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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 19, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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05/19/15 05/19/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] a amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! >> they have no interest or concern about the welfare of young women or women in general. their whole stated goal is to end legal abortion in america must overturn roe, and put planned parenthood out of business. and that is really their purpose. amy: as the republican-controlled house approves a measure that would ban most abortions after 20
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weeks, we speak to cecille richards president of planned parenthood. in three plowshares activists who broke into the y-12 nuclear facility in oak ridge, tennessee, are released from prison after a court threw out the most serious charge, sabotage, against them. we will be joined by two of the protesters, michael walli and 85-year-old sister megan rice. >> this is so outrageous and such a cause of death -- imminent death, terrible suffering, you know, all of the attention that is put into these objects which can never be used without helping to extinguish the planet. amy: if malcolm x had lived, he would have been 90 years old today. >> the history of unpunished
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violence against our people clearly indicates we must be prepared to defend ourselves or we will continue to be a defenseless people at the mercy of a ruthless and violent racist -- amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the self-proclaimed islamic state has reportedly solidified its hold on the key iraqi city of ramadi after capturing it from iraqi forces on sunday. there were reports of militants throwing bodies into the euphrates river. meanwhile, thousands of iranian-aligned shiite milita fighters are reportedly gathering east of ramadi in a bid to help retake the city, as the united states has launched airstrikes. state depatment spokesperson jeff rathke acknowledged the loss of ramadi was a setback but pledged continued u.s. support. >> we have always known the fight would be long and difficult, especially in anbar
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province so there's no denying this is a setback but also no denying the united states will help the iraqis take act ramadi. as of today, we're supporting the iraqi secret he forces and the government of iraq with provision airstrikes and advice to the iraqi forces. our aircraft are in the air searching for isil targets and it will continue to do so until ramadi is retaken. amy: boko haram reportedly has raped hundreds of girls as part of a deliberate strategy to assert control over rural areas. the women described being locked in houses by the dozens and raped by militants who seek to intentionally and pregnant them. in northwest colombia, heavy rains have triggered a massive landslide which killed at least 62 people. many residents were sleeping when the landslide engulfed the municipality of salgar, reportedly sweeping away nearly the entire small town of santa margarita. guatemalan protesters are calling for president otto perez molina to resign amidst a
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corruption scandal which has forced the resignation of his vice president and seen tens of thousands take to the streets. last month authorities issued arrest warrants for 22 people accused of taking part in a criminal network which took bribes in exchange for lower customs taxes. those arrested included the current and former heads of the tax administration, and the private secretary of vice president, who subsequently resigned. people took to the streets to call for president perez molina to step down. ukraine has vowed to prosecute two men it accuses of being elite russian soldiers captured in the countries restive east. russia has claimed the men are no longer active soldiers. meanwhile, ukrainian president petro poroshenko has signed new legislation praising ukrainian nationalist groups with links to the nazi holocaust as freedom fighters. the new law honors a number of groups which aided the nazis including the ukrainian insurgent army, which is also accused of murdering up to 100,000 polish civilians during
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world war ii. on monday, the united states signed a second $1 billion loan guarantee to help ukraine fight russian-backed rebels and boost its economy. in a blow to consumer advocates, the world trade organization has struck down u.s. labels on meat products indicating where an animal was raised and slaughtered, saying they put canadian and mexican products at a disadvantage. the case was brought against the u.s. government by canada and mexico on behalf of their meat industries alleging violations of nafta, the north american free trade agreement. the ruling validates the concern brought by critics of another free trade deal, the transpacific partnership, or tpp, who say it would undermine food safety and environmental rules to benefit corporations. in a statement, wenonah hauter of food and water watch said the ruling "proves that trade agreements can and do trump u.s. laws. this is a chilling reminder that our very democracy is at stake in these trade deals," they said. last week, the senate advanced a bill to give obama fast-track authority to present the secretive tpp to congress for an
