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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 2, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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[captioning made possible by democracy now!] ♪ >> from pacifica this is "democracy now!" >> when i said i would take dead cities, i tail of two meant it. [applause] in asl de blasio is sworn mayor of new york city, vowing to fight inequality. we will play highlights including the legendary artist
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and activist harry belafonte. stop and frisk in theonly the change iceberg of fixing a dickensian system. >> a national broadcast exclusive. lynne stewart is freed from prison after a federal judge ordered her compassionate release. >> did you think this day would come? yes, butw or other, not as wonderful, or suddenly. it is bursting on me. in the dungeons, and here i am in my beloved new york. lynne stewart.
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we will speak to her about her time in prison as she battled cancer. all of that and more coming up. to democracy now, democracy, the war and peace report. negotiators from the south sudan ethiopiat arrived in on wednesday after two weeks of violence that has left over 1,000 dead and tens of thousands displaced. both sides have signed on to a ceasefire but clashes continue. the south sudan government has declared a state of emergency in two states where rebels are in control of the capital. south sudan foreign minister, barnaba marial benjamin, said his government is ready for unconditional dialogue. >> the president had ordered his
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negotiating team, his dialogue team, 48 hours ago and this teen is ready to go. unconditional dialogue. it was the other side putting in theitions and refusing cessation of hostilities. the president has been on record. we do not want the people of south sudan to die in a senseless war. >> south sudan's fighting broke out last month after president salva kiir accused his former vice president of attempting a coup. speaking in the capital of juba, un special envoy hilde johnson said both sides have committed atrocities. twoiolence in the past weeks -- there have been killings and brutality, and grave human rights violations,
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and atrocities committed. we see evidence of targeting on ethnic grounds. this can lead to a perpetual cycle of violence that can destroy the fabric of the new nation. we need to do everything possible to prevent such a cycle of violence between the communities. >> at least 11 people have been killed and 17 wounded in a bombing in somalia's capital of mogadishu. the attack targeted a hotel commonly visited by somali government officials. three bombs were detonated within the span of an hour, at least one by a suicide bomber. the militant group al-shabab has claimed responsibility. iraq is facing major clashes between government forces and sunni fighters in anbar province. the violence erupted earlier this week after police razed a year-old sunni protest camp in the provincial capital, ramadi. militants from al qaeda and sunni groups are now said to be in control of large parts of ramadi and fallujah. on wednesday, fighters attacked scores of police stations in
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fallujah, setting fires and freeing dozens of prisoners. iraq is currently seeing its worst violence since 2008. three of four al jazeera journalists detained in egypt this week remain behind bars. correspondent peter greste, producers mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed, and cameraman mohamed fawzy were arrested in cairo on accusations of "spreading false news" and holding meetings with the muslim brotherhood. only fawzy has been released so far. the three prisoners have faced repeated interrogation and one has received medical treatment for an injury. speaking from al jazeera's headquarters in doha, correspondent bernard smith called for his colleagues' release. >> we would like our colleagues to be released immediately. they are journalists simply doing their job in egypt are poorly a variety of story --
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stories from egypt on all sides. >> secretary of state john kerry is expected to return to the region on thursday to aid peace talks between the israelis and palestinians. "the new york times" reports that a delay of settlement construction has been agreed to so as not to embarrass his visit. earlier today, and 85-year-old palestinian man died after inhaling tear gas fired by israeli forces and demonstrators rallying near a west bank town. the palestinian ambassador to the czech republic has died in an explosion at his home. check officials say he appears to have accidentally triggered an explosive device attached to a safe he tried to open.
