tv Democracy Now LINKTV December 13, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
12/13/13 12/13/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! more to help fix this broken immigration system. so i decided then i would participate in the fast for families. for me, it is a renewal of my commitment to justice, to making sure this immigration system is fixed once and for all.
>> as the house of representatives ended session for the year without cutting immigration reform, we speak to labor leader eliseo medina who long hungerd a month- fast on the mall for immigration reform. he joined the labor movement for decades ago, working alongside cesar chavez. a south africa prepares for the funeral of nelson mandela, we look back at how african- american workers at polaroid helped launch the divestment movement against apartheid in south africa in the early 1970s. we will speak with caroline hunter, cofounder of the polaroid workers revolutionary movement, who opposed polaroid making photos for the id pass books for blacks under apartheid. >> and by whatever means necessary, we have found corporations, government forces of imperialism have aligned. what we're are calling for is the same tactics. by whatever means necessary, we as an african people align
ourselves, understand the seriousness of the struggle. >> and we look at how the cia helped south africa capture nelson mandela in 1962. he was then imprisoned for over 27 years. during much of that time, the national security agency also surveil theall -- african national congress. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a u.s. drone attack in yemen struck a group of people who were traveling to a wedding thursday, killing at least 17. a yemeni security officials said some of the dead may have been members of al qaeda, but most were civilians. the attack occurred in a remote area near the central town of rada. it was at least the second u.s. drone attack this week in yemen after a strike in an eastern province killed at least three people this week since an attack killed at least three people on monday.
in ukraine, mass protests are continuing over the government's decision not to sign a trade pact with the european union. but speaking in brussels on thursday, ukraine's first deputy prime minister said ukraine will sign a deal soon. we listen to the ukrainian people and our negotiations will continue. ukraine will soon find its association agreement with the european union, taken into account the national strategic interest. military chiefs have agreed to meet with the leader of a mass protest movement seeking to replace the government with an unelected council. prime minister yingluck shinawat has dissolved parliament, but is resisting calls for her immediate resignation. road testers remain camped outside of her offices in bangkok. the united nations has released a long-awaited report confirming chemical weapons were likely used in syria in five out of
seven of the attacks it investigated. the attacks include the well- known incident in ghouta and to others that appeared to target syrian soldiers. the u.n. did not say who it believed was behind the attacks. a new report says an american captured in iran nearly seven years ago was working for the cia. robert levinson disappeared after arriving on the iranian island of kish to spy on the iranian government. the cia told congress and the fbi he did not have a relationship to the agency at the time. but the associated press reveals levinson which is iran at the behest of cia analyst. officials have cast the mission as a rogue operation. but the analysts claim many people knew about it. the ap says a confirmed levinson's cia ties in 2010, it agreed to delay revealing them three times at the behest of the obama administration which is that it was pursuing leads for his return. there is been no sign of levinson, whether he is alive, for the last three years.
north korea says the uncle of its leader, kim jong-un, has been executed for plotting a military coup. the state-run news agency said thaek was killed thursday after being convicted of treason. he was previously cnet was one of north korea's most powerful figures. hasrepublican-led house approved a bipartisan budget deal to avert another government shutdown. the bill is his across-the-board spending cuts, replacing them with new airline fees and cuts to federal pensions. in a concession by democrats, the bill does not extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people which are set to expire this month. house speaker john boehner far right- announced groups that criticize it. >> their misleading their followers. i think they're pushing our members in places where they don't want to be. frankly, i just think they have lost all credibility.
