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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 18, 2022 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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01/18/22 01/18/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> surrounded by people who told him to wait until a more convenient time and to use more agreeable methods. 59 years later, it is the same old song and days from senator manchin and sinema. but my father did not let up for a moment, and neither have we. amy: the family of martin luther
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king, jr. led a voting rights march monday to mark mark luther king to as pressure goes on senators manchin and sinema to support changing the filibuster rules to pass voting rights legislation. we will speak with bishop william barber. then to texas, where an armed gunmen to four hostages, including a rabbi, and to nagogue saturday, sparking and 11 hour stand up. three hostages escaped. one was released before police shot dead the gunman. we will speak to a rabbi in dallas. >> this weeke was a sobering reminder that we can never forget and never ignore the presence and reality of anti-semitism, but we also cannot forget thathen one safe community is attacked, all safe communities are attacked. amy: we will look at the case of this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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-- we will look at the case of aafia siddiqui. during saturday synagogue standoff, the armed gunmen repeatedly called for her release. we will speak to her attorney. >> [indiscernible] characters who she has no ties to. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. senate democrats are opening debate today on legislation that would protect communities of color from republican led efforts to roll back voting rights. the effort appears doomed after two senate democrats, joe manchin and kyrsten sinema, said they will not vote for full a buster carveout that would allow it to pass with the civil majority.
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on monday, the federal holiday marking martin luther king jr. day, the family of dr. king marched with thousands of others in washington, d.c., to demand manchin and sinema drop their support for the senate filibuster. this is dr. king's granddaughter. >> all the elected leaders out there who are tweeting, posting, celebrating my grandfather dr. king, today i message to you is simple, do not celebrate, legislate. the senate must do the right thing in this legislation comes to a vote tomorrow. senator sinema, senator manchin, our future hinges on your decision and history remember what choice you make. amy: this comes as republicans are leading voter disenfranchisement efforts nationwide, with gop-led state legislatures passing more than 30 laws restricting ballot access and introducing at least 400 more.
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after the headlines, we will have more on the struggle for voting rights with bishop william barber, cochair of the poor people's campaign. u.s. covid-19 hospitalizations have soared to a new record high with over 150,000 patients. nearly 2000 u.s. resents are dying of the disease each day, the vast majority of them unvaccinated, and the number of confirmed daily infections is averaging about 800,000. among the latest high-profile people to test positive are two members of the joint chiefs of staff, including top military leader general mark milley. on friday, the centers for disease control updated its guidance to recommend medical-grade masks over cloth masks, saying well-fitting n95 respirator masks offer the best protection. china says members of the general public will not be allowed to buy tickets to the
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beijing winter olympics next month after beijing reported its first locally transmitted case of omicron variant over the weekend. the single infection in a 26-year-old woman who visited high-end shops in beijing, is challenging china's zero-covid strategy less than three weeks from the start of the olympic games. the government of greece on monday ordered a covid-19 vaccine mandate for people 60 years and older. anyone flouting the mandate will face fines of more than $100 per month. in serbia, top-ranked tennis player novak djokovic has arrived in belgrade after he was deported from australia sunday for refusing to be vaccinated against covid-19 and lying on his australian travel declaration form. france's health ministry said monday, djokovic won't be able to participate in the french open tournament in may unless he completes his vaccinations. in texas, a rabbi and three congregants of a jewish
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synagogue escaped without harm saturday after an armed man took them hostage, prompting an 11-hour standoff that ended when police shot and killed the gunman. the assailant has been identified as malik faisal akram, a british citizen who's believed to have arrived in the united states in december. akram reportedly bought his guns on the street. his brother, who assisted police during the standoff, said malik had suffered mental health issues for years. president biden later called the violence an act of terror and promised to battle anti-semitism. pres. biden: i wanted to make sure we got the word out to synagogues and places of worship that we are not going to tolerate this. that we have this capacity to deal with the assault on particularly the anti-semitism that has grown up. amy: during hours of negotiation, malik faisal akram repeatedly called for the release of pakistani neuroscientist aafia siddiqui,
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who is serving an 86-year-sentence in the united states. we will have more on her case and the standoff at the texas synagogue later in the broadcast. in the south pacific, an underwater volcano erupted saturday near the archipelago nation of tonga, blanketing islands with volcanic ash, severing communications, and sending people rushing to higher ground as a four-foot tsunami crashed into tonga's capital. at least two people are dead, but the toll is expected to rise sharply amid early reports that tonga's small outer islands suffered serious damage. saturday's eruption triggered tsunami warnings across the pacific, striking japan, the western united states, and peru -- where waves triggered an oil spill that fouled beaches near lima. in sudan, security forces shot dead at least seven protesters in the capital khartoum monday as mobilations demanding civilian rule continue.
