tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 31, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
01/31/14 01/31/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! we believe and ending the stop and frisk that has unfairly targeted young african-american and latino men. we believe in our obligation, the most fundamental one that there is an government, to keep people safe. in the values and strategies that keep people safe, that really give us wafting safety,
those valleys are not compatible with a broken and misused stop and frisk policy. >> the new mayor of new york, bill de blasio, announces the city will settle a long-running legal battle over stop and frisk. they agreed to reforms ordered by a federal judge. since 2002, innocent new yorkers have been subject did -- subjected to more than 4 million stop and frisk. wallacewright and actor shawn. >> were always speaking through other people and my characters usually don't represent my thoughts, but represent the things i'm criticizing will stop >> wally shawn is just back from result were he staged a private performance of his play " designated mourner" for the journalists glenn greenwald and friends. while he brought the plate to
brazil, since glenn has not returned to the united states into broke the edward snowden story, concerned he would be arrested if he came back. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. -- united states is accused o has accused >> today we are one month past the december 31 completion date that the executive council agreed upon for the removal of the most dangerous chemical and just 6 days from the completion date for all required chemicals to be removed from syria. in all of this time, the stern ofime has moved less than 5%
the chemicals to the port. >> the renewed pressure comes as the syrian government and opposition leaders wrapped up use talks in geneva today with little progress made so far toward ending a three-year conflict. under report by human rights watch find certain authorities have unlawfully raised entire residential neighborhoods in order to punish civilians. the human rights researcher outlined the findings. >> report released today documents the syrian government's intentional and systematic and unlawful demolition of 7 neighborhoods, 7 areas affected. we have used satellite imagery, witness statements, and videos to reach these conclusions. the scale or extent of the demolitions is quite staggering. thousands of families have lost their homes in these demolitions. >> antigovernment protesters in thailand have formed blockage
round buildings were ballots are being kept in a bid to prevent their distribution ahead of old this sunday. -- ahead of polls the sunday. the opposition was prime minister yingluck shinawat to resign to be replaced by an unelected council. they are boycotting sunday's election which yingluck shinawat 's party is expected to win. in iraq, group of suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a government building in baghdad on thursday, taking hostages and killing a number of people. reports on the precise death toll buried, with some tallies as high as 24. the attack comes as the iraqi army battles antigovernment province.nd anbar the press reports more than 900 people have died in violence in iraq this month, more than three times the total for last january. in news from afghanistan, $4 billion road network once touted as a symbol of u.s. congressman is now falling apart. according to the washington post, sections of the road have become deathtraps riddled with craters and crippling pavement.
has refused toes fund road maintenance in afghanistan since 2012 due to a lack of faith in the country's abilities. despite those concerns -- any list of gruesome injuries interpreted to the current network of roads -- u.s. is continuing to build new roads in afghanistan at a cost of millions of dollars. the obama administration has announced it will nominate vice admiral michael watchers to become the new head of the national security agency. cyber is an expert on weapons who leads the navy's cyber command and previously served as intelligence director to the joint chiefs of staff. if confirmed by the senate, he will replace dental keith alexander, who is retiring. rogers would also lead the new pentagon unit in charge of offensive cyber operations, despite recommendations by presidential advisory panel to separate the to post. the state department is reportedly set to release an environmental impact study that will favor construction of the keystone xl oil pipeline.
report could help determine the president obama will approve the pipeline, which would carry tarzan's oil from canada to oil fromtar sands canada to texas. an earlier report that found the pipeline would have little impact on global climate was widely discredited by environmental groups and federal agencies. shell has abandoned its plans to draw for oil off the coast of alaska this year after court ruling cast doubt on its releases in the chukchi sea. the u.s. court of appeals for the ninth circuit said the government had inadequately assessed the drillings potential incremental impact. said "they, shelf ceo lack of a clear cap forwarded means that i'm not prepared to commit for the resources for drilling in alaska in 2014." shall have previously suspended its arctic drilling efforts after a series of mishaps.
latin american anchor the leaders have wrapped her annual summit of her regional grouping that excludes united states and canada. the community of latin american anchor been states held its first gathering last year as a counterweight to forums that exclude cuba. he been president castro touted the sum of the comp judgments. just the cuban president touted the accomplishments. [indiscernible] >> the justice department has announced it will seek the death penalty for boston marathon bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev. executions at the federal level are relatively rare, but attorney general eric holder said in a statement "the nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision."