they pushed us in this fight to defund obamacare and shut down the government. that was not the strategy i had in mind. but if you recall the day before the government reopened, one of these groups stood up and said, well, we never really thought it would work. are you kidding me? >> the house also passed a pentagon bill that would keep going open antimilitary sexual assault cases within the chain of command, while making more difficult for commanding officers to toss out verdicts. the u.s. general who opened guantánamo in 2002 is calling for the prison to be closed. in a piste published by the "detroit free press," retired major general michael leonard wrote --
lehnert also criticized what he called an unwise and unnecessary ban on transferring prisoners to the united states, which is part of the new pentagon bill. the sign language interpreter who was accused of botching elsa mandel's memorial service says he was suffering hallucinations as a result of schizophrenia. thamsanqa jantjie defended his credentials, but said he saw angels entering fnb stadium where he stood on stage next to president obama and other world leaders. he apologized for his signing, which apparently amounted to gibberish. >> the most terrible thing in my [indiscernible] but on that day in question, my physical state was not find.
is not and, but it justification. i just want to put it in the clarity that i was not fine on the day in question. >> a south african official said the owners of the company the interpreter worked for pure to have vanished. tens of thousands of people have continued lining up to pay their last respects to nelson mandela as his body lies in state for third and final day. mandela will be transferred this afternoon to his childhood home where he will be buried on sunday. israel has shelved plans for a mass expulsion of that when arabs following massive protests. pan wouldlled prawer raise bedouin villages in the nick of desert and replace them with israeli settlements, displacing tens of thousands of people. the ecuadoran government has shut down an environmental group that opposed its plan to allow oil drilling influx of the amazon rain forest. the foundation says police closed the group's offices last week and presented them with a
resolution saying the group was dissolved. the group was one of many protesting plans to drill in an area renowned for its biological diversity. a texas teenager from a wealthy family who killed four people while driving drunk will avoid a prison sentence following claims he suffered from affluenza. 16-year-old ethan couch was speeding with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he killed four people. prosecutors sought a 20 year sentence, but couch was sentenced to 10 use probation after psychologist testified. >> of fortune-year-old african- american child was sentenced by the same judge a year or two ago , 14-year-old killed one person, punching him, and that person felt and hit his head on the fine -- sidewalk and died, that african-american child at 10 year sentence, got sentenced to
a juvenile justice facility. why should there be a separate system just because you have money? >> i don't think there is a separate system. this young man will be a ward of the state for 10 years, anderson. 10 years. if he missteps any time, that judge can send him to the penitentiary. >> couch will reportedly be attending a rehab facility that cost $450,000 a year. in new york, domino's pizza store has agreed to reinstate 25 workers who say they faced retaliation for protesting unfair wages and treatment. the workers they managers cut their delivery shifts after they participated in a nationwide day of action to demand a living wage last week. one worker said he was forced to work longer shifts inside, where he doesn't receive tips. not fair.him, that's i'm not making enough money here. i have to go out and do deliveries because that is where i make money. they said, no, go finish the job.
they did that to another guy. they told me could not go out until he finished doing the dishes. we all got together and said they're retaliating against us. >> the workers walked off the job in protest saturday night and and were barred from returning to work. on thursday, attorney general eric schneiderman said the store had agreed to reinstate the workers. saturday marks the one-year since the massacre at sandy hook elementary school that killed six educators and 21st-graders. on thursday, relatives of gun violence victims from around the country gathered at the national cathedral in washington, d c for a vigil. the father of slain sandy hook ousseau lauren r addressed the gathering. >> we are here today with a common goal of remembering our to makees and seeking our world a safer place. accept kindness and efforts to promote a cause of the best way to keep the memory of the victim of gun violence alive.
