Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 9, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
01/09/15 01/09/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica this is democracy now! >> it should never be seen [indiscernible] it is an assault on our common humanity, designed to terrify and insight. >> the united nations condemns the attack on the charlie hebdo
8:01 am
satirical magazine. the suspected gunmen have taken a hostage to the airport. there are reports of hostages being taken at a supermarket in paris. we will speak to lebanese french scholar gilbert achcar. >> to put all of this in context and understand all of this appalling features come from somewhere and this somewhere -- the action of the west, the responsibility of the west, and also the responsibility of the west and the united states, in particular, in fostering the source, the ideological source of the most fanatical education of islam that is the saudi kingdom. >> plus, the latest on the bombing outside the naacp office in colorado springs. then, we go to vermont.
8:02 am
♪ >> 29 single-payer advocates were arrested after they disrupted the inauguration of vermont governor peter shumlin who has backed down on his promise to create a single-payer health care system in the state. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. french police have surrounded a building in a northern town near charles de gaulle airport as part of a massive manhunt for the two men accused of carrying out the charlie hebdo massacre. police say they believe the suspects, said and cherif kouachi, are holed up in a small printing business where they have taken a hostage. meanwhile, french officials are now saying there is a link
8:03 am
between the two brothers accused of the charlie hebdo attack and the heavily-armed man who shot dead a french policewoman on thursday. the suspect in that shooting has reportedly taken hostages of a supermarket in paris. we will have more on this breaking news after the headlines. people across france and around the world are paying tribute to the victims, including police officer ahmed merabet, whose execution on a sidewalk was captured on video. it was shown around the world. thousands have memorialized merbet with the social media hashtag "je suis ahmed," or "i am ahmed," a take on the viral hashtag "je suis charlie." un secretary-general ban ki-moon paid tribute to merabet as he called for unity after the attack. >> we have now learned the policeman's name. he was ahmed merabet. he himself was a muslim.
8:04 am
this is yet another reminder of what we're facing together. it should never be seen as a [indiscernible] it is an assault on our common humanity, designed to terrify and insight. >> in nigeria, the militant group boko haram has laid siege to the town of baga in northeast nigeria. the militants have reportedly decimated the town and attacked surrounding areas, leaving bodies strewn in the streets. the death toll is feared to be in the hundreds, with estimates from local officials ranging from over 100 to as high as 2,000 people. the south asian nation of sri lanka has elected a new president, dealing an unexpected defeat to president mahina rajapaksa, who has ruled the country for nearly a decade. rajapaska is credited with defeating the tamil tigers in 2009 after a 26-year civil war. he is accused of presiding over war crimes in the complex final stages. his opponent, maithripala
8:05 am
sirisena, who won the election was acting defense minister during the bloody final days of the conflict. in the mexican state of veracruz, 13 local police have been detained over the disappearance of a journalist. moises sanchez, who reported on drug-related violence and corruption, was kidnapped from his home in medellin de bravo earlier this month. the 13 officers detained constitute about a third of the municipal force there. in saudi arabia, an imprisoned activist is facing a public flogging today as part of a sentence of 1,000 lashes. sentenced to 1000 lashes for charges including consulting islam. amnesty international says raif badawi prisoner of conscience who is being punished for exercising freedom of speech. we'll have more on saudi arabia and its close relationship to the united states after headlines.
