tv Democracy Now PBS August 7, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! police chief like myself are hoping to work 100 times harder now because of the policies being packaged as public safety, when in fact, it does nothing but harm public safety. amy: is a new "show me your papers" law hurting public safety in texas even before it goes into effect september 1? the mosthouston, diverse city in the country, to speak with its first latino acevedo, whoart
has already seen a decrease in hispanic victims reporting rape, even as rapes reported by an non-latinos increased. then me look at how thousands of african-american homeowners may have been a legally forced out of their homes in detroit. >> what many people are not familiar with is the property tax foreclosure crisis currently happening in detroit, which activists on the ground are calling a hurricane with no water. it is wiping out large swaths of poor and working-class african-american communities, just as hurricane katrina did. amy: and we go to charlottesville, virginia where white nationalist are planning to rally to protest the decision to remove a statue of robert e lee. we will speak with the only african-american city counselor who led the effort to take down the civil war memorial. >> we have to ask ourselves one simple question.
we can disagree about statues, different things going on in the city, but one thing we must do is ask ourselves, can we rally together in the name of love? can we show that our city is one that will band together to push out hate? amy: all that and more, coming up. to democracy now! soaring temperatures could make asia too hot for human survival by the year 2100, according to new scientist who say as many as one and a half a billion people live in areas that could become uninhabitable during summer heat waves within 83 years if climate change continues at its current pace. a new separate study published by the landsat says heatwaves could kill up to 152,000 people a year across europe by 2100.
europe is experiencing a sweltering record-breaking heatwave this summer called lucifer. back in the united states in louisiana, torrential done flooded parts of new orleans, inundating cars and schools, forcing people to wade through hip deep water in some neighborhoods. the flash floods overwhelmed the city's sewerage system. sewerage andhe water board said the flooding was part of climate change. now in a different era of climate change where we have these kinds of rains every month . it is not just the rest of the country that is experiencing the same weather patterns. we are in a situation where we now receive more rain than anybody could have imagined on a recurring basis. amy: friday, the trump administration delivered an official notice to the united nations saying it is withdrawn the u.s. from the 2015 paris climate accord.
dar al-farooqthe islamic center in bloomington was bombed on saturday in an act that minnesota governor mark dayton has condemned as terrorism. the explosive device was thrown through the offices windows at around 5:00 a.m. as people were gathering for morning prayers. most of the members are a part of minneapolis's somali community. president trump has not said anything about the attack. islam a phobic attacks across across the mosques united states have been rising since president trump was elected. this is the president of the islamic community center in minnesota. who do noture those have the consciousness of who we are, we will never come to our knees in front of them. we will keep resisting to assure the value of this country are in
the highest levels ever. retreated by one individual or a group of people, or group of terrorists. we are here altogether in order to defend the values of our country, the values of our faith, the values of our people. amy: a federal appeals court has thrown out the prison sentence for former blackwater contractors involved in a 2007 massacre in baghdad, killing 17 civilians when they opened fire with machine guns and threw grenades into a crowded public space. the attack by the blackwater "myds has been called the lai massacre of iraq." a fourth contractors murder conviction was thrown out entirely, meaning he will now have a new trial. united nations security council hasn't closed a new round of
sanctions against north korea over its test launches of two intercontinental ballistic missile's last month. the sanctions ban exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood, which could slash up to one third of north korea's export revenue. over the weekend, secretary of state tillerson met with asian leaders at a regional security meeting in the philippines. chinese foreign minister weighing he called for dialogue to reduce the escalating tensions between the u.s. and north korea. >> our purpose is to bring all parties involved in the nuclear issue back to the negotiation table, to find resolution through talks. to realize the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. in news from washington,
deputy attorney general rod rosenstein said sunday that special counsel robert mueller can investigate any crimes he may discover within the scope of trump's ties to russia and whether he colluded with russia to swing the 2016 election. this comes one day after president trump claimed it would be inappropriate for mueller to investigate the trump family finances. attorney general jeff sessions has promised an administrative-wide crackdown on a leaks, announcing the fbi has formed a new team specifically focused on investigating potential leaks to the press. today, i have this message for our friends in the intelligence community. the department of justice is open for business. i have this warning for would be leakers. don't do it.
