tv Going Underground RT June 24, 2019 2:30am-3:01am EDT
spain sweden or britain joining me now is the united nations special robert to an adequate housing not a far who featured in a new documentary with that nobel laureate joe stiglitz and others it's called push special thanks so much for coming on that's a start with why people watching this right now can no longer afford to rent or buy homes in their cities and why these cities appear to be emptying of people that need not to. yeah we are in a new world i would say. there is a new housing landscape and what's happened really it's since the global financial crisis the big financial actors have moved into residential real estate and have really started to buy up properties especially properties that are affordable where everyday people are living in you know paying their rent they're buying those up they're renovating them modestly and then they're jacking up the rents and people are being forced out there either being
a dick did because they can't afford to pay the rent anymore or they're self the victim because they know they won't be able to pay their rent anymore and once out of an affordable unit there's nowhere else to go there are no other affordable units and so they're being pushed out of their communities now with one private equity company and i know you appeared to believe that private equity companies and hedge funds a big beneficiaries from the 2008 financial crash how has that related to the house as in crisis itself you have blackstone representative jonathan gray himself saying that they need it a crisis that really you know affected so many families and households across the u.s. and the world in order for them to benefit and profit so if this is a story about using human misery really to accumulate wealth what happened was after the crisis in 08 basically blackstone mood. dan after
a few years after developing the necessary technology moved in and bought up what was at that time cheap debt so foreclosed mortgages you know there were thousands and thousands across the u.s. and in parts of europe and they were able to purchase those mortgages at a reduced cost they then went in and turned those homes into rental accommodation renting back to that to former owner is basically at high rental relatively high rental rates and so they made a very good return on that investment and so that's basically how blackstone and other asset management firms benefited from this horrible crisis that ruined many people's lives since then they've moved on and their business model has been a little bit different where now they're going after existing housing stock that's affordable social housing buying up social housing in spain for example with a view to increasing those rents and and slowing profits back to their investors is
the the c.e.o. of blackstone steven schwartz when disputes all these claims they go making the defacto the claims of united nations is it really the business of the united nations to talk about firms that see themselves as entrepreneurial companies that give jobs and actually pay salaries to pay rent. first of all i don't think blackstone disagrees about the buy it fix it sell it model that they developed i mean they're very proud of that model that they profit from human misery now that that's true i think that's where we part part ways it is my role as u.n. rapporteur to monitor whether people are enjoying the right adequate housing across the world and whether governments are meeting their obligations and whether private actors are meeting their obligations under international human rights laws and principles and so it is in. my job to do this and to figure out who's responsible
i while i do point the finger at blackstone let's be clear i also point my finger at governments and states around the world who have not turned a blind blind eye to this as some would suggest but who in fact have enabled this to happen they've set up regulatory frameworks and tax laws that are very beneficial to them to what we call the financialization of housing or the you know this business model that blackstone has come up with and we know that players like blackstone have a lot of political weight so they're working in concert with government i mean you'll recall that when president trump was 1st elected he appointed a economic advisory committee and the chair of that he can economic advisory committee which is now disbanded was mr schwarzman the c.e.o. of blackstone so you see how comfortable government is with these big financial
actors and and so there's a complicity there and i am pointing my finger at both because no one is then protecting tenants who are being forced out of their homes and communities and forced into homelessness well i mean he's in the news here on mainstream media here including the british government and the b.b.c. because of his generosity one of the biggest donations to oxford university in its history since there and they saw 500 years or so why do you think that the appears to be this mismatch between what you're saying about private hedge funds and what the media often talk about is the great philanthropist of ata housing is a kind of private thing and people don't always talk about their housing circumstances with each other and people don't always know who their landlord is especially in this day and age so it's kind of an untold story this sort of dirt the dirty money angle a private equity firms investing in residential real estate so you know. in that way it did. it surprised me i suppose that the coverage about this huge granting
donation to oxford university wasn't paying any heed or attention to the fact that the money that was being granted came off the backs of low income people off the backs of renters around the world that's a story that i think needs to be told and i actually am surprised oxford university didn't do their due diligence i understand that they actually have a social impact fund and i would have liked to have seen them for example say to mr schwartz when yes please give us your money we're very happy to accept it and we're going to put it instead of using it for research into the ethics of artificial intelligence we're going to put it into our social impact fund that might have been of a way to cleanse that money and i'll just say i'll just add this it's pretty ironic that that blackstone should give money for research into the ethics of artificial