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over 70 protesters have been killed since october 25 when sudan's military took control of the government in a coup. a palestinian family threatened with eviction by israel is threatening to burn down their home in east jerusalem rather than be displaced from land where they've lived since before israel occupied the area in 1967. on monday, scores of israeli police in riot gear surrounded the home of the salhiyeh family in the east jerusalem neighborhood of sheikh jarrah, seeking to demolish the home and clear the site to build a school. palestinians say it's the latest in a series of evictions aimed at expropriating land for israeli settlers in violation of international law. resident mahmoud salhiyeh stood on the roof of his home clutching a bottle of gasoline and surrounded by gas canisters, >> i wl burn the house and
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everything in it. i will not leave here. there's no life, no dignity. we have been in court battles with him for 25 years. they sent settlers to buy the house and i did not agree. amy: after a tense standoff, an israeli official agreed to postpone the eviction and will allow the salhiyeh family to remain in their home for now. the kashmir press club, the largest independent media body in the himalayan region, has been shut down after police and pro-indian government journalists raided its office over the weekend and took over operations. press freedom groups are condemning the move as illegal. kashmiri independent journalists are often harassed and arrested for their work. the kashmir press club opened in 2018 and at least 300 journalists were members. in el salvador, people took to the streets of san salvador sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of the signing of the peace accords that ended the salvadoran u.s.-backed war in 1992.
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protesters demanded justice for the tens of thousands who were killed and disappeared during the conflict. people also condemned recent news that the phones of dozens of salvadoran journalists and human rights defenders were hacked with the israeli nso group's pegasus spyware. among them were at least 22 journalists with the independent news outlet el faro, which has led a number of investigations into the government of president nayib bukele. this is one of the protesters in san salvador. >> the president needs to know we are aware. we won't be silenced. we will always announce the abuses in this country. amy: north korea says it has carried out its fourth weapons test this month, launching a pair of tactical guided missiles on monday. state media reported the missiles precisely hit an island target, showing the accuracy of north korean weaponry. earlier this month, north korea tested a new hypersonic missile, triggering a launch alert from
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the north american aerospace defense counsel, or norad, that briefly grounded flights on the west coast of the united states. in new jersey, fire officials say a massive chemical blaze at a chlorine manufacturing plant in passaic could have turned into one of the most catastrophic chemical disasters in the region if firefighters hadn't quickly responded. the fire at majestic industries and the qualco chemical plant burned through friday night and into saturday morning, spreading -- smoke so thick it was seen and smelled in new york city. hundreds of firefighters were deployed. one of them was injured. the wealth of the world's richest 10 men doubled since the start of the pandemic, even as 160 million more people were pushed into poverty. that's the conclusion of oxfam and oxfam report "inequality kills," released as the world economic forum kicked off its annual meeting virtually due to the pandemic. the report found global inequality is contributing to the death of at least 21,000
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people each day, or one person every four seconds, even as the combined wealth of elon musk, jeff bezos, and eight other men grew by $1.2 billion a day. on monday, united nations secretary general antonio gutteres echoed oxfam's warning on global inequality. >> the last two years have demonstrated the simple but brutal truth, i we leave anyone behind, in the end, we leave everyone behind. if we fail to vaccinate every person, we give rise to new variants that spread across borders and bring daily lives and economies to a grinding halt and if you faito provide debt relief to developing countries, we create lopsided recovery can send an interconnected global economy into a tailspin. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,
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democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: after missing a deadline to pass voting rights legislation before the federal martin luther king holiday monday, democrats had this is the week that will push through changes so they can vote on the freedom to vote: john r. lewis act, a house-approved bill that combines the freedom to vote act and john r. lewis voting rights advancement act. majority leader chuck schumer has vowed to use a procedural workaround and change the senate rules to weaken the 60-vote threshold to pass the measure, despite opposition from republicans. but senators manchin and sinema would have to end their objections to a filibuster carve-out, which they indicated last week they would not. a vote on senate rules could
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come as early as wednesday. on monday, the federal holiday marking martin luther king jr. day, the family of king marched with thousands of others in washington, d.c., to demand manchin and sinema drop their support for the senate filibuster. this is martin luther king iii. >> senators sinema and manchin also say if the bill does not get bipartisan so court, it should not pass. well, the 14th amendment which granted citizenship to slaves in 1868 that did not have my partisans of work. should formally enslaved people been denied citizenship senator sinema? the 15th amendment that gave formally enslaved people the right to vote in 1870, that did not have bipartisan so. should former slaves have been denied the right to vote, senator manchin? in 1922, 23, 1924, some senators