dzhokhar tsarnaev is accused of plotting the attacks with his older brother who later died in a firefight with police. democratic congressmember henry waxman of california has announced he will retire at the end of the session following 40 years in the house of representatives. waxman played a really role -- a lead role in shaping obama's health care law and is spearheaded key legislation on the government, consumer protection and the funding of hiv and aids treatment. woman's health activist sandra flug said she strongly considering running for the seat. city, newly elected mayor bill de blasio has announced the city will drop its appeal of a federal court ruling that found the new york city police department stop and frisk tactics unconstitutional. he said the city will accept reforms ordered by judge shirer scheindlin including the appointment of a monitor to oversee changes. >> we are here today to turn the
page on one of the most divisive problems in our city. we believe in this administration, we believe in one city where everyone rises together. we believe in respecting every new yorker's rights, regardless of what neighborhood they live in or the color of their skin. we believe in ending the overuse of stop and frisk that has unfairly targeted young african american and latino men. >> more after headlines. the former mayor michael bloomberg is reportedly cap to become you in special envoy for cities and climate change. reuters reports general ban ki-moon to make an announcement as early as today. hours after the announcement on stop and frisk, a group of transgender women and their allies tethered outside new york city police headquarters to a 21-year-old for
transgender woman of color who was taunted with anti-gay slurs been beaten to death in harlem last august. a suspect was arrested on assault charges, but the case against him was later dismissed. so far, no one has been charged with murder in the case. protesters accused police of mishandling the investigation. >> she was beaten until she could move no more outside the police station. 10 different cameras are not working in the area. this goes beyond just brutality and discrimination. what about the safety of all new yorkers? how could be in the middle of harlem and the cameras don't work? if it happened to a white woman, would we be sending out here in the cold for justice six months later? >> a minimum wage hike for federal contract workers unveiled this week by president obama will exclude workers with disabilities. in these times reports,
disability advocates were important wednesday that obama's executive order will not apply to disabled workers who are employed are a special program that allows them to be paid below the minimum wage. in a letter urging obama to reconsider, the national council on disability wrote -- in your report has revealed the role of high-profile republican advisers in a bid by the washington redskins football team to keep their controversial name. native americans and their allies have launched a campaign to change the name which is based on a racial slur, but team owner dan snyder has vowed to keep it. on thursday, thinkprogress said it had obtained e-mails join the team consulted with top republican strategist about its public relations strategy, including former president george w. bush press secretary ari fleischer, former virginia governor and senator towards allen, and republican pollster
franklins. a trial is continuing in illinois for three activist known as the nato 3. they travel to chicago for protest against the nato summit in 2012. two undercover police officers infiltrated the activist community and were present when the defendants made allegedly molotov cocktails. the three now face up to 175 years in prison if convicted on all counts under a post-9/11 state anti-terrorism law, which is being invoked for the first time in their case. supporters say police used aggressive tactics to entrap the nato 3. on thursday, one of the police officers admitted he volunteered to make molotov cocktails with the activist, saying he did so in order to be included in their plans. an official in west virginia has raised fresh concerns about the impact of a chemical spill that left 300,000 people without tap water for days. on wednesday, the vice chair of
west virginia's environmental told the state legislation of panel water sampling agitated for mala hide. waterislation on panel sampling said to contain formaldehyde. >> this stuff is breaking down in the shower or in the water system, and they are inhaling it. the biggest risk from for mala hide his cancers of the respiratory system. >> west virginia's top health official has disputed the claim, saying formaldehyde would only be produced by this build chemical at very high temperatures. hasess scarlett johansson left her post at oxfam international following a dispute over her support of soda stream. a company that operates in a settlement in the occupied west bank. johansson will appear in an ad for soda stream during the super bowl this sunday. following public outcry over the
ad campaign, scarlett johansson left her post as an ambassador for oxfam. her spokesman cited a fundamental difference of opinion with the group. oxfam accepted her resignation saying -- the number of monarch atta flies who flies out to spend the winter in mexico has dropped to its lowest level since recordkeeping began more than 20 years ago. i new report finds the butterflies covered less than two acres of forest in december compared to nearly 45 acres during their peak in the mid-1990's. researchers attribute the decline to factors including deforestation, extreme weather from climate change, and a rising genetically modified corn and soybean crops designed to resist monsanto's roundup need color. widespread dousing with the herbicide has destroyed
