tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 31, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PST
01/31/18 01/31/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: i just signed, prior to walking in, in order directing secretary mattis to re-examine our military detention policy and to keep inn the detention facilities guantanamo bay. of thed his first state union address, president trump threatens to start sending more prisoners to guantanamo and get
the military prison open indefinitely. this comes as trump repeatedly links immigration with terrorism. pres. trump: in recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in new york were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. in the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford. amy: and while 2017 was the second warmest year on record, trump never mentioned climate change or global warming. pres. trump: we have ended the war on american energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal. amy: today, we will hear excerpts from the state of the union and get response from maru mora villalpando, a leading undocumented immigrants rights activist who attended the state fears sheon as she
faces deportation. we will also hear from ilhan omar, former refugee who has become the first somali american muslim legislator in the united states. plus bill mckibben of 350.org ,nd katrina vanden heuvel publisher of the nation. we will also speak to daniel ms 13 and how more deportations will not helpful stop all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump read his first state of the union address on tuesday night in which he called on congress to pass an immigration overhaul and repeatedly tried to conflate immigrants, including dreamers, with terrorists and gang members. among his guests to the state of the union were the parents of a
young girl who was killed by members of the ms 13 gang two years ago in long island, new york post up to girls, in the 13 is a thing that originated in the 1980's and since reggie central america as a result of the u.s. mass deportation policies. during a lengthy address, trump announced he had signed an executive order keeping the guantanamo bay military prison open and escalated his warmongering rhetoric against north korea, calling the north korean government depraved, warning it poses a nuclear risk to the united states. trump celebrated his massive tax overhaul in a fitting corporations and the richest americans, among them, himself and his family. trump entered the state of the union with the lowest approval rating of any president in modern u.s. history, entering his second year in office. we will have more on the state of the union after the headlinenes. a federal judge in new york city says he will not ignore president trump's "vicious"
comments about latinos as he considers whether to halt the termination of daca, that's the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, which gives nearly 800,000 young undocumented people permission to live and work in the united states. president trump canceled daca last fall. but on tuesday, judge nicholas garaufis slammed trump for his vicious, recurring, redundant drumbeat of anti-latino commentary. this is new york state attorney general eric schneiderman, one of 16 attorneys general who have sued to block the termination of daca. >> it is a massive, successful program that they are attempting to shut down. the issue of discriminatory animus can map this came up. the judge was very focused on issues, very well-informed, and we look ford to getting a dedecision. amy: this comes after a san francisco judge alsoso issued an injunction blocking daca's cancellation earlier this momon. in financial news, the
pharmaceutical giant pfizer says it's reaping a staggering $11 billion gain as a result of president trump's tax overhaul, which massively benefited corporations and the richest americans. president trump and republicans claimed the tax plan would help the middle class, but a recent reuters poll shows only 2% of surveyed workers say they've received any benefit from trump's tax overhaul. democratic lawmakers expressed outrage after the trump administration announced it would not impose new sanctions against russia, despite the fact these sanctions were enshrined in a law passed by congress and signed by president trump last year amid concerns about russia meddling in the 2016 election. instead, the state department released a list of prominent russian political leaders and oligarchs. the oligarchs list is an exact copy of russians listed on the forbes' magazine 2017 billionaires list. this is new hampshire democratic senator jeanne shaheen. thehe trump administration has had six months to configure a sanctions
regime, sanctions based on a vote, as you heard from senator congress.-5 in and what did they come up with? they gave us this list, the unclassified list as senator cardin said, the oligarchs that are part of this list are taken from forbes magazine. amy: this comes as the cia director recently met with top russian officials, including the head of russian intelligence. the federal emergency management agency, known as fema, is ending shipments of food and water to puerto rico today, four months after hurricane maria devastated the island. about a third of puerto rico still has no electricity. some rural areas still have no clean running water. san juan mayor carmen cruz criticized the move while speaking at a gathering of latino leaders and washington, d.c., saying "while i am standing here with you, there are children without food in
puerto rico. we need the help and it is not help we have paid for." she attended the state of the union address with new york senator gigillibrand. of faithas, delegation leaders from the u.s. is denouncing the united states support for honduran president her and it is raisman and not rated for second term despite allegations of widespread -- termdent for a second despite allegations of widespread voting fraud in the november 26 election. this is reverend kathleen mctigue of the unitarian universalist service committtte, speaking outside the u.s. embassy in tegucigalpa on monday. >> we demandnd t the investitign and prososecution of those directly responsible for and those behind the killings during the protests from november 27 until today. amy: in colombia, longtime land defender and community leader temistocles machado has been assassinated in the port city buenaventura.