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up-or-down vote with no amendments. but obama faces opposition from fellow democrats, including massachusetts senator elizabeth warren, who issued a report monday highlighting how the united states has broken its promises to enforce labor standards in past trade pacts, allowing child labor and violence against union organizers to continue abroad. meanwhile, another spat has shown the potential of free trade pacts to undermine u.s. financial regulations. canada's finance minister has alleged the volcker rule restricting u.s. banks trading of foreign debt violates nafta and demanded an exemption for canada. president obama has unveiled an executive order restricting the federal provision of military equipment to local police departments. the new measure bars police from receiving weaponized aircraft, grenade launches, and armored vehicles which run on tracked wheels. but departments can still obtain gear like riot shields and tank-like mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or mraps, if
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they give additional justification. speaking in camden, new jersey obama said the rules would rebuild trust. >> today we are releasing new policies on the military still equip and the federal government has and that has provided to state and local law enforcement agencies. we have seen how militarized gear can some towns -- sometimes give people the feeling like there's an occupying forces of post to a force that is part of the community that is protecting and serving them. can alienate and intimidate and senegal's in the wrong message. it is not appropriate for local police departments. amy: authority is in texas have charged 170 members of rival motorcycle gangs with engaging in organized crime following a shootout which left nine people dead. waco police sergeant patrick swanton said biker groups made threats against law enforcement throughout the night after the
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shooting. >> at last count, we have 170 individuals that we have arrested and are booking or have then booked into the county jail. those individuals are being charged with engaging in organized crime, in reference to the shooting at twin peaks which is a capital murder. it is a capital murder because of the number of victims that were killed in one episode here. amy: a grand jury in texas has declined to indict a grapevine police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed mexican man on the side of the highway during a traffic stop in february. on monday, police released dashboard camera video showing ruben garcia villalpando, a father of four, obeying officer robert clark's instructions to keep his hands in the air, as clark holds him at gunpoint and screams profanity at him. garcia wanders toward the officer with his hands still on top of his head, and disappears from the frame, just seconds before clark opens fire.
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grapevine police released a version of the footage narrated by police chief eddie salame, who attempts to justify the shooting. >> we have also heard suggestions he was not a threat because at times his hands are raised. it would only take seconds for him to change the position of his hands if he comes close enough to attack the officer. between the time mr. villalpando started walking toward officer clark and officer clark uses the laforce, mr. villalpando has been told more than 20 times to stop approaching the officer. the officer does not fire until the suspect is close enough to possibly attack them or try to obtain his weapon. amy: but police have never claimed garcia reached for officer clark's weapon or attacked him. an autopsy showed garcia was drunk. he did not have a gun. he was one of three unarmed mexican citizens killed by
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police in the united states over a period of less than a month. in florida, miami beach police have issued new policies after acknowledging 16 officers sent more than 200 racist sexist homophobic and pornographic emails, which may have jeopardized dozens of cases. the emails include an image of a game board labeled "black monopoly," where every square reads "go to jail" and a photo of a bruised woman with the caption "domestic violence. because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once." two of those involved were high-ranking officials. one has retired, the second was fired. a new policy requires police to report email misuse by fellow officers. in seattle, washington protesters have continued their campaign against shell's plans to drill for oil in the remote and pristine arctic this summer. about 200 people gathered at the port of seattle to block the entrance to a terminal where shell has docked its massive arctic-bound polar pioneer drill rig.
