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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 13, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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05/13/15 05/13/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i conclude that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of a lawful use of deadly police force and that no charges should be brought against officer kenny in the death of tony robinson, junior. amy: hundreds marched in madison wisconsin after the local da announces no charges would be filed against the officer who shot dead tony robinson, an unarmed african-american 19-year-old. we will go to madison for the latest. into washington, d.c. where
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senate democrats have rebelled against president obama over the tpp, the transpacific partnership. >> what we have just witnessed is the democratic senate shutdown the opportunity to debate the top economic priority of the democratic president of the united states. amy: we will speak to lori wallach of public citizen's global trade watch. then we look at how the fbi has been caught spying on activists in texas who tried to stop the construction of the keystone xl pipeline. and it was 30 years ago today when the philadelphia police bombed the headquarters of the radical group known as move killing six adults, five children and destroying 65 homes. >> we heard the loud explosion. the house kind of shook, but it never entered my mind that they dropped a bomb on us. amy: wheels it to professor journalist.
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all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at least six people have been killed and dozens wounded after an amtrak train bound for new york city derailed just outside of philadelphia. eight people remained in critical condition and not everyone on board has been accounted for. the train had departed from washington, d.c. carrying more than 240 people. six cars overturned with sections of the train so mangled, people had to be rescued with the aid of hydraulic tools. philadelphia mayor michael nutter called it "an absolute disastrous mess was gross saying "i've never seen anything like this in my life." the cause remains unknown. the senate has rejected a measure to give president obama fast-track authority to negotiate the trans-pacific partnership, or tpp. fast track would grant the
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-- on tuesday, senate fell eight votes shy of the 60 needed to advance it. democratic senator jeff merkely said the tpp would hurt workers. >> why would you pave a path to put the workers in your state directly in competition with workers earning $.60 an hour? tell me that that is agitation to making things in your nation, and i will tell you you are wrong. amy: the failure to win the necessary votes came after pro-trade democrats, including senator ron wyden of oregon, insisted that fast track be bundled together with three other trade bills. it's seen as a major setback for the white house, which has confronted progressive critics of the tpp in recent days. we will speak with lori wallach of public citizen later in the broadcast. a madison, wisconsin police officer will not face criminal charges for fatally shooting an unarmed african-american teenager. tony robinson was shot dead in march after officer matt kenny forced his way into an apartment
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following a disturbance. kenny says robinson attacked him upon his entry. on tuesday, the dane county district attorney said an investigation found that kenny was lawful in firing the fatal shots. robinson's family members say they have been denied justice. this is robinson's grandmother, sharon irwin. >> i will miss him the rest of my life. this is a forever thing with me. i just want to say this is politics and not justice. amy: in a show of support for tony robinson's family, hundreds of people marched to the state capitol on tuesday. more actions are underway today. we'll have more on this story later in the broadcast. at least 43 people have been killed and dozens wounded in an armed attack on a bus carrying ismaili shiite muslims in the pakistani city of karachi. a group of gunmen stopped the bus and opened fire. there are no claims of responsibility so far. the rescue effort continues in
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nepal for survivors of the country's second earthquake in less than three weeks. at least 66 people have been been confirmed dead, adding to the more than who died last 8000 month. rescuers are also searching for a u.s. military helicopter that went missing while delivering aid. a u.n. spokesperson said a high death toll is feared. >> the first one came out as a red alert. red alert is like the first one we had in april. that means that it is very severe earthquake, in a highly populated area. so honestly, we fear the worst. amy: secretary of state john kerry is met with russian counterpart sergei lavrov and vladimir putin in a trip to moscow to the highest level russia visit by u.s. official since the ukraine crisis began over a year ago. john kerry said the meeting was frank and constructive. >> i'm grateful for president putin for the significant amount of time they have filled over
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this discussion, for his discussion -- directness, and for his very detailed explanations of russes -- russia's position in these challenges and for the ways he believes we have the ability to be able to work constructively together in order to resolve these problems. amy: north korea's defense chief, hyon yong-chol, has reportedly been executed with an after dozing off after a military meeting. more than a dozen senior officials have been challenging his authority. the imprisoned journalist and former black panther mumia abu-jamal has been moved to the hospital for a second time this year. supporters say they are concerned abu-jamal has a fever, and open wounds and sores on his legs. a former government contractor whose case ignited a controversy over the obama administration's targeting of journalists has been freed after ten months in prison. stephen kim was convicted of
