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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 13, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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12/13/17 12/13/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> tonight in this time, in this that, you helped build moral arc little closer to that justice, and you did that -- not more, but yount sent it right through the heart of the great state of alabama in doing so. amy: no moore!
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a stunning upset as doug jones defeats republican roy moore in the race to fill the senate seat left vacant by attorney general jeff sessions. working the first time in a quarter century democrat has won a u.s. senate race in the state. 96% of african-american voters voted for jones, with a staggering 98% of all black women voting for jones. nearly 70% of white voters voted for roy moore. then, will the 20 administration's fcc kill net neutrality? >> if the fcc gets their way, they will have more control over the internet. it will cost everyone more. and the only one who benefits will be big business. and once again, the trump administration is helping the top 1% and the corporations and hurting everybody else. amy: protests continue as the
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fcc plans to vote as some are to rollback rules that make internet service providers treat web content equally. into a major education victory in philadelphia, where appearance, teachers, and activists mounted a campaign to reclaim c control over the local public school system. >> i'm officially calling on the members of the school reform commission to vote to dissolve their next scheduled meeting. amy: we will go to pennsylvania to speak with philadelphia councilmember helen gym, who helped lead the fight to take back the city's schools. and with apparent from our city our schools coalition. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show in alabama, where in a stunning
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upset, democrat doug jones defeated republican roy moore in the controversial race to fill the alabama senate seat left vacant by attorney general jeff sessions. with 100% of the vote tallied, jones led moore by nearly 21,000 votes, a margin of 1.5 -- 1.5%. jones addressed supporters in a victory speech tuesday night. >> at the end of the day, this entire race has been about dignity and respect. this campaign has been about the rule of law. this campaign -- [applause] this campaign has been about common courtesy and decency, and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which zip code you live in, is going to get a fair shake. amy: doug jones' victory marks the first time in 25 years that a democrat has won a u.s. senate race in alabama.
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tuesday's special election was highly controversial, getting doug jones against roy moore -- an accused pedophile with a long history of racism, sexism, homophobia, and islamophobia. roy moore has so far refused to concede the race and on tuesday night called for a recount. but president donald trump, who had repeatedly endorsed roy moore, did acknowledge moore's defeat, tweeting -- "congratulations to doug jones on a hard fought victory. the write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. the people of alabama are great, and the republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. it never ends!" tuesday's vote was highly divided by race and gender, with african american voters, particularly women, largely responsible for defeating roy moore. overall, 96% of african american voters voted for doug jones, with a staggering 98% of all black women voting for jones.
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in contrast, nearly 70% of white voters voted for roy moore. a full 63% of white women voted for moore, despite moore being accused by multiple women of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers. one as young as 14. democratic strategist symone sanders, who served as vermont senator bernie sanders press secretary during his presidential campaign, said -- "doug jones would not have won today without the turnout we saw from african-american voters. black women have been absolutely clear in their support for democratic policies and democratic candidates. it's high time for democrats to invest in that effort." doug jones' victory means the republicans' majority in the senate will narrow to 51-49. we'll have more on the alabama special election after headlines. new york senator kirsten gillibrand has fired back at president trump after he used sexist language to attack her on twitter. the feud began when senator
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gillibrand became the fifth senator to call for president trump's resignation over multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him. in response, trump attacked gillibrand, the only female senator of the five, tweeting -- "lightweight senator kirsten gillibrand, a total flunky for chuck schumer and someone who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago, and would do anything for them, is now in the ring fighting against trump. very disloyal to bill & crooked-used!" on tuesday, gillibrand fired baback, saying trump's attack ws sexist. sexist smear attempting to silence my voice. i will not be sililenced on this issue, neither will the wowomen who stood d up to the president yesterday and neither r will the millllions of women who have ben marching says the women's march to stand up against policies ththey do not agree with. amy: president trump hasas signd a massssive, $700 billioion mily
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spending bill, by far the largest military budget in the world. the spending bill won't go into effect, however, unless congress rolls back 2011 legislation that caps federal spending, including by the military. this is president trump speaking tuesday. pres. trump: finally, the defense bill authorizes major investments in our military's greatest weapon of all, it's warriors. increases the size of the american armed forces for the first time in seven years and it provides our military service members with their largest pay increase in eight years. now congress must finish the job by eliminating the defense and passing a clean appropriations bill. i think it is going to happen. we need our military. it has got to be perfecto.o. amy: according to the national priorities project, u.s. military expenditures are roughly the size of the world's
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next seven largest military budgets combined. palestinians are continuing to protest president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital and to movee the u.s. embassy there. on tuesday, palestinian protesters in ramallahah were injured by israeli soldiers who attacked the protesters with tear gas. meanwhile, an image has gone viral of a beaten and blindfolded young palestinian protester being arrested by a dozen heavily armed israeli soldiers. the 16-year-old boy, fawzi al-junaidi, is slated to appear in front of an israeli military court today on charges of throwing stones. israeli security forces have killed at least four palestinian protesters and wounded about 700 since president trump's announcement. this is the mayor of the democratic arab party talab al-sane speaking tuesday at a protest in front of the u.s.