8:06 am
the obama administration has fined honda a record $70 million for failing to report death and injury claims related to its vehicles. the national highway traffic safety administration announced the fine after it was revealed the automaker failed to report more than 1700 claims over more than a decade. president obama has announced a new proposal to make community college free for two years to students who maintain a certain grade-point average. under the plan, the federal government would pay 75% of tuition while states would need to pay the remaining 25%. in a video ahead of today's formal announcement, obama said the plan was part of a preview of policies he will announce in his state of the union address later this month. >> put simply, what it would like to do is to see the first two years of community college free to everybody who is willing to work for it. that's right, free for everyone willing to work for it. it is something we can accomplish and something the train our workforce so we can compete with anybody in the world. >> the pentagon is consolidating
8:07 am
its forces in europe and returning 15 sites to their home countries in a purported cost-saving measure. but the plan will keep the u.s. troops the same, with increases in italy and germany and plans to launch a new fleet of stealth fighter jets from a base in england. u.s. lawmakers have advanced a measure to approve the keystone xl oil pipeline which would bring carbon-intensive tar sands oil from canada to the us gulf coast. the newly republican-led senate energy committee approved the bill, which president obama has vowed to veto. vermont independent senator bernie sanders denounced the measure. >> i am very worried about the united states congress turning its back on science, turning its back on those people who tell us that we have got to cut carbon emissions rather than give a green light for the exploration and production of some of the dirtiest oil on this planet.
8:08 am
i think, frankly, that is crazy. >> the vote comes as one of the senate's leading voices on environmental protection california democratic senator barbara boxer, has announced she will not run for re-election in 2016. boxer, who was first elected in 1992, has supported reproductive rights and gun control and was one of the immortal 23, the 23 senators who voted against authorizing the u.s. invasion of iraq. a coalition of democratic lawmakers has joined with labor and environmental activists to oppose president obama's plan to fast-track approval of trade deals. the obama administration has been quietly pressing for the authority to secretly negotiate trade pacts and then rush them through congress with an up-or-down vote within a set time frame. the new powers could let obama push through the trans-pacific partnership, a secretive pact encompassing 40% of the global economy. on connecticut democratic thursday, congressmember rosa delauro said trade deals merit
8:09 am
debate and cannot be rushed. >> trade deals go well beyond trade. they can compromise the quality of the food we eat. they can raise prices that we pay for medicine. they can attack our environment regulations, we cannot financial regulation, stop our government from supporting american businesses, and they do nothing to stop the injustice of currency and election. >> ohio has announced it will drop a two-drug cocktail used during a botched 26-minute execution during which the prisoner gasped for air. the same two-drug combination was used a botched execution in arizona which lasted for nearly two hours. ohio says it will delay at least one execution as it seeks a replacement anesthetic. but the drugs of been nearly impossible to obtain due to a refusal by european drug manufacturers to sell them for
8:10 am
executions. newly released video from a fatal police shooting in cleveland, ohio shows officers failed to provide medical help to 12-year-old tamir rice in the minutes after they shot him, and knocked his sister to the ground when she ran to him. previously released footage showed police shot rice within two seconds of pulling up next to him in a park where he was playing with a toy gun. following a battle with city officials, northeast ohio media group obtained a longer version, which shows rice did not receive medical attention until four minutes after the shooting, when an fbi agent who was in the area came to his aid. about a minute after rice was shot, his 14-year-old sister is seen rushing toward him as he lies behind a police cruiser. police tackle her to the ground, then handcuff her and place her in the cruiser just feet from her dying brother. the footage matches what rice's
8:11 am
sister tajai told the "today" show last month about the november shooting. >> iran -- i ran to the gazebo and i could not gather all the way to him because the officer attacked me, threw me on the ground -- tackled me on the ground, put me in handcuffs and in the back of the police car. >> the video shows it took more than eight minutes for emergency medical personnel to arrive and more than 12 minutes for tamir rice to be taken away on a stretcher. he was pronounced dead hours later at the hospital. an environmental activist sentenced to 19 years in prison for ecoterrorism in what his supporters say was a case of fbi entrapment has been released after serving nine years. eric mcdavid was convicted of plotting to bomb sites in california including the nimbus dam. but his attorneys say he was entrapped by a teenage informant who supplied him with food housing and bomb-making
8:12 am
instructions, and pressured him into illegal activity. as part of a settlement, federal prosecutors acknowledged withholding evidence in the case, including an fbi request for the informant to undergo a lie-detector test. mcdavid was released after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge. the white house has responded to a petition calling for the firing of the federal prosecutor who led the case against internet freedom activist aaron swartz, two years after the petition was created. more than 60,000 people signed the petition on calling for the firing of u.s. attorney carmen ortiz for prosecutorial overreach against swartz, who took his own life two years ago this sunday, on january 11, 2013. swartz's suicide came just weeks before he was set to go on trial for downloading millions of academic articles with the intent of making them freely available. he faced decades in prison. the petition launched the day
8:13 am
after swartz's death quickly passed the threshold of 25,000 signatures, which by white house rules at the time required them to respond. two years later, the white house has issued a statement refusing to "address agency personnel matters in a petition response." in a statement, david segal, head of the group demand progress, which swartz co-founded, said -- "a white house that truly cared about protecting internet freedom would recognize the chilling effects that actions like those of carmen ortiz have on activists and technologists and see to it that they were put to an end." and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now,, 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. french police have surrounded a building in a northern town near charles de gaulle airport as part of a massive manhunt for the two men accused of carrying out the charlie hebdo massacre.
