tv KQED Newsroom PBS August 27, 2017 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
♪ hello and welcome to kqed news room. i'm thuy vu. coming up on our show, one woman's mission to achieve social and economic justice. we talk to the new executive director of dream corps in oakland. first, local news. hours after a plan to rally in san francisco saturday, patriot prayer founder joey gibson is calling it off. he says he plans to hold a press conference instead, not far from the civic center. >> we have decided that tomorrow really seems like a set up. it doesn't seem face. a lot of people's lives are going to be in danger tomorrow. >> before making that is surprise announcement, gibson spoke to us about his philosophy and why he wants to come to the bay area.
mr. gibson, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> what does your group patriot prayer stand for? >> it's not so much a group. it's more of a philosophy but it's really about bringing love and peace, promoting free speech and freedom. getting away from the politics, don't really care who you vote for. left or right. but it's really about bringing together good people and focus on the cultural problems we have in the country. >> house minority leader nancy pelosi calls your gathering a white supremacy gathering. what is it about your message do you they resonates with white supremacists? they do show up to the rallies as well as white nationalists. >> yeah, we have 300 people and they do hijack a message. it's unacceptable. it's something we have to work on. one thing i see, when i see
moderate liberals marching in the streets, and a couple members show up, hijack and it start breaking windows, start burning stuff down and all the media does is focus on the few individuals who want to cause problems. it's kind of the same thing. we have a problem on the left and right. we have extremists who are trying to use our platform to get their message out. >> if theas another case, though f you still planning to have kyle chapman at your event? he was arrested and charged with hitting a protester with a billy club in march in berkeley. >> absolutely. absolutely. i'm all for peace and i'm trying hard for people to have nonviolent actions. i believe it's your god given right for self-defense. the abontifa members, they go
around attacking people. at the end of the day, i'm going to ask moderate liberals if they have issues on the extremists on the right, they are running all over the place, pouring acid on people, beating people up. innocent people. they are not just beating up people they think are racist. they are bating up on people who they think stands again them. >> there may be some of the left who are committing violence. but in charlottesville, it was someone on the right who ran a car into protesters and killed a woman. >> absolutely. that's a hoeshorrible thing, ri? hate is hate. if you're out there looking to hate people to further your own political agenda, that is evil, period rncht you concerned about violence at your event on saturday? do you know there's a risk of violence? how are you dealing with that? >> yeah, we are extremely concerned about it. it's always a concern. there's going to be supposedly
2,000 annifa members who show up and they want violence. they want to scare people off. >> i think white supremacists and white nationalists will show up as well. >> absolutely. there will be a couple who show up for sure. >> i think the concern is more than a couple will show up. there is that concern there will be more than a couple who show up -- >> if there is -- okay, you know what would be a huge concern? if 2,000 nazis showed up or klans members showed up and were running through the streets and breaking windows that would be extremely scary. say they show up. we have to make sure they have nothing to do with us. we don't want them. just like we don't want antifa so they are both a problem. the thing is, we have to speak out against all extremists. >> why did you decide to have this rally in san francisco and what is your goal? why did you flan to have it here
in this city? >> one of the things dwoe, we go in a lot of areas we feel like it's intolerant of ideas and thoughts. and portland, seattle for example, we know a lot of the people in portland and seattle are good libliberals. they believe in free speech. they believe in love and freedom and they are extremists on the left that are the loutdest. so it looks like the social justice warriors and all the people represent the left and the big cities like portland and seattle but they don't. they are just allowed it. the same thing with san francisco. there was a poll done, and after of san francisco, after nancy pelosi said we're a white supremacist group, half of san francisco said we should be able to have a rally. and i believe 58% said that france is more intolerant. it's not just about going in the areas just to stand up against