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embassy in tel aviv. >> we're in the front of is really united states embassy to say that the trump declaration is unacceptable. making obstacles and the peace process. and you have no right to declare that jerusalem belongs to israel. jerusalem is negotiation between palestinians and israel. amy: in ethiopia, there are reports the government has blocked access to facebook, twitter, and other social media platforms in the wake of a military crackdown against protests in the oromia region. oromia authorities and local news reports say between 6 and 15 people were killed by security forces on monday in the oromia region, and that a dozen more were injured. since 2015, the oromo people been staging widespread anti-government protests, which began as resistance to the government's plan to privatize a forest, but have since grown into a nationwide campaign
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against human rights abuses by the ethiopian government. in the philippines, president rodrigo duterte has won congressional approval to extend martial law in the southern mindanao region until the end of 2018. duterte claims the martial law is necessary to fight against militants aligned with isis. human rights activists are concerned duterte may try to extend martial law nationwide, as part of his increasingly authoritarian and bloody presidency. protests continue over the federal communications commission plan to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet. the fcc is slated to vote on the measure on thursdayay, december 14. the measure would roll back net neutrality rules requiring internet service providers treat web content equally. on monday, more than 20 pioneers of the internet, including world wide web inventor tim berners-lee, published an open letter that slammed fcc chairman
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ajit pai's proposal. the open letter, entitled "you don't understand how the internet works," calls on the fcc to keep the internet open. we'll have more on the fcc vote later in the broadcast. thousands of protesters took to the streets tuesday in buenos aires to protest the meeting of the world trade organization, or wto. this is a member of the mothers of the plaza de mayo, nora cortinas. world tradewant the organization. we don't want to lose our sovereignty. we want to be a free people with our own determination. we don't want better poliliciesf huhunger or u unemploymyment. ofwe don't want polilicies hunger nor unemployment.t. amamy: and i in france, dozens f worlrld leaders met tuesday fora one-day climate change coconference. ahead d of the meeting, the freh
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president said president trump was not invited as a result of his move to pull the u.s. out of the paris deal. at the meeting, the world d bank announced d it will no longer finance upstream oil a and gas after r 2019. environmental groups heralded the announcement, with the group oil change international saying -- "it is hard to overstate the significance of this historic announcement by the world bank." and inin michigan, residents are dedemanding answers afteter pole in gra rapids hahandcuffed and detained and 11-year-old africacan-american girl at g point last weeeek. thenteractition began after the police aived at ththe girls home where they were searching r her 42-year-old on who is white. but when they did t f find the 42-year-old whwhite woman, they instead handcuffed and detned 11-y-year-old ack girl, fifth-h-grader, as well as her mother and another relative.
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both of whom are also black. the little girl's mother said her daughter was traumatized by the interaction. and those arare some of ththe headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from a around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in alabama, whehere in a stunning upset democrat doug jones defeated republican roy moore in the controversial race to fill the alabama senate seat left vacant by attorney general jeff sessions. with 100% of the vote tallied, jones led moore by nearly 21,000 votes, a margin of 1.5 percentage points. with jones in the senate, the republicans' majority will narrow to 51-49, endangering trump's agenda and possibly ushering in a democratic wave in next year's congressional elections. jones addressed supporters in a victory speech tuesday night. >> i am truly overwhelmed.