known to the community as temis, he helped lead the massive, three-week-long civic strike in the afro-colombian city this past summer, which was protesting widespread violence in the region and a lack of basic services, such as clean water. the polish parliament has sparked outrage by passing a bill that would make it a crime punishable by up to three years in prison to suggest the polish government was complicit in nazi-era crimes. opponents say the bill seeks to rewrite and erase the history of poland's anti-jewish pogroms leading up to world war ii, and the collaboration between the polish state and nazi germany after the nazis occupied poland in 1939. in turkey, more than 300 people have been arrested f for posting messages online crcriticizing te turkish military offensive against the syrian city of afrin, a majority kurdish city controlled by a u.s.-backed militia. the turkish government says those arrested include journalists, politicians, and activists. the government is accusing them of spreading terrorist propaganda by speaking out
against the deadly military offensive. in egypt, a coalition of opposition parties and pro-democracy groups are calling for a boycott of egypt's upcoming presidential elections. the authoritarian egyptian president abdel fattah el-sisi is almost certain to win the march elections after nearly all of his challengers were arrested or disqualified. in japan, a woman has filed a landmark lawsuit suing the japanese government for sterilizing her without her consent because of a mental disability when she was 15 years old. she's one of an estimated 16,000 people in japan who were forcibly sterilized under japan's eugenics law, which was in force from 1948 until 1996. in france, o oxford professor ad renowned islamic scholar tariq ramadan has been detained in paris after he w was accused by two women of rape and sexual assault last year. ramadan has denied the accusations. and gene sharp, a lifelolong advocate of nonviolent
resistance, has died at the age of 90. gene sharp was most famous for his book on non-violent struggle, including the influential book "from dictatorship to democracy: a conceptual framework for liberation." he was also the founder of the albert einstein institution, which is dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action. this is gene sharp accepting the right liveliho a award i202012. >> nonviolent struggler nonvlent actionncludes ree one,ori of method -- the method of nonviolent prott. sysymbol actions, rching dow the street, dilaying ctain colors also inclus mu more powerful method of ncooperaon, such asocial
boycotts ecomic boycotts, lartrikes, litical ycotts, civil disedience, and thily, the metho off noiolence, interveioion a diuption, su as citizens to sit-ins. amy: gene sharp died sunday at the age of 90 in hisis home in boston. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump his first state of the union tuesday claiming americanour new moment. you focused heavily on immigration, renewing his call for a border wall while linking immigration to terrorism. pres. trump: in recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in new york were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration . in the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford.
it is time too reform. rulesoutdated immigration and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century. an echo president trump never mention the words "climate changege" or "globobal warming o but he did acknowledge the recent hurricanes and wildfires. pres. trump: to everyone still recovering in texas, florida, louisiana, peru go, and the virgin islands, everywhere we are with you, we love you, and we always will pull through together. always. amy: thahat was presesident tr's only refeference to puerto rico. or to do, fema is endining shipipments of food and waterer, evenen though ababout one ththif the islanand still hahas no elelectricityy over fofour monts after hurricicane mariria struc. on the foreign policy front, trump threat north korea again, suggested hehe will start sendig
more prisoners to the u.s. military prison at guantanamo in cuba where no new prisoner has been sent in almost a decade. pres. trump: i just signed, prior to walking in, in order directing secretary mattis, who is doing a great job. thank you. [applause] to re-examine our military dedetention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in guantanamo bay. ensureking congress to that in the fight against isis and al qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. and in many cases, for them it will now be guantanamo bay.
is: the prison population currently 41, down from a high of 684 in 2003. president trump also used the state of the union to issued a veiled threat to federal workers. pres. trump: so tonight i call on congress to empower every cabinet secretary with the authority to report good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the american people. amy: today we spend the hour looking at what president trump said and did not say during his state of the union. we begin with katrina vanden heuvel, editor and publisher of the nation, america's oldedest weekly magazazine. overall, your response to what you saw last night? >> in july in youngstown, president trump said, one speech is not going to make me presidential. it takes a lot more. we heard platitudes and promises. we heard warmongering.