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and texas republican governor greg abbott has signed a new measure preventing cities and towns from banning the oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking. the measure also limits the ability of local communities to control where fracking takes place. it comes in response to a voter-approved ban on fracking in the city of denton, known as -- where residents expressed environmental and health concerns about gas exploration within a few hundred feet of homes. similar industry-backed bids to curb local control over fracking have appeared in other states. and towns from banning the oil and those are some of the headlines. i'm amy goodman. we begin with the latest on the erosion of reproductive rights in the united states. last week the republican-controlled house approved a measure that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks. the vote came months after republicans were forced to withdraw their initial version following dissent from women in their own party. the new revised measure drops a requirement that rape and incest
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survivors who seek an exemption must first report to police. but it instead imposes a mandatory waiting period for such women of at least 48 hours before they can have an abortion. abortion providers would also have to report any cases involving minors to authorities. and providers who fail to comply would be at greater risk of legal action. speaking ahead of the vote democratic congressmember jackie speier donned a white medical coat to accuse republicans of infringing on women's health. she also spoke in personal terms about her own two abortions. >> i'm just so perplexed by our willingness every time an abortion issue is brought up that we don the equivalent of a white coat. we believe that we are docked or's -- doctors, that we should be making decisions on behalf of
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women who are pregnant and their spouses and their physicians. that we know better than everyone else. so ladies and german, let me say this. i have had two abortions. one was at 10 weeks when the fetus no longer had a heartbeat. and i was told, you're going to have to wait a few days before you have that dnc. a dnc is an abortion. and i said, i am in so much pain, i have just lost this baby that i wanted and you're going to make me carry around a dead fetus for two days? and i finally got that dnc in time. at 17 weeks, i lost another baby. it was an extraordinary experience. it was an abortion. women who go through these experiences go through them with
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so much pain and anguish. and here we are as members of this body trying to don another white coat. amy: that is, from a democratic commerce member jackie speier. the so-called pain-capable unborn child protection act is based on the medically-debunked contention that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy. its passage in the house is seen as largely symbolic with senate democrats opposed and a previous veto threat from president obama. but it shows republicans remain determined to advance an anti-choice agenda on the national level as they do so in the states. in tennessee, republican governor bill haslam has signed a measure requiring patients seeking abortions to make two trips to a clinic and wait 48 hours after an initial in-person meeting with a doctor. oklahoma governor mary fallin signed a 72-hour waiting period into law recently and north
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, carolina is poised to enact a similar measure. according to "the new york times," 11 states have passed at least 37 new anti-abortion laws -- anti-choice laws in the first five months of this year. for more we are joined by cecile richards, president of the planned parenthood federation of america and the planned parenthood action fund. welcome back to democracy now! let's start with congress and the significance of this vote. >> just this year, 29 different abortion measures have been dealt with in congress. their focus is completely and restricting abortion access. i think what you're it from commerce and jackie spear is so important. instead of showing him but the for women and trying to provide them the best medical care, instead their passing more and more restrictions to simply not allow doctors to make the best medical decisions for their patients and a shame women. amy: what happens next? it passes in the house. >> it passes in the house. we believe there are both in the senate to block this and
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certainly, the president has opposed legislation. but there are two things. one, it sends a message, a chilling message to women and doctors that commerce is ready to intervene in the most personal, private medical decisions that women make. it also distracts congress from focusing on things the american people care more about. amy: 99% of abortions are done before 21 weeks? >> correct. amy: talk about this 1%. >> it is very rare. and as the doctors of testified in women talked about her own experiences, this is usually a situation where very much want to pregnancy go wrong and where doctors and women and their families need the best medical care possible. and these kinds of restrictions -- again, we are seeing junk science used to pass bad bills against abortion access, sing all caps of restrictions to do nothing to help the health or safety of women and families. and in fact, allow politicians to play doctor. amy: can you talk about the
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republican congress members, what they did in the house? >> the interesting thing is a similar bill was pulled down a few months ago when there were some members of the republican caucus, women in particular, who objected to the bill. frankly, what just past was as bad if not worse. and i think it shows no matter what congress is completely focused, rather than focusing on the economy, jobs, education or the other issues you covered in our first segment they're completely focused on restricting women's access to safe and legal abortion. amy: planned parenthood action fund posted on its website the true stories of three women who had to consider the decision to end their pregnancies after 20 weeks. this is julie's story. >> we really wanted to have a sibling for our son. we had routine doctor's visits and went for the scan and they were not able to see aspects of the brain. we both just started sobbing.
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we stood there and held each other and sobbed. so in all of this story i've told you, never once did i say well, i went out to my legislature and asked them, could they give me a sonogram? and never once did i say, i went to congress and met with my representative so that i could get his or her medical advice. because they are politicians. this has nothing to do with politics. this has to do with the choices that my husband and i needed to make. amy: that is julie's story. >> we're hearing from women all across the country. it is amazing to me, amy, to see the courage of women -- commerce woman spier is a good example, but so is the woman you just saw, the kurds to tell their own story. it can help prevent others from intervening in these personal decisions between women and their doctors. amy: we're talking about the federal level. what about the state? >> the state is worse.
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we have seen a record number of bills introduced across the country. not only 20 week hands -- bans but restrictions on abortion providers, waiting periods for women as if they can't make their own decision without the intervention of politicians. it is very, very difficult. i think we're seeing the results of the midterm elections. in some states where women had very good access to abortion services, we're seeing more more restrictions past daily. amy: at the federal level what happens to a woman who is a victim of rape or insist? >> women have to be counseled. in some cases, that the wait 48 hours and in fact, go to two medical providers, which have nothing to do with any medical necessity. what you are seeing is a shaming of women in these very difficult circumstances, and also a real chilling effect on doctors willing to provide the best medical care for women.
