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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 25, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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02/25/21 02/25/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> 210 million dose of vaccine have been administered globally, but half of those are in just two countries and 80% are in just 10 countries. more than 200 countries are yet to administer a single dose.
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amy: as the official global covid death toll nears 2.5 million, more than 1.5 million in the u.s., much of the world is months -- if not year-- away from obtaining vaccines to slow the pandemic. pressure is growing on president biden and the world trade organization from protecting the intellectual property rights of big pharma, which is slowing down the manufacturing of covid vaccines. we will speak to a leading wto delegate from south africa, as well as illinois congresswoman jan schakowsky. we will also talk to her about the push to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, biden's $1.9 trillion disaster relief package, and more. then we look at the growing probes into the deadly january 6 insurrection at the capitol. >> we cannot equate white nationalist violence with what my colleagues on the right site
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is left-wing extremist violence, equating a righteous movement for justice with people and racist white nationalism is outright ignorant and disingenuous on your part. amy: we will speak to brendan o'connor, author of "blood red lines: how nativism fuels the right." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the u.s. recorded over 3200 deaths from covid-19 wednesday, even as new cases and hospitalizations remained on the decline. president biden and vice president kamala harris are taking part in a white house event today to mark the 50 millionth shot of a coronavirus vaccine under their administration -- the halfway point in biden's promise to deliver 100 million shots in his first 100 days. nearly 14% of the u.s. population has now received at
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least one dose. the food and drug administration took another step toward granting emergency use authorization to a third covid 19 vaccine wednesd, announcing a single dose of johnson & johnson's vaccine showed 86% efficacy against severe cases of disease in a u.s. trial. an advisory panel of vaccine experts meets friday to discuss the findings, with the fda set to authorize the vaccine as early as saturday. this is white house coronavirus response coordinator jeffrey zients. >> johnson & johnson has announced aims to deliver 20 lien doses by the end of march. we are working with the company to accelerate the pace and timeframe by which they deliver the full 100 million doses, which is required by contract by the end of june. amy: moderna says it has produced a new version of its covid-19 vaccine that offers better protection against a coronavirus variant first identified in south africa. the modied vaccine will be
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tested as both a booster shot and as arimary vacci, with further planto test a multalent booster that could protect pele agast multie variantsf coronarus. this ces as rearchers ve identied a new viant in w rk city d other rts of t rtheaste u.s. th has evved mutaons simir to those se in soutafrica a elseere. capitolill, demratic setor joe nchin ofest virgin says heill vo to confirm interior secretary nominee deb haaland. the move by the pro-fossil fuels democrat could help haaland overcome overwhelming republican opposition to her confirmation. as the first ever native american cabinet member in the united states. another bite nominee, neera tanden, appears unlikely to be confirmed to leave the office of management and budget after senator manchin and other key republican said they would vote against her. democratic leaders of three senate committees have delayed votes on her confirmation without announcing plans to reschedule them.
