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tv   Kingdom of the Unjust  CSPAN  December 25, 2016 6:15pm-7:19pm EST

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i no longer was that person that went to the bay area and i no longer was armed chair activists. thank you, madea. a little bit about her. she has been involved for 40 years, the small woman has a ine voice of equal rights, social justice for the entire world. is that better? no? i apologize. i will not start again. [laughter] >> so madea has received the martin luther king, jr., peace price from the fellowship of reconciliation. the marjorie kellogg national peace maker award, peace award
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in recognition of the antiwar movement and the gandhi peace award from promoting and enduring peace. she's the cofounder of the woman peace group code pink, that's why we all wear pink, in honor of her, that group began to fight against the war in iraq. with code pink she has found creative ways to continue to protest and bring awareness in a nonviolent way as our government has become more and more violent. she has been all over the world, but with code pink she's brought awareness to the drone issues. so she's been in pakistan and yemen to fight for those innocent people, children, women, men who have been killed by our drones.
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that's how she's brought awareness to me first and several of us here in fresno. she has also spent time in afghanistan, libya, syria, iraq, when she interrupted president obama's speech while she was being carried out, he said, that voice, we all need to hear. he may opposed what she was saying but that voice we get to hear tonight.sa with israel and palestine, she's taken numerous delegations to gaza, she's been part of the freedom, she's been arrested an deported in her attempts to go there and hurt. she has been in barain, tear-gassed and deported as well. she was part of the square in
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egypt. go to code pink. she what she's all about. on behalf of the islamic cultural center, peace fresno, fresno women's international league for peace and freedom, the human rights coalition of the central valley, palestine freedom project and the fresno center for nonviolent and progressive democrats of america, i didn't forget you, i present to you madea benjamin.o [applause][a >> so wonderful to be here and see such a beautiful crowd tonight. just because we might have a certain gentleman called donald trump in the white house it actually means we have to do more organizing than ever
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before, so i want to make sure that i pass around the sign-up sheet for code pink and any viewers we say that go toizing h codepoint.org, this is the time to make sure for those who haven't been involved, get involved and i also want to say that it is a great honor to bels speaking in this islamic cultural center tonight. i thank the iman, reza and specially important to be here when we talk about saudi arabia. you know, i'm of jewish background and have done a lot of work on the injustices of the israeli government towards the palestinians. many of my family would only say to me, why are you always picking on israel? what about the arab countries that are repressive? indeed, i have been working fora a lot of issues in very
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repressive arab countries, there's the elephant in the room that i just turned away from, saudi arabia, and i realized that it was not wanting to get involved in a shiite-sunni split that i didn't understand and more importantly not wanting to feed into to islamophobia that has been so terrible in our country and our projection around the world, we wouldn't be able to kill people with our drones in muslim countries thousands of miles away where il not for deep racism within our country and specially during donald trump's campaign and now who knows what's going to happen in the white house. it's very -- we have to be very careful about how we look at issues related to islam and that's why i'm so glad that reza started us out looking at some of the pictures of saudi arabia and putting in the context that
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my muslim friends have told me to do which is please don't talk about the saudi ideology when it comes to islam as a version of islam, talk about it as a proconversation of islam because it has nothing to do with the kind of islam that is practiced by the vast, vast majority of people which is in writing the book, many of the people that are part of the peace movement know so little about saudi arabia and it's important to step back for a minute and look at the foundation of this regime, which goes back to the 1700's when there was a picture
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which i considered a koch-like figure who had version of quran and said if you don't interpret like the way i do, you're an infidel and it's okay to go around and kill infidels. this seems convenient. we can't go back in history, but when the kingdom was declared a nation in 1932, i would say that this nation would not have lasted for a long time, that it would have been overthrown by its own people, it would have been overthrown by people from the outside had it not been for the discovery of oil. and there we have to look at the role of the united states and the westerners for keeping this
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regime intact. in fact, there's a very famous meeting between franklin eleanor roosevelt in 1942 world war ii and the king of saudi arabia and fdr said, not in these exact words, you can king can go about doing what you want inside your own country. we are not going to get involved and tell you how to rule internally but we are going to make sure that you don't get over thrown and as long as you allow, keep allowing western oil companies to come in here and make a lot of money and to export cheap saudi oil, we are going guaranty your security. so when you think of saudi arabia, think of a saudi family and how that kingdom has been passed from founder to son, to son, to son, now they are at the last remaining son that can basically get out of bed, they are going to have to figure out the session after that, but were it not for the u.s., this