san francisco as an entirety. we are actually going this there to let modern liberals understand they don't just represent your city and we do want to bring moderate left and moderate right together. that is key to get rid of thome on both sides. >> there are security measures in place. have you been talking to law enforcement and what are you associated in terms of how to make sure there is a safe area. >> so police officers, you know, when they're not held back by politicians, their number one goal is to make sure everyone's safe. try to negotiate. try to get a fine balance to make sure that our word gets out there but the same time, everyone stays safe. the same time, police officers will make some restrictions for good intention to make sure everyone's safe but sometimes it limits our ability to get our word out there and have free speech. so we try to work together to
get things worked out. >> you say when police officers aren't held back by politicians, they do a better job. how do you mean? >> well, california has several cities where they tell police to stand down, san jose, berkeley. they are flnotorious for lettin antifa, trying to run the conservatives out of town. and the police are given orders directly by the mayor. >> i think the orders are to control anybody who becomes violent, right on the left. >> yeah, arrest anybody who breaks the hlaw. that's how it should be. so when the police stand down and let people battle in the streets, that's not okay. that's not right. it shouldn't mat horse breaks the law. if you assault someone and it's not self-defense, you need be arrested and taken to jail. >> and also finally a right wing
rally is planned for sunday in berkeley. are you planning to stick around and attend that as well? >> yeah, absolutely i'll be there. >> all right, joey gibson with patriot prayer, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. and joining me now in the studio for further analysis, qqed reporter koving saturday's rally. steve mccutchen, member of the black panther party, and eva patterson of the equal justice society. eva, what is your reaction to joey from patriot prayer? >> i thought he was fascinating and he is able to talk what about what he is doing without saying who he is. and the people ho attracts. he attracts white supremacissup. people were in charleston protesting against people who wanted to make sure that robert
e. lee's statue, a symbol of slavery and the bondage of my people, stayed up. huh ministeres, you had people protesting. and one lady, heather heyer, was mowed down and murdered. it's interesting that he has picked progressive communities to have his marches staged at. that's no mistake. they want to take us on. the final thingly say, of course san francisco feels they should be able to march. we support the first amendment that says no matter how odious the speech, you have a trite say it. >> you are support the rally on sad? >> i don't support it the but i didn't oppose it. i belong to the aclu and i believe in the first amendment.
i think they are horrible people. i wish they would go away. but our country says they have a right to march and protest. >> you will be out there cover ing the rally tomorrow. what can we expect to see? you have been talking to a lot of people about this. >> it's not going to be a regular saturday in san francisco or in berkeley later in the weekend. we know there's going to be a heavy police presence, park police is going to be in charge of the security at the event and very heavy presence from sfpd. that's going to be restricted access to the park. the only white people that will be able to the fields is by foot. they are completely banning vehicles, even bikes from the park. and i think part of it the they want to prevent any type of violent clash especially after charlottesville. >> steve, you were once with the black panther party which had a strong anti-racism message in
the 1960s and '70s and a controversial history. as you're looking at this, do you think counterer protesters should go to the patriot prayer rally and other right wing rallies this weekend? >> give than people have the choice to attend or not to attend, during a period of time that we organize and looking at the objectives of modern organizations are, modern groups are, these groups and these individuals have no agenda. they have no platform, no program. people are coming out for the excitement and to be enticed. there is nothing qualitative the people will take away from these types of events. >> do you think there's not a strong message? look what happened in boston when a small right wing rally was overwhelmed by counterprotesters who came out by the tens of thousands of people. >> again, showing up just for the excitement, just for the
excitement. just to oppose someone else. to oppose someone else for what and then to be on the verge, on the cusp of counterviolence or actions against individuals' safety. these are not wise ideas. these are not wise values and tactics if you're interested in safety and well-being of people involved. >> what should people do then? if people want to be involved and want to make a difference and talk about unity and peace, what do you want people to do if you don't think they be out at the counterprotesters? >> if you wish to challenge an idea or a program, a policy, then prepare something concrete, something objective that people can attend that mininimizes the chance of their safety being violated, their health being violated and something that is