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filibustered a bill that had passed in the house. would you have supported blocking those bills, too? i'm just upon your logic here, ensuring it is not logical at all. to them, the filibuster is sacred except for when it is not. in 2010, senator sinema supported the idea of using reconciliation to get around the filibuster and pass health care reform. just last month, they both supported exception to the filibuster traise the debt ceiling, but they draw the line at protecting the rights of millions of voters. history will not remember them kindly. amy: this comes as republicans are leading voter disenfranchisement efforts nationwide, with gop-led state legislatures passing more than 30 laws restricting ballot access and introducing at least 400 more.
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for more, we go to washington, d.c., to join dr. bishop dr. william barber, co-chair of the poor people's campaign and president of repairers of the breach. on saturday, he was awarded the king center, 2022 beloved community award for civic leadership. bishop barbara, welcome back to decracy now! i want to ask how you are feeling as you announced you tested positive for coronavirus. >> i am doing much better. thank you for asking. i'm quite bothered by all of the people that cannot get free tests and we're still not giving people free insurance even in the midst of covid. while i am well, the nation is not well, the world is not well. i want to thank you for having me on this morning. amy: thank you for joining us. this is a pivotal moment. if you can talk about the standout in the u.s. senate
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right now. not exactly between republicans and democrats, though you could ask why many republicans are not supporting the voting rights legislation as they have in the past over and over again. but within the democratic party with senators manchin and sinema refusing to support a filibuster waiver carveout. >> amy, let me take a moment. you kn this pt fday, the poor people's campaign announced that we were going to, regardless what happened, have a low-wage workers assembly moral march on washington and to the polls on june 18 2022. we launching a tour announcement tomorrow regardless what happens, we're going to engage in mass action, direct action, nonviolent action not just for a day but for a declaration to
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declare that there must be a moral shift in this country, that there must be a change in power as dr. king said, the real problem that we'velways had with these issues of voting is the fear of aristocracy of the masses of poor and the wealth people, black and white, coming together to vote in a way that finally shifts the economic architecture of the nation. in 1967, dr. king said we must also realize the problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power. first of all, we should have never decided to separate voting rights from economic justice. i was listing to your report minute ago about what came out. that was a but a metal mistake i believe many activists's part and democrats part two separate. we should have some we donate infrastructure investment in the
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lives of poor and low wealth people. the next thing is, we are intensifying that but we are going to win as we have to number one so we cannot allow the government to set a false deadline. we could have done this since 2013 with the supreme court gutted the voting rights act and the middle of the obama administration. we have to ask the question, why is it some of the intensity been before now? we have to ask that question, yes, manchin and sinema, but why haven't some groups come even some subgroups, push them hard in their own states before now? who made the decision that we wait until now? yes, you challenge sinema and manchin, but there are other moderate democrats that also have been weak when it comes to ending the filibuster. certainly the republicans and some democrats have not wanted to move the filibuster other than sinema, so why did we make the connection of the fact that
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45% of the electorate in battleground states are poor and low wealth? 30% across the nation. so regardless of what happens today, we have a lot of work to do. sinema and manchin are acting like james calhoun. they're not acting like robert byrd. robert byrd hated this kind of filibuster. we must raise the question, where's u.s. chamber of commerce? why are we criticizing them? they are the ones that are against living wages and voting rights. if we're going to have a criticism and be like dr. king, we have to go deep. what about the koch brothers? what about americans for prosperity? lastly, -- i know they want to sell this as an end-all be-all, but the reason to vote act with mention may compromise down, what does it and what doesn't it
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do? one thing it does is it codifies voter id for the first time in the history of the country. not saying it doesn't do good things. the voting rights advancement act, does it really cover states? how many states will be covered under preclearance? what is the formula? one formula is yet have 15 cases adjudicated all the way through the supreme court. comedy states can even be that formula -- how many states can even meet that formula right now? will a grandfather and stop the gerrymandering that is already happening? was part of their game to delay? even now if they change, they would have won what they promised the chamber of commerce and others. these are heavy russians. it is great to come out today and yesterday and others and we should, but we cannot allow the politicians to do politics by ceremonial day. lastly, the president, we have been begging him to meet with
