tv Democracy Now PBS June 17, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
06/17/16 06/17/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> she leaves behind a husband come wonderful man who likewise spent his man campaigning for human rights and justice. and she leaves behind two young children who will never grow up to see their mom again. amy: britain mourns after rising british parliament member jo cox who was stabbed and shot to death in her own district. eyewitnesses say her assassin, thomas mair, shouted "britain first," a slogan of the far-right, anti-immigrant political party. now the southern poverty law center reveals the assailant is a longtime supporter of the
neo-nazi national alliance. this comes on the first anniversary of when self-declared white supremacist dylann roof attacked the historic ame church in trial some, south carolina. then democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders addresses supporters in a live webcast. he did not endorse hillary clinton but vowed to work with , her to defeat the presumptive republican nominee donald trump. i look forward in the coming weeks to continue discussion between the two campaigns to make certain that your voices are heard and that the democratic party passes the most progressive platform in its history, and that democrats actually fight for that agenda. amy: as thousands plan to attend a people's summit in chicago to discuss the next steps of the sanders calls the revolution, we will speak with a key participant, roseann demoro, head of national nurses united, the first national union to back sanders last year. sanders recently tried to place
her on the democratic platform committee but said he was , blocked by the democratic national committee. then a major break in the decade-long fight to unveil records related to the new york city police department's surveillance of political organizations in the 1960's and 1970's, including the young lords, the entire -- the nypd said the files were lost, but now says it has found more than a million pages. we will speak with a history professor who filed a lawsuit to locate the files. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. britain is in a state of mourning today after british parliament member jo cox was shot and killed shortly after a meeting with her constituents thursday. jo cox was a 41-year-old mother of two who worked at oxfam before being elected as a labour mp last year. she was known for her passionate support for syrian refugees and was a member of labour friends of palestine. british prime minister david cameron paid tribute to her on thursday. >> this is absolutely tragic and
dreadful news, and my thoughts are with jo's husband and the two children and their wider family. we have lost a great star. she was a great campaigning mp with a big heart and people are going to be very, very sad at what has happened. dreadful, dreadful news. it is right that we are suspend campaigning activity in this referendum, and everyone thoughts will be with jo's family and their constituents and her constituents. amy: jo cox is the first member of the british parliament to be murdered in over 25 years. her death came just a week before the major brexit vote, when british voters will decide whether the country should stay in the european union. cox was a vocal advocate for britain to stay in the eu. during the attack eyewitnesses said her assassin, thomas mair, shouted "britain first," a possible reference to the far-right, anti-immigrant political party of the same name which is pushing for britain to leave the eu. the southern poverty law center
says mair is a longtime supporter of the neo-nazi national alliance. this comes as today marks the first anniversary of the attack by white supremacist dylann roof on the historic ame church in charleston, south carolina that claimed nine lives. we'll have more on the anniversary and jo cox's murder after headlines. president obama and vice president joe biden visited orlando, florida, thursday, where they met with the families of the 49 victims of sunday's shooting massacre at an lgbt nightclub. the meeting came one day after senate democrats mounted a nearly 15-hour filibuster, the -- to demand a vote on gun control measures. in orlando, president obama called for action on gun control. >> those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with the powerful assault weapon. motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in aurora or
newtown but the instruments of death were so similar. amy: meanwhile, in a "new york times" op-ed published thursday, general stanley mcchrystal, the former u.s. commander in afghanistan also called for increased gun control, writing -- "our communities should not feel like war zones. our leaders can start by doing more to keep guns out of the hands of those who cannot be trusted to handle them responsibly. that must be our mission." this comes one day after massachusetts representative and moultoneteran seth appeared in the newspaper with the headline "no civilian should , own this gun." meanwhile, arizona senator john mccain has blamed president obama for sunday's massacre in orlando while speaking to reporters thursday. >> about what happened and of course i am making them realize that barack obama is directly
responsible for it. when you pulled everybody out of iraq, al qaeda would to syria became isis and isis is what it is today thanks to barack obama's utter failures, pulling everyone out of iraq thinking that conflicts end just because the responsibility -- responsibility lies with barack obama. amy: mccain later tried to walk back these comments, writing -- "i misspoke. i did not mean to imply that the president was personally responsible. i was referring to president obama's national security decisions, not the president himself." but republican presumptive presidential nominee donald trump stood by his comments currents, telling supporters in dallas that while obama is blaming guns, trump thinks the shooting was caused by "weakness on behalf of our leadership" in cia director john brennan has told the senate intelligence community that orlando shooter omar mateen had "no direct link" to the self-proclaimed islamic state or any other extremist network, although brennan said