milkweed, the butterflies food source. experts fear the monarchs annual migration from canada and the united states to mexico is at risk of disappearing completely. 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. we begin today's show with a historic development in the campaign to end the controversial police policy of stop and frisk. new york city's duly elected mayor bill de blasio has announced the state he will -- newly elected mayor bill de blasio has announced the state will settle an ongoing lawsuit. in august, judge shirer .cheindlin criticize the police mikes former mayor bloomberg had criticize the
court ruling saying it made officers impassive and scared to frisk suspects. innocent new yorkers were subjected to more than 4 million stops and frisks. mayor de blasio deliver the news at a community center in brownsville, brooklyn, predominantly african-american community, that has had more stop and frisk's in any other part of the city. >> we're here today to turn the page on one of the most divisive problems in our city. in thisve administration, and i think the reflects the value of the people probably, we believe in one city where everyone rises together. we believe in respecting every new yorkers rights, regardless of what neighborhood they live in or the color of their skin. we believe in ending the overuse of stop and frisk that has unfairly targeted young african american and latino men. we believe in our obligation, the most fundamental one that there is in government, to keep
people safe. and the values and strategies that keep people safe and really give us lasting safety, those values are not compatible with the stop and frisk policy. now that the police commissioner nor i believe it is acceptable when 90% of the people stopped and frisk are innocent of any crime. and so we're taking significant corrective action to fix what is broken. i am proud to announce today the city of new york is taking a major step toward resolving the years long legal battle over stop and frisk, and that we have reached accord with the plaintiffs in the landmark floyd versus city of new york case. we are doing it through a theective amendment to fix problem. the agreement we're announcing today accepts the fax and the
roadmap laid out in last august landmark federal court ruling. those points include, one, a joint an ongoing reform process with direct police community dialogue, ensuring the policies which are driving them apart our race through direct line of communication with the police leadership. yearshere'll be for three a court-appointed monitor to ensure the police department's compliance with the united states constitution. and that limited time of oversight is contingent upon us meeting our obligations. three, i want to emphasize, this is a shorter window of monitoring that is customary and that is in part because our administration's explicit commitment to reform including installation of an independent in wikipedia inspector general.
-- nypd inspector general. the fourth point i want to make, once this resolution is confirmed by the federal district court, the city of new york will officially drop its appeal in this case. [applause] >> that was new york city mayor bill de blasio speaking thursday as he announced the city would move forward with reforming stop and frisk and joined by his new police commissioner bill bratton returns to the job after leaving the nypd in the 1990's when he embraced a controversial strategy of cracking down on low-level offenses and later expanded the program while leaving the los angeles police department. yesterday, bratton welcomed the new direction new york will take. >> too many young men, particularly young men of color, hundreds of thousands over the last several years, knowing the city had experienced historic crime declines, they could not
understand the significant increase in stock, question, and frisk and understandably asked why me? for the many young officers in our department, also aware the crime rates have gone down so significantly, that they're being encouraged to make more arrests, more stops, make more questions as part of their day-to-day procedure. those police officers were rightfully asking, why more? entities, the public and the police, the two entities most affected by this policy in the inappropriate way in which was being applied, shared a commonality of concern -- why me? why more? these actions that we are announcing today moving us toward resolution, toward a conference of reform are
essential, are necessary, to ensure the fabric of society that must exist between police and the community is in fact re -woven so we come out of this process stronger than before. .nd we can do that the challenge is, we must do that. but that was police commissioner bill bratton. for more, we will be joined by baher azmy. the center forof constitutional rights and council on their stop and frisk lawsuit. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
the drop of the federal court ruling that gun new york city police department stop and frisk tactics unconstitutional. .e held a press conference .e're joined by baher azmy he was involved in the negotiations with the city that led to thursday's settlement. welcome to democracy now! first, congratulations. second, talk about the negotiations here that went on. this is extraordinary reversal on the part of new york city government in its attitude toward this lawsuit. i'm wondering her insights into the actual sitting down with the key figures in the city who negotiated this agreement. >> i think you're right. after 12 years of being entirely ignored and having a hostile attitude towards us from the
prior administration, being blamed for manufacturing stop and frisk crisis, this administration, led by the new corporation counsel zach carter, reached out to us very early in an attempt to try and resolve this matter. what was significant about their approach is, i think from the beginning, they accepted the findings of touch scheindlin. they accepted the long pattern of unconstitutional and racially is mandatory stops. in general, you were willing to go through with the court order reform process. in other words, they started out far along the way to accepting the legitimacy of the claims -- the findings of the judge in the claims of millions of new yorkers who voted for de blasio. >> explain for the global audience who zach carter is.