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more leaders, white and black and brown and latino, infected people in the white house, to make this a black issue is dangerous. it is not just a black issue. 55 million people will lose their access to the polls they used in 2020 if we allow what is going on to continue. it is a democracy issue. dr. king never frame this as just a black issue he always framed it as an economic issue and a race issu and we should be doing the same. juan: bishop barber, many would agree with you that even the current bills that will be voted on before the senate have problems o weaknesses in terms of defense of voting rights act, but it seems pretty certain that even these will be voted down. the question is, what will then
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be the approach that the movement for voting rights should take? clearly, it is into the streets, but would you support some kind of a legislation that would take portions of these bills and at least get something passed before the next elections? >> that is the politicians decision. the movement's decision is right all the way. not part of our rights, some of our rights. it is amazing to me when it comes to the corporations, they get -- they got everything they asked. they want for trying dollars, they getor between dollars. -- they want $4 trillion, they get for chilean dollars. we bifurcate them in a way the forces of oppression never got. we keep compromising do, down, down rather than fighting. eventually, if we not careful,
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it will be tantamount to frederick douglass accepting a long weekend as an answer to slavery rather than emancipation and freedom. what the movement is saying is not only are we going to the streets,ut direct action mobilization, and not friday but for a season until we -- we are going to engage in pushing out voters and poor low wealth communities who can fundamentally shift the economic -- i mean, the political realities of this country. we are going to put together a full agenda. we call it the third reconstruction agenda. we have 45 coordinating committees, 200 partners. we have been planning because we never were going to justccept what the politicians throw at us mostf the tail can't waithe dog. when we talkven abouthe bud back bter plan democrs suld ner have caedhat t most transfmative. ey should ve said it was
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ep to tempt to rpond to the ct poor d the wlth ople werthe ones heard the mosturing cod. these bls, callt what it is. ink out it. weave allowed manchin and sine and replicanso bacally throw the mery of john lewis away,rove the a he wte awa democrats ner shou have done th. we d n fig harenou on thfront an many gups agrdi this lay. wellthe movent is sayng the igoingo be a mal rese in852, thered scotecisio was psed. ederick douglasand gaison, th didot qui they said they emboldened and intensified their agitation. when the 1957 civil rights act was passed, the movement did not put because it was so compromised. they began to push even more. right after the 1964 civil rights act. then we began moving for the
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1965 voting rights act. john lewis criticized the 1964 voting rights act and exposed the witnesses of it. i don't know where in the world we have come to in his country to take on activism where we think the politicians set the agenda. we just have to go along with it. we don't criticize or show the weaknesses of it, we don't -- that is wrong. we could not the politicians, just say, here is what you need and this is the greatest thing. we want our freedom and voting rights and economic prosperity, and we want it now. we don't know what can happen until we see the greatest largest mass movement of poor and wealth people in this country ever in history. that is what we are moving toward putting together and pushing out now. juan: bishop barber, the point you raise that was a mistake to frame the voting rights legislation as a largely black and brown issue, yet you have
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millions and millions of white americans who are not only still rallying behind donald trump, but believing his false claims that the last election was sten. how do you reach out to the masses of white working-class and poor people who really should have a strategic and interest -- for their own interest in the passage voting rights? >> most of the people january 6 were not poor and low wealth. they were middle-class and up. the data shows the majority of poor and low of people, 55%, voted for biden-harris. we did a study with columbia university and asked why did they vote and they said because nobody talks about poverty and issues that are really facing us and even voter suppression, so the majority of or low wealth people have not voted. we did a study that showed in 15 states in between one and 24% of
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poor low wealth voters were already registered were to vote who have not voted would voten an agenda, would fundamentally shift the electorate. you heard me say earlier poor low wealth people represent 45% of the electorate in states where the margin was less than 3%. dr. king knew it that the masses are always out there. i'm tired of folks saying they are not there. dr. king said it is the aristocracy that knew they were out there, knew they could be unified, and that is why billions of dollars has been spent to divide us. every time we get up and we try to frame this as just a black issue like voting rights is special interest issue for black people rather than an attack on democracy that includes racism, that includes classism, that has impact based on region -- and when we don't connect the fact the same person suppressing the
