tv Democracy Now PBS April 25, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
04/25/17 04/25/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from boston and new york this is democracy now! love andf a deep respect for bernie sanders. i always will. i don't always agree with him. i'm not convinced the democratic hardy can be reformed. i think it still has a kind of allegiance neoliberals orientation, allegiance to wall street. amy: is donald trump approaches his 100 president, his approval ratings are the lowest any president has had at this agent generation. in all, senator bernie sanders has emerged as one of the country's most popular politicians. now former sanders supporters have launched a movement to
draft bernie for a people's party. they're urging them to start a new progressive party and run for president again in 2020. we will speak with professor cornel west, whose new piece and the guardian is headlined a book of the democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment." from thenick brana bernie sanders campaign. then we speak to omar barghouti, cofounder of the boycott, the investment transactions committee. last month, israeli police were accused of dirty tricks when they arrested him, seizing his passport, preventing him from leaving israel. the investigation included a travel ban that came a few weeks before he was scheduled to travel to the u.s. to receive the on the peace award, jointly with ralph nader is a money at yale university. after public out cry, the ban was lifted. awardi home except the for 2017, i dedicate this to the wrote posted in listeners on hunger strike -- prisoners in
hunger strike for refugees yearning to return home to with the to reunite land and homeland. and you go first, we look at last night's double execution in arkansas. all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. arkansas carried out a double execution monday night, marking the first time in nearly 17 years that any state has killed two people on the same day. at 7:20 p.m. arkansas time 52-year-old jack harold jones , was pronounced dead in the death chamber at the cummings unit state prison. infirmary workers had spent more than 45 minutes unsuccessfully trying to put a central line into his neck. according to a court filing, during jones' execution, he "was moving his lips and gulping for
air," which suggests he continued to be conscious during the lethal injection. the controversial sedative midazolam is administered as part of a cocktail of execution drugs to make prisoners unconscious, but it's repeatedly failed to do so during other executions, leading to painful deaths. ahead of monday night, jones' lawyers had argued his medical condition was likely to reduce the sedative's effectiveness, leading to an unconstitutionally painful death, but this argument was rejected by a court. before being killed, jones gave a long final statement in which he apologized to the daughter of mary phillips. jones has admitted to raping and killing mary phillips in 1995. his final words were "i'm sorry." lawyers for the second man, marcel williams, filed a last-minute appeal for a stay of execution following jones' killing, arguing williams could also experience a botched, painful death. a district court judge initially granted a temporary stay of williams' execution, but then allowed the execution to go
forward. williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. he had been convicted and sentenced to death for the 1994 kidnap, rape, and murder of stacy errickson. monday night's executions came after legal challenges reached the u.s. supreme court, which rejected a stay for williams. the only justice to dissent in this ruling was justice sonia sotomayor. the last double execution carried out in the united states was in 2000 in texas. arkansas carried out its first execution in 16 years on thursday, killing ledell lee, and plans to execute a fourth man, kenneth williams, this coming thursday. the state had initially planned to execute eight people within 11 days this month, an unprecedented rate of executions in modern u.s. history. we'll have more on arkansas' executions after headlines with guardian reporter ed pilkington, who is in arkansas.
president trump has walked back from demands that a government funding bill allocate $1.4 billion for border wall construction. the government faces the looming possibility of a government shutdown if a funding deal is not reached by the end of this week. on the campaign trail, trump had promised mexico would pay for trump's expanded border wall. this is white house spokesman sean spicer answering questions on monday. >> look, they are currently negotiating. we feel very confident that they understand the president's priorities and bill come to an agreement by the end of friday. i think the president has made clear initially, we needed to get the funding going. there are several mechanisms to make sure that happens. that funding will happen in due time. >> that is a promise in the campaign -- would pay for the wall. now we having the discussion -- amy: president trump is expected to unveil his proposed tax
overhaul wednesday, which will reportedly include a plan to slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to a mere 15%. if passed, the tax cut could significantly reduce government revenue for key public programs. democrats have vowed not to work with trump on a tax plan until he release his tax returns. another top fox news, sean hannity, is facing accusations of unwanted sexual advances. former fox news guest debbie schlussel has accused hannity of inviting her back to his hotel room, and that, after she rejected his advance, "he called me and yelled at me. and i kind of knew i wouldn't be back on his show." while schlussel says she doesn't think the incident qualifies as sexual harassment, she says she thought hannity was weird and creepy. the accusations come after fox's bill o'reilly was ousted last
week amid revelations he and fox paid more than $13 million to settle five sexual harassment claims. meanwhile, new york magazine reports seven black employees at fox are planning to join a racial discrimination lawsuit accusing fox's longtime comptroller of spewing racist insults for years. the employees also accuse the comptroller judy slater of forcing black women workers to arm wrestle their white coworkers. in a letter to the network, the workers' lawyers write -- "forcing a black woman employee to 'fight' for the amusement and pleasure of her white superiors is horrifying. this highly offensive and humiliating act is reminiscent of jim crow era battle royals." the state department is facing criticism after using taxpayer money to promote president trump's private, for-profit florida resort mar-a-lago. on a state department website, a promotional article offers a "inside look at the winter white house." that is mar-a-lago.