now the corporation counsel for the new mayor bill de blasio. >> the corporation counsel is the lead lawyer for the city. he recently has been in private practice, but you before that he was the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of new york, the area covering brooklyn. most relevant to this issue, he brought civil rights charges against officers who abused and in 1999.a man so he is very familiar with the nypd police culture. >> let's go to zach carter: the cities to corporation counsel speaking thursday at a news conference. >> more than 50 years ago, martin luther king spoke of a dream that all citizens would one day be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. the action taken by the city
today is a reaffirmation of its commitment to apply that principle to policing, justice and did so in the arenas of employment, public accommodations, education, and all other areas of government activity. no law-abiding citizen should fear the intrusion of law-enforcement actions simply because of the color of their skin. >> that was sacked carter, the new city corporation counsel speaking -- that was zach carter, the new city corporation counsel speaking at the press conference thursday. talk about what this practically means right now. >> the prior administration had appealed the district judge's order finding the city liable and the court of appeals in a set of very unusual moves had stopped the impact of the district court's ruling. >> and removed the judge. >> exactly.
commits the city to withdrawing the appeal after we work out some details, some slight modifications to the district court order. once the appeal is dismissed, we will move forward with the remedial process. >> there are still a possible holdup in that the court is allowing the policeman's union to possibly intercede or at issue ofheard on the the settlement. shortly after the city filed its request to settle the stop and frisk, the court said it wanted to hear the lease unions decision. this means it could have not yet dismissed their effort to keep the case alive. this is a statement released but a president of the policeman benevolent association patrick lynch after the news saying --
what is your sense of the base of the claim the policeman's union here would have? >> they seek to intervene in the case to try and so limit or reverse the district court ruling. their claim, as far as we can tell, is borderline for villas. the union has two interest, no injury that would come from obeying the constitution, additional training, additional supervision. the most they have done effectively is articulate a sort .f hurt feelings justification some of their officers have been accused of it engaging in racial profiling, and for that they want to intervene. the law should not allow an intervention in the circumstances. >> in your negotiations, you reached or agreed to a
concession that the monitoring that the two sides would agree to would only last for three years, at which point it would end. mayor de blasio's point is in addition to her lawsuit, the city council passed legislation establishing a permanent inspector general for the police department that had not existed before. your sense of this compromise that you agree to and why you thought it was necessary? >> i think it is an entirely reasonable compromise given the city's commitment to move forward more broadly with the remedial package. the three-year limit on the monitor ship actually will only happen assuming the court finds the city is substantially complied with the constitution and the remedial order. and as the mayor said, the city council has passed legislation creating an officer inspector general. after that three years, that office could take over the
monitoring process. the lawyers and the people of new york can continue to monitor and hold accountable the nypd. >> i want to turn to the new york police officer who has spoken out about problems with the stop and frisk program that he and thousands of other officers are asked to carry out. he joined the new york police department in 2005 in in 2009 he became critical of the nypd stop and frisk policy when his superiors told officers to meet a quota of stops or face punishment. after he spoke out, he was suspended with pay and was then put on modified assignment. this is a clip of officer adhyl polanco speaking. in 2009, the commanding officers required us to have a 1, 20, and five system. that means one arrest per month, fivemmoned per month, and stop, question, and frisk. basically, they wanted to stop
at least one person a day. what happens the day you don't see a crime or see the violations? people start getting creative. we will stop a person on the street on the corner because the sergeant says to stop them. why? you don't ask. you stop them, frisk them. sometimes they're just walking to the store or walking up from school, not doing absolutely anything. they're doing absolutely nothing. it is a really humiliating feeling. when they stop you, you don't have no freedom. if you stop until the officer, i don't have to give you my id or my name -- which is within the law, the law allows you to do that -- you're going to get hurt. my turning point was with a bunch of kids on the corner stopped by the commanding officer. .here was a 13-year-old mexican
he said, cuff him. i said, don't ask him -- i said, for what? he said, don't ask me, just cut him. his brother came up and said, officer, did he do anything stupid? my commanding officer said, cut him, too. for what that go he will figure it out later. i was my turning point. i do that to a kid is walking home from school? this is not what i wanted to do. but that was new york police officer adhyl polanco. he also spoke on democracy now! when he went to speak at the trial for his position changed at the new york police department and the police put him on modified assignment. he said something interesting and asked about should stop and frisk an entirely. you did not say entirely, he just said we should treat black and latino young people the same way we treat whites.