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vote. also, joe manchin suppressed a living wage in february, raising it to $15. he should have been called out then. we did. others should have. that that was a racist vote. when he plucked $15 and the union, not only did he block 31 million americans from moving out of poverty and low wealth, he block 41% of african-americans from movin out of poverty and the well. dr. king never separated these issues. he said poverty, it was a systemic racism, systemic poverty. we have to have massive public education of what is really going on because we have been lied to so much. you have to have a unified coalition of black and brown, white and young and old and gay and straight and native and asian. it is possible we do not have a
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scarcity of resources or scarcity of ideas, but scarcity of moral conscience. we have to see the religious community, together. they are ready. when we made the announcement on friday, they said regardless of what happened -- we've been building for three years underneath putting things together -- it is time for that body of people to come together that the greedy aristocracy fears the most, and that is the masses of poor low wealth people and more leaders coming together to reset. and not just for a day. 22022 is not just a day, it is a declaration, not just a moment, but a movement. it is going to be a season, not a day. if it takes a whole year or two years, we need a season of action and conscious changing in industries and nonviolent direct action and neighbor -- major public education moving people to the polls. that is what has to happen. people can't tell me what can
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happen because they have not tried. we have been too separated. we have allowed politicians to policy by ceremony and ceremonial days. that is not movement. we must not allow that to be the end. i want to finally quote where frederick douglass said he was asked one month after the dred scott cision and he was told the abolition movement was over, nothing they could do, he said "what i do know is the supreme court at man can never overrule the supreme court of god. what i do know is this decision as much stress as it is just be the necessary link in the change -- chain of entto the downfall of the whole system of slavery because what know is every attempt to stop the abolition movement is police or two intensify its agitation. that is wh we must have now
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and it must be black and white and brown and asian and native and young and old angay and straight and jewish and christian. appalachia and delta of this country to california, carolina working together. amy: bishop william barber follow this bishop barber is co-chair of the poor people's campaign and president of repairers of the breach. pesce barber was just awarded the king center, 2022 beloved community award for civic leadership. next up, we go to texas. 11 hour standoff. we will speak to a dallas rabbi. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. authorities are continuing to
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probe saturday's 11-hour standoff at a synagogue outside of fort worth, texas, when an armed british man took a rabbi and three congregants hostage. the standoff began when the armed man, who has been identified as malik faisal akram, stormed the congregation beth israel synagogue in colleyville, texas, saturday morning. the first hostage was released at 5:00 p.m. the other three escaped after rabbi charlie cytron-walker threw a chair at the gunman, who was later shot dead. rabbi cytron-walker appeared on cbs on monday. >> he wasn't getting what he wanted. he was getting -it did not look good. they did not sound good. we were terrifd. when i saw an opportunity where he wasn't in a good position,,
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ensure the two gentlemen who were still with me, that they were ready to go. the exit was not too far away. i told them to go. i threw a chair at the gunman. i headed for the door. all the of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired. amy: rabbi cytron-walker, who is known as bridge-builder in the jewish-muslim communities, had previously received training on how to act in the event of an active shooter. the man had come in come actually been there, the rabbi talked about offering him tea and being concerned about him. during the standoff, malik faisal akram repeatedly called for the release of pakistani neuroscientist dr. aafia siddiqui, who is serving an 86 year sentence nearby in texas
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at a federal facility. malik referred to siddiqui as his sister but the two are not related. in fact, her brother is an architect in houston who had no connection to saturday's events. despite reports on fox and other outlets that it was him. malik faisal akram is believed to have arrived in the united states in december and reportedly bought his guns on the street. his brother, who assisted police during the standoff, said malik had suffered mental health issues for years. "the guardian" reports the mi5 in britain investigated malik as a possible terror threat as recently 2020. the head of the houston chapter of cair condemned what happened saturday, saying -- "this anti-semitic attack against a house of worship is unacceptable. we stand in solidarity with the jewish community." weo now to texas where we are
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joined by rabbi nancy kasten, the chief relationship officer for faith commons in dallas, texas. rabbi, welcome to democracy now! first, can you respond to what happened on saturday? actually, the horror that the reason perhaps these men escaped alive was because the rabbi and the congregation has been trained over and over again to deal with situations likthis? >> thank you so much for having me today. yes, i do think that it was clearly an incredibly scary situation. and i know rabbi cytron-walker are well. we have done a lot of work together. i know a lot has been made of the training he received to be able to deal with a terrorist situation like this. and that clearly came into play and was extremely important in the moment.
