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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 6, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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11/06/15 11/06/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> these agreements are little bit like dracula. you drive them in the sunshine and they don't farewell. and across all of the countries involved, there is a movement that is basically saying, this is not in our name. we don't need global enforceable corporate rights. amy: the details are out on the controversial trade deal known as the trans pacific partnership, and critics say it's worse than they feared. threatening jobs, wages, and even food safety. we'll speak with lori wallach of public citizen's global trade
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watch about the fine print of tpp. and as women in an immigrant detention center go on a hunger strike, we will speak with a detainee who was moved to a nearly all-male facility. she says it was retaliation. and we will look at how the state of pennsylvania has taken what could be the first steps to close the family detention centers that have housed u.s. asylum seekers, including thousands of women and children. months we'vefor been saying the license did not fit what they were doing on the inside. it is really important to see it on paper. be validated for all of the things we have been saying. amy: "we are many." it looks back at the largest ever collected protest in history when 30 million people rocked the globe in 2003 against the u.s. invasion of iraq. >> the rallies of february 15
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followed the sun. north asia and south asia, africa, europe. >> and then we had london. >> i thought it was on the wrong march. >> the whole of my family went on it. >> it was so beautiful. amy: we will speak with filmmaker amir amirani. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. oil giant exxon mobil is under criminal investigation over claims it lied to the public and investors about the risks of climate change. new york attorney general eric schneiderman has issued a subpoena to exxon demanding the company turn over financial records, e-mails, and other documents. this comes after recent exposés by insideclimate news and the "los angeles times" revealed that for decades, exxon concealed its own findings that
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fossil fuels cause global warming, alter the climate and melt the arctic ice. exxon scientists knew about climate change as early as 1977. but beginning in the 1980's, the company openly embraced climate denial and spent millions of dollars funding outside groups that sought to undermine climate science. bill mckibbon of praised the new york probe, tweeting -- "just a remarkable day. world's most powerful fossil fuel company may actually be held to account for helping wreck our planet." legal experts say other oil companies who've promoted climate denial could face similar investigations. this comes as a new collection of scientific studies on extreme weather events says climate change played a role in at least half of the droughts, floods and storms last year. pennsylvania state university climate scientist michael mann told the "new york times" -- "the question is no longer whether there is an influence of climate change on extreme weather events. the debate is simply over the magnitude and extent of that
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influence." meanwhile, a new survey by the pew research center shows people around the world overwhelmingly agree on the need to limit greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change. the survey polled people in 40 different countries. in all but one, the majority of respondents said they supported emission limits. this comes as local iowan state legislators have called on to visiting presidential candidates to sign onto a pledge calling for a world war ii-style mobilization to transition the united states to a clean economy. the pledge calls on the u.s. to end all greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and to employ tens of millions of americans in expanding clean energy and agricultural infrastructure. iowa is considered a key swing state for the 2016 presidential race. president obama says that it is "a possibility" that a bomb downed a russian passenger plane in egypt's sinai peninsula over the weekend, killing 224 people aboard. this comes as the bbc reports
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british investigators believe a bomb was placed in the aircraft's baggage compartment just before take off. an affiliate of the self-proclaimed islamic state said it was responsible. egypt and russia say there's no evidence to support it. white house press secretary josh earnest said thursday that the u.s. has not yet made a determination about the cause of the crash. >> there is an egyptian-led investigation into this incident remains ongoing. at this point, the united states has not made our own determination about the cause of the incident. however, we can't really anything out including the possibility of tourist involvement. amy: a program intended to help central american children apply for refugee status has failed to admit a single child into the united states in over 10 months. the central american minors program was established last december as a way to allow children to submit their applications from their home countries so they could avoid the dangerous trek across central america and mexico. more than 5400 children have
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applied from el salvador alone. all were seeking to join parents who have legal status in the united states. bureaucratic red tape has prevented a single child from being approved. we'll have more on central american migration with democracy now! correspondent renée feltz later in the broadcast. meanwhile, german chancellor angela merkel has announced a new plan for people seeking asylum. it involves creating special centers that will fast-track deportation proceedings for people who do not qualify for refugee status. approximately 800,000 people have arrived in germany this year, most fleeing violence in syria, afghanistan, iraq, somalia, eritrea, and other countries. in brazil, at least 17 people have died after a dam burst at a mining waste site, unleashing a deluge of toxic red mud that flooded a village in the southeastern state of minas gerais. the dam is jointly owned by two mining giants, vale of brazil and bhp billiton of australia.