i have listened to our career investigators, fbi agents, and others, about how to most successfully investigate and prosecute these matters. , one of thegestion things we are doing is reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas. amy: on twitter, trump praised the speech, writing -- his new chief of staff, general john kelly also want staff over the weekend about leaks to the press, although his morning itself was promptly leaked. are reportingts the trump administration is considering naming senior policy adviser stephen miller to be the next communications director. miller is a well-known xenophobia and islam a phone. he was the architect of the first muslim travel ban and he's been praised by white nationalists, including richard
spencer. if named, he would take over anthony scaramucci, who was ousted after only about 10 days he threateneder to kill leakers and called former chief of staff reince priebus the paranoid schizophrenic. groups have said they will sue the trump administration over the plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military. chicago has announced it will sue the federal government for threatening to withhold $3.2 million in grants to the police department unless chicago mobilizes its police or participates in the trump administration's mass deportation plan. will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate. chicago will not let our residents as a fundamental right
isolated and violated. chicago will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city. amy: we will discuss the crackdown on sanctuary cities, particularly a texas law about to go into effect, with the houston police chief art acevedo. up tothern afghanistan, 50 people were killed by taliban and isis militants when they attacked a police checkpoint and entered a village. the town of and denied killing civilians, saying it killed only afghan security forces and members of a pro-government militia. in yemen, a u.s. backed saudi-led airstrike has killed at least 12 civilians, including women and children. in syria, u.s. marines and u.s.-led syrian troops continued the airstrike to seize control of the city of rock up.
at least six civilians were killed during airstrikes saturday. this comes as more information is emerging about a u.s.-led missile attack that killed up to seven members of the same family. among the victims was a one-year-old, along with his grandfather. in venezuela, authorities have quelled a right-wing antigovernment paramilitary attack. message come armed the men claimed the attack was a rebellion against the maduro government. president maduro has pronounced -- denounced the attack as u.s. funded terrorism. it is a terrorist attack against the armed forces of the boulevard in national army. the armed forces responded with a reality and decisiveness. the bill was paid for from miami and columbia. marco rubio has said there has been uprising in venezuela and to support it. attack killed two
people and came one day after the controversial national constituent assembly held its first session. critics say mandir is using the assembly, which will have the authority to rewrite that is where the constitution, to consolidate his power. journalists and human rights groups are denouncing israel's plan to shut down out his ears office in jerusalem and revoke press credentials. they say -- here in this country, fox news host eric bolling has been amidnded by the network accusations he's been texting unwanted photos of his genitals to fluvial coworkers. he is the third anchor to be suspended this year amid their sexual harassment scandal. in july, a host was suspended
after he was accused of coercing a political analyst to have sex with him in exchange for a paid contributor's position. bill o'reilly was fired in april amid revelations that he and fox news had paid out $13 million to settle lawsuits by five women who had accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. -- hundreds the rallied at the capital to protest the keystone xl pipeline. years ofine has faced resistance from native americans, farmers, landowners, and environmentalists. carrypleted, it would 830,000 barrels a day of tar sands oil from alberta, where it would join an existing pipeline and carry it down to the gulf. united auto workers are accusing carmaker nissan are running a scare campaign against its effort to unionize a plant in mississippi. the 3500 workers at the plant
voted against a bid to unionize. in sports news, multiple former football players spoke out against racism during saturday night's hall of fame induction ceremony. saysr safety telik easily black lives matter during his speech while former running back the dean tomlinson gave an emotional speech about his great, great, great-grandfather george who was kidnapped from west africa and forced into slavery in the united states. >> my great, great, great-grandfather george 170 years ago, george was brought here in chains on a slave ship from west africa. tomlinson, was given to him by the man who owned him. tomlinson was the slave owners last name. what extraordinary courage it must have taken for him to rebuild his life after the life
he was born to was stolen. i am off next race, and i represent america. former running back living in dominance in. the city mayor bill de blasio says he will push for a tax on multi-new yorkers to tape or essential upgrades to the ailing subway system which has been engulfed in crisis. the so-called millionaires tax in which deblasio is announcing today, requires approval from state lawmakers. martinhedge funder shkreli is facing decades in prison after being convicted of three counts of fraud. shkreli has been done the most hated man in america after he hacked the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5000% overnight. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm one gonzalez. we begin today in texas where
