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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 20, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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05/20/16 05/20/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from toronto, canada, this is democracy now! >> more than a century ago, a great injustice took place. on may 23, 1914, a steamship vancouver. on board were 376 passengers of sikh, muslim, and hindu origin. those passengers chose canada. when they arrived here, they were rejected. -- a century ago,
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canadian prime minister justin trudeau apologizes for canada's history of discriminating against south asians in what is known as the komagata maru incident. a century ago, the premier of this a white man's country." we will speak to filmmaker ali kazimi. then we look at the recent 15 day occupation of a canadian office overseeing indigenous affairs office here in toronto. comes together to tell you, in your face, you have got to respect this. we're humans. every single one of us are humans. private property on stolen land. amy: it was led by
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black lives members -- black lives matter members in toronto. addressing youth suicides and first nation committed these. we will look at how the movements are working together here in canada. all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from toronto, canada. san francisco police chief gregory suhr has been ousted following weeks of hunger strikes and protesting over police killings in the city. said at -- mayor edwin lee he asked for the resignation after a police officer shot and killed an unarmed african-american woman in a car in the bayview district, the same neighborhood or officers shot and killed mario woods in december. >> these officer involved
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shootings, justified or not, have forced our city to open its of whento questions and how police use lethal force. that is why i have asked for chief suhr for his resignation. the best injures -- interest of the city he loves so much, he tendered his resignation early today, despite the political rhetoric of the past be weeks, i have nothing but profound admiration for granted. he is a true public servant and he will always have respect. ouster comes after activist known as the frisco five held a more than two weeks hunger strike demanding the police chief's departure. they issued a statement which was read aloud at a gathering outside city hall. people made this happen. we have won this battle, but the war is not over. it is said that 22 people had to lose their lives at the hands of
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the sf pd. we want the officers involved in these shootings charged with murder, demand an immediate meeting with the interim chief to discuss real reform created by the community. is the thirdsuhr police chief of a major u.s. city to be ousted within the last year amidst nationwide protest to many racial justice and an end to police brutality. baltimore's police commissioner anthony batts was fired after the death of freddie gray, while chicago police superintendent was ousted following the release of the video showing the police killing of laquan mcdonald who was shot 16 times by chicago police officer jason van dyke. the egyptian military says it has found debris from egyptair flight 804 which crashed thursday on route from karas to cairo. authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash.
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the minister is is terrorism was a more likely cause than technical failure. the french parliament has voted to extend france's state of emergency for another two months. the emergency measures were approved followed me november 13 attacks in paris, giving president hollande sweeping expansion of state powers, including measures to permit police raids without a warrant. parliament member spoke out against the extension of the emergency measures. >> people have been called into question about things that have nothing to do with the fight against terrorism. the executive power left itself continuously dangerously forcing the state of emergency for measures that are destroying freedom. what's more of a means to an end, other than a fight against terrorism. amy: in japan, u.s. military contractor and former marine has confessed to having dumped the
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body of a 20-year-old japanese woman in a forest on the island of okinawa, which is home to u.s. military bases. the 32-year-old marine was arrested thursday. he is not confessed to killing the woman who disappeared last month. japanese prime minister abe spoke out. anger.el a strong i believe it is a regrettable situation. i am at a loss of words when i think of her family. amy: okinawa residents have long protested the right -- presence of the u.s. troops on the island of saying they bring crime and pollution. the israeli defense minister has resigned saying "i fault with all my might against manifestations of extremism, violence and in israeli society. it comes only days after the deputy chief of staff compared modern-day israel to "nauseating trends" in nazi-era germany.
