tv Democracy Now WHUT November 1, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
indonesia summoned its australian ambassador today after was revealed the australian embassy in jakarta is a hub for the u.s. by efforts. on thursday, john kerry issued some of his brightest remarks to .ate on nsa spying during a video appearance at a london conference, john kerry conceded some actions have "reached too far." >> the president and i and others in government have actually learned of some things that have been happening in many ways on automatic pilot because the technology is there, over a course of a long period of time. >> edward snowden is reportedly starting a new job in russia today. his lawyer told a russian news agency or snowden has been hired by major russian website. than 47 million people who receive food stamps in the u.s. will see a decrease in their aid beginning today as a temporary boost from the 2009
stimulus expires. bybed the hunger clip critics, the drop will reduce monthly food stamps for a family of four $36 each month. according to the center for budget and policy priorities, food stamps will now average less than $1.40 per person per meal next year. the decrease comes two days after lawmakers opened talks on a farm bill that will likely cut food stamps even more. one in seven people in the united states rely on food stamps. newly revealed documents have provided hard numbers showing just how few people were able to enroll in health insurance through the new government massiveand its technical failures. the obama administration says there were 4.7 million unique visits to the site in the first 20 four hours. according to notes from a meeting on the morning after the launch, just six people had successfully enrolled. by that afternoon, about 100 people had enrolled. 248 enrolled by the end of the
day. the notes were released to a house panel under a documents request. reported by cbs news thursday, a day after health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius told the help panel there was no precise data on enrollments. senate republicans have blocked the confirmation of two obama nominees, one for housing oversight post and the second to a powerful appeals court. in back-to-back votes thursday, the senate fell just shy of t 60-vote threshold to overcome republican filibusters against melvin watt, a democratic congress member from north carolina, who was tapped to oversee the home or goods industry. who wasicia millett, nominated for the d c circuit of the was court of appeals.
niger, officials said that recover the bodies of 92 migrants who perished from thirst after the vehicles broke down in the sahara desert. they were fleeing from poverty. more than 50 children were reportedly among the dead. launched aa, workers nationwide strike thursday demanding a wage hike amid soaring inflation. a group representing labor union said about julian workers are participating in the strike, although police put the number much lower. strike shut down factories that produce garments and other goods. factory workers are among the worst paid in asia. a federal prosecutor in georgia has announced he is reopening an investigation into the death of kendrick johnson, a 17-year-old who was found dead inside a rolled up wrestling mat in his high school gym in january. the sheriff's investigators concluded johnson died in a freak accident after becoming trapped inside the mat. but his parents say he was
murdered. a pathologist hired by the family to provide a second autopsy found thompson actually died from blunt force -- johnson actually died from blunt force trauma. in a bizarre twist, the patella just also reportedly discovered johnson's organs were missing and his body cavity stuffed with newspaper. it, hisno mistake about parents never accept this explanation but he got stuck in a wrestling match and died. what is more likely that happened, he was murdered and there is some conspiracy to cover up the truth here. this is a word or mastery and we are going to get to the bottom of it. >> u.s. attorney michael moore said he would review kendrick johnson's death with the aid of the fbi. the fbi is also launched a probe of the police killing of 13-
year-old andy lopez in santa rosa, california who was shot dead last month after a sheriffs deputy mistook the pellet gun he was caring for an assault rifle. the florida city where trayvon martin was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteered george zimmerman is banning neighborhood watch members from carrying guns. new rules due to be announced bar week will also volunteers from pursuing people they deem suspicious. zimmerman was accused of racially profiling the unarmed teenager and following him before shooting him dead. a jury acquitted zimmerman in july. to0 three-year-old activist surrender to u.s. immigration authorities as part of a protest calling for reform and a halt to record deportations has been deported to mexico. rocio hernandez perez was brought to the united states by her parents at the age of four. she was one of the so-called dream 30 who crossed into laredo, texas in september. the dream 30 took action after another group of young people,