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millions of americans have begun receiving health insurance after the coverage provided by president obama's signature healthcare law went into effect on wednesday. the first day of obamacare's insurance plans coincided with the expansion of medicaid coverage under the law to about half the states. in addition to the plans going live, provisions have also taken effect that ban insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions or limiting reimbursements for essential treatment. in an opinion piece, the filmmaker and single-payer advocate michael moore writes that obamacare is both "awful" for strengthening the insurance industry and a "godsend" for helping low-income americans obtain life-saving insurance. moore says quote -- "let's not take a victory lap yet, but build on what there is to get what we deserve -- universal quality health care." bill de blasio began his term as new york city mayor on wednesday with a bold pledge to tackle income inequality in the nation's largest city. de blasio was sworn in after his
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historic victory in the democratic primary and the general election on a progressive candidate. in his inaugural address, de blasio focused on his campaign pledge to address what he called "a tale of two cities," a growing gap between rich and poor. >> when i said i would take dead aim at the tail of two cities, i meant it. [applause] and we will do it. the faith and the trust that you have placed in me , and we will give life to the hope of so many in our city. we will succeed as one city. we know this will not be easy. it will require all that we can muster. it will not be accomplished only by me. it will be accomplished by all of us. >> mayor de blasio is the first
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democrat to lead new york in two decades, succeeding the three- term mayor michael bloomberg. we'll have more from de blasio's inauguration after headlines. the civil rights attorney lynne stewart has returned home after a judge approved their release. she served almost four years of a 10 year sentence for distributing press releases on analf of her client, egyptian cleric. she arrived to a group of cheering supporters wednesday. we will have our national broadcast exclusive later in the show. colorado has enacted a law allowing recreational sales of marijuana following approval by voters in late 2012. the world's first state-licensed marijuana retail stores opened their doors on wednesday to long lines of customers. the first person to make a purchase was sean azzariti, an iraq war veteran suffering from ptsd.
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azzariti spoke to reporters, along with marijuana advocate betty aldworth. >> i can use recreational to relieve my it is a stepping stone to help other veterans as well. over $1 million in sales, and across the nation, it will create $2.3 billion of economic activity. >> possession and private use of marijuana has been legal in colorado over the past year but it will now be legally produced and sold as well. around three dozen stores have been licensed to sell to customers. a federal judge has upheld a decision striking down a florida law that forces welfare recipients to pass a drug test. the measure barred applicants who test positive for drug use from receiving government assistance for one year or until they complete a drug abuse program. on wednesday, judge mary scriven sided with previous rulings that found the law violates
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constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. figures from a period when the law was briefly in effect showed the testing turned up a less than two percent drug use rate amongst welfare recipients, far less than the rate for the general population at eight percent. the law ended up losing money for the state because the high cost of the testing exceeded the low savings from denying benefits. a federal judge has rejected a challenge to the u.s. policy of searching computers and other devices at border checkpoints without a warrant or proof of wrongdoing. the american civil liberties union had brought the case, arguing border officials should have reasonable suspicion in order to seize and search private electronics. but u.s. district judge edward korman sided with the obama administration's argument that the "border exemption" for searches applies to digital information. the case was filed on behalf of an islamic studies graduate student at montreal's mcgill university. the student, pascal abidor, was
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taken off of a train in handcuffs after border guards forced him to show them the contents of his laptop. the computer was seized and returned 11 days later. in a statement, the aclu said quote -- "suspicionless searches of devices containing vast amounts of personal information cannot meet the standard set by the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures." two catholic groups have won last-minute exemptions from the part of the new healthcare law requiring contraception coverage for employees. the obama administration agreed to grant exemptions for religious organizations last year, but plaintiffs in the case say the certification process for them to opt out marks a violation of their religious freedom. supreme court justice sonia sotomayor granted the temporary injunction tuesday night before the mandate took effect. the supreme court is set to hear a challenge to the contraception
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mandate by for-profit corporations later this year. editors of the "new york times," the nation's most influential newspaper, have come out in favor of clemency for nsa contractor edward snowden. in an editorial called "edward snowden, whistle-blower," the editors write quote -- "considering the enormous value of the information he has exposed, mr. snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. he may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service." and those are some of the headlines this is democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> i am juan gonzalez. i'll come to our listeners and viewers and happy new year. here in new york, bill de blasio has been sworn in as the city's new mayor replacing billionaire mike bloomberg.
