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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 17, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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04/17/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! has actedrs mr. cohen like he is above the law, considered himself an openly referred to himself as mr. trump's fix her. he has played by a different set of rules or should we say no rules at all. he has never thought that the little man, or especially women, even more women like me, matter. that ins now. amy: president trump's legal battles took center stage in a new york courtroom monday just days after the fbi raided the properties of his lawyer michael cohen. a judge said no to letting trump
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reviewing the seized records. fox news sean hannity was revealed to be cohen's mystery client. and the courtroom had an unexpected visitor -- adult film star stormy daniels, who cohen had paid to keep quiet about her affair with donald trump. we will get the latest. then, we look at the violence that erupted sunday night at a prison in south carolina, leaving seven prisoners dead and 17 seriously injured. >> every day in the united states we lock up so many people in these really barbaric institutions. we put human beings in cages. these places are extremely overcrowded. and then one day, folks eventually erupt in desperation and fury. and rather than seek to find out why or what is going on, we just deem them animals and decide they are the worst of the worst in the most violent. we really need to think about this differently. amy: and kendrick lamar becomes the first hip hop artist to win
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a pulitzer prize for music. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump has rejected a new round of sanctions against russia, only one day after u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley announced the u.s. would impose sanctions against russian companies connected to syria's chemical weapons program. the reversal comes as a delegation of chemical weapons inspectors say the syrian and russian governments have blocked them from reaching douma, syria, to investigate the alleged chemical weapons attack ten days ago, in which dozens of people were killed. the u.s., britain, and france launched airstrikes against syria on friday night in response to the alleged attack. the military action has sparked sharp backlash against british prime minister theresa may, who is being denounced for carrying out the airstrikes without parliamentary approval.
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it has also sparked a backlash in france, where lawmakers debated the strikes in france's national assembly and senate on monday. this is french prime minister edouard philippe. >> our enemy is not syria. we did not going to war against syria or against bush al-assad's regime. we want to end the terrorist movement that is organized attacks that have deeply struck french families and beyond that, all souls. amy: u.s. democratic lawmakers have also slammed the trump administration for carrying out the airstrikes without congressional approval. the united states and russia issued a first-of-its-kind joint warning monday about the risks of russian cyberattacks. the statement warned of attacks against both government institutions and private companies. meanwhile, in russia, an investigative journalist who had been reporting on secret russian paramilitary groups fighting in syria has died after having
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fallen from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment. maxim borodin was 32 years old. authorities say there is nothing suspicious about his death. yet critics say only one day before his fatal fall, he called a friend to say there was a gunman on his balcony and other masked men lurking in the stairwell near his apartment. in new york city, a federal judge has rejected president trump's efforts to have the first access to the documents seized by the fbi from the home, office, and hotel room of his longtime personal lawyer michael cohen, who is being investigated for possible bank and wire fraud. during the hearing, cohen's lawyers also revealed that fox news host and trump supporter sean hannity had been a secret client of cohen. cohen has only had three clients in recent years -- trump, hannity, and longtime republican donor elliott broidy, who recently resigned as deputy finance chair of the republican
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national committee over revelations he paid $1.6 million to a former playboy model to keep quiet about their affair, which resulted in her having an abortion. adult film star stephanie clifford, also known as stormy daniels, also showed up to monday's high-profile court hearing, where she denounced cohen, who paid her $130,000 in hush money only days before the 2016 election to try to keep her quiet about the affair. has actedrs mr. cohen like he is above the law. he has considered himself an openly referred to himself as mr. trump's fixer. he has played by different set of rules, or should we say no rules at all will stop yes never thought that the little man, or especially women and even more women like me, matter. now.ends my attorney and i are committed
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to making sure everyone finds out the truth and the facts of what happened. and i give my word that we will not rest until that happens. amy: meanwhile, fbi director james comey's highly anticipated book "a higher loyalty" officially goes on sale today. we'll have more on michael cohen, james comey, and president trump after headlines. we will be speaking with marcy wheeler. the government accountability office has ruled the environmental protection agency broke the law by spending $43,000 to install a soundproof phone booth for epa administrator scott pruitt. it's the latest ethics scandal to hit pruitt, who is also facing scrutiny over revelations the epa has spent $3 million on his security detail. the epa first claimed the spending was justified due to death threats against pruitt, but then admitted in response to a foia request that there are no records of death threats against pruitt. in philadelphia, protesters