we heard a lot about scams. presidentiallet me step back. you were just talking about guantanamo. i think one of the ugliest moments was when the president cheered on his move to move the capital -- the embassy to jerusalem. along with reopening gitmo for business. you had the republican party, let's not forget trump is the head of the republican party, cheering on defiance of international law and human rights. i think that was the telltale moment because that is what this a administration is about on the foreign policy front. he is a false populist. f no reactionary populist, but a populist. last night was littered with broken promises even as he promised war. i'm not going to hold my breath for lower drug prices, which he spoke of. i'm not going to hold my breath for more treatment of an opioid crisis come up which as you
probably know in 2016 there were more opioid overdoses than combat deaths in vietnam. and he has scammed the american people with a tax cut. i know you're talked a lot about it on this program, which was essentially a handout to the corporations a big into his own family. last night he tried to boast that this was a tax cut for the american people. future, this our tax cut. it feels to invest in a future. which of the democrats were wise, they would put out a bold, bold plan in the next few days about what they would do specifically on these issues of jobs, of infrastructure -- not a private has ever structure plan -- a real health care, medicare for all, of tuition free hire education, and get real specific about what they're going to do for working people in this country. and working people, by the way, of all colors. there is too often pitting class versus identity when in fact the working class is brown, black
and yellow, white. amy: when you talk about pitting, there was direct references to immigrants, taking poor americans jobs. bubut i want to go to that issue in a moment. but first, to the foreign policy front. where president said he would beef up the u.s. nuclear arsenal, dismissing global efforts to ban nuclear weapons. pres. trump: as part of our defense, we must modernize and ,ebuild our nuclear arsenal hopefully, never having to use it, but making it so strong and terpowerful that it will de any act of aggression by any other nation or anyone else. [applause] perhaps someday in the future,
there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. unfortunately, we are not there yet. sadly. amy: that was president trump in his first official state of the union address. katrina vanden heuvel? >> for the nuclear issue, don't forget he also said he wanted to break these ending caps. because soor issue much already goes into defense. not making us more secure. our pentagon budget is at a historic high rife with waste and abuse. we don't need more. with the modernization of think it makes us less secure. it is a continuation of obama's plan to modernize the nuclear arsenal. he was going to throw one choice in dollars over three decades. $1s she was going to throw
trillion over three decades. president trump is elevated the nuclear issue in the north korea carol to a new high because people are going to does are concerned about his "finger" on the nuclear button. we need to be concerned. accidents, false alerts as we saw in hawaii a few weeks ago. at a minimum, we need to take off the hairtrigger alert and first use. there's legislation in congress from ted lieu and senator markey to ensure there will be some congressional involvement in any use. the president trump probably does not know that someone -- i don't know how he feels about him. henry kissinger, senator nunn, former clinton secretary william perry have come out for the abolition of nuclear weapons, as have the majority of countries in the world through the general assembly at the united nations last year, putting through a treaty. believe.ns i
to seek the build down and end of nuclear weapons. that is true security, not a president who talks and rattles his thumbs and fingers and twitter feed against the leader of north korea. nor is a president who tries to decertify the iran agreement, which is in our security interest. and if it is broken, will lead to more nuclear proliferation and less security. this president is clueless when it comes to what real security is. and he is out of step with the majority of americans who listen to him on the campaign trail $6n he spoke of the waste of trillion in the middle east that could rebuild this country. do you know, amy, counties where the have lost so many sons and daughters to endless war voted for trump because they believed he might end war. and country seeks realism
restraint. amy: we're going to go to breaek and come back to this discussion. katrina vanden heuvel our guest, editor and publisher of the nation, america's oldest weekly magazine. we will also be joined by state representative ilhan omar, the first smiley american public official in the u.s. she participated in one of the alternative state of the union events. we will also be speaking with a woman inside congress last night , who is a guest of the senator -- who was a guest of a senator. we will be speaking with maru mora villalpando, who herself faces deportation, and undocumented immigrant just yards from president trump. in addition, we will be talking to bill mckibben. the words "global warming" work "climate change" were not mentioned by president trump. and we will speak with journalist daniel denvir who has
amy: singing leonard cohen's song "hallelujah." he was singing at an alternative state of the union, a people state of the union, held that count hall in new york on monday night. this is democracy now! as we look at president trump's first aid of the union, spending the hour on it. on tuesday night, some democrats in the chamber boo'ed when president used the term "chain migration" and try to the terrorist attacks to recent immigrants to sponsor relatives.