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benjamin netanyahu has offered the position to the right wing ultranationalist politician of lieberman, considered to be one of the most hawkish politicians in israel. meanwhile, palestinian journalist has returned home to the west bank after holding a 94 day hunger strike to protest his indefinite detention by israel. the journalist is a reporter for the saudi news agency. he was accused of being involved with come asked. his wife spoke upon his release. >> it is a feeling of happiness that cannot be described on this historic day. we thought that mohammed might die during the hunger strike, but now that is just a memory. amy: in canada, prime minister justin trudeau continues to apologize for a lowering mp while on the floor of canada's
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parliament. the elbow in came as trudeau was attempting to pull a conservative lawmaker toward his seat, so the parliament could begin a vote on assisted dying. in the process, trudeau elbowed the female lawmaker, sparking outrage from conservatives. meanwhile, the canadian food inspection agency has approved the genetically modified salmon for sale as food will stop it is the first genetically modified animal approved in canada. aqua advantage say my was developed by massachusetts-based aqua bounty technologies. they grow twice as fast as natural salmon. in india, severe heat wave has shattered the national benchmark for the hottest day on record as the temperature in the city of phalodi topped a staggering 123 degrees fahrenheit. several hundred people have died so far from the extreme temperatures across india, increasingly deadly heat waves have been linked to climate change. a new report by human rights watch has found that thousands of u.s. service members were
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unfairly discharged from the military after reporting a rape or sexual assault. many of the survivors received other than honorable discharges that prevented them receiving benefits. others were discharged with diagnoses of "personality disorders." one sexual assault survivor spoke out. when into8 years old, military intelligence and went to the marine corps ball where i was sexually assaulted. after reporting the rape, my entire career in the military went from excelling an extremely promising path to ultimately being discharged with a personality disorder. amy: immigration lawyers are once again suing the obama administration over its practice of immigrant family detention arguing the federal government , is violating a federal judge's ruling prohibiting children from being detained for extended periods of time in jail-like facilities. this comes as ice is reportedly preparing to launch a month-long
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campaign rates aimed at rounding up and deporting undocumented central american mothers and children. on wednesday, dozens of mothers detained in the south texas family residential center wrote a letter to the director of ice, saying -- "we did not leave our countries to live a picture-perfect life in the united states. befled so that we would not killed. we came seeking asylum, as is our right, and instead have been subjected to a new hell of detention," they wrote. imprisoned army whistleblower chelsea manning has formally appealed her conviction and imprisonment, arguing arguing her 35-year prison sentence is "grossly unfair and unprecedented." her appeal argues, "no whistleblower in american history has been sentenced this harshly." in 2013, manning was convicted of passing hundreds of thousands of documents to wikileaks. the canadian government is pledging to examine its own practice of detaining asylum
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seekers after a string of deaths inside detention centers. one refugee died on saturday at edmonton remand center, while two other refugees died while in the custody of the canada border services agency this spring in ontario. the oklahoma senate has passed a bill that makes performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. oklahoma governor mary fallin has not said whether she will sign the bill. pro-choice groups say the bill is unconstitutional and will not stand up to a legal challenge. in oregon, residents of hood river county have voted to block nestle waters from building a $50 million bottling plant that would have sucked 100 million gallons of water out of oxbow springs each year. the ballot initiative, which was passed tuesday, bans all large water bottling operations in the county. in mexico, parents of the 43 students who disappeared in september 2014 protested outside
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the foreign ministry thursday, demanding experts from the inter-american human rights commission returned to mexico and reopened their investigation. the experts have accused the mexican government of stonewalling their probe. meanwhile in new york city, a father of one of the missing students met with the un's special repertoire on the rights of indigenous peoples. to investigate his son's disappearance. he spoke out after the meeting. the rapid tour about the invitation we propose last year and she said she wrote to the mexican government asking to be invited to investigate them a but she did not receive an answer. now she's going to ask again and we hope she will get an answer. we help hope the mexican government will open its doors to her and we especially hope she goes to see what the mexican government has done to us. in florida, 32-year-old african-american transgender woman was murdered sunday in a parking lot. mercedes successful was an