there is growing concern that a new "show me your papers" law targeting immigrants is threatening public safety even before it goes into effect september 1. texas governor greg abbott signed senate bill four into law in may, making it a class a misdemeanor for local law enforcement officials to limit cooperation with federal immigration agents. the law orders police to comply with detainer requests from immigration and customs enforcement in their jails, and also allows police officers to ask about the immigration status of anyone they detain, not just arrest. amy: in houston, concern about the crackdown on immigrants has already led to a decrease in latino victims reporting rape, even as rapes reported by non-latino victims increased. a judge could decide whether to put sb4 on hold. meanwhile, a summer of resistance is underway by immigrants and their allies. this is 17-year-old magdalena
juarez speaking during a continue-themed protest at the state capital in austin. >> it will allow law enforcement to ask people who look forward for their documentation. it will force public officials massact trump's deportation agenda and may make some victims of crime too scared to seek help. makesttom line is, sb4 simply being brown illegal. texas governor abbott has defended sb4, saying it is meant to ensure public safety. but the fort worth star-telegram recently reported a group of teenagers told police they carried out a string of robberies that targeted latinos "because they have money and don't call the police." today, we will speak to police and say what they are
saying about the law. that featureserpt a formerly undocumented immigrant who is now a houston police officer. he says he does not plan to ask people for their legal status. >> my name is officer jesus robles. i was born in mexico. i came to this country when i was a child. it took me over 20 years to finally get my citizenship. it is not as easy as people think. most of us are out there to serve and protect. most of us are not here with an agenda to be looking for immigrants or undocumented people. most of us are not too excited about this whole situation because we know it will be more difficult to get cooperation from people on simple, simple things. amy: that report was from renee feltz. for more, we go to houston, texas or we are joined by
houston police chief art acevedo. he is also vice president of the major cities chiefs association and co-authored an op-ed that ran statewide ahead of the vote "do not burdend local officers with federal immigration enforcement." we are also joined by renee feltz, marcus casino correspondent and producer who produced a story for the .ntercept her report for rewire is titled "texas mayors, police officials speak out against immigration law while they still can." police chief acevedo, let's begin with you. you are the first latina police chief of the u.s. yourlaw has been passed in state, sb4, and goes into effect september 1.
you believe it hurts public safety even before it has gone into effect. can you explain? art: we are seeing it on the grnd. you heard from officer wrote less. there are people that are hiding, moving into the shadows. even legal residents, lawful, u.s.-born citizens who may have undocumented family members, are starting to not want to cooperate because they are afraid to be deported. the numbers speak for themselves. it is not just rapes not being reported, it is all by the crime. through the second quarter we are seeing the same trend. the debate has been very mean-spirited and people are running scared. juan: could you go over some of the numbers? you have seen an increase in reported rapes, crimes by non-hispanics, but when it comes to hispanics, there has been a sharp drop.
rapes and sexual assaults alone, the reduction has been 42.8%, while the rest of the community, the numbers have gone up. the same holds true to a lesser extent, 13%, for all by the crime. that is the consequence, when you create the perception that frontline law enforcement officers should be focused on public safety. you cannot argue with the fact that it is goi to have an impact. perception matters. the perception that sb4 has created is that we are going to be required to be immigration agents. that is not the truth. that is not the fact, but we cannot seem to convince the immigrant community that they need not fear us. amy: i want to turn to the texas house chamber. during the debate on whether to whether you would
allow local police to ask the status of anyone they detain -- this is mary gonzalez addressing her fellow lawmakers before they vote after she just described her experience as a survivor of sexual assault. >> i'm asking you to be as brave ,s me, who has survived it all and still made it here. i know it will be harder sometimes in your campaigns. i get that political reality. but let me tell you this. it is harder sometimes to be a survivor. it is harder to know that the women and children who will be affected by this, who feel disconnected by law enforcement. to my friends on this floor, if you ever had any friendship with me, this is the vote that measures that friendship, that
,ou can vote for this amendment then you think it is ok for women, children not to be able to go to law enforcement and be protected in their most horrible time in their lives, that you are willing to take that risk? then i hope you never talk to me again because this is people's lives. amy: texas state representative mary gonzalez. after she spoke, they did vote for that amendment. police chief acevedo, can you talk about what you have seen, what she is talking about, bravely speaking about as a survivor herself and a legislator. then if you could explain in full what the overall law does. art: the law prohibits us from telling our officers they cannot ask immigration status at the point of detention.
