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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 30, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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04/30/21 04/30/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> 30's maintain a two-tier system. the means used by iaeli authorities and the occupied territories amount to systatic oppression needed to establish the crime of apartheid. amy: "a threshold crosd." a damning new report by human rights watch says for the first
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time israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution in the occupied palestinian territories by dispossessing, confining, and forcibly separating palestinians. this comes as israel is being held for vaccinating 60% of its population, but only 3% of palestinians are vaccinated. following protests this week, two ivy league schools have issued apologies for the handling of the remains of an african-american child killed by the philadelphia police in the 1985 move bombing. >> the university of pennsylvania has apologized for its role in the situation, but an apology is not enough. saying it won't happen again is not enough. [applause] the damage is already done and
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now everyone involved needs to be held accountable for their actions. amy: the apologies come after the revelations of the remain of a child who is a victim of the bombing were held for more than 30 years by a now retired princeton professor and used in an online teaching course by a penn museum curator. we will get response from a student who organized a protest on campus and speak with historian sam redman, historian at the university of massachusetts amherst. author of "bone rooms: from scientific racism to human prehistory in museums." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. india has recorded 3500 new coronavirus deaths and a record 386,000 new confirmed cases as the world's second largest nation faces a catastrophic collapse of its healthcare system with hospitals running
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out of beds and oxygen. public health officials fear the true death toll is far higher. residents fear the worst is yet to come. >> the situation is horrific, absolutely terrible. everyone is afraid. people are afraid if i'm talking to a person, maybe i won't get to talk to them or the near future. the death toll is 200,000 today. he can go up to 400,000 or even a million. the environment is of fear. it is pathetic over here. we don't even have oxygen cylinders or its parts. amy: the indian novelist arundhati roy writes in a new essay -- "the system hasn't collapsed. the government has failed. perhaps 'failed' is an inaccurate word, because what we are witnessing is not criminal negligence, but an outright crime against humanity." the total number of confirmed covid cases across the globe has
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now topped 150 million. this comes as coronavirus deaths are also soaring across latin america, which is recorded more than a third of global covid deaths last week as it faces a major vaccine shortage. on thursday, argentina recorded 561 new deaths -- its highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic. colombia, peru, and uruguay are experiencing a new surge in cases. and brazil's official death toll has topped 400,000 -- the second highest in the world behind the united states. in israel, at least 44 ultra-orthodox jews have died and dozens are injured after a o stampede during a religious pilgrimage. an estimated 100,000 people gathered on mount meron late thursday, and the stampede occurred in the early hours of today after some attendees appeared to slip on stones leading to a sloped passageway,
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triggering what one local news site described as a human avalanche. warnings have been issued over the years saying the site was not safe for mass gatherings. meanwhile, palestinian president mahmoud abbas has postponed next month's parliamentary elections, the first in 15 years in the occupied territories. abbas blamed israel for refusing to promise that thousands of palestinians living in israeli-occupied areas of jerusalem could vote in the election. >> facing thidifficul situation, we decided to postponed the legislative elections until t participation of jerusalem and its pele is guaranteed. jerusalem not be compromised and there are people in jerusalem not give up their right to exercise their democratic rights. amy: abbas' decision comes at a time when a rift is growing within his fatah party after
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jail palestinian leader marwan barghouti recently endorsed a rival slate to challenge candidates backed by abbas. back in the united states, the inspector general of usaid, the agency for international development, has criticized the trump administration's politicization of humanitarian aid for venezuela. in a new report, the watchdog said the white house's push to deliver aid to the venezuelan border in 2019 was driven more by the administration's desire for regime change than based on the actual needs of venezuelans. the report said the trump administration used the aid as a "key tool to elevate support" for u.s.-backed opposition leader juan guaido and that decisions were made to reinforce guaido's credibility. the burmese military has launched air strikes against rebels from two ethnic groups, the kachin and karen, who have been seeking greater autonomy for decades. at least 2000 burmese refugees have already crossed into thailand seeking safety.