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disrupted and shut-down operations at a downtown starbucks after a viral video showed two african american men being accused of trespassing and arrested by police for being inside the coffee shop. on monday, the community group philadelphians organized to witness, empower and rebuild organized a sit-in inside the starbucks. >>[chanting] >> if we can get it -- it down. amy: the company says the manager is no longer working at that store although, it is unclear whether she has been fired or just relocated to another store. in canada, prime minister justin trudeau is continuing to back the construction of the massive $5.8 billion trans mountain pipeline, vowing to commit taxpayer money to the project
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despite widespread indigenous-led protests and a slew of lawsuits. if built, the kinder morgan pipeline would triple the amount of oil flowing from alberta's tar sands to the coast of british columbia. kinder morgan says that if legal challenges are not resolved by may 31, it will abandon plans to build the proposed pipeline. in art and entertainment news, music legends nina simone and sister rosetta tharpe have been inducted into the rock 'n roll hall of fame. meanwhile, superstar musician and performer beyonce made history by becoming the first black woman to headline the california music festival coachella. allowingyou for me to be the first black woman to headline. to: the first black woman headline coachella. in her groundbreaking two-hour performance that celebrated black culture, paid tribute to
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historically black colleges and universities, and included sound bites of a speech by malcolm x, quotes from feminist author chimamanda ngozi adichie, and songs by nina simone and fela kuti. and the pulitzer prizes also made history this year. >> and last but certainly not least, for music. "damn"ze is awarded to by kendrick lamar, unified by its print authenticity and rhythmic dynamic his him that offers vignettes capturing the complexity of modern african-american life. amy: kendrick lamar is the first nonclassical or jazz artist to receive the pulitzer prize in music. he has topped the charts with music that tackles issues of race, politics, religion, mental health, and violence, including in his song "duckworth."
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>> they're the last to survive pay attention, that one decision changed both of they lives amy: other pulitzer prize winners included journalists behind "the new york times" and "new yorker" investigations into how hollywood mogul harvey weinstein had sexually harassed, assaulted, and raped more than 100 women -- revelations that helped spark a wave of resistance to sexual assault and harassment in workplaces around the world. and james foreman junior has won the pulitzer prize in general nonfiction for his book "locking up our own: crime and punishment in black america." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in a potential major setback for president trump, a federal judge has rejected efforts from the president to be given first access to documents seized by the fbi last week during raids on the properties of trump's
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personal attorney michael cohen who is being investigated for possible bank and wire fraud. monday's court hearing pitted the president against his own justice department. assistant u.s. attorney thomas mckay urged the judge to reject the president's request. mckay said -- "just because he has a powerful client doesn't mean he should get special treatment." the fbi seized 10 boxes of documents and as many as a dozen electronic devices from michael cohen. according to press accounts, the trump administration now views the probe into cohen as a more serious threat to the president than special counsel robert mueller's investigation. monday's courtroom hearing was filled with surprises. michael cohen's attorneys were forced to reveal fox news host sean hannity was also one of cohen's three legal clients. the other one being the president. just last week, hannity slammed
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the fbi for raiding cohen's office and home, but he never disclosed his ties to cohen. on monday, hannity acknowledged having brief legal discussions with cohen, but said cohen had never represented him in any matter. michael cohen's third legal client is republican donor, elliott broidy, who recently resigned as deputy finance chair of the republican national committee over revelations he paid $1.6 million to a former playboy model to keep quiet about their affair, which resulted in her having an abortion. meanwhile, in another surprise on monday, adult film star stephanie clifford, also known as stormy daniels, attended cohen's hearing. cohen paid her $130,000 to keep quiet after her affair with donald trump. these developments all come as former fbi director james comey's new book "a higher loyality" hits bookstores today , less than a year after he was fired by trump.
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joining us in grand rapids, michigan, is marcy wheeler. she is independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties. she runs the website you are watching this from afar. it was not just down the road from democracy now! talk about the significance of what happened in the courtroom yesterday. what cohen is asking for an onmp joined the argument friday, what they're asking r or what they were trying to ask for was first inside all of the material that were taken from cohen's office of the katrina like a subpoena. when you get a subpoena colleague of your own documents as a this is responsive to your request and then if you're a lawyer or a couple of other things, you can say it is responsive to a request but it is privileged and therefore i'm going to tie you about it and we're going to argue about whether it is really privileged. that is what they were trying to do.
