tv Sino Tv Early Evening News PBS November 5, 2010 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
>> welcome to "the journal." >> thanks for joining us. >> anti-nuclear protestors temporarily blocked the shipment of german nuclear waste returning from france. dozens of worshipers killed in two mosque attacks in pakistan. >> costly compromise. agreement has been reached on saving the airbus military transport project.
>> anti-nuclear protesters in france have temporarily blocked a train carrying a shipment of nuclear waste to germany. the transport containing german nuclear waste reprocessing in the hague in france is kittle to arrive with the german border saturday afternoon. anti-nuclear protesters have already started gathering close to its final distillation -- destination in gorleben in northern germany, where the waste will be stored. a demonstration is planned saturday and will attract the least 30,000 people. >> the first protesters were already on site as the train pulled away with its cargo. greenpeace activists brought heat-sensitive cameras to keep an eye on the process. some of the containers measured as high as 30 degrees celsius. demonstrators change them said -- chained themselves to the tracks. across the border, activists are already in place.
students took to the streets near gorleben. they were fired up by chance, oppose the decision to extend the lifetime of germany pose a nuclear power plants. young people are particularly concerned. >> decisions made now are important for my future and i am protesting because i am against it. >> we want all of germany to see the injustice going on here. we want everybody to wake up and get involved. >> activists have a record of tent-sitting near gorleben. they can stage effective assistance. organizers have been making preparations for weeks. >> we are not trying to turn the train around. we want the government to change its mind. chancellor merkel need to know what she is doing is not feasible in the long run. >> authorities predict about 30,000 protesters will be in gorleben this weekend to face off against 17,000 security personnel. >> the anti-nuclear staff of the
green party is continuing. the upcoming state elections in berlin could lead to green governments in those states. the party cochair has announced her candidacy for the position of berlin mayor and could wind up on seeking the incumbent social democrat. -- wind up unseating the incumbent social democrat. >> the popularity of the green party continues to soar. it goes beyond the core group of activists. the other parties are struggling to maintain support. if elections were held sunday, chancellor merkel's conservatives would garner 32% of the vote. the social democrats are stable at 27%. the pro-business fdp is flirting with the 5% hurdle tuesday and the parliament. the green soared up to 22. on an individual level, support
for chancellor merkel continues to erode as well. when a cross-section of voters were asked to do with like to see a occupy the chancellor, a paltry 20% said they would like to see merkel serve another term. a stunning 50% with support the conservative's rising star, the defense minister. the survey shows merkel still enjoys a slim majority among conservative voters. gutenberg polls strongly among social democrats and party supporters. >> thing in germany, police arrested the man connected to internet videos threatening terrorist attacks in the country. he appeared on youtube in october, warning attacks would be carried out if authorities failed to release a prisoner. daniel snyder was sentenced to prison in march along with three others on charging of -- on charges of planning terrorist attacks against u.s. facilities
in germany. danish police have given the all-clear after a bomb scare at the german embassy in copenhagen. a suspicious package turned out to be harmless. greek authorities are grappling with a wave of parcel bombs. there are international targets in athens. experts disarmed the 14th of vice since monday. police have arrested two suspected members of an anarchist group thought to be responsible for the packages. one of the parcels reached via office of chancellor merkel in berlin. in northwestern pakistan, a suicide bomber has attacked friday prayers at a mosque frequented by anti-taliban tribal elders. at least 67 were killed. a few hours later, three people died in a grenade attack in another nearby mosque. local media said the pakistani taliban has claimed responsibility for both attacks. the suicide bombing is one of the deadliest attacks this year.
>> worshipers had gathered for friday afternoon prayers in the town when a suicide bomber detonated his deadly load. the mosque's roof collapsed, trapping many victims beneath the debris. >> when the blast occurred, i rushed toward the wounded to rescue them. there were a lot, some without their heads. i picked up my son. the women came and i gave them my son's body and started bringing out the dead bodies. >> some 300 people were in the religious center when the bomb went off. the wounded were rushed to hospitals in the main city in the region. >> we were saying our prayers and suddenly, we heard the sound of an explosion. there was a fire. we were praying. >> officials said the moscow might of been targeted because it served as a meeting point for an anti-taliban militia.
