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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  June 23, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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06/23/16 06/23/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we are calling on the leadership of the house to bring common sense gun control legislation to the house floor. give us a vote. let us vote. we came your to do our job. we came here to work. amy: democratic lawmakers have continued an historic sit-in on the floor of the house to demand a vote on gun control after yet another massacre. the orlando massacre left 49 people dead. we will speak to two of the
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lawmakers taking part, representative alan grayson, who represents orlando, appointed, ,nd representative barbara lee as well as a woman whose father died in the virginia tech massacre. but are flawed laws the way to regulate guns? we will also speak with vince warren, head of the center for constitutional rights. then in a stork cease-fire is reached in colombia. >> the national government and farc delegation informed the public we have successfully agree to a definitive and bilateral cease-fire and the laying down of arms. amy: we will go to bogota, colombia, to speak with the country's former high commissioner for peace about what could be the end of a decades long conflict that killed over 200000 and displaced millions. all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today on capitol hill, democratic lawmakers are continuing an historic sit-in on the floor of the house to demand a vote on gun control after the orlando massacre left 49 people dead. democrats are pushing for votes to expand background checks for gun purchases and to curb the sale of weapons to people on government watch list. a proposal shortly opposed by the american civil liberties union and the center for constitutional rights among other groups. the sit-in was initiated by congressman john lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement. we will go to washington, d.c., to speak with commerce members after headlines. voters across britain are heading to the polls today in a historic referendum known as brexit to decide whether to leave or remain in the european union. polls are too close to call. it's the third nationwide
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referendum in british history. today's vote comes exactly a week after british mp jo cox was murdered. she was a vocal advocate for britain to stay in the eu. during the attack, eyewitnesses said her alleged 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. labor leader jeremy corbyn spoke to democracy now! earlier this week about why he supports staying in the european union. >> i have been campaigning for a remain vote in the european union because i think we have to work with like-minded people across europe who want to deal with tax havens and tax avoidance, and want to protect the environment encourage others to protect its environment. it also, one that is in solidarity with people, rather
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than seeing them all as enemies. amy: in news from the campaign trail, democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton has been endorsed by one of the leading figures of the republican national security establishment brent scowcroft, , the national security adviser to george h.w. bush. his endorsement of clinton is the latest indication of the chaos within the republican party over the presumptive nominee donald trump. not all republican operatives, however, share the discomfort. on wednesday, donald rumsfeld, george w. bush's first defense secretary, told fox news he can't imagine not voting for donald trump. colombian government officials and farc rebels are gathering in havana, cuba, today to announce an historic ceasefire nearly four years in the making. the breakthrough deal reportedly includes terms on an armistice, the handing over of weapons, and the security of insurgents who give up their arms. both sides also apparently found common ground on issues of agrarian reform, the rebels'
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participation in politics, combating drug trafficking, reparations to victims and transitional justice. we'll have go to bogota, colombia, for more on the historic peace deal later in the broadcast. a new report shows demand for abortions has soared in latin american countries hit by the zika virus. the study in the new england journal of medicine shows demand for abortions has more than doubled in ecuador and brazil, and has nearly doubled in venezuela. in all three countries, abortion is illegal except in rare instances, such as when the life of the mother is at risk. the study tracked the number of requests for abortions through the group women on web, a nonprofit that provides online access to abortion medications. in one request, a woman from venezuela wrote -- "we are going through a really serious situation for the economic and humanitarian crisis unleashed by zika. there are no treatments, contraceptives nor pills to abort. i want to terminate my pregnancy but i cannot."
