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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 18, 2020 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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12/18/20 12/18/20 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> get off the property. the police are coming. >> why are you evicting someone during a pandemic? amy: as covid cases and deaths shatter road records in the united states, millions of people risk losing their homes in the middle of the pandemic as a federal moratorium of evictions is abouto end. we will get the latest.
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then we will speak to indigenous activist winona laduke about joe biden's selection of deb haaland to be the first native american to serve as interior secretary. we will also look at the ongoing protests against the enbridge line 3 pipeline in minnesota. >> we're asking you to come to the river and pray. there are a lot of people up here and there need to be more. this is our river. these are public lands they are taking for this canadian multinational corporation. amy: in a shocking exposé in the intercept reveals that cia trained and funded death squads have targeted islamic religious schools in afghanistan, killing boys as young as eight years old. >> nworks have been implicated according to our reporting in a number of incidents, including summarexecutions,assacres, mutilations, and the list goes
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on. amy: was this campaign of terror part of the trump administration's exit strategy from afghanistan? we will find out. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the united states has logged its second-worst day of the pandemic after shattering records just a day earlier. on thursday, the u.s. recorded 233,000 new infections and nearly 3300 deaths. intensive care units in southern california reports they have run out of icu beds. on average, two people are dying of covid-19 each hour in los angeles. meanwhile, lawyers representing patients at southern california's largest psychiatric hospital are demanding the release or transfer of hundreds of people amid a massive outbreak that's sickened nearly
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700 people and killed 10. the lawyers describe the state-run patton state hospital as a tinderbox for covid-19. on thursday, a panel of vaccine experts recommended the fda grant emergency use authorization to moderna's covid-19 vaccine for people 18 and older. final fda approval could come as early as today. this comes as governors around the u.s. report their states are receiving significantly fewer doses of pfizer's covid-19 vaccine than planned. a spokesperson for pfizer has millions of doses uncle storch she says in its warehouse, but is awaiting instructions from the trump administration on how to distribute them. as a gutter broadcast, vice president mike pence and second lady karen pence and surgeon general drum adam are big
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vaccinated. beingeral drone atoms are vaccinated. the white house says president trump won't be vaccinated until it's recommended by his medical team. lawmakers continue to haggle over a $900 billion stimulus bill, with talks likely extending past tonight's midnight deadline to avoid a government shutdown. white house aides reportedly talked president trump out of insisting on stimulus checks for as much as $2000 as part of the relief package, saying it would "blow up negotiations." the bill in its current form is expected to include one-time payments of just $600. this comes as new figures show another 885,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week -- the highest weekly level in three months. nearly half a million more people filed for pandemic unemployment assistance, a federal aid program for part-time and self-employed workers. new york congressmember alexandria ocasio-cortez is calling for new leadership in
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the democratic party, which she says will help ensure progressive gains like medicare for all. she made the comments in a recent interview on the podcast intercepted. >> for me, personally, it was when i was waitressing and i would hear democrats talk about why the affordable care act was so amazing all the time and how this is the greatest thing ever and the economy is doing wonderfully. frankly, it is the same trick that trump. it which is that will touting thedow is a measure of economic success when we are all getting killed out here. do we need new leadership in the democratic party? absolutely. but how do we ensure when we shift, we don't even move further to the right? amy: president-elect joe biden has nominated new mexico congressmember deb haaland to become secretary of the interior. if confirmed, haaland will be the first native american to
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serve as a cabinet secretary. haaland's nomination was backed by progressives as well as more than 120 tribal leaders who sent a letter to joe biden last month urging him to select her for the post. haaland responded in a statement -- "as our country faces the impacts of climate change and environmental injustice, the interior has a role and i will be a partner in addressing these challenges by protecting our public lands and moving our country towards a clean energy future." we'll have more on deb haaland's historic nomination later in the broadcast with indigenous activist winona lake. president-elect joe biden is nominating north carolina's top environmental official michael regan to lead the environmental protection agency. if confirmed, regan would become the second black man to head the epa. he previously worked at the agency under presidents bill clinton and george w. bush. congressmember and incoming director of the white house office of public engagement
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cedric richmond has tested positive for the coronavirus, two days after he appeared at an event in georgia with joe biden. biden reportedly tested negative for the virus thursday. richmond and biden interacted outdoors for less than 15 total minutes and both wore masks throughout the event. in immigration news, buzzfeed -- immigration activists say children and families are -- 28 children and their families are scheduled to be deported this morning, including a four-year-old girl with a broken arm in need of surgery. the families are from central and south america and haiti. their attorneys argue the families were never given a fair chance to seek asylum in the u.s., and that the parents had refused to be separated from their children as they fought their cases.