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the prosecutors in the case of said, look, here are the reasons why cohen cannot be trusted because yes not cooperated, for example, with robert mueller's investigation, because he is being investigated for lying and fraud. there are some hints that some documents may already have been destroyed, although that is not cohen per se. you can't allow him to do it. more important, the prosecutors is arguing -- amy: you're guessing, and some cases, because it was a lot that was redacted. >> right. there is a redacted passage that suggests there is the concern that somebody might destroy documents. there's an implication at all that it is cohen. but in this case, they raised in what is now -- you can't read it, but they raised it in what is now a redacted section. remember, the trump organization is also involved in this. they have refused to handover documents retaining to cohen and argued in this matter that
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anything involving him should be treated as privileged, even though he was largely more of a spokesperson for them the necessarily a lawyer in recent years. that is the background. the prosecutors basically said, look, when we do sometimes rate lawyers offices, cohen does not do much lawyering, which is how he learned about hannity, but even when he does, we do it -- we have what are called taint teams and that they are prosecutors were not involved in the case at all and they go to the materials first before anyone involved in the case. they figure out whether there is anything privileged. if there is something privileged, then they have the discussion about what to do with it. the judge in this case is like, look, i have worked with the southern district of new york prosecutors. they have high integrity and i trust them. she is either going to appoint what is called a special master, a third-party to go through some of the files, or she is going to
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let it happen as a normally does, which is a taint team goes through the files. amy: let's talk about what was revealed, this major surprise yesterday that he was a lawyer for three people. it was revealed about broidy, major rnc donor, republican donor, who cohen facilitated the payment of $1.6 million, the very well known anti-choice party of this country, the republican party, to silence or gave to a woman he had had an affair with you had an abortion. but the third person that he has been a lawyer for was revealed in court -- just talked about the drama of this moment, whether his name would be revealed. entire purpose behind naming clients is that cohen is arguing thousands, maybe
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millions of pages taken are privileged. said,e prosecutor, as i they basically argued most of what we are investigating has to do with your business is kind of thing happen to do with your lawyers. but you're really not serving as a lawyer in any case. cohen was then in a position where he had to argue that he was doing significant amounts of lauri waring. and importantly, this sets up the materialsle to war will tryd from the investigative prosecutors. so on sunday, he's omitted of filing this ad, ok, my clients are donald trump, elliott broidy , a republican fundraiser, neither client does not want his name revealed. -- and a third claim doesn't want his name revealed. hannity sort of said, welcome i did not care, but the judge then to test his claim that he did a
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lot of lowering said, well, there is no reason you can hide the client name and there was a back and forth and cohen's lawyer said, do you want me to hand your piece of paper and it was going to look like the apprentice or something refund of the winner on tv. said, the name of the person that this is involved is sean hannity. everyone watching to no one expected that. people thought maybe it was don jr. in another hush money case, but it was sean hannity. sean hannity spent much of last week arguing that the raid on cohen's office was unreasonable. he has been key to push back on the russia story. that it was a sean hannity was a surprise but also raises questions about why cohen is preparing to claim his conversations with hannity were privileged. amy: so there are number of
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issues. i remember last year in the democracy now! headline in april, just a year ago, hannity facing accusations of unwanted sexual advances -- the woman did not say was sexual harassment. accused him of inviting her back to his hotel room. shesaid she knew h would not be back on a show. while she doesn't think it qualified as sexual harassment, she thought hannity was weird and creepy. i want to turn to the significant part of this, which was that he has been railing oninst all of the raids michael cohen, a major trump supporter. let's turn to sean hannity speaking just last night on fox news. >> let me set the record straight. here's the truth. michael cohen never represented me in any legal matter.
