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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 18, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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talking about and colt combative liberals.ssary with he's been ahead of this party towards populous nationalism in 's been epitomized congress and championed by jeff sessions but in the media world, that strain of conservative ortho doxy or views has been hampioned by breitbart and by bannon. >> kelly ann conway is a veteran republican pollster. her portfolio include? uest: her portfolio has included trying to expand they don't want him to have the nuclear codes or are more
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tempted to the democratic side on that temperamental question. >> with regard to those you have talked in republican party circles, not necessarily directly involved in the trump campaign, deleting these changes will make a difference? -- do they think these changes will make a difference? >> is a mixed reception. there is a belief nearly among all my sources that this decision was driven by trump himself. that he wants to run the campaign on his instincts and terms. bannon and conway will change trump, nobody
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believes that. mena fort will get someone to read more from prepared texts and be more focused on party unity. he is a rabble-rouser and media guy. bannon will be more naturally inclined to luttrell do as he wishes when it comes to media appearances. it's going to be in emphasis more on what we've seen as a trump as an agent of change. they expect bannon to have that as a strategy. it's very -- it seems accurate that many top aides of donald trump grew angry with his stronger refusals to adopt or change.
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usually you have candidates david when it comes to -- candidates pivot when it comes to an election. with charm, you see someone reluctant to do that. someone that interested his gut and is a mirror of his own self. his id, rather than trying to become a packaged political product. there is a sense with those close to trump, that in this point in his life at this age, after all he has been through this year, he might as well keep doing what he is doing rather than try to become somewhat conventional. some changes in the trump campaign manager reporting of robert costa of the washington post, his work available online. thank you for your time. robert: thank you. >> c-span's washington journal, live with news and policy issues
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that impact the. thursday morning, republican congressman bob england who had a concept of global warming talks about what he feels his fellow republicans should join democrats to reduce climate change. and heather mcghee, on how progressive issues on how progressive issues are playing out in the progressive campaign -- in the 2016 campaign. washington journal, join the discussion. founders of an antigovernment movement in zimbabwe talk about their concerns with rubber magali in the council this morning. they talk about the rise of citizen asked of his some in some way, citizen concerns, and arrests during protests. and using social media as a tool for social justice movements. this is about an hour and a half.
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>> good morning everyone. i have the privilege of being the director of the atlantic councils africa center. on behalf of our chairman, governor jon huntsman and are president, i'd like to welcome you to the atlantic council for this conversation. it's really a privilege and a distinct pleasure to be able to pastor to the atlantic council. he is a zimbabwean pastor of a small church. until april of this year, he was not widely known even within this country, let alone to those of us who follow african affairs
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outside of the country. megan:political. in fact, his identity as an average citizen is fundamental to this flight citizens movement gaining the widespread traction that it has throughout his country. now known to all of us through his trademark zimbabwean flag around his shoulders, his face is familiar to those following events following zimbabwe in recent months. we know how out of his frustration, at the corruption and injustice in poverty in zimbabwe, he took a social media to express the lack of progress made in the country since independence. to cook the u.s. ambassador to basket ofonce the bed
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southern africa becoming a basket case over the course of a decade. in a movement that began spontaneously after a video posted on social media went viral. out, hee began to speak suffered the consequences of calling the government into account. following the nation going soft shutdown followed by the citizens movement, he was arrested in his house was searched with a warrant that curiously claimed he had stolen a button. i knew things were bad in zimbabwe. i did not know they were that bad. a spelling error on the part of the authorities. [laughter] despite consistently calling for nonviolence, he has been charged with inciting public violence, .ater charged out ofct the news coming the last 24-48 hours is to be
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credited, you will be shortly charged with being a cyber terrorist. which makes you a first video i think council. we have never hosted a cyber terrorist that our discussions. [laughter] dozens of peaceful well-wishers have gathered around the courthouse when you are arrested and brought to trial waiting for releasedct you were when the magistrate throughout the absurd charges. to have youleged here not only because you have the hope of many zimbabweans who love rediscovered the courage to make their own individual voices those but also reigniting that follow this country from afar, her unbelief that perhaps somehow some sort of peaceful transition is possible. for that, we thank you. you join us here on stage.
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our mandate at the atlantic councils africa center has been to promote prosperity, promote stability, promote stability in africa through greater geopolitical partnerships with the peoples in the nations of africa. and certainly that comes with a peaceful transition in zimbabwe. we got in the blast the pleasure of hosting anyone from government ministers to members of parliament to members of the opposition here. it is now our privilege to welcome you as a representative not of a political movement, per se, but of the aspirations of a people that have been longing for some time for peaceful change and progress. pastor evan, welcome to the atlantic council. the floor is yours. [applause]
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evan: wow. if, three months ago, you had told me that i would have to speak on behalf of my country, or if you have told me three months ago that i had to run from home overnight, if you told me that my family would be accosted in the middle of the night at home, if you told me that my kids would be watched at school as my wife picked them up, i really would have asked that you had a medical checkup or some sort, because there was no way that i could've ever planned what has happened. let me first of all start by
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acknowledging the presence of my fellow citizens of the beautiful nation of zimbabwe. thank you so much for standing for your nation. thank you for raising your voices, from thousands of miles away, we heard the voices and we felt the passion and unity, and we are so excited that distance means nothing now to you and me. we have learned that we can be one, and that we can stand for what we have always believed, and that you and i communicate to each other now in ways from people that are far removed from the reality we live in do not understand. we have had zimbabwe in our hearts for so long. it is fought like a crime to think that zimbabwe can be better than the one we have. sometimes you and i have taken a peak into our hearts to look at the zimbabwe we long for, and when we had the chance to take
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it out, on our own, at night when we get back at home or when , we watch our kids sleeping, and you wish to yourself, it's if only zimbabwe could be the nation it is supposed to be. i believe we are standing at the cusp of an opportunity that allows us to see this beautiful nation become exactly what it is supposed to be. let me also take this chance to thank the citizens of the world, that have allowed us to be able to congregate here today and tell our own story, through our own eyes, with our own voices. when i think about zimbabwe and i think about where we have come from, i think about the fact that my grandfather went to war against colonialism, and so did my father as a young man. and those two men did not see what they fought for. they gave birth to me and i have not seen what they fought for. i have come to a place where my children, my five year old and three-year-old, have to see the
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kind of zimbabwe that my forefathers believed in when they went to liberate our country. i made the decision i was not allowed to people that took my father's dreams to take mine. they have taken mine. i am 39 years old, but they cannot take my children's dreams. you cannot do that. you have to forgive me, i am so passionate about zimbabwe. and sometimes, you have heard about zimbabwe, but you hear it through research. you hear it through statistics, you never get to see the tears. sometimes, the tears are necessary. for you to understand. for us, it is not about votes. it is just about life.
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it is just about wanting to be free in our own country. it is about me wanting zimbabwe to be the best place for a zimbabwean to live. my friends say, you cry too much. please do not cry when you go. [laughter] but this is what is happening in zimbabwe, we are crying. we cannot suppress the tears anymore. we have been taught for so long, aree comsetic although we going through to put up a bold , face to always make a plan, but we cannot do that anymore. that is what caused me to stand up. that is what has caused me to be able to raise my voice and say, i don't know what may happen to me, but i cannot justify my silence anymore. the bible, which is a force that drives me, says in james,
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chapter one, verse 27, it says true religion, that god our father accepts, is to fight for the widows and the orphans. zimbabwe has the unenviable record of a rising number of orphans, because moms and dads are dying before they can see their children grown up and enjoy the sweet spots of zimbabwe. they are dying of diseases that can be cured. they are dying because they have no access to good health. they are dying because they do not have decent incomes to look after their children. so, as a pastor, i cannot justify my silence anymore. when men and women sleep on the streets, and the irony of it is, it is not just the street. in zimbabwe, there is a road named after our president, robert will covet -- robert
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mugagbe street. every night, hordes of vendors, old senior citizens, old women sleep in the streets together with their grandchildren, because their daughters and sons have traveled to lands far off to work for their family. so grandma must sleep with that child on the street, not because to she does not have a home, but she was not able to make enough profit. she could not make $.50 on her six tomatoes to be able to go home and come back the next day, so they sleep on robert mugabe street. that is the reality of what our nation is going through. on a road named after our own president. we are saying our government has failed. we are not afraid to raise our voices, because it is the truth. the citizens of zimbabwe are the missing link. we are the missing voice. we are the voice that has not been present in the timeline of building zimbabwe. we have realized that.
