tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 4, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
03/04/19 03/04/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the commission has found grounds to believe security forces committed serious violations of human rights and against human to turn into national law. amy: a united nations inquiry has found israeli forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by targeting unarmed protesters in gaza last year when israeli forces killed at least 183
people and injured over 23,000 during weekly protests. >> intentionally shot children, intentionally shot people with disabilities, they intentionally shot journalists, knowing them to be children, people with disabilities, , and journalists. amy: we will speak to sara hossain who helped conduct the u.n. inquiuiry and norman finkelstein, author of "gaza: an inquest into its martyrdom." thenn n undomentnted immigrant isetetainein f floda jusus weeks after he appead d in a film at e e sundce f fil fefeival about activists infilttiting for-prot migrant detentiojajails. isis thia foform of retaliation look at the stunning nefifilm "thehe infiltrators" with the elves director and two activists who pretrade themselves and the narrative fililm. >> it was plans to use the
system against itself in a way that othther folks can replicat, and that -- for me, personally, it can really be a flair for a lot of folks who may lack the clear creativity, energy, or to know that we can do more than resist right now.. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. house judiciary chairman jerrord nadler is expected to submit -- request documents for over 60 people and groups tied to president trump and his business today. congressional probes will look into some of trump's clclosest business parartners, incncluding allen weisselberg, the cfo of organization, donald trump son, as well as the
justice department. this is s congressmember n nadln "abc this week." >> it is very clear. 1100 times he returned to the mueller investigation as a witchhunt. he fired -- you try to protect the swing from being best edition -- to be investigated. he ordered comey to stop the russssian thing, as he told thee news. amy: nadler's statements come as other democratic committees have also indicated they are investigating trump on multiple fronts. house oversight chairman elijah cummings saiaid last week he wod like to question weisselberg and trump's children as llll, and the house ways and m means committee is reportedly planning to request trump's past tax returns. meanwhile, trump spoke for over two hours at cpacac, the conservative political action saturday, railing against mueller's investigation into his 2016 campaign. he said "you put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for along time that should not be there.
and all of the sudden, they are trying to take you out withbull-." kentucky senator rand paul has indicated he would vote in favor of a measure blocking trump's emergency declaration, which seeks to divert billions of federal dollars to build a wall on the u.s.-mexico border. last week republican senators , susan collins, lisa murkowski and thom tillis said they will join with their democratic colleagues to vote in favor of the bill. papaul's vote would prorovide te senate with the one-vote majority needed in order to pass the resolution. lawmakers in the house passed a resolution last week blocking trump's national e emergency. however, neither the housese nor the senate have enough votes to override a presidential vetoto, which trump has vowed to use. a group of 29 central american parents have entered the u.s. at its border with mexico saturday anand are now being processed by immigration officials after the group demanded an opportunity to be reunited with their children who are in the united states. the parents come who come from honduras, guatemala, and el
salvador, were separated from their children last year because of the trump administration family separation policy and then deported back to their home country. the families are asking to be reunited and further asylum comes to be reconsidered. they were a come dave like groups who are providing them with legal services. this is one of the parents in the group from honduras. detentionis at a center in texas, and attain their in a foster home for 11 months and then not been able to hand them over because my nephew who lives in the united states does not have his papapers in order. >> there is a risk of who will be detained in the united states. is it worth it? we all run the risk am a but would would do anything f f the children. amy: the republican party of west virginia has come under fire after an islamophobic poster linking minnesota congressmember ilhan omar to the 9/11 attacks was seen at a republican event at the state capitol friday. the poster shows the attack on the world trade center, with the
words "never forget, you said" above the photo. below is a photo of congressmember omar, who is one of the first two muslim women elected to congress last november, with the words "i am the proof -- you have forgotten" written underneath her photo. the west virginia house of delegates condemned the poster and said it was investigating the matter. the house's principal law enforcement official, anne lieberman, resigned after a delegate accused her calling all muslims terrorists. omar responded to the poster via twitter friday, writing -- "no wonder why i am on the 'hitlist' of a domestic terrorist and 'assassinate ilhan omar' is written on my local gas stations. look no further, the gop's anti-muslim display likening me to a terrorist rocks in state capitols and no one is condemning them!" the u.s. and south korea have canceled theheir upcoming annual joint t military exerciseses ina move that's likely to ease tensions with north korea who viewed the exercises as a provocation. the move comes days after the highly anticipated summit between president trump and kim