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i am truly, truly overwhelmed. you know, folks? and you have all heard me say this at one point or another in this campaign, i have always believed that the people of alabama had more in common than two divide us. [applause] we have shown not just around the set of alabama, but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified. [applause] i have said it before. alabama has been at a crossroads. in the been a crossroads past. and unfortunately, we have usually taken the wrong fork. tonight, ladies and gentlemen, you took the right road. [applause] juan: doug jones' victory marks the first time in 25 years that a democrat has won a u.s. senate race in alabama.
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tuesday's special election was highly controversial, pitting doug jones against roy moore, an accused pedophile with a long history of racism, sexism, homophobia, and islamophobia. refused toas so far concede the race. on tuesday night, called for a recount. but president donald trump, who repeatedly endorsed roy moore, tweeted his congratulations, writing -- "congratulations to doug jones on a hard fought victory. the write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. the people of alabama are great, and the republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. it never ends!" amy: tuesday's what was the vote was highly controversial. overall, 96% of african american voters voted for doug jones, with a staggering 98% of all black women voting for jones.
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in contrast, nearly 70% of white voters voted for roy moore. a full 63% of white women voted for moore, despite moore being accused by multiple women of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers. one as young as 14. democratic strategist symone sanders, who served as vermont senator bernie sanders press secretary during his presidential campaign, said -- "doug jones would not have won today without the turnout we saw from african-american voters. black women have been absolutely clear in their support for democratic policies and democratic candidates. it's high time for democrats to invest in that effort." this is roy moore speaking tuesday night, telling supporters in montgomery that votes were still coming in and state law would trigger a recount if the margin was within half a percent. >> realize when the vote is this close, it is not over.
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and we still got to go by the rules by the recount provision. in the secretary of state has explained it to us and we are expecting the press will go up there and talk to them to find out what the situation is. but we also know that god is always in control. the problemrt of with this campapaign is we have been painteded in an unfavorable and unfaithful light. we have been put in a hole, if you will. it reminds me of a passage in psalms 40. "i waited patiently for the lord." that is what we've got to do. we've got to wait on god and let this process play out. amy: meanwhile, alabama secretary state john merrill says the votes from tuesday's election will be certified and januarymber 26
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3. doug jones victory means the republicans majority in the senate will narrow to 51 to 49. for more, we're joined by pema levy, political reporter for mother jones who has been following voter turnout and voter suppression in this race closely. her latest article is headlined "doug jones rides a perfrfect gp ststorm to the senate." welcome to democracy now! start off f with your respsponso whatat happened yesterdayy and e staggering vote of african americans, particularly african-american women. >> yeah, i mean, what happened last night is a really big deal. i think it shocked the entire country when doug jones pulled this off. and absolutely it could not have been done without the support of african-american voters. i think there was a lot of worry leading up to yesterday that those voters would not turn out. even leaders in the african-american community i spoke with were worried they would not be there. but i think what we're seeing is
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this is a wave and african-american voters are part of that wave. for democrats, critical part of that wave. women, especially. women vote more than men across the board. absolutely, african-american women are going to be an absolutely important factor when it comes to democratic victories, especially close ones like we had last night in alabama. juan: could you talk about the impact also of the write-in vote? obviously, this represented those republicans who, despite donald trump's in treaties, conducted themselves to vote for roy moore? >> i think the write-in vote is interesting. right now looks like it is slightly larger than the margin between jones and moore. ultimately, i'm not sure it will make the difference because i think it just so happens that a lot of people when they write in a name, they actually write in a candidate. so i think a certain number of
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those write-in votes will actually be votes for doug jones are roy moore. i think the bigger impact was folks are probably did not want to vote for moore and instead of writing someone in, they just a home. i think what really killed moore is his base did not turn out the way that the democratic race turned out for jones. amy: i want to go to another clip of doug jones' victory speech tuesday night after his surprising upset against roy moore. ,> as dr. king like to quote the morals are cap the universe is long, but it been stored justice. tonight, ladies and gentlemen, tonight in this time, in this place, you helped been that moral arc a little closer to that justice. and you did it -- that moral arc
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, not only was it bit more, not only was its entry are, but he said it right through the heart of the great state of alabama in doing g so. doug joness the to forge significantly quoting martin luther king. explain his history prosecuting ku klux klan members who were involved with the bombing of the steam street church in birmingham, alabama, in 1963. of course, the prosecution happened much later than that. >> with a bomb went off in 1963, the situation in birmingham was the police were essentially in cahoots with the kkk. it was a possible to put on a trial and bring the bombers to justice. so they were not tried for a long time. one of them was put away in the 1970's when alabama elected a progressive attorney general. but that person could not get the fbi to go further, so it was
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not until the late 1990's when doug jones was a federal prosecutor in birmingham that they were able to put this together. i have talked to people who worked with him on this case in his office and said this is a meticulous, dogged, three-year process. jones did incredible amount of work. it was not guaranteed. you have a 40 year old case. that is remarkable thing to be able to pull off. jones, by all accounts, is credibly dedicated to bringing these people to justice and for turning a page in alabama history. i think you see that last night in his speech, the idea of the alabama he knows and loves is not the one that we think of when we read about the 1960's and you're about the bombings. he wants to turn that page. i think he feels like he did that again last night. we are 13,000 votes away from roy moore going to the u.s. senate, so this was a close election. on the other hand, alabama came very close to sending moore to washington, but they did not.