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former u.s. president bill clinton administered the oath of office on a bible once used by franklin delano roosevelt. de blasio is the first democrat to lead new york in two decades. in his inaugural address, de -- he vowed to fight income inequality and what he called -- inequality. thatknow there are those think what i said in the campaign was rhetoric, political talk in the interest of getting elected. there are some that think that now, as returned to governing that things will continue, pretty much the way they always have. so, let me be clear. when i said i would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, i meant it. [applause] and we, will do it. i will honor the faith and trust that you have placed in me, and
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we will give life to the hope of so many in our city. we will succeed as one city. we know this will not be easy. it will require all that we can muster, and it will not be accomplished only by me. it will be accomplished by all of us. ande of us here today, millions of everyday new yorkers , youery corner of our city must continue to make your voices heard. you must be at the center of this debate, and delaware begins now. -- and our work begins now. [applause] we will expand the paid sick leave law because nobody should be forced to lose a day's pay or a weeks pay simply because
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illness strikes, and by this time next year, fully 300,000 additional new yorkers will be protected by that law. [applause] we will not wait. we will do it now. we will require big developers to build more affordable housing. we will fight to stem the tide of hospital closures, and we will expand community health centers into neighborhoods in need so that new yorkers do not see our city as the exclusive domain of the 1%, but a place where everyday people can afford to live, work, and raise a family. we will not wait. we will do it now. broken stop and , both to protect
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the dignity and rights of young men of color, and to give our brave police officers the partnership they need to continue their success in driving down crime. we won't wait. we will do it now. the veryill ask wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can offer full- day, universal pre-k for every child in the city and after school programs for every middle school child. little more, we can rightfully emphasize "the betweenthose that are 500000 and $1 million, they would see their average increase
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of $973 a year, less than three dollars a day, about the cost of latte at your local starbucks. [laughter] year taxout it, a five- on the wealthiest among us with every dollar dedicated to pre-k and after-school. to helphose at the top our kids get on the right path and stay there. that is our mission. on that, we will not wait. we will do it now. mayort was new york city bill de blasio delivering his inaugural address on wednesday outside of city hall. there coveringut the nominate -- inauguration in
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the bitter cold. cold.was numbing i have covered many of these inaugurations, and the more interesting thing was the people-oriented nature of the inauguration. the new mayor gave out 1000 tickets to ordinary new yorkers that applied for them. disc was disco music, a jockey to entertain the audience while they waited in the cold, and it is hard to underestimate the extraordinary change occurring at city government compared to the bloomberg era, and there was michael bloomberg sitting with the most morels look on his face -- morels look on his face after he heard one after another speaker essentially criticize his record, and it is hard to underestimate the enormous change that is occurring. it is almost a 180 agree turn -- degree turn not just with bill
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de blasio, but with the new public advocate, comptroller, and next week the city council is poised to elect a councilwoman from east harlem in the south bronx who is the cochair of the caucus to become the speaker. you have a coalition of the most aggressive public officials almost in memory about to assume office this week. i think it will be a dramatic change from the corporate- oriented top-down management style of the bloomberg era to a more bottom-up effort to address the needs of the 99% that occupy wall street put on the map. one of the biggest cheers came -- >> one of the biggest cheers came when he talked about taxing wealthier yorker's to pay for pre-k education. >> not only pre-k, but he is
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emphasizing afterschool programs, and the need for middle school children, working parents to feel they are in safe hands. i think he is emphasizing preschool and afterschool programs, which have seen huge slashes in terms of government investment in that time between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. when children are not supervised, especially the older children. >> in your piece in "the new aboutaily news," you talk patrick gaspard flying in from south africa. talk about his significance. >> most people do not realize that bill de blasio and patrick gaspard have been friends in
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both started as neophytes, young, political operatives in the david dinkins administration in the 1990's and became close friends and have been political allies ever since. patrick went on after been a political director at the health workers union, to organize the election campaigns of president obama and was then in the white house as political director and was executive director of the dn c before he became the ambassador to south africa earlier this year. so, they have been close for years, and they are still very close. deblasiohe people that is looking to have also been very close to patrick gaspard. he chose as his chief of staff the former top aide to patrick.