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kingdom would not exist, this one family, this family would not be today among the family of nations because it is it not a modern nation of how we are supposed to govern in these days. it's important to look at the slides and get a sense of what this kingdom is like. this is a king kingdom where there are no such things such as free speech and free assembly and freedom of association. we hear about iran and in the congressional hearings that i go to quite often, they're always talking about iran spreading terrorism and iran not being a democratic country and iran not having free and fair elections and i always have to say, well, what are you talking about,
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there aren't even elections in saudi arabia on national level much less free and fair election. there's no election for our president. there's no election for assembly or congress and why don't we hear our leaders talking about that? we saw in the slides some of the atrocities of the saudi regime, for example, the use of the death penalty, the use of executions by beheading, even the term crucifixion, when i first heard it, what are they talking about, a gruesome saudi cutting off of the head and posting the victim for several days in a public square as a, quote, warning to the rest of the population. you wonder where isis gets some of its gruesome practices from, much of that comes from saudi arabia itself. you see that people like raif
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who was sentenced to 10,000 years in prison and a thousand lashes, was sentenced because he was writing blogs about wanting to question the role of religion in the government, question why we can't be an open society and for that he was originally given the death penalty. there are many nonviolent reasons for which one can be executed in saudi arabia and that includes insulting the kingdom, spreading atheism and home sexual and one category about being a sorcitor, many reasons why can be given the death penalty or long prison sentences. we also understand that there are large segments of the population in saudi arabia that are discriminated against, for example, women. when you think of saudi women,
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you probably think that women can't drive, which is true, in fact, it's the only country in the world where women are not allow today drive, many people when they think of saudi arabia thinking of the forced covering of women in public, but what's most important to understand about women in saudi arabia is the guardianship system that says from the time the young girl is born till the time the woman dies, they have to have a male who is the legal guardian who decides whether the woman can make the key decisions in her life, like who to mary, when to marry, what to study, what kind of job to get, if she can get a passport, if she can travel. if that woman has an enlightened guardian, she can have quite a nice life in saudi arabia but if that woman has a backward repressive guardian, her life can be hell and that is why there are thousands of women who
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recently took a very courageous stand of signing a petition saying they wanted to see a lifting of the guardianship system. there are other entire sectors of the population that are discriminated against and we saw that in some of the slides as well, you might think as i naively thought that if there's a country that's saudi arabia, they might have respect for people's religion, but that is not the case. it is only if you have respect for the wahabi sunni version of religion that that is respected but if you are, for example, want to practice islam in a very different kind of way, you will be discriminated against, certainly, if you are of the minority shiite population that lives mostly in the eastern part of the country where the oil is, so you would think that they
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would be the richest, the ones who would benefit the most from this regime but, no, that's not the case and discriminated against very harshly as try today rise up as they periodically tried to do. there are also many nonmuslims that lived in saudi arabia. in fact, there are millions of nonmuslims who live in saudi arabia and that is because there is such a large foreign labor force, so of the -- there are 2 million christians in saudi arabia, they are not allowed to have a place of worship. it's illegal to build a church. it's illegal to build any nonmuslim place of worship and you would think that that would be something of concern to many of the christians in the united states, many of whom are actually elected, congress
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people in our government, well, it turns out our government passed freedom of religious act and it say that is every year we are going study those countries that are not tolerant of people's right to the exercise their freedom of religion and we are going to put them in a category called countries of concern and we will sanction those countries, well, every year the study is done and every year north korea, country of concern, sanctions, every year, country of concern, sanction, every year saudi arabia country of concern, no sanctions. no sanctions, i discovered in writing the book, the state department placed a waiver on saudi arabia and it's an indefinite waiver. it doesn't have to be renewed in a year. it's giving saudi arabia a free pass against our own laws.