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leaking documents on north korea to fox news. kim was charged under the espionage act, the nearly century-old law which was also used to classify fox news reporter james rosen a co-conspirator in the case. kim has always maintained his innocence. more sources are confirming and explosives story challenging the obama administration's account of the killing of osama bin laden. investigative journalist seymour hersh reported this week and a former pakistani intelligence officer disclosed bin laden's location to the cia. he said he was claims that found bin laden by tracking his personal courier were false. nbc news confirmed his claim of the informant through three different intelligence sources. now the pakistani newspaper reports pakistani officials are also acknowledging the story and have identified the officer. hersh's story said the officer received a 25 million dollar bounty and is now living under u.s. protection near washington. a new york times reporter who
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spent years in afghanistan and pakistan is also now claiming she heard from a high-level pakistani source that pakistan was hiding bin laden and later that an officer had told the cia . she said she did not publish the story because she could not corroborate it in the united states. meanwhile, national security blog or rj hillhouse is pointing out she reported some of hersh koski claims were years ago. in august 2011, she wrote on her blog the informant who led the cia to bin laden was a walk in seeking financial compensation and that pakistani officials were keeping bin laden under house arrest with saudi financial support. and democracy now! and columnist one gonzalez has won an award from the deadline club. the awards were presented last night here in new york. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez.
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juan: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: juan, can you talk about what you won the award for? juan: a series of columns i did last year on the queens public library, massive misappropriation of funds and mismanagement by the executives there. i think it led to the ouster of the entire -- all the executives of the queens public library as well as the board of trustees and prompted the state legislature to pass new laws requiring independent auditing and also public disclosure of the library's record. amy: is it one of the largest in the country? juan: the largest public library in the united states. amy: congratulations. juan: thank you. a prosecutor in madison, wisconsin has announced no criminal charges will be filed against the madison police officer who fatally shooting an unarmed african-american teenager earlier this year. tony robinson was shot dead in march after officer matt kenny forced his way into an apartment following a disturbance.
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police say they had responded to reports of a man running in and out of traffic. on tuesday, dane county district attorney ismael ozanne announced the decision. >> i conclude that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of a lawful use of deadly police force and that no charges should be brought against officer kinney in the death of tony robinson, junior. i am concerned that recent violence around our nation is giving some in our communities a justification for fear, hatred, and violence. amy: in 2010, he became
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wisconsin's first africaameran da after thannocement was made, authitiereleased bck a whe dash camoota shong offir matt kenny stepping alone into the house. seconds later, he backs out of the front door while firing seven shots into the home. juan: tony robinson's family members held a press conference on tuesday. speakers included robinson's grandmother, sharon irwin. >> i will miss him the rest of my life. when you guys go home and you don't deal with this anymore this is a forever thing with me. and i just want to say this is politics and not justice. juan: in a show of support for tony robinson's family, hundreds of people marched peacefully to the state capitol on tuesday. the protesters vowed to continue demanding justice for robinson. one of the groups organizing the demonstrations has been the young, gifted and black
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coalition. the group announced they'll rally this morning in front of the apartment house where robinson was shot and killed. they're calling for a "black-out wednesday" where people stop business as usual and come out on the streets to demand police accountability. activists are also calling on madison to address racial disparities in incarceration rates. a 2013 race to equity report found african-americans in madison's dane county made up less than 9% of the youth population, but nearly 80% of those incarcerated in juvenile prison. amy: well, for more, we go now to madison, wisconsin where we're joined by "m" adams. she is a madison-based activist and organizer with the "young gifted and black coalition" and "freedom inc." m adams, welcome to democracy now! can you talk about the announcement yesterday? the da saying he will not bring charges against officer kinney? >> so none of us were surprised that the da decided to not bring criminal charges against matt kenny for murdering tony robinson. we do know this is part of an historical pattern and
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historical use of structural racism with them police department's that justify the murdering of young black people, particularly unarmed black people. as a result, we understand that any transformational -- transformational change needs to happen in order to ultimately create justice and event police murderers from happening in the future. juan: what you say to those w claim 20 robinson was violent and posed a risk? >> we know the violence was the seven shots that killed him. one, we don't know what happened in the house. we have one side of the story. and two, if it was you or i or any other person who went into somebody's house and we said maybe there was a fight and as a result, we had shot that person seven times, we as untrained people, as unarmed people, we as people without a law on our side, peop without an entire police force and culture that will back us, we would be told that that was excessive and that the level of violence that we used it not match for what the