the dream 9, made a similar crossing an arizona in july. the dream 9 were released and cleared an initial hurdle to receive asylum, but a number of the dream theater remain at attention. detention. the agency arrested roughly 420,000 people in the most recent fiscal year, a 15% increase from last year. ky hasaffiti artist bans wrapped up a month-long residency in new york city. art on the city streets has included a moving slaughterhouse delivery truck loaded with squealing stuffed animals, a war-related mural set audio from the "collateral murder" video of u.s. helicopter attack on civilians and a statue of ronald mcdonald having his shoe polish my love actor. a thrift store painting that he modified and read unaided to aid
group housing works just sold for $615,000 online. apparently defy the campaign by new york city police to corner him. the audio guide for his final piece reflects on his possible motives. >> the world we live in today is run visually by traffic signs, billboards, and planning committees. is that it? don't we want to live in a world made of art not just decorated by it? >> 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. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. a sweeping set of changes to the new york city police department's controversial stop and frisk program has been put on hold. in august, u.s. district judge found theindlin program unconstitutional, saying police had relied on a "policy of indirect racial profiling" that led officers to routinely stop "blacks and hispanics who
would not have been stopped if they were white." while she did not halt the use of stop and frisk, judge a federal appointed court monitor to oversee a series of reforms, including a pilot program that would require officers to wear cameras on their bodies to record their interactions with the public. she ordered a joint remedial process to solicit public comments on how to reform the department's tactics as well. the city appealed the judge's ruling saying it made officers passive and scared to frisk suspects and on thursday he got what was hoping for, and much more. a second circuit court ruling stated changes, effectively postponing the operations of the monitor, while allowing police officers to continue using stop and frisk. >> in a striking move, the court also took the unusual step of removing judge scheindlin from the case. it ruled she had "run afoul" of the judiciary's code of conduct
and compromise the "appearance of impartiality surrounding the is litigation." a panel of three judges issued a two-page order that criticized judge chin lend --scheindlin. defendedeindlin herself for what she called below the belt attacks by the city for sticking to portray her as unfair to the new york police department. new york police commissioner ray kelly reacted to the news thursday night. >> i have always been an surly have not been alone come a concerned about the partiality of judge scheindlin. we look forward to the , a fairion of this case and impartial review of this case based on. >> all of this comes as stop and frisk has been a major issue in new york's mayoral election, which takes place this tuesday. democraticsio, the
nominee for mayor who is leading his republican opponent joe lhota, said he was extremely disappointed by the decision. ask for more we're joined by -- >> for more we're joined by sunita patel. can you talk about the significance of this decision? was quite stunning, saying stop and frisk was unconstitutional, pointing -- saying a monitor had to be put in place to come up with reforms for the police department. but all of that has been turned around. >> it is very disappointing and shocking. the decision was to supporting and shocking. i think we need to make sure we're clear on what was in front of them. the city was asking for a stay of her reform process. although the judge said all of these things need to be put into place immediately, she also deferred to the monitor a process whereby the city would have a role in shaping what
those reforms would be. none of those reforms were actually ordered to happen immediately. in the face of speculative harm and speculative reform, the city went to the appellate court saying, please, stop these conversations from happening. that doesn't meet the legal standard. the court did something that was very unusual, which was sort of ignore the legal issue in front of the men say, we are going to stay it. the opinion give why. they said they're going to take the case away from a judge who has been very intimately familiar for over a decade. >> in the ruling, the three- that theel mentioned judge had possibly violated the ethics requirement of judges. i want to read from that new york timesrticle, the second u.s. circuit court of appeals cited in its decision. reporter joseph goldstein wrote --
"in a brief interview, judge nominated toho was the bench by president bill clinton, declined to discuss the related case rule in the context of the very stop and frisk cases. but speaking generally, she observed that some judges are less inclined to accept a case as related, some judges are more inclined to accept it as related." in court, judge scheindlin suggested a route other than trying to be opening the old cases. you have proof of inappropriate racial profiling in a good constitutional case, she said, why don't you bring a lawsuit? basically what was happening was the panel was saying that she thein effect pushing plaintiff in this case to make it a related case.