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i think jones is right to say this is a remarkable moment for his state. juan: pema levy, what do you ththink this will mean now in te senate itself? obviously, it is one less republican, it is now 51 to 49 margin in the senate. how will this happen -- have an impact on the republican party and on donald trump's agenda in washington? >> i think it will have an effect on both. i think they are connected. on the one hand, like you said, republicans have 51 votes. they have the vice president to break a tie. but that means they need even more support from the more moderate folks like susan collins and lisa murkowski. it means that they have to -- they basically are not guaranteed. they have already struggled to pass tax reform. they could not have the obama care repealed. i think the second thing is, when democrats -- sorry, when republican see what happened in alabama, they're going to be
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afraid it could happen to them. if republicans lose in alabama, we're in a year's midterms coming up and republican could lose a list anywhere. i think the fear is, should i go along with this whatever the root priority's other pubublicas won because it is not popular networking and i'm afraid i might lose? i think the added fear of what happened last i could also have an impact on policy in washington. amy: after the victory, doug jones emphasize the diversity of the supporters in alabama during his victory speech on n tuesday night. >> i keep hearing about the different communities in this state. the african-american communities. thank you! [cheers] my friends in the latino community, thank you! [cheers] to all of my jewish friends, happy hanukkah! [cheers]
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this everywhere we have gone. we have had that same energy, that same excitement. at the end of the day, this entire race has been about dignity and respect. [cheers] this campaign -- this campaign has been about the rule of law. this campaign -- [applause] ,his campaign has been about courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which zip code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life. amy: is very different speech than roy moore's wife gave the night before, talking about how they have black friends and that
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they're not anti-semitic because one of roy moore's lawyers is a jew. but the significance of this for donald trump, of this huge defeat, donald trump really pulling out all of the stops to endorse roy moore. when you look at what this means for him, particularly around the issue of women and all of the allegations of sexual assault, misconduct, harassment against president trump since roy moore brought this issue to the floor ,nd accused pedophile himself donald trump not religion, what this actually means, and even yesterday in the midst of the special election, tweeting out this sexist comment against senator gillibrand? you can absolutely look at this election last night through movementof the me too
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and say they had a huge victory. i think a lot of people were worried going into this senate race that alabama would select roy moore and the message it would send to women and to victims was, it doesn't matter if you come forward. powerful men will get away with it. they will still be in office. because that is the message that was sent when donald trump won the presidency. importanteen an message for victims to come forward. if anything, it has momentum to the movement. that is bad news for donald trump, who is the most high profile person in the movement, someone who has admitted to sexual assault on tape and now has a target on his back. so i think this is a really big deal from that perspective. fors an important moment women's rights and for sexual harassment. i think this election last night ensures that women w would hopefully feel s safe coming forward and feel like they are being heard. juan: what about the mainstream republican leadership, many of whom obviously were fearful of moore being elected because they
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would see him as an albatross around their neck for the rest of -- going into the 2018 election. there is some speculation many of them are glad he was defeated. beyeah, i think i would not surprised if that were the case, either. cory gardner, the head of the senate campaign arms, said they would never endorse roy moore and stood steadfastly against him. he was certainly not looking forward to a 2018 in which all of the senators up for reelection had to distance themselves from roy moore, but not too much. it was going to be this awkward, horrible dance they were all joined up to go through. they would have to answer for his comments constantly. yeah, i think there's probably a sigh of relief going on here for a lot of people. it certainly makes it harder for the priorities and sends a really bad message for them about a wave coming against them and 2018, but at the same time,
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on a day-to-day basis, i think their lives just got easier. amy: it is astounding 63% of white women voters voted for roy moore. tarana burke is the founder of -- me too movement, quoted partf her tweet -- hopope e nineneomen who accud roy moore feel some vindication tonht. ee worldld heardou. we believed you. #metoo." but 63% of white women voters in .labama did vote for roy moore but this astounding 98% of black women voters voting for doug jones. and also what this means as a message to the democratic leadership when it comes to where they're going to put their resources around the country in get out the vote campaigns? it has been something that has divided the dnc for quite some time.