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at the same time, rabbi cytron-walker has spent many, many, many more hours training himself to understand other people, to be compassionate with people that he does not know very well and maybe foreign to him. and i think that is what led him to invite this man in in the beginning and to give hi tea and to be concerned about him. i think that -- i've been thinking about this a lot because i do a lot of work with rabbi cytron-walker on a lot of issues here in texas. we face a lot of sources of trauma in this state. we have children, one in five children is food insecure. we have the highest rate of the uninsured for medical insurance in this state. had a freeze last year that was the result of an adequate
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preparation of the grid and that has not been addressed by our state. we have a lot of reasons to be worried about a lot of things, and we have toractice relying on each other, getting to know each other, and being able to help each other in times of crisis. and i think that was as much of rabbi cytron-walker's mtal preparation for thisvent, which you never know when that is going to happen. you cannot possibly know. but he was prepared in that way as well. i think we have to make sure we remember that. juan: rabbi kasten. some of the corporate commercial media began framing this as muslims attacking jews. your response? also, can you characterize the response of the local muslim unity to this attack? >> the local slimommunity was worth five, shocked, was at
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the ready to offer support and anything they could do. rabbi citron walker's wife is executive director of interfai alliance in tarrant county. she works with aot ofs muslims , particularly muslim women that brought od while she was waiting in the church. brought comfort. the minute that a friend of mine was made aware of what was going on, which was very early -- it was shortly after i found out about it, he texted my husband and me and said, "is there any way i can help?" he is a very well-known imam with a high profile. he went to colleyville to see if he could help with the negotiators in any possible way.
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he put himself at risk by frankly, because that area -- in our area of north texas, muslims are regarded with a lot of suspicion. my husband and i were concerned that imam sue lamont not put himself in danger in his attempt to help the negotiators. in law-enforcement post of amy: to say the least, the brother of dr. aafia siddiqui was perhaps the most danger because the networks kept repeating that he was the gunman inside was a well-respected architect in houston. close yes, i know. again, the media can be blamed but we also have to use our own ability to discern in our own knowledge of the people that we arin relatnship with and understand the news cycle is
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going to do what it does. we have had enough experience with this. we have to pay attention to the trusted sources of information that we have. amy: very briefly come the texas tribune reported -- this was the latest in a series of anti-semitic attacks and incidents in texas and beyond. can you talk abouthose attacks? >> you know, i think there is any atmosphere of fear and fear mongering that is taken hold in the country and texas as a bastion of that, unfortunately. unfortunately, it is not limited to jews. there is discrimination against people of color. there's a lot of discrimination against muslims, asians, and other groups. it is fostered in some ways by our leadership in our state legislature, in our national leadership some members of congress.