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in news on honduras, questions are mounting about the legality of u.s. military funding to honduras following allegations by a former honduran soldier that murdered environmentalist berta caceres appeared on a hit list distributed to u.s.-trained special forces before her assassination. first sergeant rodrigo cruz told the guardian his 100% certain that berta caceres was killed by the army. state department press secretary john kirby responded to questions wednesday about the new reports. >> we have seen media reports alleging the existence of a honduran activist hit list, as you have described it. the us government has not previously heard any credible allegations of hit list of deaths or by the military and do not have any information which would substantiate this report. >> you have not heard of these kill lists? >> that is what i said. informationve any
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that would substantiate this report. >> one human rights professor called this smoking gun evidence. what is credible evidence? >> we have not seen, in our view, credible evidence to back up these allegations. if we do, we will take it seriously. is introducedson a bill to stop all u.s. military funding to honduras. meanwhile, in new york city, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the mexican consulate and marched to times square to denounce sunday's deadly police attack on protesting teachers in oaxaca, which left more than 9 people dead and more than 100 wounded. protesters also demanded the united states stop funding the mexican police and security -- military. miguel angel mendoza, a former mexican teacher from oaxaca who now lives in connecticut, compared it to the missing students missing in -- >> i think the mexican
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government is trying to kill the root so we won't have more seeds. it was still a minute all of the teachers, that there is no left to protest because the teacher is the social justice fighter. the one who does the fighting for the rights of the communities. amy: this comes as reporters without borders is calling on a mexican government to investigate the murder of two reporters this week. on sunday, elidio ramos zarate was shot by armed gunmen in oaxaca, while on monday, freelance journalist zamira esther bautista was also shot dead by armed gunmen in the northeastern state of tamaulipas. at least eight journalists have been murdered in mexico this year. the senate has rejected legislation to expand the fbi's secretive surveillance powers. the measures would have increased the fbi's authority to use so-called national security letters, which do not require a warrant, to collect digital data from companies such as google or verizon. the legislation was only two votes short of passing.
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in california, santa clara county district attorney jeff rosen has called for mandatory prison sentences for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated person following the international outcry over the light sentence in the stanford rape case. earlier this month, california judge aaron persky gave stanford swimmer brock allen turner a six-month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. judge persky said he was concerned a longer prison sentence would have a severe impact on turner. the proposed legislation would make penalties for turner's offense a mandatory minimum of three years in state prison. in cortlandt, new york, activists known as the "montrose 9" headed to court yesterday for blocking the construction yard of the spectra energy gas pipeline in november. spectra energy's aim pipeline would run only hundreds of feet from the aging indian point nuclear power plant, sparking concerns that a pipeline break could cause a catastrophic nuclear disaster that would threaten new york city. in court on wednesday, activists pleaded the necessity defense,
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arguing their actions were necessary because of the threat of climate change. in michigan attorney general , bill schuette has sued the private water corporation veolia for fraud and negligence during the ongoing flint water contamination crisis. veolia, one of the largest for-profit water companies in the world, was hired by flint in 2015 to address the water quality. at the time, the company released a report falsely claiming the water was safe to drink. the michigan attorney general's office also sued texas-based company lan, which was hired to prepare the city's water plant and treat the water. this is attorney general bill schuette announcing the lawsuit. lan wereint, veolia and hired to do a job and failed miserably. they failed miserably in their job, basically, botched it. did not stop the water in flint from being poisoned. they made it worse. that is what they did.
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our criminal investigation is ongoing. guaranteed,and as i more charges to come, so stay tuned. amy: flint lead poisoning began when an unelected emergency manager appointed by governor snyder switched the source of the city's drinking water to the corrosive flint river. today, the water in flint is still poisoned. it is unsafe to drink. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show on capitol hill where democratic lawmakers are continuing in historic sit-in on the floor of the house , the first ever to demand the , republican leadership take action on gun control after the orlando massacre left 49 people dead. democrats are pushing for votes to expand background checks for gun purchases and to curb the sale of weapons to people on government watch lists, a proposed strongly opposed by the american civil liberties union and other groups.
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this is the scene right now as we broadcast on the floor of the house, which is being live streamed from the phones of lawmakers since the republican leadership have shut off the official camera feed that feeds c-span. c-span is broadcasting the video streams from the phones of congress members on the floor. this is florida congress member ted deutch speaking live. colleaguesds, my that i have shared this experience with, i join you in fill thoset to help holes -- we can't do it -- but just to provide a little bit of comfort. a little bit of comfort to those families and those communities that ache. that is why we are doing this.
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that is why we are going to prevail. that is why i'm so proud to have been part of this with all of you. thank you. [applause] >> well said. a live stream as we broadcast of this historic sit-in that began yesterday morning i just about 11:30. the sit-in initiated by georgia congress member john lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement. , ifor months, even for years wondered what would bring this whatdy to take action? would finally make congress do just whatght? what is the people of this country have been demand and and what is long overdue? we have lost hundreds of
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thousands of innocent people to gun violence. children.e babies. students and teachers. mothers and fathers. sisters and brothers. daughters and sons. friends and neighbors. and what has this body done? mr. speaker, nothing. not one thing. we have turned a deaf ears ears tove turned deaf the blood of the innocent and the concern of our nation. we are blind to a crisis will stop mr. speaker, where is the heart of this body? where is our soul? where is our moral leadership?
