tv France 24 News PBS August 27, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
>> coming up, the drums of war for syria grow louder. america moves warships closer to their shores, u.s. politicians consider the idea of american intervention. the large amount of the public remains unpersuaded. in a u.s. colombian free trade deal signed 2011, they are causing colombian farmers big problems. more on this story, coming up.
and an nypd officer indicted on lying about the arrest of the new york times photographer. he claimed he was using a bright flash to interfere with another arrest, but the camera did not even have a flash. more on this case in today's show. hello, it is tuesday, august 27 at 5:00 p.m. in washington dc. we start with the latest from syria. u.s. officials have laid the groundwork for a possible military attack. here is chuck hagel speaking to the bbc on the department of defense's preparedness. >> the u.s. department of defense is ready to carry out those options. if that would occur, it would occur with coordination of international partners.
>> a response to a chemical weapons attack that occurred outside of damascus on august 21. the international allies say it is undeniable that the syrian president and his regime launched those attacks. the syrian foreign minister said he rejects "utterly and completely" that they have used chemical weapons. they have been moved closer to the shores of syria. intervention in the sovereign country is quite unpopular with americans. 42% do not think we should intervene. ponty eight percent believe we should and 30% say they do not know. cnn is reporting military strikes could begin as early as thursday.
to colombia where agricultural workers are taking to the streets to protest the government's farming policies. what started as a peasant uprising has quickly spread throughout the country. 200,000 people have launched demonstrations and blocked roads. protesters are being met with intense hostility. even sexual assaults have all been reported. they have claimed that the striking workers are being controlled by what he calls terrorists from the revolutionary armed forces of colombia. santos said his government will enter into negotiations with agricultural workers, but only if the roadblocks are lifted. he said he is determined to confront the problems and work hand-in-hand to see if we can
get out of this situation. a situation many believe was created by the free trade agreement that was supposed to eliminate things like tariffs and goods and services. it has increased the cost of items like fertilizer and fuel while flooding the market with cheap imports. to shed light on the how this free-trade deal is playing out, i was joined by a columbian- based labor solidarity organization and first acts him -- asked him about the ground. >> it takes the form of blockades, onion farmers, crawfish growers -- coffee growers. they are roadblocks to prevent normal circulation. this is also organized by truck
drivers who are blocking the road and transporting produce and other products. they have roadblocks with about 10 departments. this has also been supported by communities, unions, movements, and the reaction on the part of the colombian armed forces has been referred to as an excessive use of force. they have been reported sexual assaults, supplies to maintaining camp meant.
a huge amount of unwarranted arrests, and their is fire and other protesters. people have been killed as a result of that kind of activity. the other phenomenon is the arrest of the leaders as it happened throughout the country and the arrest of numerous bystanders. and the members of the negotiating team for the organization that were arrested the other day for reasons that a alleged his involvement. >> how long have the protests been going on?
>> they are more than a week old. ey startedas and throughout this week. this weekend, there were new blockades set up, municipalities. the effect is starting to be felt. the current situation is one of sort of intense calm because the government has awed with various reasons. >> what e their ultimate als? what they like to see that free- trade agreement be abolished? >> they're starting to feel the effects of the free trade agreemt very sharply. and the cost of producing things
like potatoes and coffee, and milk to compete with the prices of imported products that come from other countries. one of the other bonanza that we had was protecting the mental standard. and the truck drivers in particular are asking for one of the highest gasoline prices in the world, one of the largest producers of oil. and something that the colombian government could easily remedy. >> is it possible to abolish this free-trade agreement? >> that is a very good question that a lot of people are asking. i don't think it is very likely that the administration will go back. what is likely is that the same
thing will happen with the issue -- [indiscernible] in which the government agreed to raise the subsidy of coffee farmers. in terms of real long-term agreements between the government, it will be a lot more complicated. these issues, there will be a real possibility of dialogue between them. >> who is benefiting from this free-trade agreement? >> colombian landowners are benefiting from it. in addition to that, multinational corporations are benefiting hugely from the free- trade agreement.