intelligence a big aspect of what blackstone has been able to do buying up thousands of properties like that lickety split you know in 30 seconds that it seems they can by you know $40000.00 properties they were able to do that through the development of new technologies so it's pretty ironic to be looking at artificial intelligence and it's ethics and supporting that research and not actually looking within your own house to look at the ethics of what you're doing with big data and when with with new technologies and it's really ok that a u.n. special representative can these questions because of people might be surprised to think looks of us it should consider giving giving the money back then since they have said it is for the artificial intelligence program yeah i mean i think oxford university should be having a conversation among you know amongst themselves about the origins of this money and what this means for after a high reputed institution like oxygen in risk university to accept money that has come. of the backs of low income renters that has that has money that has actually
come from the creation of homelessness and affordability in cities around the world especially in the most major cities in the world london why do you maintain that in a sense granville tower in kensington and chelsea is a kind of narrative of the entire world it is a narrative of the entire world. the grantor 1st of all i will say the grand tragedy is something that has deeply affected me an affected my work and i visited i visited there a year after the fire but i have been tracking it you know it from the minute it happened until today. it is symbolic of the residence of grenfell new at the cladding was problematic and they had tried to express that to the local council they have no had no and have no political voice
and this is the issue of our age where the schwarzman zz of the world and the black stones of the world have political voice the b.b.c. the picture that they showed when when mr schwarzman gave the grant to oxford had him sitting beside donald trump that shows his political voice you don't have the same political voice when you're living in poverty or low income in social housing right and so the fact that the there is not an understanding that people who are low income or homeless actually are experts in their own lives is hugely problematic and i think that our housing policies have been tailored in a way and developed in a way that doesn't recognize the expertise that individuals have in their own lives in their own housing and that's what's unique about a human rights approach a human right approach. in the called human rights for
a reason they put humans at the center of human dignity human expertise the idea that people should be participants in their own lives in their own realities measure up to thank you thank you after the break why did such a job its home office free a survivor of sex trafficking only just send it back to the same brothel where she had been forced into prostitution and why is the united states still threatening to kill the artist kenneth reams danger of love life hope violence and execution. bought to going underground. in a world of big partisan movies lot and conspiracy it's time to wake up to dig deeper to hit the stories that mainstream media refuses to tell more than ever
we need to be smarter we need to stop slamming the door on the back and shouting past each other it's time for critical thinking it's time to fight for the middle for the truth the time is now for watching closely watching the hawks. seem wrong why don't we all just don't. let me. get to shape out these days become educated and in detroit because the trail. when something is find themselves worlds apart when she's to look for common ground . good food descriptions sound up
a tasing even for the owners so how to choose the pet food industry is telling us what to feed our pets really more based on what they want to sell us and was necessarily good for the pet turns out to pick food may not be as healthy as people believe and we have animals that have you know diabetes and arthritis they have auto immune disorders allergies we are actually creating these problems and it's a huge epidemic of problems all of them i believe can be linked to very simple problem of diet and some dog owners so heartbreaking stories about their pets streets to larger corporations are not very interested in proving or disproving the value of their food because they're already making a $1000000000.00 on it and there's no reason to do that research.
welcome back well we have for being us one but is the u.n. convenes in geneva today for more allegations of u.k. human rights abuses at these and nowadays allowed to do their work here in britain under the lib dems conservative coalition the un report or in violence against women claimed she was denied access to even investigated notorious outsource detention center 60 miles north of london called yarl's wood that was what outgoing prime minister drazen may was home secretary and as she prepares to leave office she has been defending her legacy on the so-called issue of modern slavery joining me now from the biggest legal aid for them in the country specializing in what may calls burning in justice as is surely any patel surely welcome to going underground so one of tourism is burning in just. disses and she talked about them as she resigned famously not particularly remember boris johnson the contender to be the
next prime minister modern slavery that was the burning injustice she wanted to achieve something on how well as you don't she hasn't done much at all a lot more needs to be done and i'm seeing cases day in day out where they have got clients victims of trafficking who have been subjected to just horrendous decision making by the home affairs cases on looked out on a case by case basis and that there's just a shared this with art and incompetence that i'm seeing on every single case case by case basis because i was actually said when considering accommodation needs all requests are considered on the case by case basis reflecting each individual circumstances that's what such a job another contender for to be the experiencer that's what. they that's absolutely not true this particular case that i was dealing with i had made