it is located just outside the largely lawless tribal belt, a taliban militant stronghold. but the pakistan government has encouraged leaders in the area to set up militias to fight the taliban insurgent spirit >> authorities in indonesia have been evacuating thousands after the volcano erupted again, killing more than 70 and injuring many more. ash and debris continued to spew from the volcano. many victims were found in the safe zone. >> of these soldiers came to evacuate villagers living outside the declared a danger zone. the rescue workers themselves were forced to flee as the volcano start to erupt. -- started to erupt. the village was completely destroyed by heat and volcanic ash. the soldiers found dozens of bodies on their return. with some areas still too
dangerous to enter, officials fear the death toll will rise. >> we have already found 22 bodies in one area. another village has also been destroyed. we cannot get there because the area is too hot. we don't know how many people are dead in that village. >> these people did get away in time. some had to be treated for burns and breathing difficulties. many are being temporarily put up in a sports stadium. more than 100,000 people have already left their homes and refugees continue to stream into the city. indonesia's's president emphasized the need to take warnings seriously. the amount maroc situation is not looking any better. the volcano danger zone has expanded. >> more than 100 people have already died since the volcano started to erupt again 10 days ago. experts say the volcano remains
highly volatile. >> cuba has launched an investigation after a plane crashed, killing all 68 people. the aircraft went down in mountainous terrain. almost half the passengers were foreigners. the witness says that the plane made several abrupt movements before crashing. >> these images show the crash site shortly after the plane went down. emergency workers scoured the rugged hillside in search of survivors. by dawn, the military had arrived with assistance to recover the victims' bodies. >> we are still attracting the dead from the wreckage so they can be identified. there were no survivors. >> the plane was on its way to havana. 20 foreigners were on board, including two germans and residents of the netherlands, austria, france, italy, and
spain. the pilot radioed that the plane was in trouble before contact was lost. dangerous weather conditions might have played a role in the crash. >> another airline passenger plane has made an emergency landing in singapore due to engine trouble. it was a boeing 747 that had to turn back shortly after takeoff. this comes one day after an engine explosion forced a jumbo jet to make emergency landing in singapore. the airline now says it appears the design fault might have been to blame. the company has grounded the entire fleet. the airbus has recommended inspections of all such planes using the rolls royce engines. there weren't -- there was some good news today for airbus. >> big project on a big price tag. it will buy the european union key financial independence. good news. buyer nations have reached a
final agreement on a bailout to rescue the troubled airbus a400 and military transport. it will add 11 million euros to the price of each airplane, but secure around 10,000 assembly jobs in europe, and guarantee the eu is not dependent on the united states in the strategic area of military transport. >> the deal is a relief to eads after months of uncertainty. buyers have agreed on how to share additional costs. germany will order seven fewer aircraft and britain is cutting two planes from its order. overall, project costs have increased up to 23.5 billion euros, more than the original budget. in order to make up the extra cost, eads will deliver only 170 aircraft instead of 180. the project has been dogged by delays, mainly caused by software problems with the giant
engine. germany is urgently needs the a400 m for its mission in afghanistan and will begin taking delivery of its transporters in 2014. they replace germany's aging fleet of aircraft. >> onto the market action. blue chips ended the week on a strong note, extending their two-year highs after a better than forecasted u.s. employment report boosted optimism about the strength of the recovery. our correspondent sent us this summary of the trading action from frankfurt. >> on the last trading day this week, traders looked for direction. they wanted to take some of their profit out of the market. on the other hand, they waited for the economic numbers coming from the u.s. the jobs market is one of the biggest problems of the u.s. economy at the moment. the jobless rate shows that it
remained at 9.6%. on the other hand, the u.s. economy was able to create new jobs again. more jobs than people expected before. this led to affect on the frankfurt floor. >> we will stay for a closer look at the closing market numbers and the dax, locking in modest gains. the your stock 50 index gave up a bit of ground to go into the weekend. on wall street, despite the strong employment report, the dow ended the session fairly flat. it did manage to poke up into positive territory at the end of the session. on currency markets, the euro trading at a value of 1.4035. bmw has broken ground on germany's first factory to mass produce electric-powered cars.
