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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 9, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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03/09/15 03/09/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from the edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama, this is democracy now! >> 50 years our march is not yet finished. but we are getting closer. 239 years after this nation's founding, our union is not yet perfect, but we are getting closer. our job is easier because somebody already got us through that first mile.
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somebody already got us over that bridge. amy: tens of thousands of people marched on sunday in the largest rally ever, commemorating 50 years ago, when hundreds of people led by, among them, a young john lewis, 25 years old now a congressman and one of the leaders of the student nonviolence coordinating committee, marched in nonviolence over the bridge. >> this city gave birth to the movement that changed this nation forever. our country will never, ever be the same because of what happened on this bridge. amy: all that and more coming up. amy: welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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we are broadcasting from alabama. tens of thousands of people traveled to selma alabama, this week and the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. on march 7 1965, hundreds of peaceful voting rights activists were attacked by police crossing the edmund pettus bridge as they attempt to march to montgomery. 50 years later, president obama attorney general eric holder, commerce member john lewis were among those -- congress member john lewis were among those to acknowledge voting rights remain under siege. the selma protest came as protests were held over a fatal police shooting of unarmed african-american teenager. tony's tony robinson was shot dead friday night after madison police say officer matt kenny forced his way into an apartment following a disturbance.
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police say they had responded to reports of a man running in and out of traffic. but after a justice department probe found deep racial bias among ferguson, missouri, police, brandi grayson with the young, gifted, and black coalition said madison also has a problem. dr. if the issue of racial disparity -- >> if the issue of racial disparity is that with, we would soon have an issue on our hands. we said it. we are worse than the whole country and everyone is denying we have a problem. we have a 19-year-old black boy dead, shot five times in the chest unarmed, with no answers. amy: a recent race equity report found african-americans in madison posting county made up less than 9% of the youth population, but nearly 80% of those incarcerated in juvenile prison. the commemoration of selma also coincided with international women's day, a day first declared by the socialist heart of america, now celebrated with thousands of events around the world, from nepal to new york.
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in mexico city, the mothers of 43 students missing since september after a police attack in guerrero joined the women's day march. >> i want to thank you for joining the movement of women and the mothers of the disappeared. our pain has been converted into range. we are in this struggle to find our sons alive because they took them alive. amy: in nigeria, the militant group boko haram has reportedly pledged loyalty to the self-proclaimed islamic state after recently embracing their tactics, including beheading videos. meanwhile, a series of bombings attributed to boko haram killed 54 people and injured over 140 saturday in the nigerian city of maiduguri. a us-led airstrike has reportedly hit an oil refinery help i the islamic state of syria, sparking a massive
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fireball. the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights reports about 30 people were killed. in iraq, a canadian soldier has been shot dead and three of his colleagues injured by a iraqi kurdish forces in a so-called friendly fire incident. the death of sergeant andrew joseph doiron marks the first canadian casualty in the us-led campaign against isis. in colombia, tens of thousands of people have marched with president juan manuel santos in support of government peace talks aimed at ending the 50 or conflict with farc rebels. a new plan to work together to clear landmines from rural areas. in russia, authorities say a former chechen police officer has confessed to a role in the murder of opposition leader boris nemtsov. a second man has also been charged. three others have been detained,
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and another reportedly blew himself up during a confrontation with police in chechnya. chechen leader ramzan kadyrov said the suspect who confessed had objected to cartoons of the prophet mohammed printed by french magazine charlie hebdo. but nemtsov's allies and relatives expressed can suspicion saying he was killed for criticizing putin. the israeli navy has killed a palestinian fishermen after a evening fire -- after opening fire on boats off the coast of gaza. sayed abu -- saeed abu reyala the brother of the slain fishermen, described what happened. >> what happened is we went like anybody else in the world to work in fishing, and an israeli boat opened fire on us. they shot him, they shot our machinery. amy: the shooting comes amid heightened tensions after