jong-un fell apart without a deal or any substantial progress made on dismantling north korea's nuclear arsenal. ththe u.s. and south koreaea wil instead engage in much smaller-scale and less publicized drills. trump said canceling the massive military exercises will save the u.s. hundreds of millions of dollars. as tensions between india and pakistan appeared to stabilize over the weekend, ground fighting on friday and saturday killed at least five civilians and two soldiers in the disputed, indian-administered region of kashmir, according to local reports. some residents of pakistani border towns in the line of fire fled heaving shelling in the area, seeking safety in nearby makeshift shelters. on friday, the pilot of a downed indian aircraft was released by pakistan in an effort to ease tensions between the two nuclear powers after india carried out airstrikes inside pakistan tuesday for the first time since 1971. pakistan resumed some flights over the weekend after
temporarily shutting down its airspace last week, with a full resumption of flights expected from today. in the west bank isisraeli forcs , shot threeee palestinians aftr a a car reportedlyly rammed intn israeli military vehicle monday nearar the city of ramallah. israeli reports sasaid two palestinians involved in the car ramming were killed by israeli fire, while a third palestinian was injured. venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president juan guaido announced he would return to the country after visiting several latin american nations over the past week to rally support for his leadership and the ousting of sitting president nicolas maduro. guaido, who risks arrest upon his return, has called for fresh protests against the venezuelan government. in a "washington post" interview guaido said that his arrest by sunday, maduro's government would amount to a coup d'etetat. in algeria, protests continued over the weekend after embattled president abdelaziz bouteflika's campaign confirmed he would be running for a fifth term.
a representative for bouteflika filed the official paperwork on sunday, despite elections rules stating a candidate must file in person. the ailing leader, who has been in power since 1999 but has rarely been seen in recent years, said he would not serve his full term if elected and would schedule new elections next year. algerians have been taking to the streets to call for bouteflika to end his presidency for the past two weeks. police used tear gas and water canyons to disperse demonstrators in the capital algiers. in oakland, california teachers , and students are set to return to the classroom today after union members approved a new contract ending the seven-day strike, with teachers demanding fair wages, smaller class sizes and more resources for their students. the deal includes an 11% salary raise and a one-off 3% bonus. some educators are warning the fight is far from over though as the deal only includes a 5-month moratorium on school closures but many worry thehese couldld resume after this s time limit.
the school district is also voting on further budget cuts to oakland schools. in related news, a member of the district's school board apologized sunday after video of her apparently grabbing a kindergarten teacher by the neck went viral over the weekend. in more news from california, protesters took to the streets of sacramento over the weekend after the county's district attorney announced saturday the two police officers who shot and killed 22-year-old, unarmed african-american stephon clark in his grandmother's backyard last year will not face criminal charges. police were responding to a vandalism complaint when they saw clark. they initially claimed he was holding a gun, but later admitted they found only his cellphone near his body. after officers unleashed 20 bullets into clark, they waited for over five minutes before approaching him to administer medical attention. on saturday, independent vermont
senator and 2020 hopeful bernie sanders officially kicked off his presidential run in his hometown of brooklyn, new york. senator sanders addressed a crowd of thousands at his alma mater brooklyn college. >> our government will be based on justice. on economic justice. on social justice. on racial justice. environmental justice. [cheers] to a, i welcome you campaign which tells the powerful special interests who control so much of our economic and political life that we willl no longer tolerate the greed of corporate america and the billionaire class. amy: senenator sanders offered a
more p personal glimpse into his life than at previous rallies. he spoke of his father coming to the u.s. to escape anti-semitism in europe, where the holocaust claimed the lives of many of his family, and of growing up in a working class family in new york. sanders also spoke out against institutional inequality and the need for criminal justice reform and renewed calls from his 2016 campaign for a $15 minimum wage, medicare for all, and free public college tuition. he was introduced by shawn king. in other 2020 election news formerololoradgovevern johnn , hickenlooper announced t today he wilseseek t dememoctic nomitition f preresint. hienenloop served the may of denver before becomingg governor hickenlooperveversaw numumbeof progssive pocicies i colododo, inudining e legazation omarijuan in 2017, he d a bipaisisan effort with ohio republican governor john kasi t to st thehe repealalf the affordable care act. h has ao bebeenriticicid by environmentalistfofor hi lationship with e fossil fuel industry.