the company plans to invest 400 million euros in one facility by 2013. >> in the ground-breaking ceremony for the plan's enlargement, chancellor merkel leads the league symbolic foundation. they hope the vehicle will be rolling off the assembly line in three years. the car's interior is made of carbon fiber, and material that bmw wants to utilize to extend the vehicle plus a range. the chancellor says the new material is good for germany's future. >> europe the shrinking rather than growing. it is all the more important that we remain innovative and have the implementation of new technologies to fend off global competition. >> berlin aims to have 1 million electric cars on german roads by 2020 and bmw is looking to lead the pack. >> we are investing 530 million euros since the overall
investment, and we will create more than 1000 jobs. >> besides expanding its plant, bmw is also building a carbon factory for mass production with its american partner. it hopes to cut the costs of the expense of materials to make the vehicle more affordable for consumers. >> mobility as an auto industry is important right now. it will be a few years before electrical cars go into production. the other manufacturers can only hope that by then, drivers have become more interested in electric cars. >> staying in the automobile sector, demand for german commercial vehicles at home and abroad is continuing to rise according to the automotive industry federation. exports of trucks, buses, and tractors soared 35% in october
from a year earlier. foreign demand drove most of the growth. the domestic market is also booming. new registrations of commercial vehicles jumped by 20%. last year, manufacturers had to cut back on production and put workers on reduced work schedules a metal ball in orders. a nice comeback. >> news from china, where authorities have put an artist under house arrest in beijing. the artist had publicly welcomed the news that the nobel peace prize had been awarded to jiabo. stay with us. i will be right back in a minute. we will stay in the region. we have a special report from burma. our camera team of reporters went there. that country is having elections on sunday.
>> book and back. burma is holding parliamentary elections on sunday for the first time in 20 years. the country is rich in resources, including oil, gas, timber, minerals, and precious stones. the military took control in 1962 and they have tried to suppress opposition, especially the most visible symbol of that, the nobel peace prize winner. she has been excluded from elections for years. she has been under house arrest. her party won by a landslide,
but the military refused to recognize the result. the buddhist monks held a series of anti military protests. observers say they are trying to legitimize the power with a vote. berman joined the association of southeast nations in 1997. it borders bangladesh and thailand. it is the largest -- the largest cities in the south of the country. the capital was officially moved 400 miles away. on land, it used to be a jungle. that is still under construction. how significant will be elections before the people of burma? our reporters and camera team traveled through the country to find out where the opposition movement has a strong base, especially in the south. >> our journey through burma begins at the train station in the former capital. we are disguised as tourists and on the lookout for informants
and police. we want to find out how people feel ahead of national elections. the rule in general is that there robert byrd. they have acquired some of the seats. the headquarters for the national democratic force is a flat in a prefabricated building on the edge of the city. it is a makeshift operation. the bathroom as a computer program. the team uses the floor of the desk. the party secretary piles papers on a side table in the living room. it is claustrophobic, but that is a familiar feeling for critics of the regime. [inaudible] ] >> the ndf split off from the
biggest opposition movement because the larger group is boycotting the vote. each candidate has to pay a $500 registration fee. few people can afford that. the ndf sees no alternative. >> we see the coming election as the only way to go ahead with the politics of the country. we have no other choice. >> constant surveillance is a reality in burma. we strike up a conversation with the drivers. >> my friend and up in jail. the windows were not speed up like they are now. the secret police heard about it and he disappeared for two months. >> our team as careful with the camera to keep the driver's seat. his wife and children are waiting for him at home.
like many burmese, he rarely earns more than about five euros a day. >> the elections? i don't bother with them. the generals will win. i focus on driving a lot and earning more so my kids can eat. >> the military junta paints a happy picture of life in burma. the reality is pour water supply, electric outages, and high food prices. the military has run the country into the ground. as the sun comes out, we see the pagoda in the distance. in 2007, buddhist monks prosit -- protested, resulting in a bloody crackdown on the military. more than 300 comedy's north of the former capital, we arrive in the new capital. much of the city is still under construction. the military generals relocate to the capital to a desolate site in the middle of nowhere
and built a city from the ground up. 900,000 people live here. many of them were forced to move here against their will, including this road builder. >> i have been doing this for four years. i know the work is poisonous for my lungs. >> they portray themselves as devout buddhist. the capital even boasts a replica of the original pagoda. we see far more military guards than monks. the parliamentary building is also here, where newly elected members are set to take their seats after the november ballot. we have to look elsewhere to find the real voice of the people. the city is home to brothers, who might be considered the greatest comedians in the world. they regularly take aim at the military regime on the stage,
which doubles as a house for them and their mother, who is now in her 80's. >> we are bloodless. we are dead meat. [laughter] >> this man has been thrown in jail three times. they plan to boycott the elections. >> we see ourselves on stage instead. as comedians, we can speak the truth. for everyone else who would not dare to, because we do not fear any consequences. >> the show starts at 8:30 every evening. sometimes the brothers perform for just two or three people. today, the audience is a newly married couple from spain and a female backpacker from malaysia.