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over the years we have called on foreign powers. we have called on the african union. we have called on all sorts of people to come in and help. while we are glad for the help, we realize that nobody loves zimbabwe more than a zimbabwean. we have to be at the forefront of pushing our country in the direction we wanted to go. we cannot expect anyone to do it for us. so what began as an accident has today become a voice, and i am glad it is not about me. i am glad my fellow citizens realize it is not up to one person and it is not about him. he may have spoken up first but every one of us is responsible for where our country needs to go. so we begin with a simple video i posted one day as i sat in my office and so frustrated at the situation. i failed to raise school fees for my children and still have not been able to.
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the reason why i recorded that video is because i looked at the small flag that sits on the desk in my office. and i thought to myself, this flag makes a promise to me as a zimbabwean. but what this promise stands for in a state of my nation are so far apart, i felt like this flag was a fraud. i felt like the promise had been compromised. that everything that this flag stands for is something that is a promise that has been broken. but it also dawned on me at that moment of frustration, as i lamented the fact that my country seem to have stood in the way of my dreams, it dawned on me, i'm the one responsible. i am the one responsible for helping zimbabwe to regain an honorable place amongst the nations of the world. i realize that me and my fellow citizens, wherever we went, we would hide when we saw the zimbabwe flag.
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that we would keep silent and hope no one noticed when people were talking about zimbabwe and what was going on. we were so ashamed. now the idea is that you and i must stand. you and design are the ones that will represent zimbabwe better than any politician, because we live the life every day. we are the month that case one -- that face what goes on in zimbabwe every day. so today, i really come to join my fellow citizens to tell that story of zimbabwe, to tell how we are turning it around, and to invite anyone who wants to help us to come and do so on the condition that you are helping the citizen. that you hear our story, and you understand where we come from. but if the world was never to help us, if there was never going to be anyone that would come to our rescue, we want the world to know that we have
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discovered that we are the heroes that we have been waiting for. [applause] i will end my opening remarks this morning by letting you know that i am not a man of vast educational assumptions, but i do know when i am hungry. i know when i can see that my future is being destroyed. this one statement encapsulates how we stand and how we carry on today, and it simply says this. it says, if we cannot cause the politicians to change, then we must inspire the citizen to be bold. that is our rallying cry. all we have is each other. we are discovering that our
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power is in our numbers. we are discovering that the tenacity we have to ride through tough economic times must now be used to face our own government who will not listen to us. all we have said is they must be held accountable. they have threatened us, they have arrested us. they have beaten us, as early as a couple of hours ago, my countrymen in zimbabwe, today demonstrating against the cash crisis and the bond notes that want to be introduced. and unarmed citizens were beaten. we want our government to know that they can beat us some more, they will jail us more, but we will only get stronger. the generation is now on their hands and we have had enough. we have drawn a line in the sand that says we will hold you accountable. if we voted for you, we will ask the tough questions. so even as we discuss this this morning, you do so with the
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thought that my brothers and sisters on the ground in zimbabwe face a very harsh reality. my very presence in the united states is courtesy of of citizen number one in zimbabwe, who himself said people like mawarire have no place in zimbabwe and must leave. but that is my home. absolutely nobody, including the president of the republic of zimbabwe can ban me or any other citizen from my home, for standing up what i believe. i close my remark for staying what i said in response to the president the first time he asked me to leave. i said, there are many things you can do, mr. president, but there are two things that you are powerless in this season to do. you cannot stop the sun from setting, and you cannot stop mine from rising. thank you. [applause] peter: thank you very much,
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pastor evan, for those remarks. very inspirational remarks. it left us with a great deal to ponder. we will carry those sentiments out with us and apply them, not only in the case of zimbabwe, which we know is close to your heart, but many other nations in africa. your comment about if we cannot convince the politicians, then we have to inspire the citizens to be bold. i think that applies in many
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places, so thank you for bringing that voice. now to moderate and made his -- and lead this conversation. by the way, i neglected one of my obligations earlier as acting chair to inform you, if you are tweeting out or engaging in social media or cyber terrorism about this event, the hash tag is #aczim. apologies for neglecting that earlier. very delighted to facilitate this conversation. the newest member of the team here at the atlantic council's africa center, a person who worked hard over the last few weeks to pull this event together, along with the other members of the team. chloe mcgrath is a south african fulbright grantee who recently joined us a visiting fellow, to develop our southern africa work and to reinforce it.
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we decided we needed to build up, because of what was going chloe grew up in malawi, worked in south africa, tanzania, kenya, and zimbabwe in a variety of research and consulting positions. she has followed the events closely the events unfolding in zimbabwe, and recently, for those of us that are washington insiders, wrote a very powerful and good piece in foreign policy explaining the significance of the #thisflag movement. when she was previously here with us during her graduate studies as an intern, already as an intern, she showed extraordinary promise. in fact she wrote the case study , on external support for nonviolent civil resistance
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movements in zimbabwe for the atlantic council's strategic force site future of authoritarianism project. so we are delighted to have her back. delighted to turn the floor over to chloe to moderate this discussion with pastor evan. chloe. [applause] chloe: thank you, everyone, for being with us today. it's a great privilege at the atlantic council to host evan mawarire. thank you for sharing your heart with us. that is something that resonates with all of us massively. thank you for being vulnerable with us. i want to start by asking, it seems that you became an activists in some ways by mystic, if you don't mind me putting it that way. i know a lot of people have wondered, what is the significance about this moment?
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there have been many times where we thought there was a chance for change. we looked at the 2008 elections, the excitement around that, specifically when the vote tabulations show that the opposition had won the election. so what is it about this specific time in zimbabwe's history that has given this flag so much traction? evan: from my perspective, a couple of things have taken place. growthnd foremost, the of the demographic of millennials is something that i think zimbabwe did not really watch out for. these are a group of people that have such a passion for zimbabwe that we have not seen in a long time. maybe we have not seen discussion since the war of liberation. these people, number one our fearless. and secondly, they connect very
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easily. couple that with an opportunity to express your discontent, and you get something that is explosive. , citizens that are regular people like myself decided, i have nothing to lose, because i have lost everything at that is. about to lose i remember one of the flash points over the last couple months, protesting the bond notes, a currency that the government wants to introduce in zimbabwe. they say it's going to be one-to-one with the u.s. dollar, but it's backed by nothing. citizen, theyr are thinking to themselves, how stupid do you think we are? please forgive me if i'm not politically correct. i just don't move in those
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circles where you have to be careful about certain things. [laughter] much.anks very something might happen that you are not too comfortable with. we just got to the point where everyone said, wait a minute, how stupid do you think we are that you want to introduce a note that has no value? and it's going to take everything that i have saved, and this is the second time you have done it. and you just want me to be quiet? people that have spoken to us as citizens, they say, you are too emotional. you need to call down, you need to put your complaints in a more formal manner. we said, no, the time for formalities done. it's over. it's time for our emotions to come out. that is all we have left to show. taking the shirt off our backs,
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for goodness sakes. what is different now is that there is a passionate group of who understand the issues. who also are refusing to be equipment by who are also refusing to be hoodwinked by the government. who are refusing to be sidetracked in terms of what the real issues are. as you can see, no matter we speak to the issues of corruption and injustice. for me, that is the differentiating factor. a group of young people that have said we are done with it. we're not afraid anymore. our mantra means we are fed up and we are not afraid anymore. we're not afraid to tell you the truth no matter who you are. we have a constitution that allows us to speak the truth to you. that has really made the difference.