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santucci will become the city hall chief of staff. now, outs ambassador of politics, per se, but he could not come -- help coming. >> and you talked about the man who trained them. >> both were trained under bill lynch, the former deputy mayor under david dinkins who was a mentor to many young african- american and latino political activists over the years. bill lynch died earlier this year. both patrick gaspard and bill de blasio were at his funeral, as were many of the progressive political activists of new york over the decades. it is bittersweet in that bill died just before patrick was installed as the new south african ambassador and before
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bill de blasio won his race for mayor. >> when we come back, the charge to bill de blasio given in a speech by harry belafonte. this is democracy now,, the war and peace report, and that will bring you an exclusive as they went to laguardia airport right about at the same time bill de blasio was being inaugurated to cover the return of attorney lynne stewart who had been in prison for four years. >> ♪ imagine there is no heaven easy if you try no hell below us skye us only
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imagine all the people living for today countrythere is no it is not hard to do foring to kill or die toono religion imagine all the people peace life in ♪ winning singerd-
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and actress performing john lennon "imagine." it is the mayor's favorite song. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> singer, actor and civil rights activist harry belafonte opened wednesday's inaugural ceremony. crocs when bill de blasio stepped into the campaign -- >> when bill de blasio stepped into the campaign to determine who would be the leader of the city of new york, he stated that he would not let this city remain a community divided. this cityo longer let wenger in this -- linger in the shadows as a parallel story of charles dickens "a tale of two cities." us, we inspired
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listened, and overwhelmingly responded with a joyous sense that all things were possible. we made him our man. know it is encouraging to that the statistics have indicated a recent drop in our city's murder rate, new york, alarmingly, place a tragic role in the fact that our nation has the largest risen population in the world. -- prison population in the world. lots of that problem stems from issues of race perpetuated by indifference to policies. changing the stop and frisk law
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thes important as it is change of the law is only the tip of an iceberg in fixing our deeply dickensian justice system. [applause] beende blasio has overwhelmingly mandated to make much too long danced with this there -- despair, believe again that the american dream is attainable -- a dream filled with hope, a dream filled with opportunity and justice. was born at a time when encouraging moral vision were often on display. he was touched by the political convictions of franklin delano
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abdominal and the courage and wisdom of his wife eleanor. valiantuther king jr.'s leadership of the civil rights cause profoundly influenced him. bill de blasio's embrace of leaders like bobby kennedy, chavez shamus, -- cesar and others shows that he will expire to be -- aspire to be no less courageous than they. the challenge to in equities that we face, new yorkers should ensure our man that he will not stand alone in facing the naysayers of progress in our midst, that his invitation, if we assist him in fulfilling his
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mission, will not suffer. we shall commit ourselves to assisting him and insisting that the better part of ourselves live up to the political and changedurage that demands. how fortunate we new yorkers are that at his side stands surely .acrae [applause] her i is eternally on the hunt for truth. her moral center ensures that bill's moral flame will never dim for a one of the guardian of the gate. today begins a new era, a transformative journey of hope
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on the road to promise. america wrestle with her conscious. we have seen her struggle to become her better self. the solution to most people want america to become reside here in new york. dna forecome america's the future. [applause] gives new york another opportunity to open the door of possibilities. we new yorkers must not let him fail. thank you, new york. we have a lot of work to do, so let's get busy. thank you. [applause]
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>> that was singer, actor, and civil rights activist harry belafonte opening ceremonies. swornitia james was also in as the city's new public advocate, the position previously occupied by bill de blasio. she is the first african- american american woman to be elected to citywide office in new york and she condemned widening inequality. >> the wave of progressive victories our city has enjoyed thanks to the city council was in some ways an inevitable. the fabric of our city is made strong by the untold sacrifices of so many that i left defenseless, -- that are left defenseless, unspoken for, but at some point the tide must turn. we must give way to a government that speaks for them, that cares more about a child going hungry