in essence, appearing to not be an impartial judge as she is required to be. >> i mean, you know, this idea there is some appearance of misconduct is just very troubling from our perspective. its not uncommon for judges to accept as related cases, and that is actually the southern districts rule, that courts issues,xcept the same the same parties. you had a situation where a judge sided with the city. said, i agree with you, new york police department and city of new york, i think they should have to file a new case. >> what is controversial in the situation is not only the court's decision that the judge andhave reached -- breached partiality, but what is not mentioned is the efforts by the
city to character assassinate the judge. the city created a dossier that shocked to various media around the city, tried to get them to thee articles to reflect bloomberg administration's viewpoint that the judge was biased. >> i actually did not know that fact, and that is quite remarkable. >> in may, "the new york daily news" published an article that said the staff of mayor bloomberg had reviewed judge scheindlin's record and found she ruled against law enforcement in 60% of her 15 written search and seizure rulings since he took the bench in 1994. scheindlin responded saying -- another response came
from chris dunn of the new york city liberties union. he pointed out that one of scheindlin's opinions against law enforcement was overturned on appeal. he said -- becauseuld add on that, the reporter who wrote that is a very good friend of mine. knownty did not want it that it was the one that produced the information. in fact, city hall was very angry with "the daily news" when it mentioned in the article it was the city who it created the original information. >> because that is potentially unethical behavior, to try and intimidate a judge in the midst of an ongoing trial. it is quite remarkable. i think the other question is, what was the circuit looking at?
they didn't have before them a motion from the city saying there was some bias by the court . the city did not object to the case being assigned as related, that i know. i think this is quite remarkable and troubling. it is also important for us to note that public opinion is on our side. reform is going to happen one way or the other. there is no question theublic dialogue has changed. the police department does business as usual is not going to be tolerated by the city and the people here. times" did itsk editorial condemning the situation, suggesting is bill de blasio wednesday mayor's race, he should just withdraw the cities appeal. is that legally possible? >> yes. we would certainly agree with that, that the next mayor should consider withdrawing the appeal. appeal ishink this
meritorious, especially at this stage. and any fair-minded and neutral judge, to look at the record as the next -- it has already been reassigned as the next judge may have to do, will come up with the same conclusion. ofre was a nine-week trial 23,000 pages of evidence, 8000 pages of trial transcript. no one could come to a different conclusion than judge scheindlin . >> the judge taking on this case is the judge who ultimately sentenced when stewart, -- lynne prison.to 10 years in although he originally started with a lesser sentence. jeffrey toobin is one of the people who interviewed judge scheindlin. and, well, the court may be able to stay this, but they can't stay the election of bill de blasio who says he will
challenge all of this. where do you go from here? what are considering options we have to challenge what the court has done. we will see what happens there. at this point -- >> you were in the midst of meeting with the monitor? >> we have in order to meet with the monitor and move forward with the reform process with boo -- >> as the city has. >> and it will stop at this point. >> sunita patel, thank you for being with us, cocounsel on the stop and frisk federal class- action lawsuit. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are come back, heading to canada. we will be joined by the two canadians, journalist john greyson and dr. tarek loubani, who are held by the egyptian regime and imprisoned for 50 days. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> we turn now to egypt where security forces have captured one of the last remaining prominent leaders of the muslim brotherhood still at large after a coup ousted president mohammed morsi in july. the senior leader in the brotherhood's political arm, essam el-erian, was seized on wednesday on charges of inciting violence. hours after authorities announced his detention, police entered al-azhar university campus in cairo where they opened fire with tear gas and arrested pro-morsi student demonstrators. egypt has set a date of november for for morsi to stand trial. the associated press reports some 20,000 police officers and soldiers will guard the upcoming trial.
on thursday, muslim brotherhood coalition called for mass demonstrations across the country against the trial. morsi charges surrounding the deaths of at least 10 demonstrators killed in a protest against his government last december. under the morsi supporters have been killed by state forces since his ouster. >> we spend the remainder of the hour with two people who witnessed one of the bloodiest massacres of morsi supporters by egyptian state forces. they are kind of toronto filmmaker john greyson and emergency room medical doctor tarek loubani. on august 16 they rushed to the scene of the massacre. race and reportedly began shooting the aftermath while loubani treated some of the injured. then along with 600 egyptians, the pair of canadians were swept up and detained without charge. they were held and cockroach infested jail cells with as many as 30 six other prisoners. they launched a hunger strike while supporters in canada mounted a massive campaign to lobby for their release.