i will remember. >> we will remember. >> since newtown, congress has not passed any legislation ongoing control, apart from the extension of a decade-long ban on plastic guns. a recent "new york times" analysis found nearly two thirds of gun laws passed by the state since newtown have loosened gun restrictions. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the republican-controlled house of representatives has finished its work for the year without passing conference of immigration reform. thursday, leaders from both parties promised to revisit the issue early in the new year. meanwhile, outside the white house, more than 1000 immigration activists descended on the offices of house lawmakers on thursday to protest the houses in action on the issue. they held vigils and share their
personal stories of the offices of more than 190 house republicans and four house democrats. >> the demonstrations came as immigration reform organization "fast for families" concluded 31 days of fasting. during a press conference on the national mall, activist broke their fast and vowed to continue pushing for immigration reform bill that includes the cessation to deportations and a pathway to citizenship. i had set up a tent on the national mall and received visits from high-profile guests including president obama, vice president joe biden, house minority leader nancy pelosi. last month, president obama praised their resolve. >> right now i'm seeing great advocates who have been fasting for two weeks in the shadow of the capital, sacrificing themselves in an effort to get congress to act. i want to say to eliseo medina and the other fasters who are there as we speak, i want them
to know we hear you. we are with you. the whole country hears you. >> for more we go to washington, d.c. where we're joined by eliseo medina. he served as international secretary-treasurer of the service employees international union until october 1. he resigned saying he wanted to work full-time on winning conference of immigration legislation. he recently spent 22 days on a water only fast as part of an action by, "a fast for families: a call for immigration reform and citizenship." he worked alongside labor leader cesar chavez for 13 years. his career as a labor activist began in 1965 when, as a 19- year-old grape picker, he participated in the historic united farm worker strike in california. eliseo medina, welcome to democracy now! can you talk about why you fasted and what you feel you have accomplished now that the house has ended without passing immigration reform? >> thank you, amy. first of all, we were haunted by
the fact that last year 463 people died in the desert trying to come to the united states in search of a better life. over 2 million people have been deported from the united states. they are numbers, but real people, real human beings with families who love them and who they love. they will never be back with their families because they died in the desert or children are left behind when their mom or dad are deported and they cry themselves to sleep wondering when they will see their parents again. we just couldn't stand to continue to see this human suffering that is going on in our committed the, so we decided we would go on a fast to put human face on this moral crisis
facing our country. that we very fortunate touch the heart of america. we had thousands and thousands of people joining our fast, not only in the united states, but around the world. i think we managed to unify all sectors of our community in support of immigration reform, and even though the congress left town without doing anything about immigration reform, i think there is doubt they have to do something now. and we're going to keep pushing. we are taking our fast into every congressional district so when they come back to washington in january, they will have to act and finish the work of creating a just and humane immigration system. >> eliseo medina, we have heard we are near all possibly close to some kind of a solution on immigration reform now for several years. back in 2007 was a possibility
of a deal then. yesterday, i think in los angeles, a city councilman and some other california politicians began calling for president obama to act himself if nothing is done by congress within the next few months. they are calling for him to use his own executive authority as he did with the dreamers to basically halt massive deportations that have been occurring under his administration. what is your sense of whether that should be the next up if nothing happens, let's say, in january or february, from the new congress? >> i think this is a shared responsibility and that both the president and the congress have authority within their own constitution to do certain things. the president, for example, has the power through executive authority, like you did with the dreamers, to provide some relief to all of these two partitions that are going on that are
tearing families apart. but the president is also right that the only permanent solution is for the congress to reform immigration laws. and we will be pushing really hard to make sure the congress in fact does that. in the meantime, i think the president really needs to take a look and prioritize the throughent of the laws the department of homeland security to focus on criminals, not on everyday workers. >> you were sitting next to him as you are fasting and he came to visit. what did you talk to him about? did you ask him about that? >> we did. we said to the president and shared with him before -- the stories of families that up and torn apart by deportations. he heard us. i think he was moved as was the first lady by this story after
story of the impact of the system. i think the president told us he was going to continue looking at this and would work with us to try to figure out how to work this out. we are hopeful that as the days go on, hopefully, we will be able to figure out a way of stopping this pain and suffering that still continues today in our communities. >> eliseo medina, in late november, a young korean immigrants write activist interrupted his speech president obama was giving about immigration reform. >> mr. president, please use your executive order to halt deportations from 11.5 undocumented immigrants in this country right now. [indiscernible] stopave the power to deportations for all -- >> actually, i don't. the easy way out is to try and yell and pretend like i can do .omething by violating our laws
and what i'm proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic process to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve, but it won't be as easy as just shouting. it requires us lobbying and getting it done. >> that was president obama responding to a young immigrant rights activist. eliseo medina, we have this situation that every day of delay is another 1000 to 1200 people that are being deported from the united states and families continue to be torn apart. and now through the holidays and into january and february. do you see a ramping up in january and february of the pressure, or will both the democrats and republicans get closer to next or's midterm election, began to try to get away from having to take a firm stand on immigration reform? >> we are already planning to
take our fast from washington out into every congressional district in the country where we to theng to be going congressman's districts and having conversations with the constituents about why this immigration reform needs to be done as fast as possible. there is no option for us. we cannot continue to allow deportations and deaths in the desert. we will be pressing congress to act and we will also be asking the president to also take a look and act within his authority. but at the end of the day, they will have to make a decision -- congress will have to make a decision whether they want to take a vote or not. if they decide not to, we know there's an election coming in november 2014 in which we get to vote.