the watchdog group american oversight says it will file an ethics complaint with the state department and the office of government ethics. oregon democratic senator ron wyden criticized the promotion, tweeting -- "yes, i am curious @statedept. why are taxpayer $$ promoting the president's private country club?" president obama delivered his first post-presidency speech monday night, speaking to a group of students in chicago. without ever once uttering trump's name, obama encouraged civic engagement and expressed concern about increasing political polarization. the u.s. treasury department has imposed sanctions on 271 officials with syria's scientific studies and research center, which the u.s. says is linked to the syrian government's alleged chemical weapons program. the sanctions are in response to a chemical weapons attack, allegedly carried out by the syrian government, which killed 86 civilians, including dozens of children, in early april. the syrian government has denied
carrying out the attack and has instead blamed the anti-government rebels. in los angeles, tens of thousands of people marched to the turkish consulate monday to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the armenian genocide. >> every year, because they're not accepting the genocide, the government of turkey, especially now is a dictator, ok? he is not accepting. they have to accept. this is a genocide that happen. amy: the turkish government continues to deny the genocide, which saw an estimated 1.5 million armenians exterminated through direct killing, starvation, torture, and forced death marches. in the congo, the united nations says a video appears to show the killing of two u.n. investigators who went missing more than a month ago. the government, which had been accused of complicity in their disappearance, screened the video monday and said it shows the killings were carried out by an anti-government militia.
the u.n. investigators went missing in the kasai region, where at least 17 mass graves have been unearthed over the last month amid ongoing fighting between rebels and government forces. in mexico, a dutch ship operated by women on waves spent the weekend in international waters off the coast of guerrero over the weekend providing free safe abortions. outside the capital mexico city abortion is illegal except in , limited cases, such as rape, forcing women to seek dangerous clandestine abortions. this is women on waves director rebecca gomperts. inwe are here with the ship mexico to raise awareness to the violations of women's rights here in guerrero where abortion is still very restrictive will stop we can take out women to to national waters where the mexican jurisdiction does not apply anymore, and provide medical abortions to women and
international water. united states,e new orleans has removed four confederate monuments, including one whose original inscription celebrated "white supremacy in the south." the government workers who removed the statues wore masks and bullet proof vests for protection and were guarded by police snipers during the job. white nationalists had staged a series of protests in the lead up to the memorials' removals. a car belonging to one of the workers had also been set on fire. and in southwestern pennsylvania, residents and activists have launched ongoing 24-hour tree-sits to try to block the construction of sunoco's mariner east two pipeline, which would carry fracked gas from the marcellus shale in ohio across pennsylvania to an export facility on the east coast. multiple residents and activists are currently suspended in trees in huntingdon county in efforts to prevent workers from clear-cutting the forest to make way for the pipeline. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i am amy goodman and boston. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. arkansas carried out a double execution monday night, marking the first time in nearly 17 years that any state has killed two people on the same day. at 7:20 p.m. local time, 52-year-old jack harold jones was pronounced dead in the death chamber at the cummings unit state prison. infirmary workers had spent more than 45 minutes unsuccessfully trying to put a central line into his neck. according to a court filing, during jones' execution, he was "was moving his lips and gulping for air," which suggests he continued to be conscious during the lethal injection. the controversial sedative midazolam is administered as part of a cocktail of execution drugs to make prisoners unconscious, but it's repeatedly failed to do so during other executions, leading to painful deaths.
