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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  June 26, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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06/26/17 06/26/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the thing that happened was that very soon after i won the booker prize, the government came to power -- the nuclear tests. i wrote the essay condemning the testss, and that was the end of a romance of the face of the new india. amy: as donald trump welcomes indian prime minister narendra modi to the white house, we will hear from one of india's most famous writers, arundhati roy. plus, we will look at what's at stake in today's meeting from military deals to immigration. then we go to jackson, mississippi.
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in jackson,ens mississippi, impacts each and every one of us. and so we have to make the decision that we are going to start controlling the way electoral politics proceeds. and so we have made the decision that we are going to be the most radical city on the planet. amy: we will speak to the mayor elect of jackson, mississippi, chokwe lumumba. he was just elected to fill the post once held by his father who was dubbed "america's most revolutionary mayor" before his death in 2014. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on capitol hill, opposition to the republican health care bill is growing as an increasing number of republican senators come out against their party's plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. the bill is facing criticism both from republicans who say the bill includes too many cuts to medicaid, as well as from
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those who say it doesn't go far enough to gut the affordable care act. so far, five republicans currently say they will not support the bill as written -- nevada senator dean heller, kentucky senator rand paul, texas senator ted cruz, utah senator mike lee, and wisconsin senator ron johnson, who called for the vote on the bill to be postponed. >> there is no way we should be voting on this next week. >> are you going to work to stop a vote next week? >> i've hard time believing wisconsin constituents even myself will have enough time to properly evaluate this for me to vote for motion to proceed. i have been encouraging leadership, the white house, anybody i can talk to for quite some time, let's not rush this process. amy: republicans have been pushing for a vote on the bill this week ahead of the july 4th recess. the republican health care plan would remove millions of low-income and disabled people from medicaid, cut subsidies to purchase health insurance, allow states to effectively eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and defund planned parenthood for a
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year. according to the center on budget policy priorities, the bill would also give $33 billion in tax cuts to the 400 richest u.s. households. it's facing opposition not only from some republican senators, but also from also the democrats slew of governors from both , a parties, the majority of the health care industry, hospitals, doctors, nurses, patient advocacy groups, the u.s. conference of catholic bishops, and even members of the far-right koch brothers' political network who claim the legislation is not sufficiently conservative. over the weekend, progressive groups held "don't take our health care rallies" in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, charleston, was virginia, and in columbus, ohio, where vermont senator bernie sanders called the republicans' plan beyond comprehension. sen. sanders: and while 28 million people are uninsured, this bill will throw an additional 23 million people off of the health care they have, raising the total of uninsured
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in america over 15 million people -- 50 million people. this is literally beyond comprehension. it is unconscionable, and it must not be allowed to happen. amy: vermont senator bernie sanders and others are calling for a single-payer health care system, also known as medicare for all. though he has not introduced a formal bill yet. shows support for single-payer -- a recent poll by the pew research center shows support for single-payer is growing, with a full third of americans in favor of a national single payer system. however, on friday, california assembly speaker anthony rendon shelved a proposal to establish a single-payer system across california, saying the bill will not be voted on this year. it was approved in the california state senate. "the washington post" is reporting that president obama
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received a highly classified eyes only letter in august detailing that russian president vladimir putin was directly involved in a cyber campaign with the objective of defeating democratic nominee hillary clinton and helping elect her opponent, now president donald received a highly classified trump. "the post" investigation is based on interviews with current and former unnamed government officials. the report also chronicles president obama's attempts to punish russia for the alleged interference in the u.s. election, including by imposing sanctions, expelling 35 russian diplomats, closing two russian compounds in the u.s., and a covert measure to plant cyber weapons in russia's infrastructure. "the new york times" printed a full pitch report detailing every lie president trump has told since taking office. the dozens of statements chronicled in the ad include trump lying about his position in the 2003 invasion of iraq, trump lying about how many times he's been on the cover of "time magazine," trump lying about the size of his inauguration crowds, and trump lying about widespread voter fraud that in fact never took place. and those are only the lies trump told in her first week in office. the report includes an