what we have seen, what we knew we would see, folks are now not wanting to cooperate with law enforcement. ,he unintended consequences today's witness or victims of may be undocumented does not come forward, may not be able to help us prevent a future crime of another american-born resident, whether it is a child at the bus stop kidnapped, so on and so forth. there is a reason law enforcement came together in texas, all of the police chiefs. we urge the party of law and order to not hurt our efforts. despite our do strongest words and editorials, they just ignored us. you cannot be the party of law and order and then turn around and ignore labor groups and law enforcement, law enforcement leadership that together said no to sb4, but it fell on deaf ears. juan: renee, what are some of the challenges being raised by
the naacp, other civil rights groups about this law? renee: we are seeing a summer of resistance, we don't often hear from police officers, but they are speaking out. we also see a push in the courts . what they are saying is this violates the constitution in several ways. texans are fans of the second amendment but not necessarily the first in this case. the are perhaps restricting right of public officials and law enforcement officials to speak out. what about the fourth amendment right against unreasonable seizure? police are concerned immigrants who have a detainer put on them while in jail are being held longer than they should be, violating their right to release in that regard, violating the fourth amendment. amendments,re other for example, the equal protection clause. is this law targeting latinos in texas unfairly? finally, what about the law that
helped to strike down a similar law in arizona which is the supremacy clause? the idea that the federal government has the right to enforce immigration and states cannot determine that instead. although chief acevedo is speaking out against the law, activists are calling for police to take more steps against sb four. renee: they are calling for police to look at how a traffic stop can be a pathway to deportation. if somebody is stopped by a police officer in texas and they are undocumented, they will not have a driver license, they cannot get one. in that case, should the officer you description and have somebody take them home, or should they be arrested? maybe they could be given a ticket or citation. similar arguments have been made for young people who may violate curfew, or other incidents where there are petty offenses being carried out, similar to what
do in other cities like breaking windows, ticketing. juan: what are you hearing from your officers out in the fields b4 about how this is going to affect their own police work, in terms of the resources you have, the crimes you have to deal with on a daily basis? and aolice officers groups, labor leaders, police chiefs sometimes do not agree on a time of day or day of the week , but in this instance we were lockstep. we have limited resources. we know violent crime is beginning to creep up nationwide in a lot of our cities. the last thing we need is to have a chilling effect on immunity policing in the which has been the cornerstone of the last 25 years of policing. it has led to historically known numbers in terms of violent crime.
they don't want to put something on the table, something more for our offices to deal with. more importantly, they want to not have that impact on the public reserve and really rely on most acute the community safe i'm not coming forward. when you see labour leadership and law enforcement and police chiefs together on something, that is a clue, a hint. that means it is probably not a good idea that we were going down this path. unless the court intervenes, we have to be prepared to follow the law beginning september 1. amy: you yourself face a $25,000 fine, if what? art: if i order my officers not to cooperate with ice or limit their ability to ask the question. i will tell you, at the end of the day, racial profiling will not be tolerated. how you enforce the law without racial profiling is beyond many of us.
we will see what happens but our folks are well-trained, they are focused, they want to keep houston safe. they know going after cooks and innies and gardeners is not the best interest and it is not something we are interested in. say, as just want to the police speak out, aclu and others pursue the lawsuit, and as the summer of resistance continues, we are already seeing a downturn in people going to police, but people approaching social services, going to food banks. the numbers are down from immigrants as well. ofare talking about a lack access to food as well as services. the final point i want to make is many are expressing concern about the immigrant community coming forward to police. many of these families, including those that i spoke to in houston are from families with mixed status. sometimes the parents have legal
status but the children don't. they are afraid. we will see what happens with the judge garcia's decision. hopefully, we will continue to follow this. amy: chief acevedo, one more question on a different issue. i wanted to get your response to to law enforcement officers onss long island new york where he said this. thugsn you see these being thrown into the back of the paddy wagon, you see them being thrown in, rough. i said, please don't be too nice. when you put somebody in the car and you are protecting their head -- the way you put their hand -- don't hit their head and they have just killed somebody. i said, you can take the hand away, ok? trump.at was president while the police officers standing behind me at suffolk community college were