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where is our courage? who work on bipartisan solution are pushed aside. those who pursue common sense improvement are beaten down. reason is criticized. obstruction is praised. charleston,ora, orlando. what is the tipping point? we blind? can we see? how many more mothers, how many more fathers need to shed tears of grief before we do something? we were elected to lead, mr. speaker. we must be headlights and not taillights. we cannot continue to stick our ignore thee sand and
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reality of mass gun violence and our country. deadly, mass shootings are becoming more and more frequent. mr. speaker, this is the fight. it is not an opinion. we must remove the blinders. the time for silence and patience is long gone. we are calling on the leadership of the house to bring commonsense gun control legislation to the house floor. give us a vote will stop let us vote. we came your to do our job. we came here to work. the american people are demanding action. do we have the courage? do we have raw courage to make at least a down payment on any gun violence -- ending gun violence in america? we can no longer wait.
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we can no longer be patient. so today we come to the well of the house to dramatize the need for action. not next month, not next year,! but now today! sometimes you to do something out of your area. sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. we have been too quiet for too long. there comes a time when you have to say something, we have to make a little noise. well, you have to move your feet. this is the time. now is the time to get in the way. the time to act is now. we will be silent no more. over.me for silence is amy: just after georgia
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congressman john lewis spoke, he and other lawmakers began the historic sit-in. the republican leadership then formally ended the session. with that, c-span stopped broadcasting from the floor. there are signs reading at the bottom of the screen, "cameras in chamber controlled by house and house cameras are not permitted to show sit-in." the only way to watch was through video streamed by the lawmakers on periscope and facebook. soon, c-span began airing these web streams live on the air. after midnight chaos ensued when , house speaker paul ryan moved to end the sit-in by having lawmakers vote on other bills. as ryan spoke, democratic lawmakers chanted as they had all day "no bill, no break."
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,>> the chair appreciates that members will differ on matters of policy and will speak to express those differences. but the chair would hope that the business of the house could be conducted in a fashion that represent and respect positively on the dignity and the decorum of this institution to which we all along. amy: house speaker paul ryan then announced there would be no more votes until after july 4. we go now to capitol hill where we a joined by two democratic lawmakers, barbara lee chair of , the congressional progressive caucus peace & security task forceful to welcome to democracy now! i saw you throughout yesterday standing there also the congress member sitting on the floor, redefining the term "speaking from the floor" of the house.
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talk about what you have taken over the chamber, the democratic lawmakers, and what your plans are, what your demands are. amy: enough is enough post up first of all, these measures are very modest gun safety measures. background checks, no-fly, no-buy. very simple. we cannot even get the republicans to acknowledge the american people -- 90% of the american people want these modest measures passed. we decided we had to make sure that republicans understood that we were not going to take it anymore. the murders, the terrible terrorist attacks -- all of the deaths are occurring, not just recently, but over and over again, amy. in my district, i think i must 90 people last year were killed. 91 people a day are killed here in america. it is time we passed these modest measures, but we also have to look at the assault weapons. it is a shame and disgrace will
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allow weapons of war on the streets of america. today, there's a funeral in my district of a young lady 16 years old who was gunned down and three others were injured at a vigil after a funeral of two young men who drowned. this is crazy. it doesn't make any sense. speaker ryan i say ought to be ashamed of himself for shutting out the media. we talked about suppression of the media in communist countries, and here look at what has happened in terms of just trying to silence the voices of the american people. we are going to continue. we are going to move forward. what is important is to recognize all of those that the movement has really developed in this country to really begin to take on the nra. because the republicans have been bought and sold by the national rifle association, you know, some a want to vote with us, but for whatever reason, they feel encumbered and beholden to the nra. i think last night was a defining moment for as as democrats and, hopefully, the
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republicans will see the light. their constituents get killed also by weapons of war. amy: you have what happened yesterday. new york congress member nita lowey who proposed an amendment to homeland security appropriation bill that was voted down by every republican member of the committee. according to the congress member, it would have given the attorney general the authority to block the sale of firearms to known or suspected terrorists the attorney general has reasonable believe the firearm would be's connection with terrorism. no-fly, no-buy. explain exactly what this is. sinceo have with us warren, concerned about the civil liberties aspect in the flawed nature of this kind of gun-control measure. >> i'm on the appropriations committee. this was not the first time we
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tried to put an amendment up for reasonable gun safety, gun control measures. brought republicans to the most part, all of them, voted against it. the, there are flaws with no-fly list. believe you me. as one who cares about our civil liberties, we must fix that. i know the aclu and others have proposed legislation to fix it. guess what? the republicans won't even let that legislation come forward. we have to start somewhere. believe you me, this is the first start and we have to understand we have to fix any issues that would relate to civil liberties, and that is in fact what we have been trying to do. we must get -- we must make sure those who do not -- should not have guns are not able to buy guns. for the most part, those who are on watch lists should not be
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able to buy a gun and kill people. amy: vince warren, your response? >> first of all, i really appreciate all of the action that is happening at congress and particularly the sit-in. but we have to be careful getting two different sets of constitutional rights against each other. have aally, we republican version of constitutional rights that have to do with gun-control, which we of the center for constitutional rights and other groups think is not an absolute right the way the republicans do. then you have on the other hand, the rights that all of us have with respect to not being on these type of watch list inappropriately or in error, which happens all the time. the big challenge that we're seeing from the democrats is they're looking at those two sets of constitutional rights and a siding, gosh, these republicans are really being difficult and this is hard. what is the compromise?