," the fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. [applause] under the currentnt broken syst, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. [applause] this vital reform is necessary not just for our economy, but for our security and for the future of america. in recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in new york were made possible by the visa lottery and
chain migration. in the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can .ust know longer afford it is time to reform -- [applause] outdated immigration rules. and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century. and ago that was president trump at his state of the union. joining us now, minnesota state representative ilhan omar former , refugee, a muslim, and the highest-elected somali-american public official in the united states. you were in washington, d.c., from minnesota to attend one of the alternative state of the something you respond to president trump said last night? >> thank you for having me.
i was sort of listening to that little bizarre bit about our immigration programs being outdated. the only thing i could think about was his fascist ideas beingg outdated. amy: talk specifically about these linkages he made, timidly, johnline he drew between people coming to the united states over the border and ms 13 killing people. disappointingy and saddens me, but it does not persone me that this can't comprehend how dangerous it is to create a link the between people who might be committing some patricia's
crimes -- atrocious crimes to immigrants that are coming to this country seeking a writer future for their children -- brighter future for their children. and countless people from central america and south america who are coming to this country for opportunities that my family came here for. and many of the immigrants before us came. it is unbecoming of a president and a leader to be able to make those kind of disturbing and disgusting links. amy: you are part of a group, as a young somali american muslim legislator, of america's cabinet. and nonpartisan project launched by young elected officials. can you talk about what this is? this pastize that
year we could be in the streets, we could resist some of the horrendous ideas that are coming , or we couldgton get involved as young electeds who have fluency and understanding of what our constituents need. we believe we have bold ideas that are going to lead our country to be able to keep up with fulfilling its promise. amy: i want to briring mararu ma into thiso conversation, an activist and undocumented immigrant with the group northwest detention center resistance and the group mijente. she attended the state of the union address last night as a guest of washington senator maria cantwell. welcome back to democracy now!
talk about what the atmosphere was like inside congress as president trump spoke and the significance of your being there. me to sitwful for next to a lot of people that were cheering him up. at some point i was able to see him clap for himself. i decided to sit down throughout the entire speech. i did not clap at all. i did get a glimpse of other -- a couple of other people also sitting down. when we saw each other, like a young man on the same row that i leftwe just raised our fist to each other trying to injure the entire speech that felt really, really long. people stared at me when i did not get up. again, i saw a couple of people here and there not standing up, either.
and i think the most important ice came me was that to me starting the deportation process against me. when senator cantwell and vitamin a joint, i felt it was my opportunity to show trump himself that we are not going to get intimidated. we're going to continue working. people in detention, yesterday throughout the day and told me, we cannot be there. we have selected you. you have to be there. endure whatever he says. racist president of public speech. the scapegoat of my community along with many other communities. but was important to show we are not afraid and we're going to continue in the struggle. amy: seen and reported that congressman paul gosar said he requested u.s. capitol police arrest undocumented immigrants
attending the state of the union. the arizona republican who is down as an immigration hardliner tweeted his request the police consider checking identification of all attending the state of the union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance, he said. maru, talk about your own situation. not only that you might have been arrested right there, but in washington state, you are a long time, well-known immigrants rights activist. but talk about the letter you recently got. >> on december 20, my daughter and i were heading out. we heard a knock at the door. it was the mail person handing me a letter. i saw the logo from immigration and customs enforcement and i know exactly what it was. it is called a notice to appear. isre the u.s. government beginning the deportation process against me, saying that overstate a visa back in 1996, a tourist visa, and that i need to
appear before a judge. it did not include a date, but included the location, which is downtown seattle. and ago i want to go back to part of what president trump said last night about his immigration plan. trump: struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of american workers and american families. for decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable to disease. allowed low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest americans. most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lilives. amy: your response? >> i was trying to contain myself. it is easy to see how he was
pitting people against each other. low income workers are either brown, black community's, white communities, but also scapegoating immigrant communities. it was really shocking to me to see how he utilized people's my community,lame my immigrant community, for those tragedies. it was also even more shocking to see people of color there standing and clapping for him and really being used. we have been used in general and politics, but you see -- using tragedies to scapegoat are community's without talking about the real reasons why there is violence in the community, created precisely by the same government that created the conditions for white people being violent. i think it was just a huge racist, xenophobic, nativist rhetoric. again, i just tried to go
throughout the night thinking, i have to be here and i know that even though the majority of people were clapping and standing for him, i knew that people outside would not agree with him. amy: president trump mention the ms 13 gang four times by name and told the story o of the two young teenage girls who were murdered by members of the gang and long island. let's go to that part of the state of the union. pres. trump: for decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable community's. they have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest americans. most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives. here tonight are two fathers and to do mothers, evelyn rodriguez, freddy cuevas, elizabeth alvarado, and robert mickens.