we, the people who care about this issue -- and there are millions and millions and millions of us -- we will be holding the congress accountable for their actions or in actions as it pertains to immigration reform. if they won't vote for us today, why should we vote for them tomorrow? we want them to hear that loud and clear that we also have a choice to make and that choice is that we will remember who is still with us -- who stood with us and who stood against us when it comes time to vote in november 2014. to make it simpler on everybody, just vote today. we can put this pain and suffering behind us, and then we can focus on the other issues that matter to this country during november 2014. >> eliseo medina, last month, a pair of immigrant teenagers confronted speaker john boehner at a capitol hill diner.
13-year-old carmen shared her story and asked the speaker to commit to immigration reform. >> i am 13. you are a father, right? so how would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of 10 they were never coming home? >> that would not be good. >> i know. that is what happened to me. [inaudible] >> well, i'm trying to find somebody to get this thing done. it's not going to be easy. day made it clear since the of election, it is time to get something done. >> so we can count on your vote for immigration reform? >> immigrants rights activists
confronting john boehner at a washington, d.c. diner. i want to go back in time comparing this movement to the movement of cesar chavez, the legendary labor activist thomas overwrites later, founder of the first successful farm workers union, speaking at the commonwealth club in san francisco 1984, a few months after he launched the third and longest great boycott. life i've been driven by one dream, one vote -- one goal, one vision, to overthrow our farm labor system in a station that treats farm workers as if we were not important human beings. farm workers are not agricultural implements. they are not beasts of burden to be used and discarded. >> eliseo medina, you worked alongside cesar chavez. can you talk about a comparison of movements? , cesar chavez say
was an organizational genius, inspiration, a life-changing force for all of us. myself, who used to be a farm california, with an eighth-grade education, no hope for the future until i met cesar. and i see that movement that he began as continuing today because we are talking about the same thing. we're talking about respect. we're talking about dignity, about people being appreciated for the work they do and their contributions. and what is different today, perhaps, is that we now have a much rotter coalition -- a much broader coalition of conscience that wants to see things done right for working people and for immigrants, and that includes business and labor and the faith
committed he -- mormons, baptists and the catholics, evangelicals. it includes community groups, environmental groups, republicans and democrats. there is a unique consensus on immigration reform that is broader than we have ever had in the farmworkers movement. i think we are the descendents of his vision for this country and for our communities. and i think we are going to win immigration reform does like cesar chavez won many victories in the fields of california. this is the right cause. this is the right time. i think the american people demand it. the republicans need it for their own revoke -- all political needs. i think wille end, be good for america and immigrants. we will get it done. it is not a matter of if, but when. >> eliseo medina, even within the labor movement, there was a long walk on this issue of
immigration reform, wasn't there? the early labor movement, to a certain extent, even the farmworkers for a while saw the immigrant labor as a threat to domestic u.s. labor. could you talk about that process of being, first, waging the battle within the labor movement to change its position before now and this broader fight among the american people? >> unfortunately, the early labor movement so immigrants as competition's rather than allies. years there were taking this position to try to restrict immigration because they saw immigrants as taking jobs from american workers. obviously, business did not see it that way. what business wanted to do was of a prophet as they could. -- profit.