i think talking about economic policy a bit broadly as well in terms of the liberal economic expansion of colombia that includes free trade and public services, the investment that takes the form of mining. these are the factors that are benefiting from the free trade agreement. the farmers agreed to be concerned, given that 5 million people have been internally displaced. i think people are afraid that this could end up being their fate as well. >> what do you personally believe is the best solution for the farmers and the country of columbia? >> i believe comprehensive agricultural policies that take into account small farmers would
be the best solution. the cost of gasoline is easily remedied. you start to look at the unions as well. all of whom looked at demand and opposition for the privatization of the healthcare union. immersing student organizations all asking for the privatization of education. so these are more difficult to address. >> one last question. can you talk about the relationship between the farmers and fark? they are considered a terrorist group by the colombian government.
>> it is very important because the colombian state tends to view rhetoric not only to be legitimizing grassroots protest movements, and this mobilization we are seeing currently, but this association is used as an excuse for repression of a movement and in the public eye, justifying that repression against protesters. i think it is an example of the lack of substance because for a number of reasons, the reason in which the protest was strongest is not a region which has armed conflict or strong support for any of the groups. there has been no evidence between the branches and the groups.
>> that was the executive director. in new york city, a bronx district attorney announced that an nypd officer was indicted on three felony counts and five misdemeanors after lying about the circumstances that led to the arrest of a new york times photographer. michael ackerman is accused of fabricating his reasons for arresting the photographer. ackerman claims that while trying to arrest a teenage girl, he distracted the officer with the flash on his camera. the office has dispelled his accounts after photographic evidence determined that the photographer did not use a flash and did not have one on his camera at the time.
away on leave. this is sending a very strong message that it is up to police leadership. when they violate the law, they will be held accountable. >> how often are officers exaggerating or lying? >> very regularly. increasingly so. it is not surprising that police are intimidated, they are not used to feeling like celebrities and getting their picture taken. i can identify with that. they don't want to have another account of what happened. they would rather it be exactly r what they say, whether it is fabricated or not. the fact is, when police are being ripped reported -- recorded, it just drops.
the citizens are going to be on their best behavior and police will act according to the law and are able to do their job just fine while remaining within the law. >> as an average civilian, what can we do to make sure the police are held accountable to the reports that they do and the truthfulness to their interactions with us? >> this is my camera right here. if i walk where a police encounter is happening, i will record it and put it in my passcode to protect your phone. when you are in that position, you will train yourself to do this because you will be shaking a little bit. this is a great application where i am recording this right now. turn your phone this way so you are not getting vertical video.
if you don't like the fact i am recording, you can snatch this out of my hand. i turn it off, i put it to sleep. that is automatically uploading. you can take this and smash it. i will have that recording to show to my lawyer. >> do high-quality recording devices make officers more accountable? that these are more prevalent in today's world, they are more accountable. >> i wrote an article called seven rules for recording police. i really lay out exactly how you want to present yourself and what you can do. to successfully record the police while reducing the likelihood of a bad incident.
no matter what about these laws in illinois, massachusetts, the courts are unconstitutional. you always have the right to record. you always want to flex your rights. officer, am i free to go? am i under arrest? i don't consent to any searches. more tips like this. >> i wish we could have more, we should have you back to fill us in on all seven. >> he is also the most effective when it is the privacy of his constituents. the producer tells us why he is
worth making note of when it comes to privacy. >> the piece of technology we consider vital to the conduct of our everyday professional life, it happens to be a combination phone bugged, listening device, location tracker, and hidden camera. >> we know the government is collecting sensitive information from e-mail to your mom to the text in calls of a significant other. it is not that easy to escape the eyes and ears of the federal government. on the local level, some people are looking to change that. >> i am a state representative out of montana. >> he made it is mission to keep government intrusion at bay, or at least, that is his ultimate goal. he has a number of legislation bills for privacy. he wants proof of probable cause
before obtaining location data. even though he is a newcomer, he is already making a difference. it transmits a signal to a local tower that concord and eight your precise location within inches. law enforcement doesn't need a warrant to get this information. montana was the first state to acquire probable cause. >> getting cell phone locations, we are talking about policy and privacy, where the two meet the% road. >> any entity with the right paperwork can go to a provider and request location data. often, they receive it without showing probable cause. it can be used to pinpoint the location. a person that knows can deduce
whether he is a weekly churchgoer, and unfaithful husband, and outpatient receiving medical treatment, an associate of particular individuals or political groups. that information is relatively easy to collect. now that montana has become the first state in the nation and dating probable cause, he hopes his message of privacy spreads. >> every state usually doesn't start with new legislation, they see someone else do it and copy it. >> they have nearly identical pieces of legislation following montana. >> we are giving up all these rights and has seen no gains in security. where is the balance? now we have no right to live our lives. that is the real question and that is the biggest concern that i think we have.