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palestinian leaders in the west bank about to halt security coordination with israel due to israel's withholding of tax revenue. israel has withheld $127 million in taxes about two thirds of the palestinian budget, in protest of palestinian moves to join the international criminal court. in tel aviv, thousands rallied against -- tens of thousands rallied against israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and his far right they could party ahead of his reelection bid art 17. in canada, another so-called bomb train laden with crude oil has derailed in northern ontario, marking at least the fourth fiery derailment in north america in three weeks. the train laden with oil from alberta caused a massive fire and a shroud of black smoke.five cars went into the makami river. fires were still burning in illinois after a train carrying oil from north the coda derailed
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thursday. the environmental protection agency warns the spill threatens the mississippi river. the pyre moehring -- the pioneering documentary filmmaker outward males has died at the age of 88. best known for his cinema verite style, in films including "grey gardens" and "gimme shelter," he also founded the maysles documentary center. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from alabama. tens of thousands of people, including president obama over 100 members of congress, traveled to selma alabama, for the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. on march 7, 1965, hundreds of peaceful voting rights activists were attacked by police and state troopers crossing the edmund pettus bridge as they
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attempted to march to montgomery. scores were injured, including the man who would become the future congressman, john lewis. then he was a 25-year-old organizer with sncc, the student nonviolent coordinating committee. bloody sunday was the first of three attempted marches from selma to montgomery, which was finally completed under federal protection and led by dr. martin luther king jr. the voting -- the protests helped bring about the 1965 voting rights act. democracy now! was in the streets of selma this weekend. >> i am the director council of the end of lazy p legal defense fund. we are happy to see so many -- of the naacp legal defense fund. lawyers representing the marchers in all of the battles in federal court. as a matter of fact, we put up on our website the original
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march plans that the lawyers created and submitted to the port, which was approved right down to the number of toilets, and the number of marchers that would march three all of that had to be approved at the federal level. it was the bloody sunday march, the second march in which dr. king let people to the bridge, knelt in prayer, and turned back. amy: explain why dr. king turned around. >> it is a really good question. here is what i think. dr. king at that time, as did many in the civil rights movement, felt that the federal judges were the judges who had been really most understanding of the efforts in the civil rights movement. so they really never wanted to contravene a federal court order. they understood the problems they had with state court judges. so when they had a federal court order, it enjoins them from having the march until there was a trial.
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so dr. king was torn about whether or not to violate that federal court order by leaving the march across the bridge. then i think in that moment in which he saw the troopers on the other side, and they seemed to want him to proceed, that it was a trap of some kind, whether it was a movement trap to make him violate the order, or whether it was a trap in which violence would be on the other end, it really plagued him or it he felt responsible for those who would be harmed. he was willing to take it himself, and he carried it strongly on his heart. the federal courts were in many ways the place where civil rights activists went to get a fair hearing, so it was a difficult position to be an. amy: explain what happened on march 23. >> finally he turned back around, went back to the church, and then we actually had a trial in which we appeared in the court rejected greenberg -- in
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the court. jack greenberg -- the marchers were peaceable, that this was a right under the constitution to march, that they could not be interfered with by the constitution of the united states, and judge greenberg agreed. governor wallace could then not interfere with the march and violently resisting the marchers. the march began, and they walked from selma to montgomery, and dr. king gave a triumphant speech at the end of the march. it was important for the collaborative of people in the movement. it was activists on the ground in selma, and it was faith leaders and martin luther king and so many people who came together as a result of that activism. it was a microcosm of what was at stake and the way in which southern officials responded to the determination of african-americans to be real citizens. amy: the voting rights act would be signed in august 1965 by lyndon johnson.
