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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 6, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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10/05/15 10/05/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> week, the trade ministers of australia, canada, chile, japan, malaysia, mexico, new zealand, peru, singapore, the united states and vietnam, are pleased to announce that we have successfully included the transpacific art and her ship. amy: it is the largest regional trade accord in history.
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after years of secret negotiations, 12 countries have reached an agreement on the transpacific partnership but is it good for working americans? we will speak with rob weissman and zahara heckscher, a breast cancer patient who was arrested last week as she demanded access to the secret text this even includes the so-called death sentence clause, which would make her drugs unaffordable. then grace lee boggs has died at the age of 100. we will remember the extraordinary life and legacy of this activist and philosopher. born into a chinese immigrant family, she would go on to become deeply involved with the civil rights movement, black power, labor and environment will justice and feminist movement. >> black power was not just a thing to -- it wasn't just a slogan, it wasn't so much an emotional appeal as it was when it was first sounded by willie
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in mississippis in 1966, it was more and assessing. in: grace lee boggs today her own words. she died at the age of 100 in her home surrounded by her community, books, philosophy, and ideas as she had lived. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the united states and 11 other pacific rim nations have reached an agreement on the trans-pacific partnership, the largest regional trade accord in history. the agreement has been negotiated for eight years in secret and will encompass 40% of the global economy. corporations, from cargill to boeingom agriculture to have praised the deal. congress now has at least 90 days to review the deal before it can vote on whether to approve it.
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the deal came after an agreement on drug company monopolies which public citizen said "fell short of big pharma's most extreme." the united states had pressed for longer monopolies on biotech drugs. more after headlines. the top u.s. commander in afghanistan has acknowledged civilians were "accidentally struck" when a u.s. airstrike hit a doctors without borders hospital in kunduz. the attack saturday killed 12 medical staff and 10 patients, three of them children. witnesses described patients burning in their beds. thirty-seven people were wounded. doctors without borders said the gps chordates were provided in the bombing continued for half an after u.s. and afghan hour authorities were told a hospital had been hit. speaking monday, general john campbell said the airstrike came at the request of afghan forces. >> we have now learned on october 3 afghan forces advised they were taking fire from enemy
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positions and as for air support from u.s. forces. an airstrike was called to eliminate the taliban threat and several civilians were actually struck. this is different from the initial reports which indicated u.s. forces were threatened in the airstrike was called on their behalf. amy: general campbell said he has ordered a thorough investigation and, "if errors were committed we will acknowledge them." meanwhile, a spokesperson for the office of the united nations high commissioner for human rights said the bombing could be a war crime. >> we absolutely condemn the attack against the hospital in kunduz. it was the last remaining hospital serving a need that was dire in the area. the attacks, you know, against medical facilities could amount to a war crime. emika: doctors without borders has called for an independent investigation. russia says volunteer ground forces may soon be dispatched to syria following russia's decision to begin airstrikes inside syria last week. u.s. officials say russia already has at least 600
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military personnel in syria. these really army shot and killed a 13-year-old palestinian boy at a refugee camp in bethlehem monday, less then 24 hours after israeli soldiers killed another palestinian teenager in the west bank sunday night. this comes as israeli forces have demolished the homes of two palestinians who israel says her behind attacks on israelis last year. north korea has released a south korean new york university student after detaining him in april. won-moon joo said he entered north korea from china illegally on purpose in an effort to improve relations between north and south korea. at least 13 people have died amidst once in a millennium floods in north and south carolina. the flooding has breached at least 18 dams and unearthed caskets at local cemeteries. on monday, as many as 40,000 people were without drinking water and more than 26,000 people were without power. steve benjamin said, "i believe that things will get worse before they get better."