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so i mention that there's a large migrant labor force, it is actually a huge migrant labor force of the 30 million people that live in saudi arabia, 10 million of them are foreigners. now, some of them, most of them are coming from very poor countries like india, bangladesh, philippines and they are coming to make money to send back home to their families. well, first of all, you can't just say, i'm going to go to saudi arabia and see what kind of job i can get, no, you have to have a sponsor. so you get to saudi arabia already having paid a recruitment fee that you then have to pay back, you have a sponsor who basically owns you. just like in the guardianship system, you might be lucky and get a good sponsor who treats you well, pays you what they said they would pel you but you might very well get a really nasty sponsor who works you 7
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days a week, 12 hours a day and doesn't pay you what they said they would pay you, abuses ewe, even sexual abuse if you're a domestic worker, and what if you say, this is not what i bargained for, i want to go back home, you can't do that because you need a visa and the only one who can issue you that visa is your employer. hire you have a country that oppresses entire segments of the population, even something called the religious police that enforces a lat of this. it's not only something that is done internally, saudi arabia is spreading its ideology around the world, this is actually quite a relatively new phenomena that happened after the 1979
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revolution in iran when iran, a shiite country said, we are are the guardians of islam, we have the true version and the saudis said, wait a minute, we will go spread it around and started using a lot of the dollars to build thousands of mosques and schools, all over the world, i remember being in palestine, being in the west bank and sitting in a coffee and a man from palestine say to go me, you see that mosque over there, saudis built it. you see the mosque over there, saudis built it. we have so many other needs, why do they keep building more and more mosques? they have been doing in so many places around the world. president obama who lived in
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egypt who has a very tolerant loving practice, the saudis came in and had influence the creeping extremism that came with the influence of saudi arabia, now, we were told by our government that they were, quote, working with the saudis to talk to extremist element but that unfortunately the government just couldn't control its own clerics, its own people. to a certain extent, that is true. what we have seen from wikileaks, cables that have been released ce -- recently, our government knew it wasn't just extreme saudis, but it was the government of saudi arabia, al-qaeda and al-qaeda branches in syria in iraq, libya and even supporting isis as we see from a
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2014 cable that was recently released. we have cables that show hillary clinton, what are we going to do about the saudis, they keep funding these extremist groups, well, she actually had the power to do something about as secretary of state, unfortunately, what she did was ask for funding for her foundation, clinton foundation. the u.s. government has -- at some point you have to sit back and say, how could it be that our government has been trillion of tax dollars, the lives of our soldiers, destroying the lives of so many people in muslim countries all in the name of fighting extremism while at the same time we are this major ally of the country that is most responsible for spreading extremism around the world. you have to really start looking
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at this mindbogglingly fact. well, i said that one of the reasons is oil and certainly even though the u.s. gets a lot less of its oil these days from saudi arabia, about 12%, oil is still a key factor. the saudis have used a lot of the petro dollars to invest in u.s. economy, giving them leverage, for example, investing hundreds of billions of dollars in treasury bonds, buying up a lot of u.s. companies including oil refineries in texas, real estate. they talking about bailing donald trump out twice. they have invested in companies like uber, 3.5 million. they've given money lavishly to think tanks on the left and the right and in between, liberal ones like the atlantic council,
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brookings institute and also quite ironic they give to think tank because you cannot have a think tank in saudi arabia. they also give tons of money to universities. you might see wings saying thanks to this prince and that prince. they had gotten $10 million from the saudi and we visited them and said, do you think it's quite ironic that the yale law school is funded by saudis when there's no rule of law in saudi arabia. >> the saudis also have employed now about 10 different pr and law firms to represent them in washington, d.c. these firms have to be registered with the u.s. government as foreign agents and they are full of former coj
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people. they are full of former people high up in the military. one of these groups is called the podesta group which you might have heard of. john podesta ran to run hillary clinton's campaign. tony podesta stayed became, he became a foreign agent getting $140,000 every month to represent the saudi government. in addition to all of this and perhaps what's become the biggest factor in the relationship between u.s. and saudi arabia is that saudi arabia has become by far the largest purchaser of u.s. weapons. the amount of weapon sales to saudi arabia is mindbogglingly.