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meanwhile, brazilian oil workers are on strike in efforts to stop the privatization of state oil company petrobras. it's being called the most disruptive strike at the company in 20 years. simao zanardi, the leader of the refinery union, spoke out. inwe will remain on strike to the government gives us the sign that it will not accept to negotiate the privatization of petrobras. we also want them to finish the works at the refinery. the petro complex of revisionary and the fertilizer factory. these three projects are vital for petrobras in brazil to conquer the sovereignty and energy. amy: in harrisburg, pennsylvania, a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed driver in his back as he lay face down in the snow has been acquitted. in february, officer lisa mearkle tried to pull over david kassick for allegedly having an expired inspection sticker.
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she chased him to his sister's house, where kassick got out of the car and ran into the backyard. there the officer repeatedly shocked him with her stun gun while he lay facedown on the snowy ground. she then shot him twice in the back. the shooting was caught on camera. on thursday, a jury found the officer not guilty on charges of manslaughter and third-degree murder. in new york city, two former london traders have been convicted of more than two dozen counts of criminal fraud and conspiracy for rigging libor, the interest rate which underpins trillions in global transactions. former traders anthony allen and anthony conti could face a decade or more in prison. in canada, dozens of people have launched a four-day sit-in at prime minister justin trudeau's home to call for a freeze on tar sands expansion. the protesters are also calling on canada to transition toward a clean energy economy and to honor government treaties with first nations.
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organizer clayton thomas muller outlined the demands. >> number one, that we freeze the expansion of the alberta tar sands. in the second, that we have to ask him is that we unthaw investment into canada's economy, and done so and it just transition framework. amy: justin trudeau was swan in last week. last month, oil giant shell abandoned its plans to construct a massive new tar sands mine, citing concerns that there aren't enough pipelines to transport the crude oil. the construction of major new pipelines to move alberta tar sands crude have been blocked by massive resistance, especially by first nations. 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. one of the biggest and most secretive trade deals in history has finally been revealed in full, and critics say it's even worse than they thought.
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on thursday, the complete of the controversial transpacific pacific partnership was released after years of closely-guarded talks. the tpp was agreed to last month between the united states and 11 other pacific rim nations, a group representing 40% of the world's economy. it will set common standards in areas including employment, food safety, the internet, corporate governance, and intellectual property. it also establishes new tribunals under which corporations can soon governments for laws that affect their profits. the legal mechanism is calling the isds. activists around the world have opposed the tpp, warning it will benefit corporations at the expense of public health, the environment, free speech and labor rights. amy: with the fine print now disclosed, the tpp's opponents say their worst fears have been confirmed. in a statement, the advocacy group public citizen said -- "the text shows that the tpp
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would offshore more american jobs, lower our wages, flood us with unsafe imported food and expose our laws to attack in foreign tribunals." on thursday, the white house notified congress of its intention to ratify the tpp, starting a 90-day review period before president obama can seek final approval. the senate has granted obama the authority to fast-track the tpp and present it to congress for a yes-or-no vote with no amendments allowed. lawmakers will face heavy lobbying from wealthy tpp backers, but grassroots opposition could play a role too. , in one sign that public opinion could be influencing the political class, democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton came out against the tpp last month. it was a major reversal for clinton, who helped push the tpp during her time as secretary of state. clinton's rival candidate, vermont senator bernie sanders, has long opposed the tpp. well, for more we are joined by lori wallach, director of public citizen's global trade watch and a leading critic of the tpp. welcome to democracy now! so the tpp is out.
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what is in the fine print? what surprised you most? what are you most concerned about? >> well, it was worse than we expected and we knew quite a bit, based on leaks and not admissions from negotiators, mainly from other countries. there are a couple of places where i was shocked to see that the tpp actually rolls back what was extremely modest progress. the congressional democrats had forced on president bush for his last set of agreements. three specific things. one, in the area of access to affordable medicine, the tpp's rules on patents actually wrote for developing countries but also for us, would rollback that initial reform and make medicine more expensive in pretty dramatic ways. number two, the investor state dispute resolution system is expanded out in ways we should discuss so that more kinds of laws can be attacked and many
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more companies will be able to attack u.s. laws. the third thing that was kind of a shocker is there is an expansion of the kind of attacks you can have on food safety, imported food safety, which is really serious. , two of the vietnam tpp countries, are amongst the major importers of seafood and shrimp -- a lot of their stuff get stopped for being unsafe -- this agreement would give them new rights to basically attack our stopping their stuff for food safety purposes and flood us with unsafe imports. juan: on the food safety issue, what is the potential effect on the united states, which obviously, has a long-term and pretty well-developed food safety system? veryll, i think it is telling that yesterday, the agribusiness industry was the only major industry that was extremely enthusiastic when the text came out. they said, wow, we got these great ways to stop his food
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safety attacks on our imports. they're thinking of trying to jam our foods and other countries. a what is good for the goose is good for the gander, which means the same roles could mean that imports, particularly -- i don't know how to put this because people are probably having breakfast, but in vietnam in particular, there is a huge issue of farmed shrimp, farmed in pools that among other things, are fertilized with human poop. and then lots of antibiotics are poured into the ponds before the harvest to deal with the diseases that come from the human waste. we're some really unsafe products. right now we really inspect a small percentage. but we over inspect for countries like vietnam because we know that big problems. one of the new rules of surprised to see is you can challenge the inspection, both the way you sample, how you decide to pick particular country because of problems, but also you have limits on how you can do testing, how long you can hold the product.