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the u.s. coast guard has confirmed the cargo ship el faro sank off the bahamas after being battered by hurricane joaquin. one body has been found as the search for survivors continues. 32 people were on board, most of them american. it appears to be the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a u.s.-flagged vessel in over three decades. scientists have linked stronger hurricanes to climate change. at least 11 people have died and four more are missing after a typhoon hit china's southern coast, sparking a flurry of deadly tornados with winds up to 134 miles per hour. newscasters say the strength of the storm was unexpected. the justice department says it has finalized its $20.8 billion settlement with bp to resolve all outstanding civil claims over the 2010 deepwater horizon oil disaster. it's the largest civil
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-- oil settlement with any single entity in u.s. history. attorney general loretta lynch praised the settlement as "a strong and fitting response to the worst environmental disaster in u.s. history." but some groups are criticizing the terms of the deal for failing to stop bp from writing off some of the fines as tax breaks, with the public interest research group estimating in july that bp will likely pay no more than $14 billion. california governor jerry brown has signed into law a measure to let doctors prescribe drugs to help dying patients and their lives -- and their lives. california's the fifth state to legalized assisted suicide. the move comes after right to die advocate brittany maynard took her a life last year at the age of 29 while suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer. she had moved from california to oregon to benefit from oregon's right to die law, which the california measure was modeled on.
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national security agency whistleblower edward snowden says he has offered to go to prison as part a plea deal that would allow him to return to the united states from russia. but snowden says the justice department has not contacted him to discuss the potential deal. in an interview with the bbc, snowden said -- "i've volunteered to go to prison with the government many times. what i won't do is i won't serve as a deterrent to people trying to do the right thing in difficult situations." meanwhile, activists with the group intelexit flew a drone over a key nsa complex in germany friday. the drone dropped fliers urging employees at the dagger complex to quit in protest over mass spying. in france, more than a hundred workers stormed air france's headquarters after the company announced plans to lay off nearly 3000 people. during the protest, the workers ripped the shirts off two managers, sending the half-naked executives fleeing over a chain-link fence. democracy now! criminal justice correspondent renee feltz has
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won the front page award for tv special reporting from the newswomen's club of new york for her democracy now! report on the obama administration's mass detention of women and children from central america in private prisons. to see her award-winning report, you can go to and the legendary detroit activist and philosopher grace lee boggs has died at the age of 100. grace lee boggs was involved with the civil rights, black power, labor, environmental justice and feminist movements , over the past seven decades. she died on monday at home in detroit. her friends and caretakers shay howell and alice jennings said -- "she left this life as she lived it -- surrounded by books, politics, people and ideas." over the past decade, grace lee boggs was a frequent guest on democracy now! in 2010, she talked about why it was important for the u.s. social forum to come to detroit. >> detroit, which was once the
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a miracle of industrialization and became the symbol of the devastation of deindustrialization, is now the symbol of a new kind of society, of people who grow their own food, of people who try and help , to how we begin to think not so much of getting how we depend on each other. it is another world we're creating here in detroit. amy: grace lee boggs in 2010. she died monday at the age of 100. we will remember her in her own words and with a longtime friend alice jennings later in the broadcast. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now1,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the united states and 11 other
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pacific rim nations reached an agreement monday on the trans-pacific partnership, the largest regional trade accord in history. the agreement has been negotiated for eight years in secret and will encompass 40% of the global economy. u.s. trade representative michael froman praised the deal. >> we expect this historic agreement to promote economic growth, support higher-paying jobs, enhance innovation for the competitiveness, raise living standards, reduce poverty in our countries, and government transparency, good governance, and strong labor and environmental protections. amy: the secret 30-chapter has still not been made public, although sections of draft have , been leaked by wikileaks during the negotiations. congress will have at least 90 days to review the tpp before president obama can sign it. the senate granted obama approval to fast-track the measure and present the agreement to congress for a yes-or-no vote with no amendments allowed. during senate hearings in june, vermont senator bernie sanders