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let me finish by saying this. part of the difference is the men and women that secured freedom for us, they have also felt for a long time that enough is enough. they didn't know which way to say it, how to say it. our generation provided that voice and they backed us up. i'm excited about the convergence of generations. there is a concern since across political divides, racial divides, tribal divides that this is not going to happen anymore. we are done. we have an unprecedented level of unity in zimbabwe. that is exciting. chloe: thank you for sharing that. could you outline for us how the movement went from one video that you posted on social media to the streets? what was the transition like? i know a lot of people dismissed it as a social media fad, not thinking it would have a lot of impact. can you explain how that process
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took place? pastor mawarire: honestly, this is the first time i'm admitting this, much to the excitement in zimbabwe, it did start as a fad. that is what it was. it was, let's do something on social media that is going to be fun. he ridiculed it. he laughed at us. he called us names. at that point, it started to change. this is the thing when zimbabweans became aware of. when we raise certain points, complain, or try to hold them to account, they treat us as if we do not think. they say things like, you are western founded and western funded. i said to myself, what is so western funded and founded about the fact that i cannot send my kids to school? about the fact that pensioners
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who built the country can only access $20 a month of their own money? what if so western funded about the fact that they looted the funds of people? you think it is ok? we had other encounters with other government ministers who ridiculed us. some even accosted me. i went to a radio station for an interview. every point that the government attacked the citizens that were showing their love for their country, it grew more. people realized, wait, we cannot be treated like this anymore. it started with the one video. then i started it think, if you love zimbabwe and you have a flag, post on social media. that began to grow. we said if you want to hold the government to account, take your flag with you wherever you go.
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we started to crystallize off of social media onto the ground. people were bold enough to take their flags to work, to the shop, take their kids to school. at that point, we realized something is happening. i cannot tell which point it stopped being a social media campaign and became a movement, but i know that at one point we told the reserve bank, we wrote the letter and said, sir, if you are so sure that the bond notes will work, we challenge you to a citizen's debate to explain yourself. it was a joke when we wrote the letter. he responded and said "let's do it." we had the frankest discussion that has ever taken place with a public official in zimbabwe. young people told him to his face that they did not trust him or the government. one young man said to him, there is a picture just behind -- the governor, in the room with the
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debate. he said with all due respect, you look like a nice guy, but we do not trust the fact that the man in the picture behind you, if he told you to print the money, you wouldn't say no. [applause] these are young people beginning to realize. there's nothing western funded about that. mark my words. what is happening right now, right now, i will not be surprised if it shows up. you do see him sitting with these funders? i love funders, by the way. these things caused it to grow. people began to think more on the issues. think more about the fact that, wait a minute, even if there is an agenda, the fact is that
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there are questions that need to be answered. the president called me a fake pastor. i remember my response. i said, granted that i may be a fake pastor. that i may actually be a charlatan, but there is nothing fake about the fact that we have a cash crisis that no one can explain in our country. there is nothing fake about the fact that the president said $15 billion went missing from the coffers. even though our government can go in to a crowd of protesters, arrest people, charge them with cyber terrorism for using their phones, our government has failed to bring one person to account for admitting $15 billion. you do how much money that is? $15 billion. you can arrest a guy with a church of 50 -- no, 48 people. you can arrest that guy and charge him, but you cannot find a person amongst your own
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lieutenants that is responsible for that money? we began to see we have a case with the issues. let's press the buttons of the issues. chloe: how did that feed into the shutdown protests? pastor mawarire: the shutdown zimbabwe event on july 6, 2016, it was something that will be etched in our memory for a long time. that is the day that we began to grab back our power. that is the day that we showed, wait, we are the ones in control. what happens, what happened, is a lot of people -- a lot of people credit me with that shutdown. it had nothing to do with me on my own. i was a contributing factor. this was a spontaneous convergence of many issues. i remember what happened was
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that the government had gone ahead and introduced a ban on the importation of basic commodities. we had people that had made businesses out of importing basic commodities. that was basically because we didn't have any access to jobs. they promised 2.2 million jobs, we have lost more. we have lost more jobs since possibly independence. people created their own jobs by importing basic commodities. when the government introduced this law, people couldn't understand it. apparently you're protecting local industries that don't exist. the friday before the shutdown, there was a protest. this is where all of the traders, all the people that lived off of that industry, they had a protest that went wild. that kind of fueled on the mandate the public transportation system.
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also, they went ahead and were complaining about the police mishandling. how the police seem to be taking money illegally, and accusing them of little things, and then take money from them. we called for the shutdown on monday, but the civil servants stayed away from work on tuesday and wednesday. it was a perfect storm kind of moment. what was amazing was this was a point where every zimbabwean realized. it is my hope going for that every year, without the government's permission, in zimbabwe it will be a day that the citizens stay at home to remind them who is in charge and who is in control. [applause]
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chloe: you talked about why people are so passionate about the flag, how it brings people together. you have often spoken about your commitment to nonviolence, constantly reiterating that on social media and media interviews. why is it so important to the movement? why did you choose to make it a main element? pastor mawarire: i come from 2 departure points concerning the issue of nonviolence. the first one being that our government understands violence. this is a tool they have used for years. they have perfected the art of being violent. we have seen over the years that anyone who has stood up against them, they have been violent. it became important to us to
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understand that we cannot go into, as we protest against the government, we cannot go into it trying to do what they do best. it became obvious we would end up instilling more fear, or more people would get hurt doing that. we would destroy what we were trying to do. we can't do that. that is what they do best. they love that opportunity. as of earlier on this morning in zimbabwe, unarmed citizens that were not fighting were beaten. including senior citizens. the second departure point for me is more principle-waist. my faith teaches me that violence begets violence. the truth of the matter is that whatever results we achieve in zimbabwe, the use of violence will have to be maintained by violence. that will have a culture of violence, which we don't want going forward.
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i had a chance to sit for an hour in atlanta. it was an outstanding meeting. i said, tell me about the civil rights movement, how you use nonviolence. he said to me, there is more power in a silent protest than a noisy one. i found that profound. the zimbabwe government has shown they don't know what to do with people that aren't violent. they didn't know what to do with us when we stayed at home and said - we aren't going to work today. they went door-to-door to knock people out of their homes and asked them, why didn't you go to work today? how ridiculous is that? we had a protest that we did. i was in south africa at the time. our lovely cricket team, the zimbabwe cricket team, who began the idea of protesting when they
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mourned the death of democracy by putting on black armbands at the cricket game. we remember they did that. when new zealand played zimbabwe, i made a video and said take your flags and go to the game. showing that we are done with 36 years of repression and being silenced. take your flag and sing the national anthem. i wasn't even in the country. thousands of zimbabweans did it. how do you arrest people singing the national anthem holding their flag? it was beautiful to see. we didn't hit anybody, we didn't insult anybody, we just made a point. another campaign was started by a group of students. what they did was they took the graduation gowns. their graduation caps. they went onto the street. they were selling sweets and chocolates like vendors. they were playing football in the city square, putting on the gowns to show that we are
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unemployed. to show that the government has caused the very gowns of knowledge to be a sign of wasted talent. and the pictures went around the world. they spoke a thousand words. the same students put on their gowns at the cricket match. much to our surprise, the police arrested them for putting on graduation gowns at a cricket match. for me, these are the means in which a government can and must be embarrassed. [applause] chloe: following the shutdown, there was a clampdown on the movement. that led to your arrest. can you tell us a little bit about the circumstances surrounding your rest, and the story by which you were released? pastor mawarire: well, it is still something that every time i think about it i am surprised at what happened.
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we went in when the police had a call they wanted to question me. we went in voluntarily. when we arrived, after about one or two hours of interrogation, they said we are going to charge you with inciting public violence. that came as a shock. first and foremost, i have never been arrested. i've never been charged for anything. the second thing that shocked me about the charge was that i did not incite any violence at all. in all of the videos that i made, i said to zimbabweans carry your flag for 25 days. my commitment is that i will make a video for every one of those days. a three-minute video encouraging you to why you should carry your flag with you. in each of those videos, literally as a matter of
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principle, i would say do not be violent. do not incite or insult anyone. do not insult the president, anyone. just carry your flag. even during the shutdown, i said stay at home, don't fight, just stay at home and do nothing. to be charged with that was a surprise. the expectation was that i would be out in 48 hours, which is the law. i expected that they would release me on bail. before the day was over, they handcuffed me, took me, and said we are searching your house. we're looking for a baton stick and a police helmet. what would i be doing with the police helmet?