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i mean, what does it mean? the tpp could mean poisonous food that you can't label from what country it comes from on your kids plate. it could mean major public health issues. amy: has as list of people and organizations who support the tpp. one example is the world wildlife fund, which is quoted as saying -- "no major trade agreement before this one has gone so far to address growing pressures on natural resources like overexploited fish, wildlife and forests." another supporter is the national small business association, which is quoted saying -- "the tpp appears to be a positive step for small firms, particularly the inclusion of a chapter dedicated solely to small- and medium-sized enterprises." and the council on foreign relations is quoted saying -- "the tpp deal has the potential to reshape an important part of the u.s. economy, strengthen american diplomacy, and launch a new generation of international economic cooperation."
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what say you, lori wallach ? >> well, world wildlife fund is out there pretty much by themselves with a couple of other conservation groups. the big news yesterday was the nrdc, one of the country's biggest and terminal groups and came outpported nafta, against tpp, joining the sierra club, greenpeace, friends of the earth, etc., etc. there are some conservation groups that look at animal issues who aren't as familiar with trade agreement to the white house has persuaded that this one provision about shark sending or this provision that says, let's be nice to animals in the tpp, is good for their agenda. the problem is, all of those kinds of policies a country might adopt can then be attacked under the investor state system, and this is an agreement that for advocates like or
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fighting climate change as is the sierra club and others, is catastrophic in that it would require us -- it would basically reverse our current policies that allawi's to stop the export of natural gas and liquid natural gas, so that we would basically be exporting a lot of carbon-based fuels against a, noncarbon future economy and we would lose a lot of the energy and other policy tools we need to combat the climate crisis. if your looking at a particular species, you may think you have been sold in this is a great deal and you don't know the net effect. the vast majority of environment of groups are leading the campaign against the tpp because this is an example -- one of the other shocking things in the agreement -- torch pushes trade agreements were bad. -- george bush's trade agreement's were bad. actually, they were the environmental standards that could be enforced by all of the countries. they had to adopt and maintain
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and enforce those standards and laws. here is this new agreement and it wipes out six of the seven agreements. agreemently one enforceable anymore, so there are no standards and the environment standards part of the standards in the chapter on environment. so with these groups on the foreign-policy front, this has -- the council on foreign relations, for all of these agreements, they're going to make this argument that somehow this will help -- help us contain china, unclear what a good strategy for that is. that is the usual argument you hear when, actually, the argument about jobs fails. the bottom line with tpp, which we knew before, it will make it easier to offshore american jobs and push down wages by putting americans in the competition with folks in vietnam who make less than $.65 an hour. we knew that before. now we know all of this additional bad stuff. juan: some groups came out
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against the agreement that you don't usually associate with trade deals like doctors without borders and human rights watch. could you talk about their concerns? >> yes. doctors without borders, which basically is a major humanitarian group, is extremely concerned about what would happen with medicine prices. and this gets to the one which i mentioned -- language i mention well shocks to see roll back the previous reforms the bush administration had made. big pharma got a lot of goodies in this agreement in a free trade agreement or we see new monopoly protections for big pharma. so doctors without borders is pointing out that in a whole shore sport of policies where big -- maurice board policies where big pharma was chinese the tpp, the good name of free trade, to put into place a bunch of new protections and privileges to raise medicine prices, they got their way. in the two biggest ones are, which is shocking rollbacks from the old u.s. trade standard which was bad is the developing
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countries in tpp, including countries that are really war like vietnam, ultimately have to have the same extreme patent standards, extreme exclusivity that will just price people out of medicine. it will translate to people dying. amy: let's go to the msf, the doctors without borders video. this is a part of it. >> the tpp is slated to become the most harmful trade agreement ever for access to medicine. the tpp could impose new roles that will extend the monopoly protection of medicine, keeping prices skyhigh for longer and blocking generic drugs from entering the market. for example, one rule would allow parents to be extended beyond 20 years. this means patients will have to wait longer for access to affordable medicine in this weight is potentially indefinite because another tpp role would allow a 20 year patent to be granted for modification for existing drugs. for any dosage, for new
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formulations, even when there's no real improvement and efficacy mustatients, some people wait longer for affordable, generic medicines to become available. the tpp would also require surgical methods to be patentable. for example, how a doctor operates on a patient. amy: that is what doctors without borders said. this is u.s. trade representative michael froman on the impact of the tpp on research and access to life-saving drugs. >> biologics, one of the most challenging issues and the negotiation. we have worked quite verbally -- with all of our tpp partners that both incentivizes the development of these new life-saving drugs while ensuring access to these binary medicines and their availability. and this is the first trade agreement in history to ensure a minimum period of protection for biologics and in doing so will help set original model --