their two teenage daughters -- kayla cuevas and nisa mickens -- were close friends on long island. but in september 2016, on the eve of nisa's 16th birthday, neither of them came home. these two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. six members of the savage gang ms-13 have been charged with kayla and nisa's murders. many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country unaccompanied alien minors, and wound up in kayla and nisa's high school.
tonight i'm calling on commerce to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed ms 13 and other criminal gangs to break into our country. amy: that was president trump last that as he talked about young people coming over the border and joining ms 13. daniel denvivir is with us from providence, rhode island, writer in residence at the fair punishment project. daniel, welcome to democracy now! one of his central focus his last night, ms 13. >> political writer around immigration -- rhetoric around immimigration so skiers the reality of immigration. though trump is a rather strange case. focus on ms 13ve does aside from scapegoating and
facilitating the mass criminalization of latino immigrants in this country is obscure the origins and realities of gangs like ms 13. in researching was born in los refugeesmidst the fleeing president reagan's dirty wars in el salvador. it becamame a transnational gang that ultimately did so much to destabilize el salvador cicely because of deportation policies pursued by president trump's predecessosors. this is a problem that american-made through and through, so to treated as though it is some external threat being forced on americans, a not only entirely takes out of proportion and exaggerates the criminal threat that ms 13 posts to americans, it obscures the fact it is our foreign policies, our military interventions and our long history that unfortunately will proceed donald trump of mass deportations and
criminalization of immigrants has created ms 13 in the first place. amy: talk more about that. as you fully develop it in your piece and your work, even why it is called ms 13, but to explain that history, daniel. so in the 1980's, older viewers are probably fully aware and many younger ones as well am a that in the 1980's president reagan was backing a right-wing government in el salvador that was waging a brutal dirty war against leftist revolutionaries in that country. that sent huge number's of refugees fleeing to the u.s.. yes i had similar dirty wars in guatemala -- you are sizable and dirty wars in guatemala, as well as a contra war against in nicaragua. in the case of solid or and refugees fleeing to the u.s.,
reagan made a point of denying that they were refugees because how good his friendly government in el salvador be sending refugees fleeing from their country if they weren't committing massive human rights abuses -- each they were. so coming into segregated neighborhoods in the u.s., where , like many poor people of color in this country, they were denied access to good jobs and good schools, people gravitated, young people gravitated toward gangs. gangs that were thoroughly american phenomenon at the time, not one they were bringing with them from el salvador. in the 1990's, the clinton's to do to placate anti-immigrant sentiment toward off the right and consolidate white support in advance of -- to further advance his own political ambitions, launched a
mass crackdown on so-called criminal aliens. those same policies were followed by george w. bush and also by barack obama. and the result was enormous number some people have been deported to central america, including el salvador. some, alleged members. many, not. it is people being deported back to el salvador brought gangs to the country entered what was a homegrown l.a. phenomenon into a transnational criminal empire posted again, trump entirely exaggerates the criminal threat that ms 13 poses to the u.s., but those gains have played a major role in reaching incredible violence and destabilization in central america, in el salvador. and that violence, that destabilization, along with manager crackdowns
in the region have pushed a new generation of refugees to come to the u.s.. and now trump has the gall to say that it is this new generation of refugees, young uncoupling miners, who are a threat to us as americans. i mean, it is absurd. it is offensive. it is an insult to history because u.s. policy has created ms 13 through and through. i think for trump, it is just a convenient way to scapegoat and facilitate the criminalization of ordinary immigrants, which is something that he is been doing since he announced his campaign and said that mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals. amy: maru mora villalpando, your response to that trajectory he made, the thread that wove through the fabric of his speech last night? young people coming over the border, ms 13, killing young women in long island, new york?
