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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 22, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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04/22/14 04/22/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! it seems to me the federal government is finally after two years, to the high-level thinking of housewives that constantly put down. we know what is going on. we did research. we want out of there. we want our kids out. not on wednesday. today. >> today is earth day. we will spend the hour looking at the history of the environment a movement as told in the sweeping
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documentary, "a fierce green fire." greenpeace's campaigns to save whales and baby harp seals. >> we're coming upon a floating slaughterhouse. there is blood in the water. there are huge slabs of blubber being hauled out on these factory ships. blood is just pouring out. the stench alone made us all want to throw up. >> we will look at the fight by chico mendes and brazilian rubbertappers to save the amazon rain forest. our guest will be the director of the film, mark kitchell. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the obama administration is expanding the criteria to decide which prisoners jailed for drug crimes are eligible for, see.
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the fair sentencing act of 2010 reduced sentencing disparities between users of crack cocaine and powdered cocaine to address a racial imbalance in prison terms. but the law did not apply retroactively. and monday, attorney general eric holder said the administration will announce new guidelines to help close the gap. >> there are still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime and as a result, we'll have to spend far more time in prison than they would is sentenced today for exactly the same crime will stop this is simply not right. the white house has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications to restore a degree of justice, fairness, and portion out before deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety. the justice department is committed to recommending as many qualified applicants as possible for reduced sentences. >> the new criteria could mean early parole for thousands of
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prisoners. he tells of the new policy are expected on thursday. a federal appeals court has ordered the release of a secret government memo that authorized the killings of americans overseas. the american civil liberties union and the new york times had filed a lawsuit under the freedom of information act seeking the legal basis for drone strikes. the suit came after the u.s. killed the american-born cleric anwar al-awlaki, his denver-born son abdulrahman, and samir khan in yemen despite having never charged any of them with a crime. a three-judge panel on the second circuit court of appeals ordered the release of the memo and other related documents. in a statement, the aclu said the ruling marks a -- the court's decision comes as the death toll from three days of u.s. drone attacks inside yemen has reached up to 55.
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the victims are described as suspected al qaeda militants, except for three civilians who were killed in saturday's initial attack will stop the yemeni government says the militants were plotting violence against civilian and military targets. at the white house, press secretary jay carney refused to offer details. >> without speaking about specific operations, in may 2013, president obama spoke about the policy and legal rationale for how the u.s. takes direct action against al qaeda and its associated forces. outside of areas of active hostility. as the president made clear, we take extort many care to make sure our counterterrorism actions are in accordance with all international laws inconsistent with u.s. that theisen policy. >> the drone strikes appear to be the largest carried out in yemen this year. the u.n. says the death toll
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from rebel attack in south sudan last week is in the hundreds. trouble militants reportedly hunted down men, women, and children after overrunning oil town of bentiu. scores of dead bodies were found in the streets. the deaths could surpass 400 with hundreds more wounded. a human spokesperson denounced the attack. of radiodemn the use associated with the opposition to broadcast hate speech. the between april 15 and 17, the mission extracted hundreds of civilians who were facing threats of violence in several they have taken refuge. over 500 civilians, including many wounded, work struck it from the hospital and other places while thousands were escorted as they walked to the base. >> more than one million people have fled their homes since clashes erupted between government troops and supporters of south sudan sacked as
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president late last year. the u.n. has warned up to a million people in south sudan are at risk of famine. the international deal to contain the conflict in eastern ukraine is in jeopardy with those sides trading blame. pro-russian separatists remain in control of several government buildings they've seized over the past two weeks. the u.s. says it will hold russia responsible and impose new sanctions within days if the separatists won't withdraw. in washington, a state department spokesperson said secretary of state john kerry had relayed a new warning to russia. >> the government of ukraine put forward a broad amnesty bill for separatist to give a buildings and weapons and sent were presented it to help implement the agreement and called applause in his terrorism operation. he asked russia demonstrate an equal level of commitment to the geneva agreement in both its rhetoric and actions as noted in geneva without implementation, the joint statement is only a
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piece of paper and what is needed is true de-escalation. >> russia has said it wants ukraine to rein in right-wing militants blamed for a deadly attack on a separatist checkpoint over the weekend. syrian president bashar al-assad has announced new elections for early june. he will seek another seven-year term as his country remains mired in a three-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands. a spokesperson for you and secretary-general ban ki-moon said the election will undermine efforts for political solution to the syrian crisis. think both the secretary-general and the joint special representative lakhdar brahimi however repeatedly warned the holding of elections in the current circumstances amid the ongoing conflict and massive displacement will damage the lyrical process and hamper the prospects for political solution that the country so urgently needs. such elections are incompatible