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the biden administration is releasing the declassified intelligence report on the 2018 murder of "washington post" saudi dissident columnist jamal khashoggi. the report is based largely on findings by the cia. reuters is reporting it will assert crown prince mohamed bin salman approved and likely ordered khashoggi's murder at the saudi consulate in istanbul. the white house said wednesday president biden will be speaking with saudi arabia's king salman about the report. "the guardian" reports more than 6500 migrant workers from india, pakistan, nepal, bangladesh and sri lanka have died in qatar since it won the right in 2010 to host the 2022 world cup. that's an average of 12 migrant worker deaths per week. many of the dead were employed on construction sites for the world cup's seven new soccer
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stadiums and massive public workprojects tied to the upcoming tournament. qatar's government claims most of the deaths were due to natural causes. but workers' advocates have tied many of them to heat stress from scorching temperatures at work sites, as well as workplace accidents, crowded and unsanitary conditions in labor camps, and deaths by suicide. in 2012, democracy now! traveled to qatar's capital doha, where we spoke with nepalese labor journalist devendra dhungana. >> they are living in very squalid conditions. you could not just believe. 17 people living in one room most of 15 people sharing one small kitchen. there is no fire extinguisher, no running water. 50 people have to key up in the morning to use one toilet. they said they were under captivity and a kind of modern slavery was there in qatar
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because their passports were seized by the company. they will not have the right to return home. even in emergency situations because they are not easily issued exit papers. amy: to see our interview about the plight of the migrant workers, go to democracynow.org. at least 41 migrants drowned in the mediterranean after their ship capsized en route to european shores. the boat had at least 120 people on board. an estimated 17,000 people have died while attempting the treacherous journey since 2014, described by the u.n. as the most dangerous migration route in the world. amnesty international has revoked prisoner of conscience status for jailed russian opposition leader alexy navalny, citing his past hateful, xenophobic, and olent mments. in 2007, navalny published a video mparing muims in ssia's nortcaucasus regn
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to ckroachesho shoulbe shot wh a pistol. anothevideo fromhe ear 2000's shows navalny dressed as a dentist, comparing immigrant workers to rotten teeth that needed to be removed. amnesty sa it will ctinue to fight for navalny's freedom even after removing him from its list of prisoners of conscience. in ecuador, officials say 79 prisoners were killed in gang-related riots across three prisons this week. the u.n. has called for an investigation. ecuador's prisons suffer from overcrowding despite a release of some prisoners during the pandemic. back in the united states, prisoners at the louisiana state penitentiary in angola have gone on hunger strike after they were kept in solitary confinement past the end of their disciplinary sentences. the prisoners are being held in unheated 9-foot by 6-foot cells with only a jumpsuit and a sheet despite record-low temperatures this month. they're allowed just one hour a day of outside access per day. united nations human rights experts have repeatedly said
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solitary confinement practices in the u.s. amount to torture. illinois governor j.b. pritzker has signed legislation making illinois the first state to end cash bail payments for people seeking release from jail as they await their day in court. it is part of a sweeping package ofriminal justice reforms signed into law monday. illinois state representative justin slaughter called the legislation progress against a "criminal justice system rooted in racism" in a state where black people make up 14% of the population but more than half of all prisoners. >> with this bill, we take a and are overly punitive sentencing policy. we provide more judicial discretion for mandatory minimums. we offer alternatives to custody . of course, we are going to be saying it over and over, we end are unfair cash bail system, a system that relies on one's
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financial ability or inability toost bond. amy: the consumer financial protection bureau and the states of new york, massachusetts, and virginia are suing the bail bond company libre by nexus for predatory practices against jailed immigrants. libre's business model consists of paying prisoners' bonds, then charging exorbitant fees while forcing people to wear electronic tracking bracelets, which new york attorney general letitia james called shackles. libre would then recoup the bond when trials started. libre also threatened borrowers who were not able to repay with deportation or re-imprisonment, even though they had no power do -- had no power to do so. federal prosecutors have charged former new york city police officer thomas webster for assault with deadly weapon during the january 6 insurrection. prosecutors say webster went after a capitol police officer "like a junkyard dog -- teeth clenched and fists clenched,"
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beating him with a metal pole and trying to gouge out his eye. webster is a former u.s. marine and a 20 year veteran of the new york police department who once helped guard city hall and the mayor's mansion. in immigration news, president biden has reversed the trump administration's ban on green cards issued outside the united states. the move paves the way for certain family members to reunify in the u.s. with relatives who are citizens or permanent residents. biden's executive order also restores temporary visas to some categories of foreign workers, including highly skilled workers, managers, and au pairs. in more immigration news, lawyers say they have recently children who were ripped from their families by the trump administration. the parents of over 500 separated children still have not been found and over half of
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them were likely deported according to the lawyers. in missouri, honduran immigrant alex garcia left a church in the st. louis suburb of maplewood after spending more than 1200 wednesday days living in sanctuary. the trump administration had scheduled the married father of five to be deported in 2017. garcia emerged from sanctuary after freshman missouri congressmember cori bush introduced a private bill to grant him permanent residency. and here in new york, longtime immigration activist marco saavedra has won political asylum, setting a legal precedent for undocumented activists seeking refugee status in the united states. saavedra was born to an indigenous family in oaxaca, mexico, and brought to the u.s. as a child. he has been involved in several high-profile immigration actions. in 2012, he purposely got arrested by federal authorities to infiltrate the privately owned broward transitional