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weapons to saudi arabia. just let that sink in a little bit. i know it's sometimes hard when you talk about the big numbers but that is a massive amount of weapons. saudi arabia right now is propping up the u.s. military industrial complex and what are they doing with those weapons, repressing their own people, going into neighboring countries like during the arab spring. they did not want to see democratic movements prevail in the neighborhood, went intothey bobraihn where there was a beautiful nonviolent uprising among the population using u.s. tanks, came in and crushed the uprising. i mention that the weapons can now be found with al-qaeda groups and syria and libya and iraq but also the -- the wins
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are now being used to devastateb on already poor country in the middle east and that is yemen. and this is something that our media doesn't cover enough. this isn't something that the media people barely understand that now it's going on 20 months since the saudis got involved in an internal conflict in yemen because they worry that one side, the houthis was close to iran and would give iran a foot hole next door and they went in there like george bush, quick and dirty, well, it hasn't been, it's been very dirty, it has not been quick, 20 months now and i said that yemen was already a poor country, you look at what the united nations is now saying, it is a catastrophic a situation, not only with q thousands and thousands ofof innocent people being killed,
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mostly by the bombings, but also because of the destruction of the infrastructure, millions of children severely malnourished right now facing phamon in yemen. so many medical facilities have been destroyed. there was a study done a third of the targets have been civilian targets, so marketplaces, schools, residential neighborhoods, factories, wedding parties, funerals and this is all not only with u.s. weapons, it's with u.s. logistical support. it's with u.s. refueling of the planes in air, it's with u.s. help in targeting, it's with u.s. diplomatic cover and that'. why many yemenis are saying this is a u.s. war and the american people have blood on their hands
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. it is also something that's going blow back and affect our nation. there have been 42 differents. deals during the obama administration.. now, congress has the legal ability to stop weapon sales if it wanted to, everyone one of those weapon sales congress did nothing. it was only because of the devastation in yemen that some of our congress people have started to speak up and i wantau to applaud those who have done that like chris murphy, the s senator from connecticut, like rand paul, republican from kentucky and they said finally enough is enough and they forced a vote inside the congress and the senate, the first time we had such a vote in the senate you would think that a hundred senators would say, of course, we don't want to sell weapons to the repressive regime.
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unfortunately it wasn't a hundred, it was 27 of them, it was a beginning, barber boxer voted the right way, i have flyers over there, i would hope that one thing you might do after this talk is make a call to senator feinstein's office and tell her, no weapon sales to saudi arabia. so i mention that saudi arabia is propping up the military industrial complex, we are in a muslim place of worship that prides itself of being interfaith and that's so important these days and one person of faith whose name i want to bring up to the room is pope francis and i want to do that because hope francis came to speak before congress and among the things he said, wonderful things he said, was he talked about weapons, he said,
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why are we selling weapons to people who used them in such an abusive way, the answer he said is money, it's money that is drenched in blood, he said and we are complicit if we don't speak out, we are complicit if we don't stand up to the arm's industry. he said this in front of congress and a bunch of congress members got up and started clapping, which i found quite ironic. [laughter] >> because the weapon's industry is very clever and they make weapons in every single congressional district and then they give money to those congress people for their real election campaign and then those congress people say we couldn't possibly stop weapon sales to these countries or stop the production of weapon system, sometimes even ones that the pentagon doesn't want because these represent jobs in my community.