mateen was inspired by isis. meanwhile, wisconsin senator ron johnson has asked facebook founder mark zuckerberg for data from multiple facebook accounts allegedly associated with omar mateen. in the letter, senator johnson claimed mateen had posted on facebook calls for the u.s. and russia to stop bombing campaigns against isis. this comes as the family of california student nohemi gonzalez, who was killed in the paris attacks last november, has sued twitter, google and facebook, arguing the social media networks have violated the u.s. anti-terrorism act by providing material support to isis. the lawsuit argues -- "for years, defendants have knowingly permitted the terrorist group isis to use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits." meanwhile, in mexico, new information is emerging about a shooting massacre at an lgbt nightclub in the southern state of veracruz last month. on may 22, gunmen opened fire inside madame, a popular lgbt
bar, in xalapa. there are conflicting reports of the number of people killed, between 5 and 7, while 14 were injured. authorities also said the shooting was drug related, but community members are calling it a hate crime. in news from the campaign trail, democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders addressed his supporters in a live webcast thursday night, vowing the continuation of what he called his political revolution. the speech came two days after hillary clinton won the last primary in washington, d.c. while clinton has claimed victory in the democratic race, sanders announced he would stay in until the democratic convention. he did not endorse the former secretary of state, but vowed to work with her to defeat the presumptive republican nominee donald trump. he also said he plans to push the clinton campaign and the democratic party to adopt a more progressive agenda. we'll have more on the sanders campaign later in the broadcast. more than 50 state department diplomats have called for u.s. military strikes against the
regime of syrian leader bashar al-assad, saying assad has continuously violated the country's tenuous ceasefire . the diplomats argue for a sharp departure from president obama's policy on syria, which includes targeting the self-proclaimed islamic state, but not the assad regime. in the memo itself, however, the diplomats acknowledged the risks to increased u.s. military intervention, including the possibility of direct military confrontations with russia, which is backing assad. president obama and his top military commanders, meanwhile, have also long raised questions about what would happen in the power vacuum that would emerge if assad is removed. the memo comes as airstrikes on rebel-held sections of aleppo force a hospital supported by doctors without borders to shut down thursday. aleppo residents also reported barrel bombs being dropped. meanwhile, a federal judge has ruled against texas along the federal government to resettle syrian refugees there. a new senate report says the red cross lied to congress in the wake of the 2010 haiti earthquake and used far more
donated money on its own overhead costs than previously acknowledged. the red cross raised nearly $500 million in donations after the disaster. the 300-page report says the red cross used 25% of these donations, about $125 million, on its own fundraising, management and program costs, rather than on aid in haiti. the report concludes there are "substantial and fundamental concerns about the red cross as an organization." last month was the hottest may on record. it was the 13th straight month to set a new record amid increasing global warming. this comes as the central united states is slated to experience a sweltering heat wave over the weekend. meanwhile, hundreds of people in southern california have been evacuated from their homes near santa barbara as a drought-fueled wildfire exploded in size thursday. scientists have have linked the increase in wildfires to climate
change. in texas, authorities are investigating the murder of journalist jacinto hernanez torres, whose body was found monday night in the dallas suburb of garland. torres was a reporter for the spanish-language newspaper la estrella and a member of the national association of hispanic journalists. his daughter aline, says she , believes her father may have been killed for his journalism, which involved investigations of human trafficking. and in seattle, a public school teacher who was pepper-sprayed by the police during a black lives matter protest on martin luther king day has reached a $100,000 settlement with the city. he is using the money to establish the black education matters scholarship for student activists. jesse hagopian is a history teacher at garfield high school. he was pepper sprayed by seattle police officer sandra delafuente while talking on the phone with his mother after addressing the rally. he announced the settlement on monday. >> i did reach a settlement with the city of seattle for
$100,000. but i want it to be clear that $100,000 is not justice. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i am juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. britain is in a state of mourning today for a rising star in the british parliament who died thursday after being stabbed and shot shortly following a meeting with her constituents. jo cox was a 41-year-old mother of two who worked at oxfam before being elected as a labour mp last year. she was known for her passionate support for syrian refugees and was a member of labour friends of palestine. labour party leader jeremy corbyn paid tribute to her on thursday. >> she leaves behind a husband, a wonderful man who likewise spent his life and pending for