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they said, no, we believe you stole these things. what they wanted to do was search my house and get my phone. they put handcuffs on me, which was a surreal moment. that is when it clicked. i am actually arrested here. we went to my house, my wife came out, and i said these make sure my girls are not here. my 5-year-old and 3-year-old. i don't want them to see me like this. we went through that, they found nothing. then of course, they locked me up. the next morning, i was supposed to appear before the magistrate. we delayed going because they said there was a handful of people at the courts with their flags on. they were concerned there could be violence. we delayed and eventually got there. there is huge crowd. i distinctly remember in one of the cells at the magistrate's court, it is naturally a filthy
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place. urine done rampantly or randomly. i just sat there with other prisoners. i wanted to say, i met young men in the cell that told me genuine stories. each of them knew who i was. they said, they went around and began to explain what they were in for. one man stole a two liter bottle of juice. one man had smoked some weed of some sort. another young guy said he had stolen a supermarket trolley, because he wanted to use it to help people carry their groceries from the supermarket to the public transport and charge money for it. they were arrested for this. there were 22 of these young guys. they said, you don't look like the guy that should be in here. people like you, when they put on glasses like you, it is usually fraud.
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they said, how much money did you take? anyway, we spoke through it. they said i'm just a citizen who is standing up for my family. standing up for our nation. one guy looked at me and said, pastor, we want you to know that we don't do what we do because we want to. we are not proud of the fact that we steal from people, that we do these things. we have nothing else to do in terms of looking after our family. he finished by saying, for me getting arrested is a blot on my character. for you, getting arrested is a badge on your shoulder. it broke my heart. he said to me words that i only have ever read in the bible. it was the most amazing sentence. he said, remember me when you get out.
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as much as i was incarcerated, i got a chance to see people that don't have thousands stand for them like thousands stood for me. the case was eventually brought before the magistrate late in the day. i was supposed to appear by 9:00 a.m. i appeared at 6:00 p.m. in front of the magistrate. my lawyer said to me, i have bad news for you. for me, bad news meant that i was going to spend another night. i said are they going to throw me back in? he said no, the charge is changed. they are charging you with subverting the constitution of an elected government. i said, in english, what does that mean?
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he said, 14 to 20 years behind bars. it is almost as good as treason. my heart exploded. i saw my wife in the crowd. i thought what have i done? how is that unfolded? it was such a moment of power for the citizens of zimbabwe. as the magistrate began, he would take recesses. every time, i would ask to leave the courthouse. i found out i had 100 lawyers that came to represent me. i only knew of one. there were hundreds. i thought, what is going on? when the magistrate said, who is representing this man? they all produced their certificates. i was so amazed that all these young men came to make a statement. they would stand here, i would go for break, the second break which was longer than the others, the courthouse broke into song.
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an unprecedented move. one of the prison guards came to tell me and said do you realize you have caused people to sing in the courthouse. the magistrate could shut this whole thing down and adjourn this and cause you to be trialed on another day. that means you will be shut up for a couple more days. i thought to myself, i wish they would stop singing, but it got louder. they sang worship songs. at one point i was sitting on the concrete floor in the waiting cell. i thought, why. why, why, why. immediately, they sang a song that most zimbabweans know. it says "zimbabwe shall be saved, and zimbabwe shall be saved. the holy spirit must come down,
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and zimbabwe shall be saved." at that point, i cried even louder because i knew what was going on. i knew that those people were determined. that they found an opportunity. they would take that opportunity to annoy the government to the max. they sang and did all sorts of things. when the magistrate came back, and we don't know where he was for an hour and a half, but he came back. he was left with no choice but to release me. upon leaving the courthouse, one of the prison guards whispered in my ear and said you have to take a different route out of here, because you will be rearrested the moment you walk out. as we walked out of the jail, which is just like in a basement, the young man walked behind me and said, take the
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first right. don't go to the straight gates as you were told to check out. he said you make a right turn instead. there are people waiting. i didn't know who he was or what he was talking about, but i got to the gate and to the right i saw 4 lawyers that had been inside. i've never run so fast toward a lawyer like i did on that day. it was people i didn't know, but they felt like friends. like comrades. of course, we left. the shock of seeing the crowds of people outside, the shock of understanding what had taken place. people had been waiting for hours. they made sandwiches for each other. they bought candles for each other. people spent the day praying and singing, encouraging each other.
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it was outstanding, outstanding. the highlight of that day for me was the fact that the citizens of zimbabwe showed up to be able to reclaim their country. that is when something turned and something really special began to happen. chloe: that is wonderful. thank you for sharing the intimate details of that time. i know that you said this is a great movement that has the capacity to bring real change. many have said we have seen many times like this before, where there has been hope that has been dashed. how do you respond to that criticism? what capacity do you think the movement has to bring real change in zimbabwe? pastor mawarire: the one thing people have to understand about this movement, and many movements -- please understand that there are many other expressions of the citizens movement in zimbabwe.
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the one thing that the citizens know is that we are not waiting for a victory. we are not waiting for a change. we already have it. we have created space for citizens that was not previously there. we have been able to cause our government to so panic that they have created and crafted laws to try to catch one or two people, to try to extradite someone for posting something on facebook. so, we know that we already have a victory. and we started out the idea was that we wanted to make sure that as many zimbabweans that have been not raising their voice, are present. that we have unity. those two things were our initial objectives. the unity of zimbabwe, we achieved that. the raising of voices by citizens, we achieved that.
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i want to say that we have achieved that victory. if we were to crash today completely, if this dies down today, something happened in zimbabwe that people have seen that they cannot unsee. the government now knows, and we know that they now know that we now know. [laughter] everything we are now striving for is a result of these victories that we have already gotten. depending on what happens between now and the elections in 2018, everything that happens between now and 2018 is changed. the fact that citizens are prepared now to have the protest almost every day of the week is an amazing feat, and this is where we are going. we said to the citizens that if
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it means that we keep our government busy with a different process in a different place every single day, obs. so be it. so the change is already happening, citizens are now the game changing factor in zimbabwe. both the ruling party and opposition know that. we are ready to vote, but we are also ready to protect our vote. chloe: talking about game changes, we know the teachers organization have begun a 10-day march. they have also been encouraged by other groups on the ground to occupy africa unity square. what role do you think those groups will play in taking the movement forward? pastor mawarire: these groups are playing amazing roles. i take my hat off. the teachers in zimbabwe are among the most uncelebrated in
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our nation. [applause] pastor mawarire: i say so because every zimbabwean who has left zimbabwe to come and be in places like washington, d.c., to be anywhere in the world, came through the hands of a teacher who is overworked and underpaid, and especially the rural teachers. and i know this because a part of my education actually happened in a rural area where i went to school where teachers -- it was deplorable, but they produced stars, they produced people who are running global corporations today. so for them to be able to say listen, let's begin to stand out, let's begin to make our voice heard is a huge move. one question a lot of people have been asking us -- what can
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we do to make sure that people in the rural areas are aware that the fact that citizens are beginning to rise? those teachers are a part of the infrastructure. when the students see them, and they say why are you going to do this, they will tell them, "we are doing this because we have we are doing it because certain things are not right in our country." so, that indicates that the message has penetrated the rural areas, even though some of the propaganda may be, these protests are only being done in urban areas, the government knows. they know it. and the people in the rural areas understand. so, these are so important because they are helping to permeate every aspect of the zimbabwean culture, and life and society and reachable areas or peoples groups that were apathetic. everyone is trying to find a way to get involved through , you know, something that
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speaks to them, and that is what is important about the rural teachers and anyone else that is starting a movement. we have to have more and more movements come out. in fact, i say this to somebody, we have to have as many movements in zimbabwe as our issues on the ground. i am waiting for a movement to come up that says no more foreign trips for the president. and all they do is go on about that. because it is immoral for our leader to travel and spend money going for a checkup but not money to build a small clinic and stock up that clinic with medicine for a whole month. and so, for me, those are the issues. and we continue to say to the citizens, "speak to the issue, find a way to express your displeasure at the issue, start a campaign, a protest, there will be people standing with you." it is important that everyone gets a chance to put their hands on deck.