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essentially, their copper rising a fake sought -- concept of gun-control thank you been that strong. they are watering down in already bad system, which we have, which is the no-fly list. people don't know how they get on the list. once you are on it on a you don't know how to get off. if you're using the no-fly list as a proxy for dangerous, way to tell someone is dangerous, it is not going to work and we are essentially solidifying republican position against gun-control by watering down our constitutional rights to say -- stay free from these type of invasions. amy: congress member lee, it is interesting republicans are raising this issue that vince warren just raised. >> very few republicans have ever been concerned about civil liberties since i have been here. let me tell you, amy, i remember the days of cointelpro well. i voted against the patriot act and against the fisa authorizations. if there are problems, which
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,here are with the watch lists we need to take up those proposals that have been put forward that the republicans will not let us take up to fix it. having said that, we have to start somewhere and we have to make sure that those watch lists are accurate and make sure those people who belong on there are -- actually belong on there and make sure that they do not get their hands on guns. amy: congress member lee, when your colleague in the senate, senator christopher murphy of connecticut -- of course, representing sandy hook -- also engaged in an historic filibuster i think the ninth longest, 15 hours in the senate, the agreement was to get a vote. all of the proposals that were taken up were voted down, republican and democrat. whatn both cases, both in you are calling for in the house and wt he was calling for in the senate, there has not been a
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straight up demand for assault weapons ban. why not? >> we have to do that. there is a bill, part of that bill by commerce member thompson has a provision for banning assault weapons. let me tell you one thing, we have a strong assault weapon ban in california. we have to have a national policy because guns are transported across state all of the time and they end up in my community, even in california with the assault weapon ban. also we need to have to amend or amendment, a restriction on gun tracing. there many, many aspects of this that are very complicated. but we have to start somewhere. these assault weapons, i mean, 900 rounds? what does anyone need an assault weapon to protect themselves or to ensure they are protected by their second amendment rights? no one wants to take away
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anyone's right to hunt or protect themselves, but assault war, weaponsons of of mass distraction in the hands of anyone, quite frankly, in this country. amy: so your plans now? >> we're going to keep going. this is the first chapter of our protest, in our insistence that we bring these bills up. we have a strategy. we're going to work on moving forward -- i think what is important now is the movement developing, we are going to continue to work with organizations, with people around the country to make sure we put the heat on those republicans and on the speaker to bring these bills up. it is going to require us to do many, many things. it will be direct action. it will be organizing with our constituents. it will be legislative action. it is going to be comprehensive and aggressive. you're going to see democrats once again moving forward. amy, i hope people remember
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these elections are coming up in november. i frankly, as a democrat, i'm going to work very hard to make sure we take back the house and defeat these republicans who really do not care about anything except the nra and the inner race strategy to keep the people's voice and keep us from d, since gunward, since g measures. i hope there republic remember's who was on their side. amy: congress member barbara lee, they could for joining us democrat of california and chair , of the congressional progressive caucus peace and security task force. she is also the former chair of the congressional black caucus. when we come back, congress member alan grayson who represents orlando, florida, will be joining us. vince warren will stay with us. we will hear from a woman who lost her father in the virginia tech massacre. 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. on capitol hill, democratic lawmakers continuing their historic sit-in to demand the republican leadership take action on gun control after the orlando massacre left 49 people dead. yet another massacre. we're joined now by democratic congressman alan grayson of a florida whose district includes orlando. he is drafting an assault weapons ban bill in the wake of the mass shooting at the pulse nightclub. welcome to democracy now! what exactly are you demanding? >> i'm demanding a one sentence bill called the freedom from fear act that we reinstate the successful assault weapons ban we had throughout the entire 2000ry for 10 years, from -- up to 2004. during that time, mass murders committed by assault weapons