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so it is very worrisome. the jewish community actually benefits from a lot of protection. our governor just recently in the past legislative session in bill into law called the texas holocaust gocide and anti-semitism advisory commission, where he calls upon a commission to teach people about anti-semitism and the holocaust. in the meantime, levin anti-sharia law in texas that creates a lot of opportunity for a very misguided and false information to be perpetrated about the muslim community. amy: number one threat in the united states, according to the fbi, the link you have -- we just have 30 seconds -- uc two white supremacists. >> absolutely. absolutely. i don't want to label groups that are not white supremacist groups or people who are not
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particularly affiliated with them, but once again, we do have members of congress and state officials who enjoy the support groups that are openly white supremacist groups. amy: rabbi nancy kasten, thank you for being with us, it chief relationship officer for faith commons in dallas, texas. not far from the colleyville synagogue that was attacked on saturday. when we come back, we look at the complex case of dr. aafia siddiqui, neuroscientists irving and 86 year sentence at a federal prison not far from the colleyville synagogue. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. as we continue our coverage of the 11 hour hostage standoff at a synagogue outside forward,
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texas, saturday, we turn to look at the complex case of an imprisoned pakistani neuroscientist dr. aafia siddiqui. during the standoff, the armed gunmen malik faisal akram repeatedly called for her release. she is curtly serving an 86 year sentence at federal medical center carswell prison in fort worth, which is like 20 miles from the beth israel synagogue in colleyville, texas. in pakistan, she is considered a political prisoner. in the united states, some call her lady al qaeda. in 2010, the mid brightness trained pakistani neuroscientist was convicted in manhattan on charges for reportedly shooting at officers. none of the americans were injured but dr. siddiqui was shot and wounded while she was in their custody. many questions remain unanswered
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about her time in u.s. custody. dr. siddiqui supporters say she was forcibly disappeared, along with three of her children, by pakistani authorities in 2003 and interrogated and tortured for years by the u.s. at the bagram air base and other locations. u.s. authorities say siddiqui was never held by the u.s., was arrested in july 2008 by afghan police and handed over to u.s. authorities. we're joined now by two guests. marwa elbially is the current lawyer for aafia siddiqui. mauri' saalakhan is the director of operations for the aafia foundation. i at to begin with dr. siddiqui's lawyer marwa elbially . you are there outside dallas on saturday. you expressed your horror and were of the siddiqui family at
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what was taking place with the armed gunmen holding the hostages, the rabbi and three others. can you start there and then briefly tell us the story of dr. siddiqui? who the gunman kept saying he wanted released. >> thank you, amy. we are so thankful the hostages were released safely and at the rabbi and his congregants were not harmed. what happened there was despicable and is not acceptable to anyone. dr. aafia siddiqui during her sentencing stated she does not want any violence done in her name. i have not had the chance to speak with her about what happened. i don't think -- she might not even know about the events of saturday. we just wanted to make that very clear that she and her family have always said they don't want any violence done in her name. just to make the audience aware,
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there's a lot of misinformation about dr. aafia siddiqui's case. it has been made to display as it she has been charged and tried for terrorism, which has never happened. as we mentioned earlier, she was tried for allegedly being able to get her weapon from the u.s. soldier and shoot it at them will times must of there was nobody injured other than herself. there was no physical evidence. there was no gunshot residue on her person or clothing. there was no fingerprints on the weapon. there were no showcasings, so no physical evidence. when she went to trial, it was based on the testimony and contradictory testimony the individuals that were in the room most of her trial itself was extremely unusual in that there was a threat to the jury which resulted in the dismissal of two jurors. the defense made for a mistrial which the judge denied. she was sentenced to 86 years.