>> it is important to recognize the opinion doesn't require the end of stop and frisk and the mayor is not committing to that. stop and frisk can be a lawful law enforcement tool, assuming there is a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and it is being done in a nondiscriminatory manner. what officer adhyl polanco identified and testified in trial was that there was a quota driven demand to do stop and suspicion,endent of and there was a profile under which they were supposed to prioritize certain stops and was male, black, 14 to 21. >> the stop, question, and frisk incidents have already dropped enormously from about 200,000 in the first quarter of 2012 -- which was the height -- to about 22,000 in the previous quarter.
this is a huge drop, and yet there is been no impact on the crime rate at all. >> there's never been any correlation for despite the city's general statement to the contrary which -- between increasing stop and frisk and decreasing crime. they're unrelated. what this shows is the numbers of stop and frisk are artificially driven by quota, by command, not related to the incidence of criminal activity out there. in stop dramatic drop and frisk is only to see a dramatic drop in the number of innocent people stopped and frisk. 90% of them resulted in no criminal arrests, summons, or weapons possessions. >> let's go to nicholas peart, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the city over stop and frisk. he testified in court he was stopped at least five times. he wrote about his expense in a
new york times op-ed headlined "why is the nypd after me?" he spoke at the news conference. 's when i read nicholas peart out that a few years ago, i thought to myself, how far astray we have gone. this young man exemplifies everything we want from our young people, everything we want for our future -- law-abiding, hard-working, good student, focused on his education. nicholas is an example of how bright new york city's future possible but it is not if he and other young men like him are not treated with the respect and the embrace and the face they deserve to feel as they deserve if they're going to be our leaders of tomorrow. i think because he stood up, he helped create that they went all
of our young men of color, all of our young men, all of our young women know this city is for them and we look forward to the day when they are the leaders of tomorrow. nicholas. [applause] good afternoon, everyone. in theed to take part floyd's case because i was tired of the same scenario, sing my peers being stopped and frisked. i myself have been stopped a number of times and i understand very well of the psychological consequences that it has of a person who has been stopped from the time he was 14 and now you carry that burden of being illegally stopped and frisked and your adulthood. i decided to stand up for my community.
larger a small part of a battle that we have. i think the city is going in the right direction by killing this. we have a long battle ahead of us. >> that was nicholas pert, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the city over stop and frisk. was called floyd versus city of new york. explain who floyd was or is. >> david floyd is our lead plaintiff. he is currently in medical school in cuba. david floyd was stopped twice on his block, once about 100 meters from his apartment and another time literally outside his apartment helping his neighbor with a set of apartment keys enter his house.