ahead of monday night, jones' lawyers had argued his medical condition was likely to reduce the sedative's effectiveness, leading to an unconstitutionally painful death, but this argument was rejected by a court. before being killed, jones gave a long final statement in which he apologized to the daughter of mary phillips. jones has admitted to raping and killing mary phillips in 1995. his final words were "i'm sorry." lawyers for the second man, marcel williams, filed a last-minute appeal for a stay of execution following jones' killing, arguing williams could also experience a botched, painful death. a district court judge initially granted a temporary stay of williams' execution, but then allowed the execution to go forward. williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. he had been convicted and sentenced to death for the 1994 kidnap, rape, and murder of stacy errickson. amy: monday night's executions came after legal challenges reached the u.s. supreme court,
which rejected a stay for williams. the only justice to dissent in this ruling was justice sonia sotomayor. the last double execution carried out in the u.s. was in 2000 in texas. arkansas carried out its first execution in 16 years and thursday, killing ledell lee, and plans to execute a fourth man, kenneth williams, this coming thursday. the state had initially planned execute eight people within 11 month, an unprecedented rate of executions in modern u.s. history. they wanted to perform these executions before the end of the month when midazolam would expire. for more, we're joined via video stream by the guardian reporter ed pilkington, who has been following the executions closely with local reporters on the ground. welcome back to democracy now! you have a witness statement on the execution? can you explain? there were two -- what the
witness saw? >> we spoke with a reporter for "arkansas times." he was in the death chamber for the second execution last night of marcel williams. i thinkesting account, really important part of it, there are two things, really, one, because of the court stated that happened for marcel williams while the judge -- while the judge considered what happened to the first prisoner to die, mr. jones, marcel williams was kept strapped to the gurney the entire time. we don't quite know where that began, probably something like 8:00 p.m. last night. 10:33.pronounced at or maybe longer than two and half hours, this 400 count prisoner was kept strapped to a gurney, which i think is fairly disturbing in itself. the other thing that came out of our eyewitness report is that there is a missing half an hour.
the media -- the three media vanesses work kept in a while the delay was happening, the court proceedings. there was a little window they can look out the backup. they saw marcel williams being taken out to the bathroom, then walked back. he was brought back in about 9:29. the execution began at 10:16. we don't know anything about what happened in that period. i think that is important and will continue to be important, because of the secrecy the death penalty states have imposed on the entire process of execution. the media witnesses were only allowed to see when the curtain was opened and the execution began. they were not allowed to see the crucial period in which i/v/ lives were trying to be found. that is the problem with jack jones' execution earlier the evening. the state admitted they tried to find an iv line and the prisoner's neck and failed. this is precisely because of
problems that have come up time and again. a gruesome execution and oklahoma with a man right for 43 minutes on the gurney. that was due to an iv line that cannot be found. in arizona, the woods' execution where they stuck him 15 times and ejected him 15 different times because they tried to find a vein. i think we're starting to see the same problem emerge again, secrecy, the fact the public cannot see what is being done when prisoners are being killed, leading to problems in the process. juan: ed pilkington, what are the requirements in terms of the public's ability to view this or the witnesses, at least, who are there who are permitted to see the execution being able to witness the entire process? >> that is the problem. like so much with the death penalty, it is down to each individual state. but there's something in common, and that is all of the death penalty states come all nine or so of them that are still
actively trying to pursue the death penalty, have taken the same line, which is, we should let the public know as little as ohsible so they don't latest the members of the execution team. maybe that is understandable. the executioners could face harassment. who won't let us know manufactures the drugs they use or were they got them from, and that is problematic because we don't know whether these drugs -- they have try that in the past. now they're fighting over how much the public can see in the process. in arkansas, they went to extraordinary lengths to make our job difficult as reporters -- and i am one of them -- and to start with, they would not allow as laptops and the media room where we were watching if we were not in the death chamber. this is just the visiting room. we are nowhere near the death chamber. towere not allow laptops start with. they consented on it in the end, but we were not allowed telephones in the room. in the end, they only allowed
reporters to take in and pencils, supplied to them by the prison services. something like a reporter would carry in their own notebook that would do something subservient or something. the whole process is like being a battle between the media, which is the eyes and ears of the public, and the prison service, that after all, is can do, which -- is to kill one of their own citizens. amy: i want to ask you, ed pilkington about the deputy nicholas general named braun a who admitted the execution team had tried to place a central line in jones' neck but the attempt was unsuccessful. talk about the significance of this and what happened next, that leading to the lawyers for the next man, marcel williams, trying to get a stay on his execution so he would not be tortured as he was killed.