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dropped by two thirds. the assault weapons ban was effective. unfortunately, put a sunset clause that ended it after 10 years. if not, it would still be protecting us and the pulse strategy -- tragedy never would've happened. amy: upwards of 90% of people, the vast majority of members of the nra in fact, are four forms of gun control. assault weapons ban is not quite as high as 90%, but still more than half the population. why has not up in the demand of the democrats either in the senate after the filibuster we saw was senator murphy or even what is being talked about now, which is much more focused on , the idea of if you're on a terror watch list you cannot get a gun? >> i think if you ask democrats which three built they would like to see past, most everyone of us would say, we want to see universal background checks,
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no-fly, no-buy, and we want to see an assault weapons ban reinstated. those are the three built on top of everyone's minds. the third one is necessary because it is just too easy to kill too many people to quickly in this country. there is a chilling video from the pulse from one of the victims in which you can count 17 gunshots and five seconds. the shooter actually stopped in the middle. amy: let me ask you on this no-fly, no-buy -- we're also joined by vince warren from the center for constitutional rights. the idea that this would not have stopped aurora, the aurora moviehouse massacre. this would not have stopped sandy hook, the killing of 20 children and staff and teachers. the idea that these people who engaged in these massacres would not have been on the terror watch list. in these watch lists are flawed and violate people's civil
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liberties. >> first of all, there is, if you will, he sees this term, magic bullet, to provide everyone from the safety of guns. the only way to do that would be to real the second amendment and take away everyone's guns. that is not going to happen anytime soon. the question is, do we make the world a better place or not yet the we will provide material difference for ordinary human beings. andly, no-buy would do that it also appeals to people's common sense. if we're not going to allow people to fly because they're too dangerous, why do we allow them to buy a weapon? with regard to civil liberties, yeah false negatives and paul's positives -- you have false negatives and false positives. someone is prevented from buying a gun when he should not be. ok, so that person cannot go off and kill a deer. a false negative would be someone who is allowed to buy guns when they should not buy a gun and the person goes off and
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kills 50 people. if you wave it to dust if you whether to consequences, it is clear we have to err on the side of safety. amy: let me put that to vince warren. that certainly will resonate with most people. >> definitely resonates. the congress member, and we might agree that the best way to deal with this problem is to do with the instrumentalities that we know that are dangerous. clearly, a ban on assault weapons would result most of those issues and make people a lot more safer. it would not stop what is in people's hearts and minds, but it would stop what is in people's hands. that is the clearest way to do something. the biggest problem with bringing these pieces together youhat the congressperson, amy, or i, have no idea how someone gets on these watch lists. all of the people in congress that are proposing this have
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literally no idea how one gets on. if with said, hey, we're going to create a bill that says if you are on the suspected list or on the no-fly list you don't have the right to vote, there would be outrage. no democrat sitting on that floor right this minute would ever vote for that because they realize both that the right to vote is so important and the watch lists are so unknowable. we should not be using that as a proxy for this battle over guns when the answer is much more simple which is you have to throughhe republicans other means than giving way our civil liberties. the clear project in your desk in new york worked on a case where we represented three or four men. those men were threatened with being put on the watch list not because they were dangerous, but because the fbi wanted them to spy on their own muslim communities. this is the kind of things that happens under these watch list. these people were not dangerous. they do not even want guns.