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active member of the lgbtq nudity enhances the and represented jamaica where she was born in the gay caribbean 2014 usa pageant. cbs news legend morley safer has died at the age of 84. safer was the longest-serving correspondent in "60 minutes" history, filing a total of 19 -- 919 stories over his 46 years. he filed one of them a significant stories of the vietnam war when he reported on u.s. marines torching a village. the story changed the way the vietnam war was reported. he received death threats after he was aired. he died thursday at his home in manhattan. he was born here in toronto, canada. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in toronto, canada, broadcasting from the studios of the canadian broadcasting corporation. canadian prime minister justin
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trudeau has formally apologized for the 1914 komagata maru incident in which canada turned away a japanese steamship in order to prevent more than 370 indians, including six muslims and hindus from immigrating to , canada. the move was widely acknowledged to be aimed at keeping indians out of canada. then premier of british columbia sir richard mcbride said at the time, "we always have in mind the necessity of keeping this a white man's country." on wednesday, more than a century after the boat was turned away, prime minister justin trudeau apologized. >> mr. speaker, today i rise in this house to offer an apology on behalf of the government of canada for our role in the komagata maru incident. [applause] more than a century ago, a great injustice took place. on may 23, 1914, a steamship
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sailed into vancouver. on board were 376 passengers of sikh, muslim, and hindu origin. those passengers, like millions of immigrants to canada before and since, came seeking better lives for their families, greater opportunities, a chance to contribute to their new home. those passengers chose canada. and when they arrived here, they were rejected. no words can erase the pain and suffering they experienced. regrettably, the passage of time means that none are alive to hear our apology today. still we offer it, fully and sincerely. for our indifference to your plight, for our failure to recognize all that you had to
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offer, for the laws that discriminated against you so senselessly and for not apologizing sooner, for all of these things we are truly sorry. just as we apologize for past wrongs, so, too, must we commit ourselves to positive action, to learning from the mistakes of the past and a making sure that we never repeat them. that is the unique promise and potential of canada. amy: that was canadian prime minister justin trudeau speaking on wednesday, formally apologizing for the 1914 komagata maru incident. the tragedy of the komagata maru was told in the 2004 documentary, "continuous journey." this is part of the film's trailer. >> may 20 third, 1914,
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immigration officers around the onegata maru and anchor it kilometer from shore. no one can land. no reasons are given. who are these men? sea for twomers at long months. their british subjects finally thising the shores of dominion. they believe they can go anywhere in the empire. promoted by imperial interests, the assertion that all british subjects are equal within and throughout the empire. the attempt by canada to exclude south asians from entering had the potential to explicitly explode that myth. >> there could not really be an
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open policy of exclusion. it had to be a concealed one. it had to be one that could be. >> denied in 1908, the prime minister, after younger cat mckinsey can, came to design such a veiled policy. he was clear in his, dental report. >> the kenneth fisher remain a white man's country is not only desirable, but believed to be necessary on political and social realms. amy: that was part of the trailer for the award-winning documentary on komagata maru incident called "continuous journey." for more, we're joined here in toronto by its director, ali kazimi. he is a filmmaker, writer, scholar, and visual artist. he is also the chair of the department of cinema & media arts at york university. he is the author, "undesirables: white canada and the komagata maru." on wednesday, was in the audience when justin trudeau formally apologized. welcome to democracy now!
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talk about the significance of the canadian prime minister's apology 100 years after what took place. >> i think it is significant. we just heard over and over again in the clips and in your quote that canada was imagined as a white man's country and that assertion was repeated during the debates in the house of commons 100 years ago and even before that. assert thehe 1967, i canada had what was effectively a whites only immigration policy . and one of the instruments of keeping the country white man's country was the continuous journey regulation, which prevented the komagata maru. amy: why was a called "continuous journey"? >> you had to come back continuous journey from your country of nationality or -- what the authorities were worried about is if canada
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denied indians the right to enter, and it would go up in flames. this was a real fear. policy had to be designed that was veiled so mackenzie king, who later became one of the longest standing prime minister's, design the policy which said, you just have to come back continuous journey. it made no mention of race or nationality and there in lies its brilliance. therefore, it has been ignored by historians as thing an instrument of racial exclusion. amy: at the time of the komagata maru incident in 1914, malcolm reid was the dominion immigration agent canada's , west-coast gatekeeper. he laid siege to the komagata maru. the man who had appointed reid and gave him orders resided in ottawa -- federal member of parliament h.h. stevens. this clip from ali kazimi's documentary, "continuous journey," we begin with an actor recreating h.h. stevens views on hindus.