8:14 am
police say they believe the suspects, said and cherif kouachi, are holed up in a small printing business where they have taken a hostage. the brothers reportedly told police they wanted to die as martyrs. earlier today, shots were fired as police chased a car believed to contain the suspects. the two brothers have been accused of carrying out wednesday's attack on the office of the satirical magazine , killing eight journalists, two police officers, a maintenance worker, and a visitor. 11 people were also wounded, four of them seriously. meanwhile, french officials are now saying there is a link between the two brothers accused of the charlie hebdo attack and the heavily-armed man who shot dead a french policewoman on thursday. that man is reportedly now holding five hostages, including women and children, at a supermarket in paris. >> sources told reuters the three men were all members of the same paris cell that a decade ago sent young french volunteers to iraq to fight u.s. forces. cherif kouachi served 18 months
8:15 am
in prison for his role in the group. at the time, kouachi told the court that he had been motivated to travel to iraq by images of atrocities committed by u.s. troops in abu ghraib prison. said kouachi who was training with al qaeda in the iranian peninsula, u.s. government sources told reuters the two brothers were listed in two u.s. security databases him a highly classified database containing information on 1.2 million possible counterterrorism suspects called type in the much smaller no-fly list. vigils are continuing to take place across france to remember those killed. last night, the lights on the eiffel tower were turned off as a mark of respect. for more on the paris attacks, we are joined again by the lebanese-french academic gilbert achcar.
8:16 am
he is a professor at the school of oriental and african studies, or soas, at the university of london. his most recent books are , "marxism, orientalism, cosmopolitanism" and "the people want: a radical exploration of the arab uprising." the french newspaper le monde has described him as "one of the best analysts of the contemporary arab world." gilbert achcar, thank you so much for joining us again today on democracy now! the situation is thousands of french police have surrounded this printing press right near charles de gaulle airport. they are saying the two brothers are inside and have a hostage with them. police say they have made contact with the men, that they say they want to die as martyrs. that is according to the police. can you talk about the developments of the last few days from the attack on the newspaper charlie hebdo to where we stand today? >> thank you amy. well, the
8:17 am
obvious thing -- it should be said to avoid any misunderstanding, is that of course, this was an appalling attack in a really barbaric act to slaughter like this these journalists, whatever disagreement one may have with their kind of perspective. that i should say is the obvious. now, again, what we are seeing now unfolding is, unfortunately something predictable, which is trying to blame islam actually, for this. there are so many pronouncements in this direction now in europe in the west, and all that. of course, not official pronouncements, but you have a deluge of far right and let's say bulger -- vulgar kinds of
8:18 am
phrases attack on muslims in general. that is why think it is very important to put such events in context. yesterday when we spoke, i tried to remind the viewers, well, on the scale of rampage killing this appalling killing in paris comes, you know, after -- i mean , beneath -- i mean, on the islamophobia mass killing by the -- >> anders brevik. >> yes. made something like over 75 people killed, young people in norway.
