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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Anti-Immigrant Groups Wage Campaign to Take Over the Sierra Club.
31 Jan 2004
Modified: 06:56:53 AM
Interview with Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
Anti-Immigrant Groups Wage Campaign to Take Over the Sierra Club

Interview with Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The Sierra Club, the nation's oldest and largest environmental organization, is facing what many activists inside and outside the group say is the gravest threat to its survival in its 112-year history. Founded in 1892 by Scottish immigrant John Muir, some members of the board of directors are seeking to have the club adopt an anti-immigration platform. Three more board candidates with similar views have petitioned their way onto the ballot for the March election. They argue that greater numbers of people coming to the U.S. will deplete the nation's resources and strain ecosystems. Their solution is to severely restrict immigration.

For 20 years Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report has been researching the radical right, which includes many anti-immigrant organizations that he classifies as hate groups. Potok says he has uncovered both public and private documents that reveal a focused campaign by these groups to take over the Sierra Club.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Mark Potok who examines the objectives of these anti-immigrant groups, what chance they have of success, and what Sierra Club members who oppose anti-immigration policies are doing to protect what they consider the integrity of one of the nation's most important environmental organizations.

Contact the Southern Poverty Law Center at (334) 956-8303 or visit their website at For more information on Sierra Club members' efforts to resist the anti-immigration platform, visit

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
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©2004 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.

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