>> we are not allowed to open our mouths. >> each punchline is a tightrope walk. the brothers know being a tourist attraction offers them some degree of protection. we return to the city. burma is rich in natural resources, from oil to gold and precious stones. the rice export market is also booming. most shipments are bound for neighboring countries or africa. the a -- the harvest has just begun. women were recruited from nearby villages to work. a supervisor make sure they get the job done. two fields every day. that rice also ends up in the city. we're back of the opposition base. it is time for dinner. it is still time to talk
politics. the ndf already has 3000 members. the party is discussing whether the registration system should use numbers sorry letter code. the odds are stacked against them. the opposition is hopeful. meanwhile, others in burma find a respite in prayer. here in the golden pagodas. unlike the sham elections, their faith is real, and for many living under the dictatorship, it gives them real strength. >> just prior to the voting, burmese exiles in bangladesh called on the international community not to recognize the results of the election. a group of more than 20 women gathered in front of the supreme court building, chanting slogans against the military rulers and seeking assistance. they say some the's poll is
>> hinojosa: her play, the vagina monologues, has been performed and banned all over the world, and her global campaign to end violence against women and girls has motivated millions to take action. playwright, author, and women's rights activist eve ensler. i'm maria hinojosa, this is one on one. eve ensler, playwright, author, activist; welcome to our program. it's great to have you here. >> well, i'm so happy to be here. >> hinojosa: so if people don't know, the thing that you are most well-known for is your play
the vagina monologues, and what's amazing is-- because as i was prepping for this, i was thinking and i was reading everything and i was like, "my god, you know, ten years ago, that word-- 'vagina'-- would have not been said, you know, on public television." so when you sit back and you think, "wow, i really have had an impact," i mean, on many levels, but on that particular issue-- the fact that you have changed how one word about a woman's most intimate anatomy is seen and discussed. what does that mean for you? >> you know, it's really hard to evaluate what you've done, you know, and it's actually not for me to figure out... >> hinojosa: and you're such a humble person, i know that, but... >> what i feel good about is that people seem to say the word more, and what is significant about that is it means that vaginas actually exist, and if they exist, then we can have agency and rights over our vaginas, and we can know what gives them pleasure or doesn't give them pleasure, and we can say "no" when we mean no, and we can... we can actually create a reality so that bad things don't
happen to them in the dark-- and that's exciting to me. >> hinojosa: because essentially, you know, your generation, my generation-- it was just something that you never, ever, ever talked about, ever looked at, ever discussed, ever thought about. >> and also never had any pleasure around. you know, we were talking about-- the other day, friends of mine-- when we were brought up, we weren't taught that sex was something that could give you pleasure, or that emboldened your life, or that was a central part of who you were; it was something you did to have babies, or something you did and you didn't talk about it, or you just "got through," like an exam, do you know? and the idea that women now can actually know their bodies and know their vaginas and know their clitoris and know what gives them pleasure, so that men and women can be in this-- or men... or women and women, or whatever people choose to be in partnership with-- but that our sexuality's part of our life, and not something that's embarrassed, or hidden, or censored or muted. it's our life force; it's where our energy comes from. >> hinojosa: so when you look out into america, let's--
because you do a lot of international work, and we're going to get into that in a second-- but what do you see? because i always feel like it's constant contradiction, you know? on the one hand, a sense of younger women feeling empowered-- being able to talk about their vaginas, et cetera-- on the other hand, it feels like, you know, very crude; that somehow women who are, you know, more sexually "out there" are using it in a way that maybe is not the... what do you see when you look out? >> you know, i know this is a general way of seeing it, but-- and the word is still not the best word-- but patriarchy is still alive, you know? we're still living within a patriarchal structure. >> hinojosa: so define "patriarchy" for our viewers. >> to me, patriarchy is really the notion that there is a father... kind of omnipotent father state, and the mechanisms of that are kind of occupation domination. i think it means that values that are not necessarily attributable to a man or a woman but maybe called feminine-- values of cooperation, values of
emotions, values of connecting to people and doing things through invitation, and doing things on the basis of agreement rather than domination, or, you know, just even the way see the earth, for example. that the earth is something alone to us. she's... she's a gift to us, and we are to honor her, and to cherish her, and to replenish her, and to think of all the ways we can keep her sacred and alive. patriarchy is about how you take from the earth, and get from the earth, and plummet the earth, and plunger the earth, and reap what you can in the moment so you'll have the most power, and the most resources, and the most money-- and the most power. >> hinojosa: and be the biggest guy. >> the biggest, the strongest... >> hinojosa: the biggest country on the block. >> right, and so it's all about power, isn't it? it's all about keeping yourself in a place of domination, and keeping yourself in a place where you're on top. and i think, for me, as long as that paradigm is still the paradigm that we're living in, women will always be stifled,