human rights and justice. and she leaves behind two young children who will never grow up to see their mom again. they can be proud of what she was. they can be proud of what she did. and they can be very proud of everything that she stood for. we come together at a time like this -- we come together to support the family and to mourn and to reflect. violence is not an answer to anything. juan: jo cox is the first member of the british parliament to be murdered in over 25 years. her death came just a week before the major brexit vote, when british voters will decide whether the country should stay in the european union. cox was a vocal advocate for britain to stay in the eu. during the attack, eyewitnesses said her assassin, thomas mair, shouted "britain first," a possible reference to the far-right, anti-immigrant political party of the same name which is pushing for britain to
leave the eu. amy: meanwhile, the southern poverty law center here in the united states has revealed that the attacker, thomas mair, is a longtime supporter of the neo-nazi national alliance. documents released by the center show mair has spent over $600 buying periodicals and other items from the group including a manual that contained information on how to build a pistol. in addition, the "daily telegraph," is reporting mair subscribed to s.a. patriot, a south african magazine published by white rhino club, a pro-apartheid group. we go now to montgomery alabama where we are joined by richard cohen, president of the southern poverty law center. richard, welcome back to democracy now! can you explain what you know about who thomas mair is? >> he was a long time follower of the national alliance. the largest neo-nazi party in the united states with significant ties to europe. 2003, he bought
things about weapons, things about explosives, and just as important, he subscribed to a variety of white supremacist literature. juan: richard cohen, for those folks not familiar with the national alliance, its founder, the author of the notorious or infamous colts classic on the far right, the "turner diaries"? >> william pierce, he was a prolific writer and he wrote "the turner diaries" the blueprint for the obama city bombing and also the blueprint for a lot of other terrorist activities. he was a devoted follower of hitler, and that is no exaggeration. he called hitler the greatest man of the 20th century. he talked in his manifesto about the need for white living space and how his followers could not be deterred by the momentary unpleasantness of their task will stop a caressing -- make a reference to genocide.
amy: can you talk about a link, if there is one, between the national alliance and the far right group from anti-immigrant once in britain that is britain to leave the european union? >> sure, i think the fundamental thinker people understand is the white nationalist movement from the neo-nazi movement in this country, is something that is really a worldwide phenomenon. pierce, the leader of the national lines, traveled to england often. he had ties to golden dawn, the neo-nazi party in greece. members of the british national party were also the far right nationalist party in england that is opposed to the european union, for goalie traveled to this country. members of the british national party were members of pierce's organization. so this white ethnic nationalism
that we see in our country is also very much alive in europe. and groups like the national alliance exploded -- exploited that. the: document in subscriptions of some fun likemair, including reports of his subscribing to right-wing south african publications as well. >> it doesn't surprise me that he's described -- subscribed to material from africa. the charleston shooter, you might remember, had patches from the apartheid regime in south africa. a patch from the old rhodesian white party. so again, this white nationalism is not just a phenomenon here, it is really an international phenomenon. the can you talk about
britain first voicing support for the presumptive republican presidential nominee donald trump's proposed ban on muslims entering u.s.? according to the huffington post, britain first told supporters to vote for trump on facebook. the group also applauded trump's statements about london last year on msnbc. let's go to those comments. >> we have places in london and other places that are so radicalized, that the police are afraid further own lives. we have to be very smart and very vigilant will step amy: richard cohen, your response? >> trump reflects the white nationalist trend in this country will stop so should not be a surprise to anyone that white nationalist in england and other western european countries see him as their savior were champion. one of the things that is unusual about this campaign, amy, usually the white supremacists sit it out.
they see both parties as corrupt. this time, very famous white supremacist david duke, for example, see trump as their champion. they have called them, for example, the glorious leader. that is what we are seeing. amy: today, friday, june 17, marks the first anniversary since self-declared white supremacist dylann roof claimed the lives of nine black men and women who gathered for bible study at the historic emanuel african methodist ame church in charleston, south carolina. he later confessed to the attack and now faces the death penalty. can you talk about this anniversary? i think the country has made some progress dealing with the symbols of hate. confederate flags have come down also monuments to the confederacy have come down. yes, we have had a tougher time dealing with the substance of hate. there was a tremendous backlash, for example, two people taking down the desk to people taking out the confederate flags.