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center in florida where he helped organize imprisoned asylum-seekers. he spoke to democracy now! and a 2019 about his appeal for asylum. >> for the first time, looking and being able to plan my life 10 years down the road and for the first time actually feel fully accepted in the only country i have known for most of my life. so i think it would be monumental. and i think more significantly, monumental for the immigrant rights movement, that someone with my track history can benefit from this protection and set precedent for other civil rights activists that could also benefit the very severe war that exists in my country with organized crime and drug trafficking and could hopefully also be seen as worthy of asylum. amy: marco saavedra just granted political asylum in the united states. to see our extended interview with him, visit
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democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined remotely by my co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. nermeen: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: as the global covid death toll nears 2.5 million, we begin today's show looking at how intellectual property rights are preventing much of the world from obtaining covid vaccines. in the united states, over 45 million people have received at least their first dose of a ccine. but across much of the world, covid vaccines will not be available for months, if not years. the united nations recently warned 130 nations have not received any vaccines at all
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leading to what some have described as a vaccine apartheid system. south africa and india are heading a push by over 100 nations for the world trade organization to waive intellectual property rules that give pharmaceutical companies monopolistic control over vaccines they develop -- even when the vaccines are developed largely with public funds. last fall, the trump administration blocked a temporary waiver on the rules, known as trips, the wto's agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. the biden administration is now facing increasing pressure from public citizen and other groups to reverse the u.s. position ahead of a key meeting on monday. lori wallach is director of public citizen's global trade watch. >> right now, thanks to rules like in the wto's agreement,
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countries all over the world are required, despite having invested hundred civilians in a creating t vaccines, they are required to give monopoly protections under the wto rules to pharmaceutical companies who then control how much and where the needed medicines are produced. in order to be able to gear up, we need a broad waiver that covers that whole web of intellectual property rights that big pharma has right now constricting the ability of countries around the world to make these meds. amy: we are joined now by two guests. in the united states, democratic congresswoman jan schakowsky represents the ninth district of illinois. she's also the senior chief deputy whip and chair of the consumer protection and commerce subcommittee. and mustaqeem de gama is the counselor at the south african permanent mission to the world trade organization. he helped draft a proposal co-sponsored by india and south africa calling for the wto to
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suspend intellectual property rights related to covid-19. mustaqeem de gama, let's begin with you. if you can explain to our global audience exactly what is happening, if nothing else, this pandemic has told us -- has taught us if one person is sick somewhere, we are all threatened. what exactly, especially for any audience in the united states who hardly knows the wto exists, are you say will make an warmest death will make an enormous difference protecting the population of the planet? good morning to the viewers. i think the point you make is very important. we have seen the interconnectedness of the world and certainly, 19 has brought this to the fore. this proposal essentially proposes that the way certain
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forms of intellectual property rights to ensure an increase of production. we have seen large-scale shortages of vaccines not because of any other reason but because of the inappropriate use of intellectual property rights. so from that perspective, the proposal really seeks to ensure that everyone has access -- as you clearly point out, on the global scale, we see the variants of the virus not impacting the efficacy of vaccines that already have been produced. so from this perspective, it makes a lot of sense have everyone vaccinated at the earliest point in time. the waiver makes the argument that we should enable or producers to produce to scale and to eure that all of us are safe in the shortest possible time. if we do not have access to a vaccine, the inequality that we
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see in the world today will continue. i emphasize a few days ago that only 10 countries are responsible for 75% of all vaccines that have been ministered to date. this means that a good 130 countries have not yet received vaccines at this point in time and may not receive vaccines for years to come. nermeen: if you could also comment on the fact that astrazeneca, for example, which was made in conjunction with the university of oxford, astrazeneca has license the servicto due to video to both produce and manufacture this vaccine, how did astrazeneca do that? visit entirely up to individual companies to make the decision about whether they license or not and to whom they license? would the waiver require
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astrazeneca to do this? >> absolutely no. i think the licensing of astrazeneca to the serum institute is called a voluntary license. the waiver was not required to do this. the problem with these types of arrangements, firstly is there very secretive. secondly, their contractual terms that limit the producer, both in terms of volume and geographic distribution of what is being produced. the serum institute is one example. johnson & johnson has also licensed their vaccine to a company in south africa. once again, we know from this particular contract, only 9% of what that company produces will be distributed in south africa. the rest will go somewhere else. whereas voluntary licenses would be a good idea, it is limited in scope and what is required to address covid-19 cannot be addressed purely through
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voluntary licenses. so the clear bottom line here is that we need a massive scale up and the rights embedded in these voluntary licenses and enable companies to say how much is produced, for whom they are produced, and at what price. and ultimately, could we have a limitation in the number of vaccines that are produced, we know this has an impact on the price, an impact on scarcity. and what we see in the market now is even poor countries are required to pay much more for these vaccines even though these vaccines would have been developed with a large amount of public funding. nermeen: does is waiver applied not only to vaccines that were developed in europe and here -- in other words, pfizer and moderna -- were also to vaccines that have been developed elseere? the two vaccines from china as well as sputnik v from russia?