>> when i saw that in the court filing coming from the state itself, i was astonished. they were trying to rebut the case made by the lawyers for the second prisoner to be executed, marcel williams. that the first execution had been botched. that is essentially what was going on. in order to rebut that argument, the state said, no, everything was fine. look, we tried to find an iv line in jack jones' neck and we failed. then we went on. we decided not to use a third iv line, we would just use two. they made that argument as though that show the whole process had been a success. which i found rather astonishing when i read it in the court filing. then we went on to the marcel williams execution, the second one. we don't know, as i say, what happened in half an hour when they were trying to find an iv line. we know nothing about that at all. what we do know from the guardians work with the
"arkansas times" reporter in the room for us, jason rosenberg, that marcel williams, once he was sedated with midazolam -- remember, it is a sedative, not an anesthetic. it is not used in operations to put people under before surgery. it is just used to relax them. it is entirely inappropriate medicine for use in surgeries. you might, therefore, say inappropriate for use in executions. they gave him the midazolam. he relaxed. he started to breathe heavily. our reporter saw him rise up and countlessback arched times. he lost how many times -- she lost count how many times. this was about five or six minutes. compared to some of the really botched executions, which was 43 minutes with clayton market. it suggests, may be the prisoner was expressing difficulty.
again, will we ever find out anything more about that? there is no indication that arkansas carried out in official inquiry into what happened. often it takes months, if at all, to see the internal results of their own inquiries. the whole process is shrouded in secrecy, and makes it very difficult for the media and for the public to assess exactly what happened. juan: ed pilkington, you're the chief reporter the guardian. could you tell us, what is the response in britain and in europe in general to this continuing obsession in the united states with executions? been veryt has widespread coverage, and quite a lot of anger and dismay. it comes at a time when the world had been thinking the death penalty was receding, was on the wane in the u.s.. last year, there only 20 executions. it had been going steadily down.
suddenly, the republican governor in arkansas decided he needs for his own reasons all to do with the supplies of medicines, nothing else can do for his own reasons he needs to execute eight prisoners in 11 days. and the whole thing is back in europe and britain are incensed again. your we are talking about it all over again. amy: finally, ed pilkington, what happens next? for people to understand who are watching this around the globe, the reason they're called these double-header executions now in arkansas, the attempt to to kill , some were stopped in the killing, aikman and 11 days, with the hit that deadline by the in of the month when one of the execution drugs, midazolam, expires by the end of the month. so who is -- who is on the list next to be killed? >> well, no one were execution coming up this thursday in arkansas.
and then the battle continues. you have to say the death penalty states are waging a losing battle here because the drug companies are now absolutely in unison. they do not want their drugs, which are designed and manufactured to save lives, they do not want those drugs used to kill people. they are all saying it as well as distribution companies. they are making it incredibly difficult for prison services to find the drugs. as a result, the prison services are doing more and more extreme things with more and more botched executions. it feels to me like the whole thing is falling apart. amy: ed pilkington, thank you for being with us, chief reporter for the guardian u.s. after what they call a double-header, a double execution in arkansas last night . it hasn't happened in this country since 2000. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: as donald trump approaches his 100th day as president on saturday, his approval ratings are the lowest any president has had at this stage in generations. a recent poll by nbc news and "the wall street journal" found just 40% of americans approve of his job performance so far. trump took to twitter to call the poll "totally wrong." this comes as former presidential candidate senator bernie sanders has emerged as one the country's most popular politicians. "the hill" reports a
harvard-harris poll shows 57% of registered voters view him favorably. out of a field of 16 trump administration officials or congressional leaders who were included in the survey, sanders was the only one who was viewed favorably by a majority of those polled. sanders has drawn massive crowds at stops on his recent speaking tour with new democratic national committee head tom perez as they push to reform the democratic party. on sunday, sanders spoke to face -- "face the nation" about how the democratic party needs to change. sen. sanders: the model of the democratic party is failing. never republican president who ran as a candidate, the most unpopular candidate in modern history. republicans control the house, the senate, two thirds of governors chairs in the last eight years, have picked up nine legislative seats. clearly, the democratic party has to change. in my view, it has to become a grassroots party, a party which
makes decisions from the bottom on. amy: meanwhile some former , sanders supporters have launched a movement to "draft bernie for a people's party," urging him to start a new progressive party and run for president in 2020. well, for more, we are joined by two guests. nick brana is the former outreach coordinator for the bernie sanders campaign. he has joined with former bernie staffers and volunteers to launch the campaign. we are also joined by dr. cornel west, professor of the practice of public philosophy at harvard university. he served on the democratic party's platform committee during the 2016 election. now he, too has joined the , movement to draft sanders. his new piece in the guardian is headlined, "the democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment." in it he writes -- "the distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left -- the absence of a political party that swings free of wall street and speaks to the dire circumstances of poor and working people. as the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic
trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times." professor west and nick brana, welcome to democracy now! professor west, this is a point where donald trump is at his lowest popularity rating of any president in u.s. history at this point as we come on the 100 days of his presidency. talk about why you are focused on getting bernie sanders to run, not as a democrat -- he is going around the country with the head of the dnc right now -- but for third-party? >> i was blessed to spend some time on inside of the democratic party looking at the ways in which we could come up with some vision. and i was convinced the democratic party was milquetoast. it lacks imagination, does not have enough courage, too tied to big money.