trial to theat significance of this, which is that he felt illegal even on his own block. stepping outside his own house he felt under siege by the police. >> i want to ask you about the historic significance of this, to your clients, to the country as a whole. in terms of the major police department in the country, totally reversing its stance on how it polices its citizens on this crucial issue. and for some of your clients to be there with the mayor, actually and lamenting this dramatic -- implementing mr. manic change. >> that is truly significant. we're talking about the largest police department in the country, the second-largest in the world. has abandoned the premise of policing by the prior
administration that they touted forever, the so-called preventative policing, aggressive street encounters. and committed to end racial profiling. racial profiling is a problem in new york cost of this case is about the david floyds and nicholas perts and others, but the idea that race could be a proxy for suspicion is also about trayvon martin in the and theces -- experiences of millions of people of color in this country with respect to the police. so we hope this turns a page. but there is still a lot of work to do. to make this meaningful and lasting. >> what are the sticking points now? you are beginning down this road. >> the process we are going to engage in is a sort of collaborative process overseen by a monitor -- >> that was appointed by judge scheindlin, who has been
removed. >> so the monitor is there, at least for now, and regrettably judge scheindlin is not. >> the she is appealing? >> yes, and that is pending in the court of appeals. -- and thee ordered irony of her removal -- as you ordered is a fairly modest remedy, which is simply requiring all the stakeholders commit community groups in the public advocates office, lawyers, police department unions, to engage in a joint remedial process. so one piece of that would be modifying training, supervision for changing the numbers based in racially discriminatoryly driven stop and frisk policy, but also engaging police and communities in a process to think through how to get back trust and make other creative proposals to build on sort of real reform for the police department. >> she specifically zeroed in on the necessity to get rid of some
of the training materials that the police department had used in the past. could you talk about that? >> the training materials were legally incorrect. they are training people on incorrect to go. >> i want to turn to bratton and a critical point he made yesterday, the new police chief of new york who was the police chief also of los angeles and also, of course, before that was the police chief of new york. this is police commissioner bratton. >> right now we're in this kind of no man's land. i am accepting of this process and this move toward settlement because as police commissioner i need to be in a position to say to my officers, this is how you police constitutionally, how you do it respectfully, how you police compassionately. these are the guard rails that you have to stay within. .olice need that guidance
i think the settlement will indeed provide that. the quicker we move down this road, the better for all concerned. >> you heard of boston accent. he was also police commissioner of boston. , you hear him saying he feels like there are no man's land. what are the cops being told today? >> they should be told there is a binding decision that prevents them from policing on the basis of race and requires reasonable suspicion, but that also starttes the command to talking to the police about what that means. the police commissioner said he started that process. i think in part there are no man's land because the prior administration, rather than being part of the solution, resisted and so discontent and resistance to the court order.
forwardto sort of move now. he actually announced an interesting change just "the new york times" reported this morning. the previous a administration had put first-tier police officers and a program called operation impact into the highest crime areas. bratton announced he will change that practice because what it did is it introduced real tension between new officers and community groups. the better practice suggesting to pull new recruits into precinct-based policing. 90% of policing is not about hostile interactions with individuals in high crime areas. it is learning about the community offering services and that is, for example, i think another positive step. >> i want to thank you, baher azmy, legal director for the
constitutional rights council on the stop and frisk lawsuit against the city of new york. involved in the negotiations with the city that led to thursday's settlement. as we wrap up this segment, february 4 is the 15th anniversary of the killing by the new york police street as he putt of dialo the keys in his door in the bronx, very much like david floyd putting the keys in his door. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. shawne come back, wally joins us. stay with us.
land is your land" with pete seeger last of the animal farm aid concert, one of his last performances. he passed away on monday at the age of 94. you can go to democracynow.org to see our interviews with pete seeger over the years, including a new clip we dug up from our archives when he recalled the peekskill riots of 1949 when he and the singer and actor paul robeson were attacked. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez.
>> we turn now to the renowned playwright, actor wallace shawn. he has just returned from brazil where he gave a special performance of his play "the designated mourner" to journalist glenn greenwald who first broke the story about nsa whistleblower edward snowden. through three characters, his play reveals the claustrophobia of a shrinking political landscape in a formerly liberal land. the play was staged at the public theater in new york city last year, but greenwald cannot attend because of fears that he would be prosecuted upon returning to the united states. >> this week, director of national intelligence dennis clapper suggested journalists could be considered accomplices of edward snowden. last summer, david gregory raised this issue when he interviewed glenn greenwald. >> to the extent you have aided and abetted snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you be charged with a crime?