8:19 am
in the massacre perpetrated also by the ultra-zionist killer in 1994, which made something like 29 or more people killed. again, i mean, these are appalling acts of what i described some years ago as a clash of barbarisms, because that is what we are getting. the barbarism of the strong, being the primary responsible in this awful dynamics, and it leads to the counter barbarism on the side who see themselves as the downtrodden the oprah asked. in the case of iraq, this is something that i said immediately after 9/11 and even before the invasion of iraq, and
8:20 am
what we saw in iraq is the best illustration of that. you just mentioned how these killers, the two french killers or alleged killers, let's say had been affected by these developments in iraq and had been connected with the networks fighting in iraq against u.s. troops. what you have in iraq is the barbarism that represented by the u.s. occupation -- which went beyond even what one could expect with things like the torture in abu ghraib or the massacre in fallujah. of course, counter barbarism represented by al qaeda. the bush of administration invaded iraq in the name of
8:21 am
eradicating al qaeda and all he managed to get al qaeda the largest base they could've dreamt of in iraq. what we're seeing now in the name of the so-called islamic state in syria and iraq is the continuation of al qaeda, of the same al qaeda that the bush administration was supposed to eradicate. that is what you get. this kind of actions by the united states and invading other countries and acting as an occupying force with what this means, leads to such extremism on the other side as we have seen. moreover, i mean, we have to taken a consideration that for decades, the united states in alliance with its best friend in the middle east, the saudi kingdom, the closest friend, even closer than israel in that
8:22 am
regard, the saudi kingdom has used their kind of ideology that will have the interpretation of islam, which is the most fanatical interpretation of islam, even against other branches of islam. it is extremely offensive. they use this ideology in the fight against anything left-wing. anything aggressive in the region. that was in the 1950's and 1960's and 1970's, and ultimately, of course, it peaked in the war in afghanistan where such ideologically inspired groups were used by the united states in the fight against the soviet occupation of that country. ultimately -- well, the chicken came to roost. tragically with the massacre of 9/11, that was a continuation of that. everyone knowing about the
8:23 am
whereabouts of all this new that. it was very much emphasized come although, it was, of course, blurred in the public opinion by the kind of characterization we heard from the bush administration. they hate us because of our freedom and our democracy. and we hear the same kind of tune now. this is quite misleading, i would say. let me also add another dimension concerning france, which was not part of the occupation of iraq. but in france, the fact you have had some young french citizen from bulger in background -- algerian background in the last fears behaving -- i mean, in such extreme and fanatic forms as we have seen, is something to be related also to the overall
8:24 am
racism and islamophobia that are , i would say, pervasive in society and french media. this is a country that has not really clear its -- clear its past, the problem of its past. its colonial past. in france, in 2005, the parliament requiring in the schools it should be taught -- what should be taught is the positive role of colonialism in africa. north africa in sub-saharan africa. imagine in the united states allowing -- asking schools to teach the positive role of slavery? this is quite unimaginable. one has to understand this background not as an excuse for this appalling murders --
8:25 am
definitely not, and these guys belong to completely crazy kind of ideological perspective -- but what one has to understand how in a society which is supposed to be relatively wealthy and all that, you can have such hatred growing and coming to such extremes. >> gilbert achcar, i want to follow-up on then ask you about now that we have these reports that two attacks, not only the attack on the magazine, but also the shooting of the policewoman were individuals that had apparently had ties together. what is your sense of the extent of support for jihadist perspectives and viewpoints within the muslim community in france, rather large muslim community, and also your sense of the extent of these right wing islamophobic movements
8:26 am
within france? >> there are definitely much more islamophobic-minded persons and militants in france than supporters of such appalling acts as the one with this attack on charlie hebdo. i would say, fortunately, those who identify with this kind of jihadist perspective may be in the hundreds out of the community -- a community? laissez out of several millions of people in france of muslim background. we are speaking of the tiny minority. nevertheless, the risk is that the kinds of victimization of muslims in general, the kind of targeting of islam, the finger pointed at muslims requiring
8:27 am
from them they should condemn as if it were their problem in a specific problem and not seeing this is a problem of the french society and the french state in the first place, all of this you know, creates the risk of people finally identifying -- even with these two crazy guys -- as a kind of -- i mean, think of what you have in the united states turning bonnie and clyde into heroes. if you look at their record, it is not exactly a humana's to the humanistic record. there's a real danger, real problem of getting the dynamics of what i call the clash of barbarism going further. >> gilbert achcar, we have to take a break and we will come back to this discussion, joined by french arab student here in
8:28 am
the united states. also, the latest news is that at least two standoffs taking place, one your charles de gaulle airport with the brothers holding a hostage, the other but a kosher supermarket. that one looks like to hostages have been killed. we will keep you updated throughout the show. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