when brother nick gave me a call and said that he and the others had been coming together looking for a way of breaking the duopoly and trying to allow for poor and working people's voices to be heard, i said, count me in. that is why appreciate my brother that is working, trying to get bernie and the others to jump on board. juan: cornel, the history is had a thames. mostly, the third-party candidates on the right have gotten significant support, but on the left, we have seen examples of ralph nader, jill stein and others the past, some of which you were involved in. why du think would be different this time it bernie sanders to take that step? >> the democratic party is in a crisis that is quite unique. i think we have some like bernie sanders, host of others behind him who are hungry and thirsty, especially the younger generation, especially the younger generation, then that is
why i think brother nick klinger crucial role here among the others is what excites me because i am desperate. as a progressive, real progressive, not neoliberal's 'sterest -- neoliberal interest, i'm desperate. we're celebrating the anniversary of ella fitzgerald born a hundred years ago. the younger generation built on that kind of freedom. juan: what about those young people who were supporting bernie sanders that came out in armies across the country? here he is going around with tom to reformng people the democratic party. what is the debate among the former sanders supporters that you -- what you are wing represents? >> there is an amazing hunger for this, especially among young people. of millennials,
people under 29 who actually wanted a major independent choice under this election. the majority of americans wanted is as welcome and still do, 57%. those are staggering numbers in favor of any party. we have reached the point where to address what you were saying earlier, is that what we are trying to do at draft bernie for a people's party, the group we founded to get bernie to start a new party, is fundamentally different than what the green party ralph nader try to do in a successfulws model in our own history of starting a major party that can displace an existing establishment party. and that is pulling politicians who have built a large following within an old regime party, getting them to show the limits of that party and what it is able to do, and then having them come out, start their own
parties. that is exactly what lincoln and whens did in the 1850's they started the republican party. that is how the republican and democratic parties began, is when they actually reached the limits of what people were willing to tolerate, particularly with the formation of the republican party, displays the weight over and then having approved a proslavery platform in the 1850's. and coming out, taking that base and forming a new party, that is what we are trying to do here with sanders. sanders has tens of billions of followers. if bernie starts of party, that party begins with tens of millions of followers. in my view, bernie already built the party. he did it during the primary. that coalition he brought together? that is the party. it is just about formalizing a. amy: professor cornell west, some i say the republican party is in disarray, that this is a perfect time for a strong democratic candidate.