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reasonable model and create an apartment which through culpable treatment will be ineffective period of protection to encourage innovation and access. any guy is michael froman. lori wallach , your comment on both clips? >> now we've seen the text. the american public can look at it and doctors without borders is right. u.s. trade representative is trying to defend an indefensible industry position that the a administration is put into this agreement. the bottom line is, most of the countries involved have no exclusivity for those kinds of cutting-edge drugs, which are a lot of the cutting cancer cures, biologics, and now they will have five years and a minimum -- the industry says they got eight years -- enormous pressure to have more monopolies. just think about the theory of this. a free trade agreement that stops competition. it stops the competition of generics that bring down prices. that is actually what is in the text, whatever the u.s. officials are saying.
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we can read it now. juan: where do we go from here? obviously, there will sit be a to vote on the fast tracking of this bill. the protests are already being called for an washington, d.c. and the president, whose presidency was largely crippled by the republicans in congress for the past seven years, will now depend on the republican majority to get the votes necessary to pass this. >> yesterday, the president gave official notice of intent to enter the agreement. that starts the first 90 day clock. ostensibly by the first week of february, the tpp could be signed. then the next question, though, the most important thing for all of us to think about is that italy becomes reality if congress approves it. we are behind the eight ball because we have fast-track. so no amendments, etc.. however, by five votes only did fast-track past. that means a five members of
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congress looking at that text and knowing it is not with our promise, that would offshore more american jobs, it would push down wages, it would flood us with unsafe food and raise medicine prices -- if we have five members in the house of representatives who say, no, that is not what i signed up for, that is the end of tpp. so our mission, basically, is knowing there will be a huge push for a vote early in the spring and that this very day the white house has fanned out across the country with cabinet secretaries, up on the hill trying to break arms, get members of congress to say, i will be for this thing. we need to do the same thing on behalf of the public, on behalf of the jobs, wages, environment, food safety that our families rely on. and we can get our members of congress -- we only need 5 -- to vote no and that is the end of the tpp. and we can do this and we have brothers and sisters in the other tpp countries who are doing the same thing. together, a goose is not cooked. we can still make the tpp's bad
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future is not ours, but we're going to have to talk to our members of congress and we need to start now. next week is a congressional recess. ebbers of congress will be back in the district. look on their websites. they frequently have open houses. you can just go. they work for you. if there isn't an open house,: make appointment. it is really simple. go to for all of information. all of for information you need to know. also how to do a congressional meeting was the grab a couple of friends and your family and tell your member of congress you need that commitment. amy: lori wallach, thank you for being with us director of public , citizen's global trade watch and author of, "the rise and fall of fast track trade authority." this is democracy now! when we come back, immigration in this country. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. hunger strike by women at a texas dissension does detention center has reportedly spread. last week, 27 women confined at the for-profit t. don hutto facility in austin began refusing meals, demanding an end to mistreatment and their immediate release. most are asylum seekers from central america, which has seen a surge in migrants fleeing violence and abuse. in letters released along with their action, women detainees said they've faced threats of deportation, transfer, and disciplinary action, as well as unjustified surveillance. one wrote, "i'm dying of desperation from this injustice, from this cruelty." immigration officials have denied that the hunger strike is even taking place. but at least one immigrant detainee reached by democracy now! says she was transferred out of this facility in
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retaliation for her involvement. francisca morales macías, a mexican domestic abuse survivor who has been held for seven months, was moved to the mostly male south texas detention complex on monday. democracy now's amy littlefield spoke to morales by phone and asked her why she and other women decided to go on hunger strike. >> we decided to do this fast because we are women of second entry. women who entered the united states for second time, and they're not giving us the opportunity to state our case here. in order to be able to stay here in the united states, this is the reason. amy: can you talk about the situation he faced in mexico and why you came here to seek asylum? >> in the past four years of my life, i've suffered persecution or organized crime. his goal in verbal torture. i've not had a life. they told me that if for some
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reason i left my country, they would find me and it would kill me. the times when i try to leave my home city come a they found me and made me return to my city. i come fleeing to seek asylum in this country. i want them to hear my case. please, help me. if they department, not much time will pass before they kill me. to gevo retaliated against when they moved you after you went on hunger strike? >> i felt very discriminated against because they moved me without giving me a reason. one morning they just told me, you're going. and they brought me here. there was no reason. i did not behave badly. i've always been a very hard-working woman. and if they investigate, they're going to realize that i was never a problem, nor will i be a burden to the united states. i am only asking that they give me a asylum, that they give me freedom. i am not a bad woman. amy: that is francisca morales