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actual threat was. and so police actually have far more training, for more weapons, far more resources and an entire force that backs them up. and the law has some of the other things on its side. so they are far more trained. we expected them to behave far better and to a higher standard than you or i would be held to. so if you and i would be told that was murder, then it definitely is murder from a police officer. amy: i want to go back to the dane county district attorney ozanne's press conference. before nothing would not bring charges before the officer the da spoke about his own identity as the first african-american district attorney in wisconsin's history. >> i am a man who understands the pain of unjustified profiling, and i'm the first district attorney of color not only in dane county, but the state of wisconsin. i make note of this because it is through this lens that i approach and except my leadership responsibilities. those responsibilities involve
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an oath i took to uphold the constitution of the united states of america and the constitution of the state of wisconsin. in this matter, my role in obligation is to weigh the facts and determine if officer kenny should be criminally charged. i am cognizant of the very real racial disparities and equity issues which exist in this county. amy: that is dane county district attorney ozanne. m, can you talk about your response to what the district attorney said? and also, m adams, if you could talk about what you understand happened on march 6, the day that tony robinson was killed? >> on march 6, 20 robinson's friends called the police to get help for tony robinson because they thought he was behaving in a way that war source so the police were called. there were notified that, look, my friend is having a hard time maybe he took something. the police show up. and within seconds or within minutes of the police showing up, tony robinson was murdered
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or rather he was assassinated by the police department. so our reaction to hearing the da talk about this is not legally being murder, we are absolutely opposed to this. this is absolutely murder. there are two things we should understand. one, if the police are being called for help because someone is experiencing a mental wellness issue, we should expect the people who are called for help would not show up until the person who is experiencing the mental wellness challenge. in two, i understand the da is talking about laws, but the laws here are actually immoral. what we also know to be true is that when white people and white unarmed people are killed once every 28 hours, which is the rate at which black people are killed by the police or vigilantes who are acting as the police, we know that the laws would be interpreted different. moreover, we with you change in legislation. this shows not only are the police unjust and not only is
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the da's office -- but also the legal system as a whole, which includes the law, are part of the system of structural racism and bias. juan: m adams, you're wearing a "freedom 350" t-shirt. what is that campaign? >> if there was no structural racism within the jail system of the criminal justice system that you could expect that the jail population would near or match the population of the county or the city or wherever that jail is based. in dane county, there's roughly 5% black population. so we should expect that the county jail should be roughly 5% black. instead, the county's jail population is roughly 50% black. so at any given time, there are about 800 folks incarcerated and close to 400 are black. the only way we will end the racial disparity, the only way we will end the disproportionate amount of black people incarcerated is to immediately release 350 black people who we
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know are incarcerated due to poverty, to bring the gel population of black folks down to 50 instead of keeping it at 400. we either have to free the 350 to end the racial despair to or lock up close to 6000 white people. which we're not advocating for, the 6000 sounds like a really big number to the city, but that is how big of an impact 350 are to our community. we're advocating further release. amy: report from non-prussia to -- profit initiative found african-american youth and day in county are more than six times as likely to be arrested as white youth in 2010, far higher black-white disparity than the entire state and country. the report also found local african-american youth make up nearly 80% of children sentenced to wisconsin's juvenile correctional facility, even though they comprise only 9% of the county's youth population. and according to a parliamentary analysis of the madison police department in 2013 annual report african-american adults are nearly 11 times more likely than white adults to be arrested in the city. m adams, your plans today in
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madison wisconsin? >> today we are meeting at the intersection near where 20 robinson was murdered and we are going to rally and demonstrate our power and we are going to march up to the county or the city courthouse where we are going to conduct a people's court. where we are going to review the facts as we understand it as a community relating to the tony robinson murder, and in the community is going to deliberate as to whether or not this is actually murder. and there we are to demonstrate our power and demand transformative justice such as community control over the police, calling for completely independent investigation led by the u.n. and immediate release of the 350. amy: m adams, thank you for being with us, activist and organizer with the young black coalition and freedom inc we come back, we go to washington, d.c.. democrats in the senate went against the president of the united states on giving