like bernie sanders to run. holes show, including i think even one fox one, the incredible popularity of bernie sanders in won the could have actual presidential race if you were running against donald. so why not push for him to be within the democratic party? >> there is no doubt that donald trump devastated the republican establishment for a few weeks. as soon as he moved to the white house, he brought it back. you brought back wall street, brought back the billionaires, military-industrial complex. what has happened, consolidation of a far, far right wing -- let's be honest, donald trump is a gangster in character. he is a neil fascist in the making. he is very dangerous. we do support a multiracial coalition against donald trump, but at the same time, the democratic party refuses to
engage in self-examination, in soul-searching, was to do the same thing over and over again and keep the personnel and leadership. therefore, the last thing we need is another neoliberal technocratic centrist running for the democratic party when the republican party is in trouble, therefore, we have to have a bernie sanders figure or .ernie himself -- somebody there are number of people thinking seriously about this. not just on the national, but state and local levels to say, you know what? poor and working people need to be put at the center and we need a critique of militarism. job and all these bombs killing innocent people with no serious accountability. that cannot stand. gleefully,est roseau the defining feature this time as we do not have an opposition party. we do not have an actual institution which progressives can build, grow our. looking at the lessons of the movements that have come before us, for example, the occupy movement. the occupy movement was
equitably and consciousness in the u.s., but it did not succeed in formalizing that power into institution stop when we see all women'senergy in the march, march for science, climate march, there is this incredible awakening, progressive awakening, but i think our task now is to put that into an institution in -- where we can actually build strength. at the point or something like that could really break the two-party system. juan: i would like to ask, you raise the issue of other people also considering a third-party approach. becomesy, the question a political party is not just at the top. it is at the local and state councils ande city the state legislatures. how do you break the hammerlock of the duopoly of these parties that when it comes to candidates , they mobilize their forces in every county and every town to
assure their candidate is victorious? how do you build a structure? >> when you unleash the energy of everyday people, it is hard to know exactly who is there. i think we have gained a significant slice of the democratic party on the local and regional levels. because they are critical of national leadership. they know how lethargic national leadership has been. they know how tied to big money they are. you have a number of local folk who say the own thing in town are democrats. if the people's party came in, oh, my god. get it spilling over a not just the local, but the regional and national level. that is what is exciting about with brother and and the others are doing. i'm just proud to be a small part of this do development. juan: nick brana, the other big segment of the democratic party, the organized labor unions. how these are the response of organized labor and their enormous financial cloud and
organizational strength? >> some of the labor unions try to start their own party. the labour party back in the 1990's. one of the think i think lessons to learn from that is that they did not try to run candidates themselves, rather, they said we are going to stay kind of within the democratic party model. i think we need to learn from that lesson as well and say, no, this is the full party that is going to run candidates at every level. if bernie were to do this, i west is right, people would switch affiliations across the board. you would have an amazing transition. one of the reasons we decided to do this was we looked -- we have looked over the past few months at bernie. tonie is working furiously change the democratic party. unfortunately, what we have seen is the democratic party is still losing supporters. that is incredible. the most popular polyps vision
-- politician in the country cannot stem the tide. he compared it to the titanic -- bernie compared it to the titanic recently, sinking ship. he is right. once you realize that people continue to leave the democratic party come easy that his role is not necessarily as being able to bring people into the party. none of us can do that. people recognize the party does not represent them. rather, he is slowing the dissolution of the party. if bernie were instead the momentum is towards an independent alternative him and that the people are leaving the democratic party, even with bernie there. if bernie were to switch sides, go with the populist progressive currents, the party would collapse. that is something that would allow a genuine opposition party, progressive populist party, to arise. right now the democratic party is blocking something like that from emerging. amy: so,, what is bernie
sanders' response to this? also, professor west? what does he say about starting a third-party, or even running for president on the democratic ticket in 2020? >> that's right. this is something we're trying to convince reactively, to show him now is the time to do this, now is when people are ready -- tens and lanes of people, the following you have built. you can actually bring this into a new party at the time. and that is why i am really excited to make an announcement on democracy now! and to announce that dr. west and i would like to invite bernie sanders to a town hall at which we can discuss this issue and other issues facing the progressive movement. i think it is time for the progressive movement to discuss this question openly, amy, about whether it is time to have an independent alternative. when we started -- when we
started this process six months theafter donald trump won election, i don't think if you would have asked progressives, in six months times, the party establishment is going to voting forrez and be trump's nominees and opposing overwhelmingly things like single-payer health care, i don't think progressives would have said, "you know what? that is how i think reforming the democratic party should be going." dr. west and i come i'm happy to have you dr. west, in inviting bernie to that town hall so we can discuss this issue about where the movement should go. there'sfessor west, been some interesting controversy. i want to ask about senator sanders support of omaha nebraska mayoral candidate heath mello ar.
while serving in the nebraska legislature, heath mello sponsored anti-choice legislation. he was endorsed by the nebraska right to life group in 2010. in an article for rewire, wrote -- can you respond to this? >> there's no doubt when you're talking about social issues, white supremacy, homophobia -- these are not marginal issues. at the same time, class issues, economic justice them also militarism, imperial policy israeli occupation and so forth. these are all integral elements that constitute a progressive
viewpoint and therefore we ought to be critical of those who want to pull back on one set of issues and be strong on another. same is true with the identity politics. we could talk about racism and sexism all we want, but if we don't have a critique of wall street and militarism and the way in which class formation is so fundamental and increasing wealth inequality, then we have to be critical of each other. but it is also true that all of us in some sense are going to fall on their faces, we just want to bounce back. amy: we want to thank you both for being with us, professor professort, now a back at harvard university. i feel like we switched places. you're in new york and i'm here in boston. i will be speaking at harvard sites center this morning. and thank you to nick brana, part of the draft bernie for people's party. we will continue to follow your movement at democracynow.org.