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well, this is complicity, this is corruption. we want to see our government represent our values, we have to stand up not only to the arm's industry but to the people in congress, the people who are in the white house, the people who are complicit with us selling weapons to such repressive regimes as saudi arabia, so what is one major take away, i wantsi you to take with you from this talk, the other thing is to recognize that there are as we saw in the slides really courageous saudis who were trying to change their own government, some of them have already been executed, some are rotting away in saudi prisons but many of them are looking for other means to challenge the saudi regime and the saudis that i have been talking to, say, we
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are really afraid with the government not giving the ability to make changes for the better inside saudi arabia, we are going to see the violent people who want to overthrow the regime take over and thingsre could be a lot worst than they are now because there is no civil society to fill the void. who would take over? armed groups, groups like al-qaeda, groups like isis and that's why they say we need reforms desperately so peoplee start seeing that some change is possible. q i mentioned that women haded signed petitions calling for a listing of the guardianship system, we know that there are people in the shiite community who only want to be treated like equal citizens, we know that there are professors and academic who are trying to meetk with some of the more forward-thinking princesses andd saying, look, we are living in
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an absolute monarchy, but there are other kinds of monarchy in other parts of the world even in great britain they have a monarchy and people love their kings an queens and they have a can he ceremonial function. let's move towards that as ann opening for reform. unfortunately whether it's been a republican or democrat in office, they have beenin supporting the regime instead of supporting the real democrats. we have a lot of things to do with a new administration and i hope in the discussion session we can get into that. the power of the complex and power of big oil have kept us in this relationship with the saudi
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regime and this is something that we have to find a way to unit among people with different faiths and different ethnicity, to unit among people left or right because this is not a left or right issue, in fact, sometimes it is easier to talk to conservative republicans about this than it is to some liberal democrats. so let's think of this as one issue that we can work towards uniting people to say that it ii way more important that we support democracy around the world, that we get ourselves off of the fossil fuel treadmill so we might have a future in this beautiful planet we live on than it is to be supporting the monarchs that have been holding onto power for so many decades, so i hope as we try to
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strengthened our own democratic process that we have seen to be so corrupt and seen to be so tainted during this last election period, we also try to change the foreign policy that has made us more of an arm's dealer around the world than a peace maker, so let's say power to the peaceful at home and abroad, that's what we need, that's where we are going. let's do it, thank you. [applause] >> all right, everybody, i thought the microphone was on. but i'm loud. that was awesome, wasn't it?
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[applause] >> all right, if you have a question in a nice peaceful manner, maybe if we can form a line over here, make your questions, you know, to the point, vocalized, no speeches, maybe we can have time for question and answer and then we will start the line for bookokdg signings over here if you already bought your books, if you haven't, we have about 11 more copies and that's it or you can get it later on, but they won't be signed. i'm sorry, we are going to keep the microphones stationary because it is being filmed so we do need to make it stationary. >> my question has to do with the recent -- closer? it has to do with the most recent passing of a law in which
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americans can sue saudi arabia, can you explain your outlook on that? >> this is a law called jasta, 9/11 family members have been fights for in the last 15 years, they want to know how high up the chain was the complicity of the saudi government in the 9/11 attacks. we don't know how -- who else was involved in it, so the law that was passed was quite amazing. it happened on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. it happened during election period and unfortunately president obama after it was passed vetoed the law. he said that this would give a bad precedent to other countries, he didn't use these words but basically that said might want to sue us for wards
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crimes that we commit in war countries. but amazing congress overwrote that veto. so now there's a law pressureig from the saudi government onit congress people, these lobbyists that i talked about, are not only going to people at the national level, they are going to local level to governors, state assemblies to say, we might pull out our money and this would be bad for the economy, you should have a redo of that. we don't know what's going to happen when congress comes back. we hope that they will hold firm because this might be the only way that not only the 9/11 families but we the american public can get ahold of tens of thousands of documents that our government has from fbi investigations that can tell us a lot more information that we should have the right to know. >> thank you again for the presentation. i was really interested in the
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destruction of the holy sites, the presentations that reza had mentioned, or provided, i thinka it it was eye ronic the idea that the saudi culture wants to expand its version of islam in building, you mentioned building mosques throughout the world but at the same time destroying the holey sites in saudi arabia, dod you have any rationale behind that? it sounds contradictory. >> reza, why don't you come and explain that. [inaudible] >> thank you very much. peace be with you. it's part of the wajabias ideology, to destroy any significant building or heritage that reflects other ideologies,
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faith, so examples of museums, graveyards that are built into a shrine and people go out and respect, they believe this is something against the faith and this is worshiping iraq or a place instead of god. this is their mentality. by the way -- >> yeah. >> ladies and gentlemen, they are breaking into our cars outside. >> what? >> some cars have been broken into. they haven't taken anything. it must be some kind of a hate crime. maybe we can take a five-minute pause. go and check your cars. lots of cars have been broken. >> all right. >> wow. >> sorry to break that. [inaudible conversations]
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>> all right. we are waiting for you. we will take two more questions and then and then we will conclude. >> can -- i'm going to make sure that -- [inaudible] >> all right. i already said -- all right. all right. again, i would like to repeat what happened, madea benjamin talking about the situation, arabia and the relationship with the united states unfortunately, a few cars were broken in and a few items were also stolen. i think at least as far as i know three cars including madea cars, so this makes me really wonder who knows her car and attack it, anyway, by the way we called the police about 20 minutes ago and we expect them to show up any -- any minute. [inaudible]nute.