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infographic showing that trump either lied or issued misleading statements every single day for his first 40 days in office. workers at the carriers plant -- carrier's plant in indianapolis are bracing themselves for a massive round of layoffs next month, despite the fact that president trump had claimed that he had saved the jobs at the plant. as many as 6ext month. president trump had also announced a $16 million investment in the plant, allegedly to save jobs. but in fact, carrier's parent company says that money is going to go to factory automation, which will actually reduce the number of jobs at the plant overall. meanwhile, car manufacturer ford has announced it will be moving some of its manufacturing operations to china. this comes after trump tried to claim credit for ford's decision earlier this spring to cancel its plans to build a factory in mexico, tweeting -- "big announcement by ford today. major investment to be made in three michigan plants. car companies coming back to u.s. jobs! jobs! jobs!" in fact, ford simply decided to
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outsource the jobs to china. united nations says yemen is now facing the world's worst cholera outbreak, as the u.s.-backed saudi-led bombing and naval blockade has devastated the country's health, water, and sewer systems. the world health organization says more than 200,000 people in yemen are infected with cholera. 1300 people have already died, a quarter of them children. meanwhile, in more news on yemen, the american civil liberties union has filed freedom of information act requests for records on u.s. involvement in a secret network of prisons in southern yemen where dozens of people, including children, have reportedly been forcibly detained, tortured, and interrogated. the associated press reports u.s. military officials have participated in interrogations in detention centers where torture is routine and extreme. for a full discussion on this issue, you can go to democracynow.org. in iraq, u.s.-backed iraqi forces continue the battle to seize control of the city of mosul from isis. residents say at least five members of the same family were
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killed on sunday in a u.s.-led coalition airstrike. thousands continued to flee mosul over the weekend. this is fatima mohammed. was bombed and collapsed as she was inside. we were neighbors. she came out running and yelling and she said that her mom was buried under the rubble. i took her and washed her face. no one came to my help. we were exhausted, hungry, and thursday. amy: meanwhile, two more journalists have died from injuries sustained when a mine exploded in mosul -- swiss journalist veronique robert and french video journalist stephane villeneuve. the explosion immediately killed iraqi journalist bakhtiar haddad. in syria, u.s.-backed troops captured a district of western raqqa from isis over the weekend. the local journalistic group raqqa is being slaughtered silently reports u.s.-led coalition airstrikes killed at least five civilians on saturday in raqqa -- a man named khalil
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al sharabi along with his wife, as well as another man named khalil al-bari, his wife, and one of their sons. the syrian observatory for human rights says the u.s.-led coalition airstrikes have killed nearly 700 civilians in and around raqqa since the campaign to take control of the city began in march. meanwhile, critics are warning the united states is quietly expanding its military role in syria, with an increasing number of strikes against the syrian government. the u.s. has shot down at least one syrian government plane, and two iranian-made drones this month. the dean of the johns hopkins school of advanced international studies, vali nasr, warns -- "we are sleepwalking into a much broader military mandate, without saying what we plan to do afterward." as many as 50,000 protesters formed a human chain that stretched across parts of germany, belgium, and the netherlands on sunday to demand belgium shut down two nuclear reactors. the reactors are more than 30 years old and have been temporarily shut down twice in recent years after cracks were discovered in the core tanks.
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in pakistan, more than 150 people were killed when a fuel tanker exploded on sunday in the eastern province. the majority of those killed were nearby residents together to collect the fuel spilling out of the tanker, would have -- which a crash on the side of the road. another 100 people were wounded in the explosion. in colombia, at least 13 people have died in a mine explosion in the town of cucunuba on friday. government officials say the mine was not permitted and lacked safety equipment. back in the united states, the second mistrial has been declared in the murder case of former university of cincinnati police officer ray tensing, who shot african-american samuel dubose in the head after pulling him over for having a missing front license plate in 2015. tensing was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a confederate battle flag under his uniform when he killed dubose. this is the second time a jury has deadlocked on officer tensing's case.