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fought fast-track, warning the american people need time to understand the tpp. the now democratic presidential candidate issued a statement monday saying, "i'm disappointed but not surprised by the decision to move forward on the disastrous transpacific partnership trade agreement that will hurt consumers and cost americans jobs." wall street another big corporations have won again, it is time for the rest of us to stop letting multinational corporations rigged the system to pad their profits at our expense, he said. one sticking point had been the so-called death sentence clause, extending drug company anomalies on medicines. united states and drug copies have pressed for longer monopolies on new biotech drugs while multiple countries opposed the push saying it could deny life-saving medicines to patients who cannot afford high prices. the compromise reportedly includes monopolies of between five and eight years. well, in atlanta last week,
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zahara heckscher, a cancer patient, disrupted tpp negotiations. she was arrested as she demanded access to the secret to see -- text to see you whether it includes a death sentence clause. leave untilgoing to [indiscernible] death sentence clause so i can verify that the tpp is not going to prevent women like me with cancer from accessing the medicines we need to stay strong and stay alive. that was zahara heckscher, a breast cancer patient, being arrested for protesting tpp negotiations last week at the westin hotel in atlanta. well, she joins us today from washington, d.c. as well as robert weissman, president of public citizen, a consumer advocacy group. we welcome you both to democracy now! talk about on the of the approval of the tpp, or at least
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the agreement reached, now must be approved at least in the united states by congress, why you got arrested. >> thank you, amy. i got arrested because i learned about this death sentence clause in the tpp that would make these life-saving cancer drugs unavailable to women around the of fiver a period years, eight years, or 12 years. we call it the death sentence clause because it would actually condemn women to death because they cannot afford or their health care systems cannot afford there's -- there medicines. i knew as a breast cancer patient that i had to do something. amy: can you say what your t-shirt says? >> a t-shirt says, "i have cancer. i can't wait eight years." that theve learned
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agreement seems to still include a five to eight year time that allows de facto monopolies for life-saving drugs. and other provisions that make regular medicines, not just the biologic medicines, unaffordable. unfortunately, the death sentence clause is still in the tpp. amy: your mother also had breast cancer? >> yes, and that is another big motivation for me. i was only 11 when she died of breast cancer, and that was before these drugs were available. she only lived one year after she was diagnosed, and that is what breast cancer means without access to the modern medicines, the biologics and the other emerging medicines -- for example, have kept me alive for seven years so far and still going strong. so i know very personally what it means when people don't have access to the medicines. i also know that breast cancer is not about just the individual
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patient, it is about the family. and for me, i am fighting for my son to have a mom as much as i'm fighting for myself and for other women in our families. amy: what do pharmaceutical companies have to gain from this? >> the pharmaceutical companies have obscene profits to gain. and all tell you, just one of , a biological drug , they make multiple billions of dollars on it every year, --rging patients between $50 $50,000 to $100,000 a year for each patient. and that is just one medicine. so $6 billion and up depending on the year that you look at is how much they're making from just one cancer medicine. profits --t about
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they deserve some profits, but this is price gouging at the cost of lives. amy: i want to ask about comments made by the u.s. trade representative michael froman on the impact of the tpp on both research and access to life-saving drugs. >> biologics, this is one of the most challenging issues in the negotiation. we have worked cooperatively with our tpp partners to secure a strong and balanced outcome that both incentivizes the development of these new life-saving drugs while ensuring access to these high nearing medicines and their availability . and this is the first trade agreement in history to ensure a of protection for biologics and in doing so will help set original model. it will create environments in which through comparable treatment, the will be ineffective period of protection to encourage innovation and access. amy: zahara heckscher, can you
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respond to this? and can you also talk about the relationship between generic drugs and bio similar drugs? first, respond to froman. >> that statement i find very upsetting because it is so much the that it is spinning truth into a lie. ,t is really inaccurate inaccurate description of the text as far as we know. of course, the final text is secret, but we have some good information about what is in their and he is saying it is balanced. the balance looks like this, pharmaceutical profits up steam, down,s when things patients right access affordable medicine thrown out the window will stop so i don't call that balanced by any stretch of the imagination. and when he says "protection,"