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fast-track authority. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "to be young gifted and black," nina simone. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: in a surprising setback for president obama, senators from his own party blocked debate on a bill that would have given the president fast-track authority to negotiate the trans-pacific partnership or tpp. this in a vote of 52-45, short of the 60 votes needed. the vote marked a victory for senate democratic leader harry reid, elizabeth warren and other critics of the tpp. fast track would grant the president authority to negotiate the tpp and then present it to congress for a yes-or-no vote, with no amendments allowed. the failure to win the necessary votes came after pro-trade democrats, including senator ron wyden of oregon, insisted that fast track be bundled together with three other trade bills. this is republican senate majority leader mitch mcconnell speaking after the vote. >> what we have just witnessed here is the democratic senate
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shutdown the opportunity to debate the top economic priority of the democratic president of the united states. amy: the tpp is a 12-nation trade pact that would encompass 40% of the global economy and is being negotiated in secret between the united states and 11 latin american and asian countries. critics say the deal would hurt workers, undermine regulations and expand corporate power. , to talk more about the significance of the senate vote, we go to washington, d.c. where we're joined by lori wallach, director of public citizen's global trade watch and author of, "the rise and fall of fast track trade authority." welcome back to democracy now! so what happened? the president's own party said no to him in the senate? >> in a big picture, it is a sign of how broad the opposition to fast-track is, that there is even a close vote on trade, much less the defeat of a trade bill in the senate. the senate is normally a very comfortable place for a bad
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trade vote. what happened yesterday was a fight over two things related to the trade bill, but not exactly the trade bill. first, on june 1, the highway infrastructure built sunsets. if the senate doesn't bring those up and reauthorize them, in the middle of prime construction season summit tens of thousands of construction workers are going to get laid off because the bill was allowed to expire. there are other things that ended june 1 that senator reid said, why the rush on fast-track? let's do the things that are expiring and we can debate fast-track when we come back in june. the second thing had to do with what pieces of trade legislation. there are four separate bills. and with senator reid said is, we're not going to let you just vote on fast-track and leave all of the other pieces thomas some of which have to do with enforcement of trade agreements, some of which have to do with benefits for the people who lose their jobs. we're not going to let you leave those. basically, a majority leader
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mcconnell said, i'm in charge, you're not anymore, i'm doing it my way. and so in the face of "my way or the highway," they sent it to the highway. but it is not over. it will come back. it was a very important signal. the whole point of going to the senate was to show, oh fast-track has momentum. because in the house it is an honest to god trouble. in the senate, it is more like skirmishes that show how extremely well the public has done in making their senators as well as their house members wary of doing this trade vote. in the senate eventually, they will get the vote. in the house, different piece of business. folks who don't want to suit fast-track, the house is the place to focus. but for the next couple of weeks, call your senators because it is an interesting food fight. juan: lori wallach, the president spent a part of it of capital, calling out some
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senators by name saying there were stuck in the past -- in past debates. what do you make of your most universal turn against him -- at least at this point? >> i think the attacks that he has waged, particularly against senator elizabeth warren, but and on the others, the critics are uninformed. sing the president who wouldn't get angry and attack the pharmaceutical companies that wanted to kill his health care bill, the wall street giants to try to rewrite -- derailed regulation, he is not been willing to go after folks. to see him go in such a disdainful and personal way after someone like elizabeth warren, of all things, uninformed and unintelligent? all that has done is put starch in the shorts of a lot of her colleagues. so i do believe there were a variety of senators who on some level were teetering on the fence and the president conducting himself in that way
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seems to have created a sense of solidarity amongst the democratic senators -- including those not with us on trade. amy: we want to go to a clip of president obama on msnbc responded to criticism from senator elizabeth warren, who says the tpp would undermine u.s. sovereignty and help the rich get richer. >> i love elizabeth. we are allies on a whole host of issues, but she is wrong on this. everything i do has been focused on how to remake for the middle class is getting a fair deal. i would not be doing this trade deal if i did not think it was good for the middle class. and when you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is, when you dig into the facts, they are wrong. amy: he says they are wrong. if you can explain why you're so concerned about this, lori. >> first of all, if you so
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confident that we are all wrong and he has it right, then he should release the darn text of the tpp under negotiation for six years, almost completed, let the public read it and come to their own point of view. given that some of the chapters have leaked, in fact, on the merits, senator warren is right. the president is wrong. we know that the tpp will make it easier to offshore our jobs. why? because banks to wikileaks, we note it includes expanded version of the same incentives to offshore jobs in its investment chapter that were found in the north american free trade agreement, nafta. those are roles that the cato institute, free trade libertarian think tank, calls a subsidy on off shoring loring the risk premium of off shoring. we have seen with our own eyes the old nafta rules brought