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chloe: in closing before we move to questions on the floor, when you mentioned you would be coming to the u.s. for this trip, i know there were a lot of mixed responses in zimbabwe, some worrying that the movement would not be able to continue without you. and all sorts of different things people had to say. what is your response to that? do you think the movement can be successful in your absence? and what is your plan for while you are here? pastor mawarire: the movement -- we are not talking about if it will continue in my absence. it is continuing in my absence, and it must continue in my absence. in fact, the movement must stop depending on me because this is something that is owned by everyone, by every zimbabwean. you see, the day that they laughed and said it is a fact is the day that people began to buy shares. it is a movement. that is the day we began to say, "this is mine.
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i am going to be a part of this." so, it is definitely carrying on, even without me being physically on the ground. remember, we have this online as well. and so, our generation understands that. distance and geolocation are not things that concern us because our reality is not about the fact that the person who started it is here. we can still communicate, we can still exchange ideas, we can still, you know, make things happen. so, for me, the excitement is that there are people who are even more passionate than i am that have taken up the cause. and i'm happy that many of those people are going to even greater extent than me in terms of expressing their displeasure at what the government has done or expressing, you know, their feeling about how they want to see zimbabwe build going forward. so, it is bigger than myself. it is bigger than me. i think already we are looking in september, there is a group
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of zimbabweans that are going to be hosting -- and i am part of those zimbabweans now -- in the september united nations general assembly, we are going to have the biggest protest that has ever happened outside zimbabwe here. and my hope is that we can toher 5000 in new york city come and protest, and before robert mugabe dies, he needs to know that citizens everywhere stood up. [applause] chloe: thank you so much. we really appreciate you taking part in this conversation. now, we will make it a broader conversation and open it up to the floor for questions. just a couple of things before we get started. there are a lot of people here
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and we have very limited time. we have people with microphones. i ask you that you make your question very specific and very short. please do not use the opportunity to make a statement but ask a question. if you go over time, i will have to cut you off and move on. let's keep it short and to the point so we can get as many questions in as possible. so, we have the two mics. we will take questions three at a time and then give evan a moment to respond. so, let's start with the gentleman in the suit here, and then moved to the left here, and then, we will take a third question from the lady with the glasses on her head. if you could just identify yourself and your affiliation. before you start. thank you. brooks, and my affiliation is i was a teacher at camp zumba high school years ago. [applause] doug: it is very inspiring.
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my question, you mentioned a little bit about the guard helping you out in the court. what sort of support have you received from within the security services? it seems to me that this is their country, too, and it seems like it might be important for them to support this instead of opposing it. >> thank you. hello, evan, a very good friend of mine. pastor mawarire: it is good to see you. >> it is good to see you, too. my name is nejra. i know evan. we went to the same church, but we have also worked together in zimbabwe. i worked in the movement, the civic society movement. i run a nonprofit for girls and young women. my concern, evan, has been that -- i am concerned about the issues of -- basically we have been working on the same issues for a long time.
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and we have been working with the citizens and entered a new era. it is fantastic. my translation is that it is reaching to the people, especially in the church. women are empowered because the issues have been happening -- chloe: let's move to the question. is what is ittion that you are doing to make sure that you are working together with the civic society? a lot of money has gone also in terms of creating the space for government accountability. and also, what is it that citizens can do to reach you? i have tried to reach out, and probably you are overwhelmed. so, my question is the issue of working together and what is realizing the focus happening on the ground, but also, well done on the work that you are doing. especially for me, the church had been not taking part as much
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as possible. thank you. chloe: one final question. the lady here with the glasses on her head and the white top. so, we will take another round after this. we are just going to do them in batches of three. alex: thank you. my name is alex thomas, i work at the refugees international. thank you for your comments. it is an honor to be here today . i just came back from zimbabwe in june where we are looking at the impact of the drought. i'm wondering if you think the two years of drought in zimbabwe have contributed in any way to what is happening now. chloe: thank you. so, just to sum those up for you, what is the support you have or have not seen from the security sector, what are you going to work with civil society and increase citizen engagement, and what is the impact of the drought, and has that facilitated the events that have happened?
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pastor mawarire: ok, so, i'm going to answer as best as i can, and, you know, i will say, to chloe, you know, i am not a politician, and i am not an accomplished activist. you know, for me, words like "democratization" are new words. you know, i'm used to "salvation." [laughter] pastor mawarire: so i will answer as best as i can, and if i get it wrong, feel free to start a hashtag about that as well. [laughter] pastor mawarire: so, talking about the security sector, thank you for that question because being in my position has allowed me to see some of the people that work in the security sector face-to-face, to hear some of their thoughts about what is going on in our country. and i think the things that
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citizens will find surprising is that these people are hurting as well. and one of the things that i found was a gentleman who would inform me of certain things that were about to happen. for example, one of them told us that if i went and spent the night at home the day that i was leaving the court, i would either be arrested or abducted on that very night. and so, he basically just got the message straight to us through our partners, and these were partners that i did not know that had mobilized and came through the courthouse. and one of them came to the people that were close to me and said listen, i have this information that if you go home tonight, you will be arrested or you will be abducted. and that was a sign for me that there are people that are wanting to help support because the reality of the situation is that the cash crisis in zimbabwe is not selective.
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you know, if i cannot get money from the bank, then you also cannot get money from the bank. kids, same thing. if my sister goes, same thing. these people understand -- their children, their wives also have to go to the same hospital as our wives go, and if you go to a hospital and there is no water, yet it only costs $1800 for a watering hole, and it costs anything between $48,000 and $68,000 to build a swimming pool at your house, which every minister has. and none of them can swim anyway -- [laughter] pastor mawarire: and these people see it. no, no, i am trying to paint a picture for you. these guys in the security services see it. they drive these people in inexpensive cars. they go and guard their homes, and then he has to go back to a shack. they have to guard this man or this woman as they eat an expensive meal, a meal that is
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one meal more than his salary. he has to watch them do that. he can see it happening. but the one thing again that maybe our citizenry does not understand about our security forces is that the fear that governs them is probably greater than the one that held us back. these people are ruled by fear. these people are brought in line by fear. it is a scary thing for someone who is in the police, or who is in intelligence, or the army to speak up. and so, one of the things that we continue to openly encourage our brothers and sisters who are in the security sector is to help us. help us with information. do what you can. leak information to us. inform us. let us know what is going on. let us know what is about to happen. and about the citizens movement, what i love is that because we do not have a central committee, because they do not have a polit
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bureau, you know, we do not have meetings where we gather to discuss strategy in secret. our strategy is discussed right in the open. and we discuss our strategy on social media. we discuss our strategy on whatsapp. and for the government or they do not get it. in their mind, they think it is a secret movement, a gathering somewhere, but we do it right there, so they know what we are about to do when we are about to do it, and the cool thing is that with everything we are about to do, they are powerless to stop it. it is going to happen. it is that simple. we are not trying to do anything that is illegal. so, these people are there, and there is some form of reaching out to them. it is very simple. because they watch our videos. when they watch our videos for intelligence, we would hope that at some point, something has to be -- wait a minute, this man or this woman talking about what i'm going through, about what i am facing, so that reaching out is starting to happen.
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and it is exciting to see them start to feedback information to us and let us know what is going on inside. and then, the question -- i know that you have worked very hard in zimbabwe over the years and continue to do. i envy you for being able to go back home when you want so that you can continue the work. civic society in zimbabwe is something that citizens have been unaware of for a very long time. and i want to say this from an honest perspective. that in the mind of many zimbabweans, not all of us -- and by the way, we do not call it civic society. that is a name we now know. we are called by. in zimbabwe, we saw you as ngo's. no matter what we do, we just call it ngo. or we just say that is all we know.