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this comes days after karen rebels seized a burmese military base near the thai border. meanwhile, protests against the burmese military junta continue. over 750 protesters have been killed since the junta seized power in a coup in february. the republican-controlled legislature in florida has approved a sweeping voter suppression bill that is being compared to george's new voting law. the florida bill would limit the use of mail ballot drop boxes, make it harder to vote by mail, and criminalize the distribution of food and water to people waiting in line to vote. republican governor ron desantis has signaled he will sign the bill into law. kara gross of the american civil liberties union of florida criticized the bill, saying -- "there was no problem in florida. everything worked as it should. the only reason they're doing this is to make it harder to vote." west virginia's republican governor jim justice has signed
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legislation to ban trans girls and women from competing on sports teams at any public school, including state colleges. a similar bill approved by lawmakers in florida is awaiting the governor's signature. and in texas, the state senate has approved a bill to criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth. by some counts, close to one-fifth of u.s. states could ban trans kids from sports by the end of this legislative session. meanwhile, president biden is -- expressed support for trans youth during his speech to congress on wednesday night. pres. biden: to all transgender americans watching at home, especially young people, so break, i want you to know your president has your back. amy: to mark this 100th day in office, president biden visited georgia and former president jimmy carter, who is now 96 years old. during his speech, biden was interrupted by protesters calling on him to end private
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detention centers. pres. biden: i want to thank you, the people of georgia. >> and detention now. end detention now. pres. biden: i agree with you. i am working on it, man. give me another five days. folks, you all know what they are talking about. thershould be no private prisons, period. none. that is what they're talking about, private detention centers. they should not exist. we are working to close all of them. amy: three men who are accused of plotting to kidnap michigan's democratic governor gretchen whitmer are facing aew chae of conspacy tose a wpon of ma destrucon. deral precutors allege t
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men, whore parof a faright ti-govnment grp, had otted tolow up aridge ne itmer's vacati home. meanile, a n york mahas be convict of threening to murderembers ocongresswo ys afterhe viole insurrecon at thu.s. catol. brendan hunt faces up to 10 years in prison for his online threats against house speaker nancy pelosi, senate majority leader charles schumer, and representative alexandria ocasio-cortez. the justice department is reportedly seeking to indict former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin for federal civil rights violations for killing george floyd last year by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. this comes a week after a minnesota judge convicted -- a jury convicted chauvin on three counts, including second-degree murder. the three other officers who
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were at the scene of floyd's death may also face federal indictments. medical researchers have found a link between people exposed to police tear gas and abnormal menstrual cycles. some 900 people exposed to tear gas during protests last year in portland, oregon, reported being affected with symptoms including increased cramping, unusual spotting, or increased bleeding. federal and city officers deployed tear gas on an almost nightly basis in portland last summer during the nationwide uprising for black lives. tear gas has been previously linked to miscarriages. in immigration news, the supreme court has sided with an undocumented guatemalan man challenging his deportation in a ruling that could affect hundreds of thousands of immigrants. in a decision authored by conservative justice neil gorsuch, the court ruled the justice department had violated the law by not properly notifyg immigrants about their deportation proceedings. the food and drug administration is moving to ban the sale and
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manufacturing of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. the fda claims the move could potentially save 633,000 lives by 2050, with the benefits being most felt in the african-american community. for decades, tobacco companies have heavily marketed menthol cigarettes to communities of color. the aclu, however, is warning this could lead to greater policing in areas where underground menthol markets pop up. the aclu cited the case of eric garner, who was killed by police in new york after being stopped for selling untaxed cigarettes. in boone, north carolina, a gunman killed two sheriff's deputies as well as his mother and stepfather on thursday, leading to a 13-hour standoff that ended with the gunman killing himself. the deputies were killed while conducting a wellness check after co-workers of the gunman said he didn't show up to work. the indian point nuclear power plant is permanently shutting down today following decades of protests.
