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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 29, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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10/29/21 10/29/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. biden: any single element of this framework would be viewed as a fundamental change in america. taken together, they are truly consequential. amy: president biden makes the case for slimmed down framework to address the climate crisis and expand the nation's social safety net, but democrats remain deeply divided as lawmakers work
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to pass two key bills. then we look at shadow police units inside border patrol. quote this is an investigative body within the ranks of u.s. border patrol tasked with investigating border patrol-related incidents. they cover up evidence, delete a video, lie on their reports. i have seen these documents and i can tell you emphatically the border patrol is investigating itself without any oversight. amy: and what does the late great author toni morrison have to do with the closely watched virginia governor's race? we will get the latest on the race and here toni morrison in her own words. >> who doesn't know -- discredited. he raced how many are outraged by the
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thought of a self ravitch tone? amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden on thursday unveiled a framework for a revised version of his build back better plan, which is aimed at combating the climate crisis while funding an array of social programs. biden's scaled-back plan would see the u.s. spend $1.75 trillion over a decade, with $555 billion for climate-friendly policies like tax credits for electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines, and more energy-efficient buildings. many progressive goals have been
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pushed by, among them two years unity college, paid family medical leave, provision allowing medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. still, progressive lawmakers like vermont independent senator bernie sanders called the package transformational. >> the president and many of us in congress are trying to pass the most consequential piece of legislation in the modern history of t country for working families. amy: senator sinema and manchin both sidestepped questions thursday over whether they will support the revised democrats to fight house speaker nancy pelosi thursday, refusing to improve and infrastructure bill passed by the senate. lawmakers led by progressive caucus chair pramila jayapal say they want the infrastructure bill passed in tandem with the
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revised build back better act. top executives from bp, chevron, exxonmobil, and shell appeared before the house oversight committee thursday during six hours of testimony, repeatedly refusing to pledge to stop lobbying against congressional efforts to combat the climate emergency. new york democrat carolyn maloney gaveled in the hearing. . >> this is a historic hearing for the first time, top fossil fuel executives are testifying together before congress under oath about the industry's role in causing climate change and their efforts to cover it up. for far too long, big oil has escaped accountability for a central role in bringing our planet to the brink of a climate catastrophe. that ends today. amy: throughout the hearing, republicans repeatedly apologized to the oil company executives, while progressives grilled them over their campaign to prevent action on the climate crisis.
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this is new york congressmember alexandria ocasio-cortez. >> one thing that often gets lost in these conversations is that some of us have to actually live the future that you all are setting on fire for us. i 2028, crop yields are already projected to fail most of committee chair carolyn maloney said she plans to issue subpoenas to force oil executives to turn over documents detailing what their own scientists were saying internally aboutlimate change, as well big oil's efforts to misinform the public. a new united nations report warns at least 10 forests designated world heritage sites have become net emitters of greenhouse gasses, no longer emitting more carbon than they absorb.
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the disturbing trend is driven by drought, wildfires, and deforestation in forests including california's yosemite national park. china has submitted its climate action goals ahead of the cop26 united nations climate summit, which opens in glasgow next week. china says it plans to see its carbon dioxide emissions peak by short of what's needed from china to help prevent the worst mate crisis. in scotland, protesters gathered thursday near the site of next week's cop26 summit, demanding countries take real action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius. >> we have to try and remind world leaders what is happening. the world is literal on fire and it ionly going to get worse. >> from wildfires in the u.s. to flooding across the world, we're
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in a full-blown crisis. world leaders know this. now it's time for them to come together and hammer out a deal to avert the worst climate catastrophe. amy: tuningor our coverage the u.n. comment summit for the next two weeks. president biden met with pope francis at the vatican today ahead of the g20 summit in rome. the pope has called for global vaccine equity, and has urged world leaders to do more to tackle the climate crisis. in 2015, he penned the encyclical on climate change and inequality. on thursday, before his departure for europe, activists held a rally in washington, d.c., to demand biden keep his promise to make the covid vaccine available to all countries and to put people ove. >> we about solidarity. we talked about global community , but we are hoarding vaccines. 500 million vaccines were promised by president biden.
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how many have left the united states? how many vaccines have been deroyed instead of shared around the world? it itime to end vaccine apartheid. amy: the rally was followed by an all-night vigil in front of the home of white house coronavirus response coordinator jeffrey zients. more protests are expected in italy over the weekend as the g20 gets underway. in sudan, at least one protester was killed thursday on the fourth consecutive day of clashes between soldiers and demonstrators in khartoum have opposed the military coup. a guantánamo bay prisoner and survivor of u.s. government torture gave a detailed account of his brutal captivity to a military jury thursday. 41-year-old majid khan is the first former prisoner of a cia black site to describe the
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so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" in open court. for more than two hours, khan described forced feedings, waterboarding, and other physical and sexual abuse he endured, including extended periods of nudity, while he was detained in the cia's network of overseas prisons from 2003 to 2006. khan was captured in pakistan in 2003 and pleaded guilty to being an al qaeda courier in 2012. he's being sentenced today. in immigration news, "the wall street journal" reports the biden administration is reportedly in negotiations to pay millions of dollars in reparations to families who were separated at the u.s.-mexico border under trump's zero tolerance policy. the payments would amount to $450,000 per person. this comes as part of efforts to settle several lawsuits filed on behalf of hundreds of parents -- separated parents and children who say they are still suffering from emotional
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distress, trauma, and psychological harm. in related news, in tacoma, washington, a federal jury has determined the private prison corporation geo group must pay minimum wage, rather than $1 a day, to immigrants detained at its northwest detention center, who are ordered to perform tasks like cooking and cleaning. facebook has changed its name to meta as it attempts a major rebrand amid mounting scandals. the company said the name better reflects its expansion into virtual and augmented reality. it will keep the name facebook for its popular social media app. the group real facebook oversight board said -- "changing their name doesn't change reality. facebook is destroying our democracy and is the world's leading peddler of disinformation and hate. their meaningless name change should not distract from the investigation, regulation, and real, independent oversight needed to hold facebook accountable."
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former new york governor andrew cuomo has been charged with forcible touching -- a misdemeanor crime -- for allegedly groping his aide inside the executive mansion last year. the disgraced governor, who was forced to resign in august amid a flurry of sexual misconduct claims, will have to appear in court on november 17 for arraignment. the justice department has agreed to pay an $88 million settlement to survivors and families of victims killed by a white supremacist in the 2015 mass shooting at the historically black mother emanuel ame church in charleston, south carolina. this comes after 14 plaintiffs filed a civil case against the fbi, accusing the agency of neglect for failing to prohibit the sale of the firearm convicted murderer dylan roof used in the massacre. meanwhile in virginia, jurors heard opening statements thursday in the federal civil trial that charges the
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organizers of the deadly white supremacist "unite the right" rally in 2017 with an unlawful conspiracy to commit violent acts. in his opening statement, jailed neo-nazi christopher cantwell -- one of 24 organizers of the deadly rally -- made references to mein kampf, said the n-word and blasted antifascist advocates all within a matter of minutes. a warning to our audience, this story contains graphic descriptions of an execution. in oklahoma, prison officials on thursday strapped condemned 60-year-old prisoner john marion grant to a gurney and injected him with a lethal cocktail of three drugs -- midazolam, vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride. ap reporter sean murphy witnessed the execution. >> as the drugs began to flow, the first drug, he exhaled deeply. he began convulsing about two dozen times, full-body
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convulsions. then began to vomit, which covered his face and began to run down his neck and the side of his face. continue to breathe for several minutes before to members of the medical team or the execution team came in and wiped his face. at that point, he was still breathing. amy: after more involuntary convulsions and more vomiting, grant was finally pronounced dead at 4:21 p.m. local time. it was oklahoma's first execution in six years after a string of other botched attempt forced oklahoma to halt such killings. it came after the supreme court ruled 5-to-3 thursday to lift a lower court's stay. lawyers for grant and another prisoner, julius jones, had argued oklahoma's three-drug cocktail of lethal injection drugs would subject them to excruciating pain. they also said an oklahoma law forcing them to choose their
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method of execution violated their religious rights and amounted to suicide. oklahoma plans six more executions in the next several months. and lisa brodyaga, pioneering lawyer and fierce defender of immigrant rights, has died at the age of 80. brodyaga founded the first pro bono law office to represent refugees in u.s. immigration prisons. in the 1980's, she spearheaded efforts to defend thousands of central american asylum seekers in the u.s., many of whom fled repressive and brutal u.s.-backed regimes. in recent years, she fought for legal protection of children being held in cages near the border under the trump administration. in 1986, brodyaga founded the refugio del río grande in south texas, a safe community for refugees from around the world. she passed away at her home at
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-- on thursday. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. democrats remain deeply divided over two key bills at the center of president biden's domestic agenda -- the now $1.85 trillion build back better plan and a smaller more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. house speaker nancy pelosi was forced to postpone a vote on thursday on the infrastructure bill after progressive democrats demanded again that both bills be considered in tandem. in a statement, commerce member pramila jayapal, the chair of the congressional progressive caucus, said -- "there's too much at stake for working families in our communities to settle for something that, amended, or abandoned altogether." earlier in the day, biden met with democratic lawmakers behind
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closed doors outlining what he described as a "historic economic framework." pres. biden: grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people. turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, put us on apap not only to compete, but you to win economic competition for the 21st century against china and every other major country in the world. it is fiscally responsible, fully paid for. this includes historic investments in our nation and on our people. any single element of this framework would fundamentally be viewed as a final change in america. taken together, they are truly consequential. amy: even though biden's framework is almost half the size of the original $3.5 trillion proposal, two key conservative democratic senators, joe manchin of west virginia and kyrsten sinema of arizona, have refused so far to
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commit to supporting it. the new frameworks strips out several key provisions, including paid family leave, free community college, expanded medicare coverage for dental and vision, as well as prescription drug reform -- which would save billions of key elements still dollars. in the framework include provisions to provide universal pre-k, expanded child tax credit for another year, affordable child care, affordable housing, free school meals, expanded medicare for caring services. it also includes over a half of a trillion dollars for climate initiatives, which biden highlighted on thursday. pres. biden:, the most significant investment to do with the climate crisis ever, ever happened. beyond any other advanced nation in the world. over one billion metric tons of
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-- at least 10 times bigger on climate that every bill passed before and enough to position us for a 50 to 52% emission reductions by the year 2030. and we will do it in ways and grow the domestic industries, create good paying union jobs, address long-standing of justices as well. amy: president biden speaking thursday before he flew to europe, where he is meeting with the pope today and then will attend the g20 summit in rome and the u.n. climate summit in glasgow. we are joined now by darrick hamilton, founding director of the institute on race, power, and political economy at the new school and also a henry cohen professor of economics a urban policy. he was a surrogate and economic adviser on bernie sanders 2020 presidential campaign. also one of sanders' appointees member to the biden-sanders joint task force. welcome back to democracy now! can you layout this moment, what
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we're are looking at? again, a guideline was set by the democrats to vote on the bipartisan bill yesterday but progressive congress members saying both bills would have to be voted on in tandem. the infrastructure bill and the build back better plan, which is biden's agenda. talk about what is in and what is out and give us the economic story behind it. >> well, we are at a pivotal moment. i am gladaucus is holding a line ensuring certainhings get passed in this legislation. the word compromise, we have seen it in the past were far too often we have compromised too much. i prefer not even to use that word. i guess strategy is what we have to do in this moment. start th the goonews.
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the good news is that if we put this bill in contexof the last years, this is a pivotal change from the ways in which government has engaged in ensuring that people have adequacy in which they engage. we can talk about spefics. addressing our climate, and other specifics, we could talk about -- what else? child tax credit. it should be known this is the 25th year anniversary of welfare reform. if you juxtapose welfare reform when we became putative in how we dealt with poverty but all these conditions in order to receive basic needs but the child tax credit, that is a narrative change and that is a change in which government engages with people, ensuring theyave resources so they can have agency in their lives, make choices that are important for them. amy: what is amazing is how overwhelmingly popular even among republicans around the
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country some of the programs are that were cut out. for example, the expansion of medicare for hearing services, very popular, but also for dental and vision -- extremely popular, but that is cut out. >> you are right. the economics of this cannot separable from the politics. when you have two conservative democratic senators being able to stop this from gog forward, that is a problem. what's mor if we think about the other side of the aisle, what is ear is people with something like fascist could attempt of january 6 when they are obstructing that investigation, they clearly are not partners in trying to generate what is good for the american people. so the politics are problematic, even when the masses of americans recognize the benefits of something as simple as medicare providing hearing coverage for seniors.
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amy: what about the latest on medicare drug price negotiations? the cbo estimates over $450 billion in 10 years savings from the medicare drug price negotiation provision, but this medicare prescription drug reform is out. >> again, this is common sense, obvious policy inhat it is cost-saving for the american government and it brings something positive to the ameran people, but yet the stench of politics are interfering with our ability to move it forward. there's no question the lobbying going on right now to prevent that provision from the drug companies. amy: paid family leave. it was senator manchin, the largest recipient of oil, gas, coal money in congress, who says no to a person having paid family leave.
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that means a person gets work on a sunday night and if they don't have money, they are expected to work monday morning if they cannot afford unpaid leave. originally, it was 12 weeks paid. that was reduced to four weeks. now, none. >> is iumane in favor of corporations. amy, we could also talk -- we are talking about if we put this in context, and i do want to give your audience some of the positives, we talk about the taxes that are being used the pay for this bill -- which is another framing i don't le, either, because americans certainly havenou resources to not only paisick leave, but to begin to at lea redress our climate crises. but what i like about the taxes tilted towd the wealthy americans is that it is redressing plutocracy. the problem is nothat we nd those resources to pay for the
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things we need, it is that class of individual has too much resources so that they can do things like obstruct our ability to provide hearing to medicare, to address our environmental crisisand provide all-americans with the dignity of paid family leave as well as paid medical leave. we need to get that the moral money out of politics. the fact you have the hands of special interest being able to co-opt our political process i ways to stop our economic agenda. that is also a problem. at least complacently, this bill has some measures to begin to redress that. amy: rht now women on social media are sharing imagesf their babies at four weeks as a way to emphasize how hard it is to go back to work at that point. that was when they reduced it from 12 to 4 and now it is nothing. >> it is shameful. it reallys.
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nothing more to say that it is shameful. if we put this in international comparisons, every oth country with income levels that are similar to that of america has a family leave. so why aren't we able to do it? well, to me the answer is clear. the special interests being able to lobby out government, corruption. it corrupts our government and keeps us from being able to do what is obviously good policy. amy: that's talk about climate, what is included and what isn't. we are talking about two different bills. there are number of progressive saying even with this pair down build back better, they're willing to support it if it is voted on in tandem with the so-called partisan bill, but manchin and sinema have not even agreed that if the bipartisan bill is voted on, they will vote for the build back better act. >> just what i like the
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progressive caucus also coming back with the strategic notion of we are not going to just roll over. we want some assurance, even if you're going to get this compromise bill -- at least beginning first steps to start moving the government to redress our climate crisis. another aspect is the bill is largely incentives, largely directed at trying to incentivize corporations, utilities in particular, to behave better with regard to clean energy and better technologies to redress our climate issues. amy: the build back better act having something like 555 billion dollars, have a joy and dollars, for climate policies like tax credits encouraging electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines, and more energy-efficient buildings. >> yeah. the incentives are useful but we always they need to do more most of we need to he public options. we need a government engaged in making sure our economy is green
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and directly providing those energy sources. not only will that ensure he gets done, but who will own those assets? the public will own the those assets. in addition to these incentives, we have a long way to go. we know the $550 billion is clearly not ough, but i want to emphasize theositive, which is if we compare this in a historical context, this really is transformative. and the other element is, we got here becse people have agitated and got us to this point. at the end of the day, the power still rest with people and i would consider this as an opening, but we still have a long way to go. amy: darrick hamilton, thank you for being with us, founding director of the institute on race, power, and political economy at the new school and also a henry cohen professor of economics and urban policy. tune and for our coverage for the next two weeks of the u.n.
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climate summit in glasgow. we will bring you news from inside the summit, the protest outside, and hear from people all around the world who could not go to glascow but who are fighting on the ground to deal with the climate emergency. next up, we look at new revelations about shadow police units in border patrol. and what is the late great nobel prize-winning novelist toni morrison have to do with the current virginia governor's race? we will talk about that. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "san bá" by vicente garcía. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. human rights advocates are calling on congress to investigate how shadow police units along the u.s.-mexico border have helped cover-up beatings and murders by border patrol agents for more than three decades. new details came to light when attorneys investigatg the 2010
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border patrol killing of mexican father anastasio hernández rojas found a secretive, special investigative unit tampered with and even destroyed evidence in the case to shield the agents involved. rojas was beaten and shocked to death by the agents after he tried to cross the border to return to san diego, california, where he had lived for 25 years, to be with his five children. rojas lay on the ground handcuffed at the san ysidro port of entry as agents beat him with batons and shocked him with a stun gun. he died at the hospital several days later. the san diego coroner's office classified anastasio's death a homicide, concluding he suffered a heart attack as well as "bruising to his chest, stomach, hips, knees, back, lips, head and eyelids, five broken ribs, and a damaged spine." after the assault, border patrol
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never notified san diego police of the incident. instead, it is now clear that it had its own critical incident team that controlled witness lists and removed language in a report that described rojas as being compliant during his arrest. agents were also at the hospital directing doctors who treated rojas before he died. democracy now! spoke to anastasio hernández rojas's brother bernardo in 2016. >> anastasio was murdered. he was tortured. on the 20th of may, 2010. five years have elapsed and we have not found justice. during these five years, we have been fighting for justice and they have not paid attention to us.
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during these five years, we have also met other people have gone through the same thing and many things -- and very similar things continue to happen at the border. we want this to stop. we want them to stop these injustices and we want a response from the government as to what is happening with my brother case and why have they not responded with good news. amy: with the new details in this case and others now brought to light, on thursday the southern border communities coalition sent a letter to congress to "sound the alarm on the dangerous overreach of the illegal operation of u.s. border patrol's unlaw critical incident teams." for more, we are joined in los angeles by the award-winning investigative journalist john carlos frey, who has reported extensively on human rights abuses at the u.s.-mexico border. author of "sand and blood: america's stealth war on the mexico border." welcome back to democracy now!
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can you talk about the case we just went through, in light of the new information that you're uncovering about these shadow police unitsitn u.s. border patrol? >> of course. it is good to be with you, amy. i have been doing this for a long time. it is shocking. within the actual agency of the u.s. border patrol, there is an investigative body called critical incident team. their test with investigating incidents that involve border patrol and it can be anything from a car accident two in this case, an individual who has killed at the u.s -- hands of u.s. border patrol. in this case of anastasio hernández rojas when they deleted we'll were present in the hospital when anastasio was being treated, present at the autopsy, fudged reports, deleted reports, coached their own
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agents on what kind of testimony they were to give him a were present at every one of the depositions. they made sure they were the victims in this case. when i say that, what i mean is bord patrol agents cit agents make sure that border patrol agents are looked at as the victims in any sort of an incident -- meaning they are allowed to use legal force. if a border patrol agent has rocks thrown at them or in the case of anastasio they allege anastasio was violent and was kicking and punching and he needed to be subdued. if we take a look at the videotape, that is not what happened. he is handcuffed and prone on the ground, his face is down. agents are on top of hi but if you read the reports prepared by cit, anastasio was violent and needed to be subdued. anywhere from the beginning of the investigation to the end of the investigation, cit team members obstructed justice and violated the law.
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not just because of what they did with the actual evidence in the case, but they don't even have an authority to exist. there is not a police agency, whether it is municipal or federal, that gets to investigate itself without any oversight. that is what the border patrol is doing right now. talked about what has been uncovered and what exactly the group on the border, the letter that has been sent to congress. >> something a reporter doesn't do, was working with nongovernmental organizations, but i had handed them evidence because they would like to get a congressional hearing off the ground. one of the pieces of evidence i had unvered was a powerpoint presentation that was actually produced by the u.s. border patrol about the secret police agencies or investigative bodies within the border patrol. in the powerpoint prepared by the border patrol is very specific as to what these cit
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members are supposed to be doing at an incident for her border patrol agent -- they are there to mitigate litigation. that is a quote. border patrol agents are there to mitigate litigation. they're not there to collect evidence or make sure they're looking at the facts but there to make sure that border patrol agents are not prosecuted. that is one of their primary goals. they are ao there to make sure that border patrol agents look like they we the ones that were accosted or they themselves are the victims, so that any use of warranted. they are there to make sure that borderatrol get the right spin and make sure they get their message out properly. this is in the powerpoint presentation prepared by border patrol. their own critical investigative team are there to mitigate any sort of liability that makes the border patrol look bad or brings any kind of charges against them. so i'm not sure how objective
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they are in the field. as we were talking about in the case of anastasio, it is rife with corruption. amy: i want to go to the case of josé antonio elena rodríguez was 16-year-old josé antonio elena rodríguez was killed in nogales, mexico, who was killed by border patrol agent lonnie swartz, who fired his gun from the u.s. side of the border. the teenager, who was unarmed, died face-down on the sidewalk just a couple of blocks from his home. after nearly five years of legal delays, josé antonio's mother, araceli rodríguez, and his grandmother, brought swartz to trial for second-degree murder in 2017. a tucson, arizona, jury acquitted him and were deadlocked on manslaughter charges. in a second trial in november 2018, swartz was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. during the court proceedings, it was revealed that a local border patrol special investigative unit had collected all of the evidence for the fbi. we were with josé antonio's mother araceli in nogales,
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in 2019 in sonora at the site where her son was murdered. >> the border patrol agent said he feared for his life. he would have been standing 30 feet above your son walking here on the sidewalk. can you respond to the agent saying he feared for his life? close that lonnie swartz like the whole time, he tried to defend something indefensible. there was a video because there is a camera right there. there was a video that was allegedly lost where it showed lonnie swartz murdering my son.
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what he says about his life being in danger is not true. everyone who comes here and sees the height of this wall realizes that lonnie swartz was lying about my son throwing rocks. his own coworkers at the trial said his life was not in danger, that he could have stepped away. it was never proven that my son was throwing rocks. amy: and there is antonio's mother at the site where her son was murdered. she is standing in front of a picture of her son as we investigated this case at the time. john carlos frey, this case, among others, as referenced in a letter to congress. can you talk about the information that came out around the cit units and what they did
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in covering this up? >> it is a very disturbing case and a very disturbing trend here . a 15-year-old boy shot in the back, unarmed, standing in xico while the u.s. border patrol agent is standing in the united states, found not guilty. lonnie swartz is the only one prosecuted for firing his weapon and that history of the u.s. border patrol. the only person prosecuted. there were a couple of other agents prosecuted in texas during the bush administration for firing a weapon at a drug dealer, hit him in the back, but this is the first time in u.s. border patrol history that anybody has been prosecuted for the death of an individual. in the past 15 years, over 100 individuals have been killed at the hands of the u.s. border patrol at the border and not one has been brought to prosecution. that is what cit is doing.
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they're preparing evidence, doctoring evidence, tampering with evidence, deleting evidence -- they are making sure that agents themselves look like they are firing their weapons properly, that everything they do is on the up and up and there is nothing to see here. in any case we are talking about , there was an unarmed boy who was shot in the back. there were two surveillance video cameras that are anchored on the top of the border fence, pointed where the incident occurred. that video is missing. we don't know what happened to it because cit prepared the investigation. the border patrol prepare that investigation. if we are talking about making sure they defend themselves against civil liability, will of course they're going to delete the video. amy: john carlos frey, thank you for being with us, award-winning investigative journalist who has reported extensively on immigration and author of the book "sand and blood: america's stealth war on the mexico border." coming up, what does the late
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great nobel prize-winning novelist toni morrison have to do with the virginia governor's race? stay with us. ♪♪ [music break] amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to the closely watched virginia's governor race that pits former governor terry
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mcauliffe, a democrat, against republican glenn youngkin, the former ceo of the carlyle group, one of the world largest private equity firms. vice president kamala harris will campaign in norfolk, virginia, with mcauliffe today. former president trump is planning to hold a tele-rally for youngkin on monday. biden campaigned with mcauliffe earlier this week and warned youngkin was an extremist in the vein of former president trump. pres. biden: extremism can come in many forms. it can come in the range of a mob driven to assault the capitol, it can come in smile, a fleece vest. amy: youngkin has campaigned in part by vowing to support so-called "parents' rights," which has become a catch-all phrase to describe right-wing opposition to vaccine and mask mandates, trans rights for students and critical race theory. there has even been a firestorm in the virginia race over the teaching of toni morrison's acclaimed novel "beloved" in schools. we will look at that in a moment. but first, we are joined by
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julia manchester, the national political reporter for the hill who has been covering the virginia governor's race. welcome to democracy now! talk about the issues that has been seen as a bellwether about what will happen in the midterm elections next year, julia. >> good morning. we have seen a number of issues really be centerpieces of both mcauliffe youngkin and youngkin 's campaigns. this issue of so-called parents rights has become a huge issue for youngkin. youngkin seizing upon these very contentious and sometimes dangerous school board meetings that we have seen in loudoun county, virginia, and across the country, very much saying parents have a right to be involved in their children's education, that elected school board officials are essentially political figures trying to influence the virginia students
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education. youngkin seizing upon terry mcauliffe's, the last month when she said she did not belve parents should be involved in a child's education in the school system. terry mcauliffe very much pushing back against that same of course he believes parents should have some say and at their children's education and very much touting the fact that he launched his campaign on edation, pledging to spend $2 billion per year on virginia public school system. that is one issue we are saying. also sing the nationwide issue over abortion rights very much seeping into this race. you have terry mcauliffe thing glenn youngkin will implement some sort of abortion ban in virginia, similar to maybe that seen in texas where abortion is banned after six weeks of pregnancy. terry mcauliffe very much running democrat voters about that. youngkin saint unlike the texas, he believes in abortion in the
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cases of rape and an says. you're also sing president biden and his own approval rating impacting this race. as a mcauliffe has grown more narrow, see, virginia president biden's approval rating start to take down and i think that is why a lot of virginia denmark ads are mosley watching what is happening on capitol hill as vines agenda, hoping for a victory between now and november 2 to somehow prove under democratic leadership on capitol hill they can get that done, they can get the same initiative done in virginia. finally, president trump himself is an issue. despite the fact he is not on the ballot this year in virginia and not the sitting president, terry has invoked his name is not as much but more than glenn youngkin. amy: he is not fit on the campaign trail with him, not
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sure whose choice it is, but this tele-rally that will be held on monday, among the things that youngkin is willing to openly embrace, calling for the audit of election machines. continuinghat lie that the elections were rick. >> yes, this is something youngkin has called for ever since he launched his campaign earlier this year. in february, his campaign launched an election integrity task force. it's been very much talking about this. he talked about this during the republican convention much more publicly because he was trying to appeal to that deep red, maybe pro-trump conservative base in virginia. however, now that he has gotten into the general election against mcauliffe, he has to be careful with how much he embraces trump and the issue of election integrity publicly because he's also trying to appeal to the moderate, more suburban voters -- maybe in some cases, more left-leaning vots
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or slightly left in voters. the issue is president trump is extremely unpopular in virginia. he lost virginia in 2016 and 2020. part of the reason is because the population centers in virginia, whether northern virginia, outside washington, d.c., the norfolk area, hampton roads -- those are incredibly blue leaning parts of virginia, the population centers. mathematically, there are more democratic voters in virginia than republican voters, so this is about a turnout game. the problem is there is more republican enthusiasm in virginia right now. amy: as we mentioned, there's been a firestorm in the virginia race over the teaching of toni morrison's acclaimed pulitzer prize-winning novel "beloved" in schools. it stems from an ad by the republican candidate glenn youngkin that features a mother who once campaigned to have the
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book banned from her high school senior's science curriculum. this is a clip. >> as a parent company have to catch everything. so when my son showed me his reading assignment, myeart sunk it was some of the most explicit material you can imagine. i met with lawmakers. they could n believe what i was showing them. their faces turned bright red with embarrassment. amy: from our, we're joined by dana williams, dean of the graduate school of -- and professor of african american literature at howard university, also president of the toni morrison society. welcome to democracy now! this is an amazing teaching moment that you have the late great nobel pulitzer prize-winning writer toni morrison at the center of the virginia race. can you talk about the significance of this?
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>> i don't think there any instances where there isn't a more just morrison novel that applies to political situation but i don't know this is wh she imagined. she did have quite a bit to say about censorship and banning books and work with the foundation to actually publish a bookalled "burn this book" where she talks a lot about censorship and really had that conversation around the idea of what it means to have good literature, to create open discussions. unfortunately, what we have to admit is all segments of our populations just aren't interested in intellectualism and literature does. there is anti-lecture -- this is a l things we're trying to think about. choice, parental choice in particular, and also has some residences ironically with the abortion issue since the book
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itself turns on the main character's decision to practice -- there so many different cultural elements present in this book that speak tremendously to the moment we find ourselves in. amy: i want to go to toni morrison in her own words. her nobel lecture from december 1993 when she became the first african-american woman to receive the nobel prize for literature. >> who doesn't know of literature that because it is interrogative. discredited because -- erased because, alternate host of and how many are outraged the thought of a self-ravaged tone. word work is so blind because --
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sublime because it is generative, it makes meaning that secures our human difference, the way in which we are like no other life. amy: so that was toni morrison in 1993, and now you have this ad was laura murphy is not just a virginia mom. as we said earlier in the ad she talked about her sense embarrassment reading -- they don't actually refer to "beloved" but she is well known for trying to get it banned in the schools and ultimately trying to get a bill passed that mcauliffe, i think, vetoed twice. can you talk more about the significance of "beloved" and this whole battle in the schools and what toni morrison would say today? >> i think a big part of the
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conversation is around explicit language, if you will, but we have seen so much of the conversation in the last coue of days remind us explicitly which that references the mody pales in comparison to the reality that people had to suffer. i would agree to some those who have described the ad as a racist dog whist, particularly the element that suggests the lawmakers turned red in the face. that is in and of itself there are no black lawmakers part of the conversion come to surely by the force of melon and, unable to turn beet red in the face, if you will. it also speaks to the real tension that is happening in our public school system in a general sense from tas to other places all over the country where criticarace studies were critical race theory, at least a popular culture interpretations of them, is under fire. so how do we think about a book that helps us to think about slavery in a way that humanizes
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the people who were enslaved and then create scenarios that make very clear in ways th onl fiction can. history cannot represent the emotional aspect, cannot represen the she force of brutality around it. the implications of trying to create explicit warnings were ban or some elements of censorship on those kind of books that teach us about our cap that we ha to pace. "beloved" as this novel that is about a hunting of a cld who says, no, don't get to forget thpast completely, you must confront it and these are characters who overwhelmingly are trying to move away from the path of enslavement because they have freed themselves, dared to try to free themselves in that kind of moment. but "beloved" is saying th confrontation must be there otherwise, the hunting continues. this is what is happening in virginia.
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suggesting hdon't facing confront the past, whether it is in its statuy, architecture, and the stories that we tell, if you don't come practice it, continues tohaunt us. amy: when she talks about her son, she does not say he was an eight high school senior and it is now years later, a republican activist lawyer, but i want to quote charles blow in an article he wrote, an op-ed piece in "the new york times" saying -- youngkin was to resurface this coded debate because it helps republicans convert schools into battlegrounds, where they can use the protection of children and parental rights as shields behind which to wage a culture war over race, gender and states' rights disguised as a defense of the innocent." if you could resnd to this, dean williams? >> i would agree with that and it only happens to be the case that charles and i are both alumni of gremlins that
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university. you're probably training similarly. we areapable of understanding when there his coded leg wish to ta a fightver culture, the fight over states rights is something that we have to confnt from the vil w. that really is the were we ntinue to wage. reconstruction has some adjustments to make and it seems southern states in particular there would be some reckoning with the feral versus the state issues, but we know he conversation that sa civil war was fought around states rights is not as authentic as ones that really does grapple wh the cil r as being about enavement the humidity of people and who gets to choose. so much of what we see in the margaret garner story, which inspires "beloved" is about an inability forven slaveholders to grapple wh the legalese. they did not know whether to
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charge her with murder because if they charged her with murder, it would mean that child was to be considered a full human. they opt not tand decide to focus more on thdestruction of property and sell her off to louisiana. i thi books ke "beloved" to force us to have will conversations about history and i think about the culture wars and what it means to lose a culture war in the cradle of the confederacy. it is not st on any of us this is an issue that is raising its head in virginia, in particular, -- amy: julia, finally, as we just lost dean williams, your final comments on how this is playing out in the last few days of this race in virginia? >> it is interesting. we saw the ad that youngkin put out i believe monday, and although "beloved" was not mentioned in the ad a new book
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was not explicitly mentioned, it did not take long for researchers orournalts to google lauraurphy and find a 20 "washingt post" article about her efforts to ban "beloved." laura murphy set and the aticle she did not want to ban it altogether forever from the curriculum, but she said she wanted parents to at least have a say in what folks were assigned or have a say in opting whether their children could opt out in reading a book. however -- amy: five seconds. >> you see mcauliffe's seize upon this, especially at a time to see a lot of the governors nation of black voters in virginia. amy: julia manchester, thank you for joining us from the hill and dean dana williams of howard university. thank you so much. a very fond farewell to two special team members, our
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fellows julia thomas andadriana cutrer is. they joined us before the pandemic swept the globe. mistreated remarkable talents resides through this difficult time. we thank you both for your dedication and wish you the
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