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344 schoolboys who were abducted last friday from their school in northwestern katsina state have been freed. boko haram initially claimed responsibility but a state official now says they were not involved. on capitol hill, members of the billionaire sackler family refused to apologize thursday as house lawmakers grilled them over their role in fueling the devastating opioid epidemic. the sacklers own purdue pharma, the maker of oxycontin.
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the company pleaded guilty last month to three criminal charges, including bribing doctors to write more prescriptions for the highly addictive drug. sackler family members have not been criminally charged. this is massachusetts congressmember ayanna pressley addressing david sackler. >> we do not need another failed war on drugs. we need an accountability of drug companies to put profits over people. you've created a nationwide epidemic. 450,000 people have died. let me be clear, people struggling with addiction are not criminals. pharma,ily and purdue you are the criminals. you are thones who disregard your duties to society and you should be ashamed of yourself. amy: thursday's hearing came as the centers for disease control and prevention reported the u.s. had more than 81,000 overdose deaths over the past year -- the highest number ever recorded, and nearly 20,000 more than last year. death row prisoner dustin john higgs has contracted covid-19 ahead of his scheduled execution on january 15. higgs is among over 300 prisoners in the federal prison in terre haute, indiana, who have tested positive for covid-19, including prisoners on death row. a guard working on the unit also tested positive. higgs's attorney said the outbreak is likely due to the rushed executions carried out by the trump administration during the pandemic. so far this year, 10 peoe have been put to death by the federal government -- the most since 1896. dozens of attoeys general from across 35 states have launched an antitrust lawsuit against google accusing the tech giant of anti-competitive actions that protect the company's general search monopolies, depriving
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consumers of choices. the lawsuit filed thursday is one of three antitrust cases against google. in related news, google employees are demanding senior leadership reinstate prominent black researcher timnit gebru, who alleged she was fired earlier this month after arguing tech companies should do more to ensure gender biased and racist language are not exacerbated by artificial intelligence systems. and in labor news, new york city council passed legislation that protects fast food workers from being fired without a valid reason. councilmember adrienne adams, author of the bill. >> before the pandemic about fast food workers performed dangerous and physically demanding work but now as essential workers, their jobs ve become more dangerous, putting your health and families health at risk. in exchange, there often faced with impossible choices. endure hostile working conditions, leave, or be fired and paste financial struggle
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without a job. this because legislation is about giving working families economic stability and security and mo imptant this is about treating workers with respect and dignity. amy: those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. as u.s. hospitalizations from covid-19 hit another record high, we begin today's show looking at the crisis of evictions and how millions across the country could be forced to leave their homes in the middle of the pandemic if congress does not extend the federal eviction moratorium that is due to expire at the end of the year. congress is expected to extend them or trained one month, two january 31, in the $900 billion stimulus bill currently being debated in washington. but this is just a temporary fix. the u.s. census bureau reports that one third of u.s. households are behind on rent or mortgage payments and ll likely face eviction or
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foreclosure in the next two months. meanwhile, many have already faced eviction despite the national moratorium. new research finds more than 400,000 covid-19 cases and nearly 11,000 deaths resulted from evictions after many states allowed eviction moratoriums to expire over the summer. the co-author of this research joins us now in los angeles, california, the new epicenter of the pandemic. kathryn leifheit is a researcher at ucla's fielding school of public health. and in kansas city, we're joined by tara raghuveer, director of kc tenants, a tenants rights organization in kansas city, and director of the national campaign homes guarantee. welcome both of you to democracy now! tara, let's begin with you. lay out the national problem we are saying. record deaths, record hospitalizations, record infections around the coronavirus. and this federal moratorium on
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evictions is due to end at the end of this year, in just a few weeks. realize important to the federal moratorium that is due to and was not good enough to begin with. it did not come until september and that was month after people in places like kansas city have been evicted and forced to the streets in the middle of a global pandemic. the cdc moratorium only covers one type of eviction, and those are evictions for nonpayment of rent. it leaves a lot open to local interpretation and puts the apply fortenants to that production. the cdc moratorium was not good leave hundreds of thousands to millions of families vnerable to eviction within the first 20 days of the next year. can a coke plain the difference between -- amy cook's by the difference between federal evictions another evictions. what does federal apply to?