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amy: the issue of the waiting -- i don't know if people quite understand what it means. why is this so significant, 24 hours, 48 hours, sometimes now 72 hours, three days? >> texas is a good example where it is not only the waiting period, but the commendation of health care centers or abortion providers so that women now have to drive hundreds of miles to get to an abortion provider and find a way to stay overnight maybe take days off of work, and really, the worst about this, amy, is it is hitting women who are low income, are sometimes single parents. it is the hardest on women who have the least access to health care as it is. amy: in texas, your home state women might have to have a government issued id? >> absolutely. texas, we thought things could not get worse. already, dozens of health care
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providers have shut down in the state. women ar -- can be hundreds of miles of they live in the rio grande border area or west texas. but now the state of texas is even going further and debating a bill that would or a budget that would remove women's ability to come to plan -- planned parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screenings. in some states, we're the only provider of these. none of this is about the health and safety of women. amy: what do you think your mother would say, the former governor of texas, ann richards? >> horrified. horrified. this incredible to see the extent to which legislators are willing to get between women and medical care. not only abortion services brooke control, cancer screenings and the like. amy: republican congress member scott desjarlais of tennessee was among those who voted last week for the bill banning post-20 week abortions. however, the chattanooga times free press reported that the congressman previously supported
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his ex-wife's decision to have two abortions. desjarlais, a former physician, had carried on multiple relationships with patients, co-workers and a drug company representatives leading to the couple's divorce. according to the divorce paper desjarlais also encouraged one of his paramours -- a patient 24 years his junior -- to get an abortion. >> i won't even go into the hypocrisy of summoning of the folks that are passing these bills. what i do -- i hate for folks to leave with the impression that no one is doing anything. planned parenthood action fund and our 89 supporters across the country are fighting back all step i think this so important that we are having record embers of young people involved in activism. just cut the ribbon on a brand-new health center in nashville, north carolina where we will be up to provide abortion services for the first time. queens, new york, yesterday. we just poured concrete, as we say in the south, in new orleans, louisiana and will be opening up a center there.
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i think it is important, despite the politicians efforts important to recognize that people across the country are standing up and doing something. amy: insurance. what is happening with insurance? coverage of both contraception and issues like abortion? >> the most important development in the last 10 days is the ruling by hhs that all methods of birth control, all 18 fda approved methods of birth control now are covered under insurance plans at no co-pay. that is really a revolutionary change for women. we're seeing record lows of teen pregnancy in this country and it is because young people and women are getting better access to contraceptives, and that is all because of the aca. amy: june 7 is the 50th anniversary of griswold versus connecticut. how important was that? >> that was the case that legalized birth control for married couples at the time. now it is legal for everyone. the approval of birth control and the legalization of birth
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control has changed everything about women's lives and their ability to finish school as they want to, have a career, maybe even be president of the united states. amy: cecile richards is president of the planned parenthood federation of america and the planned parenthood action fund. are you thinking of higher office, speaking of president of the united states? >> i have a pretty high office. i am proud of the work planned parenthood is doing. amy: president richards, thank you for joining us. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. three peace activists, including an 85-year-old nun, who infiltrated a nuclear weapons site have been freed from prison after their convictions were overturned. after two years in prison. in the early morning of july 28, 2012, sister megan rice, vietnam war veteran michael walli and carpenter greg boertje-obed broke into the y-12 nuclear facility in oak ridge, tennessee. known as the fort knox of uranium, the complex holds enough uranium to make 10,000 nuclear bombs. armed with a bible, flowers, bread, flashlights, binoculars bolt cutters and several hammers, the activists managed to enter deep inside the facility, cutting through four security fences. it took guards an hour to realize security had been breached. by then, the activists had splashed human blood on the walls of the nuclear facility and spray painted messages
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reading -- "woe to an empire of blood," "disarm transform," "the fruit of justice is peace" and "plowshares please isiah." "the new york times" described the action as the "the biggest security breach in the history of the nation's atomic complex." the break-in sparked a series of congressional hearings. this is texas republican congressman joe barton at one hearing in september 2012. >> when an 82 year old pacifist nun gets to the inter-sanctum of our weapons complex, you cannot say, job well done. she is in the audience. would you please stand up, ma'am? we want to thank you for pointing out some of the problems in our security. while i don't totally agree with your platform that you are espousing, i do think you for