then early october, the pair were freed. they have since returned home to canada where they continued to call from the release of their egyptian -- call for the release of their egyptian cellmates who remain imprisoned. we go now to toronto where we are joined by john greyson, canadian filmmaker and member of queers against israel apartheid. and in ontario, were joined by tarek loubani, and emergency room medical doctor and assistant professor at western university in london, ontario. a palestinian refugee. he is with a project that brings doctors from the west to gaza to train physicians. welcome to democracy now! we are so glad you are free. dr. loubani, let's begin with you. i understand you are wearing clothing that are still drenched in the blood of both the patient you treated as well as your self -- your self yes, amy, thank you for
having us. there are many ways that people deal with their trauma and remembering what happened. for me, one of them is holding onto these clothes, which we were wearing when we were -- and whichhich are still somewhat blood-soaked, despite my attempts to wash them. it is just a way to pay homage to those we treated that they. >> could you refresh the memories of our viewers and listeners as to why you were in cairo, how long he had been there before the day of the protest? well, we had barely arrived in cairo, actually. we were on our way to gaza, which is where john and i had planned on being. the gaza strip has an israeli siege, military siege, that prevents everything from getting in or out.
years, there was this little bit of a breathing space, which was the rafah border, which we crossed to go in there. i would go and participate in palestinian training of doctors. they had a very powerful program there to try to bring in people from outside to help get their standards of to international standards, especially for the new emergency program. that is where we were headed. we had been in egypt for a remarkably short period of time when we heard these protests would be going on. basically, he came down to a choice of staying in our hotel room or going out there and being with the protesters on the street. >> and so, john greyson, take it from there. there was a protest. what happened next? >> we arrived at the protest location, which was ramses square. it had barely begun. there was just a little bit of tear gas in the air. people were selling.
there was a call for a doctor. tarek loubani responded. people were carrying someone who had been badly shot. there was some negotiation. the decision was made to move the patient into the mosque, which was on the side of ramses square. tarek as the doctor and me with my camera. the rest of the afternoon was spent basically in this may shift -- makeshift field hospital trying to treat and document the unfolding massacre. >> john greyson, what about the massacre? what did you witness your self? it is hard to think of a worse day in my life. the shock of it is still with me everyday. was -- wethat accompany the first body to go into the field hospital or the
mosque. by the time our five hours was about 50counted bodies. the body count for the entire day is around 100, though not all of the bodies came through the mosque. they went to other hospitals as well. but on the one hand there was this extraordinary volunteer effort of other doctors and other nurses and volunteers, just ordinary citizens trying to help people, trying to save lives. there was my camera and another of other cameras documenting what was going on, trying to make some sort of record of these wounds to the neck to my to the head, to the bodies of these unarmed protest -- to the neck, to the head, to the bodies of these unarmed protesters. >> dr. loubani, what are the kinds of wounds you saw?
what were the weapons used by the regime against the protesters? in context i have a lot of experience with war wounds. in gaza for doctor several years, as well as travel during my training to iraq and south lebanon. so i know war wounds. i can tell them apart. in this particular case, one of the amazing things about it is almost all of the wins for the first half of the day were small caliber holes, and all most all in the head or neck. these were quite indicative of sniper shots. the thing that surprised me initially was how there could be so many so fast. only after getting out of jail but i finally realize the snipers were lined up on the rooftop shooting at these unarmed, nonviolent demonstrators. they were nonviolent almost to a fault. within our jail cell, we heard
people saying even when they saw their comrades fall, they would tighten the line and keep marching in an unarmed way with their hands up. this was the injury pattern in the first half. after that, it moved to more chest shots, multiple shots, indicative of sort of assault rifles. toward the end of the day, mounted machine guns. >> for our tv viewers, we are showing file footage of various moments on various days, the wounds people are suffing. talk about being taken to jail. talk about what happened next. how did you get taken in? >> we had to wait until it was safe to leave the mosque. so it was after curfew. we made our way through the streets. the streets were very quiet. the whole city was in shock because of what had happened.