it is ironic because the labor movement was founded by immigrants. seiu was founded from immigrants from poland, ireland, the czech republic. as a labor movement, we're going back to our roots, advocating for people who come to this country in search of the american dream. it was difficult at first, the getting to shift from what had been basically in isolation position to one that says, you know, our job as the labor movement is to unite all workers so that we can all fight together for improving the wages and the benefits of everybody, for our mutual benefit. while it took some time, i'm happy to say that over the last 15 years, we have all been united. we had building trades.
we have construction unions. we have industrial unions. tent and alln the uniting to fight for immigrants rights, working together with business. who would have thunk it? the chamber of commerce, the afl-cio, together on anything? all one issue overcomes those barriers and divisions and brings us together because at the end of the day, it will be good for the economy, it will be good for working people, and he will be good for us as a nation of immigrants. >> eliseo medina, thank you for being with us. among those who fasted for days this week in solidarity with all of the immigrant rights fasters. new jersey senators robert menendez and cory booker and senate majority whip dick durbin. eliseo medina served as the international secretary- treasurer of the service employs international union, or seiu,
until october 1. he resigned saying he wanted to work full-time on winning conference of immigration legislation. he helped lead the month-long water-only fast as part of the action by "a fast for families: a call for immigration reform and citizenship." when we come back, we're going to new orleans to a polaroid dimmest who helped lead the movement against apartheid when she, together with her husband, realized that the company the were working for was making pass books for black south africans. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
movement to win his freedom and bring an end to apartheid. today we bring you a key part of the story of how the worldwide campaign to use economic pressure helped bring about the fall of the apartheid regime, even as powerful countries like the united states continued to support it. the story begins in cambridge, massachusetts, when two employees of polaroid discover their employers role and a key part of the oppression of blacks in south africa. but in a minute we will be joined by one of those workers -- caroline hunter. first, this is an excerpt from a film series called, "have your heard from johannesburg?" africanfirst from south archbishop desmond tutu, then from caroline herself, as well as polaroid vice president at the time, peter wensberg. >> we are not asking that you make a political decision. were not asking you to make an
economic decision. were asking you to make a moral decision. those who invest in south africa patronizingg and one of the most vicious systems the world has ever known. >> perhaps twice in a lifetime, and there comes an invention so radically new and actually changes the way we live our lives. seconds after you touch the red electric button, the camera hands you the picture. it can reveal the world to you as you have never seen it before.
>> in cambridge, massachusetts, caroline hunter, a chemist, and ken williams, photographer, were working at polaroid in the 1970s when they noticed something. >> it was really a fluke. we were going out to lunch and as we passed through the work lays on our way out, we saw an id badge made for south africans. we looked at it. we begin to say to each other, [indiscernible] >> in south africa, what polaroid did was they introduced the kind of technology that would give the government is very effective hold on black people. ♪ >> blacks had to carry a passbook on them at all times because they were not considered citizens of south africa. considered citizens of homeland -- and fertile grounds
where no one could earn a living. to work in the white areas, they lived in labor camps surrounding the cities. all of their movements controlled by their past. the penalty for failing to produce a pass was imprisonment. >> we really had some sense that no one is free unless everybody is free. we had some relationships with black people everywhere will stop as workers, we have a right to say what happened to our labors, so we started off asking, what is polaroid doing in south africa? >> this was certainly viewed very quickly as a major issue. it was something that affected our black employees. it affected are quite employees because they had assumed they were working for a company that was socially responsible.