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bringing up -- thank you for bringing up the inadequacies of our security system. thank you for being here today. mr. chairman, that young lady there brought a holy bible. if she had been a terrorist, the lord only knows what could have happened. amy: later in the hearing, then congressman and now senator edward markey of massachusetts also spoke. >> thank you sister --sister megan rice, for being here. thank you for your actions. thank you for your willingness to focus attention on this nuclear weapons buildup that still exists in our world. and how much we need to do something to reduce it. we don't need more nuclear weapons, we need fewer nuclear weapons. we don't need more hostility with russia, we need less
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hostility with russia. we thank you for your courage. you should be praised because ultimately, that is what the sermon on the mount is all about. amy: in may 2013, the nuclear activists -- who called themselves the transform plowshares now -- were convicted of willfully damaging federal property and sabotaging national defense material. mike walli and greg boertje-obed, received five-year sentences, while 84-year-old nun megan rice received nearly three years. well this month, after two years behind bars, a federal appeals court vacated their convictions, saying the prosecution failed to prove the three intended to injure the national defense. the court ruling read in part -- all three activists were released this weekend until
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their resentencing on a remaining charge of damaging government property. defense lawyers say they have likely already served more time than they are set to receive. sister megan rice just out of jail after two years, as well we thank you so much for being with us. we were hoping to have mike walli with us, but he is on a flight heading home right now. we are joined by greg boertje-obed -- >> mike walli. >> yes, mike walli and greg boertje-obed. talk about what it means to be free right now. >> i really would not say we are free amy, because as long as there is one nuclear weapon existing, nobody is free. amy: why is this so important to you? >> that is why it is so important, the world is at risk. every moment, as long as there
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is one. and we probably have more than 10,000 in this country alone. amy: 10,000 nuclear weapons. >> thermonuclear yeah. amy: i want to turn for a moment to our guest in new orleans bill quigley, who represented the activists, sister megan rice and mike walli and greg boertje-obed. he is professor and director of the stuart h. smith law clinic and center for social justice and the gillis long poverty law center at loyola university. the significance of these being released. talk about what they said. >> they said these folks were not a danger to society. they said they have likely served more than enough of their sentence for the convictions that still remain for damage to
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government property. and late friday ordered their immediate release on their own were cognizant's from federal prison -- which is unprecedented not just in protest cases, but most all criminal cases. i think it is a great tribute to the peacefulness, the way these three individuals have conducted themselves. they have always been respectful and open and always explained exactly what they do and why and what spirit they have done it. it is a really big action of the federal government. it is also important to point out the department of justice essentially said, yes, these folks are not a danger to society and, yes, if the seven tosh charge remains -- sabotage charge remains out of their case, then they should be free. it was a great action by the government.
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the court of appeals essentially said, this is a protest. these folks are engaged in peaceful protest. and they were prayerful and the government -- the security of the united states was never at risk from this, and while damage to property not be appropriate the idea that peaceful protesters are in dangering the security of the united states was really a step too far. amy: i said greg boertje-obed was with us, but he is on a plane and wasn't able to see us now, headed to see his wife. but we are joined by mike walli. your response to being set free after two years thomas serving a five-year sentence? >> well, i am glad to have my freedom. something like 2.3 million other people are still in the penal system. i continue now that i am on the side of the prison walls to oppose the ongoing continuing offenses of the united states
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government to the rule of international law, the terrorist sites their offering -- operating continues the illegal activities of her liberating nuclear weapons -- proliferating nuclear weapons of mass destruction switch was condemned by. and dr. martin luther king. he condemned the their weapons the weapons activity continues and i as a christian oppose it and i oppose the refusal of the u.s. government to act in compliance with its legal obligations. amy: sister megan rice, could you talk about what you did, in 2012? tell us the day and how the two of you, mike and greg and you came together and targeted
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they-12 facility in oak ridge, tennessee. >> thank you for giving us this time. we spent much of our lives thinking about, what can we do? we are all equally responsible. so we decided this is the time we could say something, has been said over and over, and we met and began almost a year of focused discernment asking the spirit to inspire us with what could be considered a priority place that had not been talked about in recent times. and we ended up, you know, knowing it would be oak ridge, tennessee. amy: why oak ridge? >> y-12 yeah. amy: why oak ridge?