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if they ended up being on the watch list because it refused to spy and our own community, does that make them more or less likely to be a threat? amy: commerce member grayson? >> there is a standard called reasonable suspicion. your guest knows that as well as i do. look, the system is not perfect. people get indicted, sometimes wrongly. people get convicted, sometimes wrongly. how many times do we see people on death threat who are then exonerated through dna evidence or otherwise? it is not a perfect system, but we cannot say we're not going to enforce any kind of standard at all and let anybody do anything they want even if they are crazy and want to kill other people simply because we cannot always perfectly tell right from wrong. amy: vince warren, your response? >> i agree it is not perfect system, but reasonable suspicion is a due process term for figuring out what is happening with some but a beyond a
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reasonable doubt is when you actually go to trial. neither of those two standards apply to these standards. this is about secret evidence. this is what someone may or may not have done, not what they did or are about to do. it does not make sense to build something so deeply -- amy: congress member grayson? >> that is not true. i have spoken to the end of ei many times. they have to have reasonable suspicion before they put anyone on the watch lists. people's lives are at stake. this is a system where there are ways to get off the watch list. the fact is, if the worst thing that happens if we have the watch list is everyone's on all people cannot shoot bambi, that is not a bad system. bear in mind, for the first 200 years of this country, there's no personal right to bear arms. it was only the heller case
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fairly reselling the supreme court said some people have the right to have a handgun in their homes. not everybody, but some people. that is where we are right now. to say that extremely marginal decision which represents a break in 200 years of jurisprudence turns our right to protect ourselves upside down through passing wife laws is simply wrong. amy: commerce member grayson, we had a democracy now! producer 10 wasid who was under on a terrorist watch list. every time they traveled, he was pulled aside and they would miss their flights. he was a child whose name they said was similar to someone's, but everything will time -- he could not come off it. even the people who took to question the child was say, we don't know how to type to get off that list. more poitras was harassed, new writer,he oscar-winning
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was told she was on a watchlist. if you hang gun control on this, won't it -- people will feel their lives depend on this list. the hundreds and hundreds of people on the list to able to buy guns and make mayhem? why don't we think about them? it is always going to be a trade-off the matter what you do. i went through secondary screenings after airports after 9/11 14 times in a row and i'm a member of congress. so there is always going to be mistakes that are made, but they are mistakes that do not lead to death the way that mistakes in the other direction lead. constantly and to our internal grief. amy: vince warren? >> there very well may be hundreds of people that are on that list that should not have guns. i don't disagree with that. what we have to be clear about him and none of us sitting here know who those people are. the people on the list like we don't know who they are. if we want to keep those 100
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people from killing folks, why don't we just tighten our gun-control laws without doubling down on hysterical 9/11 policies? we can get to those people who should not have guns, but we should not do it through these policies will stop and go congress member grayson, wouldn't an assault weapons ban deal with all of these issues? >> yes. thefinal underlying truth, ink that keeps people up late at night in fear is the fact it is too easyo kill too many people too quickly. be ausly, i think it would very constructive thing to do. that is why i have introduced my freedom from fear bill, my one sentence bill that would accomplish exactly that. i think if we had had simply one ,andgun in operation at pulse the outcome would have been entirely different. amy: how much support are you getting from the democrats on an assault weapons ban? it was not raised in the senate during the filibuster. >> we will see. we're circulate in the bill
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right now. we will see how many cosponsors we get. the point is, the public should not have to live in fear the way the public does at this point, and understandably so. when one ordinary person, not a sharpshooter or anyone with special training, not 70 with sharp reflexes -- one person using one weapon can kill almost 50 people in a matter of minutes, the problem is not simply the person who is doing the shooting, it is the weapon. the ly way to deal with that problem as i see it is to ban assault weapons. amy: congressman alan grayson, thank you for being here, represents orlando, florida, and other areas around that. thank you for joining us from capitol hill where the protest is ongoing, this historic sit-in that is taking place. democrats on the floor of the house. c-span has been showing this, but not because they are allowed to turn on their cameras. they are not. instead, they have signs up there running the video feeds
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come to facebook and her scope feeds of the different congress alerts, and they have an at the bottom of the screen is has "cameras in chambers controlled by house and house cameras are not permitted to show sit-in." i want to turn to uma loganathan , her father was shot and killed on april 16, 2007, in the virginia tech massacre. he was teaching at the time of the shooting. none of his students were also killed. she is a volunteer fellow at everytown for gun safety's survivor network and attended wednesday's protest outside capitol hill for gun legislation. welcome to democracy now! your thoughts on what is taking place right now in the house? >> thank you for having me. i think it is wonderful, to be honest, that they're sitting on the floor. that they have taken over the floor and they are demanding votes because that is what we
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put them in capitol hill for. that is why we elected them. we elected them to vote. we elected them to be our voices and to speak for us. and for the speaker to block the vote and not allow it is, frankly, i think it is preposterous. it is ridiculous. you should be allowed to do your job. we hardly to do the job, so do it. amy: an assault weapons ban. when used speak to congress members -- when you speak to congress members, republican and democrat, what is the response? >> i think the democrats are more receptive because at this point, they have come to accept the fact that we do indeed have a gun violence epidemic in this country. in 2007 when the virginia tech massacre happened, i heard so many things. i heard it was a fluke.