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applieddc moratorium ostensibly to every property in the country and was available for any tenanwho needed protection. previously, only eviction protection for buildings that got some kind of federal financing. in september the cdc would further. the problem was the federal moratorium left a lot to local interpretation. in kansas city, for example, the presiding judge of our circuit court decided he was going to allow landlords to file evictions and the judges were still going to hear evictions and you're still going to issue evictions. out,you recently tweeted "if people get checks but we rent, those aren't stimulus checks, they are an industry bailout." explain. >> the tenants in the streets and in theiromes have been
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demanding cancellation since march. the tenants were clear in the states of unprecedented public health and economic crisis, should not be responsible for what i the largest bill for every american family across race and class lines. but months into the pandemic, tenants are still being held responsible for the rent payment. and the fact is, the rate needs first. that is to say, if a family gets a check weather for $600 or $1200, that money goes first to the landlord. so that es not stimulate the economy or put food on the table. it does not help their family survive this traumatic moment. all that does is enrich the property owner to whom they of their rent. amy: in november, members of kc tenants were detained by police when they tried to halt the eviction of a woman from her apartment in raytown, missouri, who said she had nowhere else to go. >> get off the property.
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the police are coming. >> why are you evicting someone in a pandemic? amy: last week, hundreds of protesters marched in brooklyn to the housing court, demanding an endo evictions and to cancel rent. >> we are the tenants. the mighty, mighty tenants. justice.for amy: those are sounds from the streets of brookland and that first eviction was right around the issue in kansas city involving your group kc tenants. if you can talk about what that eviction was all about -- often,
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specifics capture people's attention more than the mass numbers, is horrifying. and even the people throwing people out, like those are brought in with sheriff's, you see them weeping and saying "i am taking out this person's furniture and i am probably next." >> that's right. disrupted ison we a cancer survivor. she was living by herself. she wasn't even behind on her rent. she was being evicted because the property manager was basically sick of her abuser showing up and causing trouble at the apartment complex. she is a domestic violence survivor and basically was evicted for calling for support in her domestic violence case. it was true, she had nowhere to go that night. we showed up to execute this kind of blockade as a way of both supporting amanda enjoying her solidarity, but also
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exposing the fact sheriffs evictions are still happening right now. the fact is, for a lot of people were not impacted by these types of events, there is the ability to ignore that our state is sanctioning this kind of violence. we wanted to put that on blast. i think we effectively did so. arents across the country taking matters into their own hands, shutting down eviction courts, shutting down work locking these types of evictions that sheriffs are executing as a way of saying, if we don't have justice, we won't allow for any piece. amy: kathryn leifheit, you did this major national study at licking the lifting of more troops to increase in covid cases and deaths. explain what you found. >> to understand this relationship between evictions and covid in this context of a
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pandemic, we look at eviction moratoriums that were implemented and then lifted at the state level. were 43 states and the district of columbia implemented an eviction moratoriums between march and september. in 27 of the states, they went on to lift the moratorium over the summer. we compared the state that had lifted their moratoriums to those that kept their moratoriums in place. we found the states that lifted their moratoriums had 430,000 more covid cases and over 10,000 more covid deaths. we think the stats -- deaths are preventable and could have been prevented had those moratoriums been kept in place. amy: explain more explicitly the connection. evicted,eople get often they have limited options about where they go next.