amy: "borders & promises" by haya zaatry. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: more than 1000 palestinian prisoners have entered their ninth day on a massive hunger strike inside israeli jails. in an op-ed published in "the new york times," a strike leader wrote -- "israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for israelis who commit crimes against palestinians, while criminalizing palestinian presence and resistance. israel's courts are a charade of justice, clearly instruments of colonial, military occupation."
he has since been moved to solitary confinement. to talk more about the hunger strike and the other issues, we will be joint and a moment by the palestinian activist omar barghouti, who is come to the u.s. were he just received the 2017 gandhi peace award for his work as cofounder of the boycott, divestment, and sanction movement. he dedicated the prize to palestinians on hunger strike. awardi humbly accept the for 2017, i dedicate this to the heroic palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike in israel's apartheid dungeons and to every palestinian refugee your earning to return home to palestine to reunite with the land and the homeland. amy: that is omar barghouti speaking at yale university. he almost did not make it to the award ceremony.
last month, israeli police arrested him over alleged tax evasion, seizing his passport and for bidding him from leaving the country. ms. really court temporarily lifted the travel ban because of tremendous outcry ash at least, people thought it was because of that. omar barghouti joins us now, what could be his last trip to the united states. welcome to democracy now! can you explain what has happened to you, what you had so much trouble coming back into the united states? you are both in israeli citizen and a number can citizen, a u.s. citizen? >> no, i'm neither a u.s. citizen nor an israeli citizen. as a refugee,an, the son of refugees, i permanent residence in israel and a citizen of jordan. latestt talk about the phase of israel's repression against me because i am under a gag order. so i will have to skip the details on that. but we have to put it in context.
about a year ago, israel established a trusting unit, which openly aimed at turning hsing the reputation of palestinian, international, israeli human rights defenders who are involved in the struggle for palestinian rights to the bds movement. phase ofatest repression comes in that context. and in the context of a mccarthyite war launched by israel for more than three years now against the bds movement worldwide. juan: you are one of the founders of the movement, and also a member of the national committee, the bnc, part of the largest coalition in the palestinian -- could you talk about the importance of the bnc and its role right now? committee is a largest coalition in palestinian society. it is leading the global bds movement. it's as the overall strategies,
the objectives, of the movement, but this is a decentralized movement. the bnc represents trade unions, women's unions, refugee networks and so forth. it agrees on the three basic demands in the bds call that came out in 2005, ending israel occupation, ending racial determination which meets the u.n. definition of apartheid and refugees to return. it does not take any position on the political outcome, one state, tuesday. we stick to the human rights agenda, rather than the political outcome the palestinians my determined as part of exercising self-determination. juan: could you share for as, for our listeners and viewers, some of your own experiences that have sort of sealed for you your commitment to this cause? >> well, i think we saw, especially after the 2004 decision by the international court of justice against israel's wall built in the occupied territories as illegal,
that the world failed to move israel to account on just this one crime. let alone, its denial of refugee rights, apartheid system, it's occupation. my colleagues and i thought we cannot live forever just waiting for the international community under the u.s. to act to bring crimes.o account for groups getting together to take measures to isolate israel and eventually impose sanctions on it, as was done against south africa. i was moved with a lot of personal experience of repression under israel's regime of occupation and apartheid. , can you barghouti talk about the major hunger strike that is involving hundreds of palestinian prisoners right now? where is it taking place, and
its significance? >> the hunger strike by palestinian prisoners, most of them are political prisoners, suffering from a very inhumane condition and what i call israel's apartheid dungeons for prisons and detention centers, are asking for their basic rights under international law as prisoners. they're being denied those rights. they're being punished twice, not just with very long prison terms without the lack of due process, the lack of any semblance of justice in israel's apartheid prison system and court system, there also denied a sick rights like visitation rights. their parents when they come to visit are being humiliated. many prisoners are tortured and suffer from very inhumane conditions. torture is prevalent in israeli detention system, including against hundreds of palestinian children. prisoners are striking, going on this very extreme form of resistance, in order to show the world that they are lacking those basic rights and they