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>> hh stevens. a hindu never did one solitary thing for humanity in the past 2000 years, and will probably not in the next 2000. >> hh stevens was a strong opponent of asian immigration. of course, his voters supported his position. >> it was absolutely a part of the nationbuilding project for canada both to say these are people who can become canadians, these are people who cannot. say, andp of that, to we have the power to exercise that. amy: i want to go to another clip from the documentary "continuous journey." , here we learn how canada discriminated against particular immigrants depending on their alleged desirability. >> building in vancouver since the early days when shiploads of
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indian immigrants started arriving. the authorities did everything they could to discourage them from settling in canada. >> it was clear that politicians were talking about a white canada policy. it was proclaimed every day in newspapers. it was proclaimed in parliament, you know, johnny mcdonald and one of his first speeches to parliament got up and said, canada is a white man's country. we will create immigration policies to create a white man's country. >> the anti-asian drives in 1907 forced the government into action. but it had to be careful. canada was still stuck in the empire. >> canada, as such, does that control its own foreign-policy. to understand and what measures canada takes regarding the --ury of foreign nationals entry of foreign nationals indicated itself, you have to take into account how britain
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would be those policies and terms of its larger imperial interests. >> china at that time was on the international scene, a weak state. chinese citizens, to get into canada, were obliged to pay a head tax. was exclusion by head tax insulting, but because the chinese did not have the diplomatic weapons to counter that, that is what canada did. amy: that is a clip from the film, " "continuous journey." writer,mi, the director, phil maker, scholar, continue on what we just heard. also, interesting as they talked about hindus -- in fact, the vast majority of people on the boat were not hindus, but sikh. >> i think the term hindu was used to describe people from india at that point. it was a distinction made because -- to avoid confusion
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between the indigenous peoples of canada, the so-called indians at the time, and so anyone coming from south asia who was brown, who wore a turban, and many south asians were not sikhs also wore turbans at that point, were simply labeled as hindus. amy: so talked about how you got interested in this. >> i came to canada in 1983. when i arrived at the airport, the immigration officer took me aside for interrogation. i came here as a foreign student to attend york university where i am the chair now. one of the things he said to me after interrogating the was, the only reason i'm letting you into my country is because use the such good english. i thought, wow, this is an interesting moment. the power of immigration officers, the gatekeeper, was driven home. then as i try to make canada my home, i was trying to see how i fit into this canadian landscape. immigration early
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history, i found the answer to the question, if canadians see themselves as will to cultural always -- inclusion, multicultural always, why did the demographics not reflect that? largely, candidate is still a white country. with increasing diversity come up but that has not always been the case. and that took me to all of these politely referred to as exclusionary policies, which were in fact, racist immigration laws. amy: let's get to the end of what happens. i want to go back to your documentary, ali kazimi, "continuous journey." here we learn how the komagata some 26ident ends with people killed and more than two dozen passengers listed as missing. of september 20 6, 2 months after heading out from vancouver, the komagata maru reaches the coast of india. as i traveled to what used to be
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-- now bangladesh, i can't help thinking about the return. once again, the komagata maru must anchor just off the coast. fororities are convinced -- three days they call me ships for weapons and find nothing. on the 29th of september, the kilometerserted 27 short of its final destination, kolkata. the passengers see this as another trick. tension is running high. as soon as they land on indian soil, british troops surround them. a scuttle breaks out. i understood at once the
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meaning of this act. given for this unprovoked attack. three or four of my men looked at me on their shoulders and carried me to safety. replied,ed, but they "you will tell the sad story of the komagata maru." amy: ali kazimi, take it from there to what happened at the end? >> in the end, many of the people on -- the survivors after the shooting were arrested. many were treated as seditious revolutionaries. amy: explain with the shooting happened. >> in a village 26 kilometers away from calcutta. the parties felt these people, many of whom were returning veterans of the british indian army, or going to cause another -- were going to cause another mutiny and the british army.