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>> yes. indiana. >> the police. we will take two more questions and i do apologize for what happened. we really appreciate your time staying here, we will take two more questions and we will end the session. thank you very much. all right. yes, there's a question. >> i just want to say something before we go to the questions. this is not new. j this has been happening to islamic centers, to mosques for a long time now. but this is what we are going to face more often now because the. donald trump campaign and nowor the presidency has given a green light to hate and i want to say my -- just how sorry i feel to
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you and to the wonderful people of this islamic cultural center that constantly are opening up the center to dialogue, to discussions about love and compassion and how we work together, how we appreciate the human family and the beautiful bouquet that we are and to be targeted is such a violation of all of the values that we want to stand for as a nation. i feel violated, everything in my car was taken. and i feel more violated for the people who run this center who have to now face this on perhaps an even more regular basis and i hope that as part of the discussion we have after this formal part we talk about how we
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form rings of solidarity, how we protect our mosques, how weda protect our brothers and sisters, how we protect the muslim community, how we protect the latino community, the immigrant community, the gay community, how we protect all the people who will unfortunately be even more victimized than they have been. so this is not a pretty immediate future that we face. on the other hand, i do want to say that i've never seen such an outpouring of objection as we have seen since the election happened and this is coming particularly from young people who say this is not the future that i want, so whether donald trump is going to get out there and say, hate speech is bad, attacking mosques is wrong, attacking immigrants is wrong, we need to be out there saying it loud and clear and not just
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saying it, we have to form ways of making sure it happened, i remember right after 9/11, i lived in san francisco, one of the most progressive parts in the country, there was an attack on our neighborhood grocierer because he was a muslim. you know what we did, we slept in a store, we slept there. we said we will not let this happen in the community. we started printing up no hatenh signs and you know what, we are going to have to go back to that.. that's what we are going to have to do. let this be a warning, let this be a signal, let this be not a call to feel, oh, oh, maybe we have to not do some of this work, just the opposite, let this really invigorate us to recognize what's happening in the country, what's happening to our brothers and sisters who are
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most victimized by the hatred going on for too long and make the pledge tonight that we will stand up for everybody who is being unfairly victimized, thatw we will stand up against hate, against misogyny, against islamophobia, against antiimmigrant sentiments, that we will do more than we've done, that we will do all we can do,e that we will use this evening to remember what it's like to be targeted and what the appropriate response is, not only calling the police but calling on the community to come out here and i think it would be a beautiful thing if we got the permission of the iman to call on the community in massive numbers to show the love for the center and to show that we will not be intimidated and that we
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are unified around love. [applause] >> thank you very much for focusing the who i will argument and discussion, just towards the end of the presentation, you made a wonderful comment saying it's not just a question of protesting, it's a question of getting and working on both sides of republicans, democrats, everyone together. t
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>> >> and how can we move into the legislative process is good and important but how do we do that? >> there are some things that donald trump has said on the campaign that are positive like to have the better relationship withve russia is extremelys important because we don't want to go to war with russia up. and have them say the attack on iraq was a horrible mistake and the bush and administration knew there was no weapons of mass destruction and lying to the american people is important to here. donald trump has said the saudis are the most
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responsible for spreading extremism so i agree we have to work with both sides to get both senators from this great state of california to vote the right way if we can push whoever is in the white house and let's recognize that torture is okay and it is okay to kill the families of suspected terrorists with the expansion and talks about the need that he would
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be neutral he turned around to say no to recognize jerusalem being bad capital that the summit should keephe ongoing we don't know who we're working with and that is not a good sign. >> i heard you on the radio today for your loss today's. >> our loss.