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the plant is located just 25 miles north of new york city. decommissioning the plant is projected to take 12 years at a cost of over $2 billion. and germany's highest court has ruled the government must expand its efforts to reduce carbon emissions in order to protect future generations. the ruling came in a lawsuit brought by a group of youth climate activists, including sophie backsen. >> we are super happy and relieved after the court's decision. the decision is a huge success for us young people. it has become clear part of the climate protection law do not correspond with our constituonal rights post effective climate protection has to be implement it now and not in 10 years time when it will be too late. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. after weeks of speculation, palestinian president mahmoud
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abbas has postponed next month's parliamentary elections, which would have been the first in 15 years in the occupied territories. abbas said the delay was israel refusing to promise that thousands of palestinians living in israeli-occupied areas of jerusalem could vote in the election. the decision comes at a time when a rift is growing within the fattah party. well, earlier this week, human rights watch released a major report saying for the first time israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution in the occupied palestinian territories. the international human rights group says israeli authorities have dispossessed, confined, and forcibly separated palestinians. human rights watch concluded -- "the israeli government has demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of jewish israelis over palestinians across israel and the occupied palestinian territories." human rights watch released this video alongside its report. >> aparthe.
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whil many assoate the rd with south afra, apartid is e uversal lal terthat refers to sever dcriminaty oppression. apartheiis also a ime ainst hunity. it' dinitioinhe 197 aparthd cventioin the 199 statute the intnational criminal crt me up of ree ke ements- intent to matain the dinatn by one racial gup ove ath, systic oressioby one cial gro over ather, a one orore inhumane as as part of at oppression. persecion is arime agast humani. it imade up of o primy elemts. a scriminary intent lding severdeprivatn of ndamentarights of racial coand for,r otherroup. the bas of thes
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finitions researc human rights watchsraeli authoriti are coitting t crimes against manity o apartid and persecion. hun rights wchinds the elementsf e crime come togeth in thoccupied pastinian territoryursuant ton israeli policy taintai thatominatn over palestians acrs israel and the occued tertory. inhe occupied rritory,hat intent h been coled with systatic oppssion a inhuma as commitd agains palestians ling the. israelgovernme is the in authority acss isrl and the cupied paltinian tertory in the are, israeli official have shown dirimint ish scrinati. ta theerusalemunicipity asn exampl eir goals to maiain sible jewi major b
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boxingnd palesnianreas while helpi put nbe early jewish aas to flrish. amy: that is a new video by human rights watch issued this week. it comes as israel is being held around the world for
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vaccinating 60% of its population, the highest percentage in the world. in only 3% of palestinians are vaccinated. on tuesday, white house press secretary jen psaki was asked about the human rights watch report. >> as to israel's actions can't do apartheid, that is not the view of this administration. amy: for more, we're joined by omar shakir, part of the groundbreaking report "a threshold crossed: israeli authorities and the crimes of apartheid and persecution." welcome back. talk about the research you did and the significance of human rights watch using for the first time the term apartheid when looking at how israel is dealing with the palestinians. >> make you for having me. we spent over two years, try to connect the dots behind years of
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human rights watch research. we have been working on israel and palestine for more than three decades, as well as look at new case studies were conducted for this report and review israeli planning documents, statements by officials, and other materials. when we look at all of the evidence, we then compare it against the established law on discrimination, including the universal prohibition on severe discriminatory oppression and the crimes against humanity for apartheid and persecution as described in the video. we reach the conclusion israeli 30's are committing crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. the report is entitled "a threshold crossed" because for years prominent voices have warned it lurks just around the rner. it is clear that threshold has been crossed and may have been crossed years ago but without doubt, that corner has been turned and it is time for the international community to recognize the reality on the ground for what it is, apartheid
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and persecution, and take the steps necessary to end the situation. amy: what would be those steps? >> we list several steps on the table they should take emilio as a result of this report. first, the international criminal court to investigate, prosecute these crimes, as well as for national courts to do s under the principle of universal jurisdiction. we call for the issuance of targeted sanctions, including as it and travel bans against those israeli officials implicated in the crime. we call for all states to condition all arms sales, military security assistance on israeli on taking steps to end apartheid persecution. we call on all countries to evaluate its engagement with israel to ensure numb complicity in the crimes, including bilateral agreements. and to get to all of these steps, step number one is to call anything by its name, to call a spade a spade, recognize
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the reality on the ground today is not merely a temporary occupation, depriving millions of palestinians of fundamental rights solely because of who they are speaks to a larger quality, privilege one people at the expense of another. 54 your occupation is not temporary. at 30 year peace process will not dismantle systematic oppression. what is needed is a new paradigm shift rooted in the protection of human rights and accountability. amy: what do you make of the white house spokesperson jen psaki's response to say, we don't share that view of human rights watch? >> i think the reality is key it will take time for the international community to grapple with this reality on the ground. human rights watch i know means is the first organization to make this assessment. palestinians have been describing their experience as apartheid for years, not decades. -- if not decades.