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this is the part that terrified the british, when india was immersed in the first world war by the time the ship got back and the indian army was the largest volunteer force of over one million men to serve in the first world war. afford toh could not lose india, nor could they afford to lose this immense force on their side in the first world war. meanwhile in canada, the continuous journey regulation, which was used to turn the ship regulationn absolute . we have something called the chinese exclusion act, which mirrored what happened in the u.s. but the chinese exclusion act was not as absolute as the continuous journey regulation, which effectively blocked immigration from canada until 1948. and canada did not drop its race-based immigration laws until 1967. amy: right now canada is dealing
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with major refugee stories. in the headlines today, prime minister trudeau continuing -- and the headlines today, get a canadian government pledging to examine its own practices detaining asylum seekers after a string of deaths inside detention centers. can you relate the two? >> absolutely. one of the things that happen with the komagata maru, the passengers were detained outside the rule of law. for two months. they suffered what is happening to me to tame these right now -- detainees right now who are being held in indefinite detention without due process. women and children are being held in detention in canada. the same thing happened on the komagata maru. there were women and children on board the ship who were driven to the edge of thursday starvation, deliberately by the immigration authorities. there are many patterns i
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continue to this day. canada has signed an agreement with the united states called the safer country agreement, which says refugees must come by direct journey from the country of persecution to canada and if they don't, they will have to seek asylum in the same third country they pass through. the vast majority of refugees to canada come to the u.s. border. now by blocking the border since 2003, amnesty international has condemned under the for the agreement, which has led to a massive drop -- a huge drop in refugee applications to canada. the continuous journey regulation on the one hand has been apologized for, but there are echoes of it in ongoing canadian immigration and refugee policies. amy: ali kazimi, if you asked most canadians about this apology on wednesday, they might not even have noticed because it has been consumed by another
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apology, in incident that happened on the same day in the commons where you -- a reception taking place were premised are trudeau was, and that is what happened with premised are trudeau trying to manhandle a conservative member of the parliament in tried to get him to sit down so they can vote on assisted dying and when he was doing this, he inadvertently elbowed a female member of the parliament. and this is just consumed all of the coverage of everything it seems right now in canada. you were there when cry minister trudeau said to you this would probably -- prime and mr. trudeau said to this would probably happen to a group of you, this apology. >> i was invited to be one of the witnesses. we went from one event to the other. it ended with a reception at which the prime minister came
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time, had, by this totally lost track of what was happening in the house. he then proceeded to apologize and allude to an event that had happened in the house which he predicted would take over the news of the apology. and then he apologized again and said, i regret this happened and i am going to be at the center of this and this is going to take over what we have just achieved today. he was quite prophetic about it. amy: how important is it for canadians to know what to lace a century ago? becausemely important this is not just south asian history, it is canadian history. it forces us to re-examine our thiself image as somehow country that is quite different and above what happens in the u.s. race makes people incredibly
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comfortable in canada. and any idea that these kind of incredibly racist and liberally designed laws exist in the country is still not widely known and canada. one of the things about the an apology,that both sides have to know what happened. amy: do you see this as canada's voyage of the damped? the ms st. louis, which took 900 juice away from nazi germany? they try to get into cuba. they were denied entry. they try to get into the u.s., denied entry, and they also try to get into canada full up dust canada. >> it was a second ship to be turned away. the first being the komagata maru. this was the pattern canada has in its history. whitea pardon based on superiority and that canada has to confront and has to face head on and we have not done that so far. the apology goes some part in