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it comes after prosecutors failed to win convictions and to win convictions and two other high profile cases of police killing civilians. yanez wasta, jeronimo philando for killing castile. meanwhile, in dallas a grand , jury has indicted police officer christopher hess on charges of aggravated assault for killing 21-year-old genevive dawes in january after he fired 13 shots into her car through the passenger side window. dawes was pregnant at the time she was killed by officer hess. thousands of people marched in pride celebrations across the u.s. and the world over the weekend. in new york city, formerly imprisoned army whistleblower chelsea manning celebrated her first pride as a free woman, riding in a red convertible with
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the american civil liberties union, alongside transgender teenager gavin grimm, who has sued his local virginia school district for the right to use the bathroom that matches his gender identity. and in western massachusetts, 98-year-old activist frances crowe and seven others were arrested blockading construction of a kinder morgan gas pipeline in the otis state forest on saturday. activists helped push crowe to the construction site in her wheelchair, where they then held a mock funeral for fossil fuels. crowe is a longtime peace and anti-nuclear activist. this is her third arrest since she turned 90 years old. when asked on saturday how many times she'd been arrested throughout her lifetime, crowe answered "not enough." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump is welcoming indian prime minister narendra modi to the white house for their first face-to-face meeting. modi is head of the hindu nationalist bjp party and has led india since 2014.
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modi was once banned from the united states on charges he did not intervene in a massacre against muslims in 2002 in the indian state of gujarat. the meeting come just days after the white house announced a $2 billion deal to sell india 22 guardian surveillance drones. the deal will help india expand its use of drones in occupied kashmir as well as along the pakistani border. in addition lockheed martin has , just announced a deal to begin making f-16 fighter jets in india. another top agenda item at today's trump-modi meeting, the future of the h1-b visa program. trump signedsident an executive order to review the visa program. many observers have compared trump to modi. in january steve coll wrote in the new yorker -- "trump will join modi as the latest figure in the world's swelling ranks of populist-nationalist leaders, a gallery of strongmen in countries rich and poor, some more democratic and some less
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so, who govern partly through intimidation and a certain curated arbitrariness." to talk more about today's meeting, we are joined by two guests. teesta setalvad is a civil rights activist and journalist based in mumbai, india. she is the secretary of citizens for justice and peace. and here in new york prachi , patankar, co-founder of the south asia solidarity initiative. we welcome you both to democracy now! talk about the significance of this meeting today between trump amid the president of the united states, and modi. >> just like the other predecessors of these leaders of these countries, the u.s. and india, i imagine they will talk about similar long-term issues like economic trade deals and nuclear deals and things like you mentioned, the arms deal they are about to sign. of course, given the latest pulling of from the climate deal that trump saw, they will talk
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that as well. what differs from past leaders is they come together for their authoritarianism. modi led the way if years ago, coming to power led by very much fascist and fundamentalist take regime followed by what he did. bringshink this is what them together. another thing that brings them together is there populist and symbolic rhetoric. trump has the make america great idea hembolic -- campaigned on. modi talks about make in india. they are these nationalistic, keep jobs at home, talk about the economy in that way. but what is happening within their home countries, as we know, modi announced on u.s.
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election day in november over the demonic the station policy which had disastrous consequences for the poor and marginalized people of india, many of them farmers, the lowest in society.caste there resisting these. .here was a farmer strike amy: let's go to teesta setalvad , a civil rights activist based in mumbai, and a journalist. prachi patankar just mentioned probably note are familiar with what she is referring to. you are very involved with this issue. can you talk about modi's history? >> it is a very important understand.
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[indiscernible] talking about the democratic will of the people, having come to power in a certain power. in adiffers from trump sense that modi's political grooming is in [indiscernible] very been a lot of academic studies and issues down at the ground. [indiscernible] is a very popular leader today. he comes from the grooming of -- one the police program of 2002 was on modi's
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watch. it was poor governance at best. killed00 muslims lives in an uprising after a despicable burning. .t was allowed [indiscernible] the state was just looking on. modi has not even expressed regret for that massacre. amy: explain how many people. this was in 2002, modi as the kind of -- the equivalent of governor, how many people died and then what the u.s. action was that followed banning him or refusing to give him a visa to the united states. 06/26/17 06/26/17 campaign very special launched.
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campaigned on the issue of the 2002 massacre and argue that for a man who is chief minister, should not be allowed to visit the united states of america. repeated even as he rose and became more powerful. what you need to remember about ,odi, in five years [indiscernible] massacre.k of the they walk the razor's edge, if you like. [indiscernible]
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they represent innocence the democratic will of the people, .ut also the institutions amy: we're talking to teesta setalvad a civil rights activist and journalist based in mumbai, india, speaking to her by video stream. and prachi patankar who is here in new york, activist and educator, cofounder of the south asia solidarity initiative. guardianillion sale of drones, the significance of this? i know modi is going next to israel and was sort of playing both in case angst did not go well here, he could get them perhaps from israel. the talk about the significance of these drones and then the f-16's being built in india?