>> again, it is just plain that he ise rhetoric trying to blame us for what david just explain. there are many different reasons why there is violence in this country. he obviously left aside the violence that why people have generated in this country. a lot of terrorist acts. the majority of them being done .y white people in this country to become it is really offensive that -- to me, it is really the when heat described children. we are working with a young man in a detention center in tacoma. he came from el salvador precisely escaping gang violence. he came as a minor. as soon as he turned 18, he was sent to the detention center. he already won his case. the u.s. government decided to court,his winning in immigration court, and they
still kept him in detention. he still detained, along with another young man that we are working with that won his case from all seven were under the condition of torture. the u.s. government apappealed s case. in november. he is still detained right now in the detention center. this is just another way of keeping us in detention, making sure our bodies, , are brown and black bodies, are being used for making more money and for daca to claim they are creating a safe environment when what theyey're doing is cocontinuing destroying dust amy: as you talk about violence, i want to turn back to ilhan omomar, minnesota state representative, thee only somali american muslim legislator in the country. back in 2016, state representative omar, you were attacked by a cab driver who
called you "isis and threatened ijab after your h leaving training at the white house. you wrote on facebook -- "the most hateful, derogatory, islamophobic, sexist taunts and threats i have ever experienced. i am still shaken by this incident and can't wrap my head around how bold [people] are becoming in displaying their hate towards muslims." if you can t talk about the atmosphere in this country over the last year. of course, i could not help noticing last night in the chamber as president trump spoke, many of the african-american legislators, congress members, were wearing african cloth, whether it was scarves or boat types -- bowties, ties. ilhan omar, your response? rhetoric surrounding
muslims and islam in this country has become a very dangerous one. and you sort of dehumanize people's ability to take a violent action against individuals because they don't agree with the god thehey play o or they don't, you know, where clothing that you might approve, it sends us down a path that becomes very dangerous for our a lot of young kids in .he schools and workplaces and just like i was, roaming around the streets in d.c., trying to do the work i was
elected to do. you are faced with not only hate oft comes in the form verbally, but it gets very physical at times. and a lot of our communities are living in fear. it is the same thing with what is happening around the conversation with immigrants. are all of the lies that being told by the president and republicans, we are forgetting that immigrants in a light of our -- in a lot of our communities are contributing economically. they are making the cultures of those communities thrive. not inu know, they are ast category of criminals
the president makes it seem. if we think about our prison system, over 10% of the american population is imprisoned and it is less than 5% of them are immigrants. conversation, and outcry about what to do when it man who are being radicalized, who are going into our schools and our churches inner moviee theaters, terrorizing our communities. there isn't a plan. there isn't a conversation. there isn't an outrage. i did not hear a peep from the president last that about what he plans to do to keep americans safe so they're able to go see a concert, so they are able to feel comfortable sending their
five-year-old, seven-year-old and 10 year old to school. thinking about what makes america great, what keeps our country save, it is about having a principled leader someone who cares about and is going to work in collaboration with other leaders -- world leaders and really talk about the values of this country. feel like, we're letting fear drive our foreign policy. we are letting fear drive our domestic policy. and that makes us away from the the leadings and with our morality that has gotten us to be the greatest nation in the world. amy: state representative ilhan omar, the virginia democratic
comes member bobby scott tweeted -- i am wondering if you can quickly, before we get a break, can respond to that comment as a somali refugee? when president trump me that comment about the continent of africa, talking ole" countries,h and what can a blowback did you feel? >> yeah, my home country is -holuded in that bleep countries, and i'm proude and have never been ashamed of where i come from. peoplenow that so many fact thatciated the
africa and many of the countries within africa are considered the birth of civilization. and we bring so much culture and enrichment to this world. and it is really important for people to hahave conversations about that and to not only stand in solidarity, but to also speak up and speak out about those kind of vulgar words that the president might use. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this roundtable discussion in response to president trump's state of the union. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: performing in democracy now! studios. to see our interview in their performances, go to democracynow.org. we spend the hour looking at president trump's first hit of the unit was a president trump referring to the extreme weather events that hit the u.s. last year, but never mentioning the words "climate change" during his speech. pres. trump: we have endured floods and fires and storms, but through it all, we have seen the beauty of america's soul and the steel in america's spine. amy: while president trump never mention climate change coming at this to say about coal. pres. trump: we have ended the war on american energy and we have ended the war on beautiful,