going to provoke law enforcement and other agencies to step? and intervene. we do not need any type of event, something that incites and precipitates violence. >> you want to say something here? >> yeah, something that is different about the events this weekend, i see people on the the streets talking about it all the time. just this morning, i saw someone talking to someone on the phone about whether to go or not. i think this is a debate for a lot of people on whether they should try to ignore what's happening, these rallies. or try to be there and in an organized, peaceful fashion. and just this morning, i spoke with a latina immigrant in san francisco who came here because of the ethnic diversity in the area. and she feel es she needs to e show up just to show these other folks -- >> what and where are some of the counterrallies that are scheduled? >> we have one of the biggest ones at civic center plaza at
pretty much the same time as the protest prayer rally. a flum number of events in chri field and baker's beach. a clown event is planned there and a human chain. and then -- and then in other parts of the city n hayward, big groups are having a big, peaceful rally. >> what are you hearing from people as you're out there in the neighborhoods talking to folks? because is there a feeling of anxiety or dread or on do people feel that this is a chance, an opportunity to give a different kind of message? >> i think it's really mixed depending on who you're talking to. i spoke with residents of the presidio for example. and there is a complex there for military veterans. a lot of the people there find it offensive that a patriot
prayer rally is happening in a place like san francisco. a lot of the folks are african-american and they feel that the military is about unity and you can divide people by color if you care about this country. and other people are just annoyed that so much change is happening on that part of the city and it's shut down. they're levering town or they're hunkering down in their homes. >> you have a point you wanted to make about the counterrally? >> just that many of the organizers today, and the ones again who participate, just for the sight, just for the spectacle, they don't seem to have an idea of the agenda or they do not understand the agenda presented to them. if you have an idea such as different programs, different counterprotests mentioned, attend those. this d this decreases the probability there are going to be clashes.
other wise, we have so many people that are going to disagree for one idea, one statement of another, you just set the stage for people to clash. you're going to have that opposition which reaches aggression levels coming into contact and all you're going to have is a boiling pot where there's nothing left but just to boil over. >> here's one thingly say to anybody who is going out there. you're going to be tempted to smack somebody. you're going to hear things that are terribly offensive but you want to show restraint. we are just people who don't like racism and anti-semitism and fascism. and i heard about one rally where a flag fell and one person was going to pick up the flag and hurl it and a black lives matter person got up and stopped that. please exercise restraint. they want to show pictures of
people of color acting crazy. you got to the be restrained. if you don't think you can be retrained, stay home. >> where are lives in a time where there is so much tension and bitterness. and you were active in the '60s. and does devisiveness peel like the '60s all over again? is it that bad? >> it's a different chapters. the conditions still exist. the all conditions still exist. they are just given new names, new labels these days and the actors, the actors will come on to the scene, these days, they brought new descriptions and new ideas to define old conditions of clothing, poverty, lack of education, medical care, police injustice, falsehoods in the criminal justice system.
those conditions still exist and there's no way to avoid the reality. and people who attend say, what are the ideas we are listening to? and to expect to take home? >> what i add to that is that racism has been weaponized because nixon and lee and atwater decided they wanted to have all the kind of racist people in the republican party and were seeing the results of that polarized supreme court, campaign finance reform blown up. they have taken it to random racist to a political party whose goal is to under mine color. and you have a washington, d.c. that is dysfunctional and not helping people of color. >> the issue of politics,
freedom of expression is much less comprehensive in places. germany, nazi logos are illegal. and they will fine people if they don't delete racist posts in the next 24 hours. should the u.s. have rules on racist speech? >> i think it will never happen. you have a president of the united states that things that they are emblematic and fine. >> do you think we need more restrictions on racism and hate speech in this country? >> i think it would never pass and i think people should be allowed to say what they think as long as they don't hurt me. but i also believe the symbols of racism should come down wherever they are. >> we have a problem with racism