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or a new stadium -- then a new stadium or a tax credit for a luxury development. to live up to that challenge and to be morally centered in our decisions is the task before those of us that think of ourselves as the progressive wing of our city. as the tide turns toward progress, we do not have the luxury to rest. the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots underlines our city and tears at the fabric of our city. we live in an age of inequality were decrepit housing shelters and developments stand in the shadow of gleaming, multimillion dollar condos, where long-term residents are priced out of their own neighborhoods by rising rent. been stop and frisk has touted as a success story as if
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crime can only be reduced by infringing on the civil liberties of people of cover. >> an 11-year-old homeless girl who was recently filed in "the new york times" held the bible while she was sworn in. during the inauguration ceremony, new york city's 2014 youth poet laureate ramya ramana read a poem titled new york city, dedicated to bill de blasio. ramana is a youth activist and a first year student at st johns university. >> a contemplative skyscraper finding thezz beat, herring in her footwork, gripping the streetlight. this is home. the lost voices, the devotion to beat impulse, slow dancing also, dreamme to the shadow of new york
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city. broadway, not times square, but it is single mothers donating money to church, it is children playing hopscotch on what is left of a chalklk area it is outlines. holy, tough we call skin, thick boned. this is new york. we will no longer stay silent to this classism. no more brownstones and brown skin playing tug-of-war with pregnant air hovering over them like in or out of lost children. no more colored boy robbed of their innocence. this city will always be the foundation of this country. we are root. we are backbone. we black, we brown, we are low,
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creatures.of we deserve us, opportunity, us new mayor, us new beginning, like dancing cocoons, us happy, we happy, we happy with the change. it is a custom -- constant baptism to remind us of our holy. we congratulate mayor bill goodlatte -- bill de blasio. we are honored and pleased to have you and the congregation says -- >> amen. [applause] new york city's 2014 youth poet laureate ramya ramana read a reading her poem entitled "new
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york city." when we come back, an exclusive, the return of lynn stewart. by a judgeermined for compassionate release. we will be back in a moment. ♪ ♪
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>> silence of a candle or again. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez with a national broadcast exclusive. >> we turn to longtime civil rights lawyer lynne stewart released from prison. stewart, 74 years old and dying from late stage breast cancer. a federal judge granted her compassionate release on new year's eve. she returned home on new year's day. the judge wrote that her terminal medical condition and limited life expectancy positive extraordinary and compelling
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reasons that want to request a reduction of her sentence. >> viewed by many as a political prisoner, she was jailed for distributing press releases on behalf of her client, an egyptian american who is convicted of conspiring to blow up to blow up the u.n. and other landmarks in new york city. we will talk more about her case yle, but lawyer bob bo first, we were at the airport when she arrived and was met by her family and friends. she flew back with her phat -- husband who welcomed her after she was released. >> yea. victory. america is great. >> i'm amy goodman. has just landed. she and her husband flying in from dallas, fort worth, freed
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after four years in prison. the crowd is only growing, insecurity here is warning people to step aside -- security here is warning people to step aside. >> you cannot block this area. >> her family is here, her daughter, grandchildren. we will talk to some of them. what are you doing at laguardia airport on new year's day. >> i am coming to see my grandma. >> how old are you? >> nine and three quarters. >> who is your grandma? .ynne stewart >> what you have in your hand? >> flowers. >> who else do we have? >> my name is dante. >> how do you feel? >> great. excited?u
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>> yes. programrted at the bai and four years ago we started sending cards to lynne stewart because she was part of our electeda board member by the people, so she was part of these committees we were on. we have been sending cards. whenever we get together, we fill them out and send them to her so she is always in the room with us. >> i see you brought some of them today. >> i brought the last one. home,the we welcome you we love you. yourn you tell me feelings? >> i am walking on clouds and air. we are so excited for humanity that the right thing has been done and for our selfish selves that we will have our dear
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, friend anddmother comrade back from the clutches of death. >> we recently had you on "democracy now!." you are a doctor and you were talking about how you expected her, did you expect it to be today? >> i knew it would be sunday. ?> how are you reacting >> we are pulling everything together to make sure she has comfort at home and that she can continue with her chemotherapy. >> and who is this? >> her granddaughter. >> how old are you? >> 13. the day toexpect come? >> i was hoping it would come soon, and it is a surprise. >> here comes lynne stewart.