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50 years ago. where are we today? >> that is the irony. we have come to commemorate and lift up and celebrate the activism in the passage of the 1965 civil rights act, but today the voting rights act is under peril because of the supreme court decision in the shelby case two years ago. amy: explain the shelby case. >> the voting rights act of 1965, which has been called the most important piece of civil rights legislation of that period, carried a provision that required jurisdictions that had a history of discrimination to submit any voting changes that they wanted to make, and we have lived under that for 40 years. congress have reauthorize the act three times. it was 396-30 three in the house, 98-0 in the senate, it in
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2006. voting registration -- voting discrimination was still occurring in those states. the supreme court, led by chief justice, decided something quite different. they refused to accept the records that congress had amassed, and they insisted that this rumination is a thing of the past him a that history is history and we cannot connect the history to the south of today. so justice roberts essentially gutted the provision that required this clearance and as a result, jurisdictions all over the country, but particularly in the south, have unleashed a wave of folder suppression that your listeners know about. amy: so what needs to happen today? and what do you want to hear president obama say? >> we have a case right now in texas, we have litigated the texas voter id case. it was found that texas intentionally passed its law to discriminate against black and
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latino voters. that is powerful. it will be held on appeal next month. secondly, we need an amendment to the voting rights act. congress should take up the voting rights act, but we cannot even get a hearing in the house. we are not afraid of the facts and our position. all we want is to talk about the issue, talk about what we need. if there are objections, tell us what they are in a hearing room here it give us the respect of ringing it to the table and -- of ringing it to the table -- of bringing it to the table and having the public hear it. i hope they will recognize the history, but i hope he will remind everyone to celebrate the history that many people say selma is now. many people give their lives and their blood on that bridge. continue to work, to not allow the act they fought so hard for to be killed watered-down, and
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to be dissipated in the way it has in the past three years. i am hoping he will recognize that balance. amy: we are here. it is saturday, march 7, 50 years of bloody sunday. we are at the foot of the edmund pettus bridge. many luminaires are walking by. reverend jackson amy over here from democracy now! >> was here 50 years ago. open season on anyone with out-of-state tags, activist young black people, blacks and juice and coalitions -- blacks and jews and coalitions. photographers were killed by act of terrorism. one woman, brains shot out point blank range. called a nigger lover. we one of the protected right --
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we want to be protected right to vote. the supreme court took that away two years ago, and there is drama attached to gutting the bill. they need to go back to washington, not as demonstrators buzz but as legislators. selma made me possible. help selma. people living in trailers, living without running water without indoor toilets. selma should be a model city for restoration. amy, 10 years old, she invited to dr. king to the voters league. at christmas time, she came to
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atlanta, inviting dr. king here. he came on the strength of her invitation. amy: your thoughts about what happened 50 years ago today? you were here in that first protest. you were beaten. >> it was something that i figured i could not resist because we were trying to get people to register and voted. long before dr. king was born. and we were working to get them to know that, and i think today if you are not a registered voter and you are 18 years of age you are a hopeless community. definitely hopeless. because you have nothing to say
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about your community city, state, nothing. so don't be hopeless. be a human being, a city, a citizen of the city of selma, of the state, of selma. amy: what gave you the courage that day? >> i was born that way. my mother was a civil rights activist when i was born, and i worked with her, 11 years old. i worked with her with women's suffrage. amy: thank you so much. hi, can i ask your name and where you were 50 years ago today echo >> my name is teresa murray rose -- 50 years ago today echo >> my name -- 50 years ago today?
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>> my name is teresa murrows. amy: how old were you at the time? >> 21. amy: what gave you the courage to do that? >> because the treatment, how they were treating us. they were treating us like we were foreigners in a strange country, and we had no rights at all. i was determined to do something to let this generation of young men and women not to have to go through what we had to go through with. 50 years ago, we had no rights. amy: can you tell me your name, and tell me about the metal that you are wearing. >> this is a medal for foot soldiers who participated in the 1965 movement.
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amy: how old were you? >> i was 13. many of the youth were from 9 to about 16. amy: did you march? >> i did. we turned around tuesday, the selma-montgomery march. amy: where were you on bloody sunday? >> we ran into the state troopers, we were on the bridge. john lewis and jose williams told us to kneel down and pray after they would not let us through. as we knelt down to pray they threw tear gas beside us, and we proceeded to run back to the church and to other areas. amy: that was made taylor richmond, before that, in nearly a boynton robinson, who is now
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103 years old. some of the foot soldiers who gathered in selma for the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. with more from selma -- we will have more from selma alabama in a minute. [♪ music break]
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amy: john legend and common performing "glory" at the oscars. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we have just returned from selma, alabama, where this weekend tens of thousands of people gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of luddy sunday. -- of bloody sunday current mr. ding gregory, can you tell me your thoughts today echo -- of bloody sunday. mr. dick groatgregory, can you tell me your thoughts today? >> 50 years ago, we knew that we could all die. the cops came, and then fear.