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>> everybody could not be at this full time. they took turns in different places. there's just not enough time to do this monstrous -- to reveal so much -- to be revealed. secret prior for 70 years, with a were doing. workers are not able to tell coworkers what they are doing. and he could talk about its role in world war ii in the making of the atomic arms that were dropped. >> to be very brief, the whole city of oak ridge had to be constructed. it was sort of near the tva and all that, good energy source. they just launched ahead with very little planning and constructed the city at the same time the scientists were
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developing the bomb in different places giving -- and so the major portion of the construction was completed at oak ridge. other places completed other parts. they were ready to test the first bomb on the 16th of july 1945. that was in alamogordo, new mexico near los alamos -- not near, but anyway there. and everybody saw that it worked, so they knew -- they didn't really know it would work, but it worked. so they went ahead with their plans, not communicating with each other, scientists were not told whether going to do. the scientists all objected that it would ever be used again -- literally, not all but anyway, as we all know, it was used. they were told it would be dropped over the pacific as a demonstration. and they knew what they were
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going to do. so it was done. again, we of secrecy and lies and the united states population not consulted. it was totally undemocratic. amy: i want to play some audio from inside the courtroom during oral arguments during the appeal. this is judge raymond kethledge questioning assistant u.s. attorney jeff theodore about the government's definition of national defense. the judge begins by asking how bread, banners, and bloods could be seen as instrument's to injure the natural defense. listen very carefully. >> do think it is for to say the instruments here, cameras, bread, banners, spray paint and blood, those are instruments of injuring national defense? >> is certain he could be, your honor, absolutely. >> these folks are in prison right now. in this case i'm going to stress, maybe we ought to step
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back from an interpretation of the national defense that is so eggshell that banners and paint in the sort of thing constitutes [indiscernible] amy: that was judge raymond h saying maybe we should step back from an interpretation of national defense that is so eggshell to that hanging banners and the sort of thing constitutes sabotage in this country. your response? >> the question about it, we were communicating with symbols because we knew we would not be there long and we were not there as long as baby had to say, a very short time, not more than 20 minutes. amy: did you call them, as sometimes happens with flash or actions, or did they come to see you there? >> within seven minutes, they saw us there. it was not an hour. we entered at exactly -- we were inside at 4:40 five and began
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doing our work and the first of secured officer drove slowly down coat and about 5:10 and we had done everything. you done everything we plan to do to communicate the truth. this is not a way to win a war. amy: what was your response, sister megan rice, when commerce and barton congratulated you for helping them increase the national defense? >> it had nothing to do with security, they pointed out. it was a matter of revealing the lack of security. that was not our purpose at all. our purpose was just beat the truth about weapons of mass destruction. that everybody knows that they are illegal, immoral. amy: the transform now plowshares, how did you choose that name? >> ashley, sister megan rice is
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the one who came up with the name when we were preparing for our actions. amy: sister megan rice? >> what have we spent $10 trillion and 70 years when that could have been used to transform not just the united states, but the world into life enhancing alternatives? instead, we make something that can never be used, should never be used, probably will never be used unless we want to destroy the planet. amy: this idea of plowshares go back to 1981 father dan and his brother phil berrigan let others the general electric protest. >> they were feeling as we did. they knew these things were immoral. beyond the beyond. and they know -- knew they needed to be converted into that which is needed and useful until
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they began -- so they began the deconstruction which was immoral and obscene. it was a deconstruction to reconstruct what we really need. amy: they broke into the general electric facility in pennsylvania, the general electric nuclear missile facility there, hammered on the nose cones of nuclear missiles and poured blood onto the documents and the files. >> right. the same thought. and isaiah way, way back said, let us be our swords into plowshares. amy: this is the wife of the late philip berrigan, liz mcalister, speaking outside the lockheed martin offices in king of prussia, pennsylvania on the 30th anniversary of the plowshares inaugural disarmament action. >> we shall beat our swords into
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plowshares, their spears into folks -- hooks. [indiscernible] thou shalt not kill [indiscernible] not to say just thou shalt not kill, but take a hammer to the weapons of death and destruction . which ge did in the ge facility to stand in the way of the machinery of -- amy: that is liz mcalister well-known peace activist, wife of the late philip berrigan, who spoke outside the lockheed martin offices in king of
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pressure -- prussia, pennsylvania on the 30th anniversary of the plowshares inaugural disarmament action. we're going to come back to this discussion and then remember malcolm x who would have been 90 today. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are talking about what "the new york times" described as the biggest security breach in the history of the nation's atomic complex. it was three anti-nuclear weapons activist, sister megan rice, 85 years old, a roman catholic nun and mike walli catholic peace activist, and greg boertje-obed.