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i never retained his services. i never received an invoice. i never paid him for legal fees. i did have occasional, brief conversations with michael cohen about legal questions i had or i was looking for input and perspective. my discussions with michael cohen never rose to any level that i needed to tell anyone that i was asking him questions. to be absolutely clear, they never involved any matter, it sorry to disappoint anyone, matter between me and a third party or third group at all. my questions i must exclusively focused on real estate. amy: this is the day of the fbi raid on michael cohen's house april 9. >> president trump longtime personal attorney michael cohen just had his office, home, and hotel he was staying in raided by the fbi today in an early-morning raid. what that means is molars witchhunt is now a runaway train that is clearly careening off
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the tracks. keep in mind, cohen was never part of the trump administration or the trump campaign. this is now officially in all hands on deck effort to totally , if possible, impeach the president of the united states. robert mueller and rosenstein have declared what is a legal war on the president. amy: that is typical sean hannity. the problem was come he was not revealing his relationship with michael cohen, marcy wheeler. >> right. are leftpect, we wondering whether he was worried about himself or whether he was worried about -- as you said, doing what he always does, which is be the primary cheerleader for donald trump and the primary person kind of roiling up antagonism about this investigation. speak, there's a big question about how fox is going to deal with the fact that
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hannity did not disclose that --en -- whether he is gotten we are in this position now where hannity is trying to walk back any claim that he got legal advice from cohen so that he is not in trouble with fox, but that is putting cohen and even weaker position because, a, it makes it look like he lied to the judge and, b, anything that cohen is going to try and protect hannity has just gone until the world is not attorney-client privilege. hannity is in a weird spot right .ow and fox has its own issues amy: again, the significance of both tweets and during his radio show in television, there was no third party involved in any of the discussions with cohen. what is he saying here? >> i think he is trying to beat down any hence that he went to for has .n
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elliottboridy went to cohen for hush payment. the natural conclusion people might draw from yesterday's conversation is that it considered -- consisted of hush payment. hannity said it almost exclusively consists of real estate. real estate can be code for a lot of things. a lot of people launder money through trump's condos, right? but i think what is really interesting is the stuff that is outside of that almost exclusively, just because hannity has been such a key role at pushing back against the russia investigation, he is the one who drummed up the conspiracy theory about seth rich, for example. they will be very interesting to see if yet any conversations with cohen about that. komen's rule for trump is a fixer more than a lawyer and to
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what degree has he had conversations with hannity to arrange the coverage that hannity has been doing that really served to undermine the russia investigation. amy: explain judge what appointing a special master to look at the material, very interesting -- a special master is used in a case with a lawyer to look at whether there is attorney-client privilege information that should not be looked at, used in the past with lynne stewart, who was an attorney who was convicted of putting out a press release the government said that was revealing -- allowing her client to communicate with his followers. she hasn't decided yet. she said that is one thing she is going to consider. she asked for names from both sides about who they think would
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be appropriate. remember, a big part of the investigation into cohen is taxised to pertain to his medallion business. i could see her saying, ok, let's start by searching for all of the taxi medallion stuff and that can be handed over immediately. and then anything that involves the name "trump," for hats, will have a special master look at that. i think she hasn't decided yet. she spoke her strongly in favor of the integrity of southern district prosecutors, so she may not appoint one at all, but she is going to find some solution that takes care of privileged medication. but again, huge trunk of this is not privileged at all and no one is really claiming it is false of amy: the daily news covered today is a big picture of sean hannity and it says, "oh, for fox's sake." james comeyrn to
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come to the former fbi director james comey, all of these developments happening as james comey's new book "hire loyalty " hits the stands today. in an interview with abc news for stephanopoulos sunday night, comey said trump was morally unfit to be president. >> i don't think he is medically unfit to my think is morally unfit to be president. a person who sees moral equivalent in charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they are pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small, and insist the mecca people believe it? that person is not fit to be president of united states on moral grounds. amy: that as james comey on abc. the significance of what he was saying? did you think there was anything new there, marcy wheeler? comey is getting a lot of press for saying mean things about donald trump, but i
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help trump inmay a sense or it may hurt comey's case. the book includes a bunch of legal issues. it includes the description of his conversations with trump, which have become the subject of the legal investigation into trump. they become part of the molar investigation. that is interesting and important for us to know, but by making these comments about trump -- i should say the fbi director, one of the things that comey used to do that i found problematic as he was they, there are the good guys and they should have encryption and there are the bad guys and they should not have encryption -- or whatever it was used talking about. i thought then and i think now often conflates the law with moralism. so by getting on tv -- you will be on tv every day this week. i going on tv and mixing his conversations about what happened between him and trump, now, anda legal issue