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was anou know, it incident, a mistake. , "oh, thisngs that was a one-off." is, gun violence happens everywhere. the virginia tech massacre, these mass shootings -- once upon a time, they were not this comment. i mean, we have 90 people killed every day in this country and the majority of them are not dying in mass shootings, their dying on our streets. they are dying in cities. they are dying in freak accidents. we have toddlers who are killing their parents just because they managed to get handguns. not everything revolves around assault weapons. i think now as we are starting to see more mass shootings occur and as awareness is spreading
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and there is more focus on this issue, people are realizing we do have a gun epidemic and a gun problem. and i think the dems are listing. i think a lot of the republican colleagues are struggling to come to terms with the fact they have the second amendment and they want to protect it and at the same time, there is all of this violence happening and i don't think they have managed to reconcile the two in their minds. so to talk to them about an assault weapons ban when they have not even come to reconcile the fact we have all of this gun violence and how that interacts with the second amendment and how we can respect the second amendment while stopping the violence that is in our country, i mean, if they can't reconcile those two ideas come happening even think about assault weapons ban? amy: uma loganathan, thank you for being with us volunteer , fellow at everytown for gun safety's survivor network. her father, professor gv
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loganathan, was shot and killed on april 16, 2007, in the virginia tech massacre. she attended wednesday's protest outside capitol hill for gun reform. when we come back, and historic agreement is being signed off on in havana, cuba, around peace talks in colombia. 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. one of the world's longest conflicts appears to be nearing an end after more than 50 years of fighting. today, colombian government officials and farc rebels are gathering in havana, cuba to announce a historic ceasefire nearly four years in the making. a colombian government spokeswoman outlined the agreement. >> the national government and farc delegations informed the public we have successfully agreed to a definitive and bilateral cease-fire in the laying down of arms security guarantees got into fight against organized crime units responsible for homicide and massacres are those which attack human rights defenders, social or political movements, including organized crime unit that have been denominated as successors of the paramilitary and its support networks and the persecution of criminal conduct which threatens implementation of agreements and peace
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building. amy: later today, colombian himident santos and farc and his known as timochenko will formally announce the terms of the cease-fire at a ceremony in havana. the conflict included begin in 1964 has claimed some 220,000 lives, more than 5 million people estimated to have been displaced. the cease-fire must be approved in a referendum in colombia where it is likely to face staunch opposition led by the former colombian president uribe . if implement it, it would bring an end to the longest armed conflict. we go directly to bogota the speak with daniel garcia-peña, who served as colombia's high commissioner for peace from 1995 to 1998. he is also the founder of the organization planeta paz, or "planet peace," dedicated to building grass-roots participation in the colombian peace process. here in new york we're joined by , mario murillo, professor in the department of radio, television, film at hofstra
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university. co-director of the center for civic engagement. daniel garcia-peña, the significance of what is happening today and have an a, cuba -- havana, cuba? >> it is a huge step. historic, really. is thementioned, farc oldest and largest guerrilla movement in colombia. there is been a lot of skepticism as to their willingness to actually lay down their arms, but the announcement that we are expecting today, the terms -- specific terms of how that will take place, will end one of the biggest controversies. really begin a process of implementation of the agreement that is of major importance. amy: mario murillo, your response to what we are seeing today? >> you would have to be cynical to not recognize the importance
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as daniel garcia-peña pointed out. it is incredible moment given the long-standing nature of this conflict. it is indeed the beginning of the end of the military conflict between the government and the farc rebels. it is not necessarily the end of the war, and that is one thing we have to because it's about because it is going to be a long process of implementation and securing the many different points of the agenda, which was honest a four-year process that took place, discussing the whole set of issues that are clearly not going to be resolved overnight. and people have to remember vigilant to make sure they are indeed followed up on. amy: as the columbus former high commissioner for peace, daniel garcia-peña, can you lay out what the proponents of this agreement are that you understand will be signed today? parts.e are several there are four parts.