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macías, an immigrant detainee who was transferred out of hutto in texas after taking part in the hunger strike there. while exact figures are unknown, advocates say the hunger strike grew this week substantially, possibly into the hundreds. hutto is run by the country's largest private prison firm, corrections corporation of america. the hunger strike there is the latest by immigrant detainees around the country. three other detention facilities have seen hunger strikes in the last three weeks -- the adelanto detention facility in california, the lasalle detention center in louisiana, and el paso processing center in texas. for more we are joined by cristina parker, immigration projects coordinator for grassroots leadership. she gathered and released the letters written by 27 women at hutto when they launched their hunger strike. welcome to democracy now! tell us the extent of this hunger strike and what the women are demanding. and respond to the prison saying they are not on hunger strike. >> thank you so much for having me on.
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we know that 27 women started last week am a bit we heard over the weekend from a woman who since has been moved in retaliation that almost all of the women are on hunger strike. there's a contract that ice has with cca guaranteeing at least 500 women will be held there on any given day. that is just to ensure their profits. we know it is possible this hunger strike could be in the hundreds. that is what we know from inside. we have a loose network of people who are giving support to the women on hunger strike who have been in constant contact with them and have heard from them via phone or visited them in person or are receiving e-mails. all of them say the same thing, that there is a hunger strike inside and that it is spreading. juan: and the whole issue of other facilities also possibly joining in, what reports are you hearing about that? >> well, we heard earlier this week that the facility in california had started on hunger
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strike, which brought the total number of people on hunger strike in all the four facilities to at least 95, if not more because there are so many women in hutto. pattern, it shows a shows that immigrant detention that doesn't matter where it is or if there holding men or women or in the case of family detention, women and their children, immigrant detention is an abusive system and people are rising up against it. more and more are. amy: and you know the woman's case we were just listening to? >> i read her letter, though i have never talk to her. amy: how typical is it? >> very typical. women are flanked central america and mexico because they are in danger. and they're doing it the way they're supposed to. you're supposed to come to the border and ask for asylum and present your case and say why you're here, why you're asking for help. we respond to these women by putting them in a prison in a prison for profit that cuts corners, and it serves bad food, that neglects people's medical
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cares and needs. this is the system these women are exposing and they're doing so brightly. and their being retaliated against. juan: don't federal officials have any monitored responsibility with regard to these private detention facilities? >> well, they should, but what we know is they actually leave so many of these facilities --hutto is an example -- in the hands of private contractors. in fact, i've usually isn't their day-to-day, but since news broke of the hunger strike, they've been questioning women, asking them who is eating and who is not eating, try to take inventory of them, giving presentations on the dangers of not eating. we know even though i denies this hunger strike, they're taking a sears they because they are rounding up women for transport to other facilities, telling women they will be deported unless they each. so we know they are retaliating and trying to intimidate women. we actually received calls and e-mails last night, at least
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three members of our support committee who were supporting the women got calls and e-mail's last night that at least six and as many as 12 women were rounded up and told they would be transferred or deported. to me, that suggests ice is trying to get rid of witnesses. amy: cristina parker, thank you for being with us immigration , projects coordinator for grassroots leadership. we will have a link to her report at juan: we turn to an update on immigrant children and their parents who are seeking asylum in the united states, many of them fleeing some of the most violent countries in the western hemisphere -- el salvador, honduras and guatemala. democracy now! has reported on how the obama administration is using a detention as deterrence policy that locks up these asylum seekers in what critics call deportation mills. two of the most controversial detention centers opened last year in the texas towns of dilley and karnes. they are run by private prison companies and together they can
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hold more than 2500 women and children. amy: efforts to close these facilities have focused in part on a 1999 settlement that outlines federal standards for detaining migrants, and bans the placement of children in secure faculties. now, a lesser-known family detention center in pennsylvania may soon have to shut down because the state is refusing to renew its license. it's called the berks county residential center and it has been operating under the license for 15 years. but there now may be a first step for closing its doors. democracy now! correspondent renée feltz filed this report. >> it was 3:00 in the morning at the detention center when of what amal and migrant named ana woke up to the news that her request for a solid have been denied and she was being deported. >> they said they had an order, she says, they did it quickly, very quickly. ana and her 12-year-old daughter
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had spent a year in detention while seeking asylum from life-threatening attacks. because that asylum claim was still winding its way through the courts when they were deported in june, a judge ordered the return. the two were sent back to the berks to attention center. this time, they were released within hours. the next day, ana joined a protest directly across from the facility where she spoke through a translator. >> we were detained at this attention center for a year and our rights were violated, both our human rights and also the rights of my daughter. amy: standing next to her was her 12-year-old daughter.