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other prominent commentators have been talkin about apartheid as hypothetical but the international conversation is so steeped in these assumptions around theeace process and temporary nature of abuse that they're not going to be undone overnight. i think a big part of the challenge incumbent upon us is to really call on folks to understand and speak out to the reality for whatever but he sort of knows is the case, and then take steps necessary. i am not surprised u.s. government, which has been deeply involved, obviously supporting israeli government policies, is not ready to make the jump stop i am encouraged the statement was constructed i the sense if you look at the larger picture of wanting to look more in-depth at the report and its findings, u.s. government and other governments will do so and we look forward to engaging them on the report and its recommendations. amy: can you comment on what is
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happening in the occupied territories with palestinians access to vaccines? israel is being hailed around the world as the country that has vaccinated the highest percentage of its population, more than 60%. but we are talking about, according to ha'aretz in the last day, 3% of palestinians have been vaccinated. talk about the situation and who is responsible here. >> look, today between the jordan river and the mediteanean sea, of one government, the israeli government that primarily rules over these areas. when it comes to vaccines, the israeli government has vaccinated the vast majority of jewish-israelis. when it comes to the palestinians they have vaccinated citizens who make up the majority -- majority of those who make up about 1.5 million people as well as
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jerusalem residence, their largely nonvaccinated the 4.7 million palestinians in the west bank and the gaza strip who live under israeli rule. this is one side of the road, a people who are receiving a vaccine because there jewish people and the others out of the road who are not receiving a vaccine because they're palestinian. he sort of boils down to that, we can have a 25-year-old jewish israeli settler who is eligible for a vaccine will a 47-year-old palestinian man who may have health conditions is yet to receive it. the israeli government says this is the responsibility of the palestinian authority but the occupation is quite clear that an occupying power as the duty to ensure medical supplies, including those needed to combat the pandemic, to the occupied population. that occupation -- that obligation heightens in the half-century occupation were the israeli government has developed
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sophisticated machinery to rule over palestinians yet seeks to offload the responsibilities to the health of the population, seeking rather only to control the land and ensure the jewish-israelis living in the territory are fully integrated part of the system in isel while palestinians are stuck living in a situation of deep systemic oppression. this dynamic is at the heart of the finding of apartheid persecution that human rights watch reach. amy: omar shakir, you're the is one palestine director for human rights watch. we're speaking to you in oman, jordan. you were expelled by israel. have you ever been allowed back? what is israel's treatment of human rights observers in the occupied territories? >> these really government did to partly november 2019. -- did deport me november 2019. they found i fell afoul as result of my human rights advocacy but before a joint
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human rights watch as well as my work at human rights watch. as result, i am t ableo return to israel and palestine to cover human rights abuses to do my job on the ground. the treaent i received i think speaks to israel's larger treatment of human rights defenders. israeli human rights defende also face significant restrictions. to give one other example, a palestinian staff member of amnesty international has since 2019 faced a travel ban by e israeli authorities on unspecified grounds. he was not able to visit his mother in a hospital in jerusalem three kilometers from his home as a result of this travel ban where she was receiving chemotherapy and she passed away. he has challenge this with amnesty international in the israeli court system and they
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rolled against him and he was not even able to attend his court hearings a relt of the travel b. they face criminal charges, other sorts of restrictions. human rights defenders inrnationally have been denied entry. the iseli government not only coidered desk continues these human rights abuses but muzzles those who speak out. amy: i went to ask you about the latest news that happen overnight, the policy and president mahmoud abbas postponing funds parliamentary elections from the person 15 years on the occupied territories, blaming israel r refusing to promise the thousands of palestinians living in the israeli-occupied areas of jerusalem could vote in the election. this is wh he said. facing this difficult situation, we decided to postpone the date holding legislative elections until the participation of jerusalem and its people is guaranteed. jerusalem will not be compromised and our people in