applauding, he was slammed by a number of national police organizations for encouraging police fertility. art acevedo, your response to what he said? we already responded, we responded quickly as a profession. there is no room for the president of the united states to create the perception and fee that narrative that we are a bunch of neanderthals. we are committed to the rule of law. the person that sets the tone is the president. we condemned those comments quickly as a profession. whether it is sb4 or police patella day, i'm proud of the fact that law enforcement today will be judged as being on the right side of history on these issues. amy: art acevedo, thank you for joining us. renee feltz, contributed to the intercept and democracy now, we will link to your piece. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we go to
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. michigan, 50oit, years ago, a rebellion took place in the city streets. 43 were killed, thousands injured. over 7000 were arrested. more than 2000 buildings were destroyed. thousands of white families fled the city, reshaping the makeup of detroit. 50 years later, detroit is being reshaped again but under different circumstances. the choice is now 80% african-american and 40% of the
city's residents live below the federal poverty lines. but as downtown detroit becomes increasingly justified among thousands of longtime residents, mostly african-american families , have lost their homes to foreclosure. amy: a recent study called "stategraft" found one in four detroit properties have been subject to prior -- foreclosure between 2011 and 2015. according to legal experts, many of the foreclosures may have violated the state's constitution. we go to detroit, michigan where we are joined by bernadette at hene, along -- atua with her colleague who authored the study "stategraft." in the new york times is entitled "don't let detroit's revival rest on an injustice." she is with the coalition to end
unconstitutional tax foreclosures. we invited the detroit mayor mike dugan to be on the show but did not get a response. tomorrow is the detroit mayoral primary election. professor, thanks for being with us. explain what you found in the report. are three mainre findings. the first is that the michigan constitution is clear in supporting where legislation. no property should be assessed at more than 50% of its market value. ther state constitutions to extent they mention property tax assessments say things like the property tax assessment must be fair, uniform, and equal, which means it is up to a judge to decide legality. because michigan constitution and supporting legislation says no property should be assessed and more than 50% of its market value, it means that people like me can come in and determine legality, and that is what we did. until the numbers from 29
2015 and found in each of the seven years, anywhere between 55 and 85% of properties were being assessed in violation of the michigan constitution, putting into disrepute the record number of property tax foreclosure's in detroit. the second binding was when we broken the data into five quintiles, quintile one is lowest valley homes, to quintile five, being the highest value. we found in quintile one and two come in the majority of those years, 95% or more of those properties were being assessed in violation of the state constitution. when you got to quintile five, the highest valued homes, the majority of those homes were being -- not being assessed in violation of the state constitution. the third thing i want to bring to your attention is in detroit there is the property tax exemption. 40% of the charters fall below the federal poverty line. in detroit, according to the poverty tax extension, you are
not supposed to pay taxes if you fall below the federal poverty line. because the city failed to advertise the poverty tax exemption, because the city put several unnecessary barriers in the way, obstructive people from applying for the property tax exemption, we have an exemption where people were illegally assessed, unable to pay the inflated taxes, foreclosed upon for taxes they were not even supposed to be paying in the first place. juan: so what your study found is not only were most of the homeowners in detroit being assessed at higher rates than the constitution allowed, but there was a disproportionate impact on the poorest households . what was the actual affect on the residence of detroit? the effect was they were not able to pay those over
inflated taxes. there is lots of heartbreaking stories, but there is one particularly poignant story of mr. joseph bates. his family had purchased that his great-grandfather had purchased his house in southwest detroit in 1907. his grandfather was a show to henry ford himself. cover for provided five generations of the bates family, five generations of working-class detroiters. last year, that home was foreclosed upon and mr. bates was evicted for nonpayment of property taxes. the problem is, his annual taxes were about $1300 per year, but his home was not worth more than $2400 because it was severely dilapidated, and several of the rooms were unlivable. mr. batesn to that, has worked in grocery stores his entire life, has never made more