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those who are pushing for on the ground operations to reach the grassroots, saying they are not doing enough to do that. but this certainly is a vindication of that approach, pema. >> absolutely. particularly in the south, but all over the country come easy democratic candidates -- with a run in republican territory, they really focus on peeling off those conservative voters that they think they can bring over to support them and do that at the cost of trying to fire up the base and reaching out to the african-american community saying, not just "i'm not the other guy, but here is what i'm what you do for you." african-american voters don't want to be taken for granted. they want you to know their critical part of their base and therefore you need to do things they need. for them, education is a really big deal. health care is a really big deal. criminal justice is a very big deal. i absolutely think the democrats benefit from talking more directly to the constituencies
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about those issues and firing them. as doug jones said, i mean, absolutely, the democratic already is a party of coalitions, but different groups of people coming together. muchepublican party is more monolithic. that is by design. have decided to double that on white voters. it has worked for them. they had 63% of white women last night. absolutely democrats as a point i think will probably realize that it is inert best interest to focus on the voters they have rather than spent all of the resources on the voters they might want. amy: there was a huge turnout last night. not huge for other countries in the world. we're talking around 40%. it equaled or surpassed the presidential election years, even with president obama. quite amazing. pema levy, thank you for being with us, political reporter for mother jones. her latest article is headlined, "doug jones rides a perfect gop storm to the senate."
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this is democracy now! when we come back, tomorrowow, thursday, december 14, the in the sec. vote will they try to end net neutrality? that is our next topic. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "excitable boy." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman wtih juan gonzalez. googlest neutrality digital civil rights. that was the message project at that under the office is of the federal communications commission offices in one of the many protests that take place this big ahead of thursday's
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vote by the fcc on whether to repeal protections passed under president obama in 2015. net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers treat web content equally and do not block or prioritize some contenovover oers s ineturn for paymt.t. the mo c couldllowow intnett service ovoviderto c cutpeedss and jackp p pric, anand ew a record 2mimilliocommentso e fcc, wch criti say the ency has not fly revevied. amy:cc chairn ajit p proposato repea net nerality "storing internet freedom order." but on monday, more than 20 pioneers of the internet -- including world wide web inventor tim berners-lee -- published an open letter that slammed pai's proposal. titled "you don't understand how the internet works," the letter reads -- "the fcc's rushed and technically incorrect proposed order to abolish net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the internet we worked so hard to create."
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the letter ends by calling on the fcc to cancel its planned vote. just last week, 28 senators called for a delay on the vote to repeal net neutrality rules next week, citing concerns raised by a new york attorney gegeneral investigatation that d tens of thoususands of new yoyok residents may y have been impersonated by fake commenters during the fcc's comment period on the rule change. the vote is slated for thursday, december 14. for more, we are joined in washington, d.c., by joseph torres, senior adviser for government and external affairs for free press, the national media reform organization. former deputy director at the national association of hispanic journalists. welcome back to democracy now! joe. talk about the significance of what this scheduled vote will do on thursday. overturnc is going to the 2015 net neutrality rules that so many of us worked so hard to get past. provide the highest
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, creating a pay for play system or if i want to go online and watch democracy now! and democracy now! have to pay an isp more in order for their site to be seen at the fastest speeds by the public. these rules were put in place to prevent discrimination by isp's. if your comcast and own in new -- nbc, you can favor your own content and block competition stop is a person of color, as people have often been marginalized, we have u used the open internet to tell her own story. tos will put the gatekeeper the internet, these copies, providers access to the internet in what they're going to do is pay for playe a system and it will harm the voices of everyday people. juan: joe, can you talk about
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how let's say other countries or other areas of the world like the european union have dealt with the issue of net neutrality ? specifically, the growth of something called the zero rating, which is sort of like when come as i understand it, when the isp providers bundle a particular app as -- so you don't have to pay extra for digital usage for a particular app so they favor some apps over others? >> what is really dangerous about what is about to happen, the obvious blatant discrimination and favoring certain websites over others, some sites in the fast lane, some in a slow lanes -- we are going to see all sorts of service schemes these companies will come up with that are going to be very technical, but there are ways to favor certain content over another. so to say hbo. at&t thisy comcast or a anyone who is using my content
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on the phone, if you access the content through your cell phone, it won't -- it won't count against your data caps. hbo can afford to do that or bigger companies, netflix, whatever. what about democracy now! or other websites or other media services or content companies? they won't be able to pay to ensure that their site, that the customers can access their site without using data caps? zero rating is what that is called. weird one to see all sorts of different schemes these companies are thinking of that sound like they're good for consumers, it is a benefit. it really it isn't. it is not a benefit to democratizing people's voices online. treatment ofntial certain content over others.