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shoring. or the obama administration has admitted the labor and environmental standards are now saying new and improved, amazing, are what bush had in his last watcher agreements. and those are standards, as well as not being beloved by a single environmental or labor group i.e., the groups that have a specialty and workers rights and the environment supposed the agreement say the standards aren't sufficient. in addition, the bush dinner tar in the tpp are explicitly -- that are in it tpp are especially reviewed by the government accountability office and found two totally failed to change conditions on the ground in the countries where they are applied. these are things we actually know about the agreement. on the financial issue that senator warren has raised, what we know that is true? in addition to the fact that most of the other tpp countries are complaining about that issue and worried about what it would mean for them, to have his limits on financial regulation
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in addition, parts of that chapter have leaked. we can see, for instance, the tpp would ban the use of capital control. the very policies now the imf is telling countries to use to avoid speculative swishes of money in and out or the growth of speculative bubbles that turn into crises. this we have seen. so on the merits, she is right, the president is wrong. but the notion that the attack from the president is on the messenger versus defending the agreement, making it public, is particularly grieving. it is a choice, a situation they put themselves in by deciding to side with the 500 corporate traded pfizer's over the last -- advisers are the last six years instead of implementing the trade reform promises, president obama made in 2008. the labor movement, environment ogres, everyone just worked incredibly hard to the tpp negotiations to try to get the
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administration to a drop -- adopt the vision. instead, they double down on the same old same old. so of course, the entire democratic race is on the warpath against fast-track for the tpp. it is a future we will not tolerate for ourselves, for our families, for our country. amy: who are the people who are negotiating the tpp? >> the tpp is negotiated in the united states by an office that is a part of the executive office of the presidency called the office of the united states trade representative. they are advised by over 500 corporate advisors. the advisors are official advisors. they've security clearance. they can see the whole bunch of in with 500 corporate advisors. for instance, some committees are only corporate. the one on medicine, pens, and pricing is just pharmaceutical companies. but mixed in there, about 20
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labor unions, three environment oh groups, one consumer group and one family farm group. so you have basically an insular sect of government attorneys many of whom have rotated from the private sector interests into the office and back out. so the guy who was the lead negotiation of pharmaceuticals used to work for the pharmaceutical industry. and the guy doing the food was with the gmo industry. and the guy who comes from the hollywood i.t. world. all of those guys get -- the trade representative is a guy from citibank. all of those guys are that officially advised by corporate advisors. i couldn't make this up. amy:l, thank you for updating us on this major backlash against president obama around stopping fast-track authority for the transpacific partnership. lori wallach, author of "the rise and fall of fast track
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trade authority." as we turn now to burlington vermont. juan: a new report confirms for the first time that the fbi spied on activists in texas who tried to stop the construction of the keystone xl pipeline. the report is based on fbi documents obtained by the guardian and the earth island journal. the documents also reveal the fbi failed to get approval before it cultivated informants and opened its investigation which was run from its houston field office. the files document "substantial non-compliance" with department of justice rules. much of the fbi's surveillance took place between november 2012 and june 2014. amy: the tar sands blockade mentioned in that report was one of the main groups targeted by the fbi. agents in houston also told transcanada they would share "pertinent intelligence regarding any threats" to the company in advance of protests. for more we are joined by adam
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, federman, contributing editor to earth island journal and co-author of the new investigation published by the guardian, "revealed: fbi violated its own rules while spying on keystone xl opponents." in he also revealed how the fbi february, has recently pursued environmental activists in texas, pennsylvania, oregon, washington, and idaho for "little more than taking photographs of oil and gas industry installations." adam federman joins us from burlington, vermont. talk about this most recent exposé. how do you know the fbi was spying on those who are opposed to the keystone xl? >> the recent investigation is based on more than 80 pages of documents that we obtained through freedom of information act request. the most striking thing about them is that they demonstrate for the first time the fbi opened an investigation into anti-keystone pipeline campaigners in texas in 2012
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late 2012, and that investigation continued through 2013, despite the fact it was opened without proper approval within the fbi. what is interesting about them is they show extensive interest in tar sands blockade and activist organizing in houston particularly in neighborhoods in east houston or tar sands oil would eventually end up at the refineries that are based there. juan: and in terms of the most surprising revelations that you found in these documents, can you talk about that? >> yeah, there are several. the fact the investigation was opened about proper approval is probably most noteworthy.
