sometimes disrupt peaceful acts of civil disobedience.
Bill Moyers sits down with the Reverend William Sloane Coffin for a
poignant and revealing interview with one of America's most prominent
and controversial ministers about everything from life, love and finding
solace in music, to not fearing death and coping with the loss his son,
to standing up to injustice. A civil rights Freedom Rider and a vocal
opponent of nuclear weapons proliferation, Coffin's belief in faith as a
force for resisting evil drives his commitment to global peace and
social justice. Even though doctors say he has only a short time to
live, the legendary preacher and social activist, Coffin is continuing
to speak out on God and religion, on tolerance and faith, and on world
events and politics. "People in high places make me really angry," he
tells Moyers. "What makes me angry is that they are so callous....When
you see uncaring people in high places, everybody should be mad as
On the surface it may seem like an ordinary county fair - food stands,
live music and guest speakers - but here people have gathered to ignite
voters by putting the party back into politics. Inspired by the19th
century Chautauquas - the traveling education, lecture, and arts
movement - the Rolling Thunder Down Home Democracy Tour is a series of
one-day festivals aimed at bringing together people in a sort of
citizenship fair. Many prominent political-minded folks joined their
tour, including filmmaker Michael Moore, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.
and columnist Molly Ivins. "Politics ought to be a part of your life.
It's not something that is just in the last 30 days of an election,"
says tour organizer Jim Hightower, "The whole idea of a Rolling Thunder
is to be festive... and to think 'Hey, this isn't bad. I could do this.
If this is what politics is, I might participate."