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>> this is a measure that will apply everywhere. all wto members will be able to benefit and invoke the flexibility that is granted. so any vaccine that could be accessible could be subject to this particular waiver. this is in line with the principle of nondiscrimination that we are not only targeting producers in particular countries. i think the problem that has arisen is that these producers are not willing to share the technology available. as you indicate, it is not only applicable to vaccines. it is applicable to a broad range of rights, including therapeutics, diagnostics, in order to track and trace the evolution of the virus we need access to further types of technology. it is not only vaccines that would be applicable here but it would also apply to a wide range
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of intellectual property rights and then of course product that could be used to address covid-19. amy: congress member jan schakowsky, let's talk about concurrently what this means. you private companies like moderna that got, what, something like $1 million from the united states, something like $2.5 billion forhe development of the company's vaccines. then you have pfizer who may not have got it at the front and but the back end, guarantee of massive buys by government, sales of the vaccine. what exactly happened? if there was a waiver to this wto provision, with other companies and other countries be able to do? >> the waiver -- which, by the way, is limited in time,
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narrowly focused on making sure we address this current virus, and it would not change the rule of the wto permanently. so this is an important response . what it would do is allow countries to be able to produce their own vaccine and therapeutics and make sure they can take care of themselves. we know that these intellectual property rights really do put profit over people all over the world. and we know -- and i have talked in a hring witthese major companies, and i think emphasizing the fact that americans are huge investors this. we have put millions and millions of dollars into
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developing these vaccines and doing the research and development for these companies. but now they are saying, and they said while they agree the covid virus anywhere threatens people everywhere, that they don't believe that they should allow this waiver so that other countries and other companies can develop their own drugs. amy: so concretely would mean sharing the recipe essentially? and it would mean some companies could make the needles, some companies could make whatever needs to be done and this would be shared for a time? again, said billions have got into these companies by governments. this was not just developed by these companies outline money. >> it analogous to allowing various countries to produce a
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generic drug based on the research that has been done. it is so shortsighted. the united states of america is not on the right side of this right now. what we would like is between now and monday for the president of the united states -- i am certainly supporting of joe biden and kamala harris -- would say that we suprt the waiver at the wto. it would make all the difference in the world. i know that nancy pelosi, our speaker of the house come has spoken out on this issue as well and said this is important for us to do for ourselves most of it is our o self terest a ll. do nowant t -- we are spenng aitional llions o dollars toddre touri, to help t airnes,o be ae to
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help our economy. all of that would be for not if we cannot prott ourselves ainst this virus because we will not help the international community. and there are hundreds of organizations -- heth ganizatis, humanights ganizaons, ngos ound the world -- thatre pading, really, for this waiver be apoved. nermeen: cld you respond to ose whopposehis wair not theasisf profs, but simplyn the basis the ft th they sathese vaines, in partular pfir and morna whic a difficu to transrt and ore givethat they ed to be keptn subfreezing mperatur, the prlem is n one ofharing t thnolog-- in fact, eveif they re to sharthe so-caed recipe, n
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her count or mustountri would not be able to manufacture these vaccines because they don't have the technology and the means to make these particular vaccines. and then also, what exactly happened with the aids vaccine -- not the vaccine, but the anti-retro viral dg during the aids epidemic, and how those drugs were able to be manufactured around the world, in particular, in india? >> yes, thanks. i think this is a very important point to stress that in terms of the manufacturing capacity, we know that there are many developing countries that do have the capacity to produce vaccines. if you actually look at the supply chain, much of the medicine consumed in the west is actually produced in developing