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?ight and many of us in our minds, our interpretation of ngo's or cso's is that you are there to bring relief. relief work is about distributing food in the rural areas, things like that. but we did not have an understanding of the work that you do to say, for example, you know, support citizens movement or the work that you do. for example, many of us were fighting for zimbabwean human rights when we got arrested. and yet, they have been around for a long time. we did not know about civil rights. we did not know about the different groups that are there. so, i think this has now created an opportunity where civic society can then say to the citizens, "guess what? what you guys are doing out of passion, we do as a profession. we have strategy" -- >> we are moved by passion. pastor mawarire: you are moved by passion. i would like to think that most of you are moved by passion. i hope you will allow me to be honest.
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because i think part of the feeling has been that sometimes, civic society does it because it is a job, it is 8:00 to 5:00, in terms of speaking out. and so forth. i'm glad to know it is a passion. this is an opportunity where civic society can say hey, by the way, these things we have been studying, we have studies that can help in this area or that can help in that area. this is a great time for that marriage to take place, for the citizenry, the citizens society has been trying so hard to reach and educate. this is a great time now for that to happen. so, for example, we are not funded as a citizen's movement. and i think it is a great idea for us not to be funded because it helps us to keep our eyes on the issues. we remain about the issues. and it will be great to now get together with organizations that teach things like voter education, that teach things
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like the knowledge or understanding of the constitution or how the law works. when i was taught for the first time -- when you get arrested, what do you do? you know, how do you behave? i used to take that for granted. it was amazing to get a book that i could read real quick. so, it is a great opportunity for citizens to take advantage of the work that civic society has already done, but also a great advantage for civic society to look at the citizens and say, what have these people done that we have not done over the last couple of years, and take that and be able to use it also in maybe training or things like that. so, that is my kind of take on it. i think i have one more -- the question about the impact of the drought. i think definitely the drought has had an effect in zimbabwe, but what has had a bigger and more profound effect during this
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time in terms of the contribution of the drought as a flat point for citizens is government's unpreparedness for a drought. and so, you know, you cannot really control a drought, but we have learned that you can be better prepared for it. we understand our government has had money given to it, but they have failed to be ready for times like these. they failed to be ready. that is more where the flashpoint is. that is more where our dissatisfaction is. that you have not been ready when the drought has come through. and so, i think again, that is where the passion is. chloe: great. thank you so much. ok, we will take another round . when you are called on, the microphone will come to you. we will start with the gentleman in the blue shirt and then moved to the very back, the gentleman there in the suit, and behind
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our cameraman here is a lady with a turtleneck. once you have the microphone, please go ahead and introduce yourself. todd: great, thank you, i am todd moss with the center for global development. and while we are celebrating zimbabwe teachers, i think about my teacher at roundhouse college. i am thankful for her. you called for citizens to stand up on specific issues. you mentioned foreign travel. notes isthe no to bond a very important campaign to try to deny the government from stealing from zimbabwe's future, but you are in washington, d.c., just a few blocks away is the international monetary fund and the world bank. and i'm wondering to what extent are the zimbabwe citizens aware that there is a campaign largely pushed by certain european shareholders to clear zimbabwe's arrears at the imf world bank
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and african development world bank, to enable new lending to the government, and less than a month ago, there was a report by the african development bank to the shareholders, which declared there were no longer any human rights problems in zimbabwe. so, is this an issue? arrears clearance is very wonky, and policy is not a street issue, but if that happens, the floodgates will be open for hundreds of millions of dollars of new lending for the government. is that something that the zimbabwe citizenry is motivated on? ok, our next question is on the very back there, the gentleman in the suit. dan: my name is dan moyle. i want to say welcome, pastor mawarire, to the land of the free and the home of the brave. my question is -- when everything is said and done, the
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problem, we all know, is that there is a need for a change of government. we can protest all we want. but if that government remains in place, nothing will change in my opinion. so, therefore, my question is -- we already less than 24 months into the next election, and we know that they will start campaigning and start scheming out to rig the next election. what are we doing now that we are united as zimbabweans to come up with a plan to make sure that the next elections in zimbabwe are free and fair and that they are credible? chole: thank you. >> i drove last night. i'm from philadelphia. i just came for this. pastor mawarire: oh, wow. [applause] >> when i see you, i do not see
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a politician. i see zimbabwe. tut.nd what are you going to do? are you going to try to reach out? mentor you?utu, to will you try to reach out to al sharpton, jesse jackson to help you on those issues? thank you. [applause] chloe: feel free to tackle those questions in any order you would like, and if you would like any more clarity on the imf question -- pastor mawarire: it is unreal to note that we are across from the imf. for many zimbabweans, these are institutions that exist in some way, in some world, somewhere. i may go there and have a word with somebody. [laughter]
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pastor mawarire: but i think the -- it is a shame that anybody would say that there are no records of human rights violations in zimbabwe. the whole world can see it is a lie. [applause] pastor mawarire: the entire world can see it is a lie. we do not even have to go far. i can show you images on my phone from this morning, from today, from this morning where people have been beaten up by a police force. and so, for us, the citizens, to be treated as if we are pawns on a chessboard is something we have decided listen, we are done with this. and i think, something i said when i started off, i said i know that zimbabwe is reported upon here through research and reports and statistics, but it is time for zimbabwe to be reported upon by our peers, by the real stories of people being
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tortured, being murdered, someone was abducted, and nobody knows where he is, for holding a placard in a public space -- constitutional right. people have been beaten -- i'm sure you have seen the video that went around a couple of months ago of women that were placed under arrest because they were accused of taking part in demonstration, and while they were sitting defenseless, they were being beaten by police. one police officer actually took the baby from this woman so that she could be more comfortable as she got beaten. and a bank goes ahead to release a report that says we are free of human rights violations? you know, africa needs to have a conversation with itself that is critical. and for me, this is where the critical conversation must happen in africa.
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those that are liberated from our continent have to now get to a place where they can look each other in the eye and say, "what you are doing to your people is not right." until they do that, the leaders in our continent are letting our generation down. and when i went into south africa, the secretary general was asked what he thought of this young man that had crossed into south africa, and he said that he is a dissident. and he is western-funded. i thought to myself, you know, this is a violation of a concept in africa that i know many people know. "i am because of you, we are because of each other." and one of the things we have in shona culture, many of the cultures in zimbabwe and africa is that my father's brother is my father. and when i have a problem with my father, i go to my father's brother, and i tell him what has happened, and he mediates on my behalf.
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he goes to my dad and said to him, "your son is at my house, he is crying about what is going on. you cannot do that to your boy. in fact, you know what, i will keep him at my house until you cool down and you give me a guarantee that he will be safe." but now, these guys who are liberators do not do that. they do not hold each other to true account. and what happens is when reports are done, whatever the motivation is to tell a lie, they must be people that appear as liberators in africa, but they have to say this is not right, or we cannot condone this anymore. we cannot stand aside and watch. so, i think for us, it will be tragic and for the imf and the world banks to accept that kind of report as truth for us is -- it further reinforces the fact
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that we are truly on our own, and it further puts a dent not only into our hopes for a better zimbabwe, but into the hopes of every other nation around the world. and so, our hope is that they may start to really see the story for what it is on the ground and treat this government the way it needs to be treated. they come to us and they say to western-funded for questioning, and they are the first ones to come and ask for money. as an ordinary citizen, it confuses me. it confuses me. so, i think -- i hope i answered this question correctly, but my point is the imf and the world bank should no longer turn a blind eye. they lose credibility, and they lose our support as zimbabwe citizens. each time they do that. this government can no longer have people hide. it is not the age for people to allow more and more life to be lost. we are longing for people that
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have got a different view, that can stand up and say, "this is unjust, it is not right, it won't be tolerated, and we are not going to be hoodwinked into , you know, towing the line." i hope i have answered that. [applause] pastor mawarire: i think the other one is what we doing about -- a wonderful question. and thank you so much. good to see you. chloe: we are asking about what will happen to make the next elections free and what hope is there of a change of government? pastor mawarire: the one thing we have found is that the rigging machinery in zimbabwe is difficult for any citizen to go and physically dismantle. i mean, like you've said, we have had elections done over the years, we have had monitors come in over the years.