than $10,000 a year, so he qualified for the property tax exemption. but he didn't even know about the problem -- poverty tax exemption. even if he did, the various obstacles, unnecessary obstacles put in the way, means he never applied for the poverty tax exemption. mr. bates was evicted from his family home for nonpayment of illegally inflated property taxes that he was not supposed to be paying in the first place. jason dates ino his own words. grandparents bought the home in 1907, he was ultimately foreclosed upon last year. i didn't have health coverage, so i did not think about it. i had to work less and less. so i ended up losing the house
again because i could not keep up the taxes. last year, a company bought my home. they went there, they came, it was the first time i saw them. they said they were there to clean up the yard. i had no idea what was going on. they said they own the house for years. i said there was no way. the taxes were coming in my name. withcame two weeks later four people to throw me out. they told me to go to a homeless shelter. amy: that was joseph bates describing at a news conference, along with a number of other people, the effect of these foreclosures. he ended by saying they told him to go to a homeless shelter. what is the remedy here, professor atuahene? bernadette: several
long-standing detroit's grassroots organizations have formed a coalition to end unconstitutional foreclosures. our first demand is to stop these unconstitutional tax assessments. the second is for those people who were already foreclosed upon and already lost their homes, to provide some kind of compensation. the coalition hosted a people's forum on june 17 which had over 100 people in attendance. we broke those people up into seven breakout groups with a trained facilitator and heard from them the things they want. two of the things that many people talked about is ,ompensation, which we can use the hardest hit funds, federal
they told me that they own the house for years. i said there was no way they could have done that. taxes were coming in my name. so they came two weeks later with four people to throw me out . they told me to go to a homeless shelter. was joseph bates describing at a news conference along with a number of other people the effect of these foreclosures. he ended by saying they told him to go to a homeless shelter. what is the remedy here? severalte: long-standing detroit grassroots organizations have formed the coalition to end unconstitutional tax foreclosures. there are three demands of the coalition. the first is to stop these unconstitutional tax assessments. the second demand is for those people who were already foreclosed upon and already lost their homes to provide some kind of compensation.
the coalition hosted a people's forum on june 17 which had over 100 people in attendance. we broke those people up into seven groups with a trained facilitator and scribe and heard from than the things they want. that many things people talked about is compensation, which we can use the hardest hit funds among which are federal funds currently used to demolish homes in detroit and we are saying let's repurpose that money. that program is under federal investigation. repurpose that money to pay these illegally inflated taxes and are also saying the land bank -- detroit land bank owns 97,000 homes at the moment. 32,000 are residential properties. give people a home, those that lost their homes through this unconstitutional tax assessment. the third and final demand is on september 5, the wayne county treasurer is about to foreclose on another round of houses this year.
we are saying let's put a moratorium on tax foreclosures until we can ensure that people, doing quick tax owners have not been unconstitutionally assessed. juan: could you give us your sense, the national news on detroit is of a detroit renaissance. what is your message to people across the country of what is happening in detroit as you are heading into a mayoral primary? there is, in fact, a renaissance, but the sad thing about it -- detroit is 143 square miles. is happening in 7.2 of those square miles. youhose 7.2 square miles have developers getting tax subsidies, tax breaks, tax incentives that benefit people who are mostly newcomers to the city. while those long-standing detroit residents who stayed in
detroit after the riots, stayed with the choice to its hardest times are now being subject to monumental tax injustice. the story of the revival we need to take a closer look at it. mayor, how hase he responded to the report? bernadette: in january, the city finished a reassessment of all of the city properties. for the first time in 50 years, they are doing what they were supposed to be doing, assessing properties based on their current market value. i had the opportunity to ask him about unconstitutional tax assessments. his response to me was that if people believe their assessments were unconstitutional, they should have appealed those assessments. there are three problems with that statement.
number one, all the empirical evidence shows more affluent homeowners are more likely to appeal their taxes. less affluent homeowners are less likely to appeal and less likely to be successful in their appeal. number two, appeals processes are made for those unique cases -- no system can get everything right. an appeals process is designed for those unique cases where they got it wrong to get it right. an appeals process is not designed to correct systemic injustice, which is what is happening in detroit. anywhere from 55% to 85% of properties are being assessed in violation of the michigan constitution. last but not least, you cannot possibly expect poor and working-class detroiters -- amy: we just lost that satellite. is adette atuahene visiting professor at wayne state university law school.