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with the letter and spirit of the geneva communiqué. >> the obama administration is reportedly considering limiting the deportations of undocumented immigrants who do not have criminal records. recent figures show two thirds of those deported under president obama had committed minor infractions such as traffic violations or had no criminal record at all. the associated press reports the change is being considered as part of the department of homeland security review launched the midst rising criticism of obama's record 2 million deportations. forntiffs seeking damages the fault ignition switches and general motors cars have filed a class-action suit to block the auto giants effort to avoid liability. on monday, gm formally asked of the groups the judge to protect it from all claims that predate and taxpayerruptcy bailout. gm wants the court to distinguish the old gm from the
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post bankruptcy new gm, exempting it from old gm's abilities. the plaintiffs lawsuit says "gm 's argument suggest the government would've agreed to extend $40 billion of taxpayer money and supported shielding her from liability had it known ." gm's intentional misconduct the united auto workers has dropped a challenge to a failed union organizing vote the volkswagen plant in tennessee earlier this year. in a blow to organized labor, the autoworker and chattanooga reject unionization declined to make their plant the first unionized foreign-owned car factor in the united states. the union faced intense opposition from republican lawmakers who suggested the plant might miss out on future subsidies or on a new suv line if the union was approved.
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boardtional labor was to hear it on monday. the uaw says it made the decision to drop it after top republicans and antiunion activist's vow to testify. the director of national intelligence james clapper has issued a sweeping order barring agencies under his watch from almost all unauthorized contact with the media. the ban applies to discussion of all intelligence related matters, whether they are classified or not. violators face a minimum security violation and potential prosecution. clapper's directive comes just months after he told the senate he would seek to "lean in the direction of transparency, wherever and whenever we can." the oklahoma supreme court has stayed the executions of two death row prisoners who are challenging the secrecy around the drugs to be used in their deaths. a state judge last month struck down a law that hides
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information on the drugs used in lethal injections. the judge ruled the law violated the prisoners constitutional rights i failing to disclose the name of the drug supplier, the combination of chemicals, and the dosages used in executions. monday's ruling by oklahoma's high court stayed the executions until all legal challenges in the case have been resolved. the rulings could help delay executions in other states where prisoners are challenging similar laws. a controversy has erupted at kentucky prison where an inmate has starved himself to death. james kenneth embry began refusing meals months after he stopped taking antianxiety medication about a year ago. a prison dr. has been fired and two other staffers face dismissal after giving him -- failing to give him proper treatment and oversight. he was just 57 years old and had three years left on a nine-year sentence for drug offenses.
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mourners gathered in mexico and colombia monday to celebrate the life of the novelist gabriel garcia marquez who died last week at the age of 87. in mexico city, the presidents of mexico and colombia were among the speakers at a memorial ceremony at the palace of fine arts. amongst the crowds, colombian of his, spokend to democracy now! about his legacy. work marked a change, change in our standards. he helped us relax in the world that is a difficult and cruel. he gave us license to darin taught as anybody could arrive to be the person most important in the world, which is what he did. the son of a telegraph operator is today being celebrated by many presidents, but also by the people who love him and are here paying tribute.
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>> in his hometown in columbia, residents held a memorial of their own, marching through the streets and placing messages to him in an urn. to hear our special from friday, the day after he died, our conversation with isabelallende and excerpts of speeches that gabriel garcia marquez shared with people around the world, you can go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today is earth day. it began in 1970 is a national teach in on the crisis of the environment and has grown to become a worldwide day of action. 40 years ago, one in 10 americans participated in earth day. this year, an estimated one billion people will join in around the world. this year's earth day comes as new research published in plos one highlights the connection
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between pollution and racial injustice. nationwide people of color on average are exposed to 38% higher levels of outdoor nitrogen dioxide pollution than whites, a difference that amounts to an estimated 7000 deaths per year from heart disease. another study shows the number of major wildfires in the western united states has dramatically increased due to drought and rising temperatures from climate change. in thedings published journal geophysical research letters show the number of large wildfires rose from 1984 to 2011 at a rate of seven fires per year. the united nations intergovernmental panel on climate change warned the world has just 15 years to stave off the most devastating impacts of climate change. today we spend the hour looking at the history of the environmental movement. it is told in the new film called, "a fierce green fire." ninecarried a child for months. our little julie was stillborn. i was told it was the direct
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results to chemicals. please, don't allow this to happen anyone else. >> raw sewage was going right down the hudson river. air pollution was growing just as fast as new automobiles were coming out. dams in the grand canyon, that was going to be a fight to the death. >> they were going to take the water out of the river. all of it. >> to these people, the balance of nature was something that was repealed as soon as man came on the scene. >> if we do not save the environment, then whatever we do in civil rights will be of no meaning because in we will have the quality of extinction. said, of a sudden, people wait a second. this is not how we have to live. >> [indiscernible] environmental extremism. i don't think they will be happy until the white house looks like a birds nest.