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amy: what is your most vivid memory of that final march from selma to montgomery, with dr. king? >> it is over. we made it. that is the day i realized that the greatest crisis -- the greatest in the world are not soldiers, they are turtles. that is what we had become. hard on the outside, soft on the inside, willing to stick your neck out. harvard does not teach that. >> i am here with others to commemorate. i was actually here 50 years ago. eventually what happened is that we marched under federal and state escort. we marched from selma to montgomery. what is often obscured and
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forgotten is when we got to montgomery, the speech that martin luther king jr. gave across the street from the state capital was one of the greatest speeches he ever gave. somebody in the audience said to him, "dr. king, how long?" dr. king turned to him and gave him the most eloquent response -- the arc of the universe is long, but it bins towards justice. >> my father marched with dr. king 50 years ago. amy: talk about what you know from his story from that moment when they marched over the edmund tennis and bridge, march 23 1965. >> it shaped my entire template. it was the most inspiring experience -- it shaped my entire childhood.
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it was the most inspiring experience. i wondered if i would ever see him again, so it is very much ingrained in my memory. then he came back and he said that he felt it was a holy moment, that it reminded him of being in europe, being here. martin luther king told me his was the greatest day of his life and my father said that he felt his legs were praying. >> i am the youngest child of martin luther king and karen a scott king. we all know this is -- and coretta scott king. we all know this is an important day. in one sense, it is a joyous day because we have made so many tremendous strides. this all got started when the state trooper shot a man.
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it started before that, but that is what started the whole selma-to-montgomery process. today i had the opportunity to be escorted by a state trooper brought down here by an african-american state trooper. the contrast between then and now is phenomenal. the reality is we are at a crossroads. the voting rights act has been gutted. so many people are disenfranchised rid in the words of my mother, struggle is a never ending process. it must be a resurgence of fighting for that struggled to guarantee that those people going forward will have the same opportunity to have their voices heard and their vote registered. amy: this is also an issue today, looking back 50 years, on police brutality. what we're seeing around the country, young people being killed by police officers, and the doj report that just came out. >> it is, and we will have to
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try to find a way and it will take some time. at the end of the day, no law will change a person's perspective, their outlook their behavior. we have an opportunity to do something in ferguson when all of this happened. there were police officers in the room with citizens at that community, and it was tough in the beginning but we made it through. that is the work that i do because this new movement is fueled by nonviolent work. amy: you are involved in the black lives matter movement? >> i think it is important because it brings attention to them being a community that is wholeheartedly suffering, but more importantly we understand that everybody's humanity matters, no matter who they are. so thank god they have raise that kind of consciousness, and we look forward to continuing to move forward to creating that
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love in the community. amy: i am amy goodman from democracy now! we are a public television radio show. your thoughts today? >> i am just here to embrace the feeling. amy: this is not only about voting rights, it is also about police brutality. this march was prompted 50 years ago by the killing of jimmy lee jackson by state troopers. do you make parallels with your son's death, michael brown's death? >> it does. it does. it has similarities, and the outcome was pretty much the same. my son would have been able to vote and he's still been alive with this voting election coming up. amy: and your thoughts about darren wilson not facing any civil rights charges? >> i leave it up to god.