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these three peace activists in july of 2012 when on to the y-12 oak ridge facility in tennessee. and using wire cutters, made their way through blood -- and threw blood on weapons. i want to turn to president obama in 2013, speaking in berlin, germany and called for nuclear reductions. >> means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons, no matter how distant that dream may be. and so is president, i would strengthen our efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and reduce the number of america's nuclear weapons. because the new start treaty, we are on track to cut american and russian deployed nuclear warheads to their lowest levels since the 1950's. amy: that was president obama in berlin in 2013. sister megan rice, does this satisfy you? >> not at all.
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i would say, basically, in our lifetime and now please. amy: mike walli, your thoughts about where this country is headed and what brought you to this action? >> well, dr. martin luther king was planning on having us on the sermon does on the subject of why the united states might go to ehll. the united states is on the path of destruction. it is alive for the was government to claim these illegal weapons are defending or securing the safety of anyone and even now as we speak, plans are a foot by the u.s. government to continue to proliferate and store these illegal weapons until calendar year 2080. we cannot believe the sincerity
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of any hopes expressed for peace and the eradication of these illegal weapons -- known by their works, in other words. i want to turn to greg boertje-obed who was unable to join us today. this is an excerpt to an interview he gave in 2012 just after their action. >> nuclear weapons are designed to be advanced instruction. they're going to kill civilians. the intent of killing civilians is a war crime also. and preparing -- just by building, your preparing for a war that will kill civilians. amy: that is greg boertje-obed the third member of the transform now plowshares, headed back to duluth to be with his wife. sister megan rice and mike walli as well as greg boertje-obed
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have been released this weekend. where were you when you heard you would be released and which prison we serving at? >> m i was indc brooklyn. it was 3:00 in the morning. i was listening to either wbai or the bbc and all of a sudden the bbc said they will all be immediately released. so i did not know but that was last week before when they were saying we would be released -- anyway, so i waited and i woke up again after 4:00 in the very same thing was being said -- immediate released. i began to wonder. i got up and found one other inmate, we were 77 in the unit and she was awake. so i shared the news with her. from then on i mean, you know, that was it. that is the way i learned come anyway, thanks to the bbc. d'amico and now you face resentencing. bill quigley in new orleans
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what do they face in july? >> the charges that are left are damage to property and the government has admitted in their papers that they filed with the court that they have served more time in prison than they ever would have if they had only been convicted of those remaining charges. so we would hope that the judge would give them time served. in sister megan rice's case and greg case, they observed a lot more gel time than they would have originally. there is no way to get that time back. i would say the government has recognized the peaceful nature of these folks. we were very fortunate throughout this whole legal campaign. we had public defenders, local lawyers, a law firm that is a major united states law firm doing pro bono work. there is a lot of people invested in trying to protect
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the right to dissent in this country to make sure that the laws are pride -- applied correctly. there is a resentencing hearing currently set for july 8, but it is important to note the government still has the right to be able to add the decision, throwing out the sabotage charge be reheard either by those three judges who made that decision or the entire sixth circuit and have the right to go to the supreme court still. so these three individuals are still at risk and are acting very bravely and courageously on the outside. amy: sister megan rice, you could still have to go back to jail? >> whatever has to be done to get the truth out. most people are not aware of all of this. amy: driven protesting military budgets for a long time and the weapons themselves, the budgets of only increased astronomically. do you think vouchers action or
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movement -- plowshares action or movement is having an effect? >> hopefully, but you know, it is all of our responsibility. it is not just congress or the president. everyone of us is equally responsibile. amy: you are a catholic nun. how does your religion define what you do? >> it defines what we are doing as doing what is right for humanity, what is right for the common good. that is what we are all called to do. amy: and your time in prison? how do you spend that time in prison? >> well, there were so many people realizing this across the country and across the world come and that i had some amazingly beautiful letters. i felt honor those who are writing letters, i mostly spent my time reading letters and trying to get them back some way of acknowledging how grateful we all were for their part in this.