the ralliesmented last year. they were as far as washington state, oregon, pennsylvania, so again, those are your options of white pride at the nationalism. we saw uptick in the number of hate groups and our country by about 14%. so much of this is amplified by the rhetoric in the campaign this year, particularly the rhetoric coming out of mr. trump's campaign. amy: mr., thank you for joining us president of the southern , poverty law center alliance. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
a live webcast, vowing the continuation of what he called his political revolution. the speech came two days after hillary clinton won the last primary in washington, d.c. while clinton has claimed victory in the democratic race, sanders announced he would stay in until next month's convention. he did not endorse the former secretary of state but vowed to , work with her to defeat the presumptive republican nominee donald trump. >> the major political task that together we face in the next five months is to make certain that donald trump is defeated and defeated badly. and i personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time. but defeating donald trump cannot be our only goal. we must continue our grassroots effort to create the america that we know we can become.
and we must take that energy into the democratic national convention on july 25 in philadelphia where we will have more than 1900 delegates. juan: bernie sanders went on to say he plans to push the clinton campaign and the democratic party to adopt a more progressive agenda. >> i look forward in the coming weeks to continued discussion between the two campaigns to make certain that your voices are heard and that the democratic party passes the most progressive platform in its history, and that democrats actually fight for that agenda. i also look forward to working with secretary clinton to transform the democratic party so that it becomes a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors. toarty that has the guts
take on wall street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil fuel industry, and the other powerful special interests that dominate so much of our political and economic life. amy: to talk more about the sanders campaign, we are joined by roseann demoro, executive director of national nurses united, the nation's largest organization of nurses. the first national union to back sanders last year. sanders recently attempted to place demoro on the democratic platform committee, but according to sanders, the move was blocked by the democratic national committee. this weekend, national nurses united is helping to organize a major conference in chicago called the people's summit. roseann demoro, welcome to democracy now! why don't you start off by nelson by to the bernie sanders last night that he is staying into the race until the convention and what he wants to see happen, and then what you want to see happen.
>> thank you. i listened to the announcement in a room with 1400 registered nurses and i have to say it was music to everyone's years. prior to bernie speaking on the teleprompter, we played his commercial "america." it just so much symbolized the beautiful commercial that he did with the simon and garfunkel song. everyone was silent. when bernie spoke, there was a massive relief in the room that there was an advocate that would be fighting for them, for the nurses, for the patients. the passion was culpable. it was beautiful. i think that is how it resonated with people across the country. what we know about ernie is that he will be there. he is always been there is a fighter in the senate, but he will continue to be there but most important, his message was, we have to build a movement and we have to fight. following -- i have to say this
because it was so sweet. , thewing his presentation nurses, because they always if we can'tcribe to dance, we don't want to have the revolution. they started up karaoke. the veterans a administration nurses in the room chose "my guy " and they got up and sang it for bernie. it made everybody cheer up. the next group to do some for bernie called "don't stop believing" by journey. i think that is emblematic of where things stand. , i want tonn demoro ask you about the issue of the dnc mixing you for being on the platform committee and also the reasons that they felt that they did not want labor union representation, the ostensible
reasons, what that signifies? >> exactly, ostensible. the fact the dnc could use not having labor leader on the platform committee as a reason says everything that you need to know about how far the democratic party has drifted from the working people of america. actually, the real reason is that i find. you know, we are one of the only organizations i would a that has systematically fight in its history for single payer health care system because the nurses see the human suffering of people. it is not negotiable. that is the thing. we have seen the neoliberal agenda and austerity programs and where all supposed to get on board and accept cuts. when it comes to health, the nurses to the consequences of that. they see the fallout. to see the people who cannot afford prescriptions, people who get to the hospital so late in it compromises their help. when it comes to single payer,