we were trying to get to our hotel, which was on the river. there was a police cordon at ran parallel to the river, which prevented any crossing over. we tried at one police checkpoint saying, look, there's our hotel, can we get through? they turned us away. at the second one, we were only about 100 yards from our hotel. we could point to it. that is when they detained us. we did not know a first they were arresting us. well, there will ask is if you questions and let us through. surely, our canadian passports will give us some sort of through, but in fact, no, were we ever wrong on that. >> where did they take you at first and when did you begin to realize that you're going to be held indefinitely? i think john and i probably have different moments -- >> at that station they rest is up a bit. tarek loubani got a broken nose
and a bloody nose out of it. overnight talk another police station and housed. they were so overcrowded, they housed us in an office sleeping under the desks with 20 other guys. the next day, saturday, we were taken in a paddy wagon, 40 guys and a paddy wagon, left in the sun for three hours to bake. in the cairo sun. then we were finally admitted into the prison, which was greeted by the welcoming committee. tarek can tell the arabic phrase for that. it from loubani, take there. >> the abuse of prisoners and detainees in egypt is systematic. it happens to everybody who walks through the doors. it is so common, it has a "the welcoming party
," which really started while we were still in the transport vehicle where 5 people actually ended up with pretty severe heatstroke, one of whom i was pretty convinced would die within about an hour. he had reached the point where he could no longer speak and have become unconscious. of put through this process. then whewe had enough -- had had enough, beyond that the door was opened, and we exited only to find two lines of people, some with batons and some with cattle prods, to beat us on exit. two linesrough these to find another series of people who work hitting with their hands and feet, one of them who actually struck prisoners so hard that his hand actually broke as a result. what we would call a boxers fracture. after that, it became a systematic abuse of certain people who were targeted. about five of those were pulled i, andcluding john and
we were beaten in front of other prisoners quite severely. john'seeding was so -- eating was so exquisite, he d is very detailed the boot print on his back, which any time -- withasked me where yo asked me, were you hit, all i the boot was show hi print. their reful not to break ribs, though the accidentally broke when a mine, they are careful not to hit the face because i think they have been instructed that such things don't really look at it in the media. the abuse was systematic and it was quite complete. >> at what point were he able to get word out to the canadian embassy and try to begin to get some public attention to your situation, john greyson? >> there was a cell phone left
in the first paddy wagon and we were able to make a call to our beforejustin in canada the phone was confiscated. the embassy -- the canadian embassy searched all of the prisons in cairo and finally found us. it was hard to find is because i had been entered under the wrong name. under johnd me richard, on middlemen, not john greyson, my real name. they found us by sunday, which was remarkable. able ton on we were visit about once a week for 10 minutes. that was for the 50 days, our only contact with the world. it was squeezed into 10 minutes. every bit of contact with family, with loved ones, my partner. -- every bitategy
of the world squeezed in that 10 minutes. >> john, you made illustrations of your fellow cellmates. >> i don't speak arabic thomas so there was about 5 guys who did and we formed a little .nglish conversation i would try to correct grammar as they worked on their vocabulary. the for the rest of the guys, my way of getting to know them was through drawing. my portraits were popular. they were also a source of hilarity because none of them really resembled the guys i was drawn. we would joke they could never be used in a court of law. do one fors, i would them and one for me. the one for them they often give to a fiancé or mother or family member during their own family visits.
we had two of our fellow prisoners miss their weddings. all they could really give to their fiancés was a couple of bad portraits. >> tarek loubani, what about your fellow inmates? the government would have the world believe they were largely muslim brotherhood cadres were bent on creating unrest in the wake of the coup. what did you find? >> we very much into the situation assuming the same thing, because we had been following the media which was heavily influenced by the egyptian official narrative. cell,e went into the jail we saw there were a bunch of people who had beards and assumed they must be the brotherhood. finding, aed up couple of things. within the jail, there were three brotherhood members within our first jail cell of 38,
including john and i. three of them were brotherhood. ironically, the three with no beards. it was not brotherhood members. it was very much people who are concerned about their country. morsiiced you had said pro- cover the protesters, but these are largely kids who probably don't really care about morsi thereally only care about democracy. they may be pro-brotherhood, but what we noticed and what i assume is probably still true for these protesters is that they don't want a military dictatorship. they want the country that make sense. they feel they have worked hard for this democracy and it was flipping between their fingers. that is what we observed. take a break.g to only come back, we want to talk about your hunger strike, about the charges against you and how you ultimately got out and what happened to the man who remain behind. we are talking to john greyson,
canadian film maker and member of queers against israeli apartheid, and tarek loubani, a palestinian doctor and professor at western university in london, ontario. they were headed to gaza through the rafah border for tarek to change and -- to train and john to film him training. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we continue our conversation with the pair of canadians who were recently released from an egyptian prison after spending nearly two months to tame. they had rushed to the scene of a massacre in august august to treat wounded protesters and film what was taking place when they were arrested. john greyson is an israeli filmmaker and tarek loubani is
an emergency room local doctor. he is a, stating refugee. -- he is a palestinian refugee. talk about being in jail, tarek and when he decided to go on a hunger strike. >> the entire process in jail was very much about controlling and dominating us. happened physically, just by virtue of our captivity, but it also happened psychologically. for example, we never felt like we had any input into the judicial process. we were never actually interrogated about what we had seen or doing. we really felt we were voiceless. john and myself and the rest of the prisoners in our first room had these discussions about how it was we could have some --
take back some control or assert ourselves to speak with the world around us. we realized ultimately are was no way to do this. our messages were not getting out. we were not even able to communicate effectively with our lawyers, or at all. our first meeting was only the day before we were released. we decided to go on hunger strike. the value of hunger strike is one that i think every two-year- old understands. ys have the ability to hunger strike. >> john bryson, what was the reaction --john greyson, what was the reaction to your fellow inmates, not just the hunger strike, but having to canadians jailed with them at the same time? >> when we were brought into the present with the welcoming party , all of the other prisoners witnessed the beating of the kind [indiscernible]
already a huge amount of solidarity and support for us. the first 36 and the first cell when out of their way to take care of us, always giving us the last piece of food, the last tomato, etc. there was incredible caring and concern for us and a real interest in the work we were trying to do in solidarity with gaza. said, when we discussed hunger strike, the fellow prisoners were split in terms of their advice. they said, watch out, it's very dangerous, the prison will throw you in solitary. there was a lot of strategizing in getting good advice from them about how to proceed. onlyecided to do a liquids- hunger strike and not do it through the official prison channels.