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of course, you can do that to a certain amount of time and it is exhausting. and then just learning from the wisdom of the other inmates whose lives i honor so deeply. they are the ones who are the wisest in this country. they know what is really happening. they are the fallout of nuclear weapons. production. amy: mike walli, you're a vietnam vet. what does it mean to you? >> it is a wonderful thing to remember the were the people who have lived before us. dr. martin luther king condemned nuclear weapons in 1959 when he was 30 years of age. i spent a lot of time studying up on his life and he was repeatedly arrested and jailed opposing the unjust and therefore, illegal misuse of
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governance powers. he was repeatedly arrested and jailed. now he has a legal holiday. amy: i want to thank you all for being with us, michael walli and washington d.c., bill quigley speaking to us from new orleans, and thank you very much to sister megan rice, 85-year-old roman catholic nun who has been arrested over 40 times for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. we will see what happens with greg and sister megan rice and michael walli in july with a resentencing takes place. but for now, they are out of jail. today we go back 90 years to may 19, 1925, malcolm x was born in omaha, nebraska. he would go on to become one of the most influential political figures of the 20 of century. so we end today's show with malcolm x in his words of speaking and 1964, half a year before his assassination delivering his famous beach "by any means necessary." >> one of the first things
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independent african nation exist was to form an organization called the organization of african unity. the purpose of our organization of afro-american unity, which has the same name and objectives to fight whoever gets in our way . [applause] to bring about the complete independence of people of african descent here in the western hemisphere and the first year in the united states. and bring about the freedom of these people by any means necessary. [applause] that is our motto. the purpose of our organization is to [indiscernible] harlem, the largest concentration of people with african descent that exist
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anywhere on this earth. there are more africans here in harlem that exist in any city on the african continent. because that is what you and i are, africans. the charter of the united nations, the universal declaration of human rights, the constitution of the united states and the bill of rights by the principles in which we believe and that these documents , if put into practice represents manheim -- mankind's hopes, desires so that the welfare and well-being of our people will be assured we are resolved to reinforce the common bond of purpose between our people bus emerging all of our differences in establishing nonsectarian constructive programs for human rights. we hereby present this charter number one, the establishment.
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the organization of afro-american unity shall include all people of african descent in the western hemisphere. in essence, what it is saying, instead of you and me running around speaking -- and our struggle for freedom, in the hours neighborhood or the jewish neighborhood or the italian neighborhood, we need to seek some allies among people who look something like we do. [applause] it is time for you and me to stop running away from the walls right into the arms of the fox looking for some kind of help. that's a drag. [laughter] number two, self-defense. [applause] since self-preservation is the
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first law of nature, we assert the afro-americans right to self-defense. the constitution of the united states of america clearly affirms the right of every american citizen to bear arms. and as americans, we will not give up a single right here and teed under the constitution. the history of unpunished violence against our people clearly indicates that we must be prepared to defend ourselves or we will continue to be a defenseless people at the mercy of a ruthless and violent racist mob. amy: that was malcolm x speaking in 1964. you would be assassinated in the audubon ballroom have your 21st, 1955. -- february 21 19 65. if he had lived, he would have been 90 years old today.
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we have video production fellowships and happy birthday -- democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] anchor: this is "the democracy now!" if you appreciate what you just heard, today's broadcast, whether we are bringing about the max or bringing you sister megan rice, 85 years old just out of it's hard to say jail this weekend, along with my quality and their colleague greg .
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the three of them hammered on nuclear warheads or tried to get as close to them as they could at the y 12 nuclear facility in oak ridge, tennessee. and before that, cecile richards president of planned parenthood federation of america . increasingly repressive around the issue of american women are at -- american women reproductive rights. if you appreciate this forum for free speech, the number to call is -- as we turn now to brian stephenson to a story about justice and redemption. with a growing focus on the failures of the criminal justice system stevenson has been fighting those injustices, case-by-case. he


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