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addressing that. i'm glad the prime minister did not top it. that this was just about this one incident. i'm glad to see was acknowledged there were discriminatory laws. i think what is even more important for me, the leaders of the opposition to get a step further and said, these -- let's name it, these were racist immigration laws. the idea of race entered the house of commons and was talked about. that pleased me. the leader of the ndp connected it to what happened to a boatload -- a ship load of refugees who came four years ago i knew ship who were subjected to very similar conditions beyond the role of law by the then conservative government. they were put in hazmat suits and denied access to lawyers. they were detained indefinitely. they were denied access to the press. this is exactly what happened to the komagata maru. amy: i want to thank you, ali
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kazimi, for joining us, filmmaker, writer, scholar, and visual artist. he's the chair of the department of cinema & media arts at york university. his book, "undesirables: white canada and the komagata maru." we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: the hopes of 376 passengers . this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in toronto, canada. as we turn to look at how indigenous and black lives matter activists here in canada are working together to address state violence and neglect. last month, first nations people occupied the offices of canada's indigenous affairs department to demand action over suicides as well as water and housing crises in their communities. the protests came after the cree community of attawapiskat declared a state of emergency
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over attempted suicides. the community of 2000 saw 28 suicide attempts in march alone, and 11 on a single night in april. protesters set up occupations inside and outside the offices of indigenous and northern affairs canada in toronto, regina, winnipeg and gatineau, quebec. among those who took part in the occupation of the office here in toronto were local black lives matter activists, including yusra khogali. >> we know the only way [indiscernible] we are both targeted by the state in similar ways. a lack of access to proper housing. >> dealing with so much more than cuts and scrapes or lacerations, you're dealing with 500 years of genocide is to blur
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having to deal with on a daily basis. amy: protesters occupying an indigenous affairs office here in toronto, canada, last month. just weeks earlier, black lives matter activists in toronto launched a 15-day encampment outside police headquarters. the protests followed news there would be no criminal charges for the police officer who fatally shot a south sudanese refugee named andrew loku last july. a police watchdog said loku, who had a history of mental health problems, was wielding a hammer when he was shot.
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but a witness said loku's hands were at his side. among those who turned out in force at the encampment outside toronto police headquarters were first nations activists. well, to talk more about this: a sing of movements, we are joined now by four guests. erica violet lee is an indigenous rights activist with the idle no more movement and a student at the university of saskatchewan. hayden king is an indigenous writer and lecturer at carleton university's school of public policy in ottawa. leroi newbold is a member of the steering committee for black lives matter toronto and director of the black lives matter freedom school project. and desmond cole is a journalist and columnist for the toronto star and radio host on newstalk 1010. we welcome you all to democracy now! erica, talk about the protests in the occupation you were engaged in and the issues you feel are critical to raise four
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people, for an audience that is global. >> i think recognizing that we are on stolen indigenous land is to understanding solidarity between these movements, to understanding why indigenous use are being pushed -- youth are being pushed to kill our cells of the clone no context and recognize that police violence is impacting black lives, indigenous lives, and racialized lives in this country and sometimes we don't even think about the history of resistance. and so to see the occupations of inac in the age -- and the police departments is an example that we are taking back this land and we are taking back our lives. amy: inac is the indigenous and ofthern affairs department the canadian government. what are you domain at that moment and ultimately, why did you leave? >> you occupation was in
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response to youth suicides in indigenous communities in canada. the reason the people wanted to take over these offices is to say, these are government offices that are benefiting off indigenous resources, land, yet we live in harmony and yet we are not represented in education. andhould not be poor helpless on her own lands. leroi, you are part of the black lives matter movement. you're joining together with first nations people. talk about this: a sing -- coalescing of movements. that thee really aware issues that we face and black community in terms of the lack of value of black lives in the eyes of the state and the police is very parallel to issues that indigenous communities face.