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>> this is not surprising. the u.s. and india have had conversations and relationships around arms deals almost a decade. india is also talking with other countries, as you mentioned. of both of these countries have committed grave human rights violations in the places that they have gone to war or occupied. in the case of india, we have kashmir, a place were indian armies, around 600,000 troops, placed ther the escalation of human rights violationse. for the kashmiri people against the activists and human rights activists have been going up. move.s a worrisome i also think given the ongoing conflicts between pakistan and india, afghanistan being right there and trump talking about increasing intervention in
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afghanistan, i think what the u.s. is probably thinking as they need an ally in the region post up india is one of those allies that they probably need. amy: now prime minister modi has come out in support of the climate accord, becoming a spokesperson around the world around that. of course, donald trump pulling out. >> yes, i think donald trump pulling out of the climate deal i think is seen by the entire world as not necessarily a good thing. including india and china -- i think our thing themselves pushing that forward as countries taking a different kind of stand. but i would say in terms of practice, what is happening within india and what modi has been saying internally, he has denied climate change openly. he has made anti-science remarks also in the past. he certainly does not necessarily care about climate change.
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within the policies, economic policies in india and development policies, he is been coal miningmore projects and supporting companies that do that. and that is affected millions of people, indigenous people, within different places in india whose lives will be tremendously develop theirdi's projects. amy: i want to thank you both for being on with us. we will continue this discussion to arundhati roy, who is traveling through the united states. prachi patankar is activist and educator, cofounder of the to ah asia solidarity initiative. teesta setalvad is a civil rights activist and journalist based in mumbai, india. arundhati roy up next. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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now to one of india's most famous writers arundhati , roy. 20 years after h debut nov "t god of sml things" de her a literary sensation, she is theme a leading critic of rise of hindu nationalism. now she has returned to fiction, just released her second novel titled "the ministry of utmost happiness." last week, nermeen shaikh and i sat down with arundhati roy in our studio. i asked her how winning the booker prize, at the time she was the youngest writer ever to win it, affected her life as a writer. was thrilling to win the booker prize. it was something that i had .hought about after that, it became complicated because if you actually become very well known and then let's say you move to a
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place, london or new york, where lots of well-known international people live, then it's a different story. but if you want to carry on living where you lived and being with your old friends, you know, all of them have to deal with the booker prize and the fame, and it is really hard. but it's ok. but the thing that happened was that very soon after i won the booker prize, the bjp government came to power, did the nuclear tests. and i was, at that point, you know, on the cover of every magazine. i was the face of this new india. and then the new india, to my mind, suddenly turned ugly. the public discourse after those tests became overtly nationalist, overtly ugly. things that could not have been said, even if they were thought, publicly were now acceptable. and if i hadn't stepped off that train, i would have been part of it.
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i didn't have the space to be neutral, or as howard zinn says, you can't be neutral on a moving train, but especially not if you are suddenly famous, you know? so, i wrote "the end of imagination," which was the first essay, condemning the tests. and, of course, that was the end of my romance as the face of the new india. amy: i remember when you came to the united states after writing one of your essays around the iraq war. you were fierce in your criticism of president bush. you held a news conference. and i can't remember which women's magazine came up to you after -- or maybe i can -- and said, "can we just follow you shopping?" >> really? i don't remember that. really? amy: but what it means to be a kind of star like that, as you are taking on these critical issues. >> well, it's -- you know, the thing is that i've now been baptized in fire, you know, because i've had -- i've had so
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much happen in the course of the political writing. i mean, just last -- last month, based on some fake news in a pakistani website saying that i had said something in kashmir, a bjp member of parliament suggested that instead of the kashmiri man, i should be used as a human shield in kashmir, you know? so, but that is all part of how they are with a lot of women who stand up to them. you know, there is that whole thing going on. but eventually it just makes you , more -- more sharp, i think. you know, i mean, you don't -- you know, people call me fearless and all that. i'm not fearless. i think it is stupid to be fearless, really. you have to be extremely fearful, extremely knowledgeable about the possible consequences, and then do what you're doing. amy: people wrote in around the world when they heard you were going to be on. abdullah abdusalam in nigeria
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wrote something that is very -- sounds like it fits right in with what you're saying, said, "i would like to ask arundhati roy how she copes with the hatred against her in india and how we can combat the tyranny of opinion in the world today." >> well, see, the thing is that, you know, the hatred is also a bit exaggerated because they have these troll factories. you know, they have -- they have -- it is a factory product, too, you know? so it exaggerates the extent. when i walk on the streets, i certainly don't feel hated in india. but they would like to -- amy: well, you are revered, as well. >> they would like to project it as such, you know? and there are many people in india who are standing up to what is going on there, many people, people more vulnerable than me, too, you know? so it is a remarkable country for that reason. you know, students, they were so much trouble in the campuses last year.