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mixing them with his judgments that trump is morally unfit, i haven't to agree with that i was never in a legal situation where i could, you know, influence whether trump broke the law. i think that actually make it easier for trump to claim that the legal investigation into him about whether he broke the law, whether that is driven because people hate him or because he did not back break the law. i mean, that is my opinion on comey. i think -- beyond the fact that comey has very little self reflection about his own rule in affecting the election last year , and that is unfortunate, if you're going to have a big book were about what it takes to be a leader, think a little more self reflection on this issue would be in order. amy: you wrote a piece this talking about scooter
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libby. it did not get a lot of attention in the midst of everything else in the avalanche of news and reversals all through these last days or months, or you could say a year. but talk about what this pardon of scooter libby means and who he was. >> scooter libby was dick cheney's chief of staff and he was prosecuted in 2007, basically, for extracting patrick fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of valerie plame. reporteds notes, he dick cheney ordering him to leak pacified information to the new york times reporter judy miller. judy miller said he had id valerie plame. there is good reason to believe that dick cheney had ordered libby to leak, among other things, valerie plame's id. libby lied about it. that is what he was prosecuted for. inore he went to prison
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2007, george bush commuted his sentence, meaning you do not have to serve the sentence but he did not pardon him. that was key because libby, therefore, could not be called in having been excused from any legal jeopardy in the case to testify further about what dick cheney did and what george bush did. since then, in the 11 years since then, libby has gotten his law license back. he has gotten his right to vote back. the remaining punishment for having been found guilty of a felony, those punishments were done. what the pardon did on friday was nothing functional to libby's life. it did not improve libby's live in any material way, but what it did, just as michael cohen is being investigated by the fbi, likede it clear to people michael cohen, like paul manafort, like a bunch of other people in the white house, that trump is happy to excuse people
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who break the law to protect the president. the message,was that was the reason he did it. scooter libby probably made this country less safe and what he did at the best of dick cheney. the message, that was thepaul manafort, mich, probably made this country less safe and how they have been protecting donald trump as well. donald trump, i think, sent a message that says, "i will do what i can to excuse you for anything that you do to protect me." i don't think it will work because the people who are protecting them are in a lot more kinds of legal jeopardy than scooter libby was 11 years ago, but i think that is a send.e he was trying to amy: marcy wheeler, i want to thank you for being with us. in "the newme, like yorker" this talking about being the endgame. do you agree? -- when the white
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house sent out a picture of the white house still rating before the syria strikes friday night, they sent out a picture from thursday. i find that significant because it suggests to me there was no picture to be taken friday. we know friday trump was panicked, on the phone with michael cohen. there is more and more indications that trump is not there for the job for even what minimal presidential stuff that he is supposed to be doing. he is instead spending more more time trying to find someone out of these investigations. to that extent, i absolutely agree he stops being president and started being somebody trying to beat a criminal rap. amy: are similar, thank you for being with us, -- marcy wheeler, thank you for being with us independent journalist who , covers national security and civil liberties. she runs the website some major news this week and you may not have heard about. prison uprising in south carolina that has led to the
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deaths of a number of prisoners. we will find out more about it in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: from the pulitzer prize-winning album "damn." the firstamar is nonclassical or jazz artist to receive the prize a music and we will talk about that in a moment. i am amy goodman. this is democracy now! first, we turn to the bloody violence that broke out sunday night at a maximum-security prison in south carolina, leaving seven prisoners dead and 17 others seriously injured. it was the deadliest prison riot in the united states in a quarter of a century. a coroner said all were stabbed, slashed or beaten. six of the seven were african-american. no guards were hurt. department of corrections director bryan stirling held a news conference monday to describe how authorities responded after a "inmate on
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inmate altercation" started in a general population dorm around 7:15 p.m. at the lee correctional institution. >> in now or in 15 minutes later, another fight broke out into other dorms -- in two other dorms at leak correction. and 9:00, other response teams, said,, and are sourcing work activated. around 9:20, sled responded also. at 11:30, we enter the first dorm to take the dorm back. we took that dorm back. at 12:30, we enter this second dorm at lee and safely took that dorm back. at 2:00, we entered the last and started conducting the rollcall counts.
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amy: a prison source inside the facility requested anonymity and get the news outlet a series of photos that appear to have been taken with a cell phone and show graphic images of dead or badly wounded bodies covered with blood and a bloodsoaked floor. the photos have not yet been verified. director stirling said it took seven hours for guards to stop the violence sunday night in order to maintain officer safety. ,> before we can go into a dorm just a you know, there are about to under 50, 200 60 inmates in each dorm. we're not going to send one or two officers in there. we're going to gather a source -- force that is safe for all of our officers and take that dorm back with force. if there's any resistance, we will be able to put that resistance down immediately. we're not going to put our officers and other staff in harms way. we gathered as many people as we could as quickly as we could and went in as soon as we thought it was safe for our staff.