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when we were occupying police headquarters, we were conscious of the fact this is a space that is occupied by indigenous activists many times around issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. the similarities of issues that both of our communities face in terms of interventions by the ofte around cas, in terms education -- amy: cas is? personick -- sort of would be child protective services. issues that we face with police violence, in terms of when we lose community members and the police don't have any reaction to that. amy: and a particular occupation that just took place, the protest outside police headquarters. talk about who loku was and what you understand happened? a refugee tou was
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canada. he was from south sudan. his family came here for what many immigrants come here for, protection or a better life. he was shot by the toronto police. he was summit in who is living with -- somebody who was living with mental health issues. the police shot him within 60 seconds of arriving at his apartment complex. washat was something that deeply disturbing to our community and that we have been working with that family for the past couple of years to seek justice. directly before the occupation of toronto police headquarters was when we found out that the officer who killed andrew loku would not be charged. and there would be no justice there. amy: i want to turn to the case of jermaine carby killed by police during a traffic stop in september 2014. he was a passenger in the car.
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this week a coroner's inquiries -- inquest reveals he had been subject to a street check, known as carding. this is carby's cousin, la tanya grant speaking to a reporter. when hefficer said finished with the driver, he had no reason to speak to my cousin after that in order to have a reason to ask for his id i do not know why he was pulled over, i just know they were not supposed to be pulled over. if they were pulled over, there were not supposed to be talking to my cousin jermaine carby. if they did not speak to him and cart him, jermaine carby was still be here today. we're also joined by desmond cole, columnist for the toronto star as well as a radio talkshow host. can you talk about the canadian media coverage of the issues, for example, the killing of carby as well as loku? jermaine carby was killed in september 2014 in a suburb of toronto and there was
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a very, very little media coverage at the time of this event. a remember it so well because a couple of months later, i took a trip down to ferguson, missouri. i was covering the backlash after aaron wilson was not charged in killing michael brown, the unarmed 18 euro teenager there. i saw thousands of people in ferguson marching here in toronto in solidarity with mike brown, but also talking about our own issues, talking about jermaine carby and other people in our communities here who have been killed by police. the movement is an international movement. it is one where people are feeding off of each other. they are watching and learning and taking inspiration from one another. it has taken a lot of time, but i think black lives matter toronto and many other groups in solidarity have been much more successful in recent months of raising this as a local problem in the media has been very slow
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to respond. but i think the persistence of morectivism is forcing media coverage as time goes on. amy: you wrote an article about your own experience with racism. can you talk about what you wrote and the reaction to it? >> i wrote about growing up in this part of the country, the greater toronto area, and facing systemic racism. being second-generation canadian , my parents are from sierra leone, and chasing anti-black racism every day. facing it in school, facing it at work. and talking about how normal it really is. the reaction was an interesting one because a lot of people in our city, which prides itself on being multicultural, they act surprised. they acted surprised at this level of determination is so common. those of us who experience it are not surprised by it at all
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and i think what was revealed is a certain naivete in toronto where we ignore very obvious problems asia discrimination is systemic racism because we want to tell ourselves that it isn't happening here, especially we want to tell ourselves we are not the united states of america. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. , a guest are desmond cole columnist with the toronto star. we also joined as well by leroi newbold with black lives matter here in toronto. erica violet lee is with us as well as -- we're going to hear from hayden king, talking about indigenous issues in canada and how they are dealt with by the state. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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we are on the road in toronto, canada. looking at how indigenous and black lives matter activists here in canada are working together to address issues of state violence and neglect. earlier this month, canada announced it would back a united nations declaration to protect the rights of the world's more than 370 million indigenous peoples. four countries first opposed the declaration in -- australia, new 2007 zealand, canada, and the united states. canada was the last of the four to finally embrace the statement. indigenous affairs minister carolyn bennett made the announcement at a u.n. forum in new york, drawing a standing ovation. >> today we are addressing canada's decision on the rights of indigenous people. i'm here to announce on behalf of canada that we are now a full supporter of the declaration without qualification. [applause] we intend nothing less than two adopt and implement the