we will live to her piece in the new york times "don't let detroit's revival rest on an injustice." with the coalition to end unconstitutional tax foreclosures. come back, we go south to charlottesville, virginia. why are white supremacists rally near this week -- rallying there this week? ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. juanmy goodman with gonzalez. the planned removal of a statue of robert e lee from a downtown park in charlottesville is drawn thousands of people, including thousands of counter protesters. in june, more than 1000 people joined a kkk rally. after those members departed, police moved in and attacked the
counter protesters with tear gas and arrested 23 people. white nationalist richard spencer organized similar protests this year. city organizers have been looking at options to halt saturday's event. a news conference is expected to take place today to provide details about the plans for the rally. amy: earlier this year when the charlottesville city council decided to sell the statue of robert e lee, white nationalist groups, including the virginia chapter of the sons of , filed ate veterans lawsuit. a judge then filed a six-month injunction to halt its removal. at least 60 publicly funded confederacy symbols have been removed or renamed since the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners in charleston, south carolina by a self-described white supremacist. to find out more, we go to charlottesville virginia to
speak to the youngest person ever to be elected to the city council. he is the only african-american city counselor and has been leading the opposition to the robert e lee statue in the city. wes bellamy, welcome. push tout your original have the statue taken down, and what you ultimately got that is not talked about as much, which of funds for reparations? nearlyis all startedwes: a year and have a go in march of last year. i received phone calls, emails, there was a petition from a local student in the area about an effort to remove the statue of robert e lee. people have been talking about this for some years, but last ye there was a bill that was vetoed at the state has by the governor that essentially said, if you want to move the statues,
it is a local issue, so you have the right to do so. my colleague and i both decided to push hard. we held a press conference where there were about 150 people who came out. people were for moving the statue, about 40 sons and daughters of the confederacy who came with their large flags, very upset that we were doing so. since then, a lot of things have transpired. ofave received all kinds death threats, have been called every kind of n-word you could think of. it's an interesting topic. we have seen a group of people here in our community who have been marginalized, who have not had a voice. we are saying we are going to stand tall. in the mist of this, we also got an equity package passed, which i presented in january before our first vote, which gave us
$950,000 to our african-american heritage center, $250,000 to build on one of the parks in the african-american community. $2.5 million for public housing redevelopment. if the thousand dollars annually for anyone that lives in public housing to get free ged training, another $150,000 for people that live under the ami and those who live in public housing to receive scholarships. all in all, it was about $4 , puton from a funding specifically into marginalized communities to help bridge the gap and create equity. all of this is about equity. equity and equality are two different things. equity is giving everyone the ame thing in order to have level playing field. the quality is giving everyone the same thing.
i don't want equality, i want equity. we are pushing for equity in our city parks, in the budget. as long as i'm alive, i will push for it. juan: the adjusting thing is you were offered -- the majority agreed to the equity package as an attempted compromise to convince you to hold off on the removal of the robert e lee statue. can you talk about the effort on the part? wes: i think my colleagues wanted to see how we could find a compromise of sorts and move forward with the equity package. i believe all of my colleagues on council also believe in equity. we may have different ways of going about it, but we thought it was a great idea. we had the first vote to move the statue. only five of us on the council. it was a 2-2 vote and one of us abstained. it was not until the next city council that mr. fenway decided
to come on board and vote to remove the statue. statue -- statue -- we have the votes to remove the statute, as well as getting the equity package. juan: have you been surprised by the enormous backlash, these white supremacists organizing rallies in your town now? wes: no, sir. i am a student of history. let's call a spade a spade. when you have african-american standing up in nontraditional places, places where we have not been very vocal, where we have not "cause trouble" or stir things up, whenever we decide to our brothers and sisters of different hues and persuasions decide to rally, whenever you see that kind of uprising, the majority and individuals who believe thing should be the wind have always been, push back. you have seen this before.
we have seen this kind of story, this playbook. there is always going to be opposition when you are doing something right. the threats, the people who are saying they are going to this and that, these rallies coming about, in my opinion, just shows we are doing something right. it has been troubling for many in our community, and what i tell myself, what i tell the little kids, in order for us to get to the clearwater, the clean water, you have to go through the mud. right now we are in the muddy part. goould much rather us through the mud and get cleaned now that the 10 that these things don't exist. amy: i want to turn to comments about the august 12 rally by someone who posted on twitter on saturday. >> these people who are trying to erase white people from history, and that is the other question, is this a white
supremacist event? this is not a white supremacist event, this is a pro-white event. amy: can you talk about those who are saying don't go to this, what jason is saying, who he is, and also did you vote to remove or sell the statue? wes: several questions you asked. you are breaking up a little and i could hear the first two. an like theon is university president, encouraging students not to go to the rally, concerned about violence. thprotest. wes: i have a ton of respect for dr. sullivan. if some individuals choose not to attend, that is their choice. one thing that is important for us to understand is we have to allow people to express themselves as they want to, the same way mr. kessler has the opportunity and the right to be able to express himself.
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