muted, objectified, because that's part of how that paradigm keeps in place. >> hinojosa: well, what about when you have more women who are kind of owning their power, let's say politically? >> i think what happens very often in this culture is that women think the way to get ahead is to mirror themselves on the basis of men who are in power, and so, often, when they come into leadership positions, they still operate the way men operate. and actually, sometimes, they're actually more vigilant in that role because they have to prove that they're more men than men are. and so sometimes they end up becoming more oppressive in those roles. >> hinojosa: more of a bully? >> more of a bully. and i think, what does it mean for a woman to be in power? that's a really... what does it mean for someone to be in power in their feminine empowered self? and that can be true for a man too, and i think... michelle obama, to me, kind of epitomizes that. she is somebody who creates dialogue, she's somebody who's not afraid to get on her knees and hug children, but you see she doesn't lose her power by doing that.
she's someone who's not afraid to look at a world of... whether it's racial injustice or economic injustice or whatever it is, and call that out and say, "how are we going to find a new kind of form of justice?" and i think, to me, she embodies someone who's a very strong woman, who's a very, very... i think one of the reasons people are so scared of her bare arms, to be honest, is because they're... they're bare. there's a vulnerability at the same time as this incredible strength, and to me, she's just... she's a woman, you know? and to see that in that kind of leadership role, to me is very, very helpful. >> hinojosa: so i want to talk about you personal story, but before we get to that, let's talk.... because there are probably a lot of people who maybe have never seen the vagina monologues, don't know anything about what you created after the vagina monologues, which is something called v-day. let's start with the vagina monologues. you decided... you started
talking to somebody about menopause. >> right. >> hinojosa: a woman. >> yep. >> hinojosa: and that led you to just start talking to a lot of women about their vaginas... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...and then you put it together in a play that had an extraordinary outpouring. it... how many countries has it played in now? >> 130. >> hinojosa: and it's still... where is it... is it... >> oh, it's running... this year on v-day there were 5,000 productions of it. i mean, it's running all over the world. it's been running in paris and mexico city for ten years. >> hinojosa: i know, i was like, "really?" >> i know. >> hinojosa: non-stop. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: so after... after the vagina monologues, you said one of the things that happened was that you had a lot of women coming and talking to you not about feeling empowered about their sexuality; they were actually coming to you and sharing stories of abuse... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...of sadness. and so then what did you decide to do with all of those stories? >> well, i think when i did the show, it brought up so much stuff for women. and at first, i thought, "this will be great. women will share their wonderful sex lives, their great orgasms," and... no. what happened was... >> hinojosa: literally, you were
thinking that? you were like... >> no, i was thinking, "i'll get new stories; it will be..." and what happened was 95% of the women-- and they would literally line up after the show with this kind of desperation-- 95 were there to tell me they'd been raped, they'd been incested, they'd been beaten, they'd been mutilated... it was overwhelming. >> hinojosa: and you were totally not expecting that. >> well, i knew there was violence against women. i'm a survivor-- i knew. but i... i had no idea of the epidemic proportions. i had no idea of the centrality of it. i had no idea how... how many women; the global nature of it. that has been the huge awakening, and as i said to a friend of mine who works on this issue as well yesterday, it's the thing that's in the center of everything-- it's the big story that no one wants to talk about. i was in prison yesterday with women who i've been working with for a long time. i hadn't seen them in a while. you know, 95% of women in prisons are there because of violence against women-- women who are homeless, women who can't hold jobs-- and we can go down the list-- women who are depressed, women who are having
diseases, women who can't stay in relationships, women who end up being batterers or are abusive to their children. if you really look back, you will see women who were raped as children, who were incest as children, and by the way, i think it's going to end up being true about men, as well. i think, if we really want to look at what's going on with men and why... and not every man, by any means, is a perpetrator. i would say most men are not perpetrators. the problem is the men who aren't perpetrators don't stand up to speak out to their brothers and fathers and uncles and sons who are perpetrators. >> hinojosa: and say things, for example, when they are in a conversation, they don't stop them and say, "don't talk like that around me." >> exactly. >> hinojosa: "don't use that terminology." >> exactly. they don't break the brotherhood. they don't risk losing their stature and their power in the circle of men. and i think one of the things that's really important is that we help everybody begin to identify how traumatized they are. men are traumatized and