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>> they are now lying in the streets. >> it wasn't just a matter of holding up signs saying, stop killing the whales. greenpeace wanted to get in front of the whaling boat and stop them. >> they were reinventing civilization and did not know how. i did not come it either, why not find out. youvery other force around is trying to get you to privatize. blood.forefathers shed americans understood what was going on and what the danger was, but still nothing happening in washington. not a damn thing. >> global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated. it might be possible to still do that. what ahell of a way to run a planet. >> that is the trailer for "a fierce green fire."
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today is earth day. we are looking at a sweeping documentary that airs tonight on pbs american masters. today we're featuring extended excerpts from the film including a look at one of the first battles over a toxic waste dump. it may surprise you to know it was led by housewives. it was led by lois gibbs. we will also look at greenpeace's campaigns to save whales and baby harp seals, and later, a fight by chico mendes and brazilian rubbertappers to save the amazon rain forest. in san francisco, we're joined by the director, mark kitchell. welcome to democracy now! talk about the scope of this film and why you decided to make "a fierce green fire." a sortaw nobody had made of big picture overview, history next oration of the environmental movement. that was the basic impulse. we figured 50 years into this movement it was time to look at the broader and deeper meaning of environmentalism and where it
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is going. i do history. it was a great pleasure and honor and challenge taking on this history. it is sort of the largest movement the world has ever witnessed, but so atomized and episodic that you don't really -- it doesn't really have a sense of its larger meaning and place and what it is about. that was the idea, to take on the meaning of the movement. >> we're going to share some of the stories of these movements. we're going to go to "a fierce green fire" in a battle led by lois gibbs, who would become famous for leading housewives against some 20,000 tons of toxic waste dumped in the committed of love canal, and neighborhood in niagara falls, new york. they first learned the pollution was seeping into the homes and water, making their children sick. they learned this in 1976. this part of the film is narrated by the actress ashley
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judd. it starts with lois gibbs herself. >> you are murderers, each and every one of you in this room. it was a new segment in the movement. it wasn't that we don't care about the forest, it was the people focus that set us aside from the other elements that had come before us. on if the the focus fish are dying and if the birds are dying, then we are going to die. beneath the neighborhood were 20,000 tons of poisonous chemicals dumped in an old canal by hooker chemical corporation. reports of trouble began in 1976, but love canal did not explode until michael brown, a journalist at the niagara gazette, wrote articles exposing the problem. they caught the eye of lois gibbs. ini read a newspaper article
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love canal had 20,000 tons of chemicals buried in it, and it was leaking into the neighborhood. so i read this newspaper nsa, those poor people. and next day, there was another article and that when talked about the 99th street elementary school and i was like, oh, my goodness. that is where michael is going to kindergarten. at is why michael is so sick. >> lois tried to get her son transfer to another school, but the superintendent refused. >> when i met with dr. long he said, i am not about to move 407 children because of one irate, hysterical housewife with a sickly kid. >> instead, lois began to circulate a petition to close the school. she went door-to-door, discovering the extent of the damage. >> i was shocked. i was absolutely shocked. i thought i was the only one with a sickly child. i thought i was the only family that was affected by these
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leaking chemicals from love canal. >> in their basement, you could see where the chemical residue just comes up through the basement floor and just pools there. and it smells like a chemical factory. it is nasty. this is what we feel is causing a lot of the birth defects and the miscarriage and health problems in the area. before love canal broke, i got pregnant. i carried the child for nine months. the baby weighed three pounds and was a stillborn birth. >> i had a miscarriage living in this house and when i worked for hooker chemical. my god, i almost handed. i could not believe it. both of my children were born premature. >> when lois took her case to the state, officials surprised her an emergency declaration to evacuate the nearest homes.