>> that was polaroid vice president at the time peter wensberg. that is a clip from, "have your heard from johannesburg?" it is eight-part document a series that aired on pbs independent lens. hopefully, it will air on pbs again, the whole series. the boycott and investment campaign also group to target other corporations of apartheid south africa including general motors, barclays bank among others. >> for more we go to new orleans where we're joined by caroline hunter for the young chemist who was working for the polaroid corporation in 1970 when she stumbled upon evidence that her employer was providing the camera systems to produce photographs for the infamous pass books. along with her partner ken williams, she formed the polaroid workers revolutionanary movement to campaign for boycott. by 1977, polaroid finally withdrew from south africa. caroline hunter, welcome to democracy now! >> good morning. >> your thoughts, first about
that movement back then, the action of polaroid to your questions and your concerns and especially now in this week after the death of nelson mandela? >> polaroid pretended they did not know what was going on in south africa. 1937olaroid was founded in . in 1938, they opened their first is to readership in south africa. reflecting on the death of mandela, i think we have lost one of the greatest human beings who has ever lived. we must learn from his example that one person can truly make a difference in the life of not only his people, but the lives in the world. >> caroline hunter, you proved a person to make a difference. describe the moment when you started to make the connection. this is the early 1970s. your it done woman chemist working at polaroid in cambridge, massachusetts.
when you realize the connection between apartheid south africa and your work? >> it is interesting i'm in new orleans when i'm doing this interview because i learned ofut apartheid in 10th grade preparatory high school where i graduated in 1964. our social studies teacher to a book that resonated with me, and the pain and suffering from apartheid moved to me at that time is a 10th-grader. i saw apartheid again with the massacre and then was out of my mind until that moment at polaroid. all i knew then was it was a bad -- south africa was a bad place for black people. .e studied ourselves we traced the history back to nazi germany. polaroid had the technology that made the truly effective and brutal. >> then of course around the
same time a huge campaign developed against the south african gold coins. the south african miners were terribly exploited within the mines by the government and that was at the period when gold was rising in value. to camera was also used photograph the miners. we saw one of the examples of a well. court as >> the photograph we saw was not from the mind, but the polaroid campaign was the beginning campaign in 1970. the cougar and campaign developed in the 1980s as we increase the education of the movement. we presented polaroid with three demands. that polaroid get out of south africa, that they announce in the u.s. and south africa simultaneously there are born source -- importance of apartheid.
abhorrence of apartheid. we wanted to say, don't have anything to do with them. don't buy stock. don't use the cameras. don't buy the film. >> this is another excerpt from, "have your heard from johannesburg?" it looks at how polaroid responded to toyoyoyhe boycott. we first hear from polaroid vice president peter wensberg, then polaroid executive vice president, other employees, and then the company's president during the campaign. we decided to form a committee to try to decide what was the right thing to do. >> one of the black members of our committee says, you know, for 100 years or more, whites have been telling us blacks what is best for us and now we're sitting here trying to do the
same thing for the blacks in south africa. he says, i don't think we should be doing that. so someone asked, what did he think we should do? he said, i think we should go ask them what they want to do. exactly thems like right -- it suddenly seemed like the right thing to do. >> polaroid and a team of employees to johannesburg to ask south africans whether the company should withdraw. but in south africa, people could not speak freely. : for the withdrawal of foreign investment was a crime measurable by death. >> the basic concern was we could do nothing about the system, even with drawing polaroid film. >> gillikin they felt you could do was something that would help them educationally. >> the company concluded they would remain in south africa and launch a program to improve conditions for their workers.