humiliated and ashamed, and what they do is they become more violent, and they become more macho, and they become more proving, you know, how sure of themselves they are. women are... end up, often, on the end of that. and i don't want to demonize anyone. i think when i started this movement, you know... years ago, being a survivor, i had a lot of my own anger and a lot of... at my father, at, you know, at men in general. i don't feel that anymore. i feel we're all in this struggle together. i want men to be with us; i want men to own this issue; i want men to see this is theirs so that we work in partnership to stop the violence, you know? >> hinojosa: so eve, you wanted to focus on men, but actually, right after the vagina monologues, you really focused in on women by creating v-day. there are probably some people who are watching this who are saying, "v-day; what is that?" >> well, it began, actually... once i discovered all this violence, i was going to stop doing the vagina monologues, because i felt immoral to see all these women expressing and
telling their stories, and not intervening on their behalf. so in 1998, i got a group of friends together and i said, "look, i have this play. how could we use this play to stop violence against women? not manage it; not contain it; but end it?" and we came up with this idea of v-day, which was valentine's day, vagina day, ending violence against women day. and we said, "we'll do one event in new york, and we'll ask every great actor we know, and see if they'll, you know, perform." and, you know, we asked everyone from rosie perez to glenn close to susan sarandon to whoopi-- everybody said, "yes," it was... not everybody, two people didn't. but we did this we did this performance, and it rocked new york. 2,500 people came; you could just feel the earth move. and really, from that point to now, which is 11 years ago, this movement has just taken off. and, you know, i look back-- 11 years ago, we were in one city, you know, one event. it's now 11 years later; this year there were 1,400 places in the world that did 5,000 events.
we raised $70 million... >> hinojosa: wow! >> ...and that's all happened through grass-roots activists in their local communities standing up, finding their vagina warrior power to end violence and take back their bodies. and, you know, i wish you could see some of these women who have been doing the show and doing, you know, v-day for maybe five years-- they're fierce, and they're loving, and they're funny, and they're sexy, and they're alive, and they're into pleasure, and they're running for office. and they're, you know... and they're coming into power in a whole new kind of way. >> hinojosa: well, i guess this leads us into your own story. you were growing up in, what you like to call a wonderfully secure, suburban america-- scarsdale, new york; white picket fence, the whole thing... >> literally. >> hinojosa: literally. but there wasn't a lot of dialogue about what was happening behind that white picket fence. >> no, and i think that's the sham, right? that's the sham. you know, inside my house, you
know, i had a father who was, like, a corporate president, and meanwhile, he was violent; he was a perpetrator. my life was completely violent, you know? >> hinojosa: from the time that you were five... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...to ten. >> well, five to ten was the sexual violation, and then that continued in the form of physical violence until i left. and if i look at my life, i really was a consequence of violence. like, everything about my life was determined by violence in some fundamental way. so i was crazy. >> hinojosa: but you weren't talking about it, right? >> nobody was talking about it. nobody was talking about it. i had to act like everything was happy and, you know, i was privileged , and white, and everything was beautiful. and meanwhile, i was destroyed inside and i became crazy with drugs, and crazy... very promiscuous, and very wild, very young, very self destructive. i was on a very, very suicidal trajectory. >> hinojosa: and what were you doing... i mean, when you knew that you, kind of, had this history but you weren't talking
about it... >> burying it. burying it. burying it. because, you know, as i said to a friend of mine the other day, to tell your story, you risk the end of your family. you know, it's kind of... i have a good friend who used to say to me, "it's either your integrity or your family," you know? >> hinojosa: that's a really hard choice. >> it's really hard... you... to tell the truth, often it means you will be exiled from the tribe. it doesn't matter whether it's talking about the palestinian/israeli conflict; whether your talking about any kind of truth that is real, you will be exiled from some club, some tribe, some form, and that means you have to essentially live your life from that point on as a nomad, which i'm very happy with now. like, i am a vagina nomad traveling the planet, and i am happy. but early on, to risk the loss of that feels like the end of your life; and that's why it's so difficult for so many women to come forward and tell the truth. like in the congo, where we're spending... >> hinojosa: you are... have now