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that is one thing we have found. at least, i know we have found. we have found each other, and the one thing we know is that if we mobilize enough people and enough zimbabweans to be prepared to vote in the upcoming election, then the change will be undeniable. one of the things i am pushing for zimbabweans as we go to the election is for us to have overwhelming participation in the election. something that is undeniable because that is the only tool that we have -- the numbers. if we can overwhelm the system with sheer numbers. so, what this means is going forward, and i know that many of the movements have started, we should now start to talk about voter registration to make sure everybody goes to register to vote. we should not stop talking about why it is important for you to protect the votes, why it is important for you to make sure that your neighbor votes, but that is nothing without the opposition politics because i
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think our understanding as citizens, whatever change happens in a zimbabwe, it is a political vehicle. so, we are now looking at the opposition politics, and we wake up, we are united, we need you to take advantage of our unity. we no united, so that longer present this fragmented front. can we just have one front that is united? everybody will get behind it. it will be overwhelming. and to this day, mark my words. mark my words. you are going to see something happen in zimbabwe that robert mugabe and his government never, ever thought they would see, an overwhelming turnout of people coming to silence and make their decision. the thing is, they are expecting a fight. it would be done so simply and so swiftly.
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zimbabweans unite. those two things for me, number one, encouraging our opposition to become number one united and the inspiring people that can capture the citizens, and i know that is happening. and number two, to just mobilize, mobilize, mobilize. and mobilize. people are asking me the question well, what next? what is next is that we speak some more. we do not have enough people. we have to have more and more and more people getting onto a movement, getting a chance to express their voice because what we are doing is activating voters. we are activating agents of change. and so, we cannot stop, those that have been doing it longer have to do it even longer because we have people that are not yet on board. and when 2018 comes, by a miracle of god in terms of something different happening, when 2018 comes, this will be the most exciting election that any zimbabwean has ever taken
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part in. [applause] chloe: so, we will finish up with that last question about whether you draw inspiration from desmond tutu and if you are going to reach out for some support from other heroes like that. pastor mawarire: you know, i'm so glad we talked about desmond tutu. that is a towering factor when it comes to democracy and justice, and i draw inspiration from him. one time in south africa, i went chance town and i got a to speak to the bishop at the church where desmond tutu was the bishop. and the one did not get a chance to meet him, we have had some exchanges. and most definitely, i am reaching to as many men and women who up and icons of freedom and justice around the world.
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as i said earlier on, i met ambassador andrew young yesterday who gave me some amazing insight into zimbabwe, which he loves very much. he knows a lot about zimbabwe. he was involved in the negotiations in the 1970's -- 1977 to 1980, in terms of zimbabwe, you know, becoming what it is today. so, definitely, i am reaching out as much as i can to be able to learn lessons and draw inspiration. and i think it is something that every zimbabwean has got to do, even reach back into our own liberation heroes. there are so many men and women that over the years, some of the men and women -- some of them thought they were frauds like the men and women who lead our country today, but so many of those are the true heroes, you greats, many of these men and women that laid their
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lives down, the ideals they had , these are inspirations for zimbabweans, and zimbabweans have got to understand again that as much as we have heroes externally and people we can look to, a lot of the heroes that we are looking for is locked up in you and me. it is me. i'm the one -- it is amazing that the only people who have been able to bring the kind of change that we are looking for are the citizens of zimbabwe. so, definitely, we will do that. chloe: thank you so much. [applause] peter: thank you, chloe, for ably and directly monitoring the situation, and thank you, pastor evan. pastor mawarire: would you just allow me -- ma'am, please -- let me hear your question. please forgive me -- she started a long time ago, and i must hear.
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>> thank you. i'm grateful. ok, i am a pastor just like you. my question is -- the zimbabwean constitution gives sweeping powers to defense forces, not only to be confined to barracks but to actively be involved in everything else they do, internally and externally. so, concerning security matters, how are you going to work that out? will you do it safe? pastor mawarire: thank you again for that question. you know, when citizen number one mentioned your name and said that people like me do not belong to zimbabwe, and then he does another speech and says,
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"people like him should be dealt with," you know safety will not be guaranteed. but something i learned the day i came out of court, which is a lesson that will stick with me a long time, and a lesson that i'm trying my best to teach our citizens as best as i can, that our security when we rise up against the government, when we rise up as individuals or within the group, our secure areas are within the citizens. it is you and i that look after each other. and one of the reasons i was not rearrested on that fateful june 13 evening is that i was released straight into a crowd of about 4000 people. you cannot take me from 4000 people. but this is the thing is that now we have to develop a counter that says an injustice to one is an injustice to all. we have to start taking personally, we have a citizen in jail for something right now that she did not do. and it is the strength of the
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citizens that keep showing up to her hearings, they keep going to stand for her, they keep making noise about her, so we are each other's security. and if we ever let anyone stand up alone again, like we did, we will never see the kind of change that we want to see. [cheers and applause] peter: we thank all of you for joining us today, both those in the room and those joining us through our live webcast. please continue to follow this particular conversation at #acafricacenter. and finally, please join me in thanking pastor evan for his passion, his commitment, his vision, and for inspiring all of us within ourselves, each and every one of us, that we are the heroes that we are looking for and that the world needs. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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[indiscernible] announcer: tomorrow morning on c-span, talking about the future of naval aviation at the center for strategic and international studies in washington. at 10 a.m. eastern.
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in the afternoon, ocean city, maryland for a town hall the democratic senator ben cardin, focusing on the digital age. that is live at 1 p.m. eastern. dr. julius garvey held a news conference in washington, asking president obama to pardon garvey 's 1921 mail fraud conviction. he is famous for advocating that africans return to africa in the early 1920's.this is about one hour and 30 minutes. s.
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>> we would like to welcome everyone this afternoon. this is the auspicious occasion, the petition for the pardon of the honorable marcus garvey. i am a social justice and human rights lawyer here in the washington, d.c. area. and we have a very dynamic panel for us this afternoon. we are going to talk about the legal issues of the case, the historical issues, the impact of marcus garvey and the worldwide diaspora, and many other aspects , as well. i'm going to start off with leading a statement. congresswoman yvette d. clark
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representing new york's ninth congressional district. this is her statement that she wanted read at the marcus harvey press conference august 17, 2016. marcus garvey lives in history as one of the first readers of the american civil rights movement. to unite people toward a common goal of social progress. marcus garvey founded the universal negro improvement association and african communities league, which at one time hit nearly 6 million members in 40 countries. in 1923, marcus garvey was unjustly convicted of mail fraud and deported from the united states, despite having his sentence commuted from former president calvin coolidge in 1927. for most 30 years, efforts have been made to exonerate marcus garvey. the family of marcus garvey started this crusade in july
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1987, when one of the most senior members of the congressional black caucus, the honorable john conyers, held a hearing in the committee on the conviction. and the hearing coincided with the resolution submitted by another senior member, the honorable charles wrangle. asserted that marcus garvey was innocent of the charges brought against him. number two, marcus garvey is and should be recognized internationally as a leader and thinker for the struggle for human rights. and number three, the president should take appropriate measures to clear marcus garvey's name. historians including tony martin ucla, andill from lewis have published materials detailing in depth how garvey was wrongfully convicted. law professor justin hinz berg, who we are honored to have with us this afternoon, in his work
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case,marcus garvey published in the georgetown journal of modern race perspective, provided an in-depth historical legal review, which was further bolstered by the legal brief we have submitted to the united states legal department of justice to the white house that we submitted the summer. professor charles ogletree of harvard university law school and the garvey family. and we are so very honored to have representing here dr. julius garvey. the youngest son of marcus garvey. during the preceding 30 years since the congressional hearing on the matter, garvey has been honored internationally as a leader and thinker in the field of human rights. the organization of americans designated a hall at
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its main building, marcus garvey hall. additionally, in jamaica, his country of birth, garvey has been named as the first national hero. he is printed on the currency. in recognition of marcus garvey's lifelong contribution to society, marcus garvey should be populousd, by way of a pardon. president obama should take the appropriate measures to clear marcus garvey's name. showing it is never too late to right a wrong. it is time to exonerate marcus garvey, and let history reflect the true nature of his legacy. god bless the united states of america, god bless jamaica, and god bless the memory of marcus garvey. one love, honorable yvette d.