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amy: lee correctional institution has seen several other violent and deadly outbreaks before this one. last month, prisoners reportedly overpowered an officer and took control of part of a dorm for more than an hour. in february, a prisoner was killed by another prisoner. another prisoner was stabbed to death in november, and another died after a fight in july. in total, at least 20 prisoners have been killed by fellow prisoners in south carolina since the start of 2017. one investigation found the number killed across south carolina's prisons has quadrupled from 2015 to 2017. the south carolina prison agency has also been hit with several lawsuits that outline a "long history of violence" and allege sometimes the violence is encouraged by guards. meanwhile, on monday, south carolina governor henry mcmaster told reporters why he thought violence had broken out sunday night. >> we know that prisons are places where people who have misbehaved on the outside go for
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rehabilitation and also to take them from the general population. it is not a surprise when we have violent events take place inside the prison. any prison in the country. amy: for more, we are joined in studio by heather ann thompson, a historian, author, and activist with a long history of examining violence in prisons. around this time last year, her most recent book won the pulitzer prize. it's titled "blood in the water: the attica prison uprising of 1971 and its legacy." she is a professor of history at the university of michigan in ann arbor. welcome back to democracy now! talk abo what you understand took place in south carolina right now. close horrific violence, as is nationg routine in our in no small part because we just continue to fail with the understanding that when we lock people in cages and we deny them basic human rights, and in the
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case of south carolina, keep them on lockdown for months and years, people become desperate and furious and eventually, human beings explode. this has happened again and again. but the response is always, we need to make the facility more secure, not more humane. amy: seven dead, 17 sisley injured. since 2017, 20 dead in south carolina's prisons. of theout the history violence at the lee prison and others in south carolina. >> in south carolina, the murder of inmates has gone up, quadrupled in two years. and again, this stems from the endemic problem of human rights groups, judges come all the way telling the, department of corrections that they need to remedy the situation in the prison.
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things such as letting people out of the cells more, more vocational and educational opportunities. frankly, fewer people inside the institution. the response instead has been more lockdowns. few are people outside of their cells. strange things like putting metal plates over windows that restricts airflow, cutting down on yard times of people are actually in their cells even longer than they normally would be. problems with food distribution. amy: i want to go to south carolina's department of corrections director bryan stirling said the violence may have erupted because of an increase in prisoners who have cell phones. pulmonary investigation has found that this is gangs fighting over territory and if they are incarcerated, then
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they're going to have to have a cell phone to continue their criminal ways from behind bars. that is a preliminary investigation. more to come on that as sled and police services continue this investigation. we have seen it over and over again. captain johnson. i don't know if you heard his impassioned speech about cell phones. you were shot multiple times in his house. we've had people arrested from georgia, california, charles manson had a cell phone. it is a problem. amy: the corrections director bryan stirling said he is set to meet with the fcc next month. meanwhile, -- that is a federal communications commission. the housman -- meanwhile, the state's house minority leader, democrat todd rutherford, has said prison staff should immediately begin monitoring prisoners' cell phone conversations and text messages. a prisoner who provided graphic photos of sunday's violence to the news al it prison legal news said cell phones were not
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actually at the center of the dispute, but rather other items that one gang factions that were stolen from another. he said "this has been an ongoing be from an incident that happened at lieber correctional institution. folks of been fighting for over a year. does, they move inmates and other institutions, meet up with other members and what they do is put those guys in dorms with the gang that the person just got into it with." ordinary.eleased for the department is talking about cell phones. the fact is cell phones are the only reason we know anything about what is going on in these institutions. this is not just true in south carolina but across the country. these are public institutions but they are super closed. we don't know what is happening. if we take away cell phones, we have a real problem. the real issue is we do have deep hostilities in prison and a situation where we put rival gangs in the same unit. often, in california system, we
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seeit is absolute sport to what will happen on the part of corrections officials. at the end of the day, when we have a situation where we know how to make prison safer, one of the worst ever prison uprisings that turned violent killed 33 prisoners, in new mexico in 1980. that was in no small part because pell programs have been shut down. all of the educational programs had been stopped. much more time in the cells, much more frustration. this is willful lack of recognizing what creates violence in a prison. amy: taking away all hope. >> nikki haley as governor -- amy: a south carolina. >> proposed $18 million to go to making these institutions more secure. meanwhile, of course, we know that what we need is not so much of an emphasis on security -- even though it seems that way with these murders -- what we moreis less cell time and
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family time. that is the other thing. amy: cell as a prison cell. >> that's right. amy: not cell phones. >> even the cell phones are a way in which people are tethered still to their families. phone industryhe in prisons so that it is too expensive for them to call home. this is really an extraordinary moment where we are, again, missing what folks know to be the problem and what the solution should be. amy: june the percentage of african-american prisoners in south carolina? >> it is staggeringly disproportionate. not just racially disproportionate, and is also the poorest people in the state. a state, incidentally, that has 30% of its children living under the poverty line. 19% of adults. this is a deeper problem.