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countries. so from that perspective, firstly, if the recipe is shared, as you say, with developing countries, there are many factors that can do this. the world health organization as a so-called prequalification list of vaccine producers. and a big part of these manufacturers actually come from the developing world. even the mrna vaccines that have been developed by moderna for example, can easily be produced in the developing world because mrna technology is not new. it has been applied in other eas. but the current application to covid-19's novel but the scientific base and the confidence does exist in the developing world. from that perspective, i think that kind of narrative has been debunked by various organizations. i also wanted to indicate in
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terms of the second part of your question oniv/aids, this is a very sad chapter in our history and i think some of the remnants from that episode still does chime in the current history. at that time, countries like india could produce on the basis of an amendment made to the trips agreement. i like what we are proposing or at least very much like what we are proposing now, decision was taken to allow countries that do not have manufacturing capacity to import from countries that do have. in theory, this mechanism is availablecuently. wever, gen t scale of the pandemic, we certainly also see it affects everyone. these flexibilities are not easily accessible. from that point of view, when we look at the history of hiv/aids and look at some of the other
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pandemics, it is very clear the only way we are going to address this is to really get and global scale up vaccines, whatever is needed, to ensure we vaccinate everyone in the shortest possible time. you have indicated the risks. they are not only on the health side, risks also on the side of poverty. a lot of people have not been exposed to insecurity. the longer we have lockdowns, the longer people will be exposed to hunger and increasing levels of poverty. in finally -- nermeen: qckly, fore we conclude, the debbie tio appointed e first african and the first woman to head the organization. she has urged member states to make vaccines more accessible. do you think her being in this
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position might make a difference? >> yes. firstly, a woman and being the first african to lead this organization, she is in touch with the sensitivities and i think the requirements of developing countries so there could be no better person to leave the organization at this point in time. she has indicated she is willing to work constructively with members to ensure they have enough -- i think we welcome this kind of positive energy that has been injected into the organization. it can also help us to reach an outcome in the shortest possible time to ensure we save lives and that we hold our governments to account to ensure public interests and public health issues are taken to account, and also promoted above narrow interests that we see, for instance, with pharmaceutical
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companies. amy: finally,er happen by monday? do you have any indication from president biden, vice president harris, like you do from nancy pelosi, who you y has come out supportive of the waiver, what happens monday? >> first of all, there is a letter that we're getting finance from membe of congress to the preside of the united states. a lot of contact now with the administrati really emphasizing the importance of leadership of the united states of america. you know, we saw a quote from one of the lawyers for the pharmaceutical companies is that they do not this out of the goodness of their heart. they want to do it because they get the benefits most of and we're talking about profits here. it is wrong in 70 ways, inuding putting americans in
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danger. so we're just going to kp the pressure on because time is a waing here. if we don't star getting more vaccines and pharmaceuticals to these developing and poor countries, we will continue to be at risk about how much money we spent to crush the virus. amy: we want to thank you both for being with us and ask you, congressmember schakowsky, to stay with us because we want to talk in the next segment about the fight for $15 an hour. we want to thank mustaqeem de gama, counselor at the south african permanent mission to the wto, joining us from geneva, switzerland. we will continue to follow the story. back with congressmember schakowsky in a moment. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. the hseboats fray on