8:29 am
>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> we continue to look at the
8:30 am
breaking news from france. reporting two people died after a gunman took five people hostage at a kosher grocery store. the government is reportedly the same man who shot a paris policewoman dead on thursday. meanwhile, french police have surrounded the building in a northern town near charles de gaulle airport as part of a massive manhunt for the two men accused of carrying out the massacre at charlie hebdo magazine. police said the suspects said and cherif charlie hebdo kouachi have taken hostage. still with us, gilbert achcar. >> and also with us, muhammad el khaoua. he is a graduate student in international relations at the paris institute for political science. he grew up in the outskirts of paris where he was involved with different grassroots associations, including salaam a student association dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of
8:31 am
islam. talk about the climate in paris and you hear the horror right now, you have the two brothers who are holed up near the airport, to have a hostage. another man, not clear what their connection is, if there is a direct connection, though they may have been years ago together , has killed to hostages or to hostages have been killed in a jewish supermarket in paris. >> this is a political nightmare for the entire french society. especially the french muslims. those individuals killed create [indiscernible] most destructive islamophobic -- to justify more repression against the muslims. it is a political suicide that
8:32 am
they basically did in the name of islam. it has been clear, this goes against the foundation of islam. i think we also have to be clear on this, we should not always expect muslims [indiscernible] as gilbert achcar mentioned andres brevik killed a 77 individuals in norway, he was not portrayed as a christian and a white christian individual. he was done even per trade as a terrorist -- portrayed as a terrorist. when a muslim commits a terrorist act, he is confirmed -- considered a terrorist. when a non-muslim does the same,
8:33 am
it is a double standard. it reminds me was watching tv and a former cia official was on the show. he said these terrorist attack was the most serious one in france since -- in europe since the killing of this norwegian individuals by brevik. they forget that is not the case because he did not include the killing of the norwegian people as if this individual is not a terrorist. there was a kind of identity politics here which is disturbing for me. >> and this whole issue of the 30 or 40 years of the uneasy situation of the muslim -- the growing muslim population within
8:34 am
france, the old established white citizenry, but what has been the relationship now over the last several decades? >> as you may know french -- france has a largest muslim population. the history is deeply connected with french colonialism. namely north african and west african -- >> where is your family originally from? >> nigeria. to understand the treatment of the french muslims in today's french society, we need to look at the colonial legacy, which i believe continues to shape, influence the way france deals with islam and muslims. >> gilbert achcar, can you comment on what muhammed is saying? >> i think, well, i agree with
8:35 am
what he is saying. up till now, i don't see any disagreement. he is exactly pointing to this problem, the double standard in reacting to such events when they come from muslims nowadays compared to any other religion. after all, this wave of extremism and fundamentalism is affecting everywhere. i mean, we mentioned this norwegian crazy guy any of these appalling demonstrations of the far right in germany, of all places, that is really frightening, and you have jewish fun a medalist extremists -- fundamentalist extremists in israel killing regularly actually, and no one is saying today is the source of all these killings. you have the hindu
8:36 am
fundamentalist doing the sorts of appalling things. again, no one is saying this is the problem of and it was him. when it comes to islam, islam is finger pointed immediately. and that is really here in issue of double standard in dealing with that. again, i mean, the freedom of speech is something. i am fully for the real freedom of speech, actually, which france is not a real country of freedom of speech or the have a lot of laws hindering the real freedom of each in france. -- freedom of speech and france. nothing like in the united states. even in these limitations for the freedom of speech, you find a double standard. as i said, for instance, france of course, the sense of guilt for very good reason, which is historical reason, about the
8:37 am
jewish genocide is not equal by any sense with regard to the colonial past of france. algeria is one of the most appalling episodes in history of colonialism. there are few worst cases like the congo and such, but the history of the french presence in a jury a, which lasted until 1962, which is not that long ago, is just appalling. there is no -- i mean, the level of the whole french society and the french media, this is really not integrated. you have this kind of arrogance towards islam, which is a continuation of the kind of arrogance and colonial spirit
8:38 am
that existed at the time of direct colonialism. >> of going to interrupt with breaking news, the police have named two suspects wanted in connection with the second siege of the kosher supermarket in paris. one is a woman. i want to turn to an imam. imam hassen chalghoumi said france's muslim community fears a backlash in wake of the charlie hebdo attack. >> we renounce the barbarism. we were one of the first victims. i'm living 24 hours a day under police protection. unfortunately, all of the muslim world are victims. there is a wave of racism that follows on the networks and internet. we can understand the anger, but week cannot accept the hatred.