washe polaroid experiment establishing an educational foundation, establishing training classes, realign the wage scales, and also we said our distributor was going to stop selling products to the government. polaroid publicly denounced apartheid. activity and convert it into a presence for doing a great deal of good. >> that is a clip from, "have your heard from johannesburg?" person to speak, the president of polaroid. caroline hunter, you confronted him. >> yes, we did. to somented the demand of his first vice presidents. and the day before we testified at the united nations special committee on apartheid, ken and myself and the workers attended a conference of international
chemist and physicist at which he was the main speaker. we had a teach-and with signs of the people and we got on the stage before he spoke with signs and banners and talked about the brutal oppression in south africa that polaroid have been profiting from for many years. the study committee was just a way to continue doing business in south africa. south africa made it very clear that under no circumstances were a supervisor of blacks and no matter how much polaroid raised their wages, the system of apartheid would continue. >> the polaroid executives in that film showed they were attempting or at least say they were attempting to get to the bottom of the issue and respond to it, but you ended up being suspended by polaroid? >> yes, i was suspended and eventually fired. the study committee was just a corporate strategy, another
strategy to cover up the fact that in a police state -- which is what south africa was -- you could not speak against apartheid, you cannot even say the name nelson mandela. you could not say, polaroid should not take these pictures. so to interview people who are imprisoned by your system was just disingenuous. >> i want to go back to a clip a black film about president of johannesburg describing his passbook. >> do you have your pass on you? what does it say your status is? >> in this reference book, it is stated i am permitted to remain --the area of to harrisburg johannesburg as a laborer. i could be thrown out any day as long as anything go slightly wrong. >> the use of that passbook, caroline, and where you ended
up? he you are fired from polaroid. and how the movement ended up with the corporate campaign, not only against polaroid, but other corporations that were invested in south africa? >> yes, actually, firing me gave me more time to devote myself to the campaign to get polaroid out of south africa. as one of our leaflet said, polaroid and 650 corporations doing business in south africa, apartheid is our business and business is good. south africa was mineral-rich and had the most cheap labor pool at that time. ,any u.s. corporations profited kept their dealing secret, and continue to be in south africa until the pressure in the united states grew, the international pressure group. we got the city council in cambridge and boston to begin the sanctions movement. eventually, our group visited rondell him in the black caucus and he began to follow national
legislation which after 15 years was enacted over residential vetoed. >> and you met with president mandela when he came to the u.s.? >> yes. that was a thrill of the lifetime. we had received information they were aware of our activities and encouraged her to continue. but in 1990, myself and my late husband winter reception in the evening with nelson mandela. pressure -- pleasure of meeting him, receiving his thanks, his acknowledgment that in efforts made a difference south africa. >> and these days, what are you doing? are you continuing social justice work? >> i am a retired public school educator. i retired from 34 years of public teaching and administration in cambridge, massachusetts. in 2001, i received a national education associations rosa parks memorial award, which was quite an honor to be associated with her, for my anti-apartheid
work. >> caroline hunter, thank you so much for your work and for sharing your story. caroline hunter, a young chemist working at polaroid when she stumbled on evidence that polaroid and her work was being used to provide the camera system to the south african state to produce photographs for the infamous pass books. along with her partner ken williams, she formed the polaroids workers -- polaroid workers revolutionary movement to campaign for boycott. by 1977, polaroid finally withdrew from south africa. thank you for inspiring so many students as well in the united states. wouldamong them when we do our work at our university, attempting to get our university to pull out of south africa. so manyk and cans and of the workers were the inspiration for that work. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. moment withack in a andrew cockburn who was the
>> carole king performing at the vigil against gun violence at the national cathedral in washington, d.c. on thursday. saturday marks one year since the newtown massacre. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> as south africa prepares to hold a state funeral for nelson mandela, we end today's show looking back at what happened on the day of august 5, 1962 when south africa police captured mandela. on that day, mandela was arrested while traveling in disguise as a chauffeur.
he would be held in joke of the next 27 years. on tuesday, president obama referenced mandela's time in jail during a speech at the memorial. >> he would indoor or brutal imprisonment that began -- and you're a brutal imprisonment that began at the time of kennedy and khrushchev and reached the final days of the prison., emerging from he was like abraham lincoln, hold the country together when it is trying to break apart. >> while obama referenced the kennedy ministration and is memorial, he made no mention of the multiple reports the cia, under kennedy, tipped off the apartheid south african regime in 1962 about mandela's whereabouts. in 1990, the cox news service quoted a former u.s. official saying that within hours of mandela's arrest, senior cia operative named paul e amid the agency's involvement. eckel was reported as having
told the official -- >> several news outlets have reported the actual source of the tip that led to the arrest of mandela was a cia official named donald rickard. we attempted to reach him at his home in colorado. in two occasions the man who picked up the phone hung up. last year he denied the reports in an interview with the wall street journal but refused to talk about his time in south africa. meanwhile, the activist group roots action has launched a campaign to urge the cia to open its files on mandela and south africa. we go now to andrew cockburn who first reported on the cia and to the arrest of mandela in 1986 in "the new york times." he is now the washington editor for "harpers" magazine. welcome back to democracy now!