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president biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that includes a $15-an-hour minimum wage increase. the measure remains at risk in the senate, where it faces opposition from democrats joe manchin of west virginia and arizona's kyrsten sinema. manchin instead proposed an increase to just $11 an hour. if the minimum wage does not survive in this bill, biden has had he is open to legislation but that would need 60 votes under the senate to overcome a filibuster. this comes as vice news reports click to documents show how mcdonald's spies on workers for part of the fight for $15 campaign "mcdonald's intelligence analysts have used social media monitoring tool to collect and scrape data openly available online and to help monitor social media accounts. the sources told mother for the company's intelligence analyst have attempted to use the tool to reconstruct the friends list and networks of workers involved
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in the labor movement using fake facebook personas in order to figure out their strategy, counter it, and find out where the key players are and who they know." congress member jan schakowsky, a push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and are chair of the commerce subcommittee. can you talk about what is happening right now, what it means the senate parliamentarian make the decision whether or not this will be included but whether they move ahead with this anyway or make it a separate bill. why $15 an hour is important? >> we've been pushing for $15 an hour for a very long time. as you know, it is phased in. there are states like washington that for a long time have had $15 an hour. the current enema wage federally is $7.25. now, you cannot live on that. you cannot raise a family on
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that. you have to have other jobs. that is about $30,000 a year. you just can't really make it. we need to do this now in the united states. reverend barber made a brilliant statement. he said, the minimum wage during slavery was 0. and all these years since then, we have got seven dollars and $.25 -- got $7.25? it is time to move toward a living wage. we're certainly pushing for five and finally going to get the five, i believe, and it should be in this package. in fact, senator byrd when he was in the congress, made a speech about the importance of the minimum wage being raised. we talk about the byrd rule,
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which we disqualify things like the minimum wage. we are saying it is perfectly consistent with this package to includthe minimum wage. and colleagues of mine think it is too high, that we have to have perhaps a regional wage. they are so disrespectful. and they have the nerve to use the excuse that it is really going to be bad for people with disabilities, it is going to be bad for low income people because jobs will be lost. there is no evidence of that atsoever. raising the minimum wage does nothing but good for millions of americans. nermeen: congressmember schakowsky, could you explain who exactly is opposing the inclusion of the $15 minimum wage? and also whether the so-called
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reconciliation process can be used with this proposal -- what is that process? >> the reconciliation process does allow as demo -- democrats to pass a big deal $1.9 trillion is what has been on the table, with 51 votes and that is it. we would have to break that tie with vice president harris doing that, t we cou do that. about 80% of americans want us to do this. first of allit is republicans who are against this legislation altogether. there are so many things they don't want to see in this bill, but particularly i would say raising them unravel -- the minimum wage. yond tt, there are couple of democrats still in the senate
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that are saying they don't want that. there is a lot of pressure ing directed at them. phone calls from constituents in the district, and mobilization of grassroots people to t and change their minds. and we are not ready to give up yet. i should say to give up at all. we are going to press and press foincluding this. as one of the most important aspects, raising the wage, ving people be able to take care of themsels, and not rely on many of the benefits -- which i approve of -- that we want to do to help them. but pele want to help themselves and thewant to have jobs that actually provide for themselves and their families. so the reconciliation process would allous to do that with
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just 51 votes instead of the 60 that would normally be required, unfortunately, because of the filibuster in the united states senate. amy: on a different issue, congress member jan schakowsky, this week, one after another about their action. in our next section we are about to delve into who was art of that. but i want to ask you about the high level of involvement of military, of police and retired police. today we just reported in the headlines about a new york police officer who engaged in one of the most vicious attacks on a capitol police officer, trying to rip off his helmet, gouging his eye, and slamming him with a pole. he has just been arrested. at the percentage of the protesters being from the military or police organizations, your thoughts?