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jerusalem will not give up their right to exercise their democratic rights. amy:'s decision comes at a time when there is a growing rift within his party. after the gel palestinian leader recently endorsed arrival slate to challenge candidates backed by abbas. your comments? >> one is east jerusalem under international law is part of the occupied talent tori -- cartwright's residence should have a right to vote in elections for the palestinian authority. all israel has annexed this area, it does not change the status of the territory. there are many who don't vote and national israeli elections. many are stateless, without any sort of permanent legal status. i think more to the point, this is pretax. human rights has documented for
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years down the increasingly authoritarian trend of the palestinian authority as well as -- in the gaza strip. we have documented arbitrary arrest and torture of critics and opponents. it was quite clear as you noted there were challenges to abbas' rule even in the fatah party. isaac many see this being done out of concern this election, which along is being set up not really to offer palestinians a vile chancto change and both are conscious but as a rubberstamp not only for the -- when that was threatened, they canceled the election. it is an unfortunate reality. palestinian authority's, only a small part of the entire i could buy palestinian territory, israeli others remain -- retain
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overarching control. we cannot separate the pa's oppression and were general and effective role from the larger oppression palestinians face, including apartheid and rsecution at the hands of israeli authorities. palestinians are stuck between two authorities. both of whom are holding them back from the realization of their fall rights. amy: finally, omar, the latest news, at least 44 ultra-orthodox juice dying, dozens injured after a stampede during a religious gathering, pilgrimage, an estimated 100,000 people gathered at mount meron late thursday, stampede occurred in the early hours are friday morning after sub appeared to slip on stones leading to a sloped passageway, triggering what one local news site described as a human avalanche. warnings have been issued over the years saying the site was not safe for mass gatherings.
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this was one of the first major gatherings with covid restrictions being lifted. >> it is an absolute tragedy. i think we have seen over the last year in the wake of covid, sort of the challenges that the israeli government has had in dealing with some of the gatherings, more religious -- jewish-israeli communities across the country. this is the sort of thing that was warned about from some of the reporting that has come out from inside israel that watchdogs had worn this scenario is possible. during the pandemic, we saw examples of gatherings of different ledges communities that the -- religious communities tse government attribute to the rise in cases in certain areas. there are important issues here and the israeli government, whether or not it is formed in the coming days an weeks or whether it is back to the elections, these are the things that fall by the wayside as
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politicians go back to back an razz elections. it is a terrible tragedy. a condolence i'm in the world go out to the victims. awful stories coming out. when i read earlier today of a young boy -- and i hope there will take steps to make sure this doesn't happen again. amy: omar shakir, thank you for being with us, israel and palestine director at human rights watch. we will link to your report, "a threshold crossed: israeli authorities and the crimes of apartheid and persecution." next outcome after protest this week over the use of the remains of an african-american child killed by philadelphia police in the 1985 move bombing, two universities have apologize. we will speak with a princeton student who organized a protest on campus and the historian sam
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redman. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "juicy fruit" by mtume. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. you can up for our daily news digest email by texting democracynow -- one word, no space -- to today. 66866as we continue to look at the move bombing and its aftermath. two ivy league schools issued apologies this week for their handling of the remains of an african-american child killed by the philadelphia police in the 1985 bombing of the home of the
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radical, black liberation, anti-police-brutality group move. the apologies came after revelations that the remains of a child who was a victim in the bombing were reportedly given to anthropologist alan mann, a now-retired princeton university professor, and held in the penn museum -- the university of pennsylvania museum of archaeology and anthropology -- and that the bones were recently used in an online teaching course by penn museum curator janet monge, a visiting princeton university professor. the online course was called "real bones: adventures in forensic anthropology," without -- and the bones were used without permission from the family of the children. students at princeton held a protest on campus wednesday to support the move community, who held another protest at the same time at the penn museum in philadelphia.