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something i heard on their radio today to touch on that you talked about it of the radio where at one time how many women voted at the time? i wonder if for some time it could be a different climate where those who are with men or like me would deal with that thing called electoral college for the person who gets the most votes to takeover to have the situation of today's. >> are democracy is not one
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iota wish another country'sis there's no reason to have the electoral college in theea superdelegates should be abolished even were eyelid inside of washington d.c. the lines were so -- had to come back three times to vote. elections should be a holiday. there should be a system where is it is not winner-take-all but a representative system and you get 5% of the seats and those parties that have access to the debates so people can hear what they p stand for they should not be organized or run by the parties themselves. we should get money at of
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politics you cannot have a democracy with this corruption of money and influence. there are so many things we need to change about our system to hold our heads up prior to say we believe and we recognize the model of democracy that we have. i saw this happen in 2000 with alcor i thought things would really change and now it has happened again. der know what? make cannot wait for the leadership of the democratic party because they seem to go along with this committee past to come from the grass roots for quite delighted there are petitions out there to abolish the electoral college inof millions of people signing on and i hope we bring thatgy energy to washington d.c. to the democratic party and republican party to force these fundamental changes in our system. >>.
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>> does anybody know how to get a hold of juditha? ? [inaudible conversations] >> her money and wallet was thrown out of her car. >> maybe we can investigate that more. >> last question. years ago as a student at university of california there was repeated bomb threats that day. it signaled to me the veracity, i am getting old. [laughter] i just want to tell my fellow friends this is the
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first time myoblast to come to the islamic center. the importance this event has shown me is that it is a very unique place. i already knew medea benjamin by reputation but in particular to comment to the white middle-class people here. not of the assimilation for what is coming now when you see something like this that you puddling into this organization more and as we have attacks. [applause] -- another question? >> i just want you to expand ju
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on something you said in your talk that at 1.it is easier to talk to conservatives than progressives about these matters and that was wondering what line of reasoning you use to appeal to the conservatives? >> we have been going up too many of the very religious christians in congress and with my a saudi when then friends who say are you my good christian? [laughter] and they say of course, .ou she says the and why are you selling weapons to the only country and the world is illegal to build a church?ch that leaves the nail little dumbfounded. then she says might i come to your office to talk to
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more about this? can i set up the meeting? so we have been doing that. it is very important to do and we don't know how well it works because we have not had a vote again but this is an issue where we show the hypocrisy and put people on the spot to make it personal. so that is one example of the kind of approach that weg do. >> this question is about israel and palestine. >> compared to the situation in the west bank. >> [inaudible]
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many of the palestinians that work with the use that comparison and i appreciate using that kind of language because i think that is something that makes people up to the gravity of the situation. and actually want to learn more. and the fact that many of these conservative jewish groups are so opposed is also indicative that this gets to people. i think it is quite marvelous that the black lives matter platform has used the word apartheid and even genocide. m that made many people with the more conservative jewish community in the united states extremely angry causing a rift between some of them in the black lives matter.
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they said this is how we see it and many of us have been to palestine.es we come back and speak our truth.rds refl and we use words to reflect the gravity of the situation and reflect on why we're using those words. >> enclosing a thank-you to the cultural center and the people who opened the space for us and this is a night that is very profound and very sad. i will not leave hereea without talking to you about what we can do to show our extreme sorrow for what happened tonight, not as individuals but as a community that has been violated and what we can dohat to work with you in the
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future and i am happy to keep coming back and sleep all of the floor right here if need me because i love you and i want to spread that above. [applause] >> i would like to add one more sentence. with the regime in south africa with social worker and awareness and social change, and this is what we need to do with saudi
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arabia. and to focus on the fact that terrorism is created and supported in saudi arabia and unfortunately because of their power they are continuing to target muslims europeans, we need medea benjamin to change the situation and let the world know in a few years two-seat democracy so thanks to medea benjamin to bring this issue to the united states andon through the media we do have hope and. and also apologized for what
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happened but for me this is more important. another thing of a bike to share with you in is they with like to pay for the damage. [applause] out of her generosity and kindness she is not accepting payment. god bless. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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. >> the second time was 20057 have been added service it over one year but the narrative of what went on simply did not match up with what i had seen and what i had done.
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recognized as a soldier i had an obligation to the truth and is of the narrative switch and that this was an isolated incidents that was taken care of but those of us who were there again had a duty to speak out i did not use the word torture at this point we were still struggling with the enhanced interrogation and use of tactics that was mailed experience i was struggling with that was the discussion american people needed to have where now i recognize clearly that is torture and that is enhanced interrogations. but i didn't want to write a policy book because i did

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