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tears ran down her cheeks as demonstrators chanted, you are not alone, to those who are still detained across the street. after a few minutes, the girl grabbed the bullhorn. altogether, we can do it, she says, we can shut this place down. that was july. now, her domain has been echoed by the state of pennsylvania dustup at the end of october, the secretary of human services announced in a letter to the head of the center that he would not renew its license to operate if it continues to hold families instead of children. cooks i really do think it is a statements and we are not license a facility that basically means you cannot have a family detention facility here in pennsylvania. >> a professor with the schiller center for social justice. she and her students work with the coalition to shut down berks. hasssentially, the facility
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a child residential facility license under state law, but it doesn't meet any of the requirements for child residential facilities and the biggest example of that is that the child facility license is really only a license for a facility that holds children, not a facility that holds children with adults. >> the berks detention center holds about 95 people will stop it is the only immigration facility that holds fathers as well as mothers. who have come to the united states with their children. immigration attorney carolyn donahue says her clients have described how kids are housed with their parents in rooms of six, along with unrelated adults. >> i asked the father, sweet little eight-year-old girl, you know, quiet and shy. i asked him, who are you in the room with? and he said that there -- at that time there were two other
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fathers and according to what he said, a 14-year-old boy and another nine-year-old girl. >> unlike the private centers in texas, berks county operates this facility in pennsylvania under a contract with the department of homeland security's office of immigration and customs enforcement or ice. the agreement requires rooms to contain crypts, playpens, rocking chairs on an as needed basis for residents. >> we represented clients -- children, sorry, as young as nine days old all the way up to 17 years old. >> bridgette is another immigration lawyer with client that berks. >> i can talk about our infant client. i believe she was 11 days old, detained at nine days. during that time, she went to the hospital one time. she was seen for one hour in a hospital as a newborn, and from that, she was put on a plane and taken to berks where she
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remained for about two weeks before she was freed. when she was finally released, she was released at 3:00 in the morning, in the middle of the night. >> she says cases like this drive home how the berks detention center fails to comply with pennsylvania law. >> child welfare laws are very clear. they do not want children detained under nine and secured facilities. they want to allege that works is not secure. it oppositely is secure. you walk up, there are signs that say this is a secure property. >> the limited freedom parents and children have at berks is less visible to observers compared to the family detention centers ice has in texas and those by barbed wire and-says. in contrast, berks has an outdoor recreation area that is separated from the parking lot and a forest only by a row of plastic traffic cones. an activist says, that's enough. >> i know for a fact the women told me that ice had told them, if they were to leave the facility while we were there and
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join us, even though there is no fence, if they were to cross -- they put out these orange cones -- if they were to cross over the orange cones, they would be charged federally and they would wind up in actual, actual prison. so there was a lot of -- it is a mental block. it is like they put a big fear in the women of leaving. you don't need a fence when you start talking like that. >> executive director of the philadelphia immigrant rights group. they've been working with detainees at berks to monitor and improve conditions. saying the push by advocates and lawyers for pennsylvania to revoke berks license has resulted in a partial victory. she welcomes the announcement the state may not renew berks license when it inspires desperate by some february, but she questions the delay. >> i'm glad this came out because i think for months we have been saying the license did not fit what they were doing on
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the inside. it is important to see it on paper. and to finally be validated for all of the things we have been saying. i just think that partly come also, as i'm reading this, this is a huge victory, the center is still open. berks is still operating. there are still children in there. if it is not licensed correctly now, there's nothing that berks can do to fix it, to fix the license so it can fit the license. what i don't understand is, why are we waiting until february? >> meanwhile, immigration authorities say they're reviewing the states correspondence to determine the next appropriate steps. and berks county, pennsylvania, renée feltz for democracy now! amy: renée joins us now in new york to talk more about her reporting will stop congratulations for just winning the front page award for tv special reporting from the news women's club of new york for reporting on the obama
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administration's mass detention of women and children from central america and private prisons. you can see those reports at but to this report, you just got back from berks and you interviewed a mother. her nine-year-old daughter is held. myra is a person who has come several times and therefore, it's she has been deported previously, she is not able to get released immediately right now under the way things are being handled. what is interesting in part about my record addition to just her personal story is that she was held in a facility in texas. the constitution center. because of the limits that ice is china place on how long these women and children are held in the facilities, and are trying to keep it to maybe 20 or 30