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however, the outer ring of homes surrounding love canal -- 800 families -- were given nothing. , doould you please tell me i let my three year old stay? she has a birth defect now. >> what are you going to do with my kid? nothing. done, man, the damage is done. >> the state bought the inner ring of houses the put up a fence and began to excavate. love canal residence outside the fence felt trapped. >> when did the state tell you to stop growing or vegetable garden? >> in august 1978. >> they weren't willing to move you out, but they were willing to tell you to stop growing vegetables? >> willing to tell us not to let kids go there for oracle in the basement, don't plant a garden,
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but enjoy your house. live there with your family. >while we continue doing our test. >> the residence decided to do their own health study and found an alarming increase in disease and birth defects. >> we truly believed if we can prove there was an increase in disease, they, meaning the government, will do the right thing. of the children in our community were born with birth defects. three our children had years, double rows of teeth, extra fingers, extra toes, or were mentally retarded. >> during the study time, there were 22 women who were pregnant and of those 22 pregnancies, only four normal babies were born. the health department literally through the health study on the floor. literally, just threw it on the floor and said, it's useless
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housewife data collected by people who have a vested interest in the outcome. >> the new york state health department prodded into doing its own study and presented their findings to a packed meeting in love canal. >> the health commissioner took the stage and said, we found that 56% of the children in love canal were born with birth defects. saying, yes,retly yes, and now you're going to evacuate us, right? and then he says, but we don't believe those birth defects are related to love canal. you could hear everybody, huh? it's like, we believe those birth defects are related to a random clustering of genetically defective people. ♪
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>> for the residence, love canal became a two-year struggle to get relocated. lois gibbs pushed relentlessly and finally forced the state to bring in federal government. environment protection agency launched a pilot study of chromosome damage will stop the results of the tests were explosive. >> chromosome damage means my two children may be genetically damaged as a result of love canal. that was the straw that broke the camels back. >> we will then decide whether this evidence added to the
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qlogic knowledge we already have of health and environment studies that love canal justifies a recommendation for relocation of the residence for other appropriate actions to assist those in the area. >> it seems to me the federal government is finally, after two years, come up to the high-level thinking of housewives as they constantly put down. we know what is going on. we did research ,too. and we want out of there. we want our kids out. not on wednesday. today. >> the epa recommended relocation, but the white house blocked the emergency declaration. the residents of love canal demanded nation. when epa officials arrived, they decided to take them hostage. around,pass the word we're not going to do anything violent, just keep them in the
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house. nothing more than that, ok? don't let them out. if i was directly to epa representatives come out the store, does anybody know what would happen to them? >> i guess i'm here for the duration. >> meaning what? >> i guess until the white house gives the homeowner some sort of answer. >> i call it the white house and the lady starts giving this lecture about how the residents have blotted out of proportion and less people die of cancer, i hung up the-- phone. i'm thinking, i am crazy. >> [indiscernible] meeting with president carter at the white house.