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i leave it up to god. amy: your thought on the justice department and the court? >> we knew that. i think the world pretty much saw that before they came out with their findings. that is why it is so hard to believe that they did not find what everyone else saw. amy: what do you think will happen now? do you want there to be federal monitoring of ferguson police? >> being honest, i do not think there should be a ferguson police department anymore. the ferguson police department should be took over by better people, maybe even just fire them all and bring in some new cops, and with the new training, start fresh with a new batch and they will get proper training. amy: do you think jackson should
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go, the police? [laughter] >> do you think jackson should go? amy: do you think mayor knowles should go? >> do you think mayor knowles should go? >> i am the director of the naacp legal defense fund. amy: i just spoke to leslie mcfadden, the mother of michael brown. and what she thinks about the police department of ferguson and retraining. she said they should all be fired. why not bring in a whole new group? what do you think about that? >> i would go a step further. it is not clear to me that this town of 21,000 people need a police department. we need to look at the regional policing issues so we can get some quality control. you cannot get your hands around
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all of those tiny jurisdictions. ferguson is but one of 90 jurisdictions in st. louis county. if we want real change, we need a regional policing solution. amy: your thoughts today? >> it is an incredible day. making possible what barack obama is -- the challenge to him is to lift up the elegant legacy of people and to refuse to be silent about the issues that fax us -- that vex us. he is recognizing what was going on there. the president says this is an aberration. i am not so sure. it is more representative of what he and others are not willing to admit.
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this is representative of the tensions between police people in many communities and african-american and latino citizens. amy: commerce member barbara lee . >> i am here with a sense of gratitude and humility, just thankful for those foot soldiers and the great leaders who led the movement so that i could be the 100th member of congress. i also think of the work we have left to do. when you look at the systemic institutional racism, when you look at what needs to be done it is the young people once again who are in a protest who will make members of congress do the right thing. >> senior pastor of ebenezer baptist church. amy: i saw you at troy davis' funeral. how does that story -- and what was your message there, and how does the issue of the death penalty, who gets put to death who dozens, who is in prison,
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who is not apply 50 years after the march in selma? >> the striking thing is that there is a sector in american society that is worse and more rabidly racist than it was during dr. king's lifetime. it is the american justice system. we are only 5% of the world population but we are to 5% of world prisoners. the death penalty is a capstone of that problem. the deep disparities in sentencing, getting sentenced to death has very often to do with the race of the victim. we have to continue to fight the good fight on this. our beloved nation is almost alone in continuing to exercise this brutal and unusual and inhumane punishment.
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but i think there are hopeful signs. there are those of us who stood this week to argue in georgia that a woman named kelly should not the executed, and so far that execution has been at least placed on hold. there was this issue apparently with lethal injection being cloudy, which was interesting. the reason we are having this problem, we are having a hard time getting the toxic compounds necessary to kill people in the name of the state. that is because most of the rest of the world understands that this kind of practice has no place in 21st-century civilized society. it is state sanctioned mob violence. judge e w fleming was a federal judge and civil rights lawyer.
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amy: your thoughts about what people were marching for, and where they are today judge. >> much of the meaning of what happened 50 years ago has been lost two years ago when the supreme court took away the heart of the voting rights act. it is important for us to be here to remind ourselves that that fight is as important today as it was a half-century ago. amy: talk about the importance of the courts. there activists on the ground. you are a judge. >> it was charles evans hughes who once said that the constitution means at any given point in time only what five members of the supreme court says that it means. we have seen in the last quarter century, a supreme court, as reactionary as the court that the side of the dred scott decision. this court today is as avarice
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of states rights, which we fought a great civil war over, thought we had settled that issue. at this supreme court has -- but this supreme court has resurrected state rights, and it is a constitutional principle. when you turn it back over to the states, we see the kinds of things we have seen in terms of restrictions on the right to vote. restrictions that have been imposed since the shelby county case, much similar to the restrictions imposed 50 years ago. amy: would you call the supreme court today a jim crow court? >> i would say that this supreme court, yes, it is in my judgment, the worst supreme court in terms of civil rights since 1857. the decision that caused the civil war.
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amy: you would like to say something? >> there is such a fear among many people in this country about the demographics of change, and it is causing them to literally act in ways that are mad. i do not mean angry mad, i mean insane that. mad. race is at the center of these issues. i think we are in a dangerous time and a dangerous place, and the voting rights act is still important. the right to vote sacred. this is political disempowerment in shelby county, or potential political this empowerment. so the struggle continues. it may change in some ways, but it continues. amy: that was ted shaw, now with the university of north carolina center for civil rights. coming up, diane nash.