we don't compromise. people should not suffer. that is the bottom line. one of the reasons the nurses are so heartfelt in the sanders campaign and remain so. i was notme -- surprised whatsoever. i mean, it was ironic because they chose cornell west, who would like very, very much, but they excluded me. what that says is to me is the role of finance in health care and what they don't want to see on the platform. there isn't a commitment to taking care of america's people by the democratic party any longer. a single-payer health-care system is more cost-effective, the most efficient, and it guarantees access for everyone. that is off the agenda. that is what that says. amy: would you like to see bernie sanders run as a third-party candidate? amount of a massive discussion about that. i don't think he is going to discuss that. we will be live streaming a
conference that is open so folks in chicago feel free to come and join us. there will be a province really0 people registered. it is people who have been doing movement building for many, many years. juan is there tonight. we have performers. we're really new progressive films out. to network.here i'm sure there will be a variety of discussions from supporting clinton just basically conceding the fact we're not going to achieve anything at this round in the electoral process at that level. will talk about building third parties. there will be a variety of discussions that -- everyone's voice is welcome. it is a time for debate and did consideration. we saw the manipulation in the dnc in this election. we saw behind us campaign of struggles we had to confront. it was an eye-opener for nurses
in particular because across the country there on the sanders campaign and they were at first quite stunned by the level of corruption. eventually, understood you have to change things at a systemic level. when senator sanders says we have to transform the democratic party, we all kind of turn and look at each other and wonder, with wall street's money so invested in a party, is it possible any longer? it raises the questions. the nurses had a good discussion at their executive board yesterday. we are staying to fight. we are staying with bernie. we're going to fight through the convention and continue to fight for our issues. what i'm the most worried about is the disaffection by sanders not achieving the nomination. that is still an open question. i know there is a presumptive nominee, but that is still an open question. a lot happened between here and the end of july. regardless of that, sanders campaign is about changing america. it is changing america from being a market to society.
i think it is visceral level, that is what people see and want. they want their country back. juan: your organization was pivotal in organizing support for bernie sanders. among the other things he has said last night in terms of not just transforming the democratic party, but he said he was an immediate political task of the next five months to make sure donald trump does not become president. do you agree with that aspect of what he said? >> absolutely. we are really not very interested in having neofascism in our country, and that is where this goes. my assumption is donald trump will defeat himself, that the republicans will wake up. i think, though, juan, there's something deeper and that can't be ignored. the people who support trump give voice to that. it is a deep frustration of where our country is going. it seems to be contending on that hat by our a look for a choices -- electoral choices in
the presumptive nominees. people want change. i think we will all be unified and fighting donald trump. i also believe many of the clinton supporters basically walked in lockstep to the normal democratic party nomination process. i believe on the issues, they will be with us, they will be with bernie. they want education for their children, they want health care for their families. they want a society that doesn't pollute the air. they want immigrant rights. i mean, all of the things that this campaign is about, we continue on. in fact, tonight and tomorrow and the next day at the people's summit, we will be talking a lot about that. there is a lot of surrogates from the sanders campaign who will be here. there is incredible speakers on the environment. now me climbed tonight with you, juan. the young generation of talent in the film industry will be
here. we have all of this young incredible talent. have been an activist all my life. what i'm the most happy about in this campaign is how intelligent the young people are. this cross-section of actors and actresses tonight, for example, who are going to be doing readings. is reo dawson, for example, who is on the panel tonight with us as well. they are just -- they are so smart and they have a long future ahead. they want this country to be returned to the people. i am feeling so good about the moment. obviously, we would have loved to see bernie -- and we still do -- we would love to see bernie as the leader of this country. he deserves that role. he fights for us. amy: roseann demoro, thank you for being with us executive , director of national nurses united and the california nurses association/national nurses organizing committee. this is democracy now!,