8:39 am
>> the french muslim community fearing a major backlash in the wake of the charlie hebdo attack. and find, the policeman that has become famous now who was laying on the ground outside the offices of charlie hebdo named ahmed marabet was muslim himself, when one of the two assassins came and shot him directly and killed him. and people are not only saying je suis charlie, but je suis ahmed. there will be a mass protest, a rally in paris. they will not have the national party, which is -- if you could comment on this, and the organizing among the youth, the people like you, groups like yours? >> i would like to say a word about this hashtag je suis
8:40 am
charlie. i understand the sentiment which the slogan represent but i think we also need to mention that charlie hebdo's role in fostering this islamic phobic as been very controversial. since early 2000, they used some of this rhetoric of the clash of civilization and apply it to the muslims grow was betrayed in the most grating ways -- per trade in the most degrading ways. cannot be justified in any way shape or form, but we also as citizens should be entitled to criticize the content of the newspaper and its shift and
8:41 am
editorial line since the early 2000's. >> the way it has been portrayed in the united states is the magazine was in iguala opportunity satirist -- equal opportunity satirist attacking the christian religion, judaism as well as islam. you think that is not quite so? >> i think when you target the weakest of the week, when you target the population which is already the target of fictionalized racism, this is not brave. i don't think it is courageous. they have the right to do it and it is the law, so nobody questions the right to do so but we should also without being afraid of being linked to this attack question the responsibility of the newspaper in question their ethics in that matter. >> the organizing of young people. how people have been organizing
8:42 am
in the past? >> the party of the indigenous people has emerged in a very specific context which gilbert achcar mentioned in 2005 oppositions of law which would take obligatory for the french educational system to emphasize [indiscernible] this law has not been passed. in 2005, very interesting case to understand the way islam is perceived in france in the post-9/11 context. this is the context under which [indiscernible] this party has emerged. basically, the idea of this movement is to say well, france
8:43 am
is denied its colonial past, refused to deal with it, refused to recognize how this colonial legacy continues to shape its relation with muslim and islam. and, i believe, they make a point in this understanding of french society, which is a very rationalized society which pretends to be colorblind, which is early hunted by colonial -- haunted by colonial past. >> we have to leave it there but we will continue to follow this issue. muhammad el khaoua is a graduate student in international relations at the paris institute for political science. he grew up in the outskirts of paris where he was involved with different grassroots associations, including salaam a student association dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of islam. he heads back to paris soon. and gilbert achcar is professor at the school of oriental and african studies at the university of london. his most recent books are "marxism, orientalism, , cosmopolitanism" and "the
8:44 am
people want: a radical exploration of the arab uprising." when we come back, a bomb attack in colorado springs. was it a terrorist attack against the naacp? stay with us. ♪ ♪ ♪ [music break]
8:45 am
>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> we turn now to colorado where the fbi says a deliberate explosion outside a colorado office of the naacp may have been an act of domestic terrorism. an improvised explosive device was detonated on the naacp building's wall in colorado springs tuesday morning. a gasoline can was placed nearby, but did not ignite. an fbi spokesperson says a hate crime is among the potential motives. police have announced a person of interest in the case, a white male around the age of 40. the bombing of the naacp, the nation's oldest civil rights group, has received almost no attention in the corporate media. according to the website thinkprogress, a search of news
8:46 am
coverage over a close to 24 hour period through wednesday afternoon found just one mention on cnn and none on msnbc and fox news. msnbc's al sharpton and chris hayes did cover the explosion on their programs wednesday evening. >> according to the naacp, the attack follows the shooting of a school bus that was traveling with the group's 120-mile protest march in missouri last month. on wednesday, naacp president cornell brooks posted a message in response to the explosion near the group's colorado springs office. >> thankfully, the naacp family is safe. whenever i think about the bombing in colorado springs, i am reminded that whenever threatened, the naacp doubled down for justice. >> according to the southern poverty law center, the naacp has been the target of eight bombings since 1965, including three in 1993, when the last attacks occurred. the fbi is expected to give a news conference this afternoon on the explosion in colorado