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[♪ music break] amy: protesters singing "we shall not be moved" back in 1965. this is democracy now democracynow.org, the war and peace report. john lewis was one of 600 civil rights activists attacked by state troopers. he was later hospitalized with a skull fracture. >> we as a nation have a great deal to be thankful for. jimmy lee jackson.
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jimmy lee jackson whose death inspired the selma march, along with so many others. you and i are here. we can bear witness to the purpose we have made in 50 years . we must use this moment to recommit ourselves to do all we can to finish a work, and there is still work left to be done. get out there and push and pull until we redeem the soul of america. on march 7 1965, a few innocent children of god.
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some only carried a plane purse or backpack. aspire to walk 50 dangers miles from selma -- aspired to walk 50 dangerous miles from selma to montgomery. on that day, on that day, 600 people marched into history walking two by two down the sidewalk. with the kind of the military discipline. it was so peaceful, so quiet. no one saying a word.
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there was tear gas. some were less bloody right here on this bridge. 17 were hospitalized. but we never became bitter or hostile. this city, on the banks of the alabama river, gave birth to a movement that changed this nation forever. our country will never, ever be the same because of what happened on this bridge. [applause] it is a great honor for me to return to my home state of alabama. to present to you -- not to introduce to you -- but to present to you the president of
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the united states. [cheers and applause] if someone had told me when we were crossing the bridge that one day i would be back here introducing the first african-american president, i would say you are crazy, out of your mind. you do not know what you are talking about. president barack obama! president obama: it is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes, and john lewis is one of my heroes. as john noted, there are places in movement -- places and moments in america were this nation's test has been decided. many are sites of war --
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concord, lexington, appomattox gettysburg. others are sites that symbolize the daring of america's character. independence falls, seneca falls, kitty hawk, cape canaveral. selma is such a place. in one afternoon 50 years ago, so much of our turbulent history the stain of slavery and the civil war. the tyranny of jim crow. the death of four little girls in birmingham. the dream of a baptist preacher. all that history met on this bridge. it was not a clash of armies but a clash of wills.
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a contest to determine the true meaning of america. and because of men and women like john lewis, joseph lowery, hosea williams, diane nash, ralph abernathy, andrew young fred shuttlesworth, dr. martin luther king jr., and so many others the idea of a just america and a fair america, and inclusive america and a generous america, that idea ultimately triumphed because of campaigns like this. the voting rights act was passed. political and economic and social barriers came down, and the change these men and women
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launched is visible today in the presence of african-americans who sit on the bench, who served in elected office in small towns to big cities, from the congressional black caucus all the way to the oval office. because of what they did, the doors of opportunity swung open not just for black folks but for every american. women marched through those doors, latinos marched through those doors. asian-americans, gay americans americans with disabilities -- they all came through those doors. their efforts gave the entire south a chance to rise again. not by reasserting the past, but by transcending the past. what a glorious thing, and what
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a solid debt we owe. just how might we repay that debt? first and foremost, we have to recognize that one day of commemoration, no matter how special, is not enough. if selma taught us anything, it is that our work is never done. the american experiment in self-government gives worse and purpose to each generation. -- gives worth and purpose to each generation. when it comes to the pursuit of justice, we can afford neither complacency nor despair. just this week i was asked whether i thought the department of justice's ferguson report
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shows that with respect to race little has changed in this country. i understood the question. the report's narrative was sadly familiar. it evoked the kind of abuse and disregard for citizens that spawned the civil rights movement. but i rejected the notion that nothing has changed. what happened in ferguson may not be unique, but it is no longer endemic, no longer sanctioned by law and custom. before the civil rights movement, it most surely was. we do a disservice to the cause of justice by intimating that bias and discrimination are immutable, that racial division is inherent in america. if using nothing has changed in the past 50 years, ask somebody who lived through the selma or chicago or los angeles in the 1950's.