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we will cover the summit that is happening this weekend, the people's conference that you're holding in chicago, and we will be covering it on monday. but right now we're turning to another issue. juan: there's been a major break in the decade-long fight to unveil records related to the new york city police department's surveillance of political organizations in the 1960's and 1970's. in recent years, the nypd has come under fire for spying on muslim communities and the occupy wall street movement. but decades ago, the nypd spied extensively on political organizations, including the young lords, a radical group founded by puerto ricans modeled on the black panther party. the young lords staged their first action in july of 1969 in an effort to force the city of new york to increase garbage pickups in east harlem. they would go on to inspire activists around the country as we occupied churches and hospitals in an attempt to open the spaces to community
projects. amy: among the leaders of the young lords, as you heard juan "we," wasrom "they" to our own juan gonzalez. well, a professor here at baruch college in new york city has fought for a decade to obtain records related to the nypd's surveillance of the young lords. last month, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by professor johanna fernandez after the city claimed it had lost the records. questioned by a new york 1 reporter, lawrence byrne, the nypd's deputy commissioner for legal matters, said the records seem to have disappeared. >> it is not at all unusual or nefarious that physical documents from old folders from the 1970's, have disappeared. this goes back 45 years. it is unfortunate. we have not been able to locate it. juan: but this week, johanna fernandez received word from the city that the records had not been lost or destroyed. in fact, the city's municipal
archive had found more than 520 boxes, or about 1.1 million pages, apparently containing the complete remaining records documenting the nypd's surveillance of political groups in new york city throughout the and 1970's. 1960'samy: to talk more about this revelation, we're joined by johanna fernandez, history professor at baruch college here in new york. she filed a lawsuit in 2014 to force the city of new york to locate and make public records on police surveillance of the young lords. her forthcoming book on the young lords is called "when the , world was their stage." we're also joined by her attorney, gideon oliver. johanna fernandez, talk about how this all happened. >> i began this search a decade ago. the police department in new york city gave me the runaround. i personally believe they were
duplicitous about three years ago. i went in person to one police plaza thinking that perhaps i could rationally talk to somebody. they suggested they were going to help me find the records, they call me professor and doctor. then they sent me a letter about six months later telling me that they were going to dismiss my request, my foia request. it was then i pulled resources oliverr and hired gideon , in part because i understood the historical significance of these records, not just for the young lords, but for the history of new york city and the history of activism and the ways in which the police have ,ystematically undermined essentially, destroyed radical organizations such as the young lords. juan: how to summit a loose and then suddenly find 500 boxes --
how to somebody lose and then suddenly find 500 boxes? where were they and how to they suddenly come up with them? >> in 1971, radical lawyers in new york filed a suit demanding that these files of police surveillance be preserved. said that theye could not be discarded, that they had to be preserved for the historical record. and the judge at that point said that the police had to work with the municipal archive of the city of new york to preserve these records. present,1986 to the they have been lost. over one million records. but they were found -- one day lost and now they are found, thankfully, in what is known as the queens warehouse
that houses currently, not just -- again, anboxes epic find -- juan: the original case. >> handschu was the original case i was referring to. it wasn't epic win for civil liberties and historians seeking to understand the history of the city. but this warehouse apparently houses over 10,000 boxes of records of the city of new york. but have not been inventory. that is exactly where they were found. of: i want to turn to some the new york city police index card. imaging surveillance of the young lords, including a number on our own juan gonzalez. one dated april 4, 1969, describes juan's height and weight and reads -- "the above person was observed at a rally held at 110 st. and
b'way. sponsored by the west side community council against urban renewal and columbia expansion. he did not speak." another dated january 18, 1970 reads -- "the above named person was present at the first spanish methodist church on 111 st. and lex. ave. manhattan. he along with a group of young lords and other sympathizers were at the church to feed the community children and give them clothes." there are detailed notes not only on juan's participation in protests, but also on his published articles and media appearances. your response to this ,juan? is it too, first of all, did you not speak? juan: there were many times when i did not speak, to the surprise of many. what i'm interested in, who was giving the report? we have always had debate among former young lords about who were the police under covers, of course, i'm sure these files would have those names redacted.