in novbeber, ican n lo her -- hickenloopertotood ainstst proposioion 11 whihichould have requid d compies s tolace w wellllat least 2500 feet from heses, scols,s, werwaysys and otr r areadesignat ass vuerable. hickenlooper joins a cwdeded field of 14 demoatatic candidates and is the governor seco to enter the ra folling washington gernor jay insl's nonouncent last week. and the are so of the adlines. this is democry now!, democracow.org, e war and peace rert. i'amy goodn. a unit nationsnquiry h fod israelforcrcesay have committed r crimes and crimes agait humani by targing unarmechildrenjournalis, and the sabled igaza. the repo releaseby the u. human ghts couil on thsday looked at israel's bloody response to weekly great march of return demonstrations launched by palestinians in gaza nearly a year ago, targeting israel's heavily militarized separation barrier. the report found israeli forces have killed 183 palestinians,
almost all of them with live ammunition. the dead included 35 children. 23,000 people were injured, including over 6000 shot by live ammunition. santiago canton chaired the u.n. commission. >> the commission has found grounds to believe that the israeli security forces committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. warrant aations criminal investigation and prosecution, and we call on israel to conduct meaningful investigations into these serious violations and to provide timely justice and reparations for those killed and injured. amy:y: another member of the u.. independent commission, sara hossain, described how israeli forces targeted civilians and journalists in gaza. they havek intentionally shot children, intentionally shock people with disabilities, intentionally shot
journalists knowing them to be children with disabilities -- not all of the children have disabilities, but many are most of the journalists were all marked as press. the people with disabilities crutches, andwith they have been shot at by snipers who also have spotters available with them, who have very high level technology available to see who is out there in the field. amy: the u.n. report calls on states to arrest "persons alleged to have committed, or who ordered to have committed, the international crimes," or to seek their extradition. the u.n. also called on israel to immediately lift the blockade on gaza. israel's acting foreign minister dismissed the report as theater of the absurd. however, grieving palestinians welcomed the report, including raeda ayub whose teenage son, mohammad, was killed during the gaza protests.
>> we are happy that someone i s supporting gaza strip and -- against theren crimes committed by the occupation. amy: the u.n. report was issued on thursday, the same day israel's attorney general announced he prime minister benjamin netanyahu is facing an indictment on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. for more, we're joined by two guests. sara hossain is a barrister practicing in the supreme court of bangladesh. here in new york, scholar norman finkelstein, author of many books including "gaza: an inquest into its martyrdom." we welcome you both. sara hossain, tell us about the most significant findings of your report and how this reportt came intnto b being. >> i'm sorry, could not hear that. amy: please exexplain thfifindis
of thehe report. >> sure. as aeport was commissioned resolution by the human rights council. accordingly, we have conducted investigations for about six months now with trained investigatators and a team o experts. i should mentition we haven't bn given access to gaza o or two israel, , which has hampered us sisignificantl we have been able to interview witnesses and have been able to interview many victims as well. some in person, and some remotely. gathered documentary material as well as the affidavits and other testimonies. we have ourthat, assessment. amy: and talk about t the most significant findings. >> the most significant i think
is just the number of killings and injuries. there are 183 palestinians who have been killed in the course of the period we have investigated, which is from the 30th of march to the 3 31st of decemberer. asas you know, the dememonstrats e c continuing andnd killings ad injuries have continued to be reported. we also found over 60000 injuris to palestinianans caused by y le fire. fourur israelis soldiers have bn killed dururing this time and to israel forces killed, but both of those weree outside the parameters of the investigation. there were not in the context -- they were not at the protest site.. one was duringng the protest ti. amongst t the numbers of killin, what we e also found which is of great coconcern, the fact that groups who are protected persons, such as shohown, peopoe
with disisabilities, and heaealh woworkers and joururnalists, wee amongst those both guilt and injured in large numbers. amy: report calls on statates to -- what exactly y does it mean?? investigation is done groundsg to reasonable to believe. it is not a criminal investigation. we have made some preliminary findings based on the fact we found them, and applying international human rights law and international monetary law where that was relevant -- international humanitarian law were that was relevant. so he made these findings but we believe it needs to be taken further. we have called on israel itself to conduct an investigation so we understand israel has at least five investigations into
the incidents that we h have found. but we're not clear why it isis not open to a larger number. we also ask [inaudiblble] present our findings, hand them over to the high commissioner for human rights of the united nations. bodies to take this further. amy: i want to go to acting -- >> criminal court. amy: i want to go to the acting israeli foreign minister responding to the u.n.. human rights council's report. >> this report is another chapapter in the theaterer of te absurd, produced occasionally by the united nations human rights council, another hostile and slanted report against the state of israel. it is repeport based on distortd information in which the facts were not at all checked, whose only purpose is to slander the