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[applause] she is getting out of her wheelchair. >> we love lynne. >> how do you feel? joy.yond >> did you think this day would come? somehow or other, yes, but not as wonderful as it has suddenly.udden -- it is bursting on me. yesterday at this time i was deep in the dungeons, and here i am in my beloved new york. i cannot tell you. give me those flowers.
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>> ralph, how are you feeling today? i have felt in four years. i can tell you that. >> when did you get the news? >> while i was waiting at the car rental. they said do not go to the hotel, go to the prison. they are waiting for you. nne out. inwhere were you yesterday, 2013, and where are you today, in 2014? >> i was deep in the bowels of cardwell federal medical center, and i use the term loosely. >> when did you get the news? time, 7:30.und this i could not believe it. i thought they would stonewall forever. >> how are you feeling?
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>> euphoric is too big of a word, but full of joy and gratitude and happy to be home. --oldest grandchild [applause] >> what do you want to do when you go home? >> sit. [laughter] great.od, but i'm not i can manage, but i get very tired. >> were you surprised by the decision for compassionate release on new year's eve? >> yes, in a word. ralph never gave up hope. me, i was very discouraged, and i figured this strategy was just to keep me in their until i was closer and closer, and then let me come home. and when that did not happen,
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now i am home, i am still pretty much with it, i hope, and here i am with my wonderful children and grandchildren, and i look forward to beating the odds now. >> you have done it so far. tell us about the moment they told you? can you share that with us? >> i was called for a phone call from my lawyers and they had talked to the u.s. attorneys that said the papers are on their way to the judge right now. then i had a moment, and i said sometimes, hee, did what he said he would do. take the papers and look upon them favorably, afternoon, he the had signed off on time served.
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>> who told you? >> a variety of prison officials who were dragging. the funny part was they literally threw me out of the prison. [laughter] word, iime we got the said maybe i will stay another day and there is so much mixed up and i have to get the papers, and the warden said no, you are going today. towhat did it feel like leave the actual prison and military base? pre-k's and without shackles, a belly -- >> and without shackles, a belly chain and coughs, it felt pretty good. it was real. say we know you will not forget us, and i do not forget them.
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part, tohe hardest leave them behind in that parallel universe and they are year, 30-year0- sentences, but i will not forget them, and that is where i am headed. i will work for women's group prisoners and political prisoners. that is what i am going to do. >> you shot out of your wheelchair to greet everyone. why? i should uses said the wheelchair for any distance because i get very tired, but i said i would walk out of jail one day. i was not going to be wheeled out were dragged out. i do have a walker. >> how are you feeling right now with your mom right next to you? dear,zed and so happy, my dear mother.
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>> how does it feel to have one of your daughter -- doctors be your own daughter? >> pretty good. card.really the gold it is nice to pick up the phone. i had chemotherapy and i was i cannot, and i said stop talking, and she said i think they placed their right in that particular chemotherapy you had. i had the answer. >> your son a lawyer, your daughter a doctor. >> and another daughter a lawyer. she is here, too. she says you always believed she would get out, but you did not have the same faith. -- she did not have the same faith. >> the alternative was not
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acceptable and that is why we struggled so hard, and as a group we doubled our efforts, and we the people got her out. >> how did you end up in a texas prison when your family is clearly here in new york? >> the judge recommended dan barry but i have a number of chronic illnesses. i am diabetic. it is the only medical facility for women in the federal prison system, and let me tell you, if that is the only one, it is not much. there is a separate part. they have an administrative unit. marie mason is also in that. she is a green activist. she is in what they call the admin building. xd you have a message for lawyers -- >> do you have a
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message for lawyers in the country? >> do better than you have been doing it as i have talked to a lot of women in that place and the lawyering is not at a high level, i am sorry to say. >> how many women were there? >> about 2500. >> do you have any thoughts about continuing to practice? debarred, and my legal beagle team will not be able to get me back in, and i really do not. i have to be this other thing first, the cancer. >> the letter that you wrote talking about prison being a loveless place, why you wanted to appeal. >> right, we felt we should do a personal appeal. we were doing in and around -- and end around.