we can pretty much be a blue piece together when the events occurred and who would be the likely informants, but it is an amazing fact. because back then, we knew the group as "boss" or the "red squad was put in charge of collecting all of this information. it was a very extensive organization with lots of informants that were providing reports. amy: i want to play a clip of you from the third world newsreel film "el pueblo se levanta: the people are rising." >> the main thing we are clear on, simple thing to give us space in other we have got into this church and been here for hours, we know it a big place it is. incredible space in the church. -- all and used, never open to the committee. is incredible how such a simple
thing like renting a space has resulted in so many has been busted in so much trouble. our only understanding of that has to be that religion carino, organized religion has so inflamed our people, so destroyed their minds thinking about salvation and hereafter, that we're used to the conditions they have now in the impressions they have now. people who come to this church are mostly puerto ricans who have already raise themselves to certain standards. many left the community. it is amazing to us that people can talk about jesus walked among the poor, the poorest, the prostitutes, the drug addicts at the time, that these people who claim to be christians forgotten was jesus who said that it is easier for the camel to pass through and i have a needle than a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. the forget it was jesus who
said, last shall be first and first shall be last. they forget it was jesus who said, feed the hungry and clothe the poor. this is what we're after. the perverted view and social consciousness. amy: that was one gonzalez. for listeners, if you want to see a young juan gonzalez, go to democracynow.org. the significance, gideon oliver, of these documents that have been found in queens? >> it can't be understated. this is the entire trove of records of the nypd's lyrical surveillance operations between 1955 and 1972. we're talking about not just records of surveillance of the but alsods and juan, surveillance of the black panther party, the nation of islam, antiwar movement in new york city, and it was part of
the benefit of the bargain of the settlement in the handschu litigation that these documents would be preserved or if they were to be destroyed, they would only be destroyed after a process -- a sign up process that the law department in a manageable archive would have to participate in. the fact these documents not only have now been discovered, but can be made available to the public, is just extra near. juan: now there is going to have to be some kind of a cataloging process, right? you're talking about documents that have not even been properly organized. are you marshaling a group of folks to do that or how is this going to work? >> that is not my end. say think is important to municipal archive of the city of new york is committed to making this available to the public and to with scholars and they have invited me early on to look through the records and to help identify the most important
records for my project, but also to help in the process of inventorying. this is an epic trove of documents, which will help historians understand the hardhat demonstrations, for example. one for the famous rifle demonstration. >> exactly. there is an entire section of boxes on the columbia strike of 1968, but also activities at columbia in 1972. the black panther party is identified by name and is one of the only organizations that is identified fully by name along with the noi. i imagine there's information here about the murder of malcolm x. these records are really going to transform our understanding and critique of the parameters allowable conduct --
conduct on police. we know there has been a lot of discussion about what police can it cannot do in society today in the aftermath of 9/11, but the historical record really allows us to step back and ask questions about constitutional rights. amy: you're talking about local surveillance. what about federal surveillance like cointelpro? >> so there was an enormous amount of surveillance on the part of the fbi, the cointelpro project of the fbi, which, as we know, was responsible in working with the chicago police in the assassination of fred hampton in , right around9 the time the young lords were in fact about to occupy the first spanish methodist church. what i found in my research,
because i requested the cointelpro documents pretty early on at the same time i requested the police documents, is that the police document are a lot more methodical and a lot more specific. and it makes sense because the police is close to local communities. this is not just about new york, but police department's across the nation that were engaged in disrupting and surveilling violently come in many instances, the work of activists . and those records are more regulatory a believe from my study of collections of both then they cointelpro doctrines. amy: to the police ,juan, ever approach you and sake afterwards, maybe someone you became friendly with, that they were monitoring and following you? juan: there were former policemen who afterward,
clearly, said to me, we were involved in following you. byo in 1972, i was arrested 13 fbi agents and the police on selective service violation. they not only busted into our headquarters in the bronx, they broke down the doors, they ransacked the entire office and took all of our records. then we went to court to say, hey, we want our records back on they deny they ever had them. see ifnteresting to there e reports in about what they found when they ransacked our offices and swore before a judge that they did not take anything. it would be interesting -- >> and kept them. juan: they deftly kept what they found because we never got them back. and ago and your thoughts today, a number of these documents involve you? juan: i think it is great that
they have been found. it will be a treasure trove for the historians to go back and re-create the history. the problem with these abuses is that it always takes decades to uncover them. in the meanwhile, the damage has been done to the activists in the dissidents involved in these movements. it is almost as if society never learns that the abuses just keep on being repeated a generation or two generations later. so that is the big problem that i have with the continuing government abuse of the way that they look at dissidents. amy: gideon oliver, we have to wrap up, but this whole issue of handschu, with this agreement was and whether -- we know whether the surveillance is continuing? >> silly, political surveillance by the nypd is alive and well in new york city and in handschu context, the judge is still on the case. he is been on the case for many years. he is in the process of
considering whether the proposed settlements in the muslim spying cases should be adopted by the court and i think debates like that have been really shortchanged for the lack of these documents. in the future, hopefully, the availability of these documents will enrich those debates. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, gideon oliver, attorney, johanna fernandez, for your persistence in getting these documents and ultimately one million of these documents being found. johanna fernandez professor of , history at baruch college in new york. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. when we come back, stay with us. ♪ [music break]
been made public about the cia's torture program as the agency has declassified dozens of once secret documents. a portion of the new documents deal with a prisoner named gul rahman who froze to death at a secret cia prison in 2002. rahman's family is now suing cia-contracted psychologists james mitchell and john "bruce" jessen who helped design the u.s. torture program. the new records also show a prisoner who was waterboarded 83 times was likely willing to cooperate with interrogators before the torture. the account from medical personnel who helped with the first waterboarding of abu zubaydah deals a major blow to the cia's insistence it gained crucial information through torture. zubaydah said he made up fake terrorist plots in order to stop the abuse. amy: another partially declassified document reveals president bush was uneasy about what the agency was doing.