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should have more information -- >> i went on the front porch and said, ok, guys, the president hears us and we'll hear from our congressmen. i think we should let them go and let them go with a very strong warning. , have called the white house and this is upon your approval, that we will allow the two epa representatives to leave, but if we do not have a disaster noon,ation wednesday by then what they have seen here today is just a sesame street picnic. [applause] >> two days later, lois called the white house. amazingly enough, scroll to made them work. >> an emergency to permit the federal government and the state of new york to undertake >> and she said, and we will
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grant temporary relocation. like --of a sudden was i swear, the birds were singing -- until we can get permanent relocation money allocated. this is for the homeowners and all their hard work. >> at last, president carter came to love canal to sign the agreement, buying up the homeowners. >> the whole question of the disposal of hazardous waste, especially toxic chemicals, is going to be one of the great n-terminal challenges of the 1980's. there must never be in our country another love canal. thank you very much. >> that was president jimmy carter. throughout the excerpt, lois gibbs and others who led the struggle to take on poker
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chemical in love canal, a community in niagara falls, new york. the story is told in, "a fierce green fire" which tells the history of environmental movement through these different struggles. in this special, when we come back, we will look at greenpeace and its battle to save the whales as well as chico mendes and the rubbertappers of brazil fighting to save the amazon. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. is earth day and we're looking at key moments in the history of the environmental movement as told unless -- as told in the new film, "a fierce green fire" directed by mark kitchell which airs tonight on pbs. we turn to another extended excerpt about a ragtag group of ecologists who helped launch the group greenpeace, their first campaign, a fight to save the whales. in this excerpt, we bring you greenpeace cofounders ray wexler
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, paul watson, and bob hunter. it is narrated by van jones, president obama's former green jobs adviser. >> 1975, ring piece set off to hunt the whalers. after two months at sea, they came upon the russian whaling fleet. upon a floating slaughterhouse. there is blood in the water. there are huge slabs of blubber being hauled up on these big ships. blood is just pouring out of this type and the stench alone made us all want to throw up. quit suddenly, bob and i were in a small boat in front of the soviet harpoon vessel bearing down on us. in front of us are a magnificent sperm whales fleeing for their life. every time the harpoon or try to get a shot, i was at the helm and it would move newburgh to try to block it -- i would maneuver to try to block the harpoon. hears the russian
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ship . we're between the soviet ship and thewhales. the harpoon or is not shooting, but eventually somebody from the bridge walks down the catwalk andtalks to the harpoonert he nods and goes back and bob looks in his eyes and he knows, this guy's going to shoot this harpoon. >> he looked and smelled and brought his finger across his neck and that is when i realized it wasn't going to pull through for us that day. >> at that very moment, they fired the harpoon. >> this harpoon flew over our head and slammed into the back side of one of the whales. and she screamed. very human-like screen, like a woman. it took us completely off guard. >> the whalers perfectly -- purposely shoot at the female
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first because they know the bull whales will attack. and when the bull whales come to attack, which is what happened -- shot thechalantly harpoon in the head. rolled in agony on the surface of the ocean, i caught his eye and he looked straight at me. >> and we're looking into the .ye of this huge sperm whale i have to tell you, it sort of beyond emotional. there are certain moments that are so emotional you're just in brand-new territory. >> why were the russians killing these whales? they did not eat sperm will meet, but they did use it to make high heat resistant lubricating oil for machinery.
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one of the pieces of machinery they use it in was the manufacture of intercontinental listed missiles. i said, here we are destroying this creature for the purpose of making a weapon meant for the mass destruction of humanity. that is when it came to me with a flash of words saying, we are totally insane. from that moment on i decided i work forwhales and sea turtles and seabirds. i don't work for people. >> the story just exploded. i think it was because people were seeing for the first time, not just ending up with a dispossessed humans, but standing up for the dispossessed nothing else in the world. every other species in the world -- has been dispossessed by the industrial civilization of humankind. >> greenpeace's new style of
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media orangey and activism launch them into the wildest ride of any environmental group. >> we were trying to make the whales famous, but in the process, we made ourselves famous. we are now able to talk about ecology and raise money and now we were able to do a seal campaign and toxic dump campaign. offices were springing up around the world calling themselves greenpeace. >> their critics claim there were better at dramatizing issues then effecting change, but greenpeace saw the media is the best means of changing consciousness. they called it dropping mind bombs. >> my idea was if you took an image and you passed it through the media into the mass mind, you could essentially low the mass mind with new images that would create whole new ways of looking at the world. the image of small spoils against giant sheens was -- small whales against giant
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sheens was mind boggling. >> saving baby harp seals in newfoundland was the next campaign. >> wheeze the same tactics. we got out on the ice, blockaded the sealing ships. backed up three times and came forward already. lining up for business. the first year they ran into furious opposition, especially over paul's plan to spray die on the seal pups, rendering the pelts worthless. >> i think that is where i had the first fallout with bob, really, because they compromised with the newfoundlanders and said, we're not going to dye the seals if you do this. they did not consult me on it so i was angry. i don't believe in compromising. >> paul's was bitter.