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he is not talking about protecting people's lives, he is talking about protecting the profits of the pharmaceutical countries,d in frankly, where some of the country patients cannot afford these medicines that are the theent prices, nor can health systems. even in the wealthier countries, australia and new zealand for example, or health systems are having trouble even paying for the existing biologicals, not to mention the new ones, down the pipeline that are going to be affected by the tpp. amy: i want to bring rob weissman into the conversation. vicet weissman is president of public citizen. can you put this in the larger context of the tpp overall, who this benefits, who this hurts, who made the decisions around this, and then, who gets to decide whether the u.s. approves this? partnership,acific the tpp, is a collection of provisions that amount to a wish list for a giant multinational
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corporations. it is really as simple as that. the most important industry in the whole deal was the pharmaceutical industry, which is why the ustr, the u.s. trade representative insisted on putting the provisions zahara heckscher was talking about, why the agency was willing to hold up the entire deal to try to extract more concessions for big pharma. as your viewers and listeners know, this is a deal negotiated in secret over a period of five years -- seeger from the american public, secret from the public in the countries that were negotiating, but not secret the giant corporations who it aims to benefit. the ustr as a system of advisory committee soma desk committee, so it runs ideas from almost all eff affected industries. they absolutely new in the waning days of the negotiation were u.s. -- ustr nature they
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were in constant conversation about what was going on, but now with people like zahara or environmental organizations or consumer groups. as a result, we have a deal that comes out that prioritizes the needs and and is a multinational corporations, gives them special rights, gives them special powers, and entrenches a failed development model and a failed trade model, which we can reasonably call nafta on steroids. what we are going to see of coming out of this deal if it goes through, and it is not a done dell yet, but if it is finalized and enacted and implemented, we will see the expansion of the nafta model. that means in the united states, more export of jobs, more downward pressure on wages especially in the united states and throughout the 12 country region, degradation of the environment, and difficulties in imposing new environmental standards, increasing pharmaceutical prices, and the creation and expansion of
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special powers for giant corporate -- foreign corporations to sue governments when they take actions when the comedy say would interview with her perspective profits. for the last part of your question and why it is not a done deal, although allegedly the negotiations are over and there may be last-minute things they're working on, in the united states, the deal has to be approved by congress. and we had a preview of what the vote was going to be like earlier this year when congress gave the administration fast-track authority -- the deal that set the terms on which a tpp or other trade tells would be voted on in congress. that was incredibly close vote. if for shadows and incredibly close vote that will come on the tpp sometime next year, it an election year, which the obama administration was desperately trying to avoid. why? because the american people are overwhelmingly opposed to nafta and nafta-style deals.
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we will see whether members of congress are willing to represent their people, to respond to the debate am's of demandonstituents in -- other constituents in an election-year or the demands of their donors and the chamber of commerce and big pharma and the big business community. amy: senator bernie sanders spoke out against the tpp during senate hearings in april. this is what he said. >> not only is there massive opposition to this tpp agreement, but there is a lot of concern that the american people have not been involved in the process, that there is not a lot of transparency. so what we are trying to do is make sure this debate takes where the american people have as much time as possible to understand the very significant implications of this trade agreement. and i suspect others will do our best to make that happen. amy: donald trump tweeted --
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rob, last year at your own gala, senator elizabeth warren addressed the crowd. she famously said, from what i hear, wall street pharmaceutical am a telecom, big polluters and outsourcers are all celebrating at the chance to rig the deal at the upcoming tree deals. so she said, why are the trade deals secret? you'll love the sensor, what, the things you learn on capitol hill, i've had supporters of the deal say to me they have to be secret because if the american people knew what was actually in them, they would be opposed. rob weissman? >> as usual, senator warren hits it out of the park and that is exactly right. , officials atbers the ustr say effectively the same thing. we can't let people know what is in the deal because then people might object to the deal. concludedal is a must
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, we are eventually going to see the text, and we're going to have the fight. it is going to be a really tough fight. as you noted, senator sanders is strongly opposed to it. i think we may see senator clinton -- secretary clinton come out against the deal under pressure in the next few weeks and months. donald trump is strongly against it. there is a strong -- this is not -- although it is partisan in some strange ways on capitol hill, it is not a partisan issue among the american public. across the board, people oppose this stuff. if you are republican, you're going to fidelity constituency that actually doesn't want you to carry water for the chamber of commerce and for big pharma on this issue. that is going to cause a lot of tension in the republican party, especially as you have things stepped up by donald trump and probably some other of the presidential candidates. rand paul and ted cruz both voted against fast-track in the senate vote. so we're going to have a very