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you know, so i certainly -- they would like me to portray myself as some lone warrior, the sole voice. that's not true. i'm just one of many people who believe the things i believe, you know? i mean, many people don't write the novels, but many people do believe what i -- there would be something wrong with my politics if i was really just a lone person. i am in the heart of a crowd. nermeen: well, it seems that with the publication of this book, you can expect only more fame because the book is already due to be translated into at least 30 languages. and i want to go to what some of the reviewers of this book, who have suggested that there -- there may be analogies between "the ministry of utmost happiness" and other indian novelists writing in english. but it strikes us that you may have a greater affinity to writers like the uruguayan novelist and journalist eduardo galeano, who died in 2015.
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two years before he died, in 2013, democracy now! spoke to galeano in our new york studio. let's go to a clip. >> i didn't receive a formal education. i was educated in the montevideo cafe, in the cafes of montevideo. there, i received my first lessons in the art of telling stories, storytelling. i was very, very young and sat at one table, neighbor of other table of people, old people, or more or less old, and they were telling stories. and i was hearing because they were very good storytellers, anonymous. we have a memory cut in pieces. and i write trying to recover our real memory, the memory of
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humankind, what i call the human rainbow, which is much more colorful and beautiful than the other one, the other rainbow. but the human rainbow had been mutilated by machismo, racism, militarism, and a lot of other isms, who have been terribly killing our greatness, our possible greatness, our possible beauty. nermeen: that is eduardo galeano, the uruguayan writer, who passed away in 2015. so could tell us -- >> who i loved dearly, yes. nermeen: and so could you tell us about him and the possible affinities between your work and his? >> well, eduardo was a master of
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the shattered story, even though i don't think he wrote fiction. as far as i know, he never wrote any novels. but he wrote a beautiful book called "the open veins of latin america." and he had that -- i think, you know, perhaps he had that way of making realism magical without being a magical realist, you know? what a writer he was! and what a seer! wonderful. amy: that's on the back of your book, "the ministry of utmost happiness," that quote of yours: "how to tell a shattered story? by slowly becoming everybody. no. by slowly becoming everything." explain what you mean by "shattered story" and that quote.
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>> well, that's actually a little scribble in one of tilo's many notebooks, so it's in quotes. but what do i mean? well, i think what i mean is that the power of telling a story which is not a subject heading, you know, a story that is not afraid of looking at the connections, like eduardo was saying -- you know, what is -- is there a connection between the new emerging, you know great , economy, nuclear superpower, and patriarchy? is there a connection between the rise of the hindu right, what is happening in kashmir, how women are treated, what's happening -- i mean, that we are a society that practices caste, which is the most institutionalized form of hierarchy? and yet few people write about it.