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the fbi required approval from the legal counsel and senior agent for investigative -- investigations that are described as sensitive and those including investigations into political or religious organizations media institutions, academic institutions, and basically, they set a higher threshold for opening an investigation. so the fact that houston domain failed to do that, obviously violate agency protocol. but i think more broadly, the documents also sort of illuminate the fbi's characterization of environmental organizations and activism in the country, you know, the sort of opening follow into the investigation is a synopsis of what they called environment oh extremism and that sort of undergirds the
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entire investigation and has also -- we see the same sort of language used in other context not just surrounding keystone pipeline. amy: at him, many of the -- looking at the quotes in the fbi documents, they talk about, as you said, the environmental extremist and say -- "many of these extremists believe the debates over pollution, protection of wildlife, safety, and property rights have been overshadowed by the promise of jobs and cheaper oil prices. the keystone pipeline, as part of the oil and natural gas industry, is vital to the security and economy of the united states." can you explain these documents? >> yeah, that is quite amazing for a number of reasons. mike german, former fbi agent now at the brennan center, and who we worked with on this story, said decorators asian would include just about anyone who walks into the evening news.
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it is such a broad brush to describe environmental activists as extremists simply for being concerned about things like pollution, wildlife, and property rights. and then the fbi also goes on to claim that the keystone pipeline is bottle to the national security and economy of the united states, which of course, is highly controversial and contested. as i'm sure your viewers no contest a department is still deliberating over whether to approve the northern leg of the pipeline itself. so the question remains open. however, it seems the fbi has taken it upon its own to suggest the pipeline is crucial to u.s. national security and financial security. juan: i want to ask about the
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2010 analysis unit at you obtained that warned that even though the industry had encountered only low-level vandalism and trespassing, recent criminal incidents suggested environmental extremism was on the rise. the fbi concluded -- "environmental extremism will become a greater threat to the energy industry owing to our historical understanding that some environmental extremists have progressed from committing low-level crimes against targets to more significant crimes over time in an effort to further the environmental extremism cause." >> yeah, it is a fascinating document. the story behind how i gained it is because of the fact that that very document was used by the pennsylvania department of homeland security to justify surveillance of the anti-fracking groups in the state. it essentially captures the
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fbi's thinking on the threat of environmental extremism to specifically -- specifically to the energy industry and this is laid out, as you say in 2010. i think this is sort of the foundation for the fbi's approach to the environmental movement more broadly. and i think with the more recent documents we are saying that sort of carried out in real time. and we also know that the fbi has had high-level meetings with transcanada and that local and state law enforcement along the pipeline route in a pennsylvania and elsewhere has actively investigated and spied on environment activist of all stripes and is quite systematic and i do think the fbi in many ways, is leading the charge. amy: you report the fbi's monitoring tar sands blockade
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activists fail to follow proper protocols for more than eight months. i want to read the fbi's response -- "while the fbi approval levels required by internal policy were not initially obtained, once discovered, corrective action was taken, non-compliance was remedied, and the oversight was properly reported through the fbi's internal oversight mechanism." adam, as we wrap up, if you can talk about what the fbi did and what you released today in the earth island journal in the guardian and also in your past reporting on fbi spying on activists? >> unfortunately, it perhaps is not the exception the fbi has opened an investigation without proper approval. in 2011, the inspector general issued a report showing widespread cheating on a test that was designed to prevent this very kind of thing from happening. it essentially demonstrates a lack of internal control, but
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more broadly speaking, the question i think we need to be asking is whether the investigation open properly or not should have been conducted to begin with. tar sands blockade is committed to nonviolent civil disobedience. they've been very open and transparent about their activism and work, and i think the question is whether this investigation should have been opened to begin with. and quite frankly, if the fbi is actively investigating other anti-keystone pipeline activists or anti-fracking activist in other states. amy: adam federman, thank you for being with us, covering the intersection between law enforcement and the environment. he co-authored a new investigation published by the guardian "revealed." we will link to that story at democracynow.org. when we come back, it is the 30th anniversary of the move bombing when the philadelphia