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you'reis time last her just heard you won the pulitzer prize for "blood in the water." how do you see this relating to what happened september 9, 1971? hundred prisoners were killed at attica when they rose up to demand better prison conditions? 's lessons or if you do not treat people as human beings inside of institutions, they will eventually erupt. in the case of attica, it was quite different and the prisoners had a quite remarkably peaceful and democratic uprising , and the balk of the violence in that instance was when the prison was retaken by law enforcement. , bothforcement killing 39 prisoners and guards -- john amy: and it was all guards who did the killing. >> well, state troopers. and if you corrections officers.
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there were also deaths inside of the prison at the hands of fellow prisoners. at the overwhelming uprising was peaceful. we miss the opportunity to take the lesson from attica. we miss the opportunity to take what makes them make institution safer entry people humanely. amy: you served on a national academy of sciences blue-ribbon panel that studied the causes and consequences of mass incarceration in the u.s. interestingly, the book this year that one the pulitzer prize, like yours, deals with prisons. >> that's right. amy: talk about what the recommendations are that you made then and what you think has to happen now. >> well, the report that was issued by the national academies made very clear that we are going in the wrong direction, that longer sentences do not make us safer, that prisons do not make us safer, and that we
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took a very, very bad policy turn 40 years ago and that this is something that we can correct, that we can reverse what we have done. but it is going to take political will. notably, we were on the verge of doing some of that prior to the last election. and i think we have lost it is remarkable, again, this is one of the state problems, local problems, city problems, where we know the solution and yet politicians repeatedly go back to the punitive playbook. amy: something you did not know the time of writing the book, about doctor experimentation a prisoners? >> that's right. the other part about the lee correctional facility, the uprising that we need to think about, why is it that we don't know anything that is going on in these citizens until they erupt? amy: what are the doctor experiments? >> in the case of attica, there
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was extra mentation relating to the treatment of leprosy. callis experiments. it is very common. prior to the 1980's, there was a lot of experimentation and prisons. just one of the many things that goes on behind bars of which the public is unaware and yet we continue to throw money at the problem. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, heather ann thompson, american historian, author, and activist. one the pulitzer prize for the book she wrote "blood in the water: the attica prison uprising of 1971 and its legacy." it is now being adapted for a film. she is professor of history at the university of michigan in ann arbor. when we come back, pulitzer prize, a first, the significance of the hip-hop artistry of kendrick lamar. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "dna" by kendrick lamar
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from the pulitzer-prize winning album "damn." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. we end the show today with the announcement that shocked the world of music and hip-hop. >> and last but certainly not least, for music. the prize is awarded to "damn" by kendrick lamar. some collection unified by its for network authenticity and rhythmic dynmatis that offersm vignette capturing the complexity of modern african-american life. amy: that was pulitzer administrator dana canedy announcing monday that rapper kendrick lamar won the pulitzer prize in music for the album "damn," making the compton native the first non-classical or jazz artist to receive the honor. kendrick lamar has topped the charts with music that tackles issues of race, politics,
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religion, and even mental health. the pulitzer follows the five grammy awards won by lamar in january for "damn," his fourth studio album. his previous album, "to pimp a butterfly," also won five grammys. kendrick lamar recently produced and curated the soundtrack for the "black panther" soundtrack to critical acclaim. for more, we are joined by hip-hop educator brian mooney, a new jersey high school teacher. after kendrick lamar learned mooney was teaching the "to pimp a butterfly" album to his students in 2015, kendrick visited mooney's class. welcome to democracy now! i'm sure the kids could care less. >> it was an incredible day that myself and students will never forget. i am part of a collective of educators who use hip-hop in classrooms and educational
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spaces called the hip-hop ed movement. we are educators and researchers and professors and activists who find ways to engage urban youth using all of the elements of self, andnowledge of turntable is him and graffiti art. we have been thinking about ways to be culturally relevant in classrooms and get young people excited about rap music that there are reinvested in. when i saw kendrick lamar release "to pimp a butterfly" there were so many things relevant to novels i was already teaching like toni morrison. it was an opportunity to enhance the curriculum i was already teaching and my students responded really well. and you got a was kidding when i said they could have cared less. could you imagine hundred lamar watching into the school. how do the kids act? >> what is incredible is he was a student that day. he was there to really listen to our students perform their work and like a good teacher, he was really listening to what they were saying.