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after this vote happens, you may see different service packages on the internet. if you want certain websites, you pay this amount. if you want sports channels or able to access espn and other sites, you have to pay this amount of money. fast they're able to have access. what about the content for everyday people who don't have deep pockets to ensure the voices can be heard? net neutrality makes sure all content is created equal. the internet has been founded and developed, was the guiding principle of the internet to ensure free speech. these companies, what ajit pai is going to allow people to discriminate at will. is about to doai willingly let that happen. juan: there is a three to two republican majority on the fcc, most likely to go forward.
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what is the recourse for those who want to stop implementation of this? are there any possibilities and congress or through the courts? >> i will start with the courts. in court several times. the courts agreed with that in 2015. the courts have been very clear that if you want to pass net neutrality rules according to the key medications act, yet to treat these isps as common carriers. that means if you have commentary or rules, then companies isp's cannot discriminate online. what is so clear about this, and we believe it is so weak this order the chairman is about a month the legal rationale can't you just can't change of regulations the courts approved last year. so we believe the order is so wek, so poorly written, that ever really good chance of overturning once again in court.
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in congress, we're going to try to work with congress to overturn these rules. resolution of approval of these rules. we have seen in recent days, more republicans actually beginning to raise concerns. representative kaufman out of colorado came out against these rules yesterday. senator snowe has voiced a concern about these rules. other republicans are beginning to express concerns. that is because of the massive amount of calls they are receiving on this issue from their consnstituents. we have heard from members of congress that they're getting more calls on net neutrality than they y are on the tax bill. that shows you how this has struck a nerve and how everyday people really fundamentally understand what is at stake here. we are upset about what is about to happen tomorrow, we're heartened and energized by the energy out there and just the
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awareness this issue has grown through the years we have been fighting this issue. we're going to continue to fight. we feel we have a good shot in court. we''re going to trtry to work wh congreress to overturn these rules. amy: joe, i want to talk about ajit pai's background. in this remarkable moment, a joke made by ajit pai when he was the featured speaker last week at the federal communications bar association's annual dinner. in response to accusations that he's a corporate shill for the telecommunications industry, pai is a former for ice a lawyer, he played what he jokingly called a "leaked, 14-year-old video" that was actually a recorded skit, supposedly set in 2003 in verizon's d.c. office, where pai worked as an attorney before joining the fcc. in the video, a verizon executive tells pai the fcc is captured by the industry, but "not captured enough, so we have
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a plan." "what plan?" pai asks. the executive responds, "we want to brainwash and groom a verizon puppet to install as fcc chair. think 'manchurian candidate.'" to which pai replies, "that sounds awesome." this is a clip supposedly of the leaked video. listen closely. [indiscernible] amy: this was played in the last few weeks. the verizon executive in the skit with fcc chairman pai is verizon senior vice president and deputy general c counsel kay grillo. joe, if you could talk about the significance of this? again, ajit pai, the fcc chair,
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former verizon attorney. >> when that was happening, we were on the streets. it is this washington insider thing were the lobbyist's come together and they tell jokes. there is a roast. to me, he was just telling the truth of who he is. it was plain and clear. it is supposed to be funny, but jimmy was just being honest about who he is and his intention. he has stated from the beginning of this process he plans to win this battle. he made that comment at in the event that freedom works early in april. he is being totally intentional what he is doing. i think he was only telling the truth about himself. it wasn't even funny. this tells you that scene everything you need to know.