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clark, representing new york's ninth congressional district. i would also like to acknowledge this happens to be the birthday of marcus garvey, august 17. so, we are very honored and appropriate to announce this historic, you know, announcement today. and we are going to start off our illustrious panel with remarks from howard university associate professor of the african diaspora in history and professor swan, who will give us perspective regarding marcus garvey. prof. swan: good afternoon. it is truly an honor to be here , to be a part of this really important, illustrious event. marcus garvey's legacy is still
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being explored and understood in really important ways. it is hard to speak of garvey in 10 minutes, but to speak of garvey is to speak of the black world in the 1920's. to speak of garvey is to speak about africanism that extends for 19th century. to speak about garvey is to talk about black resistance. garvey himself would say he is a descendent of the maroons. to speak of garvey is to speak of black thoughts of black men and women that transfers into the 20th century. garvey's genius with the ability to build the world's most expensive black man movement of the likes we have never seen since. the negro world, for example, this amazing document in news that is not only written in
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english, but also french and spanish traveled across the world. this speaks to the assault of garvey. speaking about black unity. speaking about the need for black people, like other populations around the world, that had a right to self determination. some of this will come through commonplace ideas, that the united nations will speak for the right of colonized peoples , to have freedom. organization,zing because it is family based. this is what garvey was speaking about. it had a juvenile wing. it spread across the world, not just the united states. cuba has the most branches. within america, it is seen as broad-based african-american idea. louisiana actually have the most chapters of the unia. you see garvey unia chapters being
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formed in southern africa and being attacked by the apartheid-like regimes. in rhodesia, zimbabwe. reaches australia. very much on the lines of the unifil. they tried to form a branch in sydney, who when we speak of garvey must also be mentioned, as well as the other numbers that were affected. they cannot travel. they had passports revoked. visas denied. unia became an organization, that these tactics of denial and assault or practice on. firstknow, the fbi's black informant was used to infiltrate. and they were really out of
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bounds. but it is not unexpected. the garvey movement had this galvanize ability to black ideas for freedoms. but back to australia, this speaks to me about why garvey was so powerful. tookboriginal progressives a model, one god, one name, one destiny. through garvey, we see people galvanizing around the attacks in ethiopia and italy in the 1930's. when we heard the words of bob emancipate yourself to free our minds, that is a straight quote from marcus garvey, whose legacy has been ever present. garvey has fueled so many other organizations from the nation of islam, people like septimus clark.
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carolina and south speaking about seeing a blackstar line coming into the trolls and harvard. and seeing this transformed by the process. garvey still lives with us in many ways. and so, i think this is really important, not just for the historical dynamic for how i look at garvey, but a way to right the wrongs. decades of scholarship, the reemergence of garvey scholars that understand the impact of garvey across the world. clearly, a testament to the fact that this is a movement of liberalization, the movement of legitimized struggle that should be seen as such. conferences, a multitude of books, scholars winning prestigious awards for garvey. we should also address some of the same issues from a legal perspective. [applause] i think i will end my comments. >> thank you so very much.
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the next person i will bring up is someone who was named as the top 40 lawyers under the age of 40 by the national bar association. someone who was named by revolt tv as one of the 25 new leaders of social justice. we are talking about professor justin hansford, a professor of st. louis university law school , who lives just 10 minutes from where michael brown was shot down in the streets by law enforcement in ferguson, missouri. justin, he is one of the foremost leaders and thinkers dealing with social justice issues today. and a law review article that congresswoman yvette clarke cited was really the catalyst behind the pardon petition that
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was filed in june, by the law firm of justin hansford and dr. lewis garvey. so, with that, i would like to bring professor hansford up to talk a little bit about the legal case, and possibly introduce the lawyer for me, as well. prof. hansford: good afternoon. i want to begin by reading you an excerpt from the legal case against marcus garvey, an opinion authored by the second court of appeals in 1925. it may be true garvey fancied himself a moses, if not a messiah, that he deemed himself a man with a message that he was going to deliver, and he was going to have ships that would
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take his people out of bondage. but even with this assumed, it remains that if it is gospel in part involves exhortation to buy worthless stocks, accompanied by deceivingly false statements as to the worth thereof, he was guilty of a scheme or artifice to defraud. we need not delay to examine in detail to examine the fraud scheme exhibited by practically uncontradicted evidence. stripped of his appeal through the ambition, emotions or race consciousness of men of color, it was a simple and familiar device of which the object, as of so many others, ascertain how it could best unload capital
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stock at the largest possible price. at this bar, there is no attempt to justify the selling scheme practice improvement. it was wholly without morality or legality. that is the statement by the united states court of appeals for the second circuit. so, this judicial opinion has reverberated throughout history unto today. it illustrates how a court and a judge and the legal process can construct a narrative that can suppress, that can oppress, and devalue voices for justice. ultimately, the unjust trial of marcus garvey and the conviction and deportation that followed was an attempt to silence and suppressed his movement for racial justice. we come here almost 90 years
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later to show our resistance endures.t despite the efforts that were made to suppress our defense. we continue to fight to restore the legacies and ideas of marcus garvey. because he was the leader of the largest racial justice movement that we have ever seen in the course of the african diaspora's history. so, history matters. in spite of marcus garvey's great accomplishments, if i were to ask a random person, who was marcus garvey? maybe they will say, wasn't event back to africa guy? has beenegacy suppressed, his legacy has been narrowed, and his legacy is so much larger and greater. than just being the back to africa guy. he was not just a civil rights leader, he was a political philosopher, human rights trailblazer. his slogan, africa for the
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africans, both at home and abroad, was inspiration for the decolonization movement that resulted in the decolonization of african movements, in the african continent, in addition to the caribbean. he was someone admired by martin luther king, nelson mandela, and as we will learn about later, malcolm x. but sadly, his legacy has been tarnished, degraded, and banished from the american narrative. in large part, due to the legal opinion that you just heard and the criminal justice system that affected his unjust conviction. so, the conviction was not just painful for his family, but for his followers. it has made all of our lives less rich. it has robbed us of an important part of our history. so, i, myself, never heard the name marcus garvey until i was 15 years old and reading my favorite book, the autobiography of malcolm x, a book that changed my life.
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and i found that marcus hervey was someone that malcolm x 's father had worked with. so, i went to research, who is this guy? marcus garvey? i went to a local public library to find information, because of the public school where i was there was no book on marcus garvey. i read a book called black moses, by david cronin. it was seen as a balance d treatment of marcus garvey and his movement and presented garvey as a well-meaning dreamer buffoon, whoof a was too ostentatious for his own good. and his incompetence in management led to his ultimate demise, according to cronin. so, is this an accurate telling of garvey's story?
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if not, why is that the legacy that has been passed down to us 90 years later? the silencing of garvey does not come from irrelevant. in my short career, i have had the opportunity to travel to the caribbean, africa, other parts of the world. and i was able to do the same thing marcus garvey did 100 years earlier, which is wherever you go in europe and the united dates, wherever there are black people, they are at the bottom of the social ladder. what garvey did was to open our eyes to the fact that this does not have to be so. this is not something that was written in stone. his message rings true a century after he first delivers it. since the message is still relevant, how come we don't know about it? i think the answer is provided in the legal brief that i wrote. charles ogilvie that we submitted.
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and a signed by dr. julius garvey. the answer, i think will shop, disappoint, and greatly disappoint many of the readers. we submitted it to the department of justice into the white house, and i think it will also shop, disappoint and surprise many of surprise many of them. what it railed reveal is it was deliberately and intentionally silenced, and the law was just a tool that was used by j edgar hoover and other people who were interested in seeing garvey's message depressed. today in 2006 teen, president obama has an opportunity to write this wrong.


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