it would have maximum impact in terms of outreach to the world and make the statement we wanted it to make, but we didn't -- we really didn't want to subject ourselves to the extreme situation of solitary. >> john, were you concerned about the authorities finding out you were gay? >> of course. we had already been accused of being hamas agents, being mossad agents, and on top of that, being gay agents out to corrupt egyptians, the good people of egypt. it was a genuine fear. at the same time, it is a google away. the disease is thing to find out about me. i ironically made three films about prison, about gay love stories, about life in prison.
ironic that i made the films and then did my research just recently. i have never spent a night in jail before this experience. peoplesame ti, i think overstress that issue, tend to go toward a set of assumptions and prejudices around arabic culture and islamic culture is overwhelmingly homophobic. i think it is much more complicated. it is about, are you forcing in a western way of coming out agenda onto people or are you being a person they get to know and then it becomes part of what they discuss or don't discuss? in our particular case, it didn't come out to our fellow prisoners. the guards didn't find out.
it remains an unanswered question. and iher irony was tarek were interested in going to the archer prison called gaza to continue conversations about lgbt issues on the ground in gaza. i work with queers against israeli apartheid. but that conversation in gaza is still at a different stage. we were hoping that would be the work we were going to be doing. that has been postponed, but hopefully, sometime in the future. >> john greyson, the egyptian authorities claim at one point they found some drone-like surveillance equipment in your hotel. could you talk about that? probably speak to it best. >> could you talk about that?
>> the context here is that anybody who knows me knows i am a geek. i very much enjoyed time with the technologies and try to bring these new technologies into applications and to which they weren't necessarily designed. after having read and seen lots of good work that happen in south africa using the same technology, which basically uses gps guided aerial vehicles like basically little planes with gps computer on them, to take stuff from one place to the other, i had been thinking about the same thing both in london, ontario where i work and in the gaza strip where the distances aren't very large, but the terrain can brutal. so getting from one hospital to another, both in london and gaza, is remarkably difficult. there are centralization in gaza, especially of lots of the
testing. to get it effectively done, you would have to put it in a taxi and three hours later it might show up at the place where it needed to be. our goal really with this technology was then to try and experiment with ways of transporting things or ways of moving things. it,interesting thing about this technology is available off the shelf in downtown cairo. the egyptians themselves, even though we were worried, and generally make a big deal out of it. they were much more worried about john's footage and having reviewed the youtube videos available, i can see why. his footage was probably the best of that day. instead it ended up being a cudgel that was used in canada by a couple of the right wing commentators here as an attempt , iplant us as spies, or agents.ow, hamas
beste were really the vehicle for smuggling instead of the tunnels that bring in thousands of rockets. really the best vehicle for smuggling instead of the tunnels that bring in thousands of rockets. because of lots of what was going on ideologically, ended up being used in the western media here in canada, especially. .> john's film is confiscated there were a number of cameras there. tarek, if you could talk about the reaction to you as a , what wasalestinian the reaction of the authorities and the other prisoners? and talk about your father coming to cairo to try to get you both released. >> in terms of being a palestinian, going through egypt over the last two years that has been a variable experience. sometimes when the propaganda was sort of pro-palestinian, it
would be a very comfortable experience. and many other times it would be uncomfortable, to say the least. this is the experience really of all palestinians traveling through egypt. mine is mitigated by the fact i speak english fluently and i carry a canadian passport. john and i sort of said we have these two coming-out processes for the two closets. john as a gay person and me as a palestinian. i chose and found it important being ase to talk about palestinian. that was a very costly decision. it was one of the main triggers that we got arrested. i palestinian accented me in. when i was asked if i was palestinian, i confirmed it, and that is the moment at which we were physically arrested. we were then brought into the station. the odds are if i had told them,