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i thought maybe if i write a letter and put down just how mightle a place it is, it move him, and i do not know if it moved him, but he got the application at 10:00 a.m. in the morning and by 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon it was signed and back in the prison. >> you wrote "i want to be where all is familiar." where is that? >> right here. [laughter] foro you have a message aging and sick prisoners? >> they have to hang in there, fight for every inch, and never say die. it is easy to give up and become an england. we want -- and invalid. we want people to fight.
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it is so important. >> how does it feel to be picking up lynne. >> fabulous. overjoyed. i am her oldest daughter. >> the lawyer. one of them. >> one of them. did you think this day would be happening? >> i did not think this would be happening. .> you are wearing a pin >> i wear it everywhere because we must struggle for all of our political prisoners, not only has instructed us over and over again. that ends our report. i'm amy goodman at the american airlines terminal. lynne stewart is free. you are just listening to ralph husband lynne stewart's
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and lynne stewart herself. i am here with juan gonzalez. who is also at the airport and played a key role in winning her compassionate release. this was not expected. talk about how this took place. the word you got. >> first of all, the application for compassionate release was approved way back around labor day. that weince labor day had been waiting. it was on new year's eve that we received word that the u.s. attorney's office would not be a processing -- opposing the attorney's office.
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ordinarily, a person knows well in advance the day they will be released from prison and the families in the lawyers know, so this all happened at once. the judge got the papers at about 10:00. they were signed by about 2:00 p.m.. the prison made sure everything was processed so that she was released on new year's eve. as she said, it was him was a struggle to get her out of the door because she did not know where she was going to go -- her medical care. all of these things that people have to deal with out of prison, the basics of life. it was a unique situation, but we are thrilled that happened so quickly. >> the impact of her being in prison for so long on lawyers across the country, especially in political cases -- your sense of the message has gone out to ?awyers around the country >> i like to think the message
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is we have to keep our -- fighting as hard as we always have an political patient -- in political cases and these issues. we target a variety of different levels. all we have to do is expect that, expect when we do controversy matters and represent individuals and the government thinks of as pariahs that we have to be aware that we are being watched but fight as much as we always have. >> you worked with lynne stewart , presented cases with her, and then became her lawyer. explain howct -- she was convicted, why she was charged with? >> is a long story, but briefly, she was charged and convicted of material support to a terrorist organization, a scary allegation, but what they said she did was to speak to a
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reuters reporter and convey the words or the ideas of her client ofthe press, his position what was going on in egypt at that time. the government's theory was that ideasing his thoughts and was assisting a terrorist organization. that was essentially the basis for her conviction. >> and she was violating -- >> special prohibited measures the prohibited her from disclosing his words. >> this is a key point, and we only had a minute. >> the prison had dealt with this. this is before 2001. >> speaking to the reporter was in the year 2000. when the prison was found out, she was disciplined administratively, cap from
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visiting him for a time, and then they let her back in. it was only a few years later in a big indictment announced by then attorney general ashcroft that he was -- she was charged with material support. is nowlynne stewart free. >> and lynne stewart is now free, and we should all savor the victory that was fought for. >> only released after the doctor said she has less than 18 months to live. >> we will take on that flight and make sure it is longer. >> bob boyle, thank you for being with us. democracy now is produced by mike burke, renee feltz, aaron mate, nermeen shaikh, steve martinez, sam alcoff, hany massoud, robby karran, deena guzder, amy littlefield, cassandra lizaire, messiah rhodes and charina nadura. mike di fillippo and miguel nogueira are our engineers. special thanks to becca staley, julie crosby, hugh gran, jessica lee, john wallach and vesta goodarz. and to our camera crew, jon randolph, kieran meadows and carlo de jesus.
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i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez. happy new year. ♪
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