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interesting political time. it is unclear what the timing is going to be. it will not go before the congress before february, but it inld be basically any time 2016 that this happens. the administration, unfortunately, because of the has a jeff fast-track, will have a great till of control over the introduction of the bill and the timing of individual vote. amy: i want to turn to japan's finance minister who talked about some of the details of the tpp. >> with regard to dairy products, we maintain terror of quotas in the state trading system. we install a new test what a framework raised on the current tariff quota in the state treating system, but maintain the tax rates outside of the framework. we reached an agreement to complete elimination of tariffs on more than 80% of auto parts with the u.s., which have the expert value of our most 2 trillion yen from japan. amy: rob weissman, can you respond to japan's economy minister? >> what is interesting, some of
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the stuff i think it is less interesting for most people, but on the auto side, those terror productions are going to take place in 25 years time. at which point, who knows if there will even be automobiles as we are talking about? in terms of looking at exports of u.s. cars and it is enough to know ford motor company action is come out opposed to the deal, not so much over this issue, but other things they say words achieved in the tpp negotiation. on the dairy side, there is an adjusting, yesterday by the new england -- i'm sorry, by the new zealand trade and minister. who talked about the fact that dairy is not a globalized industry yet. new zealand is the world's biggest exporter of dairy products and his vision is for a globalized dairy industry, like the auto industry. well, one should really ask what the value is and whether we want a world of globalized dairy industry or whether there is a
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different vision of how we organize the economy and the production of food that relies actually on local sourcing of products, and whether we think addressing climate change, among other pressing issues, demands we look more toward localism. of the tpp is at its core moving completely away from that, globalizing everything under the control of giant multinational corporations, taking power away from, in this case, local farmers, but also local and small as mrs. -- businesses, and really centralizing authority in the super national giant corporations. amy: and finally, can you comment on zahara heckscher costs arrest, why she was arrested and what you understand was in this tpp around cases like hers, around from suitable drugs?
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the administration would say they actually weakened what the corporations wanted. >> let me first say what zahara did was really heroic to move beyond her own personal with anes in dealing incredibly difficult situation and say, you know what, i can identify with women around the world and patients around the world, even people who are yet patients can advocate for their interests, i think it is incredibly moving and touching and she is a friend and to say i'm proud of her puts me in some role, but i am inspired by what she did. on the underlying issue, what we're looking at is the degree to which the pharmaceutical industry can oppose monopoly pricing on the entire world. and what we're calling the death sentence clause is particularly about a class of drugs called biologics, basically, biotech drugs. it is the cutting edge of the pharmaceutical industry, most cancer drugs, a number of drugs
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to treat arthritis and a number of drugs to treat smaller disease classes, but it is the future of the industry. there's nothing really special about the drugs in terms of market pricing. they are made differently, made from living cells and proteins as opposed to what are called drugs,olecule chemical which are slightly more difficult than to manufacture. at the end of the day, the issue at stake was whether or not we're going to have monopoly pricing for eternity for these drugs or when generic competition is introduced into the market. in this issue about 5, 8, or 12 years among other issues was about the degree and timing of when generic competition is made available. and as zahara heckscher was explaining, these drugs are priced at such astronomical levels by and large that while there on patton, their unaffordable in poor countries, quite unaffordable in richer
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countries, too. we're seeing increasing levels of rationing and the rich countries. but in the poorer countries, they're just out of reach. the question of when they become available to people who need them is entirely a question of when is generic, edition permitted? the price of the drug has definite do with the cost of developing them or researching them, nothing to do with the cost of manufacturing them. the high prices are entirely due to the monopolies. madery unfortunately, ustr his single most high-priority in the tpp negotiations the advancement of the not the monopoly profit interest of big pharma. and that is what was going on here. big pharma wanted 12 years in terms of the death sentence clause, and they didn't, they got something between five and eight years, incredibly complicated. the delay of generic for many, many years. it is an absolute disgrace, but it is a sign of what the process is to know that the u.s. was