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you're the lobbyist laughing. folks on the streets protesting. that very day he spoke, their over 700 protests a verizon stores across the country. thousands of people showed up. hundreds in new york and boston and seattle. we're going to continue to protest. we're protesting tomorrow from 9:00 to 11 a clock tomorrow outside of the fcc. for me, it was really troubling. care about the't impact of net neutrality and other issues he is overseeing in committees of color. we're going to make sure our voices are heard. we those most impacted by this. you covereds -- before the washington correspondents dinner and how grotesque it is. net neutrality -- we're talking but the future of media here and who has access and control and whose voices are valued, who stories are told, whose stories
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are humanized. amy: we have to leave it there but i thank you so much for being with us. we will continue to cover this. joseph torres is senior adviser for government and external affairs for free press, the national media reform organization. when we come back, a major victory for parents and community controrol of public schools in philadelphia. stay with us. ♪ [mumusibreak]k] amy: "modulation" by the classic brown.
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from the album rock the net: musicians for network neutrality. this is democracy now!,, the e war and peace report. i'm amy goodman wtih juan gonzalez. juan: we end today by looking at a major education victory in philadelphia, pennsylvania, where parents, teachers, and activists mounted a successful campaign to reclaim control of their local public school system. last summer, organizers decided to challenge the school reform commission, a five-person state-backed body implemented in 2001 by then-pennsylvania governor mark schweiker after he declared the city's education system fininancially distressed. under the commission, dozens of philadelphia public schools closed as the city was overrun by charter schools. local community groups responded by banning together in a coalition called "our city our schools" to pressure pennsylvania governor tom wolf and philadelphia mayor jim kenney to return control over the school district to local voters. last month, philadelphia mayor jim kenney heeded organizers'
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demands and called for the dissolution of the commission. this is kenney addressing the philadelphia city council. >> if we do not have call schools in every neighborhood, the people who have helped reversed the cities decades of ovulation loss will not stay. the children whose families cannot afford to leave will be unprepared to compete in the 21st century economy. businesses will not come to philadelphia. those who are here won't have a low -- local talent pool to grow. the crime rates will remain stagnant or they will worsen. so today, after nearly two years of careful consideration and , andrch, 98 school visits conversations of 158 principles, and countless the us, teachers, business leaders, i'm officially calling on the members of the school reform commission to vote to dissolve at their next scheduled meeting. amy: so at the end of the school reform commissssion, the l lid f his school district returns to city conontrol after 16 years of
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state management. for more, we go to philadelphia, pennsylvania, where we're joined by two guests. helen gym is a longtime community activist and now a philadelphia city council member. she helped lead the fight. and kendra brooks is part of the "our city, our schools" coalition as well as "parents united." has been organizing in her north philadelphia neighborhood for a decade. she is the parent of two children who attend philadelphia district schools. let's begin with helen gym. talk about why you got involved in the struggle and the national significance now to philadelphia public schools are back in the hands of philadelphians? morning.of all, good it is great to join you here. this is a really great moment and educationia observers all across the country. 16 years ago, the city of philadelphia was probably the largest city to be taken over by the state of pennsylvania. at the time it was sold to us as
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a massive effort to privatize whole chunks of the city. the school system, to turn it over to one for-profit entity in particular, which no longer exists, as the school manager. and to become what would eventually be a 16 year experiment on black, brown, and immigrant children that was not guided by education research but included things like high-stakes testing, mass school closings, reckless charter expansion, and the like. in response, over the 16 years, the thing that became the most encouraging aspect of philadelphia's fight back was that all of us pulled together. parents in particular. i was a new mom at the time. i was sending a child into kindergarten. became very active. i was a former public school teacher. we were very active. community members, educators, parents can together to push
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back against an agenda that was not fundamentally centering the needs of young people, that was promoting ideas that were not backed by research, and were hurting far too many children -- especially children of color in philadelphia. and we need to charter a different path. the way to do that was to form a broad-based coalition amongst folks and use all of our resources to invest in one another and to invest in the big fight. that was mirrored nationally. 16 years later, we stand together. we watch the state takeover go down. people build a new representative school board out of it. we will keep fighting. juan: kendra brooks, can you talk about with the state control has meant to the public schools? your direct experience with your children over the failure of state management of your schools? think for me, once again,
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thank you for this opportunity. earlierthis process, mentioned i have two schools -- two children currently in schools, but i've four. my oldest is 27 my youngest is nine. i have been through this process from the beginning. educating children in the public school system. an understanding with this takeover meant when we begin to see the loss of resources from the loss of teachers, the increase of class sizes. local public school went from k-8 and we lost 27 teachers. those directly affected me and my community when i think of what the state takeover of a two schools here in philadelphia. at the time, i was only concerned about my public school. the one that was relevant to me and my children. but as i began asking around and connecting with organizations and begin do it -- begin doing more advocacy work on it was affecting the city.
