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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  September 27, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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09/27/22 09/27/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> killed mahsa amin because of a piece of hair coming up from her her job. -- hijab. everyone has the right have dignity and freedom. but they kill us.
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they did not have a conscience. amy: protests are continuing in an and around the world dending juste for mahs amini,he 22-yearld kurdish iranian woman who died in the custody ofran's -called morality police. human rights groups say 76 people have now been killed as iran cracks down on the women-led protests. we will get the latest. plus, we will look at a fight for affordable housing in philadelphia. >> the reason we are fighting for these university cities low income affordable housing is because they are one a few low income housing units left in west philadelphia. and we see developers are coming to our neighborhoods and gentrifying ou areas at all-time highs. it is happening all across the united states. amy: we will speak to two residents facing eviction in philadelphia, plus bishop william barber of the poor
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people's campaign which is organizing to stop the evictions. and we go to baltimore, where a property management company partly owned by donald trump's son-in-law jared kushner has agreed to pay more than to the $3 million state of maryland for deceiving and cheating tens of thousands of low-income tenants while subjecting them to miserable living conditions. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. russian president vladimir putin is addressing parliament today where he's expected to announce the results of referendums held in four russian-occupied regions of ukraine. the u.s. and its allies have condemned the votes as a violation of international law and a pretext for russia to unlawfully annex territory seized since its invasion in february. earlier today, former russian president dmitry medvedev repeated putin's warning that
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russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons if it's provoked by ukraine or its allies, saying his threat was "certainly not a bluff." meanwhile, the operator of the nord stream pipelines, which carry russian gas to terminals in europe, says it detected damage simultaneously at three underwater pipes in the baltic sea. it's not yet known what caused the damage, but denmark's prime minister said she believed it is the result of sabotage. in russia, a kremlin spokesperson said monday no decisions have bn taken on whether to close russia's borders after thousands of military aged men lined up for to cross into neighboring hours countries in an effort to avoid conscription. the mass exodus comes after president putin ordered the mobilization of 300,000 additional russian troops to ukraine. this is a 36-year-old man from moscow who spoke to reporters just after crossing into georgia monday. >> of course this has scared many people. no one was to go off to die.
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people are crossing on foot with one bag, leaving the whole life behind. just to live peacefully. amy: in cuba, hurricane ian made landfall early this morning as a major category 3 storm, bringing sustained winds of 125 miles per hour to western parts of the island. there were early reports of moderate flooding in coastal areas, where cuban officials evacuated some 50,000 people ahead of the storm's arrival. ian is expected to strenhen into a powerful category 4 hurricane capable of catastrophic damage as it tracks toward the florida keys. the latest forecast models show ian tracking toward the northwestern panhandle with a possible direct hit on tampa bay , a densely populated low-lying region that's highly vulnerable to storm surge. on tuesday, officials in
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hillsborough county, which covers portions of tampa, ordered a mandatory evacuation of 300,000 people. county administrator bonnie wise said people should seek shelter with friends or family well away from florida's gulf coast. >> we do not make this decision easily, but the storm poses a serious threat and we must do everything we can to protect our residents. i can't stress this enough, evacuation shelters are a last resort. they're not comfortable places. they could be crowded and they could be noisy and you could be in shelter for days. amy: in puerto rico, an estimated three-quarters of a million homes and businesses remain without electricity nearly 10 days after hurricane fiona devastated the island's fragile electrical grid. hundreds of thousands of people continue to face shortages of clean water, fuel, medicine, and other necessities.
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>> we spent a week without water or power. the authorities have not done anything for us. it is very bad here. those who come by give us a little water and leave. we are in rough shape. we lost everything. we are in a bad situation. amy: on monday, puerto rico's governor pedro pierlusi called on president biden to waive shipping restrictions under the jones act, a century-old law requiring only u.s.-flagged ships can carry goods shipped between two points in the u.s. this comes as a ship carrying diesel for the bp oil coany remains idling off the coast of puerto rico. meanwhile, hurricane ian has delayed nasa's plans to test launch its massive new moon rocket, the space launch system. this morning officials began rolling the 320-foot-tall rocket back to its hanger at cape canaveral ahead of the storm's arrival. in more space news, nasa has successfully crashed a robotic spacecraft into an asteroid in a first-of-its-kind test of
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technology that could one day, perhaps, prevent a comet or asteroid from hitting the earth. mission engineers at the applied physics laboratory erupted in cheers monday as the double asteroid redirection test spacecraft, or dart, live-streamed its final moments plunging toward the asteroid dimorphos at 14,000-miles-per-hour. >> confirmation. [applause] >> all right. >> we have impact. amy: astronomers will observe dimorphos and the much larger asteroid it orbits to measure how dart altered their path around the sun. impacts from comets and asteroids have been described as the only preventable natural disasters, though the odds of a catastrophic impact in any given year are remote.
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this comes amid warnings from nasa over the ongoing threat of unnatural disasters. peter kalamus, a climate scientist at nasa's jet propulsion laboratory, tweeted -- "it's great that nasa is testing the ability to deflect an asteroid or comet if necessary, but the actual clear and present danger to humanity is of course earth breakdown from burning fossil fuels. #dontlookup" in mississippi, about 1000 homes and businesses are once again under boil water orders after construction crews accidentally severed a water line on monday, leading to a drop in pressure. it is the latest of about 300 boil water notices issued in jackson over the past two years, including the city what advisory lasting 40 days that began in august when torrential rains flooded jackson's main water treatment plant. on monday, dr. william barber led a rally outside the
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governor's mansion in jackson demanding elected officials reverse decades of disinvestment that has left the water unfit to drink in mississippi's capital city for 80% of the residents are african-american. >> people are willing to use every voice of love and justice and movement and i believe some of you already in nonviolent direct action because you are tired of drinking ways and. you are tired of your members washing their faces in poison. and it comes i time you must show people how tired you are. amy: back in russia, president vladimir putin signed a decree monday granting russian citizenship to edward snowden, the former nsa contractor who in 2013 leaked a trove of secret documents about how the united states built a massive surveillance apparatus to spy on americans and people across the globe. after sharing the documents with american reporters in hong kong, snowden was charged in the u.s. for violating the espionage act and other laws.
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as he fled in an attempt to reach political exile in latin america, snowden became stranded at moscow's international airport after the u.s. revoked his passport. he has lived in political exile in russia ever since. in 2019, snowden offered to return to the united states if he could be guaranteed a fair trial. in japan, hundreds of dignitaries and more than 50 current and former world leaders gathered in tokyo earlier today for the state funeral of former prime minister shinzo abe, three months after he was shot dead by an assassin wielding a homemade gun. members of japan's self-defense forces fired cannons in a 19-gun salute as abe's widow akie abe carried the late leader's ashes to a feral cerony. among those attending were vice president kamala harris and indian prime minister narendra modi. meanwhile, thousands of protesters marched through tokyo's streets chanting, "no state funeral!"
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protesters took aim at abe's push to revise japan's pacifist constitution, his ultranationalist views, and his refusal to apologize for war crimes committed by japanese soldiers during world war ii. and cubans have voted overwhelmingly to legalize marriage equality. in a nationwide referendum held sunday, more than two-thirds of cuban voters backed a family code that allows lgbtq people to marry or form civil unions and to adopt children. it also promotes the equal distribution of domestic responsilities between men and women and takes steps to address domestic- and gender-based violence. on monday, cuban president miguel díaz-canel tweeted -- "starting today, we will be a better nation. #loveisnowthelaw" and those are some of the headlines. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by democracy now! co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick,
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new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, am welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: we begin today's show in iran, where dozens of people have been killed in a series of escalating protests demanding justice for a 22-year-old kurdish-iranian woman named mahsa amini who died in the custody of iran's so-called morality police. amini was detained on september 13 for allegedly leaving some of her hair visible in violation of an iranian law requiring women to cover their head. witnesses said amini was severely beaten in a police van. she died after falling into a coma. her death has sparked the largest protests iran has seen since at least 2019. the norway-based group iran human rights estimates 76 people have been killed over the past two weeks. at least 1200 people have been arrested. according to the comttee to protecjournalist at least
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journasts have bn arrested covering the protests. communication remains limited to parts of in due to iernet and socialedia shutdns. meanwhile, iran's revolutionary guard attacked areas in northern aq mondapopulated iranian kurdisseparatist to talk more about the protests, we are joined in chicago by hoda katebi. she is an iranian american writer and community organizer living in chicago and the bay area. her new op-ed for the los angeles times is headlined "iranian women are rising up to demand freedom. are we listening?" welcome, hoda, to democracy now! describe the extent of these women-led protests and how radical it is that it is women, particularly young women, who are not only the spark for these protests but also the ones in the streets. >> absolutely.
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what we are seeing in iran right now is really exciting and beautiful. it is terrifying but i think that is just the nature of people's movements around the world. i do want to say these movements right now are absolutely led by women, but as have all of the previous movements in iran. women have played a role both before and after the revolution. what we're seeing now is the natural culmination, not only of women continuously taking up leadership within a systems change in iran, but decades of state repression against women, particularly focused on women's bodies in public spaces. what is unique about this moment right now is not only our young women overseeing -- we are sickness for the first time, the bravery inspiring on the frontlines, being faced with all types of different government repression from internet censorship to live ammunition to plastic bullets and also these
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protests have a bit of a more intersectional approach to them. women are chanting for women, life, freedom. which is a kurdish slogan. it has been translated into farsi and populist across the country. workers are coming out alongside students, kurdish women, non-kurdish women. we see a lot of a greater amount of iranians from across class background coming together to demand justice for mahsa amin. also the abolition of the morality police. juan: could you talk about how the iranian government has exerted pressure and repression on the kurdish community over the years? >> absolutely. the iranian government has been extremely repressive in these protests as well is previous
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protests. right now you're saying a munition used, dozens of iranians have been killed. a 10-year-old girl was killed in a suburb of tehran only days ago. there's been a particular emphasis on the kurdish area where mahsa amin was originally from. this area has been the heart and initial sparking outlet of these protests nationwide. now we're seeing an immense pressure the government is imposing on the kurdish community and using this as an opportunity to advance a lot of the sort of nationalist ideals of the iranian project onto the kurdish communities. juan: a particular role by the volunteers in iran's peer military revolutionary guard, can you ta about their role in who they are? >> they are part of the iranian government, sort of apparatus of
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letting down protesters. what is also significant as these sort of paramilitary guards are also being stationed and in places parallel to the united states approach in repressing protesters here that they will use every day civil society objects. we seeing a lot of images with ambulances on fire or other things that seem like very related to civil society but also particular tactic of using these items in order to have images of ambulances on fire, videos circulating and shaping the narrative when in fact there so much more to that story. there is also a lot of plainclothes refugees within the protesters who are trying to push specific narratives that allow the state to sort of advance its violence against the protesters. for example, there's a lot of narratives now the iranian government is trying to push that this is an uprising or
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protest against islam, hijabs. these are extremely, extremely terrifying to see this sometimes also picked up by people outside of iran. as iranian woman on the ground are fighting for, the right to choice and the right to freedom across the board. this is beyond just women's rights. it is about state violence. i think making this about islam and muslims, it isolates the millions of iranian women in iran and around the world who are muslim, who where the hijab, don't wear the hijab that are in solidarity of these protests. amy: if you could talk about what the women are doing, ripping off their headscarves, even burning them, men cheering them on. can you talk about this kind of brazen defiance and what this means for the so-called morality police and the fact these protests are extending to
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religious cities, for example ,khost? >> absolutely. there are so many powerful beautiful images coming out of iran right now. as someone who does where the hijab and is chosen to for most of my life, as in iranian american seeing images of iranians in iran who have been forced to wear the hijab bning their headscaes, such beautiful and powerful symbol. the iranian government has choseno adopt ts headscf as its national symbol to enforce on women's bodies in iran. we are seeing women rising up and burning symbols of the state that have been historically enforced on their bodies. i think this is a really powerful example that i think people around the world can learn from in terms of taking up items the state has decided is a symbol of itself. these are very contextualized. i want to underscore that several times because in iran,
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and iranian forced to wear a headscarf, burning a headscarf is different than pompeo and i the not states burning a hijab at his house on twitter. i think the context is very important. i think this speaks to why the protests in this moment has been so beautifully spread. so much international solidarity. women are at the frontlines and i manning this moment open up a eater coersation, t just about molity police and mandatory dress codes, but the inteections of socioeconomic class on women's bodies, labor juice, ecomic justice, and reallyalking aut progress and moving forward on a systemic level and there should be no gender delay and that con verstaion -- conversation. amy: video by world-renowned
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oscar winning iranian filmmaker asghar farhadi released a video calling on artists around the world to declare their solidarity with the protesters in iran. >> they have clearly reached a landmark. [indiscernible] everyone who believes human dignity and freedom to and in solidarity with the powerful and brave women and men of iran the recording video or writing or any other way. juan: hoda katebi, your response? also the issue of the level of surveillance by the relative
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police, wrote that "early this month, the government announced it will start using facial recognition technology in public spaces to enforce dress codes against women"? >> absolutely. i definitely uplift those words by the filmmaker. i think it is a beautiful call to stand in solidarity with iranian women and recognize the struggles are connected globally. i think especially when it comes to things like surveillance, so we see an increased level of state surveillance of women's bodies in particular in iran in order to enfoe dress code. this is something we have seen increased specifically these past several years under t current administration that have sort of imposed a new finng system f ticketing women f different escode viotions. this is part of the larger trajectory that pecially in the pa few yrs has worsened and the cracking down on women's
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bodies and iran public spaces in iran. amy: this is the iranian president responding to the protests. >> they want to ride a wave and create riots and disturbances. they think they can stop the nation. give announced many times if anyone has a fair comment, we will lten to it. but anarchy, disturbing national security come the security of people, no one will succumb to this. amy: i was wondering if you could respond? talking about the civil war come the protest escalating. he is expected to be interviewed in york. she refused to wear headscarf and said she would in iran but not here. he canceled the interview. >> i think it is hard to feel anything other than absolute outrage when you see -- when you hear his words. i think what is particularly, especially important for someone like myself who is very used to
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hearing that thing said by u.s. president whenever there massive protests across the country, for example, after the death of george floyd. i think this is a common state tactic to focus on sort of things that are happening in their fringes or margilized parts of the movement and not centering the voices. i thinkhere haseen women, people tkingbout these issues, civil society organizations that have been bringing these issues forward for decades -- since the revolution people been talking about this. i think it would be ludicrous to say is is the rstime hija s have been a conversation in iran when it has beeat the forefront of conversations along with how it is connected to class and economic situation in iran, the treatment of ethnic minorities in iran. we saw that increase when there was a surge of afghan refugees. i think these conversations have always happened.
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on the contrary, we have seen a sort of reduction of spaces to be able to have these conversations. civil society organizations have come out in full-fledged against the systems that uphold it and they have many working on these issues before that have been forced to close, the leaders of nonprofits, organizations in iran have been banned from working. this is sort of a tipping point of escalated sort of these sorts of specifically state restrictions -- the crackdown has worsened as well as increase of closure a space to be able to talk about this outside of protests on the streets. amy: we just have 30 seconds. your thoughts on calls for increased sanctions for against iran? >> it is the most ironic for lack of a better word because sanctions kill people. sanctions have killed iranian women. look at the history of our neighbor of iraq to understand how devastating sanctions are.
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iranian women's calls reached to the economic sector and united states sanctions have played a major role on crippling the iranian economy. right now iran is at a moment of some of its worst economic situations since the revolution and this is directly tied to u.s. sanctions. if anything, iranian women -- that the united states have no movement on this. we have seen a little about this when biden removed some of the sanctions around telecommunications that enabled the iranian government to have a monopoly on the censorship of iranian voices. we urge biden to continue to remove sanctions off iran so america has no interference and iranians on the ground become the agents of their own future on their own terms. amy: hoda katebi, thank you for joining us iranian american , writer and community organizer living in chicago and the bay area.
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we willing to your op-ed in the los angeles times "iranian women are rising up to demand freedom. are we listening?" next up, we go to baltimore. then we go to philadelphia. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "bella ciao," the classic italian protest song being sung in persian by an iranian woman, in a video that has gone viral online as part of nationwide protests. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. a property management company partly owned by donald trump's son-in-law jared kushner has agreed to pay $3.25 million to the state of maryland and to reimburse tens of thousands of tenants in baltimore. maryland's attorney general brian frosh said -- "this is a case in which landlords deceived and cheated tenants and subjected them to miserable living conditions." the state of maryland sued the kushner-owned company after propublica detailed how the company hounded low-income tenants with a barrage of lawsuits, eviction notices and late fees, even when the tenants were in the right.
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propublica's 2017 investigation was headlined "the beleaguered -- was written by alec macgillis, who joins us now from baltimore. he is an award-winning reporter at propublica and editor-at-large at the baltimore banner. why don't you lay out what the settlement is about and most importantly, behavior of the christer company. >> this is really big settlement, really hard to find precedence this big in a case like this, more than $3 million. residents will be able to file claims for rent they had to pay on incredibly shoddy. i was in units in 2017 had holes in the wall, that had leaks, riddled with mice. one woman had raw sewage coming out of her kitchen sink. she had maggots coming out of her carpet. gas leaks. enlist problems the tenants had to do with and still having to pay their rent and being
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constantly taken to court by the kushners. the article describe the constant hounding of tenants with broken leases. for years and years, even garnishing wages sometimes. tenants would find their big accounts cleared out because the company had just gone in and gotten a court order to take all their money away. neighbors were utterly powerless to fight back, even when they were in the right. so tenants who had left the complex in baltimore before the kushners bought them in 2012, 2013, and nonetheless, the company was coming after them for alleged broken leases and unpaid rents from prior years. they basically saw these tenants as a profit center that they could squeeze as much money out of as possible. juan: what are we talking about in terms of the numbers of units that the kushners owned and can
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you talk about how this payout was enabled, what was the profit like of the lawsuit? >> there are thousands of units. it's a whole hidden world of what i call kushnerville. when i wrote the article it was 15 large, says across all the more suburbs. this is not the urban core of baltimore, rowhouses. these are complexes built in the 1960's and 1970's that sprawl around the inner suburbs of baltimore. about 9000 units in all. the attorney general estimates 30,000 people lived in these units during the time in question. we now have thousands of people who are going to be able to file claims. if tenants had major maintenance problems in their units and were having to pay rent anyway,
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they're going to be able to file a claim for that rent and try to get some of it back. they will have a year to do so. there will be "special master" that will oversee assessing these claims. on top of that, the kushners will have to automatically reimburse tenants and former tenants for the fees they were unjustly charged over and over, the inflate fe and court fs that were not merited or allowed. they will automatically have to disperse that money to people. people will not have to file separate claims for that. they can file claims for the rent they paid on these very shoddy units. this is uncapped. that means the kushners are paying $3.25 million find of the state. part of that, 800 thousand dollars is a down payment on the claims they will be paying out to tenants. those claims can go as high as
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the sky -- the skies the limit, basically. they will have to pay all the claims. juan: to what extent has your investigation or the court record revealed the extent that jared kushner himself was directly involved or just largely a passive investor when it comes to this -- to all of these units? >> he was very, very involved. he was still running the company back in 2012, 2013 when the company decided to make -- decided to buy these complexes. that was his decision to basically -- these competences were providing an incredible cash flow for this big real estate company that have become highly leveraged, highly in debt with very fancy purchases was making in new york. investments in new york. towers in manhattan that it own. meanwhile, it's real core business was the revenue coming
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in from these thousands of units , humble areas of baltimore. that was his decision to make, to make that investment. and then his decision to pursue these people as aggressively as they did. to sort of see these tenants as this incredible source of revenue that he wanted to squeeze as much out of it as he possibly could. when he became advisor to the president in 2017, his father-in-law donald trump, moved into the west wing, he gave up -- she stepped back from that title as president of the company but all along he -- again, retain very strong hand in the company. this is his project. amy: just to put the $3.25 million in some perspective, "in your tums close reporting saudi
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arabia contributed over $2 billion to jared kushner investment fund and you have new york's attorney general suing donald trump as well as three kids, including jared's wife vodka bang trump, which could possibly lead to the disbanding of the trump empire in new york. your final thoughts? >> that $3.25 million in the scale of kushner and their wealths in the saudi and all that is relative for them. however, it still represents a solid form of countility for the wrongs we exposed in 2017. took five years to get here but there's some real accountability here for the way tenants treated. tenants can file claims and are going to get money back even if it is just $200, couple thousand
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dollars. for these tenants, that is a lot. in the universe where does a whole different scale of finances than the kushners. that's what i found so stunning, had one of the most powerful people in the country sitting in the white house and just 40 miles away he and his company for hounding these people who lived in an entirely different world, who often did not even know the landlord was squeezing them for so much money was in fact jared kushner, son a lot of president trump. amy: alec macgillis, we thank you for your work reporter for propublica. ,we will link to your new piece "kushner company agrees to pay at least $3.25 million to settle claims of shoddy apartments and rent abuses." we will continue on the issue of renters and look at a fight for affordable housing in philadelphia, speaking to two residents facing eviction in philadelphia, plus bishop william barber of the poor people's campaign, organizing to
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stop the evictions. back in 30 seconds. ♪♪ [music break] amy: "the guidance fairy" by vitamin a. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. as we turn now to philadelphia and a campaign stop the displacement of people who live in an affordable housing complex called university city townhomes
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that is located then now largely gentrified area of university city around the university of pennsylvania and drexel university. the neighborhood was once known as black bottom. the complex was built to provide affordable housing for the predominately black and brown families and low-income seniors who lived there for years and were displaced by the university's buildings. for four decades, the property owner ibid associates contacted -- contracted with the u.s. department of housing and urban development to run the complex. it now plans to redevelop the property. the owner ordered all residents to leave by october 7 but announced monday it reached an agreement with the company to extend with hud to extend its contract though the end of the year. residents want a commitment to keep the complex affordable. they've held months of encampments and protests, and bishop barber, president of repairers of the breach and co-chair of the poor people's
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campaign, recently came to draw national attention to the crisis and may well go back. many residents facing eviction from the university city townhomes complex have lived there their whole lives. we're joined now by two of the residents, along with bishop barber -- who says he may move in for a few days. rasheda alexander is a resident leader and organizer with the uc townhomes who has lived there for 14 years. and sheldon davids is a resident leader and organizer with the uc townhomes, who has been member of the uc townhomes community for 13 years and his elderly mother-in-law has lived there for 40 years. rasheda alexander, let's begin with you. you have raised your children there. talk about the neighborhood. you one victory, slight extension from eviction, though you are fighting to make that permanent. >> yes. i came out of homelessness and
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became a resident at university city townhomes. i have raised my daughter, now 17, and these homes. the area is a really good area. they have really good schools. the amenities that are there are very accommodating. over the years, i have seen what was invested into our community slowly stripped away from us. they took out children's institutions, learning institutions, elementary schools, early childhood center, and a high school. years later, they're displacing the families here. but this community has been a close knit community for over 40 years. everybody in the community are
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pretty close. we're pretty much like family. juan: i wanted to ask sheldon davids, you have also lived in the community for many years and still have relatives there and friends. what about this whole issue of the management company wanting to renovate these apartments from three and four bedrooms to studio and one-bedroom apartments? who are they hoping to rent these two? >> i don't want to speculate but what i am prepared to say is with some certainty that we need to preserve the living spaces, the kinds of living spaces of the persons who are there because those spaces meet the needs of the persons whether
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because of multigenerational families or being disabled or elderly, the space they now occupy helps them to live their lives in as regular way as possible and helps them to project, to realize their potential. and the idea of reducing the space these folks occupy is -- to the kinds of development that folks claim that they want for the disenfranchised persons in our society. juan: i wanted to ask reverend william barber, the national significance of what is going on here, so many cities across the country, the giant so-called liberal universities who always talked aut racial justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion -- whether it is the university
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of chicago or columbia university new york, north philly, johns hopkins of baltimore -- they are all gentrifying the neighborhoods around them and pushing out more black and brown residents. >> and poor people. let's be real. these are poor black and brown, poor white. these are persons who get a subsidy for the rent. this and community was disaced years ago a now they're trying to displace them again. universities out there like drexler should be ashamed of themselves. they should be a model community. they should talk about how children can go free to the schoolrather than how to displace them. we know pennsylvania is working on a minimum wage, get to work 300 hours we just afford a basic
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two bedroom apartment. no 2.5 million worrs make under $15 an hour. what we know is these tenants, 11 months of tenant organizing. they had a 31 day protest encampment in july. now fortysomething faith leaders have signed on post of the mayor said, i'm not going to meet with you. they're calling on the state senator to pledge money toward saving townhomes and other section eight housing -- uc townhomes, it will be like a domino effect your not careful. this is a place where poor, low wealth have access. it should be a model for the nation and not a model for destruction. the tenants have also figured out a way with other advocates to create a way to save, create a special fund. that is what we should be talking about, how to preserve our families with disabilities,
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for parents and residents, people who have been there for the longest time. it is happening around the country, this kind of displacement. in a situation where we already know millions of people live on the brink of homelessness every night in america, we know 40% of all pennsylvanians are poor and low income. people running for office should be saying where they stand with these citizens. what we know is the citizens are not going to give up. i have an invitation from the residents to come and stay. we plan to go this weekend. now we see the extended -- [indiscernible] they want them to move. they are trying to make them move out. the citizens are saying
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no. america needs to hear from people. this is who we are. the black and white and latino, young, old, people of different races, different sexualities, disabilities. and what you have is a city and two universities and a greedy developer trying to throw them out when what they should be doing is lifting them up as a model community and what we should be building. amy: you talked about, bishop barber, how they were displaced 40 years ago and been displaced again. this is an absolutely key point that the whole area known as black bottom between the 1950's and 1970's, the federal government initiating a period of urban redevelopment, often referred to as urban renewal across american cities. the city cleared many local neighborhoods to create space for university of philly commercial resident joel buildings.
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the people already had to move. there were told yet to move here and now once again though many young people and students in the area don't know this past history. can you talk about the relationship between aldi management company as they also co-own student housing? >> isn't that the irony? yep the company on the one hand that owns a student housing and on the other hand trying to put the community out that was displaced years ago because of racism. now they want to displace them now because they think the residents are poor and black and brown and white and disabled and they can roughshod over them and push them out. what they did not expect was these residents and tenants was say, no, we're not moving. if you do this, we'll have to do it in the brodd of daylight. the reality is this group, they
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should extend the hud contract for one to two years and that would allow people to stay in their homes a have time to plan in action figure out a way to sell the property in a way that would preserve the housing. the tenants have a plan for that. there are people willing to do that. what they're trying to do is hurry up and rush. they have even cut the lhts off outside. they have refused to fix their apartments. there trying to pressure them, trying to do everything they can to make them move on their own. because what they don't want to do is throw them out. students at penn and drexel, should be joing and nonviolent action with the tenants. black bottoms, they were pushed out of the way and a people want to throw them out again to get them out of the way.
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it was always about greed and money and racism and still is today. there needs to be a nation rising around this because it is wrong. drexel and penn, need to stand beside tse residts is a take your hands off of them. you should be doing everything you can to invest in the community's rather than divest the community and destroy a push them out and gentrified the community. it is not right. juan: sheldon davids, the developer and hud talking abo the residents would be offered section eight for to for kids -- section eight bank certificates. why is that a terrible alternative? >> it is certainly not a viable one. i don't to say it is terrible but it is not viable primarily because increasingly we are
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finding property owners are not entertaining the idea of participating in the program. so when potential renters, when the displaced persons from our community and others venture out into the spaces to try to find other places to live, when they present vouchers, that puts up a wall between themselves and potential renters because they are not particularly enamored with the program to begin with. and there is also -- it also needs their options become narrowed in terms of the kinds of neighborhoods that they can explore living in and the kind of structures that are available to them in terms of quality of
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housing they have access to. amy: rasheda alexander, if you could talk about the student solidarity that has been shown by, for example, penn students, and the fact they feel they're being retaliated against and also deals with student housing as well as your housing. >> yes. the students stand in solidarity with us most of the new president of university of penn, they started and continued the encampment there ridgely started at the university city. now there harassed. the administration is harassing the students, asking for their ids. they also have board hearings for these students, for them to
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have disciplinary action. because of them protesting and standing in solidarity with us. penn needs to keep their promise. they have any broken promises in the neighborhood where university city resides. amy: i want to thank both of you for being with us, rasheda alexander and sheldon davids, residents of uc townhomes. we will continue to cover your story. we're going to also now move our final minutes to another area of disinvestment. bishop barber, before you go, you're joining us from jackson, mississippi. on monday, you let a rally outside thgovernor's mansion in jackson demanding election officials reverse decades of disinvestment that has left water unfit to drink in mississippi's capital city where 80% of all residents are
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african-american. can you talk about the crisis? another boil water order. >> yeah, and it is been going on for nearly 50 years, over 170,000 residents ar without water. and while the city is 82% african-american, this is also a dirty, poisonous water for black people, disabled people, white people. if a white doctor who suffers from ms talked about at the rally how bad this is what is going on. others are having to wash children's bodies and that water. the water is not being tested. there putting clorox in dirty water. it is immoral and sinful violation of people's protection under the law and human rights. because of the same time, allegedly, the governor, along with brett favre, and now been to the courts taking money that was dedicated for poor and low
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wealth people in order to do their projects. we don't even know how deep that is. so sinful and immoral. the citizens of jackson -- this mayor has a plan. people have lied about that. willing to tax sales. they voted to tax themselves. republican legislators voted to not allow them to use their own tax money to fix the problem. there's something and jackson. they want the city, the airport. they do not want to fix the problem. they want to put a band-aid on it. people are saying no, we have launched ramadi's of people will be back. that is a lawsuit must of the lawsuit is misdirected. it is going after the mayor when it should be going after the state and the governor.
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it is the state government of mississippi not only has denied people health care, denied giving wages, but denied every opportunity for jackson to have its water restored and have clean water in the capital city of that state. i want people to hear that. in the capital city of that state. it all began, amy, 50 years ago in 1972 around the issue of segregation. there is been an attack on that city and its infrastructure ever since then. juan: reverend barber, i wanted to ask you, the epa -- joe biden's epa administrator mike regan, the first african-american to head that agency, announced recently a new office of environmental justice and civil rights. he did so in your home state of north carolina from the predominately black community that many considered to be the birthplace of the environment of
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justice movement. what could the federal vernment do not only in terms of jackson, but so many other cities around the country where environmental justice is a burning issue for black and brown communities? >> years ago my father people ugly on white and others -- people like leon white and others, dropping -- people were coming up with cancer. they had to lay down in front of those trucks to stop them. they called it environment racism because they were doing in predominately black community. also classism because it is a poor community. was secretary regan announced, a great first step, going to put 200 employees and billions of dollars in agency that has power to protect, power to investigate
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what is going on. to say to corporations, you cannot do this anymore this is an important first step. he announced he has the green light in the state of mississippi's government, we can pull that federal money if you don't to write. that is with the federal government can do. they can pull all the federal money when a state is engaging in outright racism and classism in outright harm toward poor people, low-wage people, disabled people. this is what we have to have. we have to have equal protection under the law. everything we are talking about was created by that policy. therefore, can be fixed by good policy. here we are in jackson. we could go to arizona what is happening to the apache people with their water.
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the pipelines and built across the country. got a call in michigan, predominate white, minnesota having similar problems. they could join with the state and the federal government to fix these problems and should fix these probms. otherwise, what we're doing is poisoning people. jackson and other places had this going on during covid when the one thing the doctor say you need to do in covid was clean water. we don't know yet how many people died in jackson are got sick beyond where they should have because of poison water, because it had not been fixed, because there's been a 50 year band-aid approach, because the leaders di not have a plan, because they refused to fix it. this has to be explored. amy: 10 seconds. >> talking about getting experts to help do that analysis of
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people know what is going on and we can fight the change. amy: bishop william barber of the poor people's campaign and repairers of the breach. speaking to us from jackson, mississippi, headed to philadelphia, pennsylvania. we will continue to cover both of these issues. that doe
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