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thiss one of the speakers. >> they think it is ok because i think this is part of the cultural moment, this is how the science goes, this is how we do it. we had to do it. experimenting on human beings. they have been doing it to our black bodies for hundreds of years. in the name of science. in the name of study. we are not subjects of study. we are human beings, god damn i t, and our lives matter! amy: philadelphia city councilperson jamie gauthier, who was responsible for issuing the apology for the move bombing, also spoke at the protest wednesday outside the university of pennsylvania. >> the university of pennsylvania has apologized for its role in this situation, but an apology is not enough. saying it won't happen again is
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not enough. [applause] the damage is already done and now everyone involved needs to be held accountable for their actions. [applause] the africa family is out a full explanation of what happened by the university and the city of philadelphia betrays for the remains without consent. in the family is also owed some form of restitution to compensate for this egregious act. amy: this week, the university of pennsylvania museum of archaeology and anthropology known as the penn museum apologized via twitter, saying -- "we understand the importance of reuniting the remains with the family and we are working now to find a respectful, consultative
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resolution." princeton university president christopher eisgruber issued a statement that he is "concerned" over reports that the remains were used for instruction on campus and said he would launch a fact-finding effort conducted by outside counsel. earlier this week, democracy now! spoke with mike africa jr., a second-generation move member who was six years old when philadelphia police bombed the move home. >> i don't trust the penn museum. i don't trust president. i definitely want to say there is morto come with this. there needs to be accountability because the people --penn's reaction is totally unprofessional making a policy through a statement through someone else. the whole thing is egregious.
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amy: this week, 70 princeton professors, including keeanga-yamahtta taylor, imani perry, and eddie glaude, signed on to a letter published in the campus newspaper, calling on the university to act. the group writes -- "the university should move beyond denial to pursue restitution and repair. the victims of the move bombing, their families, and those of us at princeton invested in black history and communities deserve more." to begin our look at what all of this means, we go to princeton university, where we are joined aisha tahir, a senior who is an african american studies major and helped organize a protest on campus wednesday to support the move community's demands. welcome to democracy now! talk about what you are demanding. >> what we demanded, we wanted our demands to show the complexity of the matter and the
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fact it was not simple when we came up with the demand acknowledging justice and accountability look very different for the family and how it can look for us and the people at the institution her calling -- one of her most important kind of factors was we went princeton to work with the family and work with them and try to understand how they can repair the heart of the harm that has happened. on the side of the institution, which routinely happens when vulnerable people are exploited in the name of research and scientific knowledge. our demands really focus on the freedom of money abu jamaal. we want the university to work with organizations on the outside to free mumia abu-jamal, knowing what we are really fighting for beyond accountability is also human life and mumia is still in
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prison and we would like for him to be free. our other most important, it is we make sure this never happens again. this is able to happen because prince and doesn't -- princeton does not have practices in place that center human life and allows vulnerable people to be used as lab subjects. we asked for the faculty who signed onto the page you just talked about, we ask those faculty overlook the kind of accountability. also do an investigation into the anthropology department and work with people on the outside and inside to see how the department needs to change. the fact they're only three professors in the department who signed on as of last night i checked, only three professors in the department who signed onto the letter. that is horrific. we routinely see these
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violations of human life ignored. i think the two most important demands, this can never happen again and we need to make sure there is economic justice involved in this process, but also the fact mumia needs to be free. we heard that from the africa family. we are going to echo that and acknowledge that this is a lot more complicated and we possibly can to know what justice looks like so they need to work with the family with the move organization for what is justice for them. amy: and your response to the university president saying he is concerned over reports that the remains were used for instruction on campus and that he is launching an independent investigation? >> mean, i have been wrong about and organizing on campus. -- i have been long involved in organizing on campus. my question is, why did they not come almost a week and half later after faculty signed on come after protest, why did he
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decided to statent now the fact there is going to be a fact-finding investigation, that means nothing. he should have reached out to the family. hehould have had sat down with the family virtually in person, socially distance, whatever that might be, take this with a sense of urgency. i saw no sense of urgency, which means he clearly does not understand the implications of what has happened. it is incredibly traumatizing to students who learned at the university knowing we are being taught and we are complicit in these because we sat through them, were present through them. he is able to sleep at night. i don't know how. i think my response to him is that, i mean, i believe nothing he says and i believe that it will change nothing other than i think it was kind of what our protest try to show, it will only be students and faculty and staff and community members will ask the university to do better.