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ask the female ceo who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing has changed. ask your gay friend if it is easier to be out and proud in america now than it was 30 years ago. to deny this progress, this heart-won progress is hard-1 -- this hard-won progress -- of course, the more common mistake is to suggest that ferguson is an isolated incident , that racism is banished, that the work that drew men and women to selma is now complete and that whatever racial tensions remain are a consequence of those who played the race card for their own purpose. we do not need the ferguson report to know that is not true. we just need to open our eyes
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and our ears and our hearts to know that this nation's racial history still casts his long shadow upon us. we know the march is not yet over. we know the race is not yet won. we know that reaching that blessed destination where were judged by the content of our character requires admitting as much, facing up to the truth. we are capable of bearing a great burden. james baldwin once wrote, "once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is for everywhere in this country there are first steps to be taken." there is new ground to cover. there are more bridges to be crossed, and it is you, the young and fearless at heart, the
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most diverse and educated generation in our history who the nation is waiting to follow. selma shows us that america is not the project of any one person. because the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word "we." "we, the people." "we shall overcome." "yes, we can." that word is owned by no one. it belongs to everyone. oh, what a glorious task we are given to continue to try to improve this great nation of ours. 50 years from bloody sunday, our march is not yet finished. but we are getting closer.
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239 years after this nation's founding, our union is not yet perfect. but we are getting closer. our job is easier because somebody already got us through that first mile during some already got us over that bridge. when it feels that the road is too hard, we will remember these early travels and draw strength from their advance and raw from the -- and draw from the words of the prophet isaiah, "those who wait upon the lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will walk and not be faint." we must run so our children soar , and we will not grow weary because we believe and the power of an awesome god and we believe in this country's sacred promise. may he bless those warriors of
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justice who are no longer with us and bless the united states of america. thank you, everybody. amy: after president obama spoke, he walked across the bridge along with michelle and their daughters former president george w. bush and first lady laura bush. and john lewis. one notabley absent was diane nash. she explained why. >> the march, the photographers i was all set to much. they had me on the front line. and then george bush came out and got in the march, and i left. [cheers and applause]
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i determine that i was not marching anywhere with george bush. the selma movement stands for nonviolence and peace and democracy and fairness and voting rights, and george bush stands for just the opposite. he stands for violence and war and stolen elections. and, for goodness sake, his administration had people tortured. i think this occasion was not appropriate for him to be here. i think for him to appear to be leading people involved in the
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nonviolent movement in this country for a photograph to go across the world would make it look as though we have sold out. i think that is an insult to people whose lives were taken. reverend reed, jimmy lee jackson . it is an insult to me, and i think it is an insult to everybody who really does believe in nonviolence. that being said, i want to mention just a couple of things that i think might be of value as we continue to struggle now.
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and the first thing is, i think it would be a huge mistake for americans to leave the future of this country in the hands of elected officials. elected officials are not going to do what is necessary in the interest of this country. it is important -- critical, in fact -- that citizens take the interest of this country into our own hands. use nonviolence and make the necessary changes. i would like to ask -- suppose we had waited for elected officials to desegregate restaurants, lunch counters, public accommodations, and to get the right to vote. i think 50 years later we would
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still be waiting. my second point i would like to bring up is the issue of protest versus a nonviolent campaign. we have seen, like the occupy movement a few years ago, and now the hands-up movement. and i believe that young people are on the right track. they are taking matters into their own hands. but one thing that i have observed is that i think sometimes we do not know how to differentiate between protests and a movement. in protests, it is just what the word says. "i protest this. i do not like this." very often, the powers that be know that we do not like what is going on, but they are
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determined to do it anyway. on the other hand, a nonviolent movement, or a nonviolent campaign starts where you are right now. it causes you to set a very clear, concrete objective and i would like to say also that it should be a written objective. nobody can give you what you want unless you know what that is. [applause] amy: that was civil rights leader diane nash speaking on march 7, 50 years after the first selma march that led to the voting rights act of 1965. part 2 will be tomorrow. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to
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outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. amy: tomorrow, part 2 of our special broadcast from selma and montgomery alabama.
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may well lose half of the world's biological diversity. >> the most dire numbers, i think, are on the timescale of about 35 years. >> do we know enough about what's going on to be scared by it? my answer as a scientist is--hell yes! >> i do not think we in any way should feel complacent that we are not on the list

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