numerous requests even before the decision was made is this this case where i was referred the case through at that party which is very common my client was a victim of trafficking from china she arrived in the u.k. a few years prior to being referred to myself she does it initially disclosed that she was a victim of trafficking which is very common so they'll they might not disclose fully that they have been sexually exploited that this particular client had been sexually exploited on arrival to the u.k. promised a certain lifestyle and then tricked to college dragons which which happens all the time they arrive in the u.k. with the help of age and and then they're held in profiteroles sexual exploits it's not always possible but more often than not you'll see some sort of sexual exploits . if they manage to escape the lender can restaurants math parlous. good which
is internationally famous as a detention show and drug coverage on this show before and then given an indefinite she gets indefinite detention is that i mean detention is always indefinite it's not like a criminal sentence where someone knows how long they're going to be in prison and that's what makes detention such a horrible place to be for these people who've come to the u.k. for a better life and then they're held in detention not knowing when they're ever going to get out it was very difficult to take instructions from have because there's such a mistrust of authorities finally she told us we informed the competent authority in the home of fests day to day that their. guidance says that they should make a decision within 5 days it took them 11 days to make a decision despite me continuously chasing she was not fit for detention had high blood pressure it was clearly a well from the medical records i've seen. they finally make a positive decision and as soon as a positive decision is made that a client is
a potential victim of trafficking there is no reason for them to still remain in detention yet she remained in detention for her for the 5 days. on the 5th day she's released and i get a phone call from her saying i've been released i'm thinking fantastic only to find out she's being released to go back to the same address where she was picked up and where the home office were completely aware that it was a running thing with the home office who are these people you're talking about because really they have to be trained in these particularly sensitive subjects and the areas psychology all the different skills you may need they are not trying to their decisions that i see. that's the problem there's such incompetence in the home of best recently i saw. an advertisement and it was going around on twitter where they were recruiting for the trafficking unit at minimum wage no experience required 6 month contracts i don't think 6 months is even enough to
train somebody on how to deal with the trafficking case because they're complex and different now someone is making a lot of money out of this arguably g 4 s. were running yarl's wood detention center and understand the latest. thing they said 4000000000 pounds of taxpayers' money went to them in different justice contracts who would know the detentions and we've recently done a free to now of information requests because we wanted to find out whether these women who are detained at yarl's wood are getting fair medical treatment and we found out that g 4 s. up contract to a company called dr p.a. after doing some searches on companies house i from where lies that dr p.s.a. is actually owned by 2 male g.p.'s that do the reports in the old that they were running to the investigations into that subcontracting is
a big problem brazil grieve for the legal services in trying to figure out what exactly is happening in that to say yes because this information required we're not going to get. because we don't know where we're meant to be going and i guess the problem is the responsibility just goes further down the line here is actually responsible for the wrong doing and it should be added of course of the subcontracting or idea was in labor and conservative governments now we have this other scandal brookhouse and you've got weak airport that's also g 4 s. high court has just as many as real compulsory witness attendance from former employees and their offices saying they're considering this ruling very carefully because they they can't hands out say we've messed up pay out there they're obviously going to have to look into where and try and make amends how that's possible i'm not quite sure because now we have the un special rapporteur on racism . calling up only acceptable unlawful reality of race ethnicity religion
disability gender status determining life chances will being of people in britain. different special operators who come under attack by british government authorities would you would you make of that and they are obviously referring to tourism as all star environment it's a really sorry state of affairs i think it goes to colonialism and it's still here in this day and age in the u.k. our breach of the human rights obligations how could it be this long been going on again when it started this show we were interviewing people because i think the pregnant women shackled in these detention centers they have ended that i think who exactly can stop it. i guess it's up to people like me and the fam that we work for that to make sure that we get the right cases out there i guess it's up to the courts at the end of the day because the government aren't going to do anything for people like us to romney's challenges and make sure that the government are held liable at the end of the day our challenges are all against the secretary of state
the home department actually need to tell thank you. within the past few days clemency was denied in the state of georgia preparing for the one of thousands of execution in the usa since the death penalty was reinstated there in 176 and this in a country which imprisons proportionately more than mao or stalin well the new film investigates just one of the u.s. justice systems millions the artist kind of 3 means joining me now is the director of the film free men and frederick whitman thanks for coming on the show just tell me about the film i know it's out on the moment. this film is about kenneth reams and this guy is an incredible guy has been sitting on death row for 12 months 26 years he was 18 years old when he was locked in and he's been living on solitary confinement in a cell the size of your bathroom perhaps even smaller. and despite of those really harsh circumstances this guy has been able to create