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he came back the next year determined to stop the slaughter. >> on the second seal campaign of 1977, i pulled a club out of the sealer's hand. i tried to shut down their operations. they pulled thepelts into the water in the dangled from the site, then brought me up on the deck. they pulled me along the deck as andsealers are spitting kicking and punching. the captain came in and started screaming at me about how it is people like me that ended whaling and they are trying to take sealing away from us. >> soon after the second phil campaign, paul watson was thrown out of greenpeace for breaching the ethics of nonviolence. he had gone too far. whalersd to pursue the
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without compromise. he set up his own group, the sea shepherd society, got himself a ship. the first thing he did was hunt down the sierra, in illegal whlaler. >> i hit the sierra at the bow to get its attention and destroy the harpoon. did a 360 degree turn and started slamming and at 15 knots, split it open to the water line. that ship had killed 25,000 whales. what we are able to do in one year shut down every single pirate whaling vessel in the atlantic. at the end of that one year period, three were on the bottom, two were going to the south african navy, and one had been sold. >> can see shepherd when after whaling nations -- then the sea shepherd when after whaling
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nations. >> in 1986, greenpeace came up and said, i want to let you know what you did in iceland was criminal and unforgivable. i said, so. he said, you should know what people in this movement think about you. i said, i don't give a damn, john. i did not sink them for you or the movement, i did it for the whales. find the one whale that disagreed with what we did, but until then, i could not give a damn what you people think. >> it took everyone working together to ban whaling. for 10 years, radicals in mainstream, governments and ngos, campaign attorney international whaling commission from hunting to saving whales. us.t's not just killing they are nice. they don't want to harm anyone, really. >> what we are proposing is a moratorium.
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>> a moratorium finally passed in 1982. in time, he became a permanent to one ofling environment wilson's biggest successes. >> that was van jones narrating an excerpt of the film, "a fierce green fire" which tells the history of the environmental movement for more than the past half-century. it airs tonight on pbs american masters. we're joined by its director, mark kitchell. mark, that story, the greenpeace chapter, if you will, is one of five in this film. which you call, "a fierce green fire" why." >> there's a famous story that happened about a century ago and a young ranger whose job was to kill predators for he shot a wolf. he went down the hill to see a fierce green fire in her eyes as she was dying.
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that was his awakening. itwrote a famous essay about called "thinking like a mountain." of a fiercewe think green fire as the environment movement and that is the way we use it in the film. at is what we were really trying to do in this film. it is what makes it different from other n-terminal films -- environmental films that are more issue-driven. we were looking to tell stories of the movement. we thought it would be a more engaging and impassioned approach to what are very difficult subjects. usually, environmental films, no matter how good they are, are an eco-bummer. it's always about a problem, a crisis, and ends with a plea for help. we thought people could really identify with people like lois gibbs and paul watson and really get the passion in.
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these people succeeded against him enormous odds. and that should give us some kind of hope that we can deal with such overwhelming problems like climate change and the extensione and create a sustainable evolution to save human society. >> we're going to take a break and then come back to another of the chapters of this film about the remarkable rubbertappers chico mendes and his fight in the brazilian wearing force to save the rain forest. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. is day and we're looking at the history of the environmental movement as told in a new film by mark kitchell that airs tonight across the country on pbs called, "a fierce green fire."
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this final extended excerpt looks at a turning point in the fight to save the amazon rain forest. it is a campaign led by chico mendes and the rubbertappers who are fighting to save their rubber trees from loggers. chico mendes wins, but is assassinated. the clip is narrated by the chilean novelist isabel allende. first, chico mendes himself. >> heavy always been a certain bureau? >> always. i started at nine years old. and for 20 years, i was a full-time >> they were protected by being
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and remote western amazon where roads have not penetrated. but his rangers arrived and began clearing the land the claimant for tax breaks, chico mendes organized the rubbertappers to defend their territory.
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>> the rubbertappers organized, nonviolent protests in the traditional gandhi and martin luther king, where they surrounded the trees and try to explain what a disaster it was for everyone. >> they were able to stop the forest cutting by standing in front of the tree. baroquereal
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story. it happened enough that it impeded an entire cap wrenching operation so much that they gave up. >> american environmentalists helped ring chico mendes to the united states to campaign against the world bank whose loans led to distraught -- destructive development. >> they want us to believe there helping the people. this is a big lie and an infamous live. the opposite is true. the people living in the forest have an interest in preservation. >> save the rain forest!