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police bombed a neighborhood. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. today marks the 30th anniversary of a massive police operation in philadelphia that culminated in the helicopter bombing of the headquarters of a radical group known as move. the fire from the attack incinerated six adults and five children and destroyed 65 homes. despite two grand jury investigations and a commission finding that top officials were grossly negligent, no one from city government was criminally charged. here is how the bombing was initially reported in philadelphia on the radio. >> i've just been advised we're moving out tape of the episode that apparently ended, we think ended, the move situation tonight. the dropping of an incendiary
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device. let's take a careful look at this, 5:27 p.m. as you can see, very dramatic explosion that occurs 30 seconds and really rips into the move compound. there you see the bunker, which soon will go up in flames. and that was the explosion close up. if there is anybody there standing there, it is obvious they could not survive that explosion. juan: exit, that was tv. move was a philadelphia-based radical movement dedicated to black liberation and a back-to-nature lifestyle. it was founded by john africa, and all its members took on the surname africa. today a memorial -- in 2010, ramona africa, the soul adult survivor of the attack told democracy now! what happened as the bomb was dropped on her house. >> in terms of the bombing after being attacked the way we work, first with four deluge poses by the fire department and then tons of tear gas and then
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being shot at -- the police admitted shooting over 10,000 rounds of bullets at us in the first 90 minutes -- there was a lull. it was quiet for a little bit. and then without any warning at all, to do members of the philadelphia police department's bomb squad got in a pennsylvania state police helicopter and flew over our home and dropped a satchel containing c4, powerful military explosive that no municipal police department has. they had to get it from the federal government, from the fbi. and without any announcement or warning or anything, they dropped that bomb on the roof of our home. amy: that was ramona africa, the soul adult survivor of the attack on move 30 years ago today. today a memorial will take place
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at the side of the bombing. for more we're joined in philadelphia by linn washington who is covered move since he 1975. teaches journalism at temple university. both he and juan were there that day covering the move bombing of the philadelphia daily news. we welcome you back to democracy now!, linn. talk about that day. and, juan too, your memories. >> good morning. the one word i would use to describe that day is surreal. to have witnessed police firing 10,000 bullets within a 90 minute period the bullets were so intense they were raining from the sky like hail. later in the afternoon, to see a bomb dropped on a house occupied by children and then the very callous decision of the authorities to let the fire burn was just unreal. it is a site in a memory i can't
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get out of my mind. juan: linn, i remember it was mother's day, 1985, and we were out there most of the day and saw that helicopter suddenly hover over the house and drop something. i remember saying to you at the time, what is going on? into the explosion occurred. the most fascinating thing, as you said, most people are not aware, is how long before -- after the bomb dropped before the firefighters even attempted to douse the flames that erupted. >> it was almost an hour because we were sitting there on concrete cart weight and you and i were both talking about why they were doing it. and the firefighters did not know. what the result was not to fight the fire, which is unbelievable. we watched or saw the fire go from what looked like the beginning of a backyard barbecue grill fire to a blazing inferno.
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and we just literally watched it jump across the roof lines and also across the street. so by the time the decision was finally made to fight the fire, it was a blazing inferno and it was totally out of control. amy: and talk about who was in government at the time ,juan. who was the police commissioner? who was the mayor? how did the bombing take place? it ended up burning down two city blocks in philadelphia. juan: because they did not fight the fire in its spread and destroyed the entire square block area. obviously, the mayor at the time, linn, was wilson goode the first african-american mayor of the city and the commission report later indicated that he really wasn't in control of the situation. it was the police commissioner and the fire commissioner. amy: rizzo? juan: know, i have forgotten who
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it was. >> the police commissioner -- i'm sorry, the police commissioner at the time was a guy named gregor sambora. mayor good appointed him because they were trying to first the department is some weight of the influence of frank rizzo, who lived in the police commissioner in the mayor in the 70's, when police were tel aviv reached academic -- when police were tel aviv reached epidemic levels. yes, there was this horrific bombing may 13, the day after mother's day in 1985, but actually a few days before the bombing, sambora had ordered an anti-drugs week that ended up arresting hundreds of people who are innocent. it had nothing to do with drugs. the city ended up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle that. and two weeks later, there was a dragnet in a hispanic neighborhood where they arrested people from six to 65 years old