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amy: what was your response yesterday when you heard that "damn" had won the pulitzer? >> just thrilled and humbled that my students and i were able to play a part in bringing some awareness to some other educators and teachers around the world that his work can be is again hipnd rap hop colter can be used to teach and learn. i thought it was a long time coming. it was well-deserved. while hip-hop in many ways has been very anti-institutional, it is nice to get the institutional recognition i feel is very deserved. amy: the pulitzer committee said " was "a virtuosic some collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism offers affecting the net's the complexity modern african-american life." so talk about how the landscape. you also have now the onset, first headlining coachella, the first black woman to headline
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coachella. this is really late in time. you have nina simone getting inducted into the rock 'n roll hall of fame. posthumously. senior when "black panther" is breaking all caps of records in the box office. it is an incredible year. with kindred's music, i feel like it is part of a long lineage in hip-hop. album, theen to that masterful storytelling and command of language is incredible. sometimes educators will think, how do you use hip-hop in a classroom? think about people like shakespeare, those people were incredibly versatile with what they did with language. chaucer, they were inventing language. they used the double negative. people don't know that. when you think about modern day -- e's, that incredible amy: i want to go to npr of kendrick lamar going to your
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high tech high school where you jersey. new after visiting with her class, he performed at the schoolwide assembly. album -- i didn't think i made it for 16-year-olds. when a 16-year-old is intrigued, it lets me know how so far advanced as a society we actually are, you know? that inspired me on a whole other level. parents werey older adults saying, this is great. you have a message. you have things does she have different genres of music. for a kid telling me, it is a different kind of feeling. i don't think nobody in the -- they'ree little human, sports because they're human, sports because they are highly intelligent. walking in a classroom, it just
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pulled me right. school was at your high at high tech high school in north bergen in new jersey. what was his reaction to coming ?o the school close one thing that made an impression on all of us was when he spoke to the whole student body. he said that this was the best accolade he ever received. this is at the time we just got the key to los angeles and was deemed a generational icon and he is telling the whole student body of high school students this is the best accolade i could ever received, making an impact on young people. amy: talk more about hip-hop ed. >> for any teachers out there come educators listening, we have a twitter chat on tuesday nights from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. and we talked about the intersections of hip-hop, education, pop culture. we share ideas and lesson plans. professional development every tuesday night and a
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resource for educators. it is an incredible resource. is led-hop ed movement by a professor from columbia university but just teachers in classrooms during the work everyday. they just released a compilation, a book. amazing teachers and researchers out there from dr. lauren kelly yet at rutgers to my dondero a toiversity, wisconsin, to hect r incredible people doing great work. that is my team. we're just some brilliant people who really care about kids and are trying to do good work in schools. amy: your kids response yesterday when it was announced that kendrick lamar won the pulitzer? >> i don't really talk to the much about it because i have not been in yet today. when i go in, we're going to talk about it and discuss it
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because this is what we do. we talk about these recognitions and these accolades that these are artists there are really listening to and invested in. when we do this kind of work in schools, it is about being culturally relevant. amy: brian mooney, high school teacher, had kendrick lamar come to a school in 2015, high tech high school in north bergen, new jersey him and to perform for the kids. brian mooney participates in hip-hop ed. that does it for our broadcast. i will be speaking and lincoln, nebraska, friday night at the rococo theater. check our website for more details. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] today's show is a celebration
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of my favorite season-- the spring. announcer: "julie taboulie's is made possible by... ♪ do your thing, man: do your thing ♪ ♪ syracuse, do your thing ♪ do your thing, do your thing ♪ ♪ syracuse, do your thing


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