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>> we are going to ps the legislation justice and policing act because this is not a new story about violence too often that occurs among law enforcement. we are also finding out and really saying every single day the disparities between how people of color are treated as opposed to whites. i think this is part of the sty of january 6. and we are going to have a full investigation and accountability and we're going to have to make changes in the law that enforce accountability. there is no queson about it. we are going to have to look at the military and the police who very often have immunity in an
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unjust way for the kinds of atrocities that are done. again, nancy pelosi is creating a task force that is going -- and a commission that is going to be looking into all of these details, and then we will take appropriate action to make sure -- amy: we just have 20 seconds was the you recently wrote to mark zuckerberg demanding more information on the company's anti-extremism measures, such multiple reports of semi-facebook's own staff were concerned about the "rapid spread of extremism and disinformation on facebook." what are the responsibility of the social media giants to tackle extremism and do you favor antimonopoly legislation against them, breaking them up? >> i actually do most of at
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mainly what we're talking about now is accountability for posting the queue and other -- qanon and other extremist organizations. every click is really money for them. we have heard lots of apologies. it is too little too late. and now we need to have accountability of these platforms that they take responsibility for what is on those platforms. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, congresswoman jan schakowsky from illinois, senior chief deputy whip and chair of the consumer protection and commerce subcommittee next up, we look at the growing probes into the deadly january 6 insurrection at the capitol. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "a carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond" by captain beefheart & his magic band. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. as we ended today should show
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looking at the deadly january 6, one selection, new york police have arrested officer thomas webster, who is accused of brutally attacking a washington, d.c., police officer with the flagpole. beating him with a metal pole and trying to gouge out his eye. prosecutors say video shows webster beat the officer with his hands and ripped their gear off, causing them to choke because it "cut off the officers air." the video of this is horrifying. webster is a former u.s. marine and a 20 year veteran of the nypd who once helped guard city hall and the mayor's mansion. this comes as the senate held its first public hearing tuesday on the insurrection were security officials lamed
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intelligence failures. the house judiciary committee followed up wednesday with the hearing on the rise of domestic terror. some republican members tried to compare the january 6 attack to protests against police killings a black americans and insisted antifa is a threat. this was democratic congresswoman cori bush's response. >> we cannot equate white natialist violence with what my colleagues on the right stated as left-wing extremists violence, equated a righteous movement for justice with hateful and racist white nationalism is outright ignorant and disingenuous on your part. but for white supremacy in which you benefit, we would not be in the streets demanding to be heard, demanding to be heard to save lives. let me say this, if you had -- there are not five people on
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both sides. there is no comparison. amy: meanwhile, during this week's confirmation hearings for president biden's nominee to become the next attorney general, merrick garland told the senate judiciary committee he would prioritize prosecuting the white supremacists who stormed the capitol on january 6. he compared the task to his prosecution of the oklahoma city federal building bombing in the 1990's. when democratic senator dick durbin of illinois asked garland if the deadly insurrection was a "one-off," this is garland's response. >> i don't think this is necessarily a one-off. the fbi director wray has indicated the threat of domestic terrorism, particularly of white supremacist extremist, is his number one concern in this area. this coupled with enormous rise in hate crimes over the past f years. there is aine fromklahoma city and there is another line
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from a coma city all the way back -- oh, city all the way back to the extremes as i mentioned in my open with respect to the battles of the regional justice deptment against the klux klan. we must do everything in the power of the justice department to prevent this kind of interference with the policies of american democratic institutions. and i plan, if you confirm me for attorney general, to do everything in my power to ensure that we are protected. amy: this comes as former president trump is said to reemerge this sunday as the headline speaker at the conservative political action conference where he will try to keep alive his false claims of election fraud. and reportedly will talk about running for president again in for more, we are joined by 2024. reporter and author brendan o'connor, whose recent book is titled "blood red lines: how nativism fuels the right." his latest article for the guardian is headlined "the
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capitol riot wasn't a fringe 'uprising'. it was enabled by very deep pockets." welcome to democracy now! talk about those pockets. talk about this insurrection and who enabled it. >> thank you f having me. the events of january 6 were not just months, but years, decades in the making. and i think that merrick garland is correct to say there in ideological lineage reaching all the way back to the kkk in the stice department struggle against it and really even further to reconstruction and visible war. this is a current in american politics that has been with us since the beginning and given the encouragement by the conditions of crisis we are all living in now. amy: talk specifically about the funding of what took place on january 6. >> on january 6, the rally that