ink about what you found out the mid-1980s. at this point, nelson mandela had been imprisoned for over 20 years. >> that's right. i found out or reported that he had been, as you mentioned, he had been arrested thanks to a tip from the cia while disguised as a chauffeur. what i had heard at the time as he was on his way to meet an undercover cia, an american diplomat who was actually a cia official. he made it rather easy for them to alert the south africans where to find him. i mentioned i thought it was particularly interesting to in 1986, because at that point it is just when the sanctions were being introduced, voted through by the congress over president reagan's veto. in thead noticed
sanctions legislation it said there should be no contact or official contact with the south african military, so on, and so forth, except when intelligence required they did have to have contact. it was ongoing, this unholy relationship, which has led to mandela being arrested and locked up for all those years. it continued on through the 1960s, through the 1970s, through the 1980s. it flourished. for example, the nsa routinely handing over intercepts of the anc to south african secret police. >> this is the national security agency that is the subject of so much global controversy right now. the nsa gathering this intelligence to give to the apartheid regime. >> that's right. it was absolutely routine. maybe they would have done it anyway, but it was certainly the
cold war context. when hard to remember now people got into about the soviet , andt to the trade routes there was a naval base, african naval base -- or there is one, in the tape -- cape. the defense lobby would continually go on about the terrible threat of the soviets may be getting hold of simon's town vital facilities. forgot-- people sort of how -- what a cold war battleground south africa was. not only did they turn over mandela, but they had is very close relationship, u.s. military intelligence cooperated very closely with south african military intelligence, giving them information about what was going on, what they were collecting. -- the cia and
south africans collaborated on assisting in the horrible civil war in angola that went on for years and years where thousands of people died. this wasn't just a flash in the pan. the tip that led to the coordination on the arrest of mandela. it was absolutely a very deep, very thorough relationship that went on for decades. >> i want to ask you about 1996 report by jeff stein in "salon" but the cia was involved in seven ties in the -- sabotaging the agency for years. stein quotes mike leach of former south african intelligence operative who worked closely with the cia. you claim that the ca share the recipe for president acid -- another tricky rights was --
also offerededly training and bugging and wiretaps. >> it shows the agency that gave centerexploding cigar for the sort of fascination with ande rather tricks went on i'd never heard a report to actually did manage to give anyone a coronary, but it was certainly in the scheme. the other side of it is, the ca meanwhile was spying on the south africans. , forad very good report instance, the south african nuclear program and the collaboration for the very active collaboration of the israelis. a program, which i fed back
to washington. nothing was ever done about it. -- in that program, which they fed back to washington, nothing was ever done about it. >> you write in your 1986 these law,the clause and the new the sanctions bill introduced, the clause in it exempted intelligence cooperation from sanctions. that is very important. >> that's right. that was slipped in or inserted in the legislation by the intelligence people here, even though they may have regretted the whole imposition of sanctions. anyway, they made sure their unholy relationship was ongoing. this is 1986. as i said, we saw the fruits of it on going to the rest of that decade with the war in angola. it was a huge operation.
>> andrew, we have to wrap up. there was a piece written this week, "obama fails to deliver long-overdue apology to mandela yuriko >> he did. it would be nice if there was ofe acknowledgment of how the relationship that helped sustain apartheid for all those years -- i mean, i don't think it would have existed or survived with such force, let alone having sending mandela to jail, if it had had such thoroughgoing support from washington. >> andrew cockburn, thank you for being with us. president obama has continually talked about the inspiration nelson mandela was in his own life. andrew cockburn, washington editor for "harpers magazine." his latest piece on john kerry and u.s. foreign policy, which we hope to talk to about any future time, "secretary of nothing."