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days, she was not released after that time but instead, she was moved from the texas facility to the berks facility in pennsylvania. so that was interesting to find out. one thing i mention his third characterization -- is the characterization of this facility. how free are people to roam? it did seem kind of free, witnessing the facility inside. i did not see locks on the doors, for example. however, as i say in the report, the women do phase punishment if they were to leave. during interview,mra repeatedly would dissent into sadness in her answers to me and appear very tired and would slumped over. i asked her to confirm whether or not the counselors come as they called them in the facility, check on the midnight. she did say, yes, they come in every 15 minutes and china flashlight to check on people. i'm not sure if that is why she was so tired. she seemed he stressed out. i also want to mention in terms of what is next, the role of the
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county commissioners. i'm and 10 report the facility is run by berks county in and ice.nia maybe we can play a clip of the commissioner mark scott touted the benefits of the facility recently during a debate before the election. attheir number of benefits the berks county taxpayers by contending operation of that residential center. first of all, it makes productive use and brings in revenue from dylan's who would otherwise be vacant and vacant buildings deteriorate quickly. out of the cost of maintaining a vacant building or trying to preserve it, we get additional revenue which is substantial. we create local employment of roughly 70 employees who work there who are berks county residents. and we served our country's effort to sometimes i think it is halfhearted, to enforce immigration laws so that we deal with legal immigration instead of illegal immigration. juan: renée, your response to
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that clip and also you were able to talk to one of the women in the detention facility, but not film her. can you talk about that as well? >> as my role here at democracy justicea kernel correspondent, i have been able to go on death row and film an interview in person with a prisoner. this facility does not allow any filming or recording of any type of their detainees and they say it is for their own safety. advocates have raised concerns about getting these women's voices out to the public. the freedom they have to express themselves. in terms of the commissioner, i know advocates are disappointed that the county is not taking action. it remains to be seen what is going to happen in the next steps. amy: well, last week a texas judge temporarily halted the state's efforts to license their family detention centers as child care facilities, putting their future in question. we're also joined by bob libal, executive director of grassroots leadership, which filed the lawsuit prompting the stay. welcome to democracy now!.
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explain what is going on now in texas. quick essentially, corrections corporation of america come the two private prison corporations that operate the two massive family detention camps in texas in karnes and in dili, have applied for childcare licenses. for these family prisons. in the state of texas, they have responded -- the state of texas has responded by tengion to go through an emergency process to license these facilities, even of these facilities have an open for more than a year and it doesn't appear this is in response to any sort of childcare issue. so we have joined other advocates around the country, 140 organizations, and social workers and legal professionals in writing a letter to the texas department of -- family and protective services saying that this is, you know, not in the best interest of children. we have also filed suit with the
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state of texas saying that there was no reason for them to issue we havey licenses, and actually won a temporary restraining order and will be in fort again next week to -- the next step in that process. essentially, we're arguing that groups like ours another child welfare organizations should have the ability to weigh in on this process, and that the know, this is happening to appease corrections corporation of america and the geo group -- amy: these private prison corporations. >> yes, they're tending to license what is essentially the largest trend and family detentions since japanese internment as child care facilities. juan: that was my point. how do they get away with trying to redefine the detention center as a childcare facility? what is the criteria or the line they have to pass to go from one to the other? >> the state of texas has laws that sort of layout what talking
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facilities are supposed to be. and part of that process is that organizations have the ability to weigh in and have the ability -- there is a procedure by which a facility can be licensed as a childcare facility in the state of texas has essentially not follow the law and not allow texans to weigh in on that -- amy: what is the american academy of pediatrics a? >> they've been very from that it is not appropriate for children. isther thing i would know the social worker, the head social worker at karnes family detention center actually resign her position and said that she could no longer continue being a social worker at this facility, that she thought what she was doing there actually endangered -- this is a very experienced social worker, professor. amy: thank you so much for your reporting, bob libal, executive director of grassroots leadership, and renée feltz, the
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criminal justice correspondent for democracy now! you can link to her reporting at when we come back, we are many. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: up to 30 million people, nearly 800 cities. those are the numbers that made the february 15, 2003 global protests against the looming u.s. invasion of iraq the largest in history. and while the first u.s. bombs would hit baghdad weeks later, a new documentary argues that the protests weren't just a one-day historical feat, but a spark that changed the world forever.