8:47 am
springs, along with the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. well for more ,we go to colorado springs, where we are joined by rosemary harris lytle, president of the naacp colorado, montana wyoming state conference, and former head of the colorado springs branch of the naacp. welcome to democracy now! can you tell us what happened? >> good morning. what we do know based on police reports and based on reports of those who were in the naacp office in colorado springs on tuesday morning, at approximately 10:45 there was an explosion. there was an improvised that was placed against the exterior wall of the building -- and provides explosive device placed against the exterior wall of the
8:48 am
building that grilli grilli disturbed the harmony of the community. one described as a shotgun blast directly to his ear in its loudness. we know law enforcement authorities, fbi, local police and others are now investigating and looking for that person of interest. and, hopefully, they in their work will help us know who did this and why. >> was there any indication beforehand of threats against that particular branch of your organization or any reason why that would occur in colorado springs? >> i think anytime organizations are involved in the kind of work the naacp is involved in, any of its units can be placed in jeopardy as a backlash to that
8:49 am
activism. we do have some anecdotal evidence of those who might have been disturbed by some of the activities of the naacp, whether nationally or in the state or even locally at this branch office, but none of that has been verified as the precursor to the kind of criminal acts that we saw on tuesday. >> the southern poverty law center's mark potok listed several attacks on naacp offices since the 1980's. he spoke on msnbc's the ed show. >> in 1981, for instance, and naacp office was attacked in 1989, a lawyer in savanna was murdered with a letter bomb. there was an attack with a tear gas bombs on the atlanta headquarters of the naacp in the early 1980's.
8:50 am
it really goes on and on. it has been quite something. talks that was mark potok. rosemary lytle, if you could just wrap up and talking about your concerns right now and in this climate today is look at what happened in ferguson and staten island, the racial climate in the united states? >> as we think about the long history of racial division in this country, going back to the most racially divisive thing that might have happen on this planet the forced invitation of african slaves to this country i think knowing that we have never talked about that as a country, knowing we're never had a national moment of truth and reconciliation knowing that we typically have responses to this desk events in this country whether it was the bombing of four little girls in a church or
8:51 am
a bomb being placed under the bad of an naacp president and his wife on christmas eve in 1951 or even what we were talking about from the southern poverty law center just now, we know at the heart of these problems is the lack of a conversation on race. it also has not happened in colorado springs. in honestly beautiful place -- enormously beautiful place, full of people, i believe -- i have lived here almost 20 years -- are of good conscience. started by general williams who fought slavery in the north and founded this city as a place that would be completely inclusive, but very quickly, became a place of restrictive covenants, became a sundown town, became a place that was inhabited by those from the south who could not accept that kind of complete equity and
8:52 am
inclusion in public life, and is one of the reasons why the naacp was born here in 1981. excuse me, in 1918. in 1918 when the founder came to charter the naacp colorado springs branch of the local church that had been started the first bricks given by general palmer. so we know that the history of strife and division in this country, even in this pretty little place, pikes peak, a place that storied in its beauty, underneath that is an ugliness that we have talked about and that i as a journalist have written about since i moved here. >> rosemary lytle, thank you for being with us, and we will continue to cover this story. president of the naacp colorado, montana, wyoming state conference, and former head of the colorado springs branch of the naacp.