only democracy in the mimiddle east and harm our right to self-defense in the face of the terrorism of a murderous organization. the state of israel outright rejects this report. amy: norman finkelstein, the significance of this? always rejected the reports, whether they come from the united nations or, more often than not, from reputable human rights organizations like amnesty international and human rights watch or the israeli human rights organization best solemn. it is not as if, to use the words of the person you just head on, it is not as if it is a report,y dacia's u.n. it falls in line with the findings of every reputabable human rights organization. amy: what most struck you about this report? what most struck me was remarkably honest. it was very forthright in its conclusions. this kind of balance which most
human rights organizations, reputable ones, attempt between israel and the united states. just to take a couple of examples, it forthrightly stated israel targets intentionally children during these demonstrations. it targets reporters. it targets medical personnel. unusual.t is alallow me two examples you woud be familiar with. so when there was the killings during the operation when the four children who were playing hide and seek -- amy: back in 2014. >> recently, the intercept had an article on the killings of those four kids. were nottory they intentionally killed, it was an accident, a mistake, and the same thing with "the new york times" when they had the big story which was quoted everywhere. the essence of the story was a bullet that
ricocheted and accidentally hit three israeli medical personnel. it was a magic will it because it was a huge crowd of people, but this magic bullet only had three medical personnel. but this human rights report by the human rights council is very straightforward. it says intentionally targets children, intentionally targets even disabled persons. and that, to me, was a credit to them. there was no fake talents. if you look at the proportions, look at the damage is done to the people of gaza, it devoted 10 full pages. then there's a section called impact on israel. it is s three paragraphs. that is exactly what the reality ,hows, that overwhelmingly virtually entirely, all of the infliction of death and instruction is on the palestinian side.
or the period they covered during the demonstration, there were no fatalities during the demonstrations. four israeli soldiers were lightly injured. these were massacres. they're not conflicts, not engagements. they are outright massacres of overwhelmingly unarmed nonviolent demonstrators. amy: this report comes out as the attorney general of israel says he's went to indict the prime minister benjamin netanyahu. the significance of this? >> the israelis ignore the report. nothat case, there is significance. a there is significance. mainly, the international criminal court has found two cases referred to it in the situation among the palestinians. one case is the flotilla from 2010 the came under israeli attack. the second is the case on israeli war crimes in the west bank, mostly the settlements, and operation protected edge in gaza. now, the chief of staff to upper
sze ship -- operation in july, the israeli chief of staff there's the fact of the matter he he netanyahu is out, will probably be the prime minister and he will be up for indictment by the international criminal court. the two prosecutor -- the chief prosecutor is desperately trying not to investigate israeli war crimes. but within the international criminal court, there has been an unprecedented push back. there are large numbers of members of the icc who say it is time to indict israel. and the pressure because of this report, the pressure on the two prosecutor is going to be enormous. to indict israel. amy: just to be clear, prime minister benjamin netanyahu, , f
indicted, the attorney general says, is not being indicted for this buffer corruption? >> that is correct. like i said, it is like al capone being indicted for tax evasion. in the great scheme of things, that was the least of his crimes. but that is the way the judicial system works. amy: has the u.s. responded to the report? , no. my knowledge the full report will come out march 18 i think. callis is what you would an executive summary. 22 pages. i imagine the full report will be c considerably y larger. amy: sara hohossain, what do you wawant to sesee come out o of ts reportrt? to seeenk we would like some action, actction by isrl and d the palestinian authority and the internationanal communi. i wawant to mention n one thingn terms of the findings, we did also make findings that on two of the incidents we looked atatn the 14th of may y and the 12 of
october, there may have been some justification for the shootings. on the 14th of may, we found an incident in which 21 people were killed, but we think there may have been an issue of hosostili, possssibly justifying the requiresgs and that further investigation as well. but we thank all of the findings is critical the anniversary of the start of the great march of return, it is important these international communities take action to ensure this death toll and the injury toll does not continue. we're calling for protected march to be taking place. we're calling for action toend the terrible death toll continues. amy: serpas u.n. and, thank you for being with us, member of the commission that led the investigation. norman finkelstein, most recent book, "gaza: an inquest into its martyrdom." we will be back in 30 seconds.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. and immigrant rights activist has been to obtain in florida just weeks after he appeared in an acclaimed film at the sundance film festival about jails.ts infiltrating claudirorojas s apapprended d wednesday and beinheld at the krome tetentiocentnter he fes immedtete deptation. his lawyer says hisrrest is linked to thfifilm fturing h acvism c cled "the infiltrators." it was a smash sucssss at susundan. will not be there to see it. his attorney told "the washington post" -- "i"i definitely think it's retaliation. for them to take this stance and to just arrest him so suddenly for no apparent reason, it''s ve unusual." it is based on immigrants who
purposefully got themselves arrested to infiltrate the center in florida and organize the prisoners within its walls. claudio rojas worked with the activist on the inside, father of two with no criminal record, spent seven months in broward in 2012 after he was detained by ice officials outside of his floor to home. you seem was portrayed in "thehe infiltrato."." are inse manas claud jas. he just did not know iyeyet. >> my life was pretty ordinary, jujust le ananyo else. i would go homafafter rk. i like to fishing on ekekends family, back in arntntina,' at t parkk with liliana. say hi. itas a fridaorning.