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it is like writing about apartheid south africa omitting to mention there was apartheid. but what is the connection between the way women are treated and all these things that i mentioned? if you write books where each of them is a subject heading, an academic piece or journalism, you don't understand fully the rainbow that he's talking about not a beautiful one necessarily , sometimes. but each of -- so that's what i mean. this is what makes up the air we breathe. so it is a shattered story, but, actually, if you want to breathe in that air, you have to become everything, you know, and the creatures -- and the fact that perhaps the most profound political education i received was in the narmada valley and the understanding of what big dams do to rivers, to populations, to fish. it was not just about human
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beings and progress and development, but, you know, a mind that looks at a river and thinks, "i must pour tons and tons of cement into it," but how a river that belongs to a civilization, the water can be centralized, and then -- then, once it is centralized, it can be controlled. and once it is controlled, it can be given to the hotel industry or to the golf courses, instead of to the people who lived and grew crops by its banks. and you can say that this is development, you know? so you have to become that river, too. amy: you also take on many controversies that may not be as controversial where you are, but you come to the united states. abortion is a centerpiece of a republican plan to dismantle women's health care, particularly focused on planned parenthood. there is an abortion in this book. click yes. it is not controversial in
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india. but it is always interesting to see how, you know, the same people who are happy to bomb whole countries to smithereens, to massacre people, to destroy whole populations, suddenly begin to talk about abortion in this way, you know? and it is the same in india. i mean, i remember watching people demonstrating outside the irish embassy because an indian woman who could not get an abortion had died in dublin. and they were the same people who are celebrating the massacre of women in gujarat. yesterday, by the way, in the brooklyn academy, you know who was present? the daughter of ehsan jafri, the member of the legislative assembly who was hacked to death in 2002 gujarat. his wife, zakia jafri, has spent all these years in court after court trying to get justice. nothing. amy: and she was at your reading last night -- >> she was, yes.
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amy: at the brooklyn academy of music. explain the significance of that, and, you know, leading right up to president trump meeting prime minister modi on monday. >> ehsan jafri was, obviously, a muslim, but he was a trade union leader and a former member of the legislative assembly in gujarat in 2002. and when the -- post the train, the burning of the hindu programs on a train when the mobs decided that collective punishment of the muslim community was the answer to that, and started to massacre muslims on the streets, rape women, and so on, something like 60 people sheltered in ehsan jafri's very middle-class home in a housing colony in ahmedabad, hoping that, you know, because he was a politician, he would be able to save them. a mob gathered. ehsan jafri made 200 phone calls
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to all the politicians. the police came and went. nobody did anything. he came out of his house to reason with the mob, to ask them to at least spare the women and children. they hacked him to death. they killed him and then they killed everybody else. and then the killers boasted about this on camera, right? and his daughter was there at the reading yesterday. amy: and what was modi's role at this time? >> modi was the chief minister of gujarat at the time. so he was the man responsible for law and order at the time. and when he was -- and then he -- of course, it was very close to elections. you know, most massacres in india are very close to elections. and they -- but, you know, they polarized the vote, and so he won the elections. and when he was campaigning for prime ministers, reuters asked him whether he regretted what had happened under his
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stewardship in gujarat in 2002, and he said -- i mean, i don't remember the exact words, but he said something like, "even if i was driving a car and a puppy came under my wheels, i would regret it." nermeen: yeah, one of the things he said is, "i feel sad" -- he's quoted by a british author and tv producer saying, "i feel sad about what happened, but no guilt. and no court has come even close to establishing it." >> yeah, so the point is that it is not about -- it is not about legal -- i mean, if you cannot establish a hands-on, legal link that you are really involved in any of it, but you were the chief minister, you know, you do have a moral responsibility. i mean, it is not about just -- you know, legal recourse has never helped the onset of this kind of majoritarianism and fundamentalism.
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amy: that is arundhati roy, author of the new book, "the ministry of utmost happiness." we go on with that interview and we brought you part one last week. to see it all, you can go to democracynow.org. "thehati roy has written ministry of utmost happiness" her second fiction book, her second novel 20 years ago when she wrote "the god of small things." arundhati roy is traveling the country. on june 27, she will be at town hall in seattle. on june 28, at the norse leader in san francisco. this is democracy now! when we come back, we go to jackson, mississippi. a new mayor is being sworn in a week from today. we will speak with him. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "chaal baby" by red baraat. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end the show today in jackson, mississippi, where just one week from today social justice activist and attorney chokwe antar lumumba will be
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sworn in as jackson's next mayor. earlier this month, lumumba won the general election in a landslide after handily winning a primary election in may. this is chokwe lumumba celebrating his general election victory with supporters. [chanting] there are people who doubt your resolve. you can't give up now. [indiscernible] amy: chokwe lumumba is the son of late jackson mayor chokwe lumumba, a longtime black nationalist organizer and attorney dubbed "america's most revolutionary mayor" before his death in 2014. the 34-year-old chokwe antar lumumba supports economic democracy and has proposed a civic incubator fund to support
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cooperative, member-owned businesses in jackson. shortly after his election, lumumba was a featured speaker just a few weeks ago at the people's summit in chicago. >> i bring greetings from jackson, mississippi. where i have recently been named mayor elect of jackson mississippi. in this process, we defeated the we were ableeople to secure the general election with 94% of the vote. [applause] that, weimportant in did so on a people's platform. on a people's platform where from the moment we announced, we did so say we were running on an
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agenda of social justice, of economic democracy, and, and, and working with people, making certain people have a voice. and that is our story. and we are sticking to it. as we look at condition of our country, as we consider the fact that we are in trump times, we have all kinds of questions of what that means. when i have been confronted with the question of, how do you feel in jackson, mississippi, after hadtrump election -- what i to share with people, is after the wednesday after the election, i woke up in jackson, mississippi. and what that means is, no matter whether our country has experienced great booms or b usts, in mississippi we have always been at the bottom. what that means is we have to decide that we are going to rescue ourselves.