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and an investigation involving the death of a police officer. and that death was initially reported as a domestic dispute between a police officer another police officer and a policewoman who was married to one of the police officers. amy: i want to go back to ramona africa, the soul at all survivor of the attack describing what happened after the bomb was dropped on her house. >> and without any announcement or warning or anything, the dropped that bomb on the roof of our home. at that paul -- point, we did not know exactly what they had done. we heard the loud explosion. the house kind of shook him up but it never entered my mind that they dropped a bomb on us. at the bomb did in fact ignite a fire and not long after that, it got very, very hot in the house and the smoke was getting thicker. at first we thought it was tear gas. but as it got thicker, it became
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clear that this was not tear gas but something else. and then we could hear the trees outside of our house crackling and realized our home was on fire. and we immediately tried to get our children, our animals, our dogs and of that blazing inferno. amy: so talk about who died, linn. how people tried to escape and what happened. >> yes, inside the house at that point were five children aged seven to 13 years old. they perished along with six adults. one of the six adults was the founder of the move organization, john africa. a number of members try to escape. as you have indicated, ramona was the sole surviving adult. there was a child named birdie africa who later became michael
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ward. they were able to escape. when they were coming out, we heard gunfire. it was later determined that police fired on the escaping move members, driving some of them back into the house. but in the convoluted logic that many of us have seen over the last year from grand jury's and st. louis county and new york and southern ohio where the guy was shot in a walmart, the grand jury under the control of philadelphia prosecutors determined that move members ran back into the house not because police were firing at them, but because they mistakenly believed that police were firing at them and/or they ran back to intentionally commit suicide. juan: linn what were the main can -- conclusions of the move commission established subsequent to that tragedy? >> well, the move commission
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which was a panel mayor good had set up to investigate it, but had no power to do anything other than big recommendations filed monumental in confidence on all city officials from the mayor to the managing director to the police director or should i say police commissioner. one of the findings, i think one of the most prominent findings was the deaths of those children were unjustified homicides and they recommended a criminal investigation and also charges to be brought. the grand jury determined that they were not unjustified homicides, that the deaths were as a result of this presumed suicide and they came to many startling conclusions, one of which was the bomb that was dropped on the children, there was no illegality there because the force of the bomb only applied to the adults in the house, as if the bomb could
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blowup in the fire could burn and it wouldn't impact the children. it was absolutely ridiculous but is this the kind of convoluted reasoning we see too often with grand jury's involving issues of police abuse. amy: i want to turn to imprisoned journalist mumia abu jamal who reported extensively on move before he was convicted of killing a police officer, a crime he maintains he did not commit. last month, he recorded a new essay for the 30th anniversary of the move bombing from prison. >> may 13, why should we care what happened on may 13 1985? i mean, sears leave. that was 30 years ago. a long time ago, way back when. no i mean? most people won't say that, but they think that. why, indeed? i will tell you why, but because what happened then is a harbinger of what is happening
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now all across america. i don't mean bombing people -- not yet, that is -- i mean the visceral hatred and violent content one has held -- once held for move is now visited upon the average people, not just radicals and revolutionaries like move. in may 1985, police officials justified the vicious attacks on move children i saying they, too, were combatants. in ferguson, missouri, as police and national guard confronted citizens, guess how cops described them in their own files? enemies. enemy combatants, anyone? then look at 12-year-old tamir rice of cleveland. boys men, girls, women -- it doesn't matter. when many people stood in silence, or worse, in bitter acquiescence to the bombing shooting, and carnage of may 13, and 1985 upon move, he opened the door to the ugliness of
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today's police terrorism from coast to coast. there is a direct line from then to now. may 13, 1985 lead to the eerie robocop present. if it had been justly and widely condemned then, it would be no now, no ferguson, no south carolina, to los angeles, no baltimore. the barbaric police bombing of may 13, 1985 and the whitewash of the murders of 11 move men, women, and showed an open the door that still has not been closed. we are today living with those consequences. from imprisoned nation, this is mumia abu jamal. amy: the record of that commentary in prison. last night prisoners called his wife and told her he have been moved to the hospital for a second time this year. his supporters say they are
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concerned he at a fever and open ones and sores on his legs. that does it for our show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> today we'll be making three delicious and easy recipes. and i have some great tips to go along with them. [theme music playing]
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tutti a tavola a mangiare! the italian art of good eating... monini extra virgin olive oil.
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