ioke up at 7:30 ithe morning. amy: at the end of the clipwewe e anan aor playing claudio ross being ambushed by ice officers as he takes o t the trasash. the e filtrators, directed by cristi i ibarra and d ex river feates viridna martiz and marco saedra, yog dreame who we broughto the uned stat as chilen. as organers withhe natiol immigrt youth liance, ri and marcentered e broward transitial centein 2012 d workedndercoveto expos conditio at the tention center a helpmmigrantfight deportatns. they wked withctivistsn the ouide, incding mohmad abdolli, a you, gay, undocunted iraan immignt. en they werrrested d jail inside, they rked
ongside audio ros, who eventual was relsed from detentn after highly publiciz hunger rike. w claudirojas fas dertation ce again s downocracnow! with them athe sundance from festival. i began by asking the codirector alex rivera why he made the film. >> we both come from immigrant families. we have undocumented program family members. when we decided to become filmmakers, we sort of dove into border issues and immigration issues as a lifelong commitment. i've been making work in and around the question of immigration for about 20 years. but in 2010, we saw something we never seen before, which was undocumented immigrants risking activetion as part of an -- act of political protest. risking deportation of force a
decision on behalf of the government about their status. it was a disturbing thing to see in the news. it was shocking. i wanted to understand it better. through mutual friends, i reached out to what would become a national youth alliance, to mohammad and a group of other undocumented immigrants who surrounded him or worked with him and said, i want to make a film. i thought it would make a short film, a month or two. every time i tried to edit the film, they went into something more interesting, more radical. christina and i started to film and wrestle with what was unfolding in this moment of great activism is sort of experimentation. amy: what is interesting is you did not make a documentary. talk about that choice. for about two years. after that cycle of action, after daca was passed and the movement settled down a little bit, we looked back at the footage. part of the story, the
infiltration of the broward detention center, seemed like the story that had a really fantastic getting, middle, and end. by focusing on that one story, you could see a lot of other dynamics and history, a lot of other problems. the only problem with that, though, the only -- we were only able to film half the story. we were with us activist group sending undocumented folks into the center but once they did, they disappeared from our camera and disappeared from their families on the outside. how do you tell a story which you could only see half of it? to work in awas hybrid form where on the outside of the detention center, the real people going through this real action in real time. but when they go into the detention center, we turn them into actors. we've wardrobe, hair, casting, to make continuity so you know as a viewer who you are following, but you also see it a little different. the characters go into a suspended place.
they are suspended in the detention center in the format of fiction. the two -- amy: as you call it, they're entering the black box. texturally inl it the film itself there in the southern landscape. it in detention sometimes they up the phone and call out to the documentary. both christina and i -- it is important to us as filmmakers to tell stories that are urgent, tell stories that are relevant to the political moment we are living in, but also to play with the form and invite an audience in to see a film that is as weird formally in aventurine's in its form as the actors were in their action. amy: secretly hoping after you get your words here at sundance, you turn this film into its kind of immigrant version of "orange is the new black." we will talk about that later. intoo thenez, you go detention center in 2012.