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it was not beneficial. the stateit was that was supposed to come helped turn around the financial situation of the school, and we still continue to see school starving of resources, of teachers, nurses, building conditions are poor, resources for children with special needs, resources that help immigrant families -- all those things continue to be stateed under this takeover. so i don't understand what the purpose of the experiment was when it really did not work. he did not benefit the children in philadelphia at all in any kind of way. juan: howery able to build a grassroots movement that eventually pressured the mayor and the state to return local control? >> as you begin to talk to families and communities, talking to parents and the school yard, talking about the loss of education from what
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their expense was to the children's experience in education and start sharing fax about actually what is happening city ands around the allowing parents to understand it is not just your school, that effort,a shootin citywide they were willing to fight for their schools, schools and their community, and connect with other parents around the citityo make sure that we have a quality education system for all kids. because we should be up and move around the city and every neighborhood school should be a quality school. i think once we began having that conversation with parents and really showing them what is missing, i did a lot of times parents not inside the building realize it wasn't a nurse or there wasn't t a counselor until you need it. if you don't need it, you don't know it is not there. once we started saying this is happening district wide, all schools are suffering and we need you to join in the fight, a lot of parents were willing. amy: helen gym, this is a big
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day after election, the alabama election. results atignificant a november election. larry krasner becoming the district attorney. i was wondering if you could talk -- you are just recently at an event speaking about not incarceration. how this takeback of the philadelphia schools fits into this picture? >> you know, one of the best things about the push back , thed the public education state takeover of public education, the privatization of public education, is eventually over a period of time because so many of us were coming together from different places, unifying around a broad-based movement, around our public schools, we were really talking about our children, our neighborhoods, our families, and the city. it became much bigger than an education fight. it actually became very much a unifying force that pulled
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together grassroots activists that were involved with youth justice work, the criminal justice system, that were looking at questions about politics and integrity, that were educator support but were fundamentally engaged with a lot deep rooteded, issues in our city, including immigrants, sanctuary cities, the fight for the push back --inst having efforts anti-poverty programs. so all of these forces came together and became this really broad-based movement. in particular, the education movement and criminal justice movement so closely aligned together because so many of our inng people are involved dysfunctional systems. so we have one out of five high school students who are either involved in the criminal justice or dhs, department of human services, and that requires us to think differently. when we are talking about our
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public schools and give us solutions that only talk about increasing test scores or cutting away extraneous services like counselors and nurses or afterschool programs or support services because they are not focused in on the basics that would allow them to better pass a test score that is crafted out orcrimson review war k-12 one of these other multinational companies. then parents are going to push back. we're going to talk about the realities of what our young people are living with today. we are going to talk about the reality of access to services and support services and support services in our city that make a huge difference in changing young people's lives. this finally became much bigger than an education movement. juan: we just have about 30 seconds. i want to ask in terms of the impact, there's a senate bill in pennsylvania that would make the use of private vouchers and charters -- the growth of
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charter schools even greater. could you talk about that and your efforts on that? >> the voucher issue has come up multiple times in pennsylvania. it has also been defeated multiple times. the difference we have got right now is the movement in philadelphia has spread across the state. the movement had took down the state takeover also took down a sitting governor in 2014. moneyk on the politics of -- municipal rates. we are following closely to make it clear that education is a political issue for us. it is going to be involving kendra, myself. this is not just an isolated political fight in harrisburg. this is speaking directly to communities all across the state of pennsylvania. and those legislators who want to try to pretend that vouchers are going to solve, they're going to find out it is losing battle.
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amy: thank you for being with us, helen gym and kendra brooks. that does it for our show. 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
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