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that in places act jackson, mississippi, we won't allow it to become havens of oppression which endanger all of us. [applause] so what happens in jackson, mississippi, impacts each and every one of us. and so we have to make the decision that we are going to start controlling the way electoral politics proceeds. and so we have made the decision that we are going to be the most radical city on the planet. that we are going to make certain -- [applause] that we are going to make certain that we change the whole scope of elect for a politics. no longer will we allow an individual to step before us and tell us all of the great things they're going to a coalition on our behalf. only to find that nothing in their paths demonstrate a sincerity, willingness, or in to do so. -- what we must
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do in jackson, mississippi, in d.c., maryland, dairy, indiana, chicago, illinois, is we have to start drafting an agenda for ourselves. agenda, creating what we want to see, and then we draft the leadership which represents our agenda. [applause] and so we are excited about this energy, which is surfacing, but it is time that we take it from the mystical, the mysterious come and put it into action and see what we can demonstrate when progressive people come together and have a plan and assign how we're going to change the very scope of this world. so we have to come to the same understanding that martin luther king came to in his last days. martin had a conversation with her bellefonte not long before he died. what martin told harry, he said, listen, harry, we're going to win this integration struggle.
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but i'm beginning to wonder -- i'm beginning to wonder if we're not integrating into a burning house. he said, i see a system which is abusing labor and working people and he said, i'm worried about integrating into a house that looks like that. he said, if people cannot be said, if they can't take of their families, it is useless to walk mississippi roads together. so ultimately, it becomes question colorgreate and more about the ideas. what are the best and the worst ideas. what the worst ideas are is that you can be a present anyone. so we now demand -- we now demand that our leadership looks at how we include the people's voice in the process will stop and if we have -- we have two choices. we have a choice of economics by the people and for the people were economics by a few people for themselves.
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and so we're demanding right now that we begin to rescue ourselves. said,now, as my comrade we have nothing to lose but our change. thank you so much. amy: that was jackson, mississippi, mayor-elect chokwe antar lumumba speaking earlier this month at the people's summit. well, he joins us now from jackson, mississippi. mayor-elect lumumba, welcome to democracy now! thank you so much, amy. i'm happy to be on your program with you today. amy: one week from today, you're going to be sworn in as the next mayor of jackson, mississippi. talk about your plans. what are going to be her first actions in office. >> well, amy, we are putting together -- we would have a transition team that is in place right now. and looking at the issues, which jackson is facing, making certain we don't make plans just off conjecture but a fact-based
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analysis of where we find our city and bringing together not ,nly people who have the acumen ability, and skill to do the job, but people who have a passion post a passion which goes beyond the way we see a electoral politics, but a passion to change people's lives. and part of that process is putting together a budget shortly after we take office, we have to pass a budget. so it is important that we have the right people in place. one of the symbolic measures that we are going to take immediately as we take office is a citywide cleanup. it is more than just taking care of the aesthetic appeal of our city. it is about unifying the city. it is about bringing people from all areas together and taking the collective interest in how our city looks. i hearken back to the words of my mother, "if you don't care for your house, no one else will." we're going to take those easy first steps that is symbolic of
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where we are going, the direction we're headed and collectively. amy: you referred your mother. can you talk about the origins of your name? >> i could not hear you. amy: can you talk about the origins of your name chokwe antar lumumba? name my father changed his when he was in law school and accepted the name that he believed to be more culturally than a fireball. chokwe is the name of a tribe in the angola region, a tribe that was resistant to the slave trade. the name chokwe means "hunter." antar is the name of a the start poet and warrior that died while saving a woman from drowning. it means poet and warrior. lumumba, i was given that name from our namesake patrice
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lumumba, the former prime minister of the congo. lumumba means "gifted." amy: can you talk about -- i mean, your rise to becoming mayor of jackson is very interesting. the incumbent mayor won the special election against you in 2014. the race that determined who would finish your father's term after he died in office. your thoughts about losing to him then, but defeating him in this race? what changed? >> well, you know, as i have shared with many people, hindsight is 20/20. i am actually grateful that we lost the election in 2014. not because sincerity was not there, not because we don't believe we could have done a good job, but we have been able, you know, to appreciate far more what is going on with the city of jackson. i've been able to appreciate