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then president trump spoke at that proceeded the siege of the capital was funded in the infrastructure for it was provided by a slew of right-wing organizations that have gotten funding from various right-wing -- from the right wing donor class that have been with us and involved in funding the tea party movement, involved in blocking various democratic efforts present progressive legislation over the years, and thought this was an opportunity to try to ingratiate themselves and support the militant white nationalist faction within the republican party that trump finds to be his face. -- his base. nermeen: as a heard earlier, binds nominee -- biden's merrick
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garland said this will be his top priority, prosecuting the white supremacists who stormed the capitol on januar6. given the fact you talked about the funding behind this, how do you think he can go about doing this if he is confirmed? close that is a good question. i think the justice department's investigation -- already we have seen the charges that have been brought have shown us a lot about the social dynamics of what happened on january 6 and the weeks and months leading up tot, the way these different groups are organized, and the way that more organized groups interact with the trump rank-and-file -- i'm not optimistic that merrick garland's perspective investigation will be able to get to the root causes of how this happened and why this happened, not to any indivual
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fault of merrick garland's or any individual prosecutor within the justice department, but simply because that is not the role of the justice department. they do not have the ideological toolbox to be able to get to the root of these problems. nermeen: brendan, could you elaborate on some of the groups that have been identified as ving participated in this attack, including the proud boys, oath, and so@@ on? >> for sure. the oath are an older group that were very active during the obama administration that kind of served as a bridge between the far-right patriot movement that emerged during the late 1980's and 1990's. the oath keepers draw their base of support from law enforcement and military veterans. there's a lot of overlap between these two groups.
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they were active on january 6, alongside the proud boys, who are a newer group that were founded in 2016 but sort of laughed off by many of the more hard-core white nationalists for several years until now in 2019, 2020, stepping into a power vacuum on the far-right that was left by the collapse of the so-called alt-right. the proud boys are basically a streetfighting organization. their base of support is primarily in the pacific northwest, but they are all over the country. similarly to the oath keepers, they serve as a bridge between the more ideologically hard-core far-right and the trump base. they do this by deploying the tropes and mythology of qanon, evangelical christianity, of
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ultranationalist patriotism all in service of open street violence. amy: during the hearing on tuesday, republican senator ron johnson of wisconsin used his questioning to read from a federalist article promoting a conspiracy theory that the rioters infiltrated a crowd well-meaning and festive trump supporters. >> a very few did not share the jovial friendly earnest demeanor the great majority. some obviously did not fit in and he describes four different types of people. playing closed militants, provocateurs, fake truck adjusters, and discipline uniform -- i think these are the people that probably planned this. amy: ron johnson quds putting for this was an for. yet marjorie taylor greene who said the same thing. yet it has come out with video that has emerged, one of her closest friends, one of the
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trump supporting protesters, marching along and talking about the organizing of this event, so she knows full well exactly who was doing this, though she denied that is who was doing it. brendan o'connor, if you can talk about where you feel this all needs to lead and are these groups getting stronger? are these groups getting stronger? that is a very good question and it is hard to say. i think a lot of it will depend on how the fractures within the republican party resolve themselves. if congress does people like marjorie greene and senators like ron johnson are able to take over the party, then this becomes a habitable refuge for the organized far-right. if on the other hand the more mainstream donor class and sections of the ruling class
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that affiliate with the republican party are able to reassert control, and the far-right will take on a more antistate character and the acceleration and fascist faction will gate influence i think, and that will lead in a different direction. neither of which are very -- neither of which i am very optimistic about. amy: the subtitle of your book "blood red lines: how nativism fuelthe right." you have stephen miller now briefing conservative congressmembers, trump coming out at cpac sunday. your thoughts? >> yes. i think the nativist influence will continue to re, especially as the climate crisis deepens and more and more people around the world are displaced and come to countries like the united states seeking safety and refuge and comfort.
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this will provoke a reaction that those of us on the left and under the democratic party need to be conscientious and sensitive to as we think about how to build a world that can accommodate -- ■x?x■x■x■ñ■o
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♪ welcome back. thank you for joins us again on nhk "newsline." we start this hour here in japan as the number of coronavirus cases decline, the government plans to lift a state of emergency for six prefectures at the end of the month. but the declaration will remain in place for tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. the lifting will apply to osaka

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