spent a lot of time there. i remember you talking about the fact that you felt like bosnia was a place where you needed to be, and now it feels like you need to be in the democratic republic of congo. you have spent so much time there; you've testified in front of congress. why has the congo now become such an important part of your life? >> well, you know, it's funny. this morning i got an email early this morning about a little girl who's three-- her name is chantel-- who was on her way to the hospital. she had been raped by a gang. >> hinojosa: she was three years old... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...and raped... >> ...by a gang, and she died on the way to the hospital. now, just imagine what kind of rape that has to be to murder you. when i first heard the stories from the congo from an extraordinary man named dr. mukwege, i literally couldn't believe it. like, i have been in bosnia, i've been in afghanistan, i've been in haiti; i've been in some pretty rough places where there's enormous violence, but maria, what's going on in the congo... and it's an economic war. it is fueled by the west's need for coltan and other minerals
which actually fuel our cell phones, fuel our computers. so basically, it's the west, again, doing a kind of economic colonialism which is plundering the minerals of the congo. and the way that happens is that the militias go in and they rape and destroy the communities, the communities flee, and they take over the mines. >> hinojosa: so if... if someone like you, who's not an expert political scientist or an ambassador per se-- you know it easy; you've just explained it in a minute-- where is the resistance to moving forward? >> well, it is a huge question. look, the conflict in the congo has been going on for 12 years; six million people have died-- six million. it is estimated that probably between 200,000 and 500,000 women have been raped and tortured, okay? in bosnia, that conflict happened and within two years, those rape camps-- you know, it was estimated 20,000 to 40,000-- it was stopped. white women, eastern europe.
we're talking about... i have to say it. like, having now campaigned for two years on this, and you really hear the most horrendous, horrific stories of my life-- to the point where i don't really sleep very much anymore, because once those kind of stories enter you, and you feel the people, and you hug the people, and you hold the girls, and you hug... they're in your soul forever. they're in your soul forever. why isn't the world responding? why? what is stopping... and i can only believe, on some level, that it's racism; that we have an attitude towards black people in particular-- and black women in particular-- that somehow, the destinies of african women have already been decided, do you know? they've already been written off, you know? people in the congo, well, that's... that's the heart of darkness. that's... i think it's actually the heart of racism. i think it's... the people in the congo are some of the most beautiful, extraordinary people i have ever met. and that country is central to africa-- it is central to the heartbeat of africa. to have allowed, as an international community, this
kind of level of atrocity to go on for this long is on all our backs. it's on all our heads, particularly when we're using cell phones that have that kind of blood on them. >> hinojosa: but i'm sure that there are some people, eve, who hear you and they think, "it just sounds too overwhelming, and i'm not even sure if i even want to hear the stories, if eve, who goes there and is in the country and comes back and can't sleep because she's hearing this." what about women-- and men-- who just say, "it's too much, it's too big, it's too far, it's too overwhelming, and i can't." >> it's a really good question, and here's what i have to say: look, i don't see the world as such a big, huge-- i see it as a very small world. everything each one of us does impacts somebody at some moment, whether we use our cell phones and that colton is here... we're all so interconnected now. you can't say, "it's too much for me to bear," because if it
were happening to you, how would you feel if other people said, "it's too much to bear?" you know, when i went to afghanistan in the 1990's and i saw what the taliban was doing to women, i came back and i had, literally, a video that the revolutionary association of the women of afghanistan had taken under their burkas, where they documented the atrocities in a stadium where a woman was shot in her head for flirting. i brought that to every... >> hinojosa: for flirting? >> for flirting. i brought that back and i took that to every media outlet in america, and you know what they said to me? "no one cares about the women of afghanistan." i said, "listen to me. you better care, because when you see something that is that immoral and is ending rights so severely, you know it will impact you eventually." look what happened-- 9/11. i will say the same thing about the congo. if we, as human beings, allow this kind of atrocity to happen to our sisters and brothers anywhere in the world, it will eventually impact all of us. it's already impact all of us-- even if we pretend we don't know it in our consciousness, do you