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i believe the president has shown time and time again and his response now that the univerty is primarily a corporation that responds only to media and kind of response, that is what he did i think. amy: aisha tahir, thank you for being with us, senior at princeton university and an african american studies major. helped organize a protest on campus wednesday to support the move community. congratulations on your upcoming graduation. as we turn now to speak with historian sam redman, author of "bone rooms: from scientific racism to human prehistory in museums." ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. you can watch, listen, and read transcripts using our ios and android apps. download them for free from the apple app store or google play store today. this week's apologies om the university of pennsylvania and princeton uversity for the handling of the remains of an african-american child killed by
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philadelphia police in the 1985 move bombing that killed 11 people, five of them children, come after the university of pennsylvania museum of archaeology and anthropology known as the penn museum just apologized earlier this month for holding more than 1000 stolen schools of enslaved people -- skulls of enslaved people and its morton collection. in january, the president of harvard university issued a letter acknowledging the 22,000 human remains in its collections included 15 from the people of african dissent who may have been enslaved and pledge to review its policies of ethical stewardship. for more on the growing demands for respectful treatment of african-american remains and museum collections, especially those of the enslaved, we're joined by samuel redman, historian at the university of massachusetts amherst. author of "bone rooms: from
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scientific racism to human prehistory in museums" and the forthcoming books "prophets and ghost: the story of salvage anthropology" and "the museum in crisis." professor, thank you for joining us. start off by responding to the use of these children's phones that the police killed 1985 that apparently the philadelphia medical examiner gave to this professor come this princeton university professor and university of pennsylvania professor alan mann, that are continuing 36 years later to be shown in classes. it is not clear if it is one child from a 14-year-old named tree africa, or two. tree africa and delisha africa. what about this? first of all, thank you for having me. let's begin by creting the
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students in the presters at penn and princeton in raising their voices in response to this really troubling and get routine situation -- gutwrenching situation. the other thing we nd to cite and start calling for is a much larger rponse and more sweeping response to this as a problem. part of what people e only really starting to grapple with is the idea this is a rlly fast problem, that their individual instances like this that are horrifi and we need to pay attention to but it is a symptom ofhis much larger problem as you mentioned, never has more than 22,000 sets of human remains. the smithsonian at one point have more than 30,000 sets of human remains. it is not just the large institutions. there are smaller ones.
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medical museums across the country, sller institutions, historical societies. private collections of human remains. as strange as that sounds. in some states, it is still able to traffic in the buying and selling of human remains. i think we need a much larger response and one that recognizes the deep history that is present -- that is intimately tied into colonialism, white supremacy, scientific racism, and understand this is not just a phenomenon that was triply confined to the 19th century. this continued up through the 20th century. once these repositories were established, these massive bone rooms, people started finding other ways to get remains into those collections, including through police investigations, accidental discoveries and a whole host of other ways. yes, it is important there were these high profile 19th century
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archaeologists who were collecting human remains and human skulls, but established this tradition we have not fully understood thought vastness. amy: the society of black archaeologists and the black anthropology collective, issued a statement in solidarity with the demands of mike africa , jr. who was six years old when philadelphia police dropped a bomb on move and said -- "we are painfully aware of the barbaric strip anthropology, especially when it comes to populations of peoples of african dissent. we know our discipline has been mobilized. we also know ethnic graphic museums have supported the academic rationale for the institutionalization of racism and anthropology, textbooks, courses, curriculum.