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more within myself. people have to remember in 2014, not only did i bury my father in a two month time span and then enter into an election, my wife was pregnant with our first child. so there was a world of change. yet a first-time candidate who had not run for a junior class president, much less mayor of a city. to gather been able more information and position ourselves better. so everything happens in a perfect timing. so we are happy where we find ourselves at this time, to move forward the agenda that my father embarked on, and agenda of a people's platform, one that was not only symbolic of his work in his short term as mayor, but symbolic of a lifetime of work that he subscribed to and ultimately dedicated his family too. amy: i want to go back to your father chokwe lumumba in june , 2013i interviewed him just
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after he was elected mayor. >> there some people historically who try to separate the populations and to have a certain portion of the the rest ofppressed the population. we're not when it tolerate that. we're going to move ahead. we're going to let everyone participate in this movement. we're going to invite everyone to participate in this movement forward. we're formed a people's assembly that is key to what we have done here, where we have every three months, the population can come out and participate in open forum to say what is on their mind. amy: that was chokwe lumumba in 2013 when he was mayor elect, in the very same studio that you are sitting in right now. in that speech we just played that you gave at the people's summit where i first met you just a few weeks ago in chicago, you said, we're going to be the most radical city on the planet. what does that look like?
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a plan where we change the way we view electoral politics. in that speech, i spoke about not accepting some of the agenda for our lives, but creating one ourselves. so giving people more control of their government is what that looks like. it is an inclusive process. the word when we use "radical," sample find themselves in fear and question whether they are a part of that radical agenda. that is exactly our claim, to incorporate more people, giving people voice you have not had it. that is a shift from what we have seen in traditional politics. it is usually the lay of the land is given to those who are most privileged. and so we are trying to incorporate more people in the process, give voice to the voiceless. it starts with identifying the
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areas of greatest need. we need to show our workers, our city workers and even the unionized work that -- we need to show people dignity and respect and our jobs and also see the economic benefit of it bit. jackson is like many cities. it does not have a problem producing well. it is a problem maintaining well. so if you put more money into people's hands that live and work here, you stand a greater chance of receiving it back. where also going to look at practical solutions to our problems. look ate also going to practical solutions to our problems. it is about forming relationships and making certain you can work with people who may historically find themselves on the opposite end of a struggle that you may be engaged in, such as the state, such as a trump administration. so you want to identify your comment ends and see how you exploit those common goals in order to arrive at the solutions that benefit us all.
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but it is also about how you take -- make better use of the resources you have. -- john amy:at as i'm going to interrupt because we only have a minute. jackson drew a lot of attention early this year when a 22-year-old undocumented shortlyt was arrested after she spoke out publicly in a news conference about the detention of her family. is jackson going to be a sanctuary city? cooks jackson is going to be a city which protects human rights for human beings. your't care whether ancestors arrived on the mayflower or whether you joined us more recently, you deserve the same protections and respect in this city. interestingelves in times where the word "sanctuary" becomes a negative phrase. i am proud of the work my father
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did in order to secure an entire racial profile an ordinance in the city, and we will continue to protect everyone who lives within our city. amy: and the issue of police accountability? in the last weeks, we have seen teedo police officers acquitted arounds with mistrials the killing of african-american motorists. your thoughts? >> i think we ever criminal justice system in our country which is entirely out of hand. it is a largest business going. the fact that we made the criminal justice system into more of an industry, it provides or create a coulter that allows for people to be harassed, killed, and shuffled in like cattle. environment ofn police brutality. what we want to do is be ahead of the curve in the city of jackson. we want to see --
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amy: we have to leave it there. i thank you so m
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