know? i remember, in the reagan years, when there were many, many homeless people on the street-- and i was already involved with nuclear disarmament; working all these issues-- and i just couldn't deal with homeless people. it was like, "i can't take it in." and my friend kept saying to me, "i want you to come to this shelter; i want you..." i kept saying, "i don't want to, because once this door opens, i know..." but i got progressively depressed, because every time i would walk past a homeless person, i'd have to shut some part of myself off, so my energy was getting... and then one day, i finally went to the shelter, and i met the women, and i sat with the women, and you know what? i felt pain-- but i felt alive, because i was in connection with them; and my energy came back, and my... and that's what i would say to people. you know, yes, it's painful to feel other people's pain, but it also is the road to your own life force; the road to your own humanity-- which is the only thing that gives us any kind of life. >> hinojosa: so what happens, eve, though-- and i love the fact that you talk about the fact that you say, "look, i live
with this darkness. sometimes i cry on an hourly basis," other days are great days when you feel entirely empowered. but what happens when you leave these countries? when you come in, you open the door-- there's talk. these women are able to unload, but then you leave. >> but i don't leave. i mean, v-day doesn't leave. i mean, one of the... i think the great things about the movement is that v-day is women everywhere. right now, we now have v-day congo where we are in partnership with many, many local groups on the ground who are really motivating the v-day movement and motivating the campaign-- women who have been working there forever to empower women and stop the rapes, and i'm coming late to the party. we now are opening a huge facility called the city of joy, which will be for women survivors to turn pain to power, to create leaders. we've created a massive campaign all through the congo-- through eastern congo-- and all over the world. if you go on the v-day website you'll see the v-wall for congo,
where women and men across the planet have written letters and sent in pictures for the women that just got printed and put up on the walls of the hospital in bukavu, where all the rape survivors are. so we don't leave. there isn't one country, because v-day is the local women. it's not like we're somebody outside the country coming in-- v-day only exists if women in the country take the movement and make it theirs. >> hinojosa: and what happens to these women who are then in their countries, kind of opening this up? >> they get powerful, and more powerful, and right now, we've done... they've done breaking the silence events there, where they've told their stories publicly. we're just about to do another event in kinshasa. there's been mad, powerful street demonstrations. i predict to you, in three to five years, they'll be a major women's movement that will take over the congo, if we keep going. i do. i think it'll happen. the women are so fierce and they're so resilient, and all they need is a little support to direct their own destinies, to take agency over their bodies,
over their countries, and they will turn that country around. >> hinojosa: so tell me, eve, how do you handle it? i mean, you take all this stuff in; you're managing amazing projects, you're in the prisons-- you're also working with women in prison-- you're traveling... what do you do with it all? >> you know... >> hinojosa: i mean, you said you don't sleep, which worries me... >> well, sometimes i don't sleep. sometimes... you know... i'm an emotional... you know, i have a new book called i am an emotional creature-- the secret life of girls around the world-- i'm an emotional creature. i... my life, you know... i have days when i'm wildly happy, and i have hours where-- like this morning i was on the phone with chantel who's three years old, who didn't make it to the... hospital. i was just... destroyed. but you let that move through you and you let yourself... you let yourself be connected to the river of humanity, and swimming in that. i swim that river, you know? i want to be in that river; i don't want to be outside the river. i don't want to live in a mall. i don't want to live, you know, with things that protect me from human beings. this is what we're here to do;
to engage with each other, and sometimes that's a glorious process. sometimes my heart feels so much pain for what's going on in the congo or in haiti or afghanistan. sometimes i see the victories of women. you know, we're seeing incredible victories of women all over the world who are having rights change, or having laws change, or coming into power... >> hinojosa: so there's progress for you? >> there's incredible progress! look, people... you know, when the floggings happened in pakistan a few months ago, within 24 hours there was everyone online-- here, there-- and the government, 48 hours later, stepped in. that didn't happen eight years ago, ten years ago. there is incredible progress happening. we have huge movements. there were 5,000 v-days this year-- that's a lot of v-days. >> hinojosa: okay, so here's what i want you to leave our audience with. imagine that there's a young woman or a girl who is having... you know, who needs to break; who needs to tell the truth. what does she do?
>> i think she finds one person she can trust in her community, and she tells her story-- because when you tell your story, that's the beginning. when you hear your story, when you know your story, when you manifest your story in a way that makes you exist. so much of what violence does is end our existential reality and rob us of meaning and existence, and i think, for young girls, it's so important that they tell their stories and they find a community of girls in which they're safe enough to tell those stories and then transform those stories. >> hinojosa: eve ensler, thank you for telling your story, and for transforming all of us. >> thank you. >> hinojosa: continue the conversation at wgbh.org/oneonone. captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org 4z