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willing to hold up the entire deal to win gains for big pharma. they did not get all they wanted because the countries in the negotiation pushed back. they were supported by local campaigns and global campaigners to explain -- who explained what the consequences were and, thankfully, the key negotiator said, you know what? we actually care little bit about public health, care about patient rights, not only about the interest of big pharma. that was despite the demands from the u.s. trade representative's office and -- obama'ss is president -- what does president obama gain by this? >> that is a complete mystery. this is supposedly going to be a big part of his legacy. if you ask bill clinton about his legacy with after, it is something he is a best about and doesn't want to have associated with him. that is what it is going to be with president obama it is still goes through. i think president obama, a
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partially, has been influenced by michael froman am a but appear harper guy, and i think in washington, d.c., unlike everywhere else in the country, in washington, d.c., serious people know you have to support free trade. and therefore, the president has done that. of course, the rest of the country understands much more clearly through experience and also these deals have nothing to , exemplifiedtrade by these big pharma protection provisions which are all about monopolies and undermining and interfering with free trade and free competition. amy: so what happens in congress now? >> well, we're going to have some period of time, there will be at least 90 days from now before the president can sign the deal. and after that, 30 days, at least, before the implement in legislation is presented to congress to vote on. we're looking at at least four
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months before the thing finally is formally presented to congress. and it may be much longer, but it will be at least four months. in that period and when the thing is on the floor of congress, you're going to see a massive mobilization in the u.s. to demand members of congress vote this horrible deal down. yet almost the entirety of the labor and environmental analyst all consumer groups, massive numbers of faith-based groups, community groups, all united in opposition to this and it is going to become a major issue in american politics and a major issue in the presidential campaign. we're going to work super hard, but we are very optimistic this thing is going to be stopped and that people power will prevail over the interest of the multinational corporations. amy: has hillary clinton signaled either way whether she agrees with her competition, bernie sanders or agrees with the tpp? >> her views, let's say, are
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evolving and i expect them to evolve into opposition. she supported the deal or the negotiations when she was secretary of state. in her book she raises concerns about one of the worst elements of these kinds of deals, which are the so-called investor state isd is rules that give corporations special rights to theiruntries for limiting expected profits. so she is raised that issue specifically. as a presidential candidate, she says she has concerns that she wants the deal to meet the high standards. once the text is finally published, she can no longer talk about what the deal might be and to have to talk about what the deal is, and i think she is going to be under a lot of pressure to do the right thing and come out in opposition. amy: so, finally, zahara heckscher, what you call the death sentence clause is still in the tpp. do you think the tpp should be
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given a death sentence? >> 100% i think cancer patients and our families need to stand up and tell the congress to vote this thing down. and ourhrough activism brothers and sisters in other countries influencing their governments, we knocked some provisions down from 12 years to five to eight years, but if you have cancer, you can't wait five years, you can't wait eight years, let alone 12 years. so unfortunately, the death sentence clause is still in there. other negative provisions are still in their which will harm access to non-biologics and our and we aretpp kills going to be joining the other citizen groups working against this. i will put my body on the line again if i have to because it is that important. amy: zahara heckscher, thank you
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for being with us, social justice, advocate, arrested last week for disrupting the tpp negotiations. she is currently in treatment for breast cancer. i also want to thank robert weissman, president of public citizen. when we come back, we remember the life and legacy of a remarkable woman, grace lee of 100 atd at the age her home in detroit yesterday. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "tpp = corporate power tool of the 1%," a remix of the classic "abc" by the jackson five, produced by public citizen. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the legendary detroit activist and philosopher grace lee boggs died monday at the age of 100. she was born in rhode island in 1915 to chinese parents. she would go on to become deeply involved with the civil rights, black power, labor, environmental justice and feminist movements. over the past decade, grace lee boggs was a frequent guest on democracy now! her profile grew last year with the release of the peabody award winning-documentary, "american revolutionary: the evolution of grace lee boggs." the film captures boggs' remarkable life story from collaborating with clr james to organizing with malcolm x to starting detroit summer.