and white supremacy, white nationalism in the country because it's institutionalized. unless those attitudes and believes rither away over time, they are going to remain. you can policy anything, you can put anything in policy. you can police anything. but unless the attitudes and behaviors change people on a daily basis, unless those change, all the policies in this administration or forthcoming will not change people's actions. the right, the left or any where along the road. >> we have to leave it there. steve mccutchen, thank you so much. eva patterson, and frida, thank you. >> thank you. >> we turn now to one woman's fight for those who are disadvantaged and forgotten. vien truong is the new ceo of
dream corps. she was born to family of refugees and that experience inspires mump of what she does today. vien truong is here now. >> thanks for having more. >> you are giving more disadvantaged youth text jobs to cut the prison population in half. are there common challenges you see? >> they are all connected to america's toughest problems. the wealthy divide and how do we connect perk v america together. the dream corps is like the marine corpses for the americans. and they will free people from prison, reducing population by 50% in ten years. and making sure we are connecting people in commune tips to the future of our economy. i live in kpluoakland where i g
up. we want to the connect oaklanders to the silicon valley as well. and green, we are suffering the toughest problems for the environment now. how do we protect families in oakland and communities like oakland in my community. it has higher lead poisoning in our blood than flint, michigan. >> really? >> yeah. >> what are you doing about that? >> we have a moms campaign that is coming up. one of the things that we know, is whether you're a mom in flint michigan or in oakland like i am or a mom in new orleans, no matter the context of which you live, it's nonnegotiable. and i can't let the kids play in the backyards often and to have the ability to walk to your mailbox without a mask on. that is happening in richmond, california, and bakersfield, california.
and the buget cuts that the u.s. president is proposing to cut the budget by one-third, it's abhorrent. we want people to join the campaign with moms across the country protekting kids. >> your parents were vietnamese refugees, and can you tell us about that experience? >> that's right. they came here as refugees from vietnam after the war. and the only jobs they could find was picking strawberries and snow peas in portland, california, and went to suite shops in oakland, california. my mom wanted me to the first kid in a family of 11 to go to college. >> made mom proud. >>dy. >> you studied rhetoric. i came 234 from refugee, one of eight kids. we are wearing similar shoes
today. it's eerie. >> you're my twin! >> what's that background? that is the one moment you realized you wanted to be a community organize center. >> when i went to cal, i thought that growing up in oakland, dodging bullets was normal. when i got there, i didn't have to worry about my life going to campus. and began to understand that the conditions were similar to other conditions around the country. and the communities and communities of color. to me that is not right. and i found success to wasn't just about justice and poverty but to end it. >> and you received the white house champion of change award for your work on project screen and communities affected by pollution. what are the things you are now doing to turn that around? >> we want to make sure thea with defending against bad policies. the regulations the president is
proposing, it's going to hurt our kids. we want to defend against the budget cuts. we want to advance solution. in oregon, washington, new york, we are bringing in celebrities, money, access. and to help organizers get good solutions on the environment. >> you also co-lit a campaign for the polluters pay fund. how does it work? >> we make polluters pay for the poison they put in the air. a coalition of friends and i came together and said let's make sure the money goes to the communities, the people who have been paying for their health and lives. it's bekcome the biggest fund i history for low income communities. almost $11 billion and the money goes to affordable houses, free bus passes for seniors and students. we got a woman a free solar panel in fresno. her e electricity bill was $300
a month. it dropped a $1 a month. >> when you were hired at ceo of dream corps, it was announced that one of your key roles would be to help lead the trump resistance. what does it mean for you exactly and how do you plan to do that? >> we are already well on the way. leading the trump resistance is advancing the future of the country that is ability connection, unity, working together. that is what he is fighting against when he sided with the kkk and white supremacy. we said let's work together. we have a 14-city tour, nashville, dallas, new york, oakland, and we connected people. it was such a diversity in the audience. people wanted to heal, and rise up. for healing and unity in this future. >> all right, well, vien truong, my newly discovered tw ee eed t,
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, august 27: the first big texas hurricane in a decade dumps more than a foot of rain along the state's gulf coast, severely flooding houston, while other cities bear down and clean up. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.b.p. foundation. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill. barbara hope zuckerberg. co