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i cannot emphasize enough that she was never charged with terrorism. so this false auditor exists out there in which they referred to her as lady al qaeda and other names where there is -- she was never tried for any of that in a court of law here in the united states. the other thing i think is very important to mention is she is well known in pakistan and referred to by no less than the former prime minister as the daughter of the nation. both the national assembly and the pakistani senate have passed resolutions on her behalf in which they stated the national cynthia pakistan in 2008 stated there deeply concerned about her rest and concern about the lack of information about her underaged children, and raged at that time. again in 2018, the senate of
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pakistan, resolution 399, says it appreciates the efforts made by the parliament of pakistan and its committees for the repatriation of the daughter of the nation. the house reiterates there is a dire need to take up the matter with the government of the united states of america. this is by no means a fringe issue. there is a serious concern out there about dr. aafia siddiqui and it is really unfortunate that it comes to the media's attention with somebody she has no connection with, no -- that she would never support whatsoever. juan: mar elbially, i want to ask you, the issue of her originally being disappeared back in 2003 as a result, apparently, of the complicity of a previous pakistani government
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with the fbi. could you talk about that and how she then ended up in afghanistan? >> yes. in 2003, march 2003, dr. aafia siddiqui studied in the u.s. for over 10 years. she was on a student visa. she's a graduate of m.i.t. and phd in neuroscience, which studies how children learn through imitation. she moved back to pakistan in june 2002. in march 2003, the fbi issued seeking the information alert. they said they did not have any evidence connecting her or her ex-husband, who also had -- seeking information alert issued for him, did not have any evidence connecting either of them to terrorism but they were wanted for questioning. what we do know happened several news organizations, including nbc nightly news, newsweek, the
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indian express published articles that said she had been taken in for questioning. and then all of a sudden, within a few days, that was walked back. what we do know is from march 2003 until july 2008, dr. aafia siddiqui's location was never confirmed. she was mentioned both by the nyu law center for human rights and global justice in 2005 state and were about unknown, detainees in the war on terror report that she was potentially in u.s. detention and may be held in u.s. controlled secret location or foreign facility. then she was again mentioned in the 2006 international report. we also have 4 -- we have formal apologies from the former foreign minister of pakistan in 2012 and he goes, and i quote,
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"sorry for handing over innocent dr. aafia siddiqui to the americans. it was my biggest mistake ever." so there is questions surrounding her whereabouts between 2003 and 2008. and dr. aafia siddiqui maintains she was held in secret prison sites. and her name is mentioned in two of the photos of the senate intelligence committee report on torture and only the executive summary has been released, so we don't know if she and what really happened to her is included in the 6000 actual -- 6000 page actual report. amy: knute slane how she was picked up in 2008 after five years? i just watch the former deputy director of the mpi andrew mccabe saying some say she was held by the u.s. for five years. that is not true. he said, was closely connected to that case.
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she was picked up in ghazni far from bagram with her elder son with, what, bomb plans? and that is when she was taken in by the authorities and headed over to the u.s. where she was then accused at trying to escape and open fire? >> yes. so she disappeared off the streets of pakistan in 2003. hundreds of miles away in ghazni, afghanistan, which i believe is only an hour or two away from bagram or kabul, she was found on the street by afghan police. she cannot speak any of the local languages. she looks completely disheveled. she was, seated, weighed like 90 pounds at the time of her reappearance. she only had her eldest son with her most of her two other children were nowhere to be found. the afghan police took her into custody and then on july 17 and
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on july 18, two fbi agent's were flown in from kbaul by helicopter and vocal soldiers who were based in ghazni would into question her post the official story is they were brought into an afghan police station. they went into her room that was separated by a yellow curtain and they did not know she was behind this curtain and that one of the soldiers out of respect for afghan culture, puts down his rifle, which from what i read, every military member would never keep a distance from their weapon, especially when they're on foreign soil in the middle of a war, he says he puts it down and somehow dr. aafia siddiqui manages to grab it, pick it up, turn off the safety, and fire shots. in the interpreter grabs her and somehow they managed to shoot
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her multiple times in the stomach. juan: i want to bring in mauri' saalakhan, the director of operations for the aafia foundation. could you talk about why you have become such a vocal supporter of dr. siddiqui? >> yes most of first of all, thank you are having is on and for dealing with this topic. in short, i heard from reese attorney general ramsey clark when we were together in fourth, texas -- fort worth, texas, for aafia siddiqui wanted to pay a visit to aafia siddiqui and lynn stewart at the same institution at the time, said in a speech the case of dr. aafia siddiqui is a worst case of individual injustice i have ever witnessed.
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when he said these words, they resonated with me because that is the way i felt. i have been a human rights advocate for about three dedes. of all the cases a issues i have ever dealt with, this case has been the heaviest on my heart. this is the worst of the worst. this is the reason why we connected to it. a year after she was brought back to the united states half dead,nd we ve been vigorously doing as much as we possibly can to secure her release and repatriation since then. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. we will continue to cover these stories. mauri' saalakhan is the director of operations for the aafia foundation. and marwa elbially is the current lawyer for aafia siddiqui. again, the lawyer and family condemned what took place at the colleyville synagogue. that does it for our show.
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hello there, and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in new york. u.s. consumers have been paying more and more for the things they need the most. disruptions to supply chains during the pandemic have driven up the cost of food, clothes, and cars. now consumers will be paying even more at the pump. the price of crude oil has jumped to its highest level in more than seven years. in trading on tuesday, it rose to $85.83 a barrel.

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