8:53 am
speaking to us from colorado springs. as we wrap up now with our last story. what's we turn now to vermont where a sit-in demanding single-payer health care erupted during governor peter shumlin's state of the state address on thursday, following his inauguration. this comes after shumlin backed down in december on his promise to create a single-payer healthcare system in the state. shumlin first won election in 2010 with a pledge to make vermont the first state in the country with a single-payer system. but in a report released at the end of december, he said the program would draw fewer federal funds than expected, and tax hikes needed to fund the system had proven too high. >> i'm not going to undermine the hope of achieving critically important health care reforms for this state of pushing prematurely for single-payer when it is not the right time for vermont. this is the greatest disappointment in my political life so far, that we could not advance this as quickly as we had wished.
8:54 am
but we shall persevere. we shall get it right. we shall push on. >> during thursday's sit-in protesters sang songs and expressed their disappointment as they called out their demands and were arrested. >> ♪ we demand this big of the house this figure of the [indiscernible] [chanting] >> since no candidate won with a
8:55 am
50%, a provision requires the legislature to decide the race. the mainly democratic legislature chose peter shumlin over his challenger scott nailed , who earned just over 45% of the vote in november compared over 46% for shumlin. so it was yesterday morning that the legislature chose shumlin as the governor and yesterday afternoon that the state of the state happened, and these protests took place. we're joined by one of the leaders of the protest of the sit-in who has been leading the push for single-payer healthcare there since 2009. james haslam is the director of the vermont workers' center, which coordinates healthcare is a human right campaign. he joins us via video stream. welcome to democracy now! highly unusual day. people have not taken over the floor of the vermont legislature before in montville your and
8:56 am
governor shumlin chosen by the legislature. talk about anything that happened yesterday 01/09/15 01/09/15 thank you. yesterday was an incredible day. we had hundreds of people come out on an incredibly cold day. windchill factors were -30 in vermont. we started off the day down the street from the state house in a church. we had a people state of the state address, a speak out or the health care is a human right campaign was trying by folks from immigrant right organizations, climate justice organizations, disability rights organizations, unions -- incredibly broad range of folks to talk about a vision forward which including or focusing on universal health care, but how that is also connected to all of our human rights and having the kind of democracy and economy that works for all the people. then we marched down to the state house through these cold
8:57 am
temperatures and ended up packing the state house for the state of the state address singing and ended up being there, basically, for many hours throughout the day. >> james, what about the governor's claim that the taxes required to be raised would be too onerous for the citizens of vermont in terms of limiting single-payer? >> something like 11% on payroll, 9% on income tax. >> they just released a report. the law we passed in 2011 required the governor to develop puzzle and how to finance it. it was due to years ago -- it was due two years ago. he said he had to wait until he got it right. then the legislature would
8:58 am
determine whether we could do it or not. instead of doing that, he said this is the best he could do but he thinks vermont can't afford it. we spent the last few days and others outcome including a lot of economists, who have dug into the report -- really good work was done in the shows for mod can do this. it benefits the majority of people, but would require us raising taxes -- keeping high levels of taxes on large corporations and wealthy folks. that was a political choice that he said we could not afford. what we say is, we can't afford the current system. it is a crisis in our community. >> and the state legislatures who support it so you hurt the cause by sitting in and disrupting the inauguration? >> well, we're coming to say yesterday and all the days to come that we need to, we are not going to stop. we have come too far. we're not turning back. vermont has passed the law and
8:59 am
health care is a public good. and they have a job to take up this financial report. >> we will leave it there james haslam is director of the for but workers center. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
9:00 am
. it is the deadliest terror attack in france for decades. black-clad gunmen opened fire at at the paris office of satirical newspaper "charlie hebdo." reports said they were shouting allahu akbar.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on