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the film is called, "we are many." >> not in our names. not in our names. backe institutions pushed -- >> coordinated in history of the whole earth. >> something began on that day that cannot be reversed. >> a mass, beautiful movement that is gonna stop them from dropping those bombs. >> with something like 60% of the american people believing that saddam hussein was connected with 9/11. >> they like to all of us -- they lied to all of us. >> the rallies followed the sun. >> north asia and south asia, africa into europe. >> and then we had london. >> i thought i was on the wrong march because they're all of these families. >> virtually everybody i know. >> the whole of my family went on it. >> it was so beautiful.
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>> this was the future of humanity. americans, let's roll. is actuallyard going to take us to war. >> the american people do not want this. >> it was over. >> backup. backup. it's our victory, not theirs. quick war criminals. arrest this man. >> these were lies. they can take their medals back. >> egypt. if you keep coming back, at some point, you will make the change. amy: the trailer for "we are many," a new documentary on the historic february 15, 2003
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rallies against the iraq war. the film tells the story of that day of global protest and how it's helped shape political movements around the world ever since. we are joined now by amir amirani, director and producer of, "we are many." talk about the significance of that day, while we care in 2015 about what happened in 2003. after all, soon after, the u.s. and britain did bomb iraq. >> yes, they did bomb iraq and we are now still living with the consequences of that. so whilst at the time it looked like it had failed them extensively to be seen as a heroic failure, for me, it --med like alex stork historic event. as we see now with the recent revelations about the e-mail sledging george bush and tony blair and so on, what is happening in syria in blair's own words, the were partly to blame, not entirely to blame.
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we are still living with the consequences of what people warned what happened in 2003. juan: what made you decide to make the film in the first place? >> well, i was a film maker, working largely for the bbc in london. in february 2003, happen to be at the berlin film festival. i knew this thing was going to happen. i felt i had to go on it. now looking back, was the first political act i had taken part in. when i get back to london, i discovered how big it was, it got me thinking stop it happen in london, and berlin, where else is it happening? i saw it was this extraordinary historic event. the film aiding part of my head said, some thing like this doesn't just happen. if it is happened, a potentially mean something. and even though it did not what that was are what it would pretend, we can now see we have lived through it for a decade. amy: let's go to a few clips all stop this is colin powell's former chief of staff colonel lawrence wilkerson. here he gives a brutally honest assessment of the u.s.
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government's culpability for the iraq war. have it were my choice to dick cheney, donald rumsfeld, george bush goebel for some kind of tribunal and i had to go with them in order to be -- an order for that tribunal to be successful or even to have a chance for success and that it in also possible i would be that conviction, if you will, i would do it in a heartbeat. amy: this is amazing what lawrence wilkerson goes on to say when he said he was with secretary of state colin powell at the u.n. february 3, 2003, when he gave that push for war at the u.n. saying, absolute evidence of massive weapons of mass destruction, says it is the worst moment of his life. >> and he wished he had resigned. and he says that, actually, they the u.n.,d a hoax on
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on international community, and the american people. that is exactly what happened. people warned about that and it is proven to be the case. it is extraordinary firecracker of an interview. and i think and hope that when it is seen in america, that it might get the kind of reaction and get people who might have had another kind of you change their view about that time. juan: this is another clip of british and french lawyer philip sands author of the books , "lawless world," and "torture team: rumsfeld's memo and the betrayal of american boys" and another clip from the film. >> the single most devastating document, which is the legal lordandum written by goldsmith in which he tells the british prime minister, you cannot use force without a further security council resolution. if you go down the document at
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paragraph four, you've got lord goldsmith telling the prime and is to, i remain that the correct legal interpretation of resolution 1441 is that it does not authorize the use of military force without a further determination by the secure to counsel. just to the left of that, a little scribble, i just don't understand this will stop who wrote that? juan: we have about 30 seconds on this particular clip. >> that shows exactly the kind of dynamic that was going on, essentially, they did not want to hear the facts. it remains to be seen why the decision was changed about the legality of the war and tony blair recently came out with the so-called non-apology apology to try and essentially over this kind of news. amy: we will continue this conversation and post it online at iranian born british film maker amir amirani, director of
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producer of the documentary, "we are many." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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hello. i'm john cleese, and i do hope you will join me for an exciting new television series; a unique inquiry into human consciousness itself. now you're about to see an extraordinary program, a studio conversation that you may never forget. so settle back, take a deep breath as we join our trusted guide and host phil cousineau on a most memorable episode of "global spirit," the first internal travel series.


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