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these things happen very quickly wastheir violent as tara explaining. people often move in with friends or family if they have that option. if not, they may enter a homeless shelter. both of those things increase your number of household contact, increase crowding. we know household transmission and crowding are two of the main mechanisms that drive up the transmission. it is important to note this doesn't only increase covid risks for people who get evicted, but for the entire community. amy: the study was not peer-reviewed, but you decided to get it out even in advance at that. why? >> we thought this was such urgent -- urgently needed evidence for advocates and isicymakers -- the study awaiting peer-reviewed, but we wanted to make sure they had these numbers and hand as
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they're making decisions about writ relief and whether or not and nationalte eviction moratoriums. amy: i don't know how many people picked up on this moratorium was issued by the cdc, the centers for disease control and prevention, which really underscores the coection between evictions and public health. >> yes, that is right. i did my dissertation looking at links between eviction moratoriums and chronic health outcomes. birth outcomes when pregnant moms experience eviction or food insecurity, cognitive develop in, lead poisoning for chilen. we have been talking about eviction as a public health problem for a while but didn't have the cdc come out in the context of the pandemic and say this was the rationale for the moratorium was powerful. amy: i want to ask you which communities are most impacted?
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communities latinx are disproportionately burdened by evictions. they are the same communities that are getting battered by covid. we really worry that state evictions could potentially broaden the disparities that are already wide in covid cases and death. amy: your response to covid biden choosing congress woman fudge? housing isn't a new problem. we already have housing affordability crisis before this pandemic. we need to do everything we can to make sure we have safe and affordable housing so that people are not just one crisis or economic shock away from losing their homes. amy: tara raghuveer, as we wrap up, if you can talk about the
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difference these actions have made when people come out -- i mean, we're talking about in the next days, this letter moratorium on evictions is scheduled to end. but even with it in place, so many people are being evicted. what you think is the most effective response? most effective response here in kansas city and in the tenants move in across the country is been to take radical direct action to shut down every instance of evictn. we have been disrupting the hearings in court and have been showing up for blockades training others to do the same and as far as we are concerned, especially in state like missouri wre our governor, where our judges are not listening, the tenants do not care about working people. the only thing we have to do is take action, take collective action and shut down the right systems that are keeping our people in such pain. amy: tara rauveer, director of
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kc tenants. , researcher att ucla's fielding school of public health. we will link to your report at democracynow.org. back, an historic domination. first native american to had the interior department. we will get response from indigenous leader winona laduke. stay with us. ♪ [musibreak]
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amy: "fight for you" by raye zaragoza. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. president-elect joe biden has nominated new mexico congressmember deb haaland to become secretary of the interior. if confirmed, she will be the first native american to serve in a cabinet position.
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haaland's nomination was backed by progressives as well as more than 120 tribal leaders who sent a letter to joe biden last month urging him to select her for the post. haaland responded in a statement -- "as our country faces the impacts of climate change and environmental injustice, the interior has a role and i will be a partner in addressing these challenges by protecting our public lands and moving our country towards a clean energy future." journalist julian brave noisecat tweeted -- "after four years of fossil fuel executives and lobbyists opening up native lands and sacred sites to industry tycoons, the next secretary of interior will be a laguna pueblo woman who went to standing rock in 2016 and cooked for the people." deb haaland's appointment comes as the struggle against the enbridge line 3 pipeline continues in minnesota after construction began two weeks ago. indigenous and environmental activists have been holding daily protests against the
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project, which would carry tar sands oil from alberta, canada, to a terminal in superior, wisconsin, cutting through indigenous territory and running under more than 200 streams. on monday, 22 water protectors were arrested in the freezing cold at a line 3 construction site. well, for more on deb haaland's historic nomination and the ongoing resistance at line 3, we are joined by winona laduke, executive director of honor the earth and rural development economist. she is the author of the upcoming book "to be a water protector." winona lives and works on the white earth reservation in northern minnesota. welcome back to democracy now! can you start off by talking debt the significance of haaland to be the first native american to had the interior department if approved by the senate, not to mention to be a cabinet member as far as we know? you are a longtime supporter of her back when she ran for ngress.