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>> i feel so sorry for people who are not living in detroit. striving for size, to be a giant. and this is a symbol of how giants fall. keep recognizing that reality is , unless your ideas have to change. don't get stuck in old ideas. >> we have made more contributions to the black struggle than most black people have. >> how to to become a philosopher? >> i will just go back 70 years. sure why i am how i am. i think it has something to do with the fac female and born chinese. >> folks didn't really think
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about grace as a chinese american, she was grace. you know, she was just one of us. >> i think the light bulb goes on very often, the conversations people have. we don't pay attention to it. >> i find it very, very difficult to take. their talk was not cheap. >> she made all kinds of people cry, myself included. amy: grace, how would you describe where we stand now? >> one of the difficulties when you're coming out of oppression, you have to get to the point that we are the leaders we've been looking for. we are the children of martin and malcolm. i don't know what the next american revolution is going to be like, but we might be able to imagine it if your imagination were rich enough. amy: the film features archival audio and video footage of grace lee boggs dating back to the 1960's. in 1963, grace was still
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speaking as an outsider. >> i want to make clear i do not -- i do not speak as a negro. >> when she becomes a black power activist, she starts using the word "we [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> and the black movement will we were to commanding first class citizenship, we were sent we were being denied that. we were very ethical, but we wanted more than that. we wanted to become part of the people who took responsibility for the country. >> she is been well known particularly in detroit circles, but nationally as a black power figure. known, fdr said i was afro chinese. --nobody ever really fussed folks do not really think about grace as a chinese american, she
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was grace. she was just one of us. amy: along with her husband, the autoworker and author jimmy boggs, who was seen in that clip, grace lee started a number of political groups in detroit and published widely from books to political pamphlets. in 1974 they co-wrote, "revolution and evolution in the twentieth century." in 2011, at the age of 96, the university of california press published grace's final book, "the next american revolution: sustainable activism for the 21st century." revolution was a topic boggs talks extensively about in, "american revolutionary." >> during grace's lifetime, hundreds of revolutions have taken place around the world. >> in terms of taking state power, but we have had revolutions and we have seen how the states which they have created have turned out to be
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replicas of the states which they opposed. read those two words together and recognize that we are responsible for the evolution of the human species. it is a question of two-sided transformation and not just the oppressed versus the oppressor. we had to change ourselves in order to change the world. amy: in the 1990's, grace lee boggs turned her home into the boggs center to nurture community leadership. in she helped start the james & 2013, grace lee boggs school, a charter elementary school. she continued talking and writing about revolution well into her 90's as her prominence grew in detroit and beyond as a leading activist. >> when we think about grace and the 20 century, she is free much an outsider. in the 21st century, she represents the uniting of people from different races and different backgrounds and a way
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that is now defining americans. >> let me make a challenge to you, ok? people's color becoming the new american majority and many parts of the country, how are we going to create a new vision for this country? a vision of a new kind of human being, which is demanded at this point. so that is your challenge. so the black power movement -- amy: even in her 90's, grace travels the country talking about revolution, but she always brings the conversation back to detroit. >> i can't begin to tell you the number of young people who come to detroit and they come in order to be part of this new world that is being created. amy: an excerpt from, "american revolutionary: the evolution of grace lee boggs." the film is screening free online on pov. grace lee boggs died on monday at her home surrounded by
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her caretakers and friends. she was 100 years old. when we come back, we will be joined by alice jennings a close , friend and a trustee of her estate. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we remember the life and legacy of grace lee boggs. alice jennings was a close friend and caretaker of grace, a lawyer and board member of the james and grace lee boggs school. alice, can you talk about her last days, grace's last days and what you feel is most important for people to understand about this extraordinary woman? >> well, grace's last days were gentle. they were full of friends and
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discussion. grace still wanted to carry on the conversation of, what time is it on the clock of the world? she still wanted to talk to discussion about revolution and what it means to be a human being. grace's legacy for us who are consider really is to that for each of us, we have our own responsibility to transform ourselves, as a transformative leader, it wasn't that grace wanted us to do as grace did, but rather to explore ourselves to see what we could do to be better human beings, to stretch our own humanity, and to be involved in the social justice issues of our day.