demand is basic rights. they refuse to live in such conditions. your view watching now that president trump is here and the white house and benjamin netanyahu is a prime minister of israel, what your expectations are of the new american administration? i understand president trump will be meeting on may 3 with the palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas, what you expect from that meeting? >> i think we consider the israeli ever they came into power in 2015 as the most racist in history, dropping the mask that was covered israel's regime of occupation such as colonialism and apartheid, the trump administration has also dropped the mask of u.s. a administration, which was always in bed with israel's system of occupation and apartheid. now it is in your face. the repression we're seeing increasingly in the u.s. and the repression and denial of rights we're seeing by the israeli government are coming together enjoying ways to connect our
struggles. so we are facing very difficult times, facing in israeli kennedy on steroids because of the trump administration. at the same time, israel's right to his own government is being used i the trump administration as a model for ethnic profiling, for walls like the one with mexico, and various sorts of racial policies. israel is now a model for the u.s. administration. that is dangerous for everyone. amy: omar barghouti, you were honored at yale university along with ralph nader with the gandhi peace prize. you also's back -- spoke last night. was there any trouble? >> we have sort of israel's mccarthyism reaching the college. at the very last minute, less than 24 hours before the event last night. the administration's denied the students the right to open the event to the public. it was restricted to the
columbia university community. it was a very strange move. the reasons were even stranger. they cited an article in some thatight wing rag saying this is a controversial speaker and that it might cause a lot of controversy on campus. as if there is any speaker who has anything to say that is not controversial. the establishment, including the academic establishment in this country, are falling under pressure by the israel lobby that are really trying to sell mccarthyism and repression and various institutions to prevent palestinian voices from speaking out and to rent many americans -- prevent many americans for joining the struggle and palestine as well as electing a two domestic struggles for racial rights, economic rights, and other forms of justice. juan: i want to ask you again about the bds movement, israel's response to the movement. what are they doing in terms of fighting back against it and
also they're building a database , israeli citizens, who are supportive of the movement? >> since 2014, israel decided its former strategy for fighting bds, the propaganda our brain israel strategy, was failing, so they adopted a new strategy that is based on using intelligence services to spy on bds activists and try to tarnish our reputations. it is happening in this country as well as u.s. congress and countries like france, britain, and so on. they have gone from a propaganda war to a full-fledged legal and intelligence war on the movement. what you mentioned is absolutely important. recently, israel passed some anti-bds ban that would not allow any supporter of bds reaven supporters of partial boycott against israel's illegal settlement in the occupied
territory from entering the country. they are establishing in these like less of israelis who support any form of boycott against institutions to bring about justice and bring about palestinian rights. this mccarthyism is no longer just a metaphor. it is truly happening, as israel defends into the abyss and as people in the mainstream are warning there are signs of fascism taking over in israel. amy: do you think, omar barghouti -- what would you like to see come out of this meeting next week on may 3 between mahmoud abbas and president trump? amonghink i'm not alone palestinians who have very little hope that anything can come out of this. first, palestinian officials who are currently leading do not have a democratic mandate to compromise on any palestinian rights as they are doing. so they are not opposing palestinian rights under international law, not opposing
palestinian refugees to return to actually live without apartheid or occupation. they're asking for a very mall -- small subset. they're heeding the dictates coming from israeli and u.s. administrations. i have very little hope. this is very weak leadership without any democratic mandate. we do not expect much coming out of it. we rely more on society, civil society, popular resistance, and international solidarity with it. amy: omar barghouti, take you for being with us palestinian , human rights defender and co-founder of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions national committee, or bnc. israel placed a travel ban on omar barghouti as part of its crackdown on bds. after he won a temper suspension of the ban barghouti came to the , u.s. and received the gandhi peace award. that does it for our show. we're on a nationwide speaking tour. i will be speaking this morning
at 11:00 at harvard science 3:30. at yale at go to democracynow.org for more. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
♪ today on secrets of a chef, i have a whole load of more recipes, and i really hope you will love them. we will be making a whole branzino fish al a nage style, poaching it in a luxurious bath of vegetables, herbs and wine. we're also making glazed carrots but without the butter and sugar. they're doused in a rich middle eastern-inspired spice mix. we will serve it with sauteed chicken breasts and a harissa yogurt sauce. it's a show you don't want to miss, so stay with me. ♪