a world for himself to really push back the walls of his this small cell to have a person a purposeful life and that's the story i wanted to tell about you know it's also a story about the power the incredible power of human beings well to be clear he's not even accused of killing anyone and yet he's on death row how is that possible so this can't have been even fireball that he didn't kill anybody he was part of a crime and his full partner they were both 18 they were looking for $50.00 to rent the cap and gown you know his friend needed for his graduation ceremony and. so they went to rob an a.t.m. machine and his friend alford panicked and killed a guy and what happened next is that the arkansas justice system trialed both teenagers for the same crime only one bullet was fired and both were sentenced for the same crime as murder the only difference is that alfred he pleaded guilty he
said yes i killed a man which was the truth and so he got life without parole and kenneth he was 18 and he said how can i plead guilty i haven't killed anybody i'm going to go to trial he went to trial and he had a very bad lawyer because he didn't have the means you know the money to hire a good one. and the jury was 11 white one african-american we found out lately that that jury was picked according to racial you know conservative there is yeah and he was sentenced to death in 2 hours. what got you interested in this particular case because you have broken the film this area rock in school bill clinton state pine bluff what will get you excited about this particular case about the injustice of the cases you know the 1st time i drove through pine bluff i couldn't believe my eyes i thought i was in the film the day after i mean downtown pine bluff is like really
a war zone then what got me really interested is when i met kenny so the 1st time i met him i was close in the cage with him i mean really literally in a cage and that's where the contact is it happened in that maximum security prison and you know i thought ok perhaps he's going to talk about being innocent or you know and complain or not at all he said i'm taking responsibility for being part of that crime and he starts talking about his art show he was doing in our children in london you know it's like are you sure you're going to make an arch on land that said yeah watch me i'm going to do it and that's really the film i wanted to make you know if you make of itself and the way that it seems unflinching about the justice system it's not an escapist way anyways so kenny is a very talented artist and he really thought i found in art a way to escape from his cell and that's you know the incredible power power of art
but also he wants it to be useful and he has this in my opinion great brilliant idea he says the usa has no museum on the history of the death penalty we should have won because that history is really important and so he goes from he went from the 1st exam and i think he wants to go to the last one you know up to the last one he painted the 1st little kid who was sentenced to die when i think she was 14 and one of the piece i really like i think it's really good it's called the last mile and the last mile is how desperate inmates call the. the last meters they walk you know from their cell to the execution chamber and they call it the last mile he then got one of the top defense lawyers in the united states and then in the film he says that. well one of the that's the worst obviously the worst outcome is he will be executed in the next 3 or 4 years yeah that's me and for lawyers
among them george kendall which is one of the best defense lawyers in america they've been working pro bono for 20 years on this case can you believe that 20 years and he's still not out but last fall the arkansas supreme court really i mean accepted the fact that the jury had been picked and also that he was not well defended and a good attorney and so the chances are still high that he could get out now what we think is that it's important to really bring this story out of the world you know we need we need people to be interested we need a perhaps a celebrity like kim cardassian or johnny depp of people like this to get involved in really fight because it's kennett's weems life at stake but it's also you know justice the justice system and also fight against racism and so we hope this is going to happen and he's going to be free one day and frederick with me thank you
thank you it's on the platforms you can see the film everywhere wrong as a the film that's over the show will be back on wednesday when u.s. presidential hopeful to see gabbert faces off establishment democratic candidates in miami primaries 20 twentieth's rule that you just watch will be just your winter . the birds or head. far behind for the few 100 percent. of our group. of it is that people. just. committed. to move. to manage to finish it oh not just before.
they are. god since we. don't hate. anyone. look at the current system definition in. the news. what politicians do something that. they put themselves on the line to get accepted or rejected. so when you want to be president i'm sure. more some want to be preached. to the right to be close to survival but for the 3 of them all can't be good that i'm interested always in the lawyers in the. sydney.
you know world of big partisan movies lot and conspiracy it's time to wait to dig deeper to hit the stories that mainstream media refuses to tell more than ever we need to be smarter we need to stop slamming the door. and shouting past each other it's time for critical thinking it's time to fight for the middle for the truth the time is now for watching closely watching the hawks.
the headlines not see the u.s. plans to his iran with a new round of major sanctions later on monday we look though at how washington stance on iran seems to be pulling in different directions. come the parents of chris. palestinian infants taken from garza to better equipped hospitals in israel are being denied access to their children exit it's much harder to obtain varietals and italy and the e.u. are at loggerheads over the country's mounting debts with deputy prime minister multi-cell beenie threatening to resign that is rowing proposes a new kind of financial paul knew which brussels these as a threat to the euro.