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interviewed, i grace lee boggs at her home in detroit when we were there for the u.s. social forum. >> the world social forms began after the battle of seattle in emerged oute slogan of a completely new mentality when people recognized that essentially, those in control [indiscernible] democracyd social dependence on those in power to give you things. that period is over. and i think it is really wonderful with the social forum decided to come to detroit because the detroit which was once the symbol of miracles of industrialization and then became the symbol of the devastation of the
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deindustrialization is now the symbol of a new kind of society, of people who grow their own food, of people who try and help begin tor to how we think not so much of getting jobs and fortune, but how we depend on each other. it is another world we're crating here in, and we had to. when you look at an all you see all you seets, when is devastation, when all you see -- do you look at it as a curse or as a possibility? and we here in detroit had to begin to do that for our own humanity. amy: that was grace lee boggs in 2010. i want to go back to 2007 when democracy now!'s juan gonzalez and i spoke to grace lee boggs and amiri baraka, the poet,
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playwright and political organizer. what has changed in these 40 years in terms of consciousness and in terms of what the country is learned from that period? >> in some ways, it is on full cycle, but up to another level. we went from the kind of blatant brutalization of white supremacy and racism, we then organize ourselves and elected two black bears. none of my children, for instance, were ever under white people ruling and work. they don't even know what that is. that, butbe proud of at the same time, after we had our two domestic kind of mayors who compromised relentlessly with corporate power, you understand, now we have come full circle. talks let me ask a question, do you think we have challenged and
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criticized and evaluated black power sufficiently? >> know, but i've been -- >> when are we going to do it? >> i've been doing from a 37 years. having two black mayors, i was the time.ritic all and now we have somebody who doesn't compromise with corporate power, but who represents it will step so that is the difference. >> do you think it is a question of changing an individual. >> any someone who is willing -- you need an individual who will struggle with the system to change it. >> what doing mean by struggling with the system? >> make infrastructure changes. >> when are you going to understand that we have to infrastructures -- >> but you can only do that
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through the people. >> you're not going to do it from people at the top. >> you have to mobilize the whole community. but what i'm saying -- became accommodated to being in power. >> maybe -- yes i'm a bit you see, we have put so much emphasis on taking over the power structure, and we became prisoners of it. amy: that is grace lee boggs debating the great poet amiri baraka back in 2007 on democracy now! we will be speaking with his son coming up, who is now the mayor of newark. i want to turn back to grace lee boggs from the last time she appeared in our studio here on democracy now! in 2013. talk about getting older. you know, [indiscernible]
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sissies.g ain't for >> it ain't for sissies. when you have been active on your life and suddenly you don't have much mobility, it is tough. it is tough when you been married for 40 years to be living alone. it won't go on forever. think -- i am so grateful she has helped me make my life mean something to people
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at a time when i think people need what my life means. i hope that doesn't sound arrogant. but the american people are very know thatthey need to a revolution meant to advance their humanity and to advance the humanity of the human race. they need to know a revolution is to create solutions and not to get angry of the people. we need to know a revolution is not just protest and anger, not just a search for power. problemsearch for real on how to be a human being. and i think that is what is unique about the american revolution, and what is unique about this country.
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because there is a lot of poverty, a lot of inequality, there is a lot of physical hardships. i think the most profound hardship of the american people is that they want to change, they want to change themselves. they want to change this world, and they don't know how to do it. and revolution is the way to do it. and not the old kind of revolution. so i think in that sense, the reason that people are responding so positively is that it is filling a very profound need. i mean, this country is in such deep trouble spiritually in every human sense. joblessnessst the
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or the finance, i believe in a kind of american corporatism that were there other countries fail the hardships. we have to find our souls. amy: that is grace lee boggs, the last time she appeared on democracy now! here in a wheelchair. we moved the table in 2013. her caretakers, her friends around her. that was two years ago. she was about, what, 98 at that point. alice jennings, as we wrap up, when i last went to visit grace at home, what i was most struck by was the love that she was in a cocoon of love. that you, shay and her
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hertakers just enveloped in, that also included her books, discussions, her passion right to the end, alice. what wase tried to do right by grace. she has always loved us will stop she had always given us books. she'd always been there to talk when one needed to talk. -- i think we were able to grace beat two full terms of hospice care and got kicked out eventually. so we thought that we did our job. then she gently let go yesterday morning. our dear friend. condolences and congratulations for being part of this great woman's life and
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being there with her to the end. alice jennings, close friend and caretaker of grace. grace lee boggs died yesterday the age of 100. thanks for joining us. democracy now!p1uvv2
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>> scientists predict the small nation of kiribati will be one of the world's first countries to disappear as a result of climate change. >> [speaking english] >> our future is actually being--it's written. it's written on the wall that the sea level will rise, and it will affect our islands. and so, the international


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