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declaration in accordance with the canadian constitution. amy: we are joined right now by four guest, erica violet lee, indigenous rights activist with idle no more, hayden king, indigenous writer and lecturer from blackewbold lives matter toronto, and joined as well by desmond cole, journalist and columnist for the toronto star. about, you wrote a piece how people raising the issue of can trudeau deliver on his first nations promises. your point? >> the point i think hours trying to make in that article is that justin trudeau and his government had made some very impressive promises during the campaign and after the campaign, everything from, you know, allowing indigenous peoples to say no to development in their
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territory they opposed to to creating a missing and murdered indigenous woman's inquiry -- joint amy: explain that issue. this is something i don't think people understand outside of canada. maybe even inside canada. how many women are missing? >> i don't know if you can put a number on it. many hundreds, thousands of indigenous women have then taken away from their communities, their families, murdered. this is a phenomenon that is not unique to canada. in the u.s., indigenous communities face epidemic levels of violence against indigenous women. in canada, i think activists have been able to push governments and politicians in their own community leadership to address this issue, and that has resulted in the government committing an inquiry. that is the one commitment that
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the government seems to be following through on on the many promises they made during the campaign and thereafter, including and limiting the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, including the right to free, prior, and informed consent. including significant investment and education, child welfare -- which has been lacking in this country for 150 years. amy: leroi newbold, on the issue of transgender people in this country and how you are treated -- how people are treated by the police and the general community? the issue of carding, which i think in the was is like stop and frisk, and how it differentially impact on transgender people? >> with carding, there's a lot of focus on the experiences of young black men, which are very problematic and horrific. you mentioned earlier the case of jermaine carby. jermaine carby is still be alive
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today if it were not for carding. it really does impact young black men, but also impacts women could also impacts queers and trans people. with carding, you might be pulled over, stopped and frisk, and it might go quickly from something seamless like a traffic violation stop and do something that looks more like a criminal investigation where you're being held by police, the 10, the you have not been read your rights. and for trans people, that can be something that is very additionally of a concern because when you're asked for your id, the id your provide, your name might -- your sex and your gender on the id might not match your gender presentation. so at that moment, that interaction with police can quickly become violent and dangerous for transgender people. amy: erica, if you could talk
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about what it means for black lives matter and first nations people, idle no more, to be working together, what you're hoping to achieve in this coalition? >> i was in toronto when there was the giant rally about black lives matter after the death of andrew loku and recognizing, you know, these issues are interconnected. the fact that black people on this land are subject to extreme police retell it he is directly related to the fact -- brutality is strictly related to the rcmp were started to police indigenous bodies, to keep us on reserve, to keep settler safe. this is the history of the land we are living with and i think the general canadian public doesn't understand the type of violence that we face every day. it is scary to walk down the street as an indigenous woman, an indigenous
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person, and it should not be. we should -- we need to connect, you know? it is not just positioning ourselves against white canadians, but recognizing our own histories and our own histories of resistance. amy: desmond cole do you feel there is a change in attitude? >> there is a huge change happening right now. there were a series of attacks against muslim people in toronto last winter. immediately after the attacks in paris, france. muslim women being accosted on the subway, being attacked while picking up their children from school. a solidarity rally took place. while people were marching in that rally, they were saying, whose it streets? our streets. there are also saying, whose land? native land. i've never heard that at a protest in toronto. it was about islamophobia, but opened up by indigenous people talking about how they understand also the oppression that the state has enacted on people in this land, then of course, black lives matter toronto being and that historic
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protest in front of the police station, indigenous solidarity was unbelievable with the black community. i think that is really the change happening in candidate is the different groups who are expressing police brutality and oppression are coming together. amy: i have to leave it there. i thank you for being with us on this day of broadcast from the getty broadcasting operation here in toronto, canada. leroi newbold, hayden king, erica violet lee, and desmond cole. that does it for the show. tonight i will be speaking here in toronto at the heart house at university of toronto great hall, second floor. saturday night at 7:30, in troy, new york. i will be in philadelphia at noon. i huge shout out to magaly guerra, our audio engineer. world, kids.e democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed
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captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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