i think it is pretty extraordinary that anybody who calls himself a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalist should be charged with felonies. if you want to embrace that theory, it means every investigative journalist in the u.s. who works with their sources, receives classified information, is a criminal. it is precisely those theories and that climate that has become so menacing in the u.s. >> that was glenn greenwald speaking on "meet the press" on nbc to david gregory over the summer. since greenwald could not attend wally shawn's play in new york, well, wally took the play to him in brazil. to speak more about the artistic solidarity, we're joined by wally shawn, noted stage and screen actor, mainstay on the new york theater scene, written numerous plays including "the
fever," "grasses of a thousand colors." wally shawn had also celebrated acting roles in several films including "the princess bride," "toy story," and the 1981 cult classic "my dinner with andre." is great to have you back. talk about brazil. >> well -- >> why did you go there? >> initially, it was an emotional response to the fact that i had invited this writer who i deeply admired to come and see my play. you know people like me in show business, we are showoffs. i wanted him to see the play. eventually, i realize to is done able to return to the united states because having received
the nsa papers. i said, well, we will bring the play to you. colleagues -- i went to deborah eisenberg and larry pine, who were the two actors in a play with me, and to the sound director, andthe they all said -- before i even finished the sentence, they are all rebels from the 1960's, you could say, and immediately said, "what a great idea!" so we brought the whole play to brazil and we did it for glenn
and some people he invited. and ared a theater lighting designer talked to the people not go brazil come and we did the complete -- the people in brazil and we did the complete version of the play. you can't e-mail a play. script of athe play. you can't send that in the mail, you know, if you want to show somebody a play, that is what you have to do. gesture of expression of respect for the fact that he did what we all should be doing. he has risked his neck, risked forphysical security freedom. >> and the choice of the play, the reason -- its relevance to our time? the play has been out
for more than a decade. >> yes, well, it happens to be a play that is on the subject of speaking out, in a way. writes out of a personal artistic impulse that you don't necessarily plan, but it turns out that this play is about a writer played by larry pine who wrote quite a while ago some essays that were offensive to right-wing sort of regime and is made up country. ,nd he and his loyal daughter played by deborah eisenberg, are not even gathering guns for the rebels.
they're simply people who are sympathetic to the poor of their essays.and have written so they haven't really done anything, yet, as the political space in the country gets smaller and the regime begins to crack down, the people who are on the fringes are threatened. --ause artistic freedom artistic freedom of thought is dangerous freedom of thought, just the way political freedom of thought is. if people are out there thinking dangerouswn, that's to governments if they are repressive reminded. so it becomes dangerous for the son-in-law, my character, to live in the house with these
rather dangerous people are people who are mildly dangerous because they are thinking freely. so i get out of the house. i play the survivor who is basically cowardly. >> so this is what you did in brazil for glenn greenwald and a couple dozen of his assist friends. could you perform a section of the play now? >> is hard to know what to pick, but i will pick -- and i do a couple of minutes? all right. somewhaty character, like-minded slightly shallow guy , who accepts evil ultimately. he is cowardly. anyway, now we come to the question of enemies. that is a question that we really have to face.
i mean, when people refer to the enemy, our enemies, they're referring basically to what someone once called the snarling snapping unmuzzled dogs -- in other words, the individuals who live, so to speak, outside the fence, the ones who are camped on the other side of the fence with their cap fires, pots, marshmallows are whatever the help they have over there. in other words, if you look at the world, the world as a whole, actually, most people in it are the ones we can only refer to rather nervously and gingerly by means of those terribly millage radack and almost hysterical words like wretched, miserable, unfortunate, desperate, powerless, poor -- that is a very sympathetic one -- or in
other words, there are people, god bless him, who simply have no resources of any kind at all. and these particular people -- and god knows why -- they just don't like us. they don't like us. they simply don't like us. so it is not hard to see what will happen one day. the majority -- them. minority -- us. and the way they feel about us -- great dislike. very, very great dislike. so enemies are not exactly imaginary beings. they are very, very real. i tell you something interesting about enemies, at least this is how i feel about it, i'm sure and not rather nasty terribly thought-provoking old saying, the enemy of my enemies is my friend.
what is much more true to my sense of life is the friend of mine enemies is for sure my enemy. even though in a funny way, my enemies them selves don't bother me that much. and at various moments, i can even work up quite a bit of respect for them, looking at it all from a certain point of view. it is that thing of people who you actually know and with whom , decidingly live consciously to become the friend of your enemies that can get you really terribly upset, because your enemies are trying, after all, very hard to kill you. no matter what you may happen to feel about them. and this is where things with my wife and my father-in-law really became so difficult, because they worked themselves around to being so horribly appalled by
the selfish rich people with bad taste who they saw encroaching on a perfect existence that they ultimately decided the people whom they actually ought to like were you that's right, precisely the ones sitting around making plans to slice our guts out. in other words, to perform the gesture cleverly referred to by our enemy-loving preachers as the disemboweling of the over boweled. >> wally shawn performing "the designated mourner" and perform that for glenn greenwald in brazil. will you be going to russia to perform for edward snowden? >> well, i don't know him. a little bit. >> wally shawn, thank you for being here. award-winning playwright, noted stage and screen actor, a
mainstay on the new york theater scene. that does it for the broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]