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like anthropologists should not be alone and expressing this heavy ethical burden. all should be enraged. all anthropologists need to condemn this barbaric and savage act white anthropologists in particular should not only hold themselves accountable to the ways they continue to uphold normalized anti-blackness and harm through their research and theorizing but should actively work to undo the centuries of violence and trauma done to nonwhite communities." your response to is statement? >> i agree with all of that. i do think we should turn to like anthropologts and scntists and community leade for leadehip on this as a question and to tter understand how to move forward. we have some models but i nt to point out in 1990, there was a law passed called the native american graves prection and
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repatriation and that created something of a legal structure for tribal nations to request the return and in many cases reburial of ancestors. it is a highly imperfect solution. it is a law that was sort of passed using thinking from the 1980's, progressive thinkings to try to do something in response to this vast problem i have described. the law is limited by the fact it references very specific types of material in museums that a lot of the onus is on tribal communities to fund or partly fund and take the manhole of this investigation and the legal -- huge amounts of legal and bureaucratic paperwork. we should think of that as the bare minimum. if that is the bare minimum in
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holding these institutions accountable, what does that look like not just with a massive problem of indigenous remains in museums, but also for black remains and remains of many other people from around the world that ended up in u.s. museums? nagpra only really deals with those in the united states or alaska or hawaiians but does not come principally deal with this as an issue. it is underfunded mandate. their people doing hard work and repatriation offices within museums like the smithsonian needs more support, especially if we think about this as a more broader, sweeping problem that requires big action in response and maybe we can start to imagine a future where we can begin to start to address our rectify some of these horrible abuses. amy: i want to go back to nagpra , 1990, congress passed the bill called the native american
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graves protection and repatriation act, which outlined legal procures for the repatriation of human remains, and sacred objects from federal agencies, museums, educational institutions, and state and local governments. this is amber hood, director of preservation and repatriation for the chickasaw nation, explaining the reburial process and their efforts to honor and protect their ancestors. >> because it was never intended for our ancestors to be disturbed, to handle such matters -- we rely on our leaders and our elders for guidance the pure heart and good intention, we do our best to write a terrible wrong. the reburial team travels together and places the ancestors in the great as part of the reburial ceremony. leadership and elders oversee the work. a chickasaw speaker offers a prayer and tobacco, did a song is sung in our native language. we don't use markersor all of
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the reburials depending on the situation, but these are a few we have placed. once we have completed repatriation's in the united states, we will still have our work cut out for us because our ancestors were said all over the world most of amy: that is amber hood, director of repatriation for the chickasaw nation. she is referring to the native american graves rejection and repatriation act. i'm wondering your thoughts on next steps? your response, for example, to professor university of tas, author of "the price for their pound of flesh" who says it would be wonderful to have an african-american graves protection and repatation act. >> i agree on a sort of fundamental level that we need a big sweeping piece of -- i d't know exactly ithis is legislation or what exactly the solution is, but nagpra
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compelled many museums to begin doing what we really should think of as the bare minim most of things like inventorying their collections and trying to know how many remains even more connected to different groups of people. even with that, especially between -- back and forth and valid in my view and i think a view shared bmany people, shell games and roadblocks being thrown up and ways in which people were made the following the lett of the law but not ally at all following the spirit of the la we have seen some examples of repatriation's going beyond nagpra, either going to canada or other countries,
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materials that don't necessarily fall und the purview o the law. but by and large coming museums were really only do is to shelley what they are legally required -- institutions will only do legally with their required to do. amy: a book with the new york times coastal reporting the smithsonian is considering issuing a statement about the remains it holds of african americans. the national museum of natural history houses the nation's largest collection of human remains and in an interview, said they are developing new guidance with the "honor and remembering" saying slavery is the last great unmentionable in american discourse community we can do to both help the public understand the impact of slavery and find was to honor the enslaved is at the top of my list. lonnie bunch w t founding had of the museum of the smithsonian national museum of african-american history and culture. >> i want toommit dr. bunch
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because he has taken leadersp on this questn and within i think even what i understand, evenithin the smithsonian institution this ibeen accosted -- controversial matter. yes, this is, likehat they said earlier, protest on talking to the media can compel the hand of these institutions but i think we need to think evemore concurrently and wt that should mean for the future. they should not just be a flashpoint here and there and a recognition of the awful scenarios. it should be more sweepi understanding of what we have. amy: we will continue this discussion. samuel redman, historian at the university of massachusetts amherst. author of "bone rooms: from scientific racism to human prehistory in museums." that does it for our show. tomorrow at 1:00 eastern, i will
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be doing a panel discussion with whistleblower's daniel ellsberg and edward snowden in the 50th anniversary of the pentagon papers. go to to sign up for the event. it is free.
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