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>> i just want to say one thing -- would be an affirmation from all of us over here in indian country. that was a very very important step for the biden administration. indeed people know how to take care of this land. deb haaland comes from that kind of pueblo, one of the largest uranium mining histories in this country. really grateful for this and this vision that we're going to have. there's a lot of work to do -- i do with the trumpet administration has done a we're grateful the biden administration has taken these steps. amy: can you talk about what deb haaland stands for? she is a congressmember from new mexico. she talked immediately about .ustainable development
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and what the interior department does. --the interior department what has happened is the interior department and the federal government has basically given away so much of the land, water, and resources of indian country. under the trump administration and previous ministrations. let's just say the public lands and native lands should be protected. there's history with the vision that she and other leaders have had in washington with the dressed transition of green new deal. we don't need anymore fossil fuels. we need a just transition. amy: who has rented to peer -- interior department before? what have been the policies before? many have talked about joe biden's cabinet being largely still from corpulen corporate
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establishment. deb haaland comes from a very different place. >> i'm sure she can stand up to the challenges and she will have a lot of support. we should be done with avoiding corporate heads to run parts of our government. they have enough inflnce already. in this moment of time, have vast territories of land that she is going to be able to look at. provide some redress from what the trump administration s-10, basically deconstructing any environmental relations we had, any protection of public lands that we had. so significant prior to this, all white males in this position. we are grateful the new administration has seen the merits of the championship of the environment and of native people. of herd the significance going to standing rock? which brings us to enbridge three and what this is about, the similar
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struggles, if you can make the connections back in 2016. i was with you at standing rock covering what you are doing. you pitched your tent. deb haaland was there also. >> a lot of people were realizededecause we the rights of corporatns had superseded the rights of people. , after ourck successful defeat of enbridge under the sandpiper, a frack oil pipeline that enbridge wanted to put through our territory. after that project was canceled in 2016, the companyurchased 26% of the dakota access pipeline and proceeded to ram a pipeline tough -- a real bad the -- in north dakota and water protectors. this is the end of the fossil fuel era. the price of oil i think was -38 a barrel.
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yet this reduction in oil consumption, the crashing of the term since industry. come to after company is still spilling out. the closure of refineries in the united states. we're point in time when the industry is ending and certainly no reason to approve a new tar since pipeline. it is like the last person's pipeline at the end of the fossil fuel era. we're sitting here in northern minnesota, standing against enidge's proposal. for yea, 70,000 people came out and testified against the pipeline for seven years. we have been saying it is a bad idea. it was a really bad idea when it was initially proposed and now in 2020 with both the price of oil, the state of climate disaster we are in, and the projection in the future moving toward electric cars, there is no need for this pipeline. there wasn't any before and
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there certainly isn't now. enbridge is trying to sve it through. we call this the pandemic pipeline. the governor from minnesota approved all of the permits for the enbridge line 3 pipeline a day later, theovernor of michiganithdw the eaments r thenbridge peline projecundernea the strts ofackiw citinghe plic' trust doctrine. sayi the ierest ofhe peop of the ste serseded the inrest othe cadian muinationa corporaon. a stark comrison. w'reitting in northern minnesota, 65, 6year-old wom gettgrreste minus t degreeout there, protect our war. all kis of people are getting arrested all kinds of people are cing here. is a paemic. 4200 woers i congn from o of state peli workers fm other failed pjects lehe ketone xl. comi from tes and ut and wying,ichigan to put in a
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pipeline nobody wants. it is brutal appea to -- want to go getting to drill beneath the river. beenis where my family s for five generations. where my grandmother was born. great to see how much construction has been done in the last few weeks. i am standing here in support of and ally ship to stop line three but also i am tired of my people being lied to. that these are the good jobs destroying the place that would come from. amy: that is one of
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the protesters at a tuesday action. month, ahis woman sat in front of a machine that was brought into clear trees for construction. if you could also describe that scene and the various direct actions and protests taking place -- to describe the action of the minnesota governor -- he is a democrat. >> yes, that's right. for some reason, tim wolf that this was a good idea just thought this was a good idea. arrested,-2ng degrees, all of in the north. in the middle of the pandemic. ulee have four icu beds in the county. what a poor decision is made. we wanted the opportunity for just transition post in minnesota we will be fighting over rocks and pipes the rest of our lives. roxanne pipes for the rest of