clean coal. amy: president trump petrelli added thehe word "beautiful" to clean coal because the transcript sent around did not say "beautiful." joining us now, bill mckibben, founder of 350.org. bill mckibben, welcome to democracy now! your response to the state of the union last night. >> well, as you said, he barely mentioned and did not mention what is probably the single biggest problem facing the planet. that is because he doesn't think it is a problem. the president is under the illusion that climate change is a hoax invented by the chinese. i mean, bybout coal, this point everybody knows that clean coal is an oxymoron. the beautiful clean coal part was strange. it kind of perjury's impoverished fantasy -- portray
impoverished fantasy or something. they be the scariest part was exxonmobil's plan to invest another $50 billllion, building network pipelines and yet more fossil fuel of a structure in this country that is clearly what president trump was to take us, clearly flying in the face, not only of climate change, but of the economics of energy which wants to send a straight in the direction of the sun and wind. this wasas very,y, very backward lolooking speech. not only on immigration,n, which was s horrible to hear, but also on these questioions about the ourre of our economy and energy. amy: talking about the future, you were just in new york a few weeks ago with naomi klein standing next to new york city mayor bill de blasio. can you talk about the significance of what happened? kind of this is the important pivot here. when we do this big event tonight, this livestream we're
calling fossil free fast, one of the things we will be pointing out t is, we cannot make the future we neeeed in washington right now. there is no hope of getting good legislation through congress anytime soon, so we have to go elsewhere to cities and states. new york city was a huge step along that path when earlier this month, it announced it was divesting $200 billion in pension funds in the fossil fuel industry and that it was going to sue the five biggest oil companies for the damage that they have done to that city and everyplace else on the planet. really y striking moment. there will be many, many more of those moments going forward because cities and states are going to have to step up and fill the vacuum the president trump, and really all of washington, is leaving at this point. amy: after president trump spoke last night, senator sanders recorded his own response to the state ofof the union.
sen. sandersrs: during the campaign, dodonald trump told u" the rich will not be gaining at all" under his taxaxeform plan.. he rich wiwill not be gaining at all." a whopper.was quite as president, the tax reform legislatioion trump signed intoo law a fefew weeks ago,, provide% of the benefits to t the top 1%, drives of the deficit by $1.7 trillion, and raises taxaxes on2 million middle-class families by the end of the decade. amy: that was senator sanders, the official democratic response was commerce member joe kennedy iii. but what bernie sanders is saying and what he is doing tonight, the significance of his voice right now, just to explain. hoax of course bernie sanders have us it is significant was coming off the campaign, but i think what bills that is important. what is happening in cities and
states, both elected leaders and movement activist, we are seeing the resurgence cannot only of citizen engagement and activism, but getting things done, whether it is california or new york city, but also arcadia, jackson mississippi, a lot going on in this country. i think what bernie sanders is shown the way is democrats cannot simply, though they must expose trends bait and switch on working people, the tax game, but they need to lay out a bold, clear alternative agenda. a kind of social contract for the 21st century. trump last night had to put spotted talk about a 21st century immigration plan. as bill said so well, what we heard last night was retro. it was ugly nostalgia for a country that is not going to come back to coal and tell it could with asthma about beautiful clean coal. what we need are new pathways forward. he made, serious, and working
with citizens and working with activists. i think there's a report of the legal stuff the bad news is trump's president. the good news is, we're seen a revitalization of democracy and citizen activism. people running for office, amy, for the first time in years, people who never thought of it, what to change and take control of this country. amy: bill mckibben, the event happening tonight? and people can't go directly, you are doing it online? >> it will be live in washington and online. when bernie gets up to speak, i will be thinking in the back of my head, it would not have taken too many twists of fate for him to have been giving this state of the u union last night. we should keep in mind that he is the most popular politician in america. soso there is a lot toto build n here. climate commemoration, everything else. and you go i want to thank you all for being here with us, bill mckibben, katrina vanden heuvel, maru mora villalpando who was in congress last night, minnesota