>> where is it going? how is it being used? i will tell you what. intent in government is great but it is usually misled and used the wrong way. >> on the local level, it does not hold true. the question now, will more states continue this trend? >> in austin, texas, investigating a report of a bleach filled balloon thrown at an african-american student on campus at the university of student. -- at the university of texas. he was only interrupted by a bleach bomb. >> i heard something exploding near me, and i feel like a light
>> what type of harm can this cause to someone. >> it is a very dangerous chemical that we are dealing with that can cause great harm to someone. what you're seeing is something very insidious about the type of value placed on black and brown students, saying that we should whitewash not just our textbooks and history, but the actual people. it is a disgusting act. to try to write it off as a prank, one of those things about trying to forge a colorblind society in which we don't take race into consideration as a factor in anything, it means that we don't look at the root laws is of this and we don't look at how to solve this
problem. >> some say that these bleach bombs are not targeting minorities specifically and just attacks that are at random to whoever is walking by when the perpetrator decides to throw a bleach bomb. is it clear that this is racially motivated? >> if you are investigating, and each person attacked have been black and brown or asian students, what else am i to believe? that they are simply random on the campus that is majority white that happens to be the random attacks on these black and asian students. i can't write that off as coincidence. >> are you surprised to see something of this nature taking place at the university of texas, an institution with one of the most diverse student bodies around. >> i am not surprised to see it happen anywhere.
we have to understand that we are not so far gone from our history of racism in this country that we are not still dealing with the vestiges of it. and that people don't harbor racist attitudes. they simply harbor racist ideas. if we adopt this attitude in this country. >> is something like this unprecedented? or are there similar incidents taking place across the country that you have seen or heard of. >> this is also indicative of the culture of college campuses
where people are dressing up in blackface and holding racist parties, dressing in traditional asian garb, white students appropriating all of these different cultures. and again, seeing it not in the context of the history of racism, but to minimize the experience of black and brown people in this country. >> what do you think the implications of this are >> for future generations of minority students seeking higher education. >> it means that we have so much more work to do as far as this project of integration. it is not on black and brown students to open up the hearts of their white compatriots and say, except me, it is on white students, white america, to
teach and not just acceptance, but antiracism and to be more accommodating to make sure that these institutions we are asked to integrate into our welcoming and are not openly hostile to students of color. >> tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the march on washington, marking the fight to end the segregation altogether. what do you think it says about the work still left to be done? >> just like i feel every single day, we have so much more work to do and more to fight for. it is a radical project we have to undertake and won't happen overnight or with one single rally. it is going to take us working every single day to fix this problem. >> michael bendel smith, a fellow at the nation institute.
elsewhere, in an effort to provide more information about government requests for user data, facebook has followed google's lead and released its first ever transparency report. it comes as no surprise to learn that the u.s. makes dramatically more request for data than any other country. the u.s. made between 11 and 12,000 requests for user data. india came in second with over 3000 and the uk with 1000. the u.s. was in the lead for the number of user accounts. it covers basic subscriber information to ip address logins and actual content. facebook provided additional data on the different types of accounts. that does it for now. for more on the stories, you can go to youtube.com/rtamerica.
you can follow me on twitter. see you at 8:00. hello and welcome to "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. the alleged chemical weapons aattack in syria last week could result in military action by the united states and some european nations. some u.s. media report u.s. forces could strike syria