no, i'm canadian, that would have been the end of that conversation. being a palestinian in jail was not very easy. being a palestinian in egypt was not very easy. forought it was important me to hold onto that part of my identity. in terms of my father coming, my , wasr, like any parent sort of burning upon the side wondering what he could do and feeling helpless. ultimately, he decided he would come after the 45 day rental. the 45 day renewal, a sickly we have been in for 45 days and work renewed for another 45 days, unbeknownst to us at the time, and it really represented the egyptian government summing its nose at the international community and really any semblance of a just or proper judicial process. so at that point, my father came to see what he could do. his intention was to raise the media flags in egypt and start
talking about the issue and try to humanize john and i. he was ultimately able to do that. it was a big surprise when we saw him. it coincided with the egyptian government starting to realize they had an international problem on their hands. he was able to speak directly to the entire cap net -- cap net -- cabinet. the impact was there. though it was unclear how influential that was. it is clear it was definitely a contributor. which is great. i think every father wants to be the hero. >> very quickly, if you could tell us what has happened to the men who remain in prison and what role the canadian government play. there were supporters in canada and throughout the world pushing for both of your release.
>> we got out because of extraordinary grassroots coalition. everybody from the prime minister, stephen harper, two kids making drawings and getting them out there. we feel everybody's efforts made the difference. it is important to thank our canadian government for the work they did and also important to emphasize we were a convenience for them. we were a way for them to be seen doing something about egypt about ever criticizing the coup. we are grateful and we are critical. with our fellow prisoners, the 600 remain in jail. the 90e up -- they hit day mark of ember 11 and we will
see if they get renewed or released. every time we have tried to look in the crystal ball and predict, we have been proven wrong. , if you have tarek any inside. >> your final comments? >> i think the 600 people are going to get renewed because right now there isn't the international pressure to get them out. this is not a fair judicial process. this is very much a political witchhunt against essentially people with beards. we have to apply pressure to the government to release them. i can tell there's no evidence against them. they should be released. >> thank you for being with us. we're so glad you are free. we will continue to follow the story of what is taking place in egypt. tarek loubani is a doctor and professor in london, ontario. john greyson is a film maker, member of queers against israeli apartheid. they were imprisoned for 50 days with the egyptian regime -- by
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight, a conversation with mary steenburgen. she has costarred in back to the future and "the help." she is costarring with robert deniro, a comedy about lifelong friends coming to terms with getting older titled "last vegas." and we talked to george wallace who wrote a book called "laugh it off." coming up, right now.
the screen with deniro, freeman, douglas, kline. it opens this friday. >> you're getting married tomorrow. what are you doing here with me? >> what are you doing here with me? >> i do have an answer. i like you. >> no, no. no! [yelling] quacks i knew you would like it. -- >> i knew you would like it. tavis: where else do you start
this conversation? five academy award winners. all the leads are oscar winners. >> it was amazing and a privilege to hang out with those guys. it was a total joy. i really felt like the luckiest person on the planet. tavis: and the only girl? >> i was the angie dickens in the rat pack. you manage that? >> very well, thank you. i love them all. they are all different. and yet, there was so much chemistry i think, among all of us. we just had the best time. there was something beautiful about acting with people like that in this moment of my life. nobody is rushing off to see what their next job is. people were just absolutely
enjoying working together and the fact that we all kind of survived this crazy business and we are in this wonderful comedy that also has something to say about friendship and aging. it just felt like a privilege. tavis: ted danson must really trust you or trust them, letting you out of the house with four guys all day long. ted have tried to make danson jealous, but he is way to secure. tavis: that is the way you want to be in a lifelong relationship like that. do your point that it was a joy to do this, i got the sense that what you're saying to me was that this group of actors are settled. >> it is not about