we spoke to you in the detention center. but let's go back a little bit and talk about this decision that you made. you are risking everything. talk about your life here, where you were born, and why you would voluntarily try to get yourself arrested or detained so that your taken into a center that could lead to your deportation. >> yeah, well, i was born in mexico. i was brought here to the u.s. when i was seven years old. when i graduated high school and i could not go to college because of my status -- john amy: you lived in? >> nororth carolina. ththat is where i grewew up and everytything. i became active in the community as a result of that background. immigrantted in youth-let organization in north
carolina. we started working on deportation cases.s. and by wororking cases, i mean e would hear that our friends were getting deported. lots of dreamers at the time, youth brought here as children and were undocumented. amy: when did you come out as undocumented publicly? >> 2009. amy: how old were you? >> 10 years ago, so i was like 22. amy: were you scared? where did you make your pronouncement? >> it was at this rally, actually, where somebody had told people my story in, like, you know, settings, private settings, but never publicly until -- we were at this rally. somebody had heard my story in a hidden me a mic. i started talking about who i .as and being documented
amy: were you afraid? was ice their? >> ice was not there but the police were there and i was definitely afraid, but i was willing to face that fear because living in the shadows was no longer an option for me. activistou became an post of talk about what you decided to do in 2012. let's be clear, this was under president obama. >> yes, thank you, amy, for clarifying that. yeah, i decided to turn myself action.e a part of this when i learned there was a women's section, marco let us know that, and we had been -- we had been working with people who were facing deportation for several years at that point. we knew we had the ability to stop our deportation. risk, i wasit was a
willing to take the risk because i do we have the power to get me out if things went south. amy: let's go right now to marco , who was the first of the undocumented immigrants to turn himself in at their broward detention center. he came on democracy now! afterwards and talked about how tough this decision was and what happened. >> what we found and have dedeveloped sisince we started s campaiaign -- and i was in the center for about 23 days -- was many, many detainees who qualify as low priority for deportation, including the case of claudio rojas, an argentinian father and is now on his 1717th day of his hunger strike, because as an expression of his faith but as a statemement sang the worst is over to happen to me being separated from my family for the past six months, and using his body as a sacrifice, as an example of the sacrifice he is already endured. he is willing to do that. because of that, was taken from broward transitional center to krome detention facility in
order to be removed from other detainees that were also beginning to organize. amy: but what was his story echo is the one of the people who would be released under obama's program? memo, yes, as outlined in the summer of 2011, he would be a perfect candidate. sun atto attain with the -- with his son after a minor traffic incident. they were both held f for about three months. his son's case was shot. claudio disobeyed the order to leave because he would rather choose to stay with his family and provide for them. receiving a deportation order and not obeying it, now that is the biggest -- it is the biggest thing hurting his campaign for release. amy: that is marco describing on democracy now!, who's featured in this film both the reenactment of when he went inside with an actor and also
himself when he gets out, viri, describe what happened you. where did you go? >> my first attempt was at the customs and border patrol office where marco was able to turn himself in. i was unsuccessful. amy: what did you say? reasonid -- i think the i was unsuccessful is because i was dressed very nicely. lilike, have a nice summer dress and makeup on. , i think i said i want to turn myself in. but i tried to do broken english that really sounded like i was playing around. because i did not prepare. i did not think it was going to be that difficult. when the officer gave me this look like, what are you doing here? what do you want? then he called another officer. that is when i realized, oh,
this is not working. i'm just going to go. he said, i saw you get out of the car. who dropped you off? and so, yeah. ok, thisoint, i said, is the wrong place. i'm going to go, bye. then we hahad to try again late. in order to try again, we actually played it through the role of even i dressed differently too fit what, like a day laborer looks like and sounds like. i spoke only spanish. and then i basically had to beg for some amy: where did you turn yourselflf and then? >> successfully the secondnd ti, the fort lauderdale port of entry. amy: and what didid you say? >> i was crying. i said my husband had been deported, that i had been fired,
had no job, and that i just needed to be -- i just wanted to go and i had nothing left here. amy: what did they do? >> they did noah to take me. they said, are you sure? you can probably do more for your family if you stay here. we can find you help. i said, no, no, i don't want to be here. please, just take me. i had to beg them and cry. amy: and you said you were undocumented? >> yes. amy: wouldn't that be enough for them to take you? >> that is what you would think, right? yeah. amy: for all of the people trying not to get deported i to beg and say your undocumented, but they ultimately took you? >> yes. i was not handcuffed at that moment. i was actually -- i think they were still trying to figure out what to do and why i was begging to be dedeported. they transferred me to the customs and border patrol facility. there they processed me again,
where they p pulled up some of y arrest records of being arrested in other actions come other protesting stuff. but i was able to get around that by saying other stuff. yeah, i protested, that is why i have an arrest record. then i was taken to a room for several hours until they finally drove me to broward transitional center. amy: describe walking into broward, what that felt like. you are put inin an orange jumpsuit? >> it was not an orange jumpsuit, was actually a gray -- yeah, great sweatpants and sweatshirt. itit took hours for me to be processed. when i finally made it into my room and broward, it w was like 5:00 a.m. i turned myself in a 7:00 p.m. so it took hours. amy: described the detention center, who you are placed with,
and then how you started to come out to -- this was a women's part -- women's facility? >> yes. amy: broward has both men and women, but your divided? >> broward has way less women than men. there are up to 100 men and like 600 men. so thehe women's area is very secluded. it is one hallway with lots of rooms. i actually ended up in the same .oom as maria when i got into the room, she saw me when i got there in the morning and she helped me to my bed and everything. and the next morning when we it to launch, -- lunch, started talking to her and the other girls. i told her, we're been in touch with maria, with the husband of someone here. and she said, who? tell me. i told her, various solid that.