one 2006 memo read -- "the president was concerned about the image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper and forced to go to the bathroom on themselves." joining us now is dror ladin, an attorney with the american civil liberties union who helped win the release of these documents. welcome to democracy now! what did you find? >> we found so much more evidence of what everyone already knows, which is the cia torture program was not at all some scientific method of getting information from that people who would only give it up under torture. instead, it was an exercise in brutality against people who the cia did not know, whether they had information, whether they didn't have information, and we're the only answer -- were the only answer was more torture when they did not get the answer they wanted. the result, we learned, is not only the brutality against individuals, but also actual damage to the country's ability to gather intelligence. these document for the cia's on account of their failures. juan: and the role of the
psychologists? >> it is horrifying. we represent in another lawsuit gul rahman's family for his death under torture. these documents .0 wife was singled out. it is because of the psychological theory that they could identify someone who is sophisticated resistor and deployed as escalating set of tortures in order to break them. when you now have is reports, we can see why they thought it was such a sophisticated resistor. this is what it is -- he complained about the violations of his human rights. he complained about the poor treatment. and the detention facility in which he would freeze to death from hypothermia, he said he had trouble thinking because it was so cold. they write this down in cables and say, gul rahmnan is sophisticated resistor. it describes how senior people at the agency believed
waterboarding was "silver bullet" and rapidly escalate to it. the whole torture program, when it finally became troubled -- public, was carefully calibrated. they would only do what they needed to do to get people to cooperate. the reality was that thing like that. they would merely go to the worst possible thing they could do -- would medially go to the worst possible thing they could do. you can talk about the men being waterboarded 83 times and the fact they would say he would talk before the torture. >> remarkable thing, a lot of people think the cia program, you know, it would only go to torture when they knew someone was holding information. a ticking time bomb, whatever. the thing is, they don't know that going into it. abu zubaydah, they do not know who he was. they were convinced was the number three person in al qaeda. some of the new transcript we have our the testimony he gave back guantanamo in which he says, even the cia tells them, we made a big mistake with you. , the waybig mistake
the cia operated is yet the people on the ground during the torture and then you had analysts back at headquarters who would say, oh, he has until july the plot? welcome he definitely knows about the plot so you should torture him further. one remarkable thing about the cables we uncovered as you see the torturers talking to headquarters saying, we don't know. we have been torturing him for a while and it doesn't seem like there's much left to say. they say, we can't believe that. torture further. juan: and the information about the pangs of conscience from president bush? >> it is hard to credit that but on the other hand, i think a lot of people think of torture in a more abstract way rather than a detainee chained to the ceiling in a diaper. the president or anyone else, when ultimately confronted with the brutality of it, i think has to really think -- is this who we are? even imagining it was effective, which we know it wasn't, is this
who we are? amy: do you have evidence for lawsuits for crimes, charges of war crimes to be brought up against u.s. officials right on up to the president for what they knew and when they knew it? >> that is the thing that is horrifying about this is that these are war crimes. this is evidence of war crimes. yet no one has been prosecuted. no senior official has ever been prosecuted. the aclu cannot prosecute people. we of a damages lawsuit on behalf of the victims, but the department of justice needs to prosecute people. human rights watch just called -- renewed its call for prosecutions based on these two documents. it is something we have long said that the government has to want to do it. amy: how did you get these documents and are there more? >> we got them through a freedom of information act lawsuit, something we have been fighting over a decade. yes, there is so much more left to know about this program and it is essential we know about it now. amy: dror ladin, they get for
being with us staff attorney at , the aclu national security project. counsel in the foia case that led to the release of the cia documents as well as in the aclu suit against mitchell and jessen, the two psychologists who designed the cia torture program. that does it for our show. has three job openings. find out more at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.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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