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the first has to do with the definitive and bilateral cease-fire that establishes, basically, an end to all actions on the set of the government and the farc. all activities that have been , attacks one war the civil population, and so forth. -- those guarantees that will soon be asked combatants to guarantee we do not repeat what happened in the 1980's and 1990's with a political movement that was established in previous peace talks that were systematically eliminated, were assassinated, and led the farc to be very skeptical as to their future. the government has agreed to very specific measures to guarantee the safety of the guerrilla leaders of the future. thirdly, the issue of laying down their arms.
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which will imply the concentration of the troops. it is still not exactly certain how many places in colombia. there have been debates. the farc originally asked for 80 different sites of the country. the government began offering 8. there is speculation the final figure maybe somewhere between 20 and 30. the significant aspect is, first of all, the guerrillas will concentrate these specific areas and secondly, the united nations will head of verification group that would be composed of the nations of the latin america and caribbean to guarantee that the process goes smoothly. the process of laying down their arms, apparently, will be gradual. there will be a timetable set for this to happen. lastly, there are measures that
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have an announced or will be announced regarding the paramilitary groups, the groups that have continued to exist throughout the country and the government's commitment to and whatever links mail exist with these groups and to combat their successes. there are very significant aspects to the agreement. this is not the final agreement, nevertheless. there are still a few points to be negotiated that have to deal with the issue of how this will referendeda did -- but a colombia people, how this will be financed. but there is no doubt that the cease-fire is a major, major's. we all see the issues to be resolved should be able to be resolved sooner than later. amy: and the significance of havana, of cuba to go shooting
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this agreement between the two sides in colombia? it is been very important for many reasons. the cubans from the beginning have offered a very significant support for the process. seefarc has many thrillers the -- guerrillas see the cuban government and militias as -- with great respect. the pressure the government has put on the farc and guerrillas has been quite significant. it also the way they have been discreet and allowing the colombians, both -- to really take the lead and drive this process. the fact cuba is entering into a new moment of its relations with the united states and with the world in general has also been quite significant.
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i think this is one of the aspects that weighed heavily upon the colombian guerrillas to understand to continue the arms of struggle simply had no future whatsoever. the role of the cubans is quite significant. president castro in today's events will symbolize the role -- crucial role the cubans have played throughout this whole process. amy: mario murillo, the role of the united states in colombia over these decades? what will be key to see role they play as this process is unfolding as daniel garcia-peña laid out. if we look at the history of the u.s. role, we can go back before the start of the farc, but since the farc started, in fact, part of the argument the farc laid out in 1964 when they were mobilizing in carrying out their initial attempts at land reform
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and justice and political participation -- the same issues being negotiated in havana -- they pointed out if there was a political solution looked for back in the 1960's based on their demands that were representative of the countryside, the demands of the people, the peasantry, there would not be a farc. some and things have happened over those 52 years, but what happened was, the u.s. under the johnson administration insisted on a military solution to the uprising that was taking place in the countryside in colombia at the time. fear of another cuba and south america. honestly, that was the approach. that was in the 1960's. the peace process at that time was try to politically insert the farc through the patriotic union into the landscape of electoral potics andolitical participation, the response was a military response, massacring 3000 4000 militants of the up
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and with the support of the reagan a administration and the cia and military involvement then. and this is something that daniel garcia-peña is clear about, in the late 1990's and early 1980's, which he initiated and part of the last negotiations, the attempt was when there were just about to negotiate begin the process of peace, the response was militarization, strengthening the armed forces. and now people are historically saying, the u.s. -- if it wasn't for the u.s. support, we would not have gone to this point. but the bottom line is, 15 years have passed since those previous negotiations and tens of thousands of people have and killed. millions displaced. we have to say, what has been the result of the last 15 years of war? amy: we will continue this conversation and post it on democracynow.org. daniel garcia-peña, thank you for being with us from bogota, columba, former high commissioner for peace. and mario murillo, thank you so
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much for being with us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who apprecia
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on this episode of "eat! drink! italy!" we make a great porcini mushroom bruschetta. we visit a truly local osteria. tony verdoni and i learn about nature's role in winemaking. and i help a young superstar chef make tiramisu. my name is vic rallo, and i love to eat and drink italy. follow me and i'll prove it. "eat! drink! italy!" is brought to you by wine enthusiast, magazine and catalog, for wine storage, glassware, and accessories. the asaro line of sicilian extra-virgin and organic extra-virgin olive oils, tomatoes, olives, and more. from the asaro family to yours.

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