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>> i hope they will listen to the seringueiros complaints. >> are subcommittee will continue to put pressure on the idp and withhold funds, to cut off all funds, possibly, if they're not more cooperative. >> chico mendes in defense of the amazon forest against the station of the jungle, and expulsion of its people, was a creation of extractive reserves. >> saving their way of life meant saving the amazon. he began to build alliances with other rubbertappers and indigenous groups. >> several leaders and chico decided to hold a meeting to try and form a national council of rubbertappers. what they all came to the conclusion of was they needed to land,ights to use the
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that one of the things that was keeping them from being able to effectively defend the forest against the chainsaw loggers and the cattle ranchers was not having an actual right to this land. they were seen as squatters. >> the idea was raised, there should be rubbertapper reserves the people would not only land, but it would be theirs for as long as they wanted to work it. it was an idea of the people who actually lived in the forest. that was a huge breakthrough in concept. this is a great movement within amazonia and that is what chico started. >> the rubbertappers decided to establish the first reserve. the old rubber plantation where chico was born and lived with family and friends. however, the land had been bought by a rancher. s went to court
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to claim squatters rights. it turned into a showdown. >> it was a stalemate. immediate danger. we're seeing people killed and there could be many more. >> the range is terrorizing the whole population to strike at me . and the whole director of our workers movement. >> even though we want this to be peaceful, it may come to the point where the peaceful side won't work and we can't be demoralized. we will go to the confrontation knowing someone may lose his life. will you be with me?
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>> the rubbertappers won. victory tomportant , but the of the amazon rancher had vowed to kill chico mendes. >> this has not been a bloodless journey. some have already fallen defending extractive reserves. no one likes to die, but if it has to happen, and it should be to create more life. christ was crucified. he gave his last drop of blood. but since that day, millions of communities have been born that believe and fight for brotherhood.
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>> i promise before the blood of our companion chico mendes to continue his work. that theyr enemies will never succeed in silencing the voice of the seringueiros. ,hico mendes, wherever you are don't grieve that they have silenced her voice. your ideas exist among us. >> there were things that came together after his death that probably could not have come
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together if you was still alive, because they would still be fighting over whether the extractive reserves should be established or not. after he was killed, there was no question. so now, it is quite clear that who saves forests are the people in the forest. ♪ lula president, chico mendes is with us. his work proved to be the change. was an array of protected areas. 58 million acres were set aside an in destructive
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reserves. -- extractive reserves. the fate of the forest is still in doubt. now it is not just cattle ranchers, but soy farming on an industrial scale and illegal logging. due to the partial deforestation and the climate changes it has brought, the amazon is drying out. >> that excerpt aerated by the chilean novelist isabel allende aom, "a fierce green fire," film that premiered at the sundance film festival and will air tonight on pbs. today is earth day and stop the film looks at the environmental movement over more than the last half-century and directed by mark kitchell, who we end with today. mark, talk about your choices. these chapters in the film on greenpeace, on the rubbertappers and chico mendes, on love canal. talk about the final chapter and
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then how you chose these as implemented in the environmental movement. >> well, the final act is climate change, the mother of all environmental issues, so big that it overwhelms everything else. and we tell that 25 year struggle to deal with it, the largest problem the world has ever faced. it is largely a tale of frustration. bill mckibben talks about the inability of the movement to deal with the issue for most of the 1990's. ando on from copenhagen sort of explore bottom-up movements versus top-down political failure, and really try to make the point that we need the bottom-up grassroots pressure to force change from the top. paul hawken, with his brilliant
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unrest,"m "blessed talks about how there's probably 2 million groups worldwide working on these issues of environmental justice and indigenous rights and how they're all connected. and he uses the metaphor of the movement being humanities immune response system. i just think that is a brilliant way to characterize a movement. it is sort of a movement like we have never seen before in this world. it is headed for bigger things. 6 andted to do an act take on the future, and we tried various endings and could never fit it in. we had to get the film over. so we just decided we have got "a fierceher film, green future" and take on the
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sustainable revolution copper if you will. i think this is about civilization transformation. it will be as big of a change as the industrial revolution. and the task before us is to create a society that is sort of moving from our industrial basis we are in in which sustainable balance with the natural world. i think that is the only way we can survive. i think this is just the first 50 years of it. >> mark kitchell, thank you for being with us, director of, "a fierce green fire," which airs tonight on pbs at 9:00 eastern on this day, earth day. you can visit our website for link of local listings. you can tell us how you are involved with the environmental movement, if you are, who inspires you. but to our facebook page and on twitter. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed appreciate the closed captio
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( harpsichord music ) man: with the advantages of the example and instruction which you could have in europe, you would be a valuable acquisition to the art, anone of theirst inters in the world, provided you could receive these aids before it is t late in life, and before your manner and taste were corrupted or fixed by working in your little way at boston.

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