and we just looked at each other. she was like, that's me. and heard about this but i did not know israel, that it was really going to happen. and she was just blown away. i was blown away that i ended up in the same room as her. it was crazy. amy: immigrant righthts activisv ivi martinez who stars in "thee infiltrators." we will bebe back in 30 seconds. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're looking at "the infiltrators" in new film based on incredible true story of undocumented immigrants who get themselves arrested by federal authorities in order to infiltrate the for-profit immigrant jail in florida. we spoke with the codirector alex rivera and the activist featured in the film viri a teen is best martinez and mohammad abdollahi at the sundance film festival. talk about this coronation on the outside, who decides to go in, who decides to stay outside. mo, you were born in iran. you are undocumented. you're not even protected by daca right now. everything you're are doing is unprotected. viri, you have daca protection? isyet, but i would argue it
that protection. amy: y? >> because it is discretionary. the same way i got it and i can get it taken away. amy: mo, you decided not to go inside. what is it me to coordinate? explain what information you needed from people on the inside to help them? could not go ininside the broward d detentioion center bee i don't speak spanish. in terms of our outsiside role n how we decidided how folks wentn , we had really been doing deportation cases since we were advocating for the dream act. when we're advocating for the dream act, we had a lot of our friends getting deported. we learned a sort of through the obama administration how we can build support for our friends to stop the deportations. browawarde got t to the detention center, we havave sort of figured out we can safely get folks in to gather stories and get them o out whenever the time was right. that was sort of our political
calculatation. the goal of broward -- this came right afterdaca. announced, we were occupying obama's campaign offices. we were still sitting in offices the day after the announcement, sort of trying to tell the world that there are going to be dreamers getting deported, that this policy would not be executed fully. we sort of found our voice is going into the void. amy: this was 2012 when he was running for reelection, so it was all over the country. >> june 2012. we were sitting in the offices and relist we were just screaming into the void. that is when the plan for broward was hatched. how can we show everybody that regardless of what they say they're doing behind the scenes, our people are actually being harmed. we went down too flolorida. rolee outside team, our was s pretty much the minute t t ththe folks inside g got accesso the phone, which was like 7:00
a.m. until 11:1:00 p.m., they woululd start calling us a and giving us information. the first and marco got inside the detetention center, he calld in the morning and hit a list of names and numbers with family context. he would give me a name, a number, phone number. we did that over and over every single day untntil he was released. team, it wasn't just a few of us. we were in a sort of house in order with about four on the ground, the point of contact withth families, gettingng ininformation, helping design campaigns locally. we have the entire backing of the national immmmigrant youth alliance a weird old team in philadelphia in michigan, ohio, that would draft petitions. was in the film, marco is usually doing this, but to signthese prisoners
away their privacy rights of people could learn about their case. didid you also do that witith te women? >> that is where the trust issue comes in. and because there wasn't -- there were women who did it, but there wasn't as many. the mistrust and the, what if this gets me depeported? amy: what is the goal? if they sign a whether privacy rights, how does that help them get out? >> because that is the only way congressional offices agreed to theire with dhs, ice, about status of their cases. amy: alex, is it true the way it all happened -- i mean, you had marco inside and he was getting all of these documents, somehow ice caught on in the geo group, which runs the prison, and we will talk about that in a minute, that he was handing papers to someone and the visiting room so they said no longer can papers be headed to
each other. betweenilm is a hybrid documentary and fiction. in the fictional world, we sometimes condense things. the big shape of the story is based entirely on the truth. one of the threads in the story -- as directors, we tried to amplify a heist element to it. make a film that would bring in a new kind of audience for this type of story. amy: so you have mo dropping envelopes of privacy waivers into the garbage and some other immigrant who was pushing the garbage along would go, drop it onto the floor, and the guy pushing the room would go into the detention waiting room pushing this broom with papers under it and then the immigrant activists in the waiting room would pick up the document and drop other documents so that others could sign. and it would go like that. >> and basically, these privacy waivers were an essential part of the campaign to basically
turn the detention center inside out. the detention center is designed to disappear people, to make them invisible. when they sign away their privacy rights, it sounds vulnerable, risky, but it is part of empowerment, letting the inside be seen by journalists and politicians. so these papers going in and out quickly were essential to the campaign. as storytellers, we try to amplify that element of it. how many people were you able to document inside? 350 folks that we were in direct contact with by the end of that three weeks. we had missed probably a a good 200 to 300 phone calls. we had about 150 active campaigns we were directly working on and about 120 folks we saw get out. amy: the moments when he would call a family member on the outside were so touching, so beautiful. you talked about how important it was just to you to keep going. describe that. >> for us to mother thought that
we constantly had going in our minds as we were working on this project is, how can a system be so broken that the best hope these people have is a group of undocumented youth who of not going to college, n not licensed attorneys, not anything, and we're somehow the best hope people have? it was very sort of energizing for us to connect with other undocumented people and have them see through our actions and are working together as undocumented folks, we can empower one another and really achieve these things. that is what those happy moments meant. amy: let's talk about the uprising in the courtyard. market was taken. everyone is afraid he would be taken. ,hen the chant goes up "freedom, freedom." everyone who have been afraid and quite is suddenly chanting. >> yes. i remember hearing it whwhen i s againy taken downstairs and put in a room and they said,
you need to change out and i said, where is my phone? they were like, we are not giving you that. the whole time i'm trendy get my phone because i wanted to document stuffff, but they would not give it to me. anyway, then i start hearing -- they stick minas room and i'm like, where is marco? then i start hearing the chanting. and i'm like, oh, god, what is going on? it is like something out of a movie. amy: mo, you and the other undocumented activists, your allies, are converging on the outside of the jail, of the detention center, as the inside people are shouting "freedom, freedom"? andeah, by the point viri marco are ready to get out, we felt we made our point to every single g guard, ice official, e. that existed in florida, that we help ourto no links to families. and so you go to all lengths. >> all links and any links. for me, we wanted to send a message to the ice officers,
border patrol, every single time you detain 70, could they be an infiltrator? we don't know? that is what we wanted to get ross. every single action they h had. like for the media, when we went public that they were inside, we were intentional that every single room inside of that detention center had a tv because they wanted people to be like zombies looking at the tv. we knew the folks inside are always watching certain media channels. so we specifically worked on deals with those media outlets. every little tiny bit of this action was very planned to use the system against itself in a way that other folks can replicate. for me personally, i think this film and everything can really be a flair for a lot of folks whwho may lack a clear creativi, the energy to know we can do more than resist right now. that i is the message we want ts film to get t to people, that yu
can n use every little e bit of. i think by the end of the infiltration, when marco was about to get out, we were to the point where we would tell people, go to room 302 and deliver it to the real five. it is easy. amy: who were he able to get out? you and marco, were you able to free people? >> oh, yeah. this was after we got kicked out of broward. we stayed around for six months. i did not live in florida prior to this. i went there specificacay for his project. we continued working for like six months on getting people released. amy: alex, if you could talk about where geo fits in an ice fits in. we're talking about government and private companies. >> sure. in the film, we do simplify things so you see a lot of the geo corporation in the film. the geo corporation owns the facility, runs it. they administer labor program,
which has been the subject of a recent lawsuit because they pay the detainees one dollar a day will stop -- one dollar a day to clean the floors, cook the food, run the entire facility for a wage of one dollar a day. the way they compel that labor is through withholding visitation rights. , you seefuse to work your loved ones maybe once a week. if you participate in the labor program, you could to see them once a week. when marco emerged, that is one of the things he talked about. he learned that inside. it was shocking. today it is the subject of a lawsuit. will bee infiltrators" screened at the miami film festival on tuesday and then starting friday at sxsw in austin, texas. and that does it for the show. a very fond farewell to ariel