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our lives and the next 20 years unless we come up with a better plan, when i can bring local jobs. that is what snai italking about. time -- peoplare posi this pipine and 're just geing stard. our ibes fil, along with orgazations, an appeal for ery step of the press, inuding thcertifice of need and toughou pmits issued bthe state of minnesota. they don't have apell plan r lake serior. they cou not meewater ality stdards. here ware standing here watching the crunching of our - these ant maches they drive through and destroy and consu forests in this pathway debt th enbridgs
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bringi. prayinat our lge d don sawhe machi coming d she waso upsetith it, she ju sat andriednd was aking. thenhe is pring and thnext stop theknow daw machine. e machinhas not restart on e bankof theississpi river where are people still stand. you i want to also ask about another issue. this has to do with sports news. the cleveland indians baseball team has announced it is changing its name after years of protests from native american advocates and fans. i want to ask about the whole issue. interestingly, the team was ford over 100 years ago native american player that had not been recognized. but indigenous groups have been
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fighting for decades -- the indian psychologist association put out a letter saying this demeans us. this of course follows the removal of the name of the washington national team, as it is referred to now, former name will not go mitch had. talk about this movement and what it means to you. >> i think it is a reclaiming of our rights to define who we are, not have someone else i who we are. being a mom and grandmother, you see these kids and all they see this big sign for indians that has nothing to do with them. it has been any appropriation of who we are. making a lot of money off of native people off these years nts.a lot of disparaging cha we are done. it is an interesting year. in my life, i did not expect to falling.ny statues
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names are going, too. the social movement and people's right to say they are is encouraging. i am grateful to this transition of names ending about a move forward. i have questions in general, but let's leave us out of it and affirm nader people for who we are. how about a little more respect in general? how about our water and land and language is a great life? that would be good. you don't need to chance, let's just talk about what justice looks like. amy: you are a green party candidate for vice president, along with ralph nader when he was running for president. as you look at the incoming administration shaping up in the battle going on in congress right now, you have alexandria ocasio-cortez calling for new democratic leadership, what do you want to see?
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what have you been concerned about in this lame-duck period, this transition period, and what do you feel needs to happen, this on the fifth anniversary of the paris climate agreement? >> well, it is obvious the trump administration has been trying to shove through every bad idea possible in their final days. most of those are being challenged in court. what trough as that is just make a mess, a worse mess than ever. what we need is due leadership. the fact is what we've seen is a bunch of guys looking at a playbook written in the last century. in time of climate disaster, you don't need any more fossil fuels. you need a just transition. we need to make things in this country that matter. we need to rebuild a manufacturing sector and has country so we have real jobs for real people based on justice and not huge amounts of toxic
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contamination. you need to build a renewable energy sector. i sit here in northern sunna -- minnesota, pipes are moving right behind it are wood turbines. their coming into the furthest inland port because they all get imported from overseas, europe and china. we don't make wind turbine parts here. we import them by large. just move on.s time to move on. let's put fighting over rocks and pipes and move to an economy that is not based on conflict. that is the opportunity for this administration, to move on and make a just transition, build an economy based on peace and respect and justice. amy: the last question in this time of the pandemic, we just have 20 seconds, but it has ripped through native america. can you talk about the situation? lost community itself has
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more and more people. in minnesota, native people. we are doing our best to stay safe. we did not appreciate the 4200 workers that governor wolf brought into our community. now is the time to stay isolated and prepare for spring because spring will serve -- surely come and we will plant n seeds. you winona laduke, thank for being with us, executive director of honor the earth. forward to your upcoming book "to be a water protector." we come back, we go to kabul, afghanistan, shocking new expose reveals cia trained and funded afghan vets bites have targeted islamic schools, killing was as young as eight years old. we will speak to the reporter. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "for you sweet child" by the afghan music project.
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this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. a shocking exposé out today in the intercept reveals cia-backed death squads in afghanistan have killed children as young as eight years old in a series of night raids, many targeting madrassas, islamic religious schools. in december 2018, one of the death squads attacked a madrassa in wardak province, killing 12 boys. the youngest was nine years old. the killers are believed to be from a cia-trained and funded paramilitary unit known as zero-one. the united states played key roles in many of the raids, from picking targets to ferrying afghan forces to the sites to providing lethal airpower during the raids. the intercept reports this was part of a campaign of terror orchestrated by the trump administration that included massacres, executions, mutilation, forced disappearances, attacks on medical facilities, and
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airstrikes targeting structures known to house civilians. the intercept has documented 10 night raids that resulted in at least 51 civilian deaths in the months leading up to peace talks with the taliban. the campaign of terror appears to have been timed to force the taliban to the negotiating table. the zero-one death squad all but vanished earlier this year after the u.s. and taliban signed the doha agreement. earlier this week, general mark milley, chair of the joint chiefs of staff, met with taliban negotiators in qatar for unannounced talks. we go now to kabul to speak with the journalist andrew quilty. australian reporter an photojournalist who has been based in afghanistan for many years. his new piece in the intercept is titled "the cia's afghan death squads." andrew, welcome to democracy now! tell us what you found and describe the boy, the young man,
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12 years old, and the poor he described -- horror he described. folks like you for having me. you have given a great observation of what we found and are reporting. survivors, one of the witnesses of the worst raid of the tenant we documented great detail, as you said, was 25years old and one of about young islamic school students who stayed overnight in these maassas because i lived too far away to go back and forth each -- they live too far away to go back and forth each day. two years to the day, this rate with 25, he was there
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other students. they had beaten a basic meal of beans -- they had eaten a basic meal of beans and bread when around 1030 at nig, they started hearing a bunch of drones overhead. soon after that, a number of soldiers first through the door and detonated an explosive device to enter the building. soon after that, a couple of soldiers burst into the room where he was staying with about another 10 boys. they dragged the two oldest looking boys out of the room, took them into another room, along with 10 other older looking students. as you already discussed, somewhere as young as eight or nine years old. -- some were as yng as eight
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or nine years old. he and another boy that were in duringrassas described multiple gunshots from what they described as several different weapons. what they discovered early the next morning with people from the village came to the rescue after the raiders left the village was those 12 boys had been taken out of several dormitories had been massacred in a room. witnessesfive other from that night, includi -- survived the massacre and four other villagers who either saw or heard the events of the night described hearing or seeing americans, english speakers, amongst those who committed the raid. amy: so talk more about -- you
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delve eply into this massacre connection-- the between the afghan enforcers that are carrying this out, who they are, and their u.s. backers. >> it is a very shadowy organization. very difficult to find out information. from all of the reporting i have done and others have done over the years, we understand this network of malicious -- and there are about six or seven of th throughout the countr -- were established in the very early days of the afghan war by cia officers. many of whom hadeen brought back into the fold after the invasion of afghanistan in late 2001. previously have been working in ghanistan during the 1980's. the cia s helping to fund the motion dean against the soviet
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occupation at the time. -- lucia dean entirely under the control of the cia but made up of entirely of afghan soldiers. they are better trained, better paid, better armed than a conventional counterparts -- and their conventional counterparts. it is not often you hear about them often. the only time you do is winter atcities like -- whenhose atrocities like we have document it in wardak in the past couple of years make headlines. rare they youvery make headlines because of the places these militias nd to operate deep in taliban-controlled territory where there is often limited andss to communication
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ten the inrmation that does come out is denigrated as propaganda which the television well-known for using. been more recent years, in fact since the trump administration started to undertake peace talks with the taliban regime in doha that these militias have come back to the fore and been extremely of thein certain parts country and in particular in the wardak province, which you contracted the capital ofardak from where i'm sitting right now in an hour. amy: i want to turn to mike pompeo speaking in 2017. at the time he was t head of the cia before becoming secretary of state. >> we can't perform our mission if we are not aggressive.
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relentless -- you put the word. every minute we have to be focused on crushing our enemies. amy: this is president trump speaking about afghanistan in 2017. pres. trump: we are not nation-building again. we are killing terrorist. amy: there you have it, pompeo it makes in 2017 and me think about what you write in your piece, the prevalence of voice among those killed in wardak indicates that zero-one was trying to eliminate not only existing enemies, but potential future foes as well. talk more explicitly about what trump and pompeo are doing right now. and at this point when milley has just met with the taliban in
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qatar. >> what they're doing right now? well, they are coming to potentially the end of their involvement in afghanistan, something president trump campaign on in 2016. , it is myy reporting understanding that trump wanted to get out, as we all know of afghanistan, by the end of his term. in the four-year term -- in the of 20 year war, it is not a lot of time. as often said, much easier to get into war than to get out of one. the way i see it, trump wanted to connect goforth and a minimum amount of time to course the taliban into the negotiating
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table and put them in a position where they had to concede to their terms in negotiating process. while these rates were going on and while the telegram being pummeled all over afghanistan -- taliban being pummeled all over afghanistan and at the negotiating table, you had this strange contradiction of the rhetoric of peace in doha in the public pronouncements and public rhetoric contradicted by what was going on on the ground in afghanistan. [indiscernib] wh the pea talks led to with the signing of what is known as -e do agreeme, whichas
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it wn't a aceeal,ut it was an aeeme hoped to lead to a peace deal downhe track. it mandated the timeline for withdrawal of american forces. up to en inng fury of april or may of next year. since the february signing of hopedha agreement, it was [indiscernible] by the american government and afghan government it would coincide the decrease in violence in the country. that has not occurred. theory thatmp's pummeling the taliban into submission has not work. in fact, the taliban seems to be as strong now as at any other
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type in the war. this at a time where they can see the end of the road the american involvement in the country and certainly any opening -- a greater opening than they ever witnessed before to regaining the power they had in the late 1990's and 2001. amy: i want to express how important it is to be speaking to you in couple. you been doing this work for this one investigation for about 18 months post of internet access is not easy. facehreat that journalists like you and one to be that was just gone down, nato with her driver recently, and also what questions you want to see answered right now coming out of this investigation? and finally, the kind of pressure the president ashraf ghani is under for working what the u.s. government at a time
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while we have not heard about zero-one, certainly in afghanistan they know about the shadowy forces, the people themselves, because of the number of raids and massacres and word gets around. >> strgely enough, think the questions i want answered but also the questions the president of afghanistannd is national advisor and cabinet would wan answer. and that is, who on earth controls these units operating in the country without your permission? i spoke to the national security advisor here, and he was at a loss to explain how these units operated, let alone who controls them. admit the cia were in control of them. but beyond that, it doesn't seem -- understanding or about
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correspondence with the afghan counterparts. just to go back a little how they operate and how little oversight there is, they are paid in u.s. dollars in cash, so the afghan government is not even aware of who is making up the units, with conventional forces -- all units are paid through an electronic system, which backed up by biometric data which and of the members of take.units have to you mentioned the risk to journalists. something that has come about only in recent months . in kabul and other provincial
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capitals -- amy: we have 10 seconds. >> a big increase in targeted attacks, many of which are targeting journalists and human rights activists. amy: andrew quilty, we want you to stay safe. thank you so much. australian photojournalist baig
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anchor: awaiting a vexing approval but the coronavirus pandemic rips through the united states, putting more pressure on a struggling health care system. ♪ hello, i'm adrian finighan. this is al jazeera. also coming up. >> as we